This week has been a rough one. Most of the people we set up appointments weren´t home and we lost two of the baptismal dates that we had set with La Familia Tello. Since they have so many people in their family, La Familia Tello is only available on saturdays for us to come teach them. This past Saturday we found out that one of the hermanas that had a date left to work for a whole month. She´ll come back and we can start back up again with her then. The other date we lost was with another hermana. She is living with one of the hermanos in the house, but they aren´t married... We´re going to have to work a bit harder with her. At times it can be a bit challenging to teach this family because there are so many people and we have to focus on each one of them. Focus on each of their needs. We´ll probably have to move the dates back with the other 3, but that´s fine. It´s better that they´re fully prepared to make this covenant with God. I´ve learned to be a lot more patient with this family. I love them to death, and I want what´s best for them. And that is why I´m here. I know that the Lord places challenges in front of us so that we grow from them. We must figure out how we can learn from these challenges.
I had an intercambio this week in Ovalle Sur. My companion for the day was Elder Rodriguez, a hilarious missionary from Mexico. By the evening, we had had no success that day. All our appointments had fell through, and our legs were killing us. But we didn´t stop working. We were passing by a little park, and I saw a girl sitting on a bench. At first I was prompted to go talk to her, but I decided not to. For one, we had an appointment to be at, and two, I am still nervous to talk to random people. Especially in Spanish. And especially girls. 3 seconds later I got the impression again to talk to her. This time I knew that I needed to do this. I turned around, walked up to her, and started introducing myself. In Spanish. Elder Rodriguez hadn´t seen me turn around so he kept walking for a few more seconds until he realized I wasn´t there. He came running up next to me and we started discussing The Gospel with her. She was a 15 year old girl who studyed at a Catholic School. When we introduced the Book of Mormon, she got super excited. We left her with a chapter to read and arranged an appointment for us to come back to teach her. The best thing about this experience was the second we started walking away, she started reading the chapter we left her. WOW! Elder Rodriguez was so pumped after that. He said that he had been marking this day as a failure because all of our appointments had fallen through, but my act to follow the Spirit had improved his day tremendously. I told him that our day hadn´t been a failure. Even though we had not taught anyone, we had worked our hardest and that is all the Lord asks of us. To work our hardest and be aware of the Spirit. The Lord places challenges in front of us for our own benefit. We need to face them with hope and courage in order to grow from them.
Sorry this letter isn´t too long. Like I said at the beginning, most of our appointments fell through this week, but I did learn a valuable lesson. Continue working and the Lord will provide the way for you.
I´m really beginning to understand the Spanish here. I still have a lot of trouble speaking, but at least I´m trying!
I love and pray for you all!