Monday, July 13, 2015

Coconuts and The Spirit

Wow this week was so crazy I literally dont know where to start. Well not really that crazy, I just cant remember anything from the HEAT STROKE I am receiving here in the jungle everyday... Okay there is my rant. I love it yall dont fret.

So Tuesday this week we did something different and had training with our mission president out in the field! So we went to this really pretty jungle resortish place by the river and were there all day! OUR PRES IS THE BEST PEOPLE. We talked about tons of stuff and our course the whole "get married and your joy will be full" talk. We had literally the best lunch I have had thus far in my mission! Some grilled chicken with salad and a banana ball thing that is a specialty here in Puerto! IT WAS SO GOOD. I really loved everything our president said, but what struck me most was when his wife, Hermana Harbertson talked to us. She had us all hold our bags out in front of us as she gave her talk and talked about holding onto our sins longer than we need to. She stated very boldly "If you think that you can repent later for the sins your commit now you do not understand nor appreciate the atoning sacrifice of our savior Jesus Christ." It was the best! It is so true - why hold on to our sins when we have the way in front of us in each moment to become better and receive forgiveness from a loving Heavenly Father. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is a gift and an opportunity that when we accept it, it allows us to become free from our mortal mistakes and become more like our perfect Savior. So grateful for the atonement and I know without a shadow of a down that it is real and available for each and every one of us.

Then Friday was THE BEST DAY EVER. So during our training with president we talked a ton about finding new people through contacting and through references. Well, my comp and I were determined to put what president had taught us to the test and find new people. We found one new lady on Friday through a member in the ward, Hna. Raquel. The ladys name is Dora and it turns out she had taken the missionary lessons a while back and was actively attending church but stopped because her husband told her he didnt want her listening to gospel anymore. Well, we taught her again and she is GREAT. Her husband wouldnt come out and talk to us, but I have all the faith that with time his heart will soften! Pray for her and for their family - they are a family that truly needs the Gospel now in their lives and she is so ready to listen!

Then we also found another new family! The family lives in Triunfo and at night there are no lights  - it is literally pitch black! So we were walking Thursday night with my little flashlight to go visit a member and these two savage dogs decided they wanted to eat us. So as we are trying and failing to evade them, literally out of the darkness comes this man who literally saved us! We contacted him and then came back on Friday to visit him and his wife and it was THE BEST. He was asking us tons of questions about the Sabbath Day and even prayed at the end! It was a failure on our part because we didnt explain that we pray out loud so he did it out loud, but none the less the spirit was so strong!

Then to continue the miracles that night - we usually eat dinner at 8 and our pension is a restaurant so when there arent people they close early. Well we had a Family Home Evening and arrived at our pension at 9:15 to find it deserted. So with 15 minutes to get home we went around to this little pizza place. Sitting there was a man who recognized us and told the girl to give us his two pizzas because we had to get home in 15 minutes and that he would pay for us. WHAT. Turns out the man is a less active who the sisters havent visited in a long time but said he would love to have us visit him now. Tender mercies people, tender mercies.

But if you can believe it, the biggest spiritual high of the week comes from Saturday afternoon. So there is a young less active girl Iscra who the missionaries have always visited. Her whole family are less active members as well but usually they dont like to listen to us. Well, we were able to get her mom and her aunt to listen to us on Saturday! So we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and talked a lot about Faith and Repentance and it was AWESOME but Iscra hadnt really been paying attention the entire time. Well at the end I asked her if she could say the closing prayer and she reluctantly agreed. She started and gave thanks for a few things and then paused and started to weep. She continued and gave one of the most powerful, simple, faithful prayers I have ever heard asking for blessins for her family and for her mom. THE SPIRIT TOUCHES PEOPLES HEARTS PEOPLE. It was incredible to see that while she hadnt really been listening to us, in her heart she had been listening to and feeling the spirit during the lesson. It was a moment I will never forget. The Spirit testifies and when he does people cannot deny his power and influence.

Then on Sunday tons of people came to church!!! Hermana Leelo a less active lady who always said she couldnt leave her store in the mornings and had to work worked it out to have her friend watch her store so she could come to church! And Familia Gimenez have now come to church for 2 weeks in a row and have stayed all 3 hourse! AND Hermana Daniela finally came after promising for 3 weeks that she would come, and her "husband" who isnt a member and never really wants to listen to us came! We didnt have any investigators show up, but it didnt matter! I was so happy to see these people sacrificing for the Lord and acting on their faith! I also got to give a talk in sacrament and teach Gospel Principles! Here in our Rama they rely a lot on the missionaries to do almost everything on Sundays, but we are trying to help the members understand their resposibilities to help the ward function. Things are looking up!

Sorry this is a Machu Picchu email - it was just such a good week! The jungle is still good! I have yet to see a monkey, but I have seen plenty of bugs. I even stole a coconut off of a tree on the side of the road this week courtesy of the encouragement of my companion. Haha, there are coconut trees everywhere here so I dont think anyone will notice.

I love you all! God loves you. The Gospel is true. There is only one true church on the face of the earth and it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Of that I boldly testify. I know our Savior lives and waits for us in each moment to come to him. Also, always pay your tithing. Like the missionary pamphlet says "it is a manifestation of our faith for The Lord AND HIS WORK." By being a faithful tithe payer you are contributing to the work of Salvation and building the Lords Kingdom!

Love you all always,
Hermana Miceli

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