I love what Elder Uctdorf said this conference: That as human beings, we don’t like endings. Why? Because we’re made of the stuff of eternities! We’re eternal beings, and we’re not made for this world. Our spirits don’t comprehend endings because for us, they don’t exist!
I try to think about that when I get sad about seeing an end to my companionship with Hermana Zumba, or leaving Barranco. We still don’t know who’s going but we do know that one of us definitely is because the Assistents called last night and told Hermana Zumba that she’ll be training this transfer! She only has 4 1/2 months in the mission field! It’s really cool. I know it’s because the President really trusts her. She’ll be a great (missionary) mom. I can’t believe I’m already going to be an obuelita! (grandma) Siendo tan joven, yo.
Not too much has happened this week. Hey, remember the story about the Arias family and our disastrous trip to the temple? Yeah, I gotta tell you guys what happened with that. So, we left that mess with hearts pretty broken. It was one of those situations where you have done literally everything that you can but it’s just not enough. We can’t make up their minds for them. We can’t convince them of anything. When we left to go home from that temple visit, I just had to say a prayer my our heart and tell Heavenly Father, ”Look, we did everything we could. Absolutely everything. I don’t know what more we could have explained. I don’t know what we did wrong. But now it’s all just in Your hands.” They left with a Temple-Special Liahona and nothing more. The mom didn’t show up to church that Sunday and we assumed the worst. We finally worked up the courage to go over there and do a family night and see how everything was. We taught a pretty light lesson about unity and we played a game. Then, we asked them about the temple, if they had any more questions, etc. They told us, ”Nope!” Completely cheerfully. We asked them if they read the Liahona and the mom said, ”Oh yeah, it was such a beautiful magazine! Seriously! I loved it! So beautiful, every message! Really informative!”
That was the point where my brain did a ”wait, WHAT?”
It definitely wasn’t us. It wasn’t us. We, being so imperfect, left the whole thing as a complete disaster. I don’t know how, but it all worked out. They’re all still happy. The parents are still going to get baptised. It was a complete miracle. We so were not responsible for that miracle!
I think the Lord wanted me to learn that same lesson twice over this month because basically the same thing happened this week again. I thought I was going to die of stress. I think that I’ve mentioned the couple Norma and Enrique before? They’re super awesome. I love teaching them because every time it’s super powerful. They’re progressing nicely. They have sincere desires to learn and to know. Well, last Monday we were teaching them a super awesome lesson about fasting and prayer (we were going to fast with them this Sunday for some specific reasons, in accordance with some personal problems that they were passing through). For a lot of the time, we were just answering their questions about various things and it was neat. Boy, I love it when people have questions. Anyway, you guys remember how they’re a couple who have been living together and haven’t gotten married yet? In the end, when we were planning our fast, we tenatively asked them, ”Remember when we were talking about eternal families a few weeks ago? Do you guys think you want to fast for an answer if you should put that as one of your goals?” I don’t know if that was a complete error on our part to make that question, but from there-on, it was an entire disaster. In the end, Enrique said that he didn’t know if he wanted to come to church on Sunday after all, that he was going to be busy. It was the most uncomfortable experience of my mission. We left that, so scared in our hearts. We were terrified that we had lost them again, due to our own error in how we led the discussion…. I don’t know what we should have done. But we did everything we could. We prayed and prayed and prayed the whole week. Finally, Saturday rolled around and we were supposed to meet with them to fast. We went to their apartment, and, miraculously, they didn’t hate us! We didn’t end up being able to fast with them or meet with them for very long, but they were both completely cheerful and glad to see us! Enrique was actually joking with us like usual!!! We still can’t believe it!!!! What a tender mercy. Like I said, it wasn’t us. We are just kids. We make mistakes all of the time. But somehow, in the end, Heavenly Father helps us out and if it’s meant to be, it’ll be.
My testimony of my own weakness and the greatness of God has grown so much in my time in Barranco. It’s absolutely incredible. We really aren’t doing much. There honestly is not a lot that I can do. Heck, I barely even learned the language. This work could not happen without the hand of God himself in it. He knows each one of his children here in the world and only He has the power to touch their hearts. Not us.
The mission is great. So hard. But great. Sad moments. Difficult times. But it’s worth it seven times over. Somehow, it all turns out in the end.
Another quote from last conference: ”When you try your best, and you do it in the Lord’s name, you cannot fail.”
(If I had my study notebook with me I could tell you who said that but yeah…)
Sure love you guys. Hey, in less than a week we’ll be talking in Skype! I’ll probably be in the complete opposite side of Lima though :)
Cuidense mucho. Nunca dejen de estudiar las escrituras. Les mejoràn y les cuidaràn.
Con mucho cariñito,
Stores closed at the beach today because the tide is high and there was the tsunami freakout. You can see how the waves are basically at the store.
Photos passing at the beach. Super foggy, super humid, super pretty. Winter is on its way.
Making ceviche de camaròn (ecuatoriano) — Ecuadorian Ceviche with shrimp. Thank goodness I have a companion who can cook. (We can eat ceviche ecuatoriano because the fish isn’t raw. also it’s more like a soup. really different.)