This has been a week of miracles and growth (and cold), and it has been AWESOME!! We did a lot of look-ups and we also had a lot of lessons! We met with a less active and he brought us some cake! What a sweetheart! Haha I tried to eat it the next day after lunch and it was literally harder than a rock. I think I'm gonna give it to the elders...
We went to dinner at a members house with Neil and had a really awesome lesson about prayer! Wait back up a member fed us!!!!! And he is a really good cook and just saying Peruvian food is my favorite so it was basically the best night ever, and the lesson was soo good. Members always make it better. The guy who cooked us the dinner bore his testimony about how he prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. SO POWERFUL. For real, when in doubt, bear your testimony.
Okay I know this doesn't matter but remember when I first got here and couldn't ever sleep at night? Let me give you a play-by-play of what goes down that prevents that..
10:00: teenagers yelling and fighting over the weed they're smoking..thought that kinda stuff was supposed to make you happy? Guess not.
10:17: random guy starts up his truck which, it's a really nice truck but he took the muffler off so we both usually shoot out of bed because it's so loud.
11:03: the crazy lady starts yelling at her husband, usually lasts 10 minutes. We still don't know exactly what he did/does wrong.
11:46: drunk Asian man comes rockin down the alley singing at the top of his lungs. To his credit he's actually got some pipes.
3:08:the birds that live in our AC unit start freaking out. Maybe their chicks got away.
5:10: Sister Joseph starts talking in her sleep or snoring. To her credit she is usually teaching people about family history and pedigree charts and stuff while she sleep talks. It's impressive.
Add to all that the fact that we live on the busiest boulevard in Queens (there should be a rule that you can't honk after 10pm), about a mile from Laguardia Airport, and next to the subway and it is the perfect recipe for sleep depravation.
I have been thinking a lot about "seeking the Lord early" lately. While some think it means simply praying or reading your scriptures early in the morning I feel like it could have several other possible definitions. Of course, we can seek the Lord early in life, and with that comes a promise of having a better relationship with and more commitment to Him throughout our earthly experience, but one thing I have thought about is the problems we all face in life. Are we seeking Him during or after the problem, or do we seek Him when all is well and prepare a relationship so that when times DO get tough, we have a foundation on which we can use our trials to strengthen us? I think wherever we are in life, we could all seek the Lord a little bit more, and earlier, thus finding the ability to use our trials to strengthen us instead of slow our progression. We speak of "enlarging the soul" but how can we think that said enlargement would come without stretching? Seeking the Lord is a lot of work, it's a pursuit, but it will bring us a lot more happiness than if we sit back on cruise control and glide through a life without meaning.
Oh so Sunday we fasted that people would come to church because we haven't had investigators at church in ages. We had 3 at church and 10 more than our average attendance...fasting works! That night we went to these girl's house to share a message and there was a member there but I had no clue who she was and we're eating dinner and she was across the table from me. So she looks at me and says:"I love the church, but I drink 3 cups of coffee a day." She was looking at me like I was gonna give her some sort of lecture. She was like "I can't stop" so I just looked her in the eye and said, "with the Lord's help, you CAN stop." She kept arguing that she couldn't, but I just kept telling her that with God anything is possible. She finally sat back and was like, you passed the test! I don't drink coffee! ...you're a good missionary. I'm just sitting there like an idiot in shock because she totally had me! Apparently whenever she talks to the missionaries she tries to give them problems like that and they usually pull out a scripture or come back the next week with some hard core homework for her to do. I just think it's so important to help people love God. Once we love God, our evil desires go out the window because we will do anything to express that love, even if it's out of our comfort zone or habit. In my opinion, the purest obedience comes from loving God.
We did this thing where we set up a table with pamphlets and DVDs and Book of Mormons and bibles and offer them to people for free. It is so funny just being on the street yelling at people to come get free stuff. Elder Martinez is the best at it, someone will be walking by and he'll be like: "sir you look like you could use some free stuff, am I right?" People ignore us a lot, can't say I wouldn't do the same haha, but we have some cool people stop! They are always from all over the world and it is cool to talk to them and hear their stories. I love this gospel so much and hope and pray that those who need it most will be led to us (or us to them) this holiday season especially. It is the perfect time to share the gift of Jesus Christ because people really are looking for something worthwhile amidst the momentary fulfillment of material gifts. I am so grateful to have Jesus Christ in my life and for the miracle of His atonement. This is the true church and my testimony of that is what gets me so excited to share it with others! I love you all & hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season!
1. Sister Lugo! She's so sweet.
2, 3, and 4: FHE activity making gingerbread houses! It was so fun! (: I love all these people!
5. My favorite RM Laura!