¡Hola famila mía!
Great to hear that Liz was able to make it up for Thanksgiving and all those fun things. Can I just say that I'm jealous of all the music y'all have been enjoying? Hahah wow, Ray Smith is an incredible, INCREDIBLE musician. [editor's note: Ray Smith played a soprano sax solo of "O Divine Redeemer" accompanied by Bonnie Goodliff on the organ at our stake meeting Sunday.]
Another interesting week, different from the last (I think, they like to mesh together, just about everything). We've been working more lately with Christian, he's getting a little better with reverence, and other such things. I continue to be amazed at how sharp the kids can be here. With their sense of humor and grasp of the world around them, very interesting. Repetition seems to be the key thing with him, and with a lot of people. It's a powerful thing repetition, I seem to understimate its power and usefulness, and how necessary it is. Good old repetition. ;)
Jocelyn was confirmed yesterday! It was a happy day. Hna. Blanquita didn't come, and we're not quite sure why, we went to her house after church and they weren't home, so I do hope all is well.
Miracle Report!: Last Sunday we had lunch with one of the members (as we do every day) who had a less-active son and his girlfriend Yasna joining us. As is the way with meeting nonmembers, they must be invited to learn a bit more. She said she'd have no problem with it, and we set an appointment with her for the next evening. She (Yasna) has a somewhat dysfunctional family, so she spends a lot of time with Hna. Parra (The active mother of her boyfriend). When we came by the following evening, Hna. Parra had the Book of Mormon movie (which I did not expect to be detailed) and we watched that. Unbeknownst to me, pt. 1 explains the origin of the BoM, (Moroni to Joseph Smith) and portrays what happens from 1 Nephi to about 2 Ne 5, in about 2 hours. There were a few creative licenses taken, and acting faltered here and there, but there was something unbelievable which was the Spirit that accompanied. It brought an amazing sense of reality to the account of Nephi. After finishing, we explained a bit more and talked about Baptism of course, and she was quick to realize ''So my baptism wasn't valid, I need another.'' Usually when this sort of thing happens, there's a bit of a turnoff, and so we weren't sure how things were going to go. We set an appointment with her, left her a copy of the BoM and returned Thursday.
Here's the miracle part: She wasn't able to come (technically she could have but she would have needed to lie to her family, something she didn't want to do) but we talked with Hna. Parra. Apparently they had been talking a lot over the past few days, and Yasna had explained how she felt something very different and special the whole time watching the movie, and even more so when reading the book (As always, the book is better than the movie). Though she faces great opposition from her parents and her family, she has incredible support from Hna. Parra, and she defended her decision to read the Book of Mormon and investigate (she and her family are Catholic, though she's noticed the emphasis on ''The Saints'' is just too pagan). Many emotional conversations with Hna. Parra and she has decided ''Sí o sí'' -literally yes or yes, which roughly means come rain or shine, do or die- she will come to church every day she can. We have a date set for the 27th. It's tricky because she like most works 2 sundays a month, and also there are elections the 13th, with which there's some law against assembling too many people, and the 20th is Stake Conference, and of course after that is Christmas. The week before all this the Ward went to the Temple in Santiago, and Hna. Parra was unable to go, but sent along seven names of her ancestors that she had found to have the work done for them. After this, she has not only had this wonderful experience of helping Yasna, but she's been having many dreams that are all related to the Church, as has Yasna. When we met with her on Thursday she said she had been doing more genealogy work, as she had seen rich blessings from the work done. 5 miinutes after learning of all this we were on our way to another appointment when someone stopped us in the street and said ''Hey Elders! I'm an inactive member and I want to be reactivated, but I don't know which ward building is mine, can you help?'' We were delighted to do so. I was re-imbued with a fire to preach the Gospel, a wonderful wonderful feeling. The Spirit is strong, I'm loving it!
Something that has helped me keep going is the idea to teach as if I just found out everything I know about the gospel yesterday. When you think about it, it's mind-blowingly amazing. One of my ballroom friends who had before not been raised in a gospel-founded home but was taking the religion classes at BYU was telling me one day how ill-prepared he was for a mission, and of course I said that nobody feels ''ready'' but of course he is. He turned to me and said ''There are things I'm learning in my New Testament class that BLOW MY MIND. I hadn't realized before that religion is actually a big deal, that it's something important. Beyond important.'' That got me thinking of when we break things down to basics, This Is Amazing.
Another good thing we've discovered, is that the Ward holds aerobics classes a couple nights through the week. This is a great boon to finding investigators and re-activating people.
Something I noticed: The moon waxes and wanes the other way on the Southern Hemisphere, left to right. This really confused me this past week, and I lost grasp of time, what week was which. Time which is going by far too rapidly. We were ''showing support for a member leaving on her mission'' yesterday and one of the things one of the members said was ''Live every day of your mission as if it was your last. If you've been in the field only 4 weeks, work as if a mission only lasts 4 weeks, as if that's all you get to show the Lord how much He means to you.'' Good advice.
Hurrah for Israel!!
Monday, November 30, 2009
from kent 11/30
Stop the world, I want to get on!
Posted by Gary at 8:03 PM