The mission is such a miracle every week. This week with Hermana Juárez we wanted to know more about what it feels like to be an investigator and have a deeper personal conversion so we started doing a practice every morning in companionship study where we are teaching one another all of the lessons. But we don’t pretend to be investigators…. I teach Hermana Juárez as Hermana Juárez and she teaches me as Hermana Berbert. We made registros de enseñanza [teaching records] for each other and everything. It’s been a really cool experience. I feel like my own testimony has grown a lot and I know more what it feels like to be investigating the church. I’ve also learned to be a better teacher, more sincere, and teaching more to the needs of the listener. This has helped us also have a spectacular week as we start to imagine ourselves in the place of our investigators more than we ever have before. We live what they are living. I really feel their fears and sorrows and rejoice in the changes they’re experiencing. It hurts. It helps. I love them so much.
Iris came to church for the first time and I was praying like crazy that she would feel comfortable. The father of her children was a Catholic leader and needless to say she has had some bad experiences with churches. She told us she would come to see how it was but that if she didn’t like it, she would never come back. It was a normal sacrament meeting with lots of kids screaming and punching each other as they ran around. The youth speaker was really nervous because it was his first time, then one of the missionaries gave a talk in gringo Spanish and then an older member talked a LOT. I prayed the whole time that Iris would be able to feel the Spirit. Afterwards we went to her house and she told us how much she loved her experience. She loved that it was full of families with kids, she loved that we get to hear talks from people in all walks of life. She loved everything including the emergency exit signs in case of an earthquake (which with she has also had a hard experience). What a miracle. haha. She is so special and so ready to get baptized. I have never found someone so prepared, ever before.
Paz and Alejandro are still chugging along. Paz is just dying to get baptized. She loves the church but Alejandro doesn’t want to do anything that we invite him to do. I have no idea why. He is so great and always listens to us and it’s obvious that he is changing and converting a lot. But he is afraid to get married, baptized, and go to church. I know his time will come, just not sure when or how.
Claudio is really opening up now that we are having lessons when his daughter isn’t around. He didn’t want her to lose her testimony with his doubts and now the lessons are totally different. He asked us a ton of questions about the scripture with the Stick of Judah (Bible) and the stick of Joseph (Book of Mormon). I studied up practically the entire old testament this week and learned SO MUCH!!! Wow. The Bible really talks about EVERYTHING that happened in the church and so many people have testimonies and don’t even know about all the proofs there are that the church is true. I have no idea how other churches explain all the scriptures in the Bible that talk about the Book of Mormon, the Apostasy, the Restoration, the gathering of Israel, baptisms for the dead, prophets and apostles: we are the only church in the world that has all of these things and yet so many religions claim to believe in the Bible. Have they read it??
Anyway, I’m happy. The mission is not something that can be explained to anybody who hasn’t lived it. I have never worked so hard in my life. I have never loved so many people so much. I have never hurt so much either. I have never been so close to God. I have never changed so much inside. I am not the same person who left. I never will be. I will serve the Lord every day until I die. There’s a reason the scripture says, “Oh ye that EMBARK in the service of God, see that ye serve Him with all your might, mind, heart, and strength.” When we truly serve God it’s like a boat leaving the shore, but you’ll never get anywhere if you keep what you left behind in sight. When we lose ourselves in the service of Him, nothing else matters. I can’t see the life that I left behind anymore and I’m lost in all the waves. It’s a constant storm but it’s beautiful and I never want to go back. I don’t know how to put it in words. I’m working hard but more than that, I love who I’m working for. He doesn’t mind if I don’t do the job perfectly as long as I never stop working. Sometimes it seems impossible to finish because there will always be more to do, but that doesn’t matter either. I used to think I would get home from the mission and rest for a couple years straight. Now I can’t stand the thought. I want to be in the service of the Lord every moment from now on and forever.