Friday, September 23, 2011

August 22, 2011—My Day of Birth

Thank you so much for all of your birthday wishes and notes. I truly am the luckiest and the most blessed missionary in all of Chile! Thank you for making this the best birthday on the mission in Chile that I have ever or will ever have! :)

Speaking of being my birthday, last night we were going to a family night that we had scheduled with an awesome member family (the daughter just so happens to be turning 20 today as well). They surprised me by having a little birthday celebration waiting for me with completos, cakes, and even brownies (a rare commodity around here)! As you can see by my huge smile in the pictures, it was a very happy surprise.

First things first. Last week, I left you hanging, waiting, and anticipating to hear about Lucia. Lucia is awesome. She is also a miracle. More than a month ago, we were walking down a street in our ward. As we walked, a cute little five-year-old girl poked her head out of the window and started talking to us. We talked with the little girl for a few minutes and she told us to come by another time when her mom, Lucia, would be there.

Elder Rowett and I passed by multiple times but she was never there. When we finally found her in the house, we didn´t have another man with us to be able to enter the house, but we left her a copy of the Book of Mormon with 3 Nephi 11 to read. When we came back the next day, we asked her if she had read. She told us that she had. We then asked, what did you read about. She then responded, "Well, there was a group of people gathered in the city of Nephi. They heard a voice, but didn´t understand it until the third time. Then Jesus came and let them all touch his hands and his sides…." We were completely shocked. Nobody ever answers like that.

Since that visit, she has continued to show her faith and desires to learn. She has come to church the last two weeks. She also came to the English class that we began on Friday night and she came to the ward activity on Saturday. The only thing that impeded Lucia from having a baptismal date was the fact that her ex-boyfriend had a bedroom in Lucia's house. They did not share it. He had no other place to go so Lucia, being kind let him have a room. However, he has not slept there in a while and he has a new girlfriend. Also, Lucia was planning on kicking him out anyway, so we plan on giving her a baptismal date this week.

Marcelo is doing really well. He also came to church yesterday. He is very sincere in his desires to learn more and be baptized.

This week, we had a miracle. We were in lunch with a member and we asked them who they knew that we could visit. The member told us that her neighbor, Jackelyn had recently told her that she wanted to go the church. We called over to Jackeyln's house and she came over to the member's house. We then had an awesome lesson in which Jackelyn accepted a baptismal date. She has been wanting to be baptized for the last five years and over the course of time listened to the missionaries many time. However, she was living with her boyfriend and he did not want to marry her and also did not want her to be baptized. He was very abusive to her and finally after many years of dealing with him, she called the police and he was sentenced to prison for family violence. That being said, there is nothing that will stop Jacky this time. In fact, in the closing prayer of our lesson, she began to cry and said, "Lord, I know that you have placed the Elders here again---and nothing and nobody will stop me from finally being baptized!"

The Lord is preparing the hearts of His children—"behold the field is white, already to harvest." I am so grateful to be a servant of the Lord, working with him in His vineyard. I know that this is His work. I glory in Him. I glory in His Gospel. I love you all so very much. I love my mission!—Especially on my birthday! :)

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