I hope that life is just jolly right now for you! Mine is:) And just when you think things are getting more normal, they keep changing, and life´s never boring! I´m really grateful for that; I´m pretty sure I have the most exciting mission in the world:) So I started off the week by having a lesson with a family...with our mission president and a member of the stake presidency! Kind of scary, turned out great:) It´s a single mom with her 16- and 11-year old daughters, and they were a reference from President because Maribel (the mom) has a sister who is married to an ex-mission president who lives here. Maribel is our investigator closest to baptism here and is the only investigator in this area who has a date, but we´re working on that:) And she came to church yesterday!! She walked in late during a talk about the Book of Mormon, which is exactly what she needed to hear; it was great:) So we had 5 less-actives and 4 investigators in church--miracle!!
By the way, it´s 90 degrees here, so go play in the snow for me and enjoy real winter! I felt like I was back in the South this week when we didn't have water in the apartment for 3 days...thankfully our next-door neighbor was nice enough to let us haul water from her place for an hour this morning! And then our water came back right after that haha but hey I got to teach the lady for an hour so wahoo! It´s always a surprise how teaching opportunities come:)
We had splits this week, so I went to an area called La Yuca to serve there for a day; the other 4 Hermanas in the zone all live there. My companion was Hermana Pisconte from Lima, Peru, and I was the senior comp (WEIRD) because she only has 3 months in the mission! Guys, I hit 6 months this week! Nutsy! Soy vieja. We also had a good zone meeting this week--I´m so grateful that our zone leaders are obedient and are helping to shape up this area!
Every Monday, our zone eats together at this Catholic lady´s house named Lamaya; she´s been feeding the missionaries for 6 years (she really loves them), doesn´t let us pay, is amazing! But she doesn´t want to get baptized, and other missionaries´ efforts to teach her in the past haven´t worked. Today, only our district could come, and the 6 of us had a really awesome talk with her about her concerns with the LDS church. Maybe she´ll start letting us officially teach her! Well, on the way to her house, we had our funny moment for the week: turned out that our taxi driver was drunk and from New York, so he was talking in English and telling us about how if we ever need a free ride, we can get it from him. Yeah, um, no the free ride was not worth the risk of getting in an accident, but he assured us that we´ll always have a friend in him haha.
Speaking of English, I had my FIRST LESSON IN ENGLISH!!! I don´t even know the word to describe what an experience that was! I´ve only talked in English a handful of time here, but I had a real lesson in my native tongue! We had a prompting on Tuesday to not visit our originally planned area and to contact a new area instead. Through a series of circumstances, we ended up meeting this 26-year-old named Luigi who lived in Utah for 5 years because he got a scholarship to Utah State! It was nutsy! He´s been living in Switzerland for the past couple of years (but was on vacation here), and one day, he was working on top of a building when he turned around and saw the gold angel Moroni statue and realized it was part of the Swiss temple! Every time he sees missionaries there, he talks to them, and he had a few lessons, so he knows quite a bit about the Mormons, especially since he knew so many of them in Utah. He said that he felt a special peace there, that he didn´t even have to talk to the people to feel the difference. He has never felt safer anywhere in the world than he has in Utah, and he wants to feel that peace again. BUT he said it would be weak to retract what he´s said about not wanting to be a member of the Church. I told him that it´s strength to turn around and let God help you just from where you are--He´ll take whatever amount of faith and desire you have and build you up from there if you´ll let Him. The thing is, Luigi is very content with his life, and due to major trust issues, he doesn´t want to risk the happiness he has right now. That´s such a problem here in Los Angeles--all these rich people think that they don´t need anything more in life. I love this scripture in Alma 5:28:28 Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.
If we let pride get in the way and won´t let God help us, how can we receive more of God´s divine love and power? We just can´t! I´m so grateful for the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to lift us up and help us in every hour, every place, no matter what. He loves you, I love you, and we can all make it through this crazy, trying, wonderful life! Stay safe and know that I am so grateful for you all!