I hope y'all had a wonderful conference weekend! We have had a great week, and here's what happened:
1. Its a girl! My comp had changes and now I'm training Hermana Shroeder from Orem Utah! She is super cool. Shes reeeaaallyy tall ha-ha, like 5'10''! Shes blond and white and has colored eyes, so we've been getting in with a lot of young men lately...hmm.. Hermana Shroeder is brand new out of the CCM but shes been super willing to just jump right in here, and shes full of energy. I love being her comp! Its been really fun to introduce her to the insanity that is this culture, and to fondly remember my first weeks and my "mom" Hermana Stevens.
2. Conference!!! Ahh wasn't conference great!? I got so much out of it and now have a long list of things to study/improve. They talked so much about families and children, and I was relating all of it to teaching my investigators. I just loved it. We were a little bit bummed because we had LOTS of potential people who were going to come, but in the end we only had one. Dang, but that's how it goes. This week is "Semana Santa" or "Holy Week", and so everything is going to be a little bit more difficult.
3. The one guy who did come, Carlos, is super positive. He says he wants to be my comp's first baptism - SWEET! We wont tell him that we'vealready got another baptism for this coming Saturday (that young man, Gerardo, from the rat house). We are excited about the people who were teaching, and right now we are really looking for a family. We've been chasing down people with kids and have contacted several families, andsomebody's gotta be positive, right? We hope so! So plan on hearing about a beautiful new family next week :)
4. This week there were lots of funny little cultural experiences for my comp, because seriously this place has nothing at all in common with America. It is a lot to take in. My favorite cultural experience this week is when we went to visit my recent convert, Blanca, in the hospital. 2 Evangelicos had gotten to her wheelchair first, and were preaching to her. We stood by, waiting, and they asked us if we had accepted Jesus Christ yet. We have. Then they started doing a big, loud, crazy evangelica prayer for Blanca. This involves both of them yelling their own separate prayers at the same time, with really eloquent words, calling the attention of everyone around in the hospital. This one got extra fancy (probably to try to show us up) and the lady evangelica even put her hands on Blanca's head and was praying, healing her I'm assuming. Oh dear. We just tried to back away and look like we weren't participating. Its was hard not to laugh a little bit because they're just so crazy. And it was interesting to compare that with what we did afterwords, after they had left -- a hymn, a very simple prayer by my new comp, and a scripture. I seriously felt the spirit come back, and it was nice and refreshing. The Lord doesn't need fancy words or loud attention-calling prayer-healing. We can invite the Spirit with simple, quiet words and a humble heart. Thank goodness we don't have to have fancy words, because me and my new companion don't at all. But we have the truth and we'vegot the Lord on our side. We are trying to trust in Him and we are seeing little miracles. I just know with all my heart that we are teaching the truth. I have a testimony in the Lord's Plan of Redemption for families. That's why we are hunting so hard for a family right now! I know that we can do it, with so much help from our Heavenly Father. I know that Christ lives and that he runs his church through a living prophet and apostles. I know that what we heard at conference is all true, and that if we apply those lessons, we will be blessed, we will be better able to use the Atonement in our lives and to Change. I love the Gospel with all my heart. And I really love being a missionary -- its really fun :)
I hope y'all have an awesome week. I pray for so many of you daily. And I can feel your prayers all the way out here. Have a good week and a Happy Easter!!!
Love, Hermana Gilland