We just got back from a jolly trip to the zoo! We went with part of the zone, but since it's not open on Mondays, we changed P-day to today, hence why you're getting this late.
So last Monday, I was asked to put together a musical number or Thursday's zone conference. It was really short notice, but we were able to spend the next two days practicing with the other two Hermanas in the zone. I played as they sang a Spanish/English combination of "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" and "Lord, I Would Follow Thee." We were ready to go for Thursday, but then the gua-gua never came, so we walked the 45 minutes to conference in the rain haha. Our area president, Elder J. Devn Cornish, is getting released, and he spoke for the last time to us; it was wonderful training. What was also special is that ALL of my companions who are still in the field were at conference!!
Saturday, Hermana Villatoro had her very first splits with me in Bella Vista! And for the first time, I taught the whole Restoration through the intercom wahoo haha:) It went really well...until I got us totally lost haha. I felt terrible it happened, especially when she only has 1 month in the mission, but we made it home, so whew.
That night, we found a less-active mother named Sujae. The Spirit touched her very strongly, and she was crying, and then she remembered a hymn she had loved as a child, "Secret Prayer." We sang it, and we were so excited to help her and her family. But when we asked if we could come back to teach them, she said no. She said she was happy with her life in the Evangelical church. We explained that there's so much more happiness she could have through the restored gospel and about the essentialness (is that a word?) of baptism by God's authority. We gave her the chance to change her life, but she rejected that. It was absolutely heartbreaking; why can't everyone have an eternal perspective and realize the importance of their actions?? I think that's the saddest part of missionary work: when someone who has a knowledge of the gospel chooses the things of the world over God's promise of eternal life.
We have 5 investigators, and 0 of them are progressing. Bishop is going to help Adolfo get into one of the Church's addiction recovery groups, though. Yamilka wasn't home, so we didn't get to teach her. We hadn't found any new investigators for the week. Yet somehow, I still love my area, I'm not discouraged, and on Sunday night, we found a family! The 10-year-old son totally reminds me of my brother, J.D.:) There are 7 and 16-year-old daughters (the latter is 7th Day Adventist), the mom is Catholic, and they're actually willing to learn! So wish us luck for when we teach them for real on Thursday! Oh, and less-active brothers Daniel and Starlin came to church on Sunday, woot woot!
Yesterday, both of our appointments fell through, so we contacted literally the entire day! We physically should not have been able to keep the stamina up, but God gave us strength, and we had a great time! We were able to give 72 people the chance to hear the gospel, which is more than sometimes happens in an entire week! No one accepted us, but one day, they'll realize what they're missing. At the end of that day, guess what we found? Little Caesar's!!!!!! I couldn't believe it! So we rewarded ourselves with crazy bread:):) Those precious bits of America are so wonderful:)
I read Mosiah 24:14-15 the other day, which basically summed up this week: "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon [Hermanas Randall and Ventocilla] were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."
Love you all so much! have a fantastic, miracle-filled week!