So this week was incredible. I can't even describe how thrilled I am with Heavenly Father right now. He's the best. Let me tell you all about it.
Okay so for three days I didn't even have a companion, so I hung out with Maria Jesus, one of the members in our ward who lived in the States for 5 years and speaks perfect English. It was fun, but at the same time I felt really alone, like sometimes I would feel like crying and I realized that this is how it's going to be when I get home. I won't have anyone by my side 24-7 to do missionary work with me. Even though I wasn't technically alone, I felt like I was, and I think it was because although Maria is awesome and is going to be a great missionary, she hasn't been called and set apart as a missionary of Jesus Christ yet. That makes a huge difference I think. Anyway, so I hung out with her on Monday, and Tuesday she went to district meeting with me. At the end we were all hanging out in there talking and all of a sudden Elder Gonzalez gets a phone call (all the ZLs have cell phones now-aniñados!!!) He said hello, listened for a second, rolled his eyes and said, she's not alone, she's with a member!!!! The assistants had apparently forgotten that I was in Loja all by myself, and had called to see what I was doing. That of course made me feel even better about myself, but whatevs. I brushed it off. So the next day Maria had to work and I got permission to go with her because there was nothing else I could do. So I had the priviledge of teaching English to 4 classes of high school kids in the morning and going to the Washington English Institute in the afternoon to teach some more English. The assistants had called me in the morning to inform me that my companion would be getting to Loja at 2 in the morning-great. So I have to give a big shoutout to Maria Jesus and her mom, Sonia, who hung out with me for three days and then got up at 2 to go get my companion from the terminal. You guys are awesome!!!!
The important thing is that my companion is finally here!!! Her name is Hermana Cochran, from Alaska, and she is excellent. We are having the best time, she is way hilarious and way excited about missionary work and basically we are rocking the world down here in Jipiro, finding people and teaching them and we're gonna baptize a few of them too!!!
This week I have had amazing experiences with prayer. For 3 days I hadn't been in the sector and I was pretty worried about how we were gonna get the numbers we needed. A new way to pray suddenly popped into my head and I said, Heavenly Father, today we need to find new people. Can you help us with that?? We ended up finding a family of four and a lady up in the mountains, plus we went back to the Flia. Ushca after leaving them for awhile. I was so pumped at the end of the day, but there were still things that I was worried about. The next day I was like, well it worked yesterday, maybe it will work today too. So I prayed-Heavenly Father, today we need to find all the people with baptismal dates. Can you help us with that today?? And guess what?? We found ALL of them!!! Isabel told us she doesn't want to be baptized yet, but you know what?? I was totally okay with it!! And the reason for that is because even though she doesn't want to be baptized, she's reading the Book of Mormon every chance she can get, praying to know it's true, and going to church every Sunday with Diego. If she doesn't get baptized while she's still here (she's going back to Germany on March 28) I know she will eventually. She's doing all the right things!! Plus we found Giovanni who not only still wants to get baptized, he's THRILLED about it!! He told us-HNAs, my birthday is on the 20th, and I'm getting baptized on the 26th!!! So it's perfect!!! Yes, yes it is!! And we found Maria too, and although we weren't able to teach her, we did get to talk to her and we went back and taught her the next day. It was amazing.
So then Sunday came, the most stressful day of the week. I prayed-Heavenly Father, we need people to come to church today. Can you help us with that?? We went up to Zamora Huayco, ate lunch and came back down to get Giovanni, passing by the Ushcas to remind them first. We got to Giovanni's house and knocked on the door, hoping he would hear us. All of a sudden a head popped out of the window above and Giovanni said, wait just one second, I'm coming!!! I about did a backflip. We took him to the chapel and sat down to wait for the meeting to start. We saw Isabel walk in with Diego, right on time. After we took the Sacrament the Ushcas and HNO Carlos and of course Lady all walked in too. I about did another backflip, plus a handspring and roundoff-almost everyone that we wanted in church was there!! It was seriously the most amazing feeling of my life. Moral of this story-if you need a specific blessing, pray for a specific blessing and the Lord will hear you. My testimony that Heavenly Father listens to and answers prayers is now unshakeable.
Time for some week highlights!!!! To start off: playing Mafia with a bunch of high school kids to teach them English. Meeting Maria's coworkers, who all speak perfect English too. Finally meeting my new companion after waiting three days. Introducing HNA Cochran to salchipapas. Contacting in the street. Going back to teach one of them on Sunday and finding out that she had listened to missionaries before and had even been to church a few times. Teaching her about the Book of Mormon under a HUGE picture of the Chorona. Watching Maria fight with Elder Johnson (hilarious!!!) Playing Carnavale after Carnavale. Getting a bucket of water thrown on me by a less active member. Hearing HNO Carlos ask us when we were coming to visit him and his family again. Isabel telling us that she has a lot of confidence with us, and that although she doesn't want to be baptized, all the things we've taught her are turning around in her head and she's figuring it out. Finding gigantic spiders in our apartment. Rearranging the kitchen with HNA Cochran. Walking dogs again. Sunshine every day. Eating a lot of rice. Loving life. Being a missionary!!!
Well, time to go again. I'm gonna try and upload some pictures-we went to the castle today and it was pretty cool!!! Until next week, love you all and be good!!