6th of Jan: We were greeted by rain:) Which was quite welcome after all the heat we've been experiencing. I know those in the states are possibly a little jealous, as it's quite cold up there, but I wouldn't mind changing weather! In the morning we had our District Meeting. We talked about finding and working only with the escogidos, or those that are searching and prepared to accept the gospel. After learning and taking notes we headed off to pick up lunch.
After eating we tried to find Vanesa. She wasn't there, and after calling and talking to her (reminding her who we were, as she had no recollection of two missionaries she had talked with in the street for a good 15 min) we realized that she didn't have a desire to hear more. Thus, we went over to the church to wait for Toni, the member that would be accompanying us. Toni has an incredibly impressive gospel knowledge! You can ask him about anything and he has scriptures, experiences, and answers. It was fascinating to hear from him and to learn!
While he accompanied us we stopped by Andrea's house to see if we could talk to her. We didn't end up finding her, but ran into Josue, her brother, instead! He seemed open and interested and accepted a baptismal date for the 25th of Jan! He seems like a great kid, but I'm not sure how much we'll be able to work with him, as his mother doesn't want anything to do with us. We have, at least, planted the seed, and for some future missionary it will grow into a strong and beautiful tree, teeming with life. As the day rolled to a close we stopped by Grido's to celebrate the 17 month mark of my comp in the mission! I have celebrated three of these now... and not one of them has been mine!
7th of Jan: We had lunch with Cristian, our ward missionary leader. He has a lot of enthusiasm for the work and has an energy to get things done that I appreciate. After talking with him we went to visit with Josue, but were unable to find him. We went next to contact a referral we had received from the offices. Once near the laundromat where he lived we called to let him know we were waiting for him. He said he was on the way and that we only needed to wait 15 minutes or so. We waited; however, as 15 minutes turned into almost an hour we realized that he wasn't coming.
The rest of the hot and humid day was spent out on the streets trying to contact old investigators and less actives. However, no one was home. At 7 we headed to the familia Iquise for dinner, which was the highlight of a hard, long day on the streets. We came home to an apartment without electricity. So, we did what any regular person would do;) We took our mattresses out onto the fenced in balcony and slept there, where there was at least a breeze. I fell asleep enjoying my view of the 5 stars we have access to;)
8th of Jan: Interviews with President! It was great to talk with him and to let him now how I'm doing and how the area is doing. At the end of the interview I asked him if I could have a blessing. As he gave me the blessing I could feel the love Father has for me. Answers were received, and as he ended I found myself in tears, as seems to be normal here when blessings are involved! We spent the rest of the day teaching lots of small lessons. We ended up talking with Maria, a recent convert, and her family. It was nice to be inside with air conditioning, even if it was only for a small while;) We ended the day by going to Cristian, who owns the ice cream shop. We were supposed to meet up with his friend who he had presented earlier and teach him, but the friend didn't end up showing. We did get free ice cream however, so it wasn't all in vain;) And still no power in the apartment...
9th of Jan: This day was rough. After spending most of the day in the heat and sun I wasn't feeling well. We headed to our apartment around 5 so I could take some medicine for the pain. We were without power again. I was laying down in the bedroom with a cold cloth on my forehead, trying to sleep a little. However, in the heat it wasn't really possible. So I took out my little Book of Mormon and randomly opened to Helaman 12. I ended up reading until 3 Nephi 12 before sleeping for a little while. It was interesting to see the patterns of belief and disbelief. I was shocked that after seeing such miracles the people could forget so quickly!
After a short nap I woke up hurting more than before. I was praying incessantly for electricity, so that I could at least suffer in air conditioning. Not really thinking it would work, but praying that it would, I pushed the on button on the remote for the AC. And what do you know, cold air started pouring down! All I could think to myself was,"What a miracle!" On that note I fell asleep. Maybe something as little as having AC doesn't seem like a miracle or anything worthy of note. But to me something as small as this was a sign that I wasn't alone. That Father was there, and he knew just how much I could handle. He was watching out for me.
Also this week we got to teach the familia Salas. Jackie has a lot of desire to be baptized, to feel closer to her son who passed away two years before. It is truly a blessing to know her and to see just how strong she is. She came to church this Sunday and participated in Gospel Principles, sharing her testimony and personal experiences! We also had Dana and Ariana at church with us. The best part of Sunday, in my biased view, was getting to see Mario and Rosanna from Parque Patricios! It truly was like being with my family for a short time:) It was just the visit I needed after a rough week.
My dear Rosana and Mario!
I love you all and am praying for you! Remember, no matter how rough the day or the week is, there are little miracles all around us. Like AC that works, stars above us, and a knowledge that the love of God transcends all pain and discomforts, all silences and moments when we feel utterly alone. Of this I can bear testimony.