we're currently teaching (or at least trying to work with) a couple named azucena and darsiño. azucena is very, very "evangelica" and tells us she's a visionary, but lately she and darsiño have been reading the book of mormon and praying together! this is huge. they also say they "feel peace" when we're in their home. but, they didn't make it to church this sunday. in fact, no one made it to church this sunday, because it rained. all of our numbers for church attendance (less-actives, recent converts, investigators) were zero. total church attendance dipped to about 30, when it's normally 100 to 110. #whenitrains
we went on blitz in another ward...
...and found the coolest little lake!!
in other news, the elders had a baptism this week, and we invited our investigator, diomedes - and he came!! he got there right on time and was talking with the bishop when we arrived. i was SO HAPPY. another new investigator, carol, came as well to witness the baptism! at one point before the ordinance, i looked around at the ward and diomedes and carol and thought, "this is what heaven is like" - where so many people you love are gathered (though it was a super small gathering) to witness something wonderful take place. the best was looking over at diomedes and seeing him reading a battered "lesson three" pamphlet ("the gospel of jesus christ" - which explains baptism and the gift of the holy ghost) between the talks. afterwards, we asked him if he'd been praying (yes) and had he received an answer to his prayers (also, yes). he said, "i felt a certain peace. that's why i came." he also said he would come to church on sunday! BUT, IT RAINED. SO, NO ONE CAME.
also, in district meeting last tuesday, we had a "family council" (like elder ballard recommended families do in his general conference talk), because in the mish, we're family. so, that was really cool! my zone is so incredible, and i love them. hopefully, i don't get TRANSFERRED TONIGHT. i can't even believe it's that time again.
typical dinner in the peruvian amazon
last but not least, i learned this week about the virtue of patience. patience is not a "grin and bear it" approach; patience is the ability to endure delay (and the like) without getting frustrated ON THE INSIDE!!! that last part finally hit home this week. we can have a smile on the outside and pretend, but if we're ready to strangle someone on the inside, we are not patient, people. our thoughts matter so much!! so, be patient with a smile and happy thoughts. :)
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's friend, Madi Hudson (who recently sent Amber a Spanish Book of Mormon with her favorite scriptures marked and her translated testimony inside):
this is rocio. she's read a bunch already and is starting 1 nephi, chapter 1!! her son also read your testimony (he's 16), and he loved it!!!
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's dad:
QUESTIONS1. Would you say that your mission experience has improved as time has gone on?
2. Do you spend much time with church members?
3. Do you go to the youth activities? Ward activities?
4. Do they ever have special ward/stake activities with a focus on inviting non-members to come, such as a big party, picnic, or barbecue? If so, I'm assuming they want the missionaries to be there?
5. Do Peruvians barbecue much?
1. definitely. i've figured out how to work everything, i know what all the numbers [statistics] mean and why they're necessary, etc., and i'm used to the "process" of being on a mission - where as at first, i was shocked by everything and almost every meeting confused me, haha. that was due in part to who my trainer was, so for me the mission experience has just gotten exponentially better with time. that includes learning patience with companions and learning how to put others' needs before my own.
2. the mission leaders recently asked us to start visiting the members, because they need a lot of help with their conversion (see group e-mail; if water falls from the sky, they have trouble coming to church to partake of the sacrament and remember their savior, jesus christ, haha).
3. we aren't allowed to go to the ward activities in my mission. :/
4. if there were an activity like that, then yes, we'd go!! we've tried to organize one before, but everything is so...disorganized, haha. that'd be a really good idea, though!!
5. yes, they have grills!! mostly because every other house sells food that they make themselves.