I love it when I have something to write to you. Some weeks I don’t, but this week I do. We have been having our typical mix of success and lack thereof, but the success is a little more than the lack.
Our biggest success this week was Javier-looks-like-Pancha. We have been worried about him, because we are used to so much opposition, and we can’t see his opposition. He didn’t go to church last week, so we got even more worried, thinking maybe something was wrong and he wasn’t being sincere with us. We went to his house on Friday to talk to him. He had told us before that he wanted us to talk to his… woman? and not long after we showed up, she showed up as well. That is his main obvious problem, he lives with a woman who he is not married to. Turns out she is a really nice lady. I had had my doubts because she never seemed to want to stay with us before, but she was pretty receptive to the message about the Restoration, only showing big problems with believing in the Book of Mormon. When we were finishing the lesson, Javier reminded us that we had forgotten to talk about marriage as a requirement for baptism, and when we brought it up, she reacted positively, saying it depended on Javier. That taught us two things. First, she may not be a stumbling block for Javier and his progression (if she gets a testimony she might actually want to get baptized as well) and Javier has a LOT of desire to get baptized, because he took the initiative during the lesson AND he came to church yesterday. From what I know, they still don’t have an engagement date.
We had an interesting run in with an evangelical woman. She had been a member, but said that she didn’t feel comfortable in our church and defected again to the evangelical pentecostal church. We pretty much just fought with her, and she got more and more frustrated with us as we asked her questions like “How do you know that the bible is true?” and having her grandkids under-foot, and she finally brought them in, and we thought for sure when she came out, she would tell us that it would be better if we didn’t pass by again, like what almost always happens. That was what was weird, was that when we came out, she said, “Look, I don’t know why, but it might just be that there is a reason that you are here, so why don’t you pass by another day?” The only time she listened to the spirit the whole time we were talking. We decided to leave her with a prayer, which she offered, and the spirit left, because she started speaking in tongues and she begged the Lord for our souls and that we could come to a knowledge of the truth.
We had an awesome lesson with a JW. Normally, they just want to fight, but he was super fun to teach. I think that he is a JW Less-Active, because he accepted everything we taught him about the Plan of Salvation, the Book of Mormon, and the affliction that he would pass in his search for the truth. I really enjoyed that lesson because we built off of each other, and we followed the spirit so well, that when we finished he actually told us how much he liked the things we were teaching him and how much they made sense. NOT something we hear every day.
Inginio is another success story. We contacted him from his house from the list the bishop gave us of the members who live in the ward. He is a less active, and when we first started talking to him, be looked very uninterested. But every few minutes he got a little brighter as he listened to us, changing from saying he would never set foot in our chapel again to saying that he wanted to meet up with us on Sunday. He said he could feel a fire inside him, and one could literally see this fire changing how he saw us and the church in general. The coolest part was that he actually came to church. He came after sacrament, but our bishop gave a very powerful talk, and we ended sing “The Spirit of God”, and he felt the spirit so strongly that he decided not just to stay for the next class, but the whole 3 houses. Much of that was thanks to the ward, who did an excellent job greeting him and making him feel welcome.
And finally, a prayer miracle story. On Sundays once a month we eat in the Chapel because the sisters who cook for us live outside of ward boundaries, but yesterday there was no gas in the Chapel, so we had to go to a member’s house instead with the sisters to do lunch. The member we went to is an old couple, with the male half quite sick (he may or may not be dying) and the female half suffering severely from pains and aches associated with depression. The night before and yesterday morning, she had been praying that the elders could get to her house to give her and her husband a blessing. Or, in other words, it was her fault that the chapel had no gas. That is a whole lot of faith that that sister has.