Ok so the title line is a joke. It's not me being dramatic and overly spiritual. So I'll explain in a sec.] So this week has been full of experiences, big and small. I'm loving being with Hermana Santiago. She's wonderful and has taught me so much about life and missionary work and the Gospel. We have been working SO hard. It's been so awesome and with the schedule change, we have even more time to work and it's shown in the week that we've had and the results that have come. We had a few days that were literally chalk full of miracles.
We were able to set a fecha with Yami, our 15 year old Ecuadorian girl that we've been meeting with forever and seen next to no progress with. We had an awesome lesson with her about the Atonement and the need for Jesus Christ and we put her on date. And then she came to church! It was her first time ever coming and she loved it. Speaking of church, we had FOUR investigators there. That's the most I've had in such a long time. It was amazing. P. came because she's amazing, and she brought her mom, which was her first time ever coming. P. sang in a musical number with they young women and M. (mom) was so proud. It was a really sweet moment. And then we had this woman named R. that was an old investigator of the elders from about 2 years ago. The branch president gave us her number and we called her and she let us come over. She then committed to coming to church with her two cute, sweet little boys. They are six and three and seriously so cute. And they all came and stayed and LOVED it. It was a huge miracle and we're so excited about her. We are progressing with less actives that were working with, we had a bunch of lessons on the street, and F. is still progressing super well. We had a noche de hogar with him in the house of the president of the branch and it went super well. We talked about the priesthood and he's excited to receive it after his baptism. Our lessons were just all really spiritual and uplifiting and I learned so much from teaching them- it was really cool. Just a great week. I feel really happy to be here and seeing so much progression in the area and in the people we are teaching is a wonderful feeling. So in reference to the title line- backstory. F. was telling us about Maradona and the "hand of God", when he scored a goal against England by using his hand to swat in the ball. The ref didn't see it, it counted, and after the game, Maradona is quoted as saying that it was the "hand of God". Best moment ever. So we talked about that, and thenon Sunday, we had a branch counsel meeting before church, just like everySunday. We were there and the branch president, Florin, started talking to us about how we need to improve in our member-missionary relationships. It's been a bit hard in this branch, honestly, to work with the members. We had the goal going into next week of visiting more active members, bugging them more about coming to lessons with us, etc. Florin started talking about it and the members just sort of starting getting on us for not inviting them to lessons, etc. It was super hard because we have been trying and it's just hard to work with members because they are all so busy. We do invite them, although it is something that we really do need to work on. So I'm sitting there, listening to this go on, and even though it was a little bit hard to get called out like that even when I felt like we had a great week and we really have been working with members as much as we can and we had the goal of getting better, I wasn't that upset by it. But all the sudden, I started crying. Just crying, right in front of the whole branch. And it was SO WEIRD. Like, why am I crying? I wasn't even super mad or upset or anything. Frustrated, yes. But not to the point of tears. But then I cried and I was so embarrassed and everyone was just staring at me and you could tell they felt so bad. But I couldn't stop. Needless to say, after the meeting, EVERYONE came up to us and started to invite us to their houses and tell us they were available for lessons and that they supported us. It was embarrassing and unexpected, but let me tell you, the tears worked. We have like 5 members set up in lessons with us already and it was amazing. So.. My companion and I decided after the meeting was all over that it was similar to Maradona's goal- those tears were the tears of God! The fact that I was crying totally softened their hearts, softened the situation, and I think we're gonna see miracles from it. Haha. Sort of weird, but it was just a funny story. I think the connection between the two stories is sort of hilarious, although my comp doesn't quite get it. She's more of a volleyball person- the name Maradona means nothing to her.
It really has been a great week. We've been so blessed and I don't quite understand why, but I know that good things come when we work hard and leave the rest to God. There's a scripture in Alma about constantly remembering our unworthiness before God. I think that's the key in good times- always remembering that when the good times come, we still have to rely on the Lord. Always. He'll make more out of us than we could ever make out of ourselves. And I have a testimony of that.
I love you all!! Sorry I don't have a ton of time to write today, this might be the only email that I can get out. We ran out of time, we went to Covadonga with the Browns and it took up our whole pday. I promise I'll write more next week- but I bought gifts!! Haha. Love you all, have a great week, and remember to rely on the Lord! I'm doing great and LOVING the mission, it just keeps getting better. Love you all!! Love, Sam One of my goals-