And it came to pass that Hermana Coppins had become weary because of their iniquity, and took it upon her to preach the word of God all the remainder of her days.
email sent 6/13/2011
Now that I am one week into my last transfer, I can´t tell you HOW many times I have had the desire to just stay on my mission. The other sisters that started with me are are going home in August, one transfer later, so I know it´s a possibility. I love the mission, I´m happy with what I´m doing and where I am, and I really am weary because of the iniquity of the world. But unfortunately, extending my mission one transfer won´t change the fact that eventually I do have to end it, and I KNOW that I need to finish in July. I know it, but I just keep getting tempted to stay anyway. But, just so you know, I really am coming home in July. I really am getting terminated right now, and I really am working HARD AS HECK to finish this mission with honor. :)
Hermana Canto (see the picture) is a really great missionary. I´m kind of taking it easy these days.... not that I´m not working, obviously, but she basically seems like she´s been a missionary her whole life and does (well) all parts of a missionary´s job. It´s a big difference from HL, who is a wonderful person and a wonderful missionary and I love her to death, but she was learning how to be a missionary and how to speak Spanish. I was in charge of a lot of things. And now, Hermana Canto does them. Getting used to that the first day was not easy, but then I just ate a big slice of humble pie on Tuesday night and woke up great on Wednesday morning. And we did some really great work in this week. We found 12 new investigators, which we haven´t found for quite some time, and had some reeeeeally spiritual experienes. I will share a few miracle stories later on. But anyway, I´m doing really well here in Arica. The members were pretty happy to see me stick around, and I´m happy to see these people progress-- the investigators, the less-actives, and the members. The gospel is such a beautiful thing.
Okay Thursday was like the best day of my life. First I will tell a funny story, and then the good ones.
On Tuesday we contacted a guy named Dámasor and set an appt for Thursday. He ´"didn´t know" the address of his house but gave us his phone number to call him and ask for it that day. We called him and he told us he´d meet us by the gate of our apartment complex. He took us to his brother´s apartment, and we started chatting. I would call it teaching, like a normal appt, but we did no teaching. He is Baptist, and had his church clothes on because he was going to a "meeting" after. Later it came out that he´s a preacher. He kept asking us questions without waiting for the answers and just going on and on and on. Hermana Canto really wanted to teach him what we know but he would have none of it. I took a backseat to the situation because it just does not go over well with three people desperate to talk all at the same time. Hermana Canto kept interrupting his really rapid discourses with questions, trying to get him interested in our message. This is my favorite. H. Canto: "Hermano, do you know what the resurrection is?" Dámasor: "I do know what the resurrection is, but I don´t know if we´re hermanos." HAHAHAHAH. Then his brother gets home, and he just stands up at the end of the sentence he was saying and starts leaving. I ask him if we can "end" (his sermon) with a prayer. He, surprised, says yes and sits down. We thought maybe his brother was like really mean and would be mad that we were there and that was the reason that Dámasor wanted to leave, but I invited the brother, Ivan, to join with us in the prayer and he very kindly said yes. Sooo strange. We said the prayer and Dámasor took off running. I luckily intercepted him at the door and gave him a brochure of the Restoration. Good grief.
Anyway, besides that we taught a bunch of awesome lessons on Thursday (we taught 32 in the week-- that is A LOT). The best was with German. On Tuesday night we were walking down a street on the way to visit a family and contacted a younger guy who was in his doorway smoking. He (German) was with a friend and his brother and they weren´t very interested, but he kind of listened to us and invited us to come back on Thursday. Not the most promising contact, but still, it´s an appt. Thursday I decided that we should call Christian, the next missionary leaving from Costanera, to meet us by his house and go to the appt with us. He was on the corner of Barsac and Eiffel at 8, the time of the appt. We rolled up at like 8:10, shook his hand, and started heading down Barsac, German´s street, when we noticed that there was someone else standing on the corner. It was German! "I thought you guys were coming earlier." "Umm, we´re here now! Let´s go?" He said he had a problem in his house and we couldn´t meet there. What should we do? "Umm, Christian, can we go to your house?" Luckily he lives close so we just headed over there. We started with a hymn-- the Lord is My Light. NOT the easiest hymn in the world, right? He sang every note perfectly. German, do you know how to read music? Yeah, something like that. We taught the first lesson, the Restoration. Christian shared his testimony at the end, which is always one of the most powerful things (think Alma the Younger). We asked German what he thought, and he was just blown away. He told us that he had been looking for the truth for years and had never had the opportunity to talk with Mormon missionaries. We invited him to pray at the end of the lesson and it was excellent. We asked him what he felt after the prayer and he said it was hard to describe. We read Galatians 5 and he said that described it. I was seriousy trying to hold back tears (and not really succeeding-- a couple escaped) and we invited him to be baptized if he received an answer and he said he would, and that he would be at church on Sunday. And we´re going back to teach him at Christian´s house on Wednesday. Now, there´s a reason that Sunday was not the best day of my life. German did NOT go to church. We called him and called him and he didn´t answer in the morning. When we called him in the afternoon though he said he had been working since the morning and had really wanted to go. We just need to pray that he can stop working on Sunday (he´s in the military so it´s not like he can just quit his job really) and I am positive that he is going to get baptized.
Okay I have like ten more really awesome stories from this week but NO time. I love you all, I hope you´re doing well, and someday I´ll tell you everything. Have a great week!