Monday, September 30, 2013

Week #31 - I have arrived!

Dear Loved Ones, 

Good morning all!! It's a beautiful day here in San Nicolas, and I couldn't be happier :) I was thinking about all I have to update since I wrote last, and realized that it goes allllllll the way back to Melina's baptism! SO nuts. That was only a week ago, and yet I feel like I've been here in San Nicolas for a month at least, ha ha :)


To top off my time in Parana, Melina's baptism was amazing :) Ramiro Escalada baptized here, and HUGE amount of the ward turned out to support. It was such a blessing, because I was able to see a lot of the members before I headed out. It was so sweet to hear all the expressions of love from the members, and spend some time with them. What a blessing that ward has been for me!! Hna Miranda, Hna Gomez and Hna Negro were hard to leave - I love those girls! Especially since Hna Miranda is on a few more days of bed rest and literally can't move, it was a tough thing to leave her in that situation. But, I know that Lord will take care of her! 
 
With Virginia and all the kidlet crew - Cata, Luci, Octavio, y Carmela :) They brought me a stack of letters to the baptism, and a cute little notebook so that I could write them letters - along with a blue pen! They knew that was my favorite color, so they searched all the Kioscos until they found me a blue one :) I love this family!! 

I headed to the mission home early on Wednesday morning, and was up and moving by 5:15am to be at the terminal early enough to catch a collectivo to Rosario. Once we got there, we made our way to the mission home, had a meeting with Presidente Giuliani, and finally was able to find out who our new companions are! I am currently serving with.... dum dum dum... HNA NUNJA!! Ha ha, that means nothing to any of you (YET!), but she is amazing. She is the oldest of 4 children, from Peru, and has more faith and excitement for this work than any other missionary I've seen! I am so blessed to be companions with her, and am ridiculously excited :) 
Hna Giuliani, Hna Nunja, Yo y Presidente Giuliani!! 
 We made our way to San Nicolas Wed night,and had a great welcoming crew waiting for us!! Our zone leaders - Elder Rubio (nope, hes not blonde) and Elder Valladares (who was in my zone in Parana!) were waiting to help us find our pension, and waiting in front of our pension was our Bishop, dutifully stationed to help us carry our suitcases to our apartment (3 flights of stairs by the way. That was an adventure, ha ha :) Once we actually got into our apartment, added to the welcoming crew was the stinking HUGE spider on our wall, and 3 avocados in the fridge :) Needless to say, I was thrilled :)

 Although we woke up thoroughly exhausted on Thursday morning, we set off to work! Unpacked, and pulled out the area book to make a game plan. We visited a ton of less actives and members this work, and are working on getting to know the ward. The ward here in San Nicolas is WONDERFUL! They have such a love for the missionaries (we have lunches with a member every single day! For the next MONTH!. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that concept), and functions wonderfully. After having the opportunity to meet all members this Sunday, I was thinking last night about Hna Nunja and my purpose here. Truthfully, the Lord has given me a situation that is seemingly perfect - an amazing companion, a great ward, and wonderful mission leaders. With all these great ingredients, what is the Lord whipping up here in San Nicolas? Ha ha, After thinking about it, I realized that Hna Nunja and I are going to play a very important role in San Nicolas. The ward has listened to too many complaints and lamentations from the other missionaries who have served here over the years, and have a dampened attitude for the work here because of it. Almost every single member who greeted us said `Welcome to San Nicolas! We`re going to warn you right now though - the work here is really hard, and the people are really hard.` After this was repeated with almost every single member in the ward, I began to realize what our purpose is here - Hna Nunja and I need to reanimate the ward members here, and prove to them that the Lord is preparing people in every single city, in every single town, and that frankly, there is nothing special about the people here. The work is just hard everywhere in the world, ha ha :) The work is hard, because salvation is hard. But not impossible :)  

With that in mind, Hna Nunja and I are determined to find, teach, and baptize here in San Nicolas. Not because we desire this for ourselves, but because the ward, the people, need a reminder that the Lord is in charge of HIS work. We`re off to change the attitudes of every member in our ward - wish us luck , ha ha :)  

With all that sermon, here's a few more highlights of the week:

1) Elder Vasquez (District Leader) called us and asked if there was anything we needed from the mission home. I told him that Hna Nunja had forgotten her tennis shoes there, but mixed up the words :) I asked him if they could bring Hna Nunja her zapallitos(little squash) instead of zapatillas (tennis shoes), ha ha!  

2) Miracle of the Sunday! We asked for references on Sunday, and were given 2 from a member - la familia Gazzoni.  However, she couldn't remember the address of her friend, and promised to give it to us later. However, later that night we were walking back from a leccion with had with a menos activos, when we started talking with a woman who was walking along side us on the sidewalk. We started talking with her, and about halfway through our conversation, we realized that she was the exact same woman who Hna Gazzoni had referred us to earlier that day! So, we figured out where she lives, and left her with a testimony :)  

Basically, I am loving life. I have never worked harder in my life, never been more exhausted, and have never been happier (and that's saying a lot!! Ha ha :) I love you all, and encourage you all to think about what you can do this week to go the extra mile. When we fulfill all the Lord asks us to do, we are promised blessings. When we do more than what is expected? Miracles.  

With faith and a good attitude, there is nothing we cannot do! 

Love, Hna Lake

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Week #30 - A Week of Miracle and Cripples

Hola Todos!! 

Well... this week was nuts!  Like, really!! As the subject line says, it was a week full of miracles and cripples! I`ll just tell the story, and let you figure out which is which, shaaaallll we?  

For starters, for those who remember, Hna Miranda wiped out on her first week in the mission and dislocated her right knee. Right? Right. Anyway, since you all don't have the chance to meet her and know her super-hilariously-stubborn personality, I`ll let you in on a secret - she has a super-hilariously-stubborn personality!! Basically, she decided that no doctor was going to tell her what to do and wrapped a bandage around her knee, took some major pain killers, and went out to work! One year and 4 months later, this stubbornness resulted in blowing out her meniscus. We were walking to the chapel to work on something for the Bishop, when she suddenly gasped and fell against the wall, and literally couldn't walk anymore. Her knee gave out - Ka poot.  Luckily, we were still close to the pension, and slowly (emphasis on slowly) made our way back. A few phone calls to Hna Giuliani and the mission doctor later, we were prescribed ice, minimal walking, and absolutely no going up and down stairs. That last restriction was a particularly difficult as we live in an upstairs apartment, haha :) Soo, the last 4 days have been spent inside our pension. To keep myself from going insane, I've taken up all sorts of activities, which include the following: 

1) organizing and cleaning everything in our apartment that isn't bolted down. And then going back and organizing and cleaning everything that IS bolted down as well, ha ha :)  

2) Experimenting and successfully triumphing in making brownies! (also, since it is the end of transfers and we had bare minimal food/I couldn't go to the store to buy any ingredients, the recipe got realllly creative. The brownies included chocolate milk powder and malta. But hey, they turned out seriously delicious :) 

3) Crochet. No really!!!. I'm learning crochet, and am determined to mail home a whole bunch of slightly lumpy looking scarves for Christmas. Sorry about the lumpy looks... seems I don't have the knack for knotting yarn artistically, ha ha :)  

4) Listening to the Les Miserables and Wicked soundtrack through about 4 times each. Hna Miranda finally begged me to change the songs, haha.  

5) Discovering the band, Jericho Road, on Karis' blue MP3 that I took with me, and getting a hoot out of reliving Eden and my early teenage years, haha. For those unfamiliar with Jericho Road, imagine Mormon Backstreet boys... its pretty great :)  

6) I made another batch of one of my favorite Chilean recipes - pan con anis! I love these sweet rolls, and made about 3 dozen yesterday. Then, reasoned that the bread would go bad in the humidity pretty quickly, and promptly ate about 2 dozen in the first 24 hours. Totally worth it.  

As you can see, its been a pretty creative week, haha :)  

Ready for the next story? This is a good one :) So, background - before I arrived in Paran, Hna Miranda and her previous companion (Hna Avaloz) had prayed over the area book and all the previous investigators, and felt to pass by and visit only one family -the Ceparo family. When I arrived, we always planned to try and visit them, but it always fell through, and never actually happened. Finally, after a whole transfer of planning for them, we finally managed to pass by the house, only to discover that they no longer lived there, and had moved. Phooey. Not knowing how else to find them, we moved on.  

A little while later, we were talking with Melina - the novia of Ramiro, a 17 yr old member in our ward. Melina originally had no interest in the church, and only came to activities or meetings with Ramiro to support him. However, we invited her again to talk with the missionaries, and this time, she accepted. So, about a month ago, we headed out to meet with her and all her family. The lesson went wonderfully, and we quickly realized how amazing this family was. Turns out, the mom had found the church almost 20 yrs ago, and since then, the LDS missionaries always somehow end up in their lives. Melina told me that as long as she can remember, the LDS missionaries have been visiting their family, and that every time something bad happened in their family, the LDS missionaries ¨just so happen¨ to pass by, and the Lord brought them back into their lives.  

Later that week, we were in a ward council, and told our ward leaders about this great lesson we´d had with Melina and her family. Facundo - the first counselor - said, ´Oh yeah, I know her older sister, and have met that family. The Ceparo family¨... as soon as we heard ¨Ceparo¨-Hna Miranda and I just looked at each other. It was the same family that we had tried to find before!!  

Fast forward to this past Sunday - we were again talking with Melina, and mentioned to her that transfers were this Tuesday. She looked shocked and said ¨What? But I wanted to get baptized before either of you left!? Hna Miranda said ¨Okay, well, then you`d have to get baptized on Tuesday since transfers are Wednesday¨. Melina said ¨Let me think about it during the Sunday School class¨. During the lesson, Melina raised her hand, bore a powerful testimony about the Book of Mormon, and after the class was over, came to us and asked ¨Does Tuesday at 8 o clock work for you¨?  

And just like that folks, Melina is getting baptized tonight :) What an AMAZING miracle!!  

Dang. I gave away the secret. That last story was the miracle :)  

As if that wasn't enough, I got a phone call from the Assistants this morning. I am being transferred out of Parana, and am being called to serve in an area called San Nicolas, in the south of the mission, and am training a new missionary who will be arriving tomorrow. Oof. Hang in there for the next bit of this adventure - this is going to be a serious period of faith and dependence upon the Lord, since I am still learning the language and how to be an effective missionary. I wouldn't nominate myself to train, but the Lord went ahead and did that without asking my opinion first, ha ha :)  

I´ll send a picture of my new companion and new area next week!! I am so excited -there is no thrill in this world like knowing you are a tool in the Lord's hand, and feeling His presence in your life. To heck with skydiving - I get an adrenaline rush from preaching the Gospel, ha ha :)  

I love you! And I am so excited for this next trial of my faith! We will work miracles in San Nicolas, I know it :)  

Love, Hna Lake 

P.S. I still want to go skydiving though. 

P.P.S. Mom!! San Nicolas is close to Buenos Aires!! did you ever serve in an area close to it? 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week #29 - Going the extra mile yields miracles... and SUBWAY!

Good morning to everyone!!

Things are seriously awesome, and freezing. And hot. On that note, I learned this week that Spring time is hardcore bipolar in Argentina. On Wednesday, we were sweating our socks off in the heat - it got to a high of 98 degrees F! Then, come Friday, we were digging out our long johns and winter coats again when it froze that night. Seriously. Argentina is giving me whiplash.  

Couple fun adventures of the week: 

1) remember Joel, the miracle kid with the kite that was so excited about Christ? His birthday was this past week, so we decided to gather together all our meager missionary supplies, and make him a torta! Er, cake. We made a yummy creation, and headed to the slums to deliver it to him and his family along with a member in our ward. However, once we got there, our excitement to present our creation was slightly deflated when we were told he wasn't actually there. Phooey. However, we were talking with the mom, when I noticed that the boyfriend was sitting off to the side of the road. I headed over to talk to him and on the way over, I got halfway through asking him what his name when I suddenly found myself 6 inches shorter, and my foot was all cold. I looked down, and realized I had walked straight into a huge ditch full of...  I don't even want to know what, on the side of the road. On the plus side, get hosed down with water felt good in the heat, and I was given ample reason to scrub out my shoes for the first time on my mission, ha ha :)  

 

2) More service! We were helping the Relief Society prep for their activity this week, and I was in charge of spray painting. I quickly learned that spray paint does NOT come off, and I was left with very red, very sticky hands. I finally got it off with some rubbing alcohol and steel wool, but I think the first layer of my skin went with it :) 

3) Language blunder of the week - while we were decorating, all the students from institute started coming into the chapel. With each one that would try to shake my hand, I always said ¨Sorry, pero tengo pinta¨and show them the paint on my hands. They kept giving me weird looks, and finally, one of the students took pity on me and told me that in Argentina, the phrase ¨tengo pinta¨is basically the equivalent of saying ¨I'm smokin' hot¨, or I've got the looks¨. Bahaha, no wonder everyone was giving me weird looks! It was pretty hilarious. 

We also had a training with Elder Di Giovanni this week from the seventy. It was amazingly wonderful, and I learned TONS! One concept that I loved, was what he said about miracles. He taught us that when we fulfill all that we are asked to do - when we go the one mile - that is when we receive blessings. But when we go above and beyond what we are asked, when we go the second mile? That is where the miracles occur. So true for our lives as well!! 

After the awesome training, we all headed to the mall in Santa Fe (yep, a mall. That was weird) to eat. And guess where we went?? SUBWAY!! There are two subways in the mission, and I was so thrilled to be in the same city as one of them. I ordered a Teriyaki chicken foot-long on whole wheat bread (Man, I miss whole wheat bread) and was on cloud nine the whole entire time. Seriously, my mouth is watering just thinking about it now. The little pleasures of a missionary life, ha ha :)
 

Al in all, an amazing week! Because of emails I got from Brayden and Eden this last week, both telling me how much they think about and miss their mission, I have been thinking a lot about my time as a missionary. The other day, when we were scrambling to make a cake for Joel, I took a few minutes to run outside and scrub out my laundry in the sink. I remember standing there in the blazing 98 degree heat, scrubbing my laundry by hand, listening to all the blasting music and dogs barking, and was thinking about my mission. In that moment, the Lord helped me realize something. I know that if someone came to me in that moment, with a plane ticket in hand to fly back to my family and life in Washington, I would look at it, smile, say ¨no thanks!¨and hand them a Book of Mormon in return, ha ha :) I realized then how much I really do love my mission. There is nothing else like this.

I love you all! Have an awesome week, and go buy some Subway :)  

Love, Hna Hillbill

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week #28 - Choosing to be happy!

Hello all!!

I seriously never know how to start these emails. I feel like these ´talking to myself conversations´ that I send off every week (complete with me laughing at my own jokes) are getting increasingly more awkward. Truth be told, I´ll bet that's why RMs have a reputation of being a little awkward - talking to yourself this much will take a toll for sure, ha ha :)  

Anyway, with that soapbox on awkwardness, you know that this is going to be  good letter, ha ha :) Let's hit it off with some more fun facts about Argentina, shall we? I feel like its been a while since I had some good ones.  

1) I learned something vitally important this week. In Harry Potter, you know how Voldemort has the nickname of ´He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named¨? (I´ll have you know all that punctuation is very difficult to do on an Argentine keyboard). Well in Spanish, his nickname is actually ¨Ya-Sabes-Quien¨, which pretty much translates to ¨You-Know-Who¨. Really, that has nothing to do with anything, but I thought it was funny :) 

2) In Argentina, the President (Cristina) passed a law a little while back that nothing could be sold in Argentina that wasn't made in Argentina. It was a slightly socialistic move in efforts to boost the economy, and has caused some serious problems with the work here. Since the church cannot send us supplies due to that law, there are no triple combinations in the whole mission (Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants together - other revealed scripture), no garments, no Restoration pamphlets, and we just used our last sacrament cups this Sunday. It makes for some serious adventures - at one point this year, the mission totally ran out of Book of Mormons, ha ha! From what I heard, it was a little difficult to baptize without being able to give away B of Ms, but the work kept moving forward anyway! :) 

3) Summer is starting to hit, and along with nasty heat, all the Jasmin flowers have started to bloom! Man, they smell so wonderful, and I have seriously contemplated pulling some tricks back from Eden and my childhood days. When we lived in Arizona, we used to pick rose petals, put them in empty milk jugs, add water, and try to sell our ´perfume 'to all the old ladies in our street, ha ha :) I might try the same trick with the Jasmine, who knows? 

4) Jill! A guy in my ward here recently returned from the London South mission, who says he knew you - Elder Maura Mansilla? no idea if you remember him or not, but he said he recognized your name, and served in your mission :)  

Also, before I forget - will someone please update me on whatever Obama did this time? It seems like every person we talk to on the street makes it sound like American is heading into WWIII - something about Obama wanting to declare war on Syria? Not sure, but everyone here seems to think that my country is falling apart. Then again, that could just be the Spanish dramatic flare :)  

In other news, I totally got bit by a stinkin´ dog this week! Man, I strongly dislike these dogs. It wasn't  bad enough to do damage through my coat and skirt, but I´ve had a serious bruise on my left thigh for the last week, and a new fear of anything 4 legged. Or 3 legged.  


My favorite 3 legged dog that lives in our neighborhood. We pass this good ol guy everyday, and I have affectionately nicknamed him ¨ Señor  Silver¨ after long john silver. He's great!
 
Exequiel's baptism! It was so awesome to have 5 of the less-active aunts attend the church meetings and Exequiel's baptism this past week :) Such a wonderful miracle! Annnnd, as always here, I got stuck in the back, haha :)

Miracles of the week! I told you to stay tuned, didn't I? Sure enough, there is more :) 

1) We were teaching piano lessons to Priscila and her sister Elen, and Hna Miranda was talking wtih the Mom, Luciana. Luciana said something along the lines of ´wow, its been an awfully long time since I've been in this chapel´. Hna M did some investigating, and we learned that Luciana is a lost member! (sounds like something from Peter Pan, huh?) She was baptized when she was 11, but we have no idea where her records are. It was awesome, and we know that the Lord wanted us to find another one of his daughters :) 

2) We taught Evelyn yesterday - remember her? The heavily pierced girl who was walking a pig? She is a little eccentric, but amazing! The lesson went wonderfully - she agreed with everything we said, and is seriously, hardcore prepared (can you be hardcore prepared? No se'). We are so excited to teach her more, and are thrilled with all the miracles here!  

3) We also dropped by Joel's family - the little boy with the kite who we found in the street, who was so excited that Christ was living? We did some wandering in some pretty sketchy parts of town (hurrah for prayers and guardian angels) and finally found the family. Joel's mom is only 26, and has 6 children, all of who constantly wander the streets, and seriously need some love. We knew it was Joel's birthday that day, so we brought him a little bag of suckers that we purchased at the nearby grocery store the day before. He was THRILLED! It was really sweet. He told us that they hadn't celebrated at all for his birthday, and was so happy to have some sweets to celebrate with :) We taught him and all his siblings about prayer, and Christ, and they all wanted pictures of Christ by the time we left. Joel and his sisters then walked us back to the main road, when Joel mentioned that his grandma lived close by. We did some investigating (you seriously do so much of that as a missionary) and learned that his grandma is Mirta - a lady who we have already been teaching for about 2 weeks now.  We didn't even knowing that they were related! We were completely blown away by that, and have a lesson with a member in the grandma's house this next week with Joel and his siblings. So excited :)  

Basically, life is awesome. The language is coming slowly and surely, and my English is leaving, slowly and surely as well (obviously, from my letters :) But I love being a missionary. I love choosing to be happy, I love serving everyday, and I love loving other people (again, with the English). 

I have been thinking a lot about a quote that my Mom always says, from Sister Hinckley - ¨Be kind to everyone; for everyone is fighting a hard battle¨.  How true that is! Sometimes, we have to remember that life is hard, and everyone is truly doing the best they can. We have no right to be impatient or judge another for their situations - when we choose to be kind, you will be able to look past flaws, and love like you have never loved before. That is what it means to have Charity :) 

Speaking of which, I love you all! Thanks for supporting me, and supporting my family while I am gone. You can probably guess which one means more to me - it is the same wtih our Heavenly Father. May we all choose to support HIS children, every day :)  

My awesome MTC companion finally made it to Argentina, and I was SO thrilled to see her at the training :) She was so excited and happy, that she pretty much burst into tears as soon as I saw her, haha :) It was wonderful! (Note the nametag - Hermana Lago)
 
Con Cariño,  

Hna Lake


Monday, September 2, 2013

Week #27 - A Week of Miracles

Hey folks!

Sorry for the cruddy letter last week. Luckily, I've got an awesome list of things to try and make up for it :) Updates on things that I didn't include last week:
We had our talent show! It was a fun night, with many investigators attending and ward support as well. I played some piano music from home - O Holy Night, and Guard Him Joseph. Sure, both are Christmas music, but I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate Eden's special wedding weekend than playing some music from my family. These songs are so connected to my family, I can't help but grin like a fool when I play them :) It went great! However, my personal favorite acts from the talent show included:
1) Belly dancing 10 year olds. They were seriously, scarily good. I turned around to see the Elders eyes absolutely HUGE, and one of them whispered to me ¨do you think this would ever happen in Utah?¨I just laughed. Man, those girls could move their hips like crazy. It was hilarious.
2) A karate expedition put on by our ward mission leader, complete with Ninja moves, num chucks, and ¨The Final Countdown¨song. Again, it was awesome!
3) A personal visit by ¨the mother of Shakira¨- aka, the 70 yr old opera singer in our ward. She got decked out in leopard print and I wig, and danced the night away.
It was great. Also, this week has been such a week of miracles! I think that since my Heavenly Father knew I was missing the wedding of my sister and the birthday of my Dad this week, he blessed us with an enormous amount of miracles.

1) We were walking through the streets, heading to our house when we passed a heavily pierced woman who was walking her 2 dogs, and pet pig. Yep, pet pig. Never seen that one before. The nice thing is about crazy things like that, they make for really easy conversation starters, haha :) We started chatting with her, left her with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet, and parted ways. That night, we got back from to our apt and saw a ton of missed calls from an unrecognized number. We called it back, and learned that Evelyn (the pig lady) had read the pamphlet, and loved it so much that she passed it along to her sister. They both loved everything they learned, and called us, asking when we could come over to tell then more. We have an appointment with them tonight, so stay tuned for next week :)

2) Again, walking through Pronuncimiento (area in Paraná), when we passed a little boy flying a homemade kite. He called out, and asked if we had any spare coins. We said no, and when he asked why, we joked that it was because we were poor :) We started talking, and suddenly, he piped up and asked ¨are you representatives of Jesus Christ??¨ We said yes, and that we had a very special message - that Jesus Christ lived, and was no longer dead. Joel's (the 9 yr old kids) eyes got HUGE and he practically shouted, ¨Jesus Christ LIVES?! And is not longer DEAD?!¨ It seriously was the best news this precious boy had ever heard. As we were talking, a group of teenage girls walked out of a nearby house, and he called out ¨Hey! Come here! Did you know that Jesus Christ LIVES and is not longer DEAD?! These are messengers of God, and they are coming to visit me in my house. But, pobrecitas, they are poor and don't have any money; it was pretty precious and hilarious :) We left him with all the pamphlets we had, since he was so excited and wanted to share the news with everyone. He also was very concerned about us ¨pobrecitas ¨and promised to try and find us some clothes, shoes and money. He is so precious :) Again, we have an appointment with him this week, so stay tuned!

3) Ezequeil got baptized this Sunday :) He is the 9 yr old grandson of Hna Romero, a less active. Because of a very sad physically abusive situation in their family, there are currently 12 people living in the Romero 2 room household, and he is one of them. He is beautiful and precious, and has suffered so much from this situation in his family. However, he got baptized yesterday, and 4 of the 9 less active children of Hna Romero came to Sacrament meeting, and to his baptism. I believe it was the first time in nearly a decade that any of them had set foot in the chapel.

4) We had an amazing lesson with Melina and her blind sister, Marian. Melina is dating a member, and has read up to 1 Ne 17 before she decided she wanted to meet with us. Marian is also reading the Book of Mormon, but in Braille. During the lesson, Marian asked us ¨What would I have to do to be part of your church?¨, and later that night, Melina asked us ¨When I was reading the Book of Mormon this week, I found that I was happier and had more energy for life. Is that my answer that the Book of Mormon is true?¨ We happily told her yes, and joked that she needed to get baptized before either one of us left. Such a special family!

5) Gregorio came to church on Sunday! Gregorio was a contact of Hna Miranda about 3 months ago. She was walking in the street when a drunk man called out ¨Hey! You promised you were going to come and visit me and never came!¨ We have passed by a few times since, but have never really been able to teach him, because he is always completely drunk. This last time, we had a very strong conversation with him and told him ¨Gregorio. You aren't happy. You have lost your family, lost your job, and are losing your life. You need to change how you are¨. Gregorio said,  ¨Change how I am? and how am I?¨ Us - ¨Gregorio. You´re drunk.¨ We actually dropped him after that, but when we passed by later, he had cut his hair, shaved his beard, and changed his clothes for the first time in who knows how long. And this Sunday, he came to church :) He smelled awful and kept talking during the meetings, but he CAME. I never thought I could love an alcoholic 70 year old man this much :) it was amazing. 
All in all, an amazing week. I have such a testimony of the necessity of this work. Sometimes, Heavenly Father doesn't give us blessings, He gives us the tools, and has us work and build our own blessings. There is nothing in life that cannot be overcome with Christ, hard work, and a good attitude :)
I love you all!! Go out and work, and build some blessings.

Love, Hna Lake