It is hard for me to believe that we are entering the last week of September. I really cant even count the time. I am always mixed up because here the seasons are opposite, time goes by so fast, and with the combination of the two it makes the time almost non existent.
This week was the celebration of the independence of Chile. It is huge. Its bigger than Christmas here. When we went through the store last week to buy our food, it is crazy because the store was packed full of people buying alcohol and tons of meat for their BBQ that they do. Ha ha but the challenging part was that for the people calama isn't the most attractive vacationing spot so a lot of people left and traveled out of town for the holiday. The difficult part was almost all of the people that we teach left out of town, And those who are in town are all partying the whole week long with bbq´s everyday and so the people don't really like to receive us, so it made the week super interesting. We were creative and did everything that we could to be efficient and find success. The Lord blessed us even through the difficulties of the week.
With Alina and her family we discovered during the week that her and her husband Juan are not married. However Juan in the last little bit has talked about getting married with Alina and they have plans to do so soon. Juan wants to get sealed with his wife and family in the temple!! This has been the biggest and most incredible miracle i have seen during the course of my mission. This is a man who when we first met him told us that whoever was Mormon he did not get a long with. And now the spirit has changed this mans life! It is incredible. His heart has been softened and he now is coming to church, smiling, participating in classes, always making sure his family comes to church, to make sure they keep their commitments, and told us he wants his two younger sons Javier(13) and José (8) to prepare to serve missions.
Elder McCusker and I were dumbstruck. We were in complete awe. He told us this the other night, it was Javier´s birthday and they wanted us to come over for some cake. He
is a completely different person and i cant even describe how incredible the change in this man has been. He came yesterday with Alina and the sons and they stayed for all of church and they all loved it. In sacrament meeting there was a talk about the temple and eternal marriage and he loved it. I could see Javier look up to his parents and smile and nudge them when they talked about sealing in the temple. They talked with the stake president for a while too, Javier is such a stud he is reading the book of Mormon all of the time and is preparing for a mission.
When we left the house that Saturday night after the cake and talking with them, I reflected a bit on the miracles that had happened and the greatness and goodness of God. I teared up a little bit and just felt like crying as i have seen the changes in this family in the last 4 months. I wish you could meet them. It is incredible. The Love that our Savior has for each of us is immense, and i have seen it so much in this family who has changed so much. Elder McCusker and I have told them that when the time comes when they go to the temple as a family that we will return and be there. Incredible.
We received a reference from this same family. One of Alina´s neighbors and José´s friends wants to receive the lessons and start coming to church and be baptized. They are so awesome we saw them in the street this last week and they are so prepared. We will meet with them this week.
Enrique is great. Ha-ha yesterday he showed up in this awesome suit he bought himself. We are guessing that he bought it in the flee market. But we were so pumped ha-ha he is such a stud.
During the week it was difficult to work here in Calama. There was a huge convention for all of the YSA of the north of Chile, and our stake hosted it. So there was around 200 YSA at our church and they were here for the whole week. So at times the leaders needed our help so we helped occasionally throughout the week. It was great because we gained more confidence in the members. I also saw some youth from the other areas i have served it was great.
Amid the difficulties of this week the Lord still blessed us so very much. I am amazed at the mercy and love God shows unto each one of us and the Love that He has for each one of his children. There is nothing better than to see lives change as people start to follow the savior, make necessary changes, and have the spirit take over and change their life. It is the greatest payback that we receive as missionaries. I am doing so great and i hope that each one of you are doing well. I am loving the work and I would not be anywhere else.
I have been studying these last few days about the Savior in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon and it has been an incredible experience. I know He lives, I know that he knows and loves each one of us.
I have got some great pictures and videos coming for ya soon! I will send my SD card soon. Haha the other night i performed surgery on the wart on my knee and removed it haha it was awesome we have the funniest video you will all die laughing.I love you all. Have a great week.