Sunday, November 9, 2014

Inspiration and Scorpions

Ben's letter from October 27, 2014

Hola Familia,
I'm so glad to hear how you are all doing so well. Too bad the Explorer is no more, that was a great car...oh well. (The Ford Explorer was the vehicle Ben drove the most when he was in school. The cost to repair exceeded what we were willing to invest into it due to the age and condition. We sent Ben some pictures of his truck being loaded onto the trailer of the salvage company. I hope he did not get too sad. It had a good life, but it was time to move on.) I'm sure the Sebring will work well for us.

This week has been great. It was a little crazy with the elections this week. We had a lesson this Friday with Yanina (pronounced Shuh-nee-nuh). She's about 60 and recently moved here to La Paloma to live with her friend René because her ex was put in the hospital and left her with nothing so she came here with René to start over. (René has been investigating the church for years but can't get baptized because she isn't married.) Yanina has been attending church the last two weeks with her friend but was never really that interested in charlas. One day René invited us over to share something and her friend Yanina was there. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Spirit, and Endure to the end. We ended up teaching rather in depth about the cleansing power of the Atonement and the importance of the Sacrament. She was completely captivated and wanted to know more. We gave her some material to read and the a copy of the Book of Mormon. 

Fast forward Saturday night during nightly planning. I had the impression that we would need to leave the house at 1:30  in the afternoon to set up chairs and get everything ready, then we would continue with language study there instead of in the house (1 hour early). This didn't really make a lot of sense to arrive so early to set up 15 chairs. But regardless we planned on leaving at 1:30 right after lunch. We left the house and passed by the house of Yanina. She was sitting outside on her porch reading from the Book of Mormon crying. We sat down with her and she immediately told us that the night before when she was reading about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, when she got to the section that talked about Baptism she broke out crying in a happy cry. She didn't have the words to express it, but it was something that she had never felt before. We then testified to her that she was feeling the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and it was confirming to her that what she was reading was true. We had a wonderful lesson where she put as a goal to work towards a baptismal date. 

We left her to open up the church and set up the chairs, and invited her to come to church with us, but it didn't seem like she was actually going to go. She is a very timid person (with a little of social anxiety) and was not going to go to the church if her friend René wasn't going to go. Her friend ended up not wanting to go and she decided that she would walk there herself, and arrived for the last 20 minutes of the first hour and stayed for the rest of the services.

She participated actively in the lessons and was very happy when she left. She (alone) went around to all the members and introduced herself. It was so cool to literally be there when she had received her answer and then to see her actively seeking a full conversion. We're super excited to work with her. She will probably be getting baptized not this weekend but the following because she still has quite a bit to learn, but she's progressing very well.

We are doing well, my companion and I. The elections threw everything off this week. When we got to church it was just me and Elder Rollins. Then another sister got there 10 min late, then Yanina 30 Min late, then 4 members sent by the District from other branches all arrive about 40 min late because the bus was super late leaving from Rocha. It was pretty exciting to wonder, "Well now what..." when we didn't have anyone to preside over the meeting. We ended up just teaching from the Gospel Principles book to the one sister that showed up. It was fairly comical, honestly with a congregation of 3. We ended up with 13 people in church this week (5 on assignment from the district since our branch president had to go to Chuy to vote)

This week while we were outside we saw a scorpion. Never seen one of those before. It was a little bigger than a large ant. So I'll send a picture. Other than that, everything is about the same as it has been. Till next week. Love ya!!

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