and then there was light

dearest familia,

It seems that I need to pay tribute to the miracles that are abounding every single week in our area, because really, sometimes we return home shaking our heads and laughing at the fact we are blessed every single day with seeing the hands of God in everything. They are continual manifestations of the fact that God is in the details of our lives — no matter how small our lives may seem, our daily walks of life are important to that great Being who created us to live and learn and experience in order to understand Him a little bit more. And so:

Miracles of Mulsay

— Hna. Martinez no longer needs to have surgery for her knee (!!!), and so the wheelchair is no longer our best friend and we are back to our normal walking routine (which we get to walk for another transfer because we are staying companions — woohoo! There was a slight fear that we would have to part at this transfer, but God is good and we get to stay companions. We heard that our entire District has changed, and so its been a fun game trying to guess who is in our mystery District/who our new District Leader is, too). 

— We taught the Relief Society lesson this Sunday, and it actually went really well (obviously this is a miracle for me and not for Hna. Martinez, aka the most gifted teacher ever). 

— Hno. Jonathan, an investigator we have been teaching on and off in his tienda (a difficult thing to do when people are always coming to purchase items from his store during the lesson), came to the Tuesday night activities and played basketball with the YM, even though he is thirty three years old. It was quite the scene with him in his gangster outfit playing amongst twelve year olds, but hey, he came and it was great. 

— Hna. Reina and her daughter Isis came to the Christmas Devotional in the Stake Center last night, along with another investigator Hna. Jesus. Both are miracles because 1) Hna Reina has been taught by a lot of missionaries because her husband is inactive in the church, and this was her first time in la capilla — she is a living example of the truth that even the seemingly hardest hearts can change. 2) Hno. Jesus is the alcoholic that we have been teaching, and after a spur-of-the-moment thought to invite him to come along with us, he came without hesitation with his Book of Mormon and half-buttoned, skiddywampus shirt. 

— Hno. Juan and Hna. Karen got married on Wednesday, and his baptism is tomorrow. We got a little too excited during our planning session for his baptismal program, and may or may not be singing a special duet (which is funny because we both can't really sing all too well). 

Between these moments of miracles, there were also moments of failed attempts to share La Dadiva (The Gift? Have you all heard about this Christmas message?) by singing a hymn ON THE BUS and passing out cards to all the passengers. All I'm going to say is that the mission really pushes one outside of their comfort zone (see: singing on a crowded bus). This failed attempt to share the gift of Christmas was made all the worse when Pres. Garcia had us reenact this little episode for all the missionaries in our Zone. I think he was trying to show everyone an example of what not to do... 

I also ate octopus without even knowing it — oh, the experiences of the mission!

This week was also filled with a greater understanding of the importance of the Gospel. I have come to realize more and more that the truths of this Gospel are the very air I breathe and live, because without it I don't know what I would do or who I would be. This truth awakened me to the even greater fact that a lot of people do not have this joy and light to guide them through the darkness. One morning, I might have wept for the lives lost to the world ignorant of the fact that they can be found again with the Gospel of Jesus Christ; tears wept for those who do not know there is a way to be healed, a way to change, a way to know God, and a way to live in a state of never ending happiness with the very people we love most. Without the knowledge that I have that there is a way for all of these things, these tears would have been everlasting. Yet how grateful I am to know that the words we speak as missionaries provide a way out of darkness and into light for all these people, because the words of the Gospel are eternal and never-changing.

I love you, dear family! (and also can't wait for Christmas when we can talk once again face to face)

all my love,

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