Well, my body has a new latest addition: Parasites. So, that's been a lot of fun!
This week really taught be a lesson about the importanc of being constant and consistent always. My companion got sick and went to the Hospital and couldn't work for three days, but I really just wanted to remain consistent with our lessons and everything, so Idecided to go out and work with a member every day and, in the end, we did better this week than last week!
It really helped me to realize that there are no excuses and that we can always find a way to keep the work rolling forward. In the end, we found out that while I was out working alone and my companion was resting because she was sick with Parasites, I had Parasites the whole time as well.
At first I wanted to get a little mad about it, but I just decided to turn it around and be grateful that Heavenly Father helped make me strong enough to be constant and not put a pause on His work.
This weekend was one of the absolute best weekends of my mission. We were able to Baptism a complete family: Father, Mother, and Child. It was incredibly beautiful. This family´s Baptism has been one of the craziest journeys of my mission.
One thing that I've learned on the mission has been the importance of being bold and honest. I had a really bad habit of just avoiding EVERYTHING before my mission. I didn't like conflict and I would just hide everything and never said how I felt. The mission has taught me to really stand up for what I believe, but sometimes I think I get a little carried away with that!
Anyway, when we first got to this area, someone gave us the reference of the Familia Pinedo, and we got there and they let us in, but didn't want to do anything. We went back for the second appointment and they weren't there. So, I decided I had no interest in visiting them again and left it at that.
About a month ago, we were out of Plan A, B, C, and D, and we were close by their house, so my companion suggested that we visit them again. I figured why not and they let us in and the wife (okay, I guess girlfriend would be the right term) started talking about how she wanted to get married but her husband didn't care and how he is never going to change and all this stuff.
We decided to start talking about the Law of Chastity and invited them to be married and Baptized and the husband just made a big joke out of everything. I saw how badly the wife really wanted to get married and Baptized and I was just filled with so much love for her.
That love, my testimony of the commandments, and the fact I had already had a tough day weren't the best combination and when he said that he wanted to wait another year I asked him if he was sure he wanted to keep living in serious sin for another year and said something about the Final Judgment. That shut him up. The jokes stopped and he realized we were serious. They accepted the invitation to pray about wedding and Baptism, and little by little, miracles occurred.
They accepted Baptism and went to Church the next Sunday. The following week, the didn't show up to Church and we went to go get them and found the husband, Oldair, alone in the house saying that she left and that they're not going to get married or Baptized. He told us she left to her Mom's house and that she wasn't going to go to Church.
So, we went to her Mom's house and, long story short, a member went inside and got her out of bed, I said a few words with the same boldness and the family ended up at church and that night signed their wedding papers.
Sitting in the Baptism, I almost couldn't believe the changes that this family had made. We had all been through so much together. My companion started to cry and we both felt the Spirit so strong. Sitting there made me reflect so much on my purpose here. The family is SO important and watching a whole family make this decision together was so special.
I really started to have a better understanding of my purpose here. I reflected on the last year or so of my life and how it all played out so that I could be there in that moment.
I didn't understand why, in the middle of my run on an October Saturday morning, I felt extremely prompted to get back to my apartment right away. I didn't understand why, right when I opened the door, I heard the Prophet's voice talking about Missionary Work.
I didn't understand why the age was changed to 19, and I REALLY didn't understand why I felt incredibly obligated by the Spirit to go right away. I didn't understand why I was called to the Lima North Mission, or why that call was changed to the Iquitos Mission.
I didn't understand why my Visa didn't come for so long. I didn't understand why I was sent to Tarapoto, and later I didn't understand why I was put on a plane and shipped out of Tarapoto.
There is so much I don't understand, but I do understand that I am EXACTLY where I need to be right now. That Baptism strengthened my testimony of that so much. It wasn't easy to go through the whole process of getting here. It wasn't easy leaving everything behind. It is not easy to have responsibilities that I didn't want or ask for.
It isn't easy living in the Jungle and having to deal with everything from Fleas to cold water to Parasites, but this weekend made me realize, again, that it is so incredibly worth it. It is hard, but I wouldn't change a thing.
Love you tons!
Have a great week!