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
Love, Hna Lake