Another crazy week in the life of a sister missionary. I think what I enjoy most about missionary work is having the opportunity to watch as the gospel changes lives.
Remember Araceli? I think I've mentioned her before but I am not positive. She is our eternigator. This like 70 year old spanish women who is very stuck in her ways. Most of the time I am not quite sure why we even go back and visit her, but keep going we do. Missionaries have been visiting her on and off for almost 20 years now, but nobody has lost hope yet. When Hna Parrilla and I first visited her she went off on a rant about all of the 'faults' of Joseph Smith. Basically all of the crazy things she had read on the internet. All we could do was bear our simple testimonies and run the heck out of there. I was seriously terrified. So this week we were planning for her and we didn't really know what to teach her. We have run out of 'easy' principles like faith and prayer so I suggested watching a movie with her. But we are all kind of tired of watch Finding Faith in Christ (I seriously have half of it memorized, in Spanish) so we decided to go for Joseph:The Prophet of the Restoration. I did not realize how much she has progressed until this lesson. She was literally crying when Alvin (Joseph´s older brother) died. And afterwards she told us over and over again how much she loved that movie. We bore our testimonies about Joseph Smith and about God´s love for his children and that is why we have the restored gospel today and she was just like "that is so true." I left there in shock. I still think she might throw us out of the house if we invite her to be baptized but poco a poco.
Next story: Esperanza e Ivan.
I am pretty sure I have never mentioned them because before this week They had never been that interesting. Ivan is an inactive member. His parents found the church when he was super young, he was baptized at 8 and then he left the church at 14 because he never felt like he received answers to his prayers. He is 28 now, divorced and has a 5 year old kid that lives in Alicante. He is now living with his girlfriend, Esperanza. Ivan´s sister, Vanessa (a very strong member here), called us a few weeks ago and asked us to visit her brother because his girlfriend had just had a miscarriage and they were both taking it hard. So we went and taught them the Plan of Salvation. The whole lesson it just kind of seemed like they were humoring us just because his sister asked them to. Esperanza is very catholic and her only reaction at the end was asking us if we knew where she could get a bible because she had lost hers. Sort of just frustrating. But we kept going because you can´t really drop an inactive member. This week we visited them and suddenly everything was different. They have been competing with each other to see who can read more and understand more out of the Book of Mormon. We read a chapter with them and they were trying so hard to show us that they were understanding and liking it. Ivan told us he never listened to the missionaries before because it wasn't his moment yet but now it is his moment. When we left we called Vanessa because we were just so excited and she told us that she had been at their house the other day and Esperanza had proudly shown her that she had her own copy of The Book of Mormon and was asking her all sorts of gospel questions. I am really excited to see where things go from here with them.
And to end: JuanJo
JuanJo is crazy. His wife's name is Gema and they live in this tiny piso with like 5(feisimo) cats and their two kids. Just to give you a taste of JuanJo, our last lesson with him he told us that Obama is actually English royalty, England never actually stopped owning the US and Michael Jackson knew that and that is why he was killed. All very interesting. He believes very strongly in the Bible and kept getting mad at us when we tried to teach him out of the Book of Mormon so this past lesson we tried only sharing one scripture, and one out of the Bible. He was like wait isn't that in Peter? we said yeah. He was like But Peter is in the Bible. Yes. JuanJo: You really do believe in the Bible, don´t you? Us: YES. Him: Hmm. Well that's a relief. Maybe I will give this blue book of yours a chance then. Us: mental eye roll
Honestly we didn't really believe him and had kind of decided to only visit him once more and then drop him, but then he texted THIS MORNING. He said he would really like to meet with us tomorrow if possible because he had good news to share with us. Well last time his said something like that to us he told us that he had been reading in Isaiah or Revelations or something and was sure that the world is going to end any day now. Actually, now that I think about it he just told us that time that He had read something in the bible and wanted to discuss it with us. Guess we should have seen that coming. Anyways, we scheduled the cita with him but I guess he was just too excited to tell us the news that he sent it through text. Hna Muse read it and started yelling and so I took it from her. Basically (translated) it said: "I have been reading that blue Book of Mormon of yours and I like it a ton. Looks like at the end I am going to end up with you preaching door to door to the Gentiles."
Our response: fetch.
I am seriously still in shock. I would also like to point out that all of these people are Spaniards. Usually we only get anywhere with South Americans.
So yeah we had a pretty cool week. Being a missionary is the best. Talk to you next week.