Monday, September 8, 2014

Someone Build an Ark!

Familia!!! How are you all?! Here is hoping that all is well and everyone is happy! It is officially rainy season here in Ayacucho and I am in desperate need of an ark, so if you could send that Fedex it would be great! Hahaha

Well in sad news Kati and Maritzas baptismal dates fell this week. Kati because she is at home with her baby and can't come to church. Rough stuff, but it is okay.  Yesterday we found 4 new investigators and put 4 new baptismal dates for the 27th of this month and the 18th of October! All is well in Zion. 

Well in the beginning of this week we were actually in a trio with Hermana Alonso, Hermana Jameson's companion because Hermana Jameson had leader's conference. It was hard to not work full time in just our area, but it was fun to be in a trio for a couple days. Hermana Alonso is really funny. 

Oh funny story, last Sunday I asked to use the bathroom at a members house.  She is a member that we know really well, but when she led me into the bathroom it was too late to say I didn't need it when I saw that it was a half waller.  It was facing into the kitchen, which is really just a campfire. So I got to talk to the hermana while I went pee and it was just awesome. I was just trying really hard not to picture mom in that same situation, because when I did, I just about busted up laughing.

But really, the rain. Someone send me an ark. Hahaha, in good news, my shoes are shrinking back to their normal size because they are wet all the time. They were getting a little big. Hahahaha, there is always a silver lining :) And it smells like it did when it rained in Yucca Valley, so I am happy with that too :)

So I have a crazy Lauren idea slash story thing. Like 6 times since I have gotten to Ayacucho, sometimes when we are walking home at night a dog stays with us the whole way home. Like the whole way, right with us, keeping everyone and every other dog far away. The crazy Lauren explanation is that I really feel like it is on those days or on those nights when Heavenly Father answers my family's prayers, or they are praying extra hard for my protection, or are concerned and He sends me a little (or big) guardian angel in a form that I will recognize as coming from my beautiful family :) So don't worry, I am totally being protected by the guardian angels you are sending. 

Oh also, this hair oil you sent me reminds me of the boys. It smells like them. Haahaha, I think about them and their shenanigans almost every morning because of it. 

So this week on Thursday we did service like always.  We ended up going to the Bishop's counselor's (yes he only has one.... that is the dysfunction of Ayacucho) house and moving a whole bunch of rocks to make a house thing. Well I could lift huge rocks and now I have gained the respect of Presidente David and the elders. Hahaha, yay farmer girl! Shout out to West Weber and building poodle barns!

Sometimes the world makes me a little sad when I see a little child, or look into the eyes of a woman we contact in the street and see traces of abuse so evident in tears of shame or forced smiles, or a bruised cheek on the face of a child so innocent and so close to God that is too rapidly losing the light in their eyes that should be in the eyes of every child. Oh please love those around you. Don't hurt those who love you, just love. I want to just take all of them home sometimes.

Yesterday during sacrament meeting I had a very powerful experience. I had been praying and fasting to know how we could help our ward, how to be better. Well we got there and not one of the recent converts from our area was there,  not one! During the sacrament I was hit with a paralyzing sorrow for them, that the ward maybe hadn't done their part to fellowship them, that maybe we could be doing better as missionaries, that maybe the trials of life were too much. I know that my Heavenly Father was letting me see how He feels when his sheep are lost, when we struggle or when we don't obey. When we are so imperfect and maybe as members aren't disciples as we should be. It was a powerful, moving experience. Intense sorrow powered by a love I have rarely felt. I wept through all of sacrament meeting and shared the experience crying in consejo while everyone was so shocked and being brought to a realization that maybe we could care for these sheep better. Apparently it worked, because we had a training last night and I think things are looking up. It was a beautiful experience.

Also during sacrament meeting I sat by this mamita who has been a member for years and always sits alone because she is not quite all the way there, she is a little slow. She was just so concerned I was crying.  She kept wiping away my tears and telling me it was okay, that Jesus loves us, which made me cry more. And i just love all the mamitas that don't even speak Spanish. I try to hug them every week and make sure they know I love them.  In Relief Society yesterday one of them motioned for me to come over and she gave me a packet of cookies and kissed my forehead.  I know she is really poor, and that gesture of love and of kindness just pushed me right over the edge. I love this church. I love seeing Christ in the faces and actions of the sweet, faithful members here. It is beautiful.

Last story for yesterday, it looks like all of our fasting was answered! So on Saturday I contacted this 18 year old girl in the street named Jennifer. She isn't quite all the way there.  She reminds me of Larie who I worked with in Special Needs Mutual. She wanted us to come visit her family so we went last night after church. Her dad and her mom were there and we were able to teach them! They are really interested and said that they have been feeling lately they need to get their life in order and get married and so forth. They accepted a baptismal date and we finally found the family I knew was waiting! I really hope they will move forward in the Gospel. I have always felt that because of my experiences with Special Needs Mutual, I would find someone with special needs in my mission, and we actually contacted 2 this week! They are such special spirits. 

Well with lots and lots of work we are moving forward in Ayacucho! Thank you for your fasting, for your faith, for your prayers, and for your examples to me. I love you all more than mortal words can say. I love this Gospel. I know that it is true. I know that my Redeemer lives, and I know that families can be together, and that mine will. I can't wait to go to the temple all together, including with Grandma Judy :) Read Moroni 10: 4 -7, it talks about how we can't deny this spirit. I can't deny the joy that the Gospel brings me. I can't deny of its truthfulness. Share the good news!!! Let the joy of His spirit carry you. I LOVE YOU!


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