Monday, May 19, 2014

Another great week in Arequipa!

Family and Friends!! This week has been filled with many excitments. I believe that my companion and I have finally been able to work well together and we are now having much more success. Diana and Jaime were one of our most golden investigators but 2 weeks ago something happened and they wouldnt answer our phone calls or visit with us when we came to their house, nothing! We were so bummed and confused and then figured out what happened. They had an interview with the bishop and said that they shouldnt get married until Jaime gets a job. They both felt really unanimated to get married and for Diana to get baptized. We were finally able to get in contact with Jaime because we used the District Leaders phone to call him haha we met up with him and Diana that night and we got them excited to get married and for Diana to get baptized! They set a new date for marriage for June 6th, the birthday of Diana! I am super excited for them! Then Diana will get baptized the next day! The next news isnt too exciting but ended up being good. Edwardo Lucas, I was so excited about him. We had a 2 hour lesson with him! I mainly taught because he speaks English, but after the lesson my companion and I felt drained spiritually. He kept wanting to know where everything we were teaching him was in the Bible. He knew the bible PERFECTLY! It was super intimidating and after I didnt feel like I was adequate to teach him. Also we both didnt feel good about the lesson and felt like he was trying to convert us to his religion and beliefs. I really liked teaching him because he has lots of questions and desires to know more, but....his questions are SO DEEP and it just wasnt good. For example, he asked..what do we do in the celestial kingdom, also he was trying to teach us that we could have the priesthood and be prophets. I definitely learned that simple lessons are the best. And we decided that right now is not his time and there are others out there that are ready to learn. I also learned that without the Spirit in our lessons, there is no success because we are only the instruments in the hands of the Lord. In my studies today in Preach My Gospel I read this quote by Ezra Taft Benson that says, The Spirit is the most important single element in this work. With the Spirit magnifying your call, you can do miracles for the Lord in the mission field. Without the Spirit, you will never succeed regardless of your talent and ability. I have learned this to be 100 percent true! When we rely on the Spirit to help guide us in the lesson we will have much success! Another success of the week; our zone has decided to create a new goal for contacts. I dont know what the goal is for the mission but our goal is 70 contacts a week, which is 10 contacts a day. This new goal has made this week feel more like a mission because now we are talking to more people everywhere we go and spreading the word to more people. We are looking for more investigators right now and trying to work hard in our circumstances. For example, since my companions foot has still been hurting her, when we went to the clinic for her foot this week we have been teaching people in the clinic and have met some really great people. On Thursday we had interviews with President Zobrist, the mission president. It was my first interview with him since I never had an official first interview with him. The interview went really really well! He is a great president! He reminds me a lot of Bishop Lindahl, so of course he is awesome! haha I look forward to having more interviews with him and getting to know him and Sister Zobrist more too! MORE good news! This whole time that Ive been here we have been working with Lalo. He is 19 years old and is less active. We have taught him all the lessons and have been trying to get him to church. He came to church 2 weeks ago but then after that Sunday we went and taught him and he said he felt like he didnt need to go to church to be saved and that reading the scriptures was good enough. I was super bummed to hear this and thought there must be a reason why he believes this. Something must have happened. Later we found out that he felt judged by the ward members because of the clothes he was wearing. NOO!!! This made me frustrated because it took him a lot to get to church and then to have the members not welcome him. Of course he wouldnt want to come back again. Then I talked to him about his priesthood responsiblity. He is the only one in the house that is a male member. When we taught him earlier we said that because he has the priesthood he has responsibilites to do. One week passed after this lesson. Then on Friday morning Hermana Bazan called his mom to confirm the baptism of her daughter for Saturday. Then the mother asked if we have been teaching her son and we said why. Then she said that he has changed a lot. He has been reading his scriptures a lot and has been helping out around the house! I was SO happy to hear about this because we didnt really know how he was doing. He has been up and down but we knew he had a desire to change. It made my day hearing his mother say that she sees a change in him. I was filled with so much joy that I literally teared up and was crying! haha Woman can be emotional, but this was a super exciting moment for me. Lalo is one of my favorites and nothing makes me happier than seeing or hearing about a change in someone that you have been working with. The gospel really can change people for the best. I am thankful to have this gospel in my life and I feel blessed to have been born into the true gospel. Saturday morning we went to the house of the Choque family with Elder Pezo and Elder Paredes for the interview for the baptism of Fransisco Choque! Fransico is 57 years old and is the father of a family with 4 children. The whole family is members but him. The mom was super nervous the whole time leading up to his baptism. He passed his interview and was getting baptized 2 hours later! Right after we went to the chapel to get things ready for the baptism. We had to figure out how to get warm water for the font because Fransisco had an accident and has nails in one of his legs and he cant be baptized in cold water. We couldnt figure out how to get the warm water for awhile but of course everyhing worked out because baptism is a righteous desire and everything is in the hands of the Lord! It was a really special day. This baptism was really special because the whole family is now members! The mom was so happy to see her husband get baptized. After the baptism she bore her testimony and when she bore her testimony she teared up and said that this was a birthday gift from God since her birthday is tomorrow. The most special part of today was when Fransico bore his testimony. He loves the part of the gospel that families can be together forever and when he started talking about this he teared up and the Spirit was so strong in the room. This day was a really good day and very Spiritual. The thing that makes me happy is that the family is now complete in the gospel. I hope to see them go to the temple in 1 year from now!! And I would love to be able to go to the temple with them sometime in a little more than a year from now! I loveeee the temple! Sunday was crazy but crazy good! In the morning when we arrived at church we saw Diego! He is 9 years old and is our best investigator and wants to get baptized but his dad wont allow him to get baptized and says he is too young and has to wait until he is 18. It was so sweet to see him because he said that he took the bus from his mothers house to come to church, which is much farther than his dads house. We were both so excited to see him come to church! Diana and Jaime also came to church! After sacrament meeting we were looking for Jaime and Diana and get them to the second class and couldnt find them so we went out to the street and saw them walking up the street so we yelled their names and told them to come back haha they said they were just going to grab something really fast them come back. Then after second hour I saw them trying to leave again so I followed after them and told Diana to come to Relief Society. She thought it was funny when we kept coming after her haha Jaime is a little lazy at times and we both think that at times he brings Diana down and they both need a little push so this is why we kept going after them and bringing them to class haha I am so excited for their wedding and Dianas baptism!! This week has been a good week and I look forward to what success comes in our area this next transfer! So far we have 2 weddings, 4 baptisms, and a ward activity planned to get more members involved to invite their friends to come to the church for a fun activity then we can get to know them and teach them! Always remember your testimony and who you stand for because there are many people who would like to see you forget. Love always, Hermana Flora xoxo

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