In the last week we started teaching three new families who are all references from Hermana Carmona (an amazing member of our ward). Their growth is incredible, plus the fact that the kids are always psyched to see us and give us the biggest hugs isn't too bad ;) I wish i had time to describe every lesson with them but that would take hours so I'll just sum it up with the one moment that will touch my heart forever. We were teaching Elvia (someone who is so open to the feelings of the spirit and just gets it!!!!!) and all kneeling down for the closing prayer, when her 4 year old daughter notices, stopped playing outside, ran in and instantly knelt, crossed her arms, and closed her eyes (TEARS!!!). That was a powerful moment for me and just makes me realize how great the opportunity I have is. These kids are too young to be baptized and too young to sit through more then 2 minutes of the lesson without getting antsy, but right now they're developing the habits that will make them happy for a life time!!! Plus when Elvia gets baptized, and my fingers are crossed that she will, her kids will be raised with the church. GOSH, just think how blessed their lives will be all because of the faith and spirit of their mom!!!! It's simply eye opening and makes me so joyous I could sing....even more then I already do everyday! :)
.....Well I'm actually gonna go into more detail about these families cause Vidi and her family came to church and they were so enthusiastic and happy that my happiness was simply through the roof (yes that roof made out of a beautiful tarp!). Gosh the gospel is just simply JOY!!! There's no better way to describe it! I feel so at home here on Sundays and I wish I could just stay at church for 5 hours instead of just 3 so I could just have 2 hours to socialize with all the people I love and let them all know what a blessing they all are in my life. At the moment I wish there was about 10 of me so I could talk to all the people I wanted to/sit by I wanted to every Sunday. I always leave church thinking "Dang it! I wanted to ask so-in-so something!" Oh well, next week :D
Everyday has just been a journey and a treat because my comp is new to this area and her joy about how beautiful and perfect it is...well it's just contagious and it reopens my eyes every time to how amazing this place really is!!!! We cover so much ground and I'm pretty sure we've seen more of it in the first week of her being here then I did in my first month. When we went up into the mountains to visit San Jose for the first time I thought I was gonna have to hold her down so she wouldn't leap off the mountain in all her joy!!! :) We contact like its nobody's business now and every time we get on a cambi i just get giddy over all the possible people we have to talk to. Contacting whole cambis is now a regular thing and the success it's given us is unreal. Basically Hermana Fernelius is Hermana Fearless and she goes hard. She testifies and they listen and then they want more! Naturally all the awesome people aren't in our area, but we're excited for the other elders and hermanas that are going to have the chance to teach them. The number of crying women I've talked to on street corners this week has also grown to an amazing new high! Basically were contacting 30 people a day (20 more then I used to) and when we don't open our mouths Heavenly Father sends someone our way who sees our tags and asks for a pamphlet, which always feels like a wake up call, and we get to work!
My comp feels terrible (double meaning) because this week she says she was so off her game! She was really sick but that didn't slow her down at all. She has the Neuberger outlook that the only way to feel better is to forget about how sick you feel and occupy yourself with something else....basically she just worked harder. My insomnia was worse then ever this week so between her being up all night sick and me just being up all night we had some great memories. Now while were walking we have code words to describe how were feeling. Safe to say gas pedal, gas pedal, gas pedal is my constant response. I might be running low on fumes but my happy highs are through the roof!!! Don't know if I mentioned last week, but my entire district is American so every night we talk to Elder Nish in English and he always talks to us forever cause we're so happy we just can't express our words in any language. (by the way we had a zone conference on Wednesday that was easily one of the greatest I've ever been to. I'm trying to think of a great devotional/fireside I've been to to compare it, but I can't think of anything right now!)
On Tuesday the rains came, and yes they've been coming for weeks now, but this was totally different. Apparently there was a tropical storm happening off the coast and we were getting blasted with the remnants. Naturally I didn't have my rain jacket and it's safe to say I've never seen rain like this. With in three minutes the roads were rivers and it was the craziest flash flood ever!!! Cars were just stuck in the middle of the roads not knowing exactly what to do and there was no way we were going to make it to our next appointment. We were in the street, standing in 5 inches of water with lightning striking down all around us....not the best of circumstances. An awesome lady gave us blankets to hold over our heads as we ran the 20 ft to the Oxxo....didn't matter, we still got soaked!!!!! (RANDOM SIDE NOTE: We bought those chocolate eggs with the surprises inside at the Oxxo and had a party enjoying our Monsters Inc characters all week!!!!) Safe to say the rains didn't ever really die down, but we had to get home, so we walked through the rivers and made it back home laughing our brains out and wishing we could have taken pictures at how crazy it was!!!
It's extremely hard to put a highlight on my week (there are so many more miracles and crazy adventures I wish I had the time to describe, like the Chan family who has been lost for 4 years and now is found and totally active all because of one phone call; the boy on the street corner; THE FACT THAT NEXT SUNDAY WE'LL BE IN A BRAND NEW CHURCH, and all the miracles in between) BUT when Alexis walked into church on Sunday in a white shirt, I squeezed my comps hand so hard she couldnt' stop laughing. I wish I had a video of the transformation of Alexis Sandoval, because it is truly impossible to describe!!!! Gosh, I'm getting giddy right now just trying to explain it!!! On Sunday (after an adventure to Cañada, playing on a horror movie swing set, and walking down train tracks among the field of napalies) we finally got to have a lesson with Alexis about the power of the priesthood that he possesses!!! Eye opening experience that was extremely powerful. I'm so grateful for the chance I have to be here and be a part of his life (and so many other people's lives). Hopefully, next week he will be passing the sacrament...and then I'll probably just die of happiness or sing my vocal chords hoarse!!!
This week my comp opened my eyes to some amazing things during comp study. I wish I could sum them all up and pass them on to you but I'll try to express how good they were right here. Basically it all comes down to gratitude. My gratitude right now is beyond brimming!!! I'm so grateful for all the amazing people in my life and the chance I have to see people grow in so many ways every day! These people aren't just my investigators, they're my friends and more importantly they're my brothers and sisters!!! There love is contagious and I wake up every morning psyched that I get to see and talk to all of them. If you haven't read the Elder Uchtdorf talk on gratitude lately, you should!! Being grateful truly is an act of faith but I especially love this part of the talk: