Mi Querida Familia,
This week I have felt so blessed, God really answers prayers and loves us so much. We have been praying to find new families and this past week we have found 3! I know that if we continue hoping, praying for success in their progress many miracles will be seen here in Ibarra. Even though I`m pretty sure this is my last week in Ibarra I am going to work super super hard in the few days I have left. And nobody knows when it comes to President who stays and who leaves. But I have been here for 6 months so that's a little wild.
We have a baptism this upcoming Saturday! Betty Salazar, we were able to find her again and visit her last week, many times. She is ready to be baptized. Probably the best miracle ever. She has been reading the book of mormon, praying, and even talking with her friends about the church. Her youngest son Jair even wants to be baptized as well but sadly he`s 6 and has to wait a couple more years. Also, a new member, Amanda, moved in close by to Betty and she also is a single mom and has a son close to Jair`s age, coincidence? I think not. Sadly after one lesson we had with Betty and Amanda, Betty`s crazy dog that happens to be named Mate (short for Mateo but also means kill in command form) bit Amandas son. Betty and Amanda truly bonded as they rushed him to the hospital to get shots etc. Amanda checks up on Betty now, they hung out after church, and are going to be friends forever:)
Also yesterday, another miracle. We had just prayed to know where we should go because an appointment fell through, and Hermana Torres wanted to go check up on an investigator that lived close by. As we were walking to her house, we saw a young mother and her 3 children walking up the road, we contacted them and it turned into lesson 1 the Restoration. When we got to talking about the book of mormon and how it is evidence that God has restored his priesthood power here on the earth through a living prophet, we asked Jenny (the young divorced mother) what she would be willing to do if she came to know the book was true. She quickly gave us an answer that I had never heard before, she said she would share it with all her neighbors and friends and make them read it. Jenny and 2 of her children later accepted baptismal dates for the 8th of November. Hermana Torres and I afterwards were talking about the answer she gave us to our question. We both decided that this was the best answer anyone could give, it is a sign of true repentance. Like Alma, Alma the younger, the sons of Mosiah, and even King Lamoni after they received a knowledge of the truth, the first thing they did was share and teach others what they knew. Jenny and her family are the type of people that I would like to call "pure of heart". We have a lesson with them on tuesday in the house of a member whom they also know.
Anyway this was our week! And it was great:) Our other investigator Malena wasn`t able to come to church yesterday and so her baptismal date fell, but she`s still doing great and we will have to change her baptism for the 1st of November, but its for the best because its a little difficult to teach her because she always goes to study groups for her high school, and hardly has time on weekdays... reminds me a little bit of me in my senior year of high school actually. Changing her baptismal date will give us more time to teach. Also fun story....
We were out contacting one day when we came across a very awnry evangelico man. He acted super smart and told us that he knew a ton about our church and that women didn`t have the authority to be missionaries. We were like whoa excuse us.. look who`s talking... except we didn`t really say that we tried to be nice. I don`t htink he even told us his name. But I asked him if he had read the book of mormon and he said no, and I said well you can`t bash on us until you`ve read it. (also in a nicer way) And then left him with a pamphlet and he insisted that we take a few of his pamphlets. So we graciously did and I shoved them into a small pocket of my backpack after he closed the door. After that, our day really just didn`t go that well. We were rejected and all our citas fell. Even up until the point that we passed by one the less actives that we have been visiting for awhile, ready to be reactivated....and boom.. he was smoking. (we didn`t actually see him smoking but I called him and the way he talked you could just tell he was stoned) I wanted to cry. And mybe a tear or two escaped but Hermana Torres started talking about Ammon and Alma when they went to teach the zoramites and we just kept walking. Suddenly we reached another street that we wanted to contact and I realized that the evangelico pamphlets were still in my backpack. I grabbed them out of my bag and threw them in the trash. Then everything turned around. We found a new family, and the spirit just sort of descended over us. Coincidence?Maybe. But I learned a lesson. The spirit can`t dwell in unclean backpacks. There is a lot of garbage that people give us, maybe its not always pamphlets that teach false doctrine, but its provactive pictures, swear words and crude comments on social media, negative comments about others. What do we need to do to turn our day around if its not going to well? Stand up for the truth, throw away the garbage, block it, and let the spirit bring peace and happiness to our hearts. I invite us all to remember who we are and who we stand for, the Living Christ. We must be diligent and faithful and then miracles truly come, starting with our own attittudes. Amo ser misionera, y heck yes tenemos la autoridad de predicar el arrepentimiento.
Con Mucho Amor
PS! I saw Herman Madrid this week! It was magical:) Mother daughter status para siempre! I would send a photo if this computer would let me. Next week:)