If you're like me, you've just had a dandy week! De verdad, things are going wonderfully with my new, tiny, adorable fireball of a Peruvian companion, Hermana Ventocilla! She's got 5 months in the mission, is a stellar teacher, and we're having a splendid time together:) It's super great that she just came form my first area, Ocoa, because she's been able to update me on how everybody's doing there! We're working hard and focusing on starting mini lessons as soon as we meet people (which generally happens at the intercom) instead of asking if they have a few minutes to visit with us, and it's been really effective. In the mission, we're down to only 13 Americans of the 46 Hermanas (it was the opposite when I first started); I really do love having so many Latin comps--it's quite handy to have a personal Spanish tutor 24/7:) Oh, the brand new Hermana in the house is Hermana Villatoro from Guatamala! Hermana Balls is doing a fantastic job training her:)
You're not going to believe this: in the Book of Mormon, Alex read up to Alma 17!! Holy crow, he's only had it for a couple of weeks! In the introduction, the invitation for us is to read, ponder, and pray about its message...but Alex has been skipping that crucial pondering part, and he's reading so fast that he doesn't remember what happened. We're trying to help him understand how he can apply the stories and doctrine in his own life because the BOM was written specifically for our day. We got to teach him and his wife the other day together about the Plan of Salvation, and it was great!
Adolfo drank alcohol last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, which would explain why he didn't come to church, and he didn't show up this Sunday either. It's hard to know what to do...his will to change and testimony are not strong right now, so there's only so much we can do if he won't take action. Yet this is such a crucial time for him to feel our and the Savior's love and support.
We had a rather intense lesson with Yamilka on Saturday about the Book of Mormon. She asked some hard things, like when was Moroni resurrected (if anyone knows, please tell me!). I could feel right at the beginning that the tone was off, so I prayed that I could have peace in my heart and that my companion and I would know what God needed us to say. It's not like Yamilka was trying to bash--it's just that the Bible's all she's ever known, she's very intelligent, and wants to truly understand and learn.
Elena's baptism date dropped. However, we had taught the Word of Wisdom to her and Rosa the other week, and when we checked up with them on Tuesday about not drinking coffee, they said they'd both prayed for the strength to quit. God helped them get down to half the amount they used to drink! It was amazing, and I'm so glad they finally acted.
2 freaky things happened this week. The first was the ant attack; ay mi madre it was horrible!! Remember that I'm the girl who used to be afraid to sit on grass haha so you can imagine how this went down. We don't know why, but an ant problem started in the house the day Hermana Balls and I moved in, but it's always been worst for my desk and the area around it. Well, they got a hold of my Bible hard core on Tuesday, and then a huge colony swarmed my entire wall on Thursday! Like hundreds of them were all over my stuff ahhhhhhh total nightmare, I really missed America that day. The other freaky thing was Sunday: the national elections. Politics are a super big deal here, so the past few days have been nutsy. Everyone had to vote, and election day is dangerous, so we only had sacrament meeting and ate lunch with a member; other than that, we were in the house. That's why I haven't written until today--Internet's been closed. But I must say, that was the most reverent sacrament meeting I've had in my entire mission, and one of the speakers gave a talk that was absolutely perfect for the 2 less-active youth who came.
That leads me to Starlin (16) and Daniel (13). When only Daniel was there for our lesson on Thursday, we ended up talking about keeping the commandments. He was being all Mr. Cool and not really taking it seriously, but then he started to pay more attention, the Spirit touched his heart, and it was like I could see the wheels turning in his mind. We found out he's been breaking the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom since he was 12. I can't begin to tell you how sad it was. He cried and cried and couldn't say anything for awhile as he realized the significance of what he'd done. My heart broke as I watched this little brother of mine suffer, and I wanted to give him a hug so badly. Finally, Daniel looked up and said, "I want to change." That's the first step of repentance: to recognize the error of our ways. Starlin came in at the end, and we had a similar lesson with him, but he doesn't really want to change. You can only imagine the joy we had when both of them came to church on Sunday and the Young Mens President talked about how the Atonement can heal us, no matter what commandments we've broken:)
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."