Well I hardly know where to begin with this one.... I'll try my best to get everything in there.
Okay, before I went on my mission I always wondered why missionaries who come home are so strange... well I can tell you all, that I perfectly know why now. It's because your mission is 18 months jam packed with some of the weirdest experiences imaginable. Here's a couple of these "Is this really happening in real life? Am I really seeing/hearing/doing/eating this?":
1. We went to the State Fair last p-day. Fun, right? Even more fun when you're dressed in your missionary clothes still and you're with a group of 16 other elders, and you become the freak show instead of the actual exhibits.
2. A member gave us a Sara Lee sweetcake thingy the other day. I saved it, waiting for one of those days where you really needed a pick me up. Well, I waited 3 days, and couldn't resist any longer. I open the package, waiting for the manna from heaven to reach my taste buds. What is that I taste? Hmmm it's faintly like a 13 year-old boy's socks and paprika. I promptly ran to the nearest trash can and yup...
3. During weekly planning, I suddenly became aware of something watching me. I turn to see a HUGE spider crawling on the wall. I grabbed a shoe, but the spider decided to hide in a crevice... so I couldn't get it. How in the world was I supposed to sleep with a creature of Satan crawling about? Well I decided there must be a way. The end result was a chopstick with toilet paper on the end to create.... a SPIDER KILLING WAND.
4. Last night we had dinner at a member's house. It's kind of a long story, but she lives in an old man's tiny apartment as his helper. Well she asked us to wash our hands before dinner. No big deal, right? Wrong. We had to walk through his bedroom (where he has a huge shrine of Mary in his closet) and use his bathroom. I reach for the soap and what do we see. DENTURES STARING BACK AT ME.
5. Casually we pull up to our 4 o'clock appointment. We turn down the street and what do you know... 6 police cars in front of our investigator's neighbor's house. We proceed to drive by and we see a huge section blocked off with caution tape #crimescene. We ask our investigator about what happened. Well, apparently their neighbor got stabbed and the stabber had tried to jump over their fence to escape and our investigator grabbed the guy and pulled him off the fence. The stabber ran loose, the stabee was on the way to the hospital, and us, well we were just trying to see if there was blood on the ground. Oh, and preach the gospel...
The scene of the stabbing... just another day in ABQ
Okay, on to the good stuff now! This week was a week of MIRACLES. We were able to really see the hand of the Lord in this work, leading and guiding the work here. I am humbled and grateful daily for the opportunity to wear the name tag that says "Hermana March". Together with the Lord, I know that anything is possible. The days may be long, but they're always filled with joy. Joy is really the common theme on the mission. Pure joy that comes only from living a little more like Christ each day. Here's just 2 of the HUGE MIRACLES I saw this week!
1. Jesus is still going strong for baptism! And his baptism even got moved up a day (to Friday!)! I cannot wait to see him enter the waters of baptism. It's really quite unbelievable how prepared he is to hear and accept this gospel. The missionaries only met him the last week of July and he has never looked back. He makes me so hopeful and excited to meet those other prepared people that will be placed in my path!
2. Okay, the hugest miracle of the week... Martin and Sara, a couple who haven't felt ready for baptism basically forever, are getting a baptized OCTOBER 3rd! Hermana Dearden and I have kinda felt at a loss of what to do to help them... they knew all the lessons, studied the scriptures daily, attended church every Sunday, etc. So we did the only thing we could think of. We prayed. And fasted. And prayed some more. And then on Sunday, we were walking down the hall and we were talking to Sara. She asked about the fact that Jesus' baptism had been moved up a day, and then she said "Well I hope that October 3rd isn't too late for Martin and I". We couldn't contain our joy... it was pure and overwhelming for that cute couple and their 2 little boys. I think Hermana Dearden and I almost started singing hallelujah at the top of our lungs. We may or may not have had to excuse ourselves to the bathroom to do a quick happy dance.
This work truly is the work of the Lord. You want to know why? Because it brings utter and complete joy. It's all throughout the scriptures that if something is good, it is of God. And the work of salvation is good. It changes people. Not only the people who we teach, but I can feel it within myself.
My favorite quote of the week: "Joy is guaranteed to those who are faithful" President Eyring. Try to keep up the faith this week, so you can feel that joy too!
Love you mucho para siempre!