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Monday, November 2, 2015

Week #71: ...the joys one will feel throughout a lifetime...

Thanks for the spontaneous package of goodness!  Peanut Butter and Free Hugs for the win!

     The mission truly is something so very beautiful. I have often felt of it as life in fast forward. Something filled with the joys one will feel throughout a lifetime packed so abundantly into a time so short and powerful in two seemingly small years. Holidays always seem to be a time of reflection here in the mission. Thinking back a year ago I remember being in La Verde my first area. On Halloween night, as we sat down to eat dinner with Hermana Alejandra eating a plate of eggs I thought of on that humid Friday night  about what was going on back home. About the Menifee Bowl going on probably, as the thoughts were crossing my mind.  Life has changed so much in such a short time...
      This week has been a pretty hard week but in the same a week filled with miracles and changes of heart that we normally only hear of in the story of scrooge in the  Christmas Carroll on those Christmas nights. About a week after I arrived here in the zone Elder Murrillo and Elder Roney began to talk to one of the many candy tienda ladys that we so commonly see here on nearly every corner of the main cities streets. However this lady Itzy has become a pretty good friend to the some odd 26 missionaries that pass through that part on a weekly basis as they go to and from meetings. She came to church for her first time when I was on divisions with the Elders in Dalmacia. The moment she came in a sat by us at church I could see that she was someone that was eagerly hungry for the truth. They had given her a pholleto of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. she not only had read it but annotated it as though she would be using it to form a thesis for her literary exam. She more than anyone I had seen before her had feasted upon the words of Christ. Now when Dalmacias area was closed we took over teaching her. But as you can imagine with her working from 9 to 9 every day of the week at a stand that actually requires some of her attention teaching was not always the easiest thing but by far was not the hardest of problems. She came from a very devout 7th day Adventist family and they were not happy when they found out that she was listening to us. For many weeks she wrestled to know the truth inside of a world of confusion and opposition.  Through it all she never lost her desire to know the truth, and after a while she knew and then only had to get through one little problem. Through she is 28 she still wanted the blessing of her father to be baptized and after many talks with him it seemed as though he would never change. Then came Friday morning and a quick trip over to pias to grab a little something before heading down to Magnolia. When we passed by her she told us she had talked to her father again and lo and behold he had a change of heart and allowed her to follow her heart. But that didn't mean the amazing thing ended there. She had to go to work early Saturday with Halloween being Saturday and everything. But she didn't want to wait any longer so she decided to be baptized at 5am in the morning and thus the first treat of Halloween was given early Saturday morning.
   Now we had another miracle happen just a little bit later on as well. As we went throughout the day we went to visit hermana Elida. A sweet lady who is part of that family that had asked us about baptism. Now I thought they were going to be golden after that first visit....well lets just say I wasn't right about that. However we visited elida with a member of the ward and she accepted to be baptized on Saturday. But then opposition hit hard. like really hard. Her entire family started to go against her and us we ended up being kicked out of the house by the family who had been in love with us. We ended up having that same member who was with us when she accepted to be baptized go and talk to her.  It turns out her family threatened to kick her out of the house and take away her child if she gets baptized......There truly is an opposition in all things, but I know just as Itsy's father changed his heart, there will be a way prepared for her.
  Now it is a common theme that good and bad tends to come in threes.  There is a family of less-actives that we are teaching that have some children who haven't been baptized, but haven't wanted to be baptized.   We took over a video of Christ's baptism and now they want to be.  All we have to do is wait for her mom to get back from Mexico.
   I love Christmas time! I know that Thanksgiving hasn't passed yet but who cares! We don't have Thanksgiving here in Guate so we are going straight into Christmas mode!

Put a group of Elder's in a photo and say act serious and this is what you get.

Our Fan Club...and how they see Elder Keck and I...

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