So first off I must start this email in caps... TODAY ARE CAMBIOS AND AFTER BEING IN THE HEART OF CUSCO I AM HEADED TO THE INFERNO JUNGLE OF PUERTO MALDONADO!!!!! So crazy what. My new companion will be Hermana Salas! I dont know her but I think she just finished her training, so I will be the Senior Companion! I cant decide if I feel more terrified or excited. I JUST HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT. AHHHHHH!!! I am sad to leave Cusco and my comp now Hermana Hoskins because we have some INCREDIBLE people on the horizon who are so prepared. But if nothing else, my last week here in Cusco has been the most rewarding week I have had thus far in the mission!
So we have this new investigator Richard. He was a reference from a member in the ward. Well, the first time we met with him last week we already knew he was golden! He was raised in the Catholic church like most people here, but was telling us how he never really believed in the church and didnt like all of the traditions with the saints and all that. He told us he was absolutely ready to change his life and would do what it takes to grow closer to the Savior. MIRACLES PEOPLE. Then the second time we met with him, we taught The Restoration. Before the lesson he had read the entire pamphlet and basically taught us! Then this week we had our third lesson with him - this one being the biggest miracle of all. So before we even started teaching him about The Book of Mormon he asked us if he could share a little bit more about what he had learned about The Restoration - uhhhh of course!!! So before we know it, he then proceeds to recite from memore the first vision... my companion was sitting there crying and I was just so in shock I couldnt take my eyes off of him. This man is so prepared - HE IS INCREDIBLE!!! Then, he came to church yesterday and was commenting in the classes and even said the closing prayer in Elders Quorom. WHAT. I cannot explain it, but this man is a miracle. He told us he already knows that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the true church has been restored to the earth - he even asked us how long he has to wait to be baptized. Wow, this church is so true. I have never known it more in my life than I do now. This mans heart is changing, and we havent even done anything! It has all been the Spirit working through us. So. Incredible.
Then another miracle! We received another reference from a less active lady in the ward. The references name is Monica and had been asking to receive the missionaries for a while - it turns out her husband is a member of the church but works outside of Cusco in Quillabamba a lot so none of the members here really even know who he is. So anyways, we went and had our first lesson with her this week. SHE IS THE CUTEST LADY EVER and has two adorable little boys, one is two and the other is 7 months. She told us that she always asked her husband about the church, but he would never share much with her because he wanted to respect how she had grown up in the Catholic church. She is another person who has been put in our path who is so prepared to accept the Gospel. We ended up teaching her most of the Restoration because she knows a lot about the church already, and at the end she said she was totally ready to do what it takes to be baptized and join her husband in the church. She even asked us if she could be baptized into the church like normal since she was already baptized Catholic. WHAT. So much joy. I cannot explain it, but we are finally seeing the fruits of our labors here in Tullumayo. It is so incredible, and I can in no way deny that the Holy Ghost is who teaches these people and touches their hearts. I feel like I havent even done anything! I have simply been the vessel through which this people can receive the Gospel.
So needless to say, it was an incredible week - the most rewarding I have had yet! I know that as these people continue to prepare themselves the Lord will help them arrive at baptism and how great will be their joy! LOVE THIS WORK SO MUCH!
So in funny news this week...
Yesterday after church my comp and I were standing in the hall waiting for the sacrament meeting of the other ward to end so we could talk to the Elders. Well, as we are waiting this little girl walks past us and proceeds to say with the most terrified look on her face as she points to me, "GRINGA! ES UNA GRINGA!" HAHAHAHHA gringa or gringo is a term they use here for white people, and many times is used slightly offensive. It was so funny and yet so rude. Hahahaha. I wish you all could have seen her face - it was as if she had just seen the biggest most terrifying spider of her life. Ahhhh, gotta love Cusco!
I know that our Savior lives! This is His work that I have the opportunity to take part in, and He moves it along in His time! What I needed to learn from my area here in Cusco is patience. The Lord will do things when it pleases Him and when it is right. I felt like I was having no success here until just this week, but I was also being very impatient. I didnt understand why, if I was working so hard, why the success wasnt coming. I am so grateful for what I have learned here and the amazing people I have met. I am so grateful for each of them and know that all of the experiences I have had here are ones I will never forget.
I hope you all have an incredible week! Read the Articles of Faith when you have time - I studied them this week and realized just how incredible and inspired from God they really are.
UNTIL NEXT WEEK IN THE JUNGLE!
Hermana Miceli :)