Happy February! I seriously cannot believe how fast time has flown by--January lasted for a split second, and transfer calls are coming this week! Ahhhh! Speaking of time, I want to share what a missionary's day typically looks like (I've been meaning to do it for forever but always had too much else to say:D)
6:30am Wake up, devotional with Hermanas from the zone over the phone, exercise, get ready
8:00 Personal study
9:00 Companionship study
10:00 Proselyting, district meeting, zone meeting, or weekly planning
12:00 Lunch in the apartment
2:00 Language study
8:00 Return to the apartment, plan, mini dinner
10:30 Lights out
50-100% of our appointments fall through every single day, so basically you come to not expect a whole lot out of other people, but you always have hope:) Thanks to our mission president, the Hermanas now have the wonderful privilege of attending a 6:30 am meeting with ward Priesthood leaders every Sunday from here on out. It's a 20 minute walk to the church, and the change for Daylight Savings Time doesn't happen in this country, so it's really like we're walking there at 5 am; let's just say I was having major drill team flashbacks yesterday as we went for the first time.
I had another lesson in English! I talk enough in English with Hermana Black that it wasn't too weird, but yeah, it was great! It was with a 14-year-old named Kimberly who lives in our residential area, and we're going to visit her again tomorrow. Through inspiration, we also found an awesome less-active lady named Hermana Peralta who was a temple worker and everything; we're excited to start working with her, and she's really glad that missionaries finally found her house. On Saturday, we went to the baptism of our zone leader's investigator. The man baptizing her had a bit of a hard time, so she went under the water 3 times and the prayer was said 12 times because he kept messing up. I felt so bad for the poor girl, but she finally did get baptized, so yay! I hope she remembers the peace she felt afterward and the comfort she experienced when she received the gift of the Holy Ghost the next day.
Yesterday, our zone did this awesome thing called a cosecha where we all come to one companionship's area for the afternoon and go on splits with the members to find less-actives. Every ward and branch here has hundreds of less-actives, so a cosecha is a really effective way to narrow down the teaching pool to figure out who still lives in the area and who is ready for the missionaries to teach them. Turned out that everyone on my assigned list had moved, but I had a great time teaching some other inactives with really strong members.
Guess what? I had my first reactivations of my whole mission!! It was Hermano and Hermana Vargas, an elderly couple in our ward. We had Family Home Evening with them last week, they had their interview with bishop yesterday, and the paperwork is all filled out, so they're officially reactivated! In this mission, the goal is for each companionship to have one baptism and one reactivation each month. I know amazing missionaries who've had 4 baptisms during their entire time her and others who've had 16. It just depends, and numbers aren't the only sign of success. what matters is that we're doing our very best to be obedient and work hard with a willing heart to build up the kingdom of God:)
Speaking of baptisms, we set a date with Maribel and her two daughters for March 12th!! We had a fantastic lesson with them about baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. It's so wonderful to know that if they do this and keep their covenants, and if their husband/father who passed away accepts the gospel in the Spirit world, they can live together as a family forever. This really is a gospel of hope and happiness:) I was able to share with that family something valuable I learned from my mom this past week, something that's been on my mind a lot. It's about how the Spirit is a manifestation of God's love. Sometimes we feel a little far away from God, but when the Holy Ghost touches our hearts, that's Him saying, "I love you. You are my child, and I am here for you." Explaining that to Maribel's daughters, who don't have an earthly father right now to turn to, was very special. I'm so grateful to know that we are never alone, that we have no reason to fear, because we will always have God on our side, and we can choose to always have the Spirit with us. Moroni 8:16 says, "Perfect love casteth out all fear." Since the Holy Ghost is synonymous with God's love, we can also say, "The Holy Ghost casteth out all fear." May you all feel of his special spirit this week! Love you!