This past week was way awesome!! My companion and I just got out and worked super hard and we saw some pretty amazing miracles but along with that there were also a few setbacks along the way. So as you all probably know, our investigator, Julio, was scheduled for baptism this Saturday. Well after a successful week this past week (I will talk about later), my Companion, Elder Ordoñez and I feel like he isn’t quite ready despite the success we had in our visits this past week so after a lot of prayer we have both come to the conclusion that we will try to prepare him for the following Saturday! The good news is that Julio is making some GREAT progress! Last Monday we had a family night in the home of our Bishop and Julio was already sharing his testimony of the things he knows to be true. People thought it was crazy that he has already began to grow a testimony. As well, we had a really cool family history activity with our Stake here in Cusco that we took Julio to as well. Although we haven’t actually gotten to talking about Temples and family history, my Companion and I both felt like it would be a very positive thing for him. So after taking him, it turned out that it really did help and edify him. During the activity the Spirit really touched him and he really got into family history as we helped and showed him how it works.
Anyway so besides that we have really been working hard on trying to get the family I have been telling you about ready to put dates with as well. However, it has proven to be a lot more difficult than we had hoped. The Father named Ismael has been super busy at work and hasn’t really been reading the Book of Mormon and to top that off his wife, Alieana, has been working double shifts all week due to the fact that she is a nurse and one of her fellow coworkers quit. Other than that, they are awesome and seriously some of the friendliest people. Each time we are near their home, we always stop by and ask how they are doing (even when we don’t have an appointment) and they always happily let us in. If you all will just keep them and our other investigators in your prayers my Companion and I would be very grateful.
Now to just end with a quick story. We have tons of people to teach right now. Some who are progressing and others who aren’t as much. So while being here in Cusco with my special responsibility to the mission, I have really learned to make the best of the time that I am given by managing my time well. Each and every spare minute we have, we are trying our hardest to make the best of it. One night this past week we seriously had 4 appointments set up and ALL of them fell through, which is really frustrating when you work super hard to make time to actually have all the visits you’d planned on having. As a missionary, when that happens you try to make the best of the time you would have spent teaching by finding more people to teach. Being here in Cusco, I’ve really learned how much more difficult it is to contact because of 2 reasons : 1. The people here have a lot more money which makes them less receptive and less humble to receive us. 2. People here are literally scared of my Companion and I because it’s not every day that a big white guy and a big black guy (my Comp’s Dads family comes from Africa) knock on your door. We literally have racist comments made to our faces because people are either racist against me or my Companion. So contacting here is honestly really hard. When the visits fell through we immediately started knocking doors. Knowing that normally people just slam the door in our face or say “We are Catholics, we believe in Mary, Jesus, and the Virgins, and not in your Joseph Smith, go away and never come back!” I honestly wasn’t thinking we were going to have much success. After knocking on the first door we got a solid contact, then the second door and the same thing. After knocking the whole street we had gotten probably a good solid 9 contacts. Not only that but here in Cusco a lot of people here love to drink and there are always drunks. So along the way we talked to another 6 drunk guys that all approached us and asked us for help. We asked all of them the same question “why are you drinking” and they all responded with an answer about how so and so had died or something along the lines about them being sad. We expressed our Heavenly Father’s love for each of them and they all cried and asked us to come back when they were sober. I guess what I am trying to say is that Lord will always bless us, even when we don’t necessarily expect it.
For P-Day today, we went to the Maras Salt Mines that is really close to Cusco. These mines were used by the Incas for gathering salt. To this day, descendants of the Incas own and control the mines!
As a missionary I have really learned how the Lord blesses us, even when we aren’t really expecting him to. I have witnessed his hand in my life each and every day as a missionary and have really learned the importance of always trying to keep the faith that we have with us in our moments of doubt. Doubt bears no fruit whereas faith brings forth the fruit of miracles. I testify that the Lord works through miracles to bring forth his Gospel in ways that we can’t always see. I love you all and wish you all a great week!
|The Maras Salt Mines|