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?