My watch finally kicked the can this week.......that was sad. So for a solid 8 hours I just had a pale strip of naked skin on my wrist and lots of stress as I tried to look at the time during lessons only to see NADA, before I broke and had to go to the store to buy a new one. Now I know what time it is so we good, WE GOOD!!
Well this week was chock full of milagros. First off, why is that a thing? To say something is "chock full" of something? Doesn't make sense. Anyway, so I have two main miracles for the week. One of them was our investigator who had a fecha bautismal (baptism date) but kind of almost dropped us. We had been trying to get in contact with him but he wasn´t answering our calls or anything and we don´t know where he lives because we always meet with him in a member´s house or in a park. So we went to correlación and talked about it and just asked if the bishop or someone from the ward could give him a call that would be awesome. So right then, one of our ward mission leaders walked out and called him. He came back in explaining what our investigator had said to him and that we could call him. So we were going to call him after correlación but during the meeting, when the elders were talking, we got a phone call from him. So we walked outsde and answered it and talked to him for a bit. The next day he called us asking if he could meet with us. We had a Noche de Hogar that night so instead we invited him to that and he said yes! We had a great Noche de Hogar that night with lots of people. Then we met with him on Friday and we knew from other member friends that his big issue was diezmo (tithing) because he already doesn´t make a lot of money from his job, then he has to pay for his house, his car, his brother´s medications, etc. So we gave him the folleto for Diezmo because those have worked really well with him. He had a lot of questions but we told him to read the folleto that night and that on Saturday we would talk about it. So Saturday comes and we meet and talk about diezmo and the importance of it and asked him to explain what he understood from it and he understood it REALLY well. Then at the end we asked him if he will live the law of tithing after his baptism and without hesitation he said, "Yes." SO COOL! I am not going to lie I expected a little more resitence and questions. It just goes to show that those who are becoming truly converted will accept all the commandments and LIVE them. Really cool.
Another miracle is a joven that has been taught since January and has had countless fechas in the past. Last time we set a fecha, we were serious about it and he knew what he needed to do. His issue has been church attendence. It is so hard to get him to church more than once a transfer. So last time he missed his fecha, instead of setting another one, we gave him some space. So as of late, we haven´t met with him. But after our noche de hogar on Thursday, we set up a cita with him for the next day. We had a good discussion with him. He told us that last week after work, he told his boss he couldn ´t work on Sunday anymore, so now he has Sunday off!! So we invited him to church. Then I had a small prompting to set another fecha bautismal with him. I asked him if he really wants to get baptized and he said yes. So together, we picked out a date. August 12th! Then we showed him on the calendar that he needs to come to all those sundays leading up to his baptism, including the ones after. He accepted. So we invited hm to church the next day and he accepted. And he really came!! It was so awesome. After church, we got off the bus and we were walking back home with him and he pulls out his permission form for Youth Conference!! We didn´t even ask! He just said, "Hey look I´m going to Youth Conference!" We were so excited for him!! So that will be a very good experience for him and I am confident that he will be more than ready for the 12th of August.
Another miracle that we've seen explains the title of this week's email. BANANA BREAD!! We had a hard day on Saturday and after needed some therapy. Here in Cartagena everyone loves banana bread thanks to Hermana Bailey so as of late we've been a banana bread factory. But on Saturday, we decided we needed something to get our spirits up so we made banana bread. Need therapy? Make banana bread. Helps when bajo de animo and makes people happy and if you ever have a hard time visiting less actives.....one dose of banana bread will do the trick.
Ok well this morning I was reading a really cool talk about forgiveness called, "The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness" by Elder Kevin R. Duncan. Oh my it was soooo good. There was a lot of parts I really liked. "Forgiveness is the very reason God sent His Son, so let us rejoice in His offering to heal us all. The Savior’s Atonement is not just for those who need to repent; it is also for those who need to forgive." I had never thought of forgiveness being the reason that God sent His son to the earth. When we think of the Atonement, we think of Christ suffering for our sins but I guess for me, I never think of "forgiveness" right off. But that really is the whole reason Christ was sent here. To carve a path of FORGIVENESS from our sins. We know that the Atonement was for our sins so that GOD can forgive US for our trespasses, but did you realize that it's also for YOU to forgive your NEIGHBOR/FRIEND/FAMILY for their trespasses?? And for THEM to forgive YOU of your trespasses?? Makes one think. I guess my thought for today is: People? Forgive one another!! Stop holding onto your grudges. It's not worth it. A kid asked me once that if you are messed up and your mom is messed up because your dad abused you as a child, what do you do? Do you forgive him? I told him yes. It's not your job to hold onto that. Let God take care of it. My favorite quote ever is, "Holding a grudge is like drinking poison hoping for the other person to die." If Christ went through sooo much to take those grudges from you, save yourself a lot of pain and LET HIM TAKE IT!!
I know Christ is my Savior. I know Heavenly Father loves me. I know that through them I can do anything.
Love you all. Have a great week.
Sorry we didn't take any pics this week. So enjoy this rare art from the children who like to draw on my iPad on the way to church.