Thank you everyone for the birthday emails!! I got a lot of emails this week so I don´t know if I´ll have time to reply to all of them but thank you so much to everyone that sent me one!!! You guys are right, it was way weird having a birthday here and just working all day but it was still an awesome birthday! And it was way cool getting to skype with you guys this week, haha all the missionaries have talked about the call to their family like every day this week, stuff that they wish they had said to the family and stuff the family said and stuff like that. And thank you Jordan for the painting, thats way awesome! I love it! haha a dead tree totally fits me too :) I might see if I can print out a copy or 2 of the picture you took of it so I can have it right now!
So yeah, this week was way awesome. We totally had a huge miracle on Saturday. Long story short, our plan, and our backup plan, and our backup-backup plan fell through and we found ourselves walking in this neighborhood that we have never really been in before trying to figure out what to do, when these people on the side of the road called us over to talk to them. We ended up getting into their house and teaching to the couple that lived there (Betty and Luis), the "grandpa" that lives there (Martin, not actually related to them), and this 17 year old girl that happened to be over at the time (Alejandra). They were all super open and receptive and Martin and Alejandra told us they'd come to church with us. So Sunday we walked the 40 minutes to their house and Martin came out. He said he didn't actually know where Alejandra lived, so he went and knocked on some doors to ask people where she lived. We found her house but someone else answered. Martin asked the woman to send Alejandra out, and then explained to her who we were and asked if she wanted to come to church with us too. She said she couldn't but afterwards we told Martin he was a stud for doing that and he said he was just so happy to go to church that he wanted everyone else to be happy too! Then at church Alejandra went to young womens and we went to gospel principles with Martin, and during the lesson I got this feeling I should set a baptismal date with Martin. We hadn't even said the word "baptism" to him yet and I was kind of nervous about what he would say and what the other people in the class would think (the teacher=convert of 2 years and another classmate=convert of 11 months), so I didn't ask him. The thought kept coming back to me so later in the class, while Martin was telling them how hard his year had been, I basically interrupted him to ask if he wanted a change in his life, and he said yes... so I just asked him right there if he'd get baptized and he said yes! He's a boss... baptismal date like 16 hours after meeting the missionaries, and assuming it goes through, he'll be baptized like 14 days after meeting us...which is basically the fastest we're allowed to do it, since they're supposed to come to church twice (at least in this mission). So we're super stoked for him and hope it works out. So that totally helped my testimony grow about how God is really preparing people to listen to us, and he'll help us find him...even if he has to forcefully cancel all of our plans to get us to find them. Literally, finding Martin was the most unlikely thing ever. Even after we got into the house, we wouldn't have found him if he hadn't randomly walked out of the back room...no one invited him or anything, he just heard us and walked in to listen. Way sick. But literally, this whole week was cool. Even with Christmas and Christmas Eve, we found more new investigators than we've found in the past 5 weeks combined, and taught more lessons this week than we have taught any other week of the transfer. Cool stuff.
So, as a verse of the week, something I read and was thinking about yesterday. Mosiah 25:5-11. In these verses, the people had just finished reading what we have in Mosiah chapters 9-24. So when we get to Mosiah25, we're kind of in a similar situation as those people (kind of). It says that those people were crying for the pains and struggles that they learned of, but also filled with joy as they read of the success and the miracles that occurred. When I read that, I looked back at chapters 9-24 and realized I hadn't felt anything like that. I had learned a lot and enjoyed it, but it made me think. The Book of Mormon is more than just a good book, those people actually existed, actually did the things that the book says. When the people read those words, it hit them because they knew they were reading about real people, their brethren. Do we read it like that? We don't know the people in the Book of Mormon, but they are our brothers and sisters just as much as the people we see at church each week or the people that live down the street. I don't know, I just thought it was kind of interesting. It helps me to understand and learn more when I read it trying to imagine what they thought as they were writing those things down, or thinking about why they chose to write the things they did. Yeah umm... so thats the verse(s) of the week.
Well, I hope you guys have an awesome NEW YEAR! Its crazy to think I'm going to be in Argentina for the whole calendar year of 2014. But I'm excited for it too! And Jordan will be on his mission to if he starts working on those papers :) But seriously, hope you guys have an awesome week! Hope everything is going well and that you may "live long and prosper!"