Another week in Secada!! It has been a good one--the days can be long but the weeks are short! Time is weird on the mission. Each day is different and full of different challenges, but it is all for my good!! Still can`t believe I`m in the jungle at times. Like this morning, guess who get`s to wash most all of her clothes? That`s right. No such thing as a washer and dryer here. Also, I`ve become an expert at killing these massive roaches in our home. I think the count is up to 6 right now! It is always a hilarious scene, me with a Book of Mormon to squash the thing and Hermana Arone with the spray that kills bugs. Both of us squealing. It is the best.
Well this week was full of teaching. First the family of Rogner (28), Victoria (25), and their son Larry who is 6. I love this family. Yesterday they attended the last two hours of church which was great. Victoria wasn`t able to listen much to the classes as her son is a bit difficult (they have been told by doctor`s that he is autistic--which is really hard for them to cope with and even understand out here). This week we taught about Eternal Marriage is Gospel Principles. It went ok--it`s slightly frustrating when I have so much to say but can`t say it! I ended up bearing my testimony at the end of being sealed as a family. Of course I started crying--only when I talk about family--the spirit was thick in the room. Anyways, Rogner said that when I bore my testimony, he felt this burning in his heart, that he wanted to shout from the rooftops. I was thrilled!!! My very very simple testimony was actually of some worth. He`s says that he knows the Book of Mormon is true and will continue to come to church and learn more about the gospel!!
This week we visited more with Daniel and Slyvia. Both Hermana Arone and I feel that this family is prepared for the gospel. Both are very smart, educated. Slyvia is set in her ways--she was born a Catholic and will remain a Catholic. But when we were teaching our first lesson, I felt very clearly that this family is ready and that we should not give up, or be deterred by their firmness. On Tuesday we teach the Restoration which we are both nervous for but excited at the same time!
Here in Iquitos there is a very distinct difference between members of the church and other people. There is term here: conformista, where people don`t like to study, don`t like to work. Not very ambitious. Many drop out of school. Members of the church are different. They work hard, and they are blessed with good jobs. Jobs that allow them to provide very well for the family and give them the ability to attend church. They also desire to learn. It is amazing to see the impact of the gospel. Because the gospel is truth!! The truth will set us free. Only truth, and gaining knowledge allows people to rise from poverty. It is fascinating to see. Members are also happier. They have a glow. They are happy in their families. Families truly are treasures!!! Teaching families is the goal.
We also have a sweet boy named Elard that we`re teaching (age 15). He attends seminary at 5:30 in the morning everyday. He is always very attentive and his prayers are so sincere. Each time he prayers, he asks for help with his family problems. We have a baptisimal date for him in late October, early November!!
Oh to be a missionary!! I love being guided by the spirit. One day when the family we were going to teach wasn`t at home, I started talking to the next door neighbor. We eventually sat down at taught the Restoration to Basilio (60s) and his wife right there at the side of their house just as the sun was setting. It was totally your stereotypical missionary moment!!
Well, I am doing well! Step by step it is coming. The language is challening, but I just pray like crazy! I can get the gist, but sometimes I get none of it. But it is all okay! I am learning, and studying. My companion is so sweet and patient with me. And God is so good--I will admit, there have been a lot of tears. But I feel the strength of the Lord every hour. He is my rock through all of this.
I love you all! And miss you!!