I'm letting you know that this email is going to be a doozy ya - I'm fighting with a terrible keyboard, and a super stubborn "A" key sooo...this`ll be fun :)
It's been a great week! Well, they are always great weeks, and this one was no exception :) Perhaps to explain why, I need to give a bit of background story first.
Remember about 3 weeks ago when all our investigators got baptized at the same time? It was a wonderful thing, but meant that we were going to be left with no investigators, which is a terrible feeling. As missionaries, we are called to teach, and you will always be at your happiest and most effective state when you are fulfilling that calling, and teaching those that need to hear the message we share. So, in anticipation for this moment, Hna Perez and I talked with Obispo Antuña, and started planning 3 weeks ago what we were going to do when we arrived at this moment. We prayed and worked together, and decided to go to the members list. In each ward in the church, there is a list of all the members who live in that area, many of whom have not come to church in years. We decided that we needed to find those families who were prepared to come back to church, and got to work passing by the homes of every family and person who didn't know on the list - it totals about 200 people! However, with the now 4 Hermanas in Alberdi we are getting some good progress, and have seen incredible miracles!!
1) Daniel and Reina Iglesia - we were actually searching for another family, and stopped Daniel to ask him if he recognized their names. Many times the home don't actually have addresses, so it's all a matter of mouth to track them down. He helped us with the family, and when we presented ourselves, said `oh, my wife is a Mormon.` We were a little surprised since we didn't have any members listed in that house, and he told us to wait a moment to go tell his wife we were there. A moment later, he came out, waved us in, and we came into the humble home to meet Reina, with a huge grin on her face. She sat us down, and told us that both she and her husband were members, and had been baptized in another area about 3 years ago, but went inactive when they moved to Alberdi. She told us that she had been aching to go back to church, but was too embarrassed to ask anyone. Many times she had seen the missionaries from far off, and debated going to ask them if they could come and help her come back to church, but was too embarrassed. She even excitedly showed us her Book of Mormon and baptism picture, posted on her wall and on her night stand table. It was so precious. She is so excited, and already making plans to bless her new little baby girl in the church this month :) We called the bishop, tracked down their records, and have a FHE this night!
2) Flia Maidana - It is a family of 6 - the single mom with 4 daughters and 1 little boy. We were actually a little hesitant to pass by at first, since all the members told us they didn't want anything to do with the church. But, we went all the same, and they received us wonderfully! the mom and youngest daughter are not members, and are excited to learn more :)
3) Gladys and Alan - once again, we contacted them trying to track down another family. Gladys is the single mom of Alan (18 years old) both of whom are suffering because the Dad recently abandoned their family. So much grief and suffering. We left the with the Book of Mormon, a powerful book that contains the power to ease the pain of anyone's burden. Gladys began reading, and is excited to learn more :)
4) Jorgelina and Nestor .- she is a less active, he is not a member. His brother recently passed away, and they are always facing much grief. However, we taught a little about the Plan of Salvation, the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us to understand why we are here on the earth, and how we can achieve an eternal family. Again, excited to learn more AND they gave us free alfajores - double bonus :)
Basically, it's been an incredible week. The Lord has really helped us find many new investigators, and now we are in the process of helping the progress - reading in the BOM, praying, accepting a baptismal date, and coming to church. I love helping with that :) I LOVE seeing the way in which this gospel changes lives, for truly it does. Yesterday, I was reading in one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon - in the book of Enos. A simple man, who isn't one to truly elaborate or complicate words, but who is a huge example to us about the power of prayer in the process of repentance. I would love to share a bit of the story with you:
Enos 1: 3 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.
4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
I love the example of Enos in this moment. When we are TRULY repent, when we are TRULY trying to use the atonement of our Savior, it will never be enough for us to repent and move on. We will feel the desire, the automatic and Christ-like desire, to share this process with others. When we are converted, we will never be satisfied with our own salvation - it is a natural and blessed result that as we draw closer to our savior, we will feel the need to act as he acted, and help one another :)
I love this work! I love you all, and am so grateful for your prayers on my behalf! i feel their power, and I feel your love. And I love you right back!! :)
Love (told you so), Hna Lake