|Matt and Laura and I :)|
Monday, August 26, 2013
Dreamers. Mission Inception
Hola mis amores! Mi familia! Mi VIDA! ay, ay, ay, Yo les quiero MUCHISIMO. Ustedes son escritos en mi corazon.
I love being a missionary. Way too much. I don't think I ever want to stop being a missionary. I was contemplating writing this email in Spanish, and then I realized that wouldn't be very nice. And I am working on having more charity....;) haha Okay that was a lame joke. I think I am getting less funny as the time goes on. But I love the mission. You hit your very highest of highs and you also hit your very lowest of lows. I literally feel like I have been thrown into the sea of refinement and I "love" having my weaknesses come out everyday. Remember that 40 day fast? Guess what! It is working! Things are becoming easier....slowly, but surely. But I know as we come to conform our will to the Lord's life is SO much better. Sometimes being in the sea of refinement is like a dream--either a nightmare or a happily ever after. Most the time it isn't so pretty. But all of life is a refining process...and we have two options. 1. enjoy it. 2. survive it. There is a difference. I have been trying to enjoy. Because today is the last day that it will ever be today again. So why not? Work hard, smile, set goals and then just do your absolute best. Be the best YOU...not the best somebody else. (soapbox, I know.) But guess what? I LOVE THE PEOPLE here so much. SO MUCH. Like I said, I am living the dream life...and these people are dreamers....quite literally.
Finding Vanessa and Juana, the GOLDEN dreamers. So we have been doing a lot of service this week. From washing dishes, to vacuuming, to moving furniture, to making fliers, to baking, to pulling weeds. One day we were helping the new sisters in the area get into their apartment. On our drive home I had the weirdest thought pop into my head. "Go see Vanessa and Juana." I fought it for a second because we had to make other appointments and things, but it came back. "Go see Vanessa and Juana, now." So Hermana Wilcox and I went with haste. Vanessa and Juana are referrals from our recent convert Jaqueline, and have come to church for the past 3 weeks and they will be baptized mid-September probably. Anyways, we walked up to their door and we knocked, but no one answered! We were both confused. Why would be guided here? We knocked 3 times and still no answer. But, as we started to leave, Vanessa and Juana pulled up. Miracle. We began teaching. Since they have been SO prepared by the Lord and will probably be ready for baptism in a couple of weeks, they had a lot of questions for us. Lessons with them are so much fun because they are SO interested and SO in love with the Gospel and have such an desire to change and come unto Jesus Christ. I love it. It is so much fun to see their real intent. Anyways, Juana stopped the lesson and told us that she had been praying to know what Church she should join and then she said that God gave her the answer through a dream...
Dream One (Juana, the mom of Vanessa): There were 3 windows that were all dirty and all splattered with mud. Juana was standing in the mist of the three windows. Then Jesus Christ came to her and said, "It is time to be clean, child. Come unto me and wash your dirty windows."
As you can image my mouth dropped open. That sounds like baptism. She told us that she thought the same. She knows that this Gospel is the same gospel established by Jesus Christ when he was here.
Vanessa continued to tell us that earlier in the day she had prayed for God to send her messengers from the Church she was supposed to join. That day, we showed up at her door. AMAZING. Right? God works in the most mysterious ways, and I am seeing it more and more on my mission everyday that His ways are NOT our ways...they are SO much better. :) We got to church the next Sunday and Vanessa and Juana showed up with some members in the ward. They were so happy to be there. Vanessa ran up to us and was like "I had a dream! You know how you told me to pray? I got my answer!" Listen to this...
Dream Two (Vanessa): She was standing by the shore of a pool of water and she kept hearing a voice that said "You aren't ready yet to come into my kingdom. Now is the time to prepare, because the time is short in when I will be coming again." She then saw Jesus Christ inviting her into the pool of water, her friends all around her turned away, but she took a step and then woke up.
WOAH!!!!! Another baptism dream! That is incredible. The Lord works in amazing ways, and Juana and Vanessa are flying in their progression! They are reading the Book of Mormon like its the latest Harry Potter and have a list of questions for us every time we come. I LOVE teaching them. Dear Satan, STAY AWAY!!!
New strategy for finding Hispanics: follow the ice cream man. Yes, you might think it is just our stomachs wanting ice cream. WRONG! There is this old man who travels around this apartment complex and sells Mexican ice cream. When he rings his little bells Hispanics come FLYING out of the apartment! It works like a charm...EVERY time. The great thing about this strategy is that, not only do I know all of the ice cream flavors by heart and that the ice cream man will be baptized one day, but when the Hispanics come flying out for their ice cream they are SO happy and are ready to sit down and relax. Perfect time to teach the gospel as they sit there licking their ice cream and hearing about how they can be happy now and FOREVER. Classic. I love it. Through following the ice cream truck man we found 4 new people to teach and that want to come to church. AWESOME!!!
I LOVE BEING ON A BIKE! Remember how I used to be one of those people who would always get mad at bikers? Gone are the days! I now understand how difficult it is for the poor little bikers! Man, it has been so fun being sore. We can't even sit down to study at times. It is hilarious. It is like a process to see if we can cause pain to each other because we both are hurting! It is amazing though. I love being outside. Sweating and feeling the wind in my hair. I FEEL like a missionary now. Also, my companion and I are in training for mastering the skill of riding bikes with skirts. Tis a feat in of itself. We literally went from driving a 2013 Subaru with Bluetooth connection and all... to an elder's bike. Riches to rags. Perfect. Another piece of humble pie, but it is DELICIOUS. I love it so much, and think I will get into biking someday when I have time.
Tender mercies and miracles. We have been working a lot with a convert to the church who has also been preparing to go through the temple to receive her endowment. Her name is Giovanna Cruz. She is such an amazing lady, and this week she received her endowment!! WOW!!!! We were so excited for her! On the day that she got her endowment we went by to congratulate her...but much to my surprise there stood one of my cousins!!! WHAT!!!! I WAS IN SHOCK! I stared at her for like 10 minutes with my mouth wide open! Laura and Matt! WOAH! What a treat that was to see them!! It was the coolest thing in the world to see them. I had a hard time talking in English! haha good thing they both speak Spanish! But then we found out that Matt was the missionary who BAPTIZED Giovanna!! How cool is that? The world is so small....but we are all connected to each other! That blew my mind. It was fun to sit down to a lesson with them, and the Spirit was so strong as we talked about family and I was reminded how lucky we are to have our families forever. What amazing people and a moment I will never forget. We all have our own mountains to climb, but with the help of the Lord---He ALWAYS sends some tender mercy to help us. We might not always see it, but if we turn to Him, He will lift us. But it takes us turning to Him first. The Lord is in the DETAILS of our lives. What are the chances that I am working with a woman who was baptized by family years ago? That is pretty cool.
Hermana Wilcox and I survived the transfer! WAHOO! We will be working together in the same area for the next 6 weeks as I get to finish training her! She is awesome! She truly has become a great friend and working companion. I am so happy I get her for another 6 weeks! I learn so much from her great example and know that we will be friends for life. I love her!! :)
I love it here! The temperature has been amazing and I love this place. Let's move here someday, alright?
Thanks so much to everyone for your prayers and your love and your support. I love you all so much and pray for you always.
Shout out!! Tyler, my amazing brother! I am so sad I couldn't be there for your farewell, but everyone tells me that you TORE IT UP! (not surprising!) I love you so much and know that you will be an excellent missionary! Enjoy yourself for this last week or so, and get ready for the best ride of your life. :) I love you so much and am so proud of your decision to come run away to become like God for 2 years, but also to serve Him with EVERYTHING you've got. Don't look back. I am cheering you on.
Posted by Brooke Weenig at 10:48 AM