My beloved beautiful perfect HUGELY TALL AND GROWN UP family whom I love!!!!!
It was so amazing to talk to you yesterday. I can't get over how much the boys have changed.... but it is good to know that the important things stay the same. I can't believe that was thae last skype call in my mission... but it was a great one!!
Anyway. I am going to hit a couple of highlights of the week, because it was seriously an amazing week. We were able to see lots of miracles and tender mercies, and have a lot of faith building experiences.
One of them was on Thursday night. It was about 8 p.m. and we still hadnt found any new investigators or had any real success all day. We decided to say a prayer to be able to find somebody new in the last hour of the day. As we finished our prayer, we decided to go and contact a reference. Well, on the way we were going to swing by a members house and ask for more references, but she wasn't there. Then when we were walking down this like dark, dirt road, a guy comes out of nowhere and gives us a watermelon.... so we were like, "Oh, maybe this is God's gift of a new investigator." So we started talking to him. He was really nice but mostly just really, really has a passion for watermelon and mother earth.... like he worships mother earth. Soooo... maybe false alarm. But we laughed pretty dang hard for about 10 minutes. Then, we finally got to the reference's house (with the watermelon hahahah) and the lady (the girlfriend of the reference) let us right in! So we found a new investigator and have an appointment tonight with their whole family. Whooo hooo!! Prayer, Watermelons, and Yesenia. Miracle 1 ;)
Then, On Friday we were in Marcona doing family history, and out of nowhere we get a text that says something like "Hermana Beiley, this is Lisbeth. I need to meet with you.... can you come to the plaza in Vista Alegre?" Backing up a little, on Thursday we walked past her house and heard her fighting with her husband/boyfriend (no one is married). We were sure she was going to tell us they were splitting and involve us in some strange drama that we can't actually participate in. But even though we were in Marcona an hour away, we really felt like we should go. So we tore out of the chapel running and jumped in a van to Marcona at like 7 pm. When we got to Vista Alegre it was about 8. We ran up to the plaza and started looking for her, and when we finally saw her we saw that she was there with her son (3) and husband as well. We were even more confused and nervous, but we walked up to them. Backing up more, her and her pareja came to church once. The week that no one we had planned for came and they walked in. So I recognized him and he has had a little experience in the church. When we got to the bench, Hermana Lisbeth started to hug me and to cry. We were so nervous. Then she just whispered in my ear, "We are ready". Then they proceeded to tell us that they wanted to be bapitzed, fix their family, and change their lives. We were dumbfounded. It was a beautiful lesson about repentance and the process of it all. The next night they came to Family Home Evening. They couldn't come to church, but we are hoping this week to be able to put a baptismal date with them and a wedding date. They are truly amazing. It was an experience I will never, ever forget. Vans, texts, and prepared hearts. Miracle 2!
On Saturday, we had an appointment with a family we contacted and have never been able to find.... but all of our appointments fell through so we decided to give it another shot. When we got there, they were there! Drinking.... but not a lot. They are a super young family, a mom and dad and 2 daughters, and they are married! Unheard of, seriously. Anyway, we had an amazing lesson with them and they seem really interested! Another family! We have been praying for families all week, and I have been praying for families my whole mission. Seek, and ye shall find! Miracle 3 :)
Miracle and tender mercy number 4 was Sunday when I was able to talk to my amazing family. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you and love you dearly. I don't' know what I would do without you. I am quite convinced I have the best family in the whole world, and I think I could win any argument about it :) Thank you for your support, testimonies, and examples. Please, stop growing whenever you would like. Hahaha, but I love you so dearly and was so grateful to be able to see your faces and hear your voices :)
It was a really good, hard, beautiful, miraculous week. I can feel myself being shaped and molded, which isn't always easy, but is always necessary. I know that through the atonement of Christ, we can be better people and come to be what he wants us to be. I was reading Doctrine and Covenants 76:69 and in Mateo 5:48 (I think....) in the footnote it defines perfect as being complete, fully developed. The atonement is so that we can become complete, whole. Fix the bad things about us and be better in Him :) I testify of the truth of this gospel and the reality of his atonement.
I love you all dearly :), more than mortal words can say. I miss you, and I am excited to work hard until I can see you for real :)
I love you!
Hermana Lauren Bailey