Sunday, March 9, 2014

Week 23 (cue Twilight Zone music)

No wonder this week was so crazy- it's week 23. Lots of new adventures this week. The most interesting one was that me and my companion spoke at the funeral of a member of our ward. We went on exchanges this week and I got to learn from one of my closest friends, and one of the best sister missionaries here. We also did some more ukay-ukay shopping last p-day and found some killer deals on clothes from old navy from the 90's. Sweet.

First: exchanges. I LOVE exchanges. My companion was so nervous for her first one and I was actually pretty nervous too. The sister I went with is very no no nonsense. She tells it to me like it is, and always pushes me to work harder in every aspect of missionary work. The biggest thing I learned from her was to give a little more. In everything I do, just push a little farther. Especially when I am tired or when I think I have done my best. I have really been focusing on that the last few days and have really felt a difference in my outlook. Especially with this last week where it seemed like all of our golden investigators had huge trials hit them. I am so mentally and emotionally exhausted. But I feel like I am getting there. I have felt a stronger influence of The Spirit directing me and my companion in lessons. We have been able to really help and uplift our investigators despite all the the things they are going through. I am so grateful to be continually learning that I can always give more than I think. Because I need to be always giving my all to The Lord and His work.

We have a new investigator we taught on Tuesday for the first time. She is SO prepared! Seriously. She had a lot of concerns so we went into our second lesson a little unsure of how it would go. But it was such an amazing experience. She had read up to chapter 11 in 1st Nephi in like 3 days. And she had an amazing experience with praying to know if The Book of Mormon was true. Her eyes fill with tears every time we bring up The Book of Mormon. Yesterday we got to teach more of her family. She is so excited to be baptized with them all in April. Right now we are focusing on getting her husband to lessons.

Yesterday we had a cool experience at church. We have really struggled with getting investigators to church so we really prepared this sunday to pick people up and make sure they all felt welcome. So we have been praying and praying and praying! And then we go to church, and we brought one of our investigators. And we waited. And waited. No one came! sad. Heartbreaking. So I was totally bummed. Come to find out after church starts that 3 members brought friends to introduce to us and 1 lady just randomly shows up who has a member friend in my old area! WHAT. I know. Coolest answer. Even though our investigators did not come, we were able to meet and set appointments with some other people. One of the sisters who we sat by told me: Sister Gaspar, what is this feeling? I feel like this is the truth. I was like umm yes. You are ready to be baptized. We were so blessed with finding opportunities yesterday.

Last: The Funeral. So funerals here are really different, especially since everyone is super catholic. The keep the bodies of their deceased family members in their homes for a full week after they have passed away. And there's like a special shrine for them with flowers and pictures and many many crosses. The bishop asked my companion and I to give a talk about the plan of salvation since only 1 of this man's 7 grown children was a member of the church. My companion gave the most beautiful talk about Heavenly Father's plan for us. All of his kids eyes filled with tears when she spoke. Her mom passed away about 10 years ago, and she shared the things she has done in her life to be able to live with her again. She is the perfect example of being bold with love. She really brought the Spirit. We were able to sit and make appointments with some of them.

Have a great week all!
-Sister Gaspar de Alba

Sister Asuncion saved her last exchange for ME! I love her so much. She goes home tomorrow. We had such a blast together, and really good talks. You know someone's a good friend when they are always pushing you to reach your potential, even if you don't think you can. That's who she is for me. 

me and my anak washing our Bishop's curtains. We loved being able to serve their family. Plus all of their neighbors good a good laugh at me hand washing clothes. I'm to the point where it hurts a little that they don't think I know how to do it right.

walking to the funeral of one of our members. about a mile of this- one foot in front of the other. so fun!

me and a sister who was recently baptized. her sister in san antonio knows my aunt cynthia! small world, right?!

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