Beautiful Guatemala

Beautiful Guatemala
Me with a random field worker. I love the knife!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Earthquake and Miracles

Hello everyone!!
It sounded like the earthquake went pretty public, I really don’t know because we don’t watch TV. My mom says everyone wants to hear how it was. Just so ya know, we are like 1:30 from San Marcos, the place most affected. Growing up in West Texas, I had no idea what an earthquake felt like before the mission, so this is all new for me. This one was really strong and everyone freaked out big time, but where we were no one got hurt at all, nothing fell down, nothing was affected. When it was happening everyone just ran out of their houses because they could all easily fall down. My comp and I were outside of this mean lady's house trying to get her to come to the door. She won’t give permission so that her 17 year old son can get baptized, and she wouldn’t even talk to us, and so when ground started shaking, I say, totally serious, "Awesome, maybe she’ll come outside now!"  She didn’t, but almost. I think it was a sign from Heavenly Father telling her to give him permission, but I guess she didn’t feel the same. Oh well we are working on her. I really wish I could give a cooler story about the earthquake, but that’s about it. It’s been the main topic of conversation for the past week with the people. There were lots of rumors that within 48 hours another would hit worst, but nope. I bet that y’all know more about it than I do, I’d love to know what the missionaries in San Marcos were doing, how it all went down, but I haven’t heard anything. Hopefully another one doesn’t hit!
Ok well everything’s been crazy here in Muluá! We are crazy!!! We have had lots of miracles, and I think we’ll have a few more. We are doing awesome! Here are a few of the great things that happened.
We are really happy because the wedding and baptism went smooth and all turned out well. We kept it really simple, just decorated a bit and had a beautiful cake made by our RS pres. Everyone seemed really happy. We didn’t invite many people, just a few members and our investigators (more on that in #2!) The newlyweds looked SO NERVOUS! They were frozen when the lawyer was marrying them, they’re both really shy. A really special moment for me was when Idelia's now father-in-law shared with us how grateful he was for everything. He explained to us that about a year ago his whole family was inactive, but that he and 8 year old Helen started going to church again even though his whole family was falling apart and he and his wife almost got divorced. He said that he prayed so much that things would change. Well, we’ve had the opportunity to work with the whole family (of 8ish) the past 2 months, and now most of them are pretty much active again! He knows as well as we do that they’re not out of the woods yet, but they’re on their way :) And now his daughter and daughter-in-law are members! I was really touched when he was explaining this to us because I honestly hadn’t thought of it all like that. But seriously all this was the Lords timing and the Lord answering his prayers. What a privilege it’s been to work with them, to see changes in them, to see that their home is happier and different. And now they’re all members! They still have a ways to go, but I really have high hopes for the whole family. It was a really special wedding-baptism for this reason, and also for some other miracles below!
2. MIRACLE!! Ok so this next story is definitely in my top2 mission miracles, I just hope I can explain it well so y’all can capture it. So, apart from Idelia, the partial family we just baptized, we are teaching 3 other families/partial families (I’ve mentioned most of them before), and they’re all pretty positive, they’ve all been to church at least a few times, but they all have their special challenges and needs. So it’s really rare to have 4 positive families at once, so the mission leaders are all hovering around telling us we have to baptize them all -- but it’s not quite that easy! But our impossible goal last week became….. bring all 3 families to the baptism. I mean, it really was an impossible goal, but we just knew that it would help the families get excited about their own baptisms. And just a reminder, normally if you want to bring someone to church or a meeting, you have to go and get them, and sometimes drag them there. To make a long story a little shorter, we'll call them fam. 1, fam. 2 and fam. 3 -- We had invited them a few days before, and went to pass by for each of them. We go to fam1, their extended family lie to us and tell us that they aren’t there.  We give up on them, disappointed, and go with fam. 2.  Their neighbors say that the whole family already left to go to the baptism --what?! There’s no way?!  We couldn’t believe it until we saw it. We literally ran a mile until sure enough, we saw them in the distance almost at the church! YAY! One down! Miracle! Now to fam. 3; we run to their house and wait and wait for them to get ready.  They were taking forever and we were already going to be a half hour late for our own baptism, so we left.  We weren’t sure if they’d make it or not. 
We get to the service and fam. 2 is there, yay!  The wedding starts.... and in walks fam.1 out of nowhere! They came?! We about died. And then, 20 minutes later...fam.3 shows up too! So in the end all 3 families showed up BY THEMSELVES and all enjoyed it :) Ha-ha!  We had nothing to do with it, really. We were just running (literally running) all over town for the heck of it, because the all showed up! Now they are all one big step closer to their own baptisms. 
We are so stressed now. We are trying to do everything to help these 3 families and a few other investigators we have. We are so close with so many people. Man, they’ve all got to get baptized! It would be crazy to baptize them all, but it’s our goal. It has to be our goal! I mean, I’ve got 3 weeks left -- this is it! Do or die. Go big and go home! We are super pumped about this week and have some big stuff planned. So we’ve got to do this.
I really appreciate your support and prayers. I know that this is God’s work. We have seen so many miracles here and will continue to see them. I know that the church is true and that families are so important to our Heavenly Father, that He has a special plan for them. We missionaries are here looking for them so we can help them learn about this plan. I love being a missionary and am so grateful for my area, my comp, and for everything that is helping me focus until the end. I’m just trying not to think about it too much! Yikes!!! Well, thanks for everything and I hope that y’all have a great week.
Tune in next week to hear about some more miracles and baptisms!

Hna Gilland

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