I seriously truly can't believe that October's almost over. September and October blew by as fast and as furious as a flying corn on a stick (aka helote), the unfortunate difference being a sad lack of mayonnaise and lime, which isn't quite so common here in my lil slice of paradise CLAVERIA 2. I'm over it, though - tamale sandwiches and tacos al pastor are way better in the DF. The "Series of Unfortunate Events" vibe has pretty much lifted and I like it here even more. I like it a LOOOTTT. Lots of hidden gems. A few dark horses. Tons of sweet spirits (in the least Sons-of-Provo-y way possible).
Fun facts of the LeSwerickson's week in general:
*for the third time in my mission a little kid took and drank my water bottle during sacrament meeting
*we committed three different Marias to church this week. classic.
*we needed to drop Alberto as an investigator - the eccentric one with a baptismal date - so we had to have that talk with him, but somehow the hardest thing to break to him was the fact that we weren't going to be able to eat breakfast with him Monday morning. That got him sniffling.
*a lady who had been drinking a lot kept inviting us to this bar that's literally 10 steps away from our front door and was really really sad after we said no. but my companion got her name and address anyway. jeje.
*to celebrate Hermana Erickson's 9 month mark we had a 10 minute picnic on the roof of our building with a real pretty view of...the bar. jeje.
*the "sisterhood of the ring" just keeps getting more intense. This week, we involved peanut butter, soy sauce, an engagement ring box, and more sweet props.
*we're now teaching English class, Wednesdays at 7 in Calzada Camerones on the corner with Yuca. Be there.
*Mexico is collectively letting out a huge sigh of relief for the hurricane that never was. Thank goodness!
Enimia was confirmed a member of the church, Salvador is still pending. He's going to be living most of the time with his daughter now, so i guess every other week he can come with us.
A miracle found us this week. A less-active guy who just moved here found us in the street and said he wanted us to come talk to his 20 year-old daughter Tania, who's not a member. They only had time for one lesson this week, on Saturday, but we focused on the Book of Mormon. She said she wouldn't be able to come to church because of some tests she had, but her dad said he would. Well, we kept praying for her, but sacrament came around and we didn't see the dad. After sacrament we were running around trying to get everyone else all situated and we ran into Roberto and Tania! They had accidentally gone to the other ward which also starts at 8 and is in a different chapel in the same building we're in. They came with us to the class of gospel principles - which was PACKED ps! with investigators, less actives we've been working with, recent converts...so exciting - and afterward her dad told our mission leader that he thinks that Tania's time has finally come to be baptized. He told us that after we left their house on Saturday,he felt something different in their home. He asked her if she felt it and she said "yes," like a calm
and happy feeling but powerful at the same time. Even though she had tons of homework, he said she read the Book of Mormon most of the night, "preparing for church" she said. Also we thought she'd been to church only once before, but the dad says he's actually been about 10 times! She was talking to her dad a little about being baptized already. If all goes as planned, this week she'll be baptized. Another significant investigator is Mario, a guy who was super interested in Christ's visit to the Americas and really really liked church. He stayed way longer than he originally said he was going to. Actually, the same thing happened with Maria Leonor, another investigator who is the cousin of Salvador and has a baptismal date for the 8th. She came even though she felt way sick and told us she would leave after the first hour but before we knew it she was commenting and taking notes and just loving life for a whole hour more. She's a cute little grandma. This might be my cambio of baptizing old people I'm thinkin.
We found an active member named Mari Elena who goes to a different ward even though she's in our boundaries, and because of that, the missionaries haven't' visited her in about 5 years. We had a regular lesson, she told us about her awesome conversion and later re-activation and she drove us to the church for our English class. Saying bye, she suddenly started crying and saying that we had no idea what the visit meant to her. The same thing happened with this other member we found in the street named Liliana, and we're helping her get up the courage to share the gospel wiht her new boyfriend. The funny thing is, we aren't finding these forgotten members by the church lists or things like that, just in the street or by some other random way that just has to us being in the right place at the right time. Lots of that happened this week.
We had some cool experiences saying specific prayers this week. We talked a ton about the Book of Mormon and the Sacrament this week. I was thinking about how we can let the ordinance of the sacrament, followed by baptism, seriously change our natures. I'm sure I've said it before, but God has given us the perfect system of progression within His church. Every week, we are preparing ourselves for baptism - renewal of our baptism, that is. That means week by week we strengthen our faith with the word of God, the Sunday classes, etc., we truly repent, but also we take our WEAKNESSES to the Lord on Sunday, an offering to Him, being able to honestly say that we did what we could with them. During the Sacrament, He makes up the difference. He promises us the strength needed to make sure the changes we tried so hard to make that week will be more like "cement" than "paint." Doing good works in the week but not going to church to complete that ordinance is like making the wood frame of a staircase leading to the Celestial Kingdom but not filling it in with that solid cement. I guess what I'm trying to say is: without the sacrament it's harder to keep building upward. We NEED the Sacrament to make lasting changes in our nature. It's not just a pretty, ceremonial thing we do. It's an ordinance. It's what fills in the framework we built throughout the week. The atonement doesn't just erase sins, it helps us slowly overcome our weakness and become better, as obvious as that sounds. Although all too often we become comfortable in our weaknesses and accept them as "just who I am." Weaknesses are meant to be overcome, because in the process of changing our deepest habits we gain godly qualities - especially humility. When I am weak, I am strong - like the Bible says. We become strong through our weaknesses as we use the sacrament fully as the wonderful tool it's meant to be. As the way to be cleansed of specific sins but also to slowly change facets of our character, so-called unbreakable habits and such. I know these are things you all know, haha. My mission is just a huge process of realizing what all the little things I've heard all my life actually mean. I love it. I love you guys. Every one.
Beeeeeeg Keeeeeees Leeeeeetle Keeeeeees
|Their fashionably mixed-patterned room|
|Her little desk|