|freezing my face off as we hitch hike in the back of a truck to El Dorado!|
|snow!!!! down the street from our apartment|
Happy New Year family!
This week absolutely flew by. I swear I blinked, and Im back in the same papelaria I wrote my email at last week. Elder Villegas and I are trying our very hardest to get this town motivated about the gospel. We offer tons of service and try to visit as many people as we can during the week. This week Elder Villegas thanked me for helping him work hard. He said he started his mission really pumped and hard working then over about 1 years time he slacked off. Anyways, Cananea is living up to its reputation as the toughest most dry are (a wet area has baptisms).
Satan is always workin so hard, and targets those special spirits that are voulnerable to temptation, and so ready to enter the waters of baptism. Victoria was interviewed for her baptism on friday and passed with flying colors. The look on her face when she walked out of her interview with our zone leader was priceless! A grin from ear to ear. none the less, we passed by her home Saturday night, to share a couple scriptures and a quick message we had prepared and found her clearly drunk :( This time we saw a different look on her face. She was filled with feelings of regret and guilt. She expressed to us how she knows right from wrong, but her past is too dark to have a bright future. Through her tears she went on to say that she loves the teachings of the church but cant them. No puedo hacerlo. Over and over again we were flooded with these sad, negative comments. After about 30 minutes of conversing with Vicky and being shut down with our attempts to help, we almost said goodbye to our dear friend. She had given up.
I still have difficulty expressing myself in Spanish, and I wanted so badly to pour out the feelings of my heart in this moment. In my heart I said a prayer and then I took a leap of faith! I leaned forward in my seat, took a hold of both of her hands, and looked deep into the windows of her soul. I said in a powerful voice, "Vicky I love you, and God loves you. We all fall everyday. It isnt expected for us to be perfect. I know with all of my heart that Jesus Christ KNOWS your pain, and he KNOWS your temptations. Vicky, it was NEVER easy for Christ, so why should we ever think that it would be easy for us? You will overcome these trials, you will live a happy life, and you will enter the waters of baptism!"
Oh man, I kinda leaned back in my seat and asked myself. what the heck just happened?! haha I was shaking. Her mind was working a million miles an hour. We just sat there and let her think. after about a long 30 seconds she opened her mouth and said, "I want to be baptized. I want to be a good mother for my sons." if this wasnt a mighty change of heart I dont know what is. I immediately turned to my Father in Heaven and thanked him for touching the heart of Victoria, because I knew that it wasnt Elder Farrow convinsing her to change her mind about her future. It was the Holy Ghost. I thanked Him for giving me the courage to open up my mouth and to communicate clearly the intentions of my heart. In this instant I learned to take leaps of faith and the Spirit will make you strong.
Elder Villegas followed up with a powerful testimony and shared a scripture in the Bible, Joshua 1:9! We will work work with Victoria and help her progress towards her new baptizimal date, but please keep her in your prayers! She attended one hour of church the next day.
Our efforts this week were really focused on our few progressing investagators and lots of inactive families. We were blessed to see 3 inactive families attend church yesterday, Hermano Figeroa Robles stood up and bore his testimony and shared how he wants to be a strong member in the branch. We are so needing some preisthood men in our small branch and this was absolutely music to our ears.
Cananea is still very cold! The beginning of this week Elder Villegas and I were able to have some fun in a blanket of snow. We had a snowball fight with Hermana De la Puerta! She is the 88 year old we visit weekly haha so much fun. She pelted me in the face with a handful of snow and I fought back with a round of 6 or 7 snowballs to her wheel chair! HAHAHA just kidding! Every single day you find a reason to laugh your head off on the mission. I am so blessed to be a missionary. Im ready for the future and willing to do whatever it takes to positively influence the people here in Mexico. Dad you told me to give them something to remember you by, and Im sure tryin. Every week is amazing and it really is such a privilege to be serving with Elder Villegas in Cananea. I love this church and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Have a great week family and friends. You are always in my prayers.
P.S. Alma 37:32-37 gave me great strength this week. peace! I love my cousin Elder Pliler! Keep up the good hard work my good chap.