Monday, January 16, 2017

December 19, 2016 ~ Transfer 3 Week 5

Hi all!

We have had an amazing week! I've had so many great experiences.

Tuesday, we went to Grado, a small pueblo (little town) and visited someone named MarĂ­a that we promised we would come back. (and if you read the blog a month or two ago, this is the same lady who was about ready to slam the door in our faces and her heart was softened). Last time we checked if she was home (she doesn't have a phone) she wasn't but this time she was! And she kept her promise about reading the Book of Mormon! She read the whole book. She said she doesn't believe the same but she was so happy to see us. She even braved the cold for 20 minutes because we couldn't go inside. I know she feels the spirit whenever we are there sharing a lesson because I felt it so strong. I was prompted that we pray for her and as we were leaving we prayed for her and I felt the spirit very strong. She is such an amazing person. It's amazing to think of how the first time we met her she only opened the door a crack and was ready to yell at us. But she is so loving now. The Oviedo Branch (the congregation here, branch just means it is small) was having a Christmas dinner, so we gave her an invitation. She had us write down our names and said she will put to card up on her tree every year. And I believe she will.

We had the Christmas dinner this week and I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it turned out amazing (60 people)! There were so many less actives and investigators that came. We even met the dad of Taily  (who is the only member of her family). The dad is against the Church and is never home when we are teaching the family, but I think he will open his heart eventually =) he's a great man, very funny. We saw him in the street on the way to work and he honked at us and asked us if we wanted to work for him for free haha =)

We are teaching a lot of families and youth right now. One has a baptism date (Jan 28) and possibly another one soon. They are still struggling with coming to church and keeping commitments but I think they are getting to the point where they will decide to keep their commitments.

For the Christmas Initiative this week we were looking to help someone and there was an old lady who was struggling with her groceries across the road. We went to help her and she was very, very grateful. And it wasn't a huge deal, it took 5 minutes to get her home and it made a world of difference to her. People very rarely let us help and it was quite the miracle.

We ran into one of our investigators in the street with her family who we haven't been able to meet with for a while. That was a blessing, we got to meet with her this week. She has been working 3 jobs non stop during the holiday season. God definitely puts people in our path.

Funny experiences: we also sang this week (the whole branch) at a residencia de Ancianos (elderly home). It turned out a lot better than I thought it would, including a trio by two other American elders and I singing songs in English. After the singing we were given pastries that were not very good at all. I ate one that tasted like formaldehyde  (the chemical that preserves animals to dissect). Another Elder got one that tasted like "dentist tools". They were not very good =).

Another: we found and have been teaching a Dominican woman who is a less active (we found her my first or second week here). So we have taught her quite a bit and her kids have not been interested in listening in. And then this past week the other Elders found a Dominican joven (youth) and got his number and have been meeting with him. We found out its one of the older kids who wasn't interested in listening to us. In the first lesson he told the other Elders that who mom has been meeting with the Jehovah's Witnesses (us). So it was funny when the mom found out the missionaries were there for her son instead of her. We are having a family night with them all together tomorrow =) I'm glad that the kids are now ready to listen to the gospel on their own terms =).

Have a great week! If you haven't kept up with the initiative of Christmas now is a great time to start again =) I promise that by doing service you will feel the spirit of Navidad (Christmas) more.

Elder Openshaw

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