Monday, November 18, 2013

A Week of Miracles

Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamiry :D y amigos!!! :D


I got a letter from Hermana Flores!!!!!!! She was super sweet, and chuso, I miss her a lot. It´s crazy how some companions you end up developing such a strong love for, but only after transfers. Like with Hna F..., and Hna S..., sometimes I would feel impatient for no reason at all, and I took for granted the fact that they are seriously human angels. Hermana S... taught me one of the best lessons of my mission, and that was service. I still remember so vividly when I asked her, "how do you do it??? How are you so mindful of every opportunity to serve??" and she just said "I don´t always know if I´m doing something right, or wrong, but I know that every time I serve someone, I´m doing something right." And then Hermana F... taught me charity through and through, and those have been the best two attributes I´ve learned my whole mission and the ones I want to absolutely perfect. And patience, haha. Okay so that was a really long way to say I got a letter from Hermana F..., but also something this week I´ve just been thinking that I want to make the best of the companionship now, the fact that I´m not in a trio (but seriously) the fact that she speaks English, we have a bunch of similar interests, yep, Hermana S... is pretty bacansisimo. So I´m determined not to take that for granted.

I should explain the weekend of miracles part, haha. This week has been a little rough, well, number-wise...we´ve been working pretty hard but haven´t really seen many fruits from it, so Friday our DL went tracting with us and to a lesson with us, well, the lesson was interesting, I am pretty sure America is never going to speak to us again but I guess we´ll see tonight, but he taught us the importance of street contacting, which I hated doing before, but now I love it because the people can´t hide behind their doors, lying about how their cat just died or whatever. So we made a ton of contacts, and then took to practice this concept on Saturday, and at the end of the day on Saturday we had EIGHT people who accepted a baptismal date, my mind was seriously blown cuz 8 people in 1 day has never happened to me. But the next day none of them came to church so that was a little bit of a bummer, but I´m super excited to start working with them this week because some of them are seriously oro (gold). Like a couple who is MARRIED but yeah I´m super excited for this coming week.

However, it was still a weekend of miracles because we are having RAGING success with the less actives. Seriously, this week I came to the decision that my calling here in Ecuador was not to bring people to the waters of baptism, but to find and bring back to the fold the people who have already been baptized but lost their way. Seriously, I love teaching the less active members, they are so great, they all have testimonies already, we just have to help them rekindle them, and the bonus is that a lot of times there is someone in their family who isn´t baptized yet, but have been raised, at least a little bit, in the principles of the gospel, and are way receptive too. They usually have friends who are members, so they already have hermanamiento and everything. Also, with the less actives, the goal with them isn´t baptism, but it´s getting them to the point where they can take the sacrament and the best is getting them to the temple!!! That is such a wonderful goal to have in mind!! One example of a story. We found a less active family, they have daughters in young women's and everything, and we taught them one time on a Saturday night a couple weeks ago, and they´ve been coming back to church ever since, the girls are even going to young women's and the little boy was in the primary program this week! And they were inactive for 4 years!!! I´ve been saying that I haven´t been seeing any miracles, but I´ve just been looking in the wrong place. I was totally called to my mission in the right time, for the Work of Salvation. I still want to help bring people to baptism, a lot, and I have a lot of hope for some of the people we´ve found this week, and we also received a ton of great referrals, but yeah, those are my thoughts on success this week. Also on the fact that success is measured in personal conversion, it makes me so happy to think how much I´ve changed on my mission, and I´m only sitting on 4 and a half months. I know I just need to keep pushing myself harder and harder to develop all the attributes I want, haha pray that I can learn patience because the bed bugs keep biting and our hot water broke again, haha, but seriously, I´ve learned a lot, and that is way more important to me than baptisms right now.

Today was actually pretty fun, we had a zone activity, we went to the parque de la familia and played kick ball, I think I killed myself from running so much at a gazillion feet altitude, and I also got a picture of me breaking the biggest rule of the mission so far, haha we found a zip-line for 12 year olds and we were just like...well...when are we going to get the chance again to zip line in Ecuador. So that´s my goal, to still obey with exactitude and all that good stuff, but also have fun, seriously, I´m living in Ecuador, the opportunities are endless. But since Thanksgiving is this Thursday, we had a big thanksgiving dinner with our zone and the zone right next to us, it was pretty good, I had bacon so I can´t complain, but it was definitely not what I´m sure you guys are looking forward to. But some elders found a guy from Canada who makes pie for government officials so we´re going to buy some pie from him, and...yeah.  I hope your turkey burns this Thursday. Not really. But really. Also our ZL´s found a place called Waffle House that sells milkshakes so we´re going there today too...I hope.
Okay one last funny story. I´ve told you all the scariest stories of my mission, but this one right here has earned the place of #1 most awkward experience of my mission thus far, and that´s with all the times that I´m just super awkward around all the elders because I don´t even try it just happens that way, haha. Anyways, on Saturday we contacted a guy outside of his house and asked if we could come in and share a message with his family, he told us to wait one sec and went back into his house, so we waited a couple minutes and then he came back out and he was super excited, he told us that he was Evangelico and loves hearing the palabra de Dios, so I go to shake his hand, but he just grabbed me and straight up kissed me on the cheek and said "Dios te bendiga!!!" like not even a social kiss, it was the real deal, I was like in shock, I was just thinking to myself okay, let´s just teach them lesson 1 and then get out of here and never return but they all ended up accepting fecha so we´ll see what happens this week. It was super weird. Super, duper weird.

Well, that´s really all I have to report for this week, haha also my Spanish has improved tenfold, I know that´s a straight up blessing from the Lord and a resource I have to use to help my companion learn Spanish. I´m feeling really great here, I´m loving my mission, it´s so incredibly hard, but I´m enjoying myself and determined to enjoy myself even more and work super hard this week!!! I love you all so much and I pray for you every day!!!! Have a great week!!!!

Love, Hermana Carter

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