I guess this week was a little hard on me, but I learned a lot. We weren´t able to work as much because Hermana Pinto was sick and we stayed in the house for 2 days. I tried to call all of the members in order to do divisions (splits/exchanges) but nothing worked out, we were able to do divisions a Little bit Wednesday evening and that was a real blessing, just to be able to leave the house and work for a couple hours, I felt complete.
But the hardest part of this week was when Marco never showed up to his baptism. We called and called all day—no answer. Finally at 7:30 we decided to take a taxi to his house to see what happened. He was there, but he wouldn´t talk to us, he wouldn´t even look at us in the eyes. He finally told us he was undecided and that his friends had told him that he was young and deserved to have a good time, and that the church would restrict him. We ended up giving him a few scriptures to read, and baring our testimonies. Then we obviously returned to the church empty handed and on the brink of tears. We arrived just in time to here the testimonies of the other sister´s baptisms. Which was super beautiful.. I may or may not have started to sob. Jaime and Ferndanda, a young couple got married on Friday, and were baptized the next day. Truly, I realized that God is hastening the work, and their testimonies brought such a strong spirit. But I know your all probably wondering: What had we done wrong? The question overexhausting my thoguhts before we arrived at the church. Marco had received an answer, and just the day before was telling us how excited he was for his baptism. What had we done wrong? But as we sat in at the end of the baptism, I realized that each and every person in the world has their own agency, and we can be the best missionairies the world has ever seen, trusting in God, and being super obedient. But sometimes, things just don´t work out. God tests us. We can maybe just taste a little bit of the pain that Jesus Chrsit passed through. I´m reminded of Helaman 10, when Nephi is left to walk home all by himself, after performing miracles in front of his people who simply ignored him. I´m reminded of the words which God sends to him. That he is blessed because of his unwavering testimony, and unweariness in the work. He is blessed with strength in word, faith, and action. And what does Nephi do after this revelation? He turns around, and he returns to his people in full diligence, preaching repentance until the day that Christ himself comes to the Americas in his glory. We are blessed too as missionaries, as children of Israel. Even Nephi, felt foraken by his investigators. But God never leaves us alone. We are on His errand.
I also have a couple cool stories.
This week we were able to do divisions with the Hermana Leaders. One of our appointments fell, and so Hermana Cayama and I decided to pray to know what we should do. At first after the prayer I didn´t really feel anything, but unconsiously I started to walk down the road we had just barely returned from. We found a family at the end of the road, Familia Gomez, and taught a super powerful lesson. I actually just barely saw Hermano Gomez agian ont eh bus ont he way here to write, and we are going to visit them again tonight! Pray for them! But the story doesn´t end here. As we began to return to the main street after teaching the Familai Gomez, I heard someone calling Hermanas. And so we turned around and there was a middle aged man beckoning to us,. Usually we would turn our heels and walk in the other direction, because old man that call out to us usually just want to say how beautiful we are and so on. But we walked over to him to talk. It turns out that Efren is an inactive member for many years and was in Ibarra visiting his sister. He had been praying and recently started to read the Book of Mormon again, he wants a fresh start. We took down his adress and informantion, for the Elders of Touican to find and help him. Wow! We truly were instruments in the hands of God that day. The power of prayer in order to know where to go is so real!!!
Also Sunday evening, we asked our District Leaders to accompany us to visit Marco again, in order to say that really we tried everything in order to help him. This lessoon was pretty darn amazing. Marco expressed his deep love for his family in this lesson, and his freinds were there too. The Elders were able to really help him open up. We talked about how he can live wiht his family for eternity. And he shared wiht us that he knew the gospel was true. So we are actually going to vist Marco again tomorrow with a couple members of the ward. His friends want to come to the church for mutual activities to play volleyball on Wednesday. THERE IS STILL HOPE! And even better, during this lesson, a young women came out of her house and walked over to us and just started to listen. After the lesson, she asked us where the church was so she could come on sundays. WOW! MIracle? I think yes. We are also going to visit her tomorrow. Her name is Elizabeth, like my sister.
Also as we were walking to the bus stop form Marco´s house. THe Elders noticed a little girl walking with her friends, the Elders told us that she looked familiar, and they remembered that she was a recent convert from a couple months ago, but from the sector of the zone leaders. We decided to talk to her. We found out that Paola had recently moved to our sector after a couple months, and that she wanted the missionaries to visit her. We were pretty excited, and we asked her if we could talk with her parents. She led us to their house, and we found out that her mom has been inactive for mucho tiempo, and is in the process of separating with her husband. We luckily were able to have a lesson with her and her husband, and it was super powerful. Gabi, Paola´s Mom, had been praying ardently for the past couple days for help. And who knew, that because Marco didn´t come to his baptism, and we went to visit him with our district leaders, we were placed in her path? At the end of the lesson, her and her husband were holding hands and promised us that they would read the book of mormon later that night. We are going to visit them today to have family home evening. Her husband, Luis, isn´t member, so we have a prospective baptism!!
Hermana Pinto and I have grown closer over these experiences. We have been humbled. We have worked 10 times more harder. And we have found many prospective new investigators. This Sunday, hardly any were able to come to church because of world cup finals, (Go Aramania/Germany!!) and the one who did come, received a pone call in the middle of sacrament meeting, got up and left. But we know that if we are diligent, contact many people, and pray with full purpose, nothing can take away our faith in the fruits we will see. I know that my Redeemer lives, and I know that I have felt a little tiny part of what he went through that night in Gethsmane, and I also have felt extreme joy. I feel even closer to him than ever before. I am grateful for this week with all my heart. I love you all and I wish you the bestest of weeks!
Here's a pic of the market place where we buy our fresh produce!
Sorry that its upside down, my companion has mad skill