This week was a major step up though. What's funny too, is that the talk you shared with me mom, the one by president uchtdorf "on things that matter most", we just shared that with a less active 2 days ago and she loved it! I wonder if it was more for me than for her even. But yeah this week was way better. I just felt a little more confidence, a little more sense of "ok i know what i'm doing". Last week i felt like i had just been thrown to the wolves ha! But now everything is just a litle more comfortable. it's actually a blast to havae a district too. I love being a part of these other missionaries lives that are in my district that i just didn't have before. I like becoming a little part of their companionships and helping them in their struggles and motivating them and stuff. I think that is where i have felt i needed to change the most. Last week we had decent numbers to report to the zone leaders and so i was just like "man i can't do this yet without puertas!" but then the sisters in my district were having some problems and just focusing on what they needed made me realize you know what, i really can't afford to be down, discouraged, tardy, disobedient or anything! Not that i was being all those things before but, people look to our companionship just because of our position and it's just been cool this week to just change my mindset a little and have to step up. It was cool too beacuse every rfiday after district meetin we have a coordination meeting with all the district leaders and zone leaders and talk about missionaries who are struggling and goals and all sorts of stuff, i love it! But we talked about being dignified in our calling, not just as missioanries but as leaders. We see president macdonald come hang out with elders on p-day but for a short enough time where they can have fun, but still, he is not just another one of the guys. There is taht respect and even desire to be better when he is in the room. President shared this one quote that i like that says, "as a leader, you can't afford to hang around the water cooler" meaning those players or whatever taht take the few extra moments away from practice, from working, the ones that talk undignified, or bend the rules. We just need to have that presence that allows others to feel motivated even by our presence. It's been really cool this past week man it really has. I feel like our district is really getting along and are really picking it up too. I love the fire that all the greenies bring into it, (every companionship has a greenie in our district). People are just working and are not afraid to take leaps of faith and people are setting baptismal dates and everything it is soo great.
I want to tell you about this weekend though cause it was CRAZY!
First, we have been working with this one less active lady named millie. She is like the sweetest lady EVER. and i mean that as in she is so gentle and kind. She has a really strong testimony but has just had a horrific past that honestly scares her out of doing things. I promised i wouldn't tell anyone about it but she has just had the hardest youth, the hardest marriage, and even her kids are picking up bad habits from her ex husband. Her story is literally so sad, we are brought to tears in almost every lesson. She is so amazing though because amidst all these things, she just has the most amazing faith! she reads all the time and always says i know in the end it will be alright, and she has been putting up with all sorts of horrible things for years and years! She has noo self confidence though because of the way people have treated her and is very submissive. She just has a past that is surrounding her and she can't seem to get away from it. BUT this past week we shared a few different things from the scriptures and conference (uchtdorf's talk), and she has just been eating them up. They have been so applicable and she is just getting more and more strength! She even made it to church this weekend which was awesome. I will get to what happened sunday night in one second.
Friday, we had a few appointments in Independence. We had alejandro the recent convert guy come with us which was a huge help. So we go after district meeting, which was all about asking inspired questions and we even practiced for the people we were going to teach in indy. It helped so much! We had dinner with our first appointment at 4:30, and then taught a lesson after and they accepted BAPTISM! AHH man it was soo exciting! We have been working with them for a while now and thye just stopped progressing. They never read, never went to church, so we said fine, we are gonna commit them or just say hey we gotta visit people that are prepared and iwlling to take action. So in the lesson we did and they said yes for the 22nd!!! Ah man we were soo pumped! But the dinnner was superr hot yikes! Alejandro's nose even started bleeding hahaha! we felt aweful... After though, we had another appointment with roxanna the dominican! She fed us as well ughhh it was soo much food, shrimp and rice! soo yummy but way too much food. we were all jsut looking at each other laughing throughout dinner just becuase we didn't know how we were gonna finish but with lots of prayer, we made it! we felt bad though cause alejandro had to put up with it and he's not a missioanry. But we sat down with roxanna who always reads like 6 chapters every time ewr come which is awesome, but this time we were straight forward and said listen, heavenly father wants you to be happy, as soon as possible, and satan wants you to be miserable, for as long as possible. She is like yeah okay...and we said we know that being baptized will bring you a happiness that you have never felt before and that Heavenly Father himself wants you to take that step, and she agreed and so she accepted a baptismal date for the 22nd as welL! man it was such a miracle and i know the spirit was there, we applied what we had learned that day too at district meeting. It was such a great night and we just needed that after a long week.
Elder gomez is doing awesome as well. He is such a stud and super confident. He helps me stay in good spirits too, he just keeps me on the up and up. he teaches really well too, he has certain things to work on but ya know, he's a greenie. i just think of myself and then to elder gomez, he is such a stud and is already doing amazing things here.
Sunday was crazy too! Miguel and maria showed up at church which was sucha blessing. we were running around calling everyone the night before and the morning of too, so it was pretty nuts. We were soo glad they came because we've been teaching them a while and they never showed, so they finally took that scary step and made it! ahh what a relief. They even brought their daughter who we have onlly taught a little bit but is pretty interested. After church we taught a lesson with some new investigators that actually went really well and then taught an english family, but they aren't that interested so we will probably bench them. After dinner we were going to an appointment and i remembered we had to call millie, the lady from before. We gave her a call and she was like hey can you guys come over right now, some stuff is just going on. So we went over and she opened up even more about her past and how 2 of her 3 kids and her ex husband who are all living in another apartment are just wearing her down! She literally puts up with so much and she is just at breaking point. She just needed some major picking up and ahh there is more to it, that i jsut can't say sorry! she even gave me a little letter that she wrote and said, "here, this is why i am the way i am, i hate to put my burdens on others but i've been prompted to give it to you over the past few days and hope that it will help you as you help me". I got the letter and read it later at home and it was just insight on so much that has happened in her family as a girl, with her husband, and children. Why she has these self-esteem issues, why she has trust issues, why she has confidence issues, man it just broke my heart. I was touched though by how much she trusted us. By her willingness to open up which i know is soo hard for her. She has opened up so much and we are just tryingg so hard to help her.
At times it's hard though cause there is so much going on and it's like, where do we even start! so we have just been giving her hope and confidence and starting little by little to deal with her problems that she puts on herself. Anyway, we went last night and just it was crazy her situation and her ex husband is crazy and she is just freaked out. but things are going better today we visited her and it's just getting better. But last night, we go home at 9:30, sit down exhausted allr eady to plan and we get a call from jose ramirez who says "we need you to meet us at the hospital eddie is paralyzed!" WHAt?! we called zone leaders who gave us permission to go and we met there and found them all crying. all the kids were there and they were playing little games and having fun but crying at the same time, it was kind of bizarre. But finally alma comes out cause she was with eddie and sits down. I shook hr hand and she just started sobbing. It was pretty heavy. After a little while of waiting though eddie comes out in a wheel chair and he could move his head and his arms a little bit and oculd finally open his eyes, but he couldn't feel his face or anything else. They don't even know what happened. he laid down to go to bed and then started hyperventilating and couldn't move. So creepy. So they attributed it to muscle tension and hyperventilation.
We went in and visited him after they did some more testsand he was moving his arms more and got more feeling in his face and head. It wasn't like a permanent paralysis i guess, but he was slowly getting more feeling. It was just really odd but we went in and gave him a blessing and the spirit was soo poweful! wow, it was so thick you could just feel it so heavy as we were there giving eddie a blessing. It was such a powerful experience, and with that, we said our goodbyes and left. We got home at like 11:15 and thanked the zone leaders and went to bed. But man it was such a crazy day, a long day at that, but the whole drive home elder gomez and i were just like man, "there is nothing better than being a missinoary". it was seriously just the best night and knowing that we have developed this trust with all these people and we are able to help them in ways that no worldy or temporal thing could give console. it was just an amazing day. I love being a missionary!
my time is up thougu, i gotta run. I love you guys so much though and i have a little package for the boys coming soon. It will get there late for what it's for but that's alright, they are little keepsakes. I love you so much. I know the church is true, and what we are doing out here is truly our heavenly father's work. love you!