This was a week of ups and downs, laughter and tears (okay not tears but lots of sad feelings), disappointments and miracles. Ready to hear all about it?? Yeah?? Bacansisimo.
So this was a very rainy week. Like seriously. After we wrote to you last week we went back to the barbeque to find that the elders had eaten without us (just as I knew deep down they would) and then it started pouring down rain. We had to run out of the park and then spend 20 minutes trying to hail a taxi because no one would stop and pick up 4 completely soaked sister missionaries. Finally someone stopped for us and we all went home, changed and (reluctantly, I admit it) went back out into the monsoon. We ended up finding absolutely nobody that we wanted to teach and coming home just as wet as we had gone out. Boo. The rest of the week it rained on and off and was sooooooo cold that I thought I was still in Cuenca for a little while. But it was fun. We laughed it off and kept going.
We found this lady named Mari Carmen, from Peru. She's way cool, every time we go she's so happy, smiling and laughing. She works at a restaurant, making lunch in the morning and selling chicken wings in the afternoon. The first thing she told us when we came the first time was, Guess what?? I got married!!!! We were way excited too, because do you know how rarely people get married around here?? Finding someone that doesn't have chastity problems is a big deal!!! We put a baptismal date on her, although it took a little convincing, and yesterday we called her to come get her for church, but she was sick in bed. It's cool. Next week.
So we went back to visit Jessenia and Lucia this week and we committed them hardcore to go to church. They were both like, yes this week I am coming, don't worry. We were like yes please, because if you don't you can't get baptized!!! We passed by the Ushcas Sunday morning and they were like, oh yeah we're coming too, see you at 2. We passed by Lady to remind her, ran up to eat lunch and went back down to get everyone. We got to Lucia's, yelled her name and her neighbor came out and what do you think she said?? Oh, she went to the mercado. I just looked at her like . . . . . . seriously?? Even though we visited her last night and she told us that she would go to the mercado in the morning so that she could come to church in the afternoon?? Needless to say, we left empty-handed. We went back to the chapel and sat down to wait for everyone to come who said they would come solo. Guess who came?? Only Lady again. But we were glad to see her.
Sounds like a bummer of a Sunday, right?? WRONG. Remember how I said it was a week of disappointments AND miracles?? Here's where the miracle comes in. So the night before, we were down in the valley trying to get a taxi and NO ONE would stop for us. After about 10 minutes of unsuccessfully trying to hail a taxi, we decided to cross the street and try our luck from there. Not kidding, the first taxi that comes stops, the driver pokes his head out the window and says, hermanas!!! Do you need a taxi??? YES!!! We got in and the driver told us that his name was Giovanni, that he was a member but less active and that he had been baptized in Machala with his mom. He then said that he wanted to reactivate himself and asked when the meetings were the next day. We told him and he said he would be there and then the best part-his wife and kids weren't members. Uhhhh . . . . . OPPORTUNITY. We told him to bring them with him the next day and got out of the taxi. The next day while we were sitting in sacrament meeting, HNA Robison poked me all of a sudden and said, Giovanni's here!! And there he was, with his wife, kids and niece and nephew who also weren't members and just happened to be 10 and 8. Fabulous. Heavenly Father answers prayers-I had been praying to find someone prepared and the Lord gave us three!!! Plus we made plans to teach a sister's husband who always comes to church but up until now hasn't wanted to have the missionary lessons, and we talked to the girlfriend of a member who has been coming to church for awhile but has been a little hesitant about the lessons too. We are cleaning out our program little by little and it's coming together. Is someone going to be baptized this month?? Hopefully, there are a couple people who could, they just have to make the decision. But if they're not, I know they will be eventually, and that's what matters to me.
In my studies lately I've been finding a lot of good scriptures about trusting the Lord. My favorite is 2 Nephi 4-34. I know that when we perfectly trust in the Lord, things don't always go how we want them to but they do go the way He wants them to, and that's what matters.
Highlights of the week-HNA Robison's one liners. We'll just be sitting there quietly and all of a sudden she'll crack one off that makes me laugh hysterically. I love it. Getting hit on by two drunks and then saved by the valiant Mari Carmen (they tried to kiss HNA Robison, which was hilarious until they tried to kiss me too. Gross.) Taking pictures with llamas in the Parque Jipiro. Visiting the ancient and slightly eccentric but very sweet and lovable Carmen Delia, one of the ward members. Being called by Elder Luna at 10 on Saturday night to find out that we had to be in Guayaquil at 8 on Monday morning. Visiting the San Marino mall and having office flashbacks. Talking to HNA Barker. Meeting all the new sisters. Going back to Loja at 1.
Love my companion. Love the people. Love the work. Love the Lord.