FELIZ CUMPLEANOS CRAIG!!!!
The Lord blessed us a lot again this week!!!!! The members helped us out incredibly-all the lessons we had this week were with a member present and in a member´s home. The ward here has really reached out to us-even though we´re new, they´ve showed us that they love us and that they´re excited about the work. It´s a great thing to see!!!
So in church yesterday, we had a little bit of a scare. Leonel had to come because if he didn´t he wouldn´t be able to get baptized this Saturday. So yesterday morning we called him. No answer. We called the family that lives in front to go get him. They showed up without him!!!! AHHHHH!!!!! Fortunately, right after the sacrament, he walked in with his little sister. PHEW!!!! Suddenly my awful day was changed into the best day ever. I smiled, thought about what a beautiful world it was and said to myself, Heavenly Father really does answer missionary prayers first. We ended up having 5 investigators in church yesterday, which is incredible for Cuenca. Our area where we work is really good, considering that everyone says that Cuenca is difficult. But the only challenge that we´ve really run into here is finding new people-contacting here is a lot tougher than it is in Guayaquil, so we really rely on member references. But it´s better that way because then they`re more prepared to hear the gospel!!! Anyway, my point was is that Leonel came and will be baptized this Saturday and is super excited. We are too!!!!
Speaking of excitement, yesterday the members introduced us to Hermano Juan Pedro, who apparently has been coming to church for TWO YEARS but the missionaries have never taught him. Well, we taught him and now he´s gonna get baptized. The only bad thing is that he lives like an hour away, so we can´t teach him very often, but we´ll figure it out. He´s excited, we´re excited, everyone´s really excited. Alamos is fantastic. I heart Cuenca. A lot.
We are working hard and the Lord is helping us because of it. We were a little worried because we couldn´t find Jose or Javier this week-Javier was moving to a new house and was really busy and Jose-well we had no idea what was going on with him because everytime we came he was gone!!! But on Friday we found him again and he told us that he had been in a class but it got over that Saturday and that the next week he would be available and that he wanted to come to church. We didn´t see him on Sunday but we´ve also only been able to teach him one time so it´s probably more our fault than his. But it was funny because we were in his shop talking to him and all of a sudden we looked out the door and saw Elder Johnson, one of the zone leaders, with Elder Match, the other district leader of the zone standing outside. We were like, uhhh what are they doing here, just as Elder Match said what are you doing here??? This is my sector!!!! Ummmm . . . . . NO IT ISN´T!!! So then we had a small "discussion" that ended with us all agreeing to call the historian and figure it out. Apparently the limits have been messed up for years, but we definitely have converts that live in the sector that apparently belongs to Elder Match. Later Elder Johnson called us and I asked if they had figured it out, and he said no but to keep teaching HNO Jose anyway. Thank you, we will. Javier is still AWOL so we we´re waiting for the word from Jorge to see when we can get over there again. But Julia and Jose Miguel, the ones that have to go back to Peru to get married, are doing awesome, just that they´re worried that they´re not gonna have enough money to go back to actually get married. But we´re gonna help them with that, the ward is going to sell empanadas or something if it turns out that they need help. But they´re so great. Everyone we work with is so great. I just love Cuenca.
OHH. Hermana Foster, if you´re reading this, WE FOUND GISELLE!! Remember the girl that was gonna get baptized but then her mom came and convinced her not to?? I´ve been thinking about her ever since I got here and then we found her in a bus when HNA Wise was still here except we didn´t know it was her, but she asked about HNA Prater and you and everything. Then on Saturday I was looking through the area book for old investigators and I found her record and was like that´s her!!! So we called her and she told us we could come visit her again!!!!! We´ll get her baptized this time, don´t you worry.
Funny story that happened just today. We decided to go to the mall today, which is a little far away from the house, and before we left I asked HNA Castillo if she thought we needed to ask permission to go. After a few minutes we decided we didn´t need permission because come on, we´ve never needed permission to go to the mall before, so off we went. After walking around awhile and deciding that the mall´s not really worth the time we spent there, we went down to eat. We were waiting in line and HNA Castillo all of a sudden said, oh my gosh!!!! All the elders are here!!!! Uhhh . . . . well I guess we´ll find out whether or not we need permission!!! They all came up and shook our hands and were like hey, we just went bowling!!!! Uhhhh . . . thanks for inviting us!!!!! After they left I looked at HNA Castillo and said, guess we don´t need permission to come to the mall!!! So yeah, the elders didn´t invite us to their zone activity, but that`s okay. Next time we´ve already decided that we´re going bowling without them .
Well, can´t really think of anything else to say. I love Cuenca. I love being a missionary. Yesterday in testimony meeting I was thinking about how this is the best decision I´ve ever made and that I´m realizing that what dad said in my blessing before I left is true-that I would look back on my mission as one of the happiest times in my life. I am incredibly happy. My companion is awesome. My ward is awesome. Cuenca is awesome-and I understand now why I need to be here. Things are going so good that I´m almost nervous as to what´s going to happen in the future-I´m sure a trial of faith is coming. But I´ve had a lot of those in my mission and in my life-I know I can overcome it with the Lord´s help.
I love you all. I miss you all but not too much. This is the church of God. He loves us because we are His children. He talks to His prophet today and though His gospel we can come back to live with Him forever. This is the ultimate goal. Never lose sight of it!!!