Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I don't even know how I'm going to fit everything into this email in like 39 minutes, but guys, this week WAS AMAZING.
Not only did we have Spanish Conference, Zone training, and exchanges with our sister trainer leaders, we also practically lived "17 Miracles" yesterday. So that was cool.
So our zone recently started something called, "The Hope Project." Each day, a companionship is chosen to fast all day long while everyone else in the zone prays for them. So many amazing miracles have been happening, it's super cool. Well, our day hadn't come, but I jokingly told Hermana Miller that we should have it on Sunday (yesterday) because we needed all the help we could get getting people to church. Plus our area just hasn't been progressing too much - we need more progressing investigators! Believe it or not, the zone leaders called us Saturday night and asked us to fast the next day. BOOM.
SO MIRACLE TIME.
We have been working with some members, the Urquidez family. So sweet, so awesome. They contacted us and told us that they wanted to come back to church, that they wanted to be sealed as a family. They just never come to church! They have the best of intentions - they really want to - but when Sunday comes around, they just don't come. This has been happening for the last 5 months or so. We've been encouraging them, talking all about primary with their 5 little kids, reading the Book of Mormon, taking them to the Mormon Trail Center, etc. just trying to help them recognize how great church is. Well, Sunday morning, we decided to physically go to their apartment and invite them in person to come to church. We had a plan all ready to go, we were going to kneel in prayer with them, the works. But when we walked up to the door, before we could even knock, the dad opened up the door wearing his slacks and a white shirt. The little kids all tumbled out onto the front porch, talking all about their new dresses for church and how excited they were. The littlest one grabbed my dress and asked me to sit with her! I choked back tears as I said, "Yes of course!" We rushed to our car to meet them at church, and I vocally thanked my Heavenly Father. I couldn't hold back my tears as we drove. I was amazed. I was so grateful. That experience changed me. Those moments are what I live for now.
So after I composed myself, we called our investigator, Victor. The night before, we had a great lesson all about the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost, and he was just eating it up. We had Brother Shumway, a member of our ward come with us as well. Brother Shumway offered to pick up Victor for church the next day as well! YES MEMBERS ROCK. So we were all set, ready to go, but then Victor told us that he wasn't going to be able to make it because his keys were locked in his car. What!? We sent Brother Shumway Victor's number and just prayed. We didn't hear back from either of them, and they didn't show up for sacrament meeting. We went to the next two classes, still not knowing what happened. After church ended, our ward mission leader came up to us and said, "Su investigador, no?" And pointed down the hall. I was like, "SHUT UP." Victor came! And Brother Shumway brought him!
What ended up happening was that Brother Shumway drove all the way to where Victor was, tried for about 30 min to open the car door, and when all else failed, they prayed together and tried one more time, popping the door right on open. Victor was amazed. During the two hours while he was at church, he just loved it. He was so grateful that God answered his prayer. It was a testimony-builder and evidence that God not only heard his prayer but that He loves him dearly. Amazing. So grateful for members who sacrifice so much. So grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who gives so freely. Gah so grateful.
After church, we headed to a meeting with our ward mission leader, where we talked a little about Jose and Esmerelda. Remember them? LOVE THEM. We just aren't sure what more we can do to help Esmerelda progress. We were planning on visiting them after the meeting, and our ward mission leader offered to come. Right when Esmerelda opened the door, she just looked so happy. So so happy. It was sure different - usually shes exhausted or just not in the mood - but this time, she was just glowing. We started talking and found out that Jose and Esmerelda had been READING THE BOOK OF MORMON TOGETHER AND PRAYING. Ok what!?!? That's actually just flat-out amazing. Like AMAZING. We have been trying to get Esmerelda to read forever, like since May, and now she's doing it. They have read a couple chapters even. They just had a few questions about Lehi and his family, but honestly, they said they loved it. Esmerelda even prayed to know if the church was true, and she said she got a really calm, peaceful feeling, which meant to her that it was in fact true. (I about bawled at this point). We then asked her if she would be baptized, to which she actually said yes, but that she wanted some more time. She wanted to make the decision for herself, not for anyone else. Incredible. Her desires are so on point, she is acting on her faith, and she has recognized the Holy Ghost testifying to her already. Now all we gotta do is be patient. It's all in the Lord's timing. He knows best.
We finished the night by FINALLY getting in contact with Flor, Esmerelda's sister. She asked us to come visit her today! We are so excited, we haven't been able to get in contact with her for about 2 weeks now. It was yet again, another miracle.
Guys, I know that God is real. These experiences don't just happen. There are no coincidences in this life. Nothing beats seeing God work His power and affect everyone with His love. Nothing. I am so happy, I love this work. I love helping others feel and experience what I've loved and experienced my whole life. I know God lives. I know He loves us. I know through His Son, we can be redeemed, we can find happiness, we can feel peace. Gosh, every fiber of my being just knows that this is God's Kingdom on earth once again. He loves us, He is taking care of us, He is guiding us. And we are so blessed.
Hermana Brie Gould