What a super duper awesome week we've had in Ivan Guzman! (ee-VAHN goose-MAHN) Lots of miracles and the Spirit:) The best part was today: our temple trip!! That's why today is P-day. Since we only get to go to the temple twice a year, it's an extra appreciated visit. I'm SO grateful for the special Spirit that is found there; literally no where else on Earth can provide more peace. It truly is the house of the Lord.
Besides the ants, leeches, and lizards that invaded the apartment, we had many other wonderful experiences! 20 ward members helped teach lessons with us(!) and we've been finding families who have member relatives. For example, the Holy Ghost prompted me so strongly that it physically lurched me to contact three people who were sitting in chairs on the side of the road; they turned out to be the parents and sister of a reactivated member who just baptized his wife! We taught them, and they said we can come back!
Starlin and Anthony are doing splendidly, and things are gong well with teaching their families. I realized that I've talked so much about them that I've hardly mentioned anyone else! Hermana Vazquez (who is the tallest companion I've had since my trainer, by the way) and I are very fortunate to have muchos investigators. Two of them who have really stepped it up this week are Victor and Natasha. Victor (16) has been going to early-morning seminary and church for several weeks now and has a baptism date for October 8th. he read the whole Word of Wisdom pamphlet before our lesson about it and totally understood it!
The same thing happened with Natasha (11) with the same lesson, actually. She has now attended church two weeks in a row; she hasn't gone previously because her dad comes home very drunk every weekend, so Natasha, her mom, and two siblings normally leave for protection. But she was brave, stayed, attended church...and her dad got sick, which requires him to take medicine that will cause a bad reaction if he drinks alcohol again. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I know that He'll always help and bless those who are willing to faithfully follow Him. Natasha is recognizing the importance of this, is loving & applying to her life teachings from the Book of Mormon, and can't wait to be baptized on October 29th:)
Wbert (pronounced oo-bert) and Mariela are a young investigator couple who have had many problems with official documents, but everything finally got fixed this week, the new papers were sent yesterday, and now they can get married by the law!! Which means that Wbert can get baptized!! He's waited for this for a long time, and he's super dedicated to this wonderful gospel:)
Hermana Vazquez and I have had a theme this week: the Book of Mormon. We've really worked on teaching it more effectively, and it's actually one of the two focuses of the month here in the DR Santo Domingo West mission. Super cool experience: we were simply walking down the street when a man saw that we were carrying Books of Mormon and asked if we were Mormons. Turned out that he had been taught by the missionaries five years ago but lost contact with them when he moved here. His name is Junior, he has a BOM, and he straight up said, "I want to be a Mormon!" What?! So we visited him, and he asked what he has to do to join the Church!! Then he cam to church on Sunday! Can you believe it? He's got some major Word of Wisdom problems, but if he's really committed to being baptized, I know he'll keep the commandment.
I'm just so happy and grateful for all the miracles el Senor ha hecho esta semana. I know that the Book of Mormon testifies of God's miracles and the reality of Him and His Only Begotten Son. If the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church, and Jesus Christ is the Messiah, who will come again soon. As Joseph Smith said,
"The Book of Mormon [is] the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."