Okay, we all know that Heavenly Father is the one sending the miracles, but this week has been such a blessing where we have seen little miracles and had a ton of fun. I lie on top of my sheets at night, sweating from the heat but grinning to myself because Heavenly Father answered our prayers yet again throughout the day, proving that He knows and loves His children. Just a list of some of the wonderful little moments that we had this week:
1. After deciding that we need to vary our contacting methods, we determined that every time we were on a colectivo we would have a real conversation with someone and set up an appointment to visit them. For some reason, both of us have this weird morbid fear of talking with people on the colectivo even though we talk comfortably with them in any other setting. But on Tuesday, we got on our first colectivo of the week, Hna. Castillo gave me a little wink nodding to an open seat by a lady fanning herself, I took a breath and sat down next to her. "Man it's hot!" Was the only thing I could think of to say to start talking with her, but Heavenly Father helped me with the rest, and we ended up having a wonderful conversation for the five minute colectivo ride, I took down her address, and sent the elders in her area to go visit her. Not sure why I shared that little story, but I guess it was the first miracle of the week that Heavenly Father helped me overcome my weird fear of talking on colectivos.
2. On Friday, we were walking along humming Christmas carols (Hermana Castillo taught me the cutest little Peruvian Christmas song that we'll sing for you on Skype) when a car pulled up next to us and this chubby jolly man inside said, "Hey, are you the Mormons?" "Yep we sure are!" "So what do I do if I want to learn about your church? Can I go to church, or can you guys come to my house? What do I need to do?" It was one of those moments where you're thinking, "Is this really happening? People told me about things like this, but what in the world?!" We were beyond happy and set up an appointment to go visit him the next day. We went and had a lesson with him and his name is Angel. He's a little bit of a baby seeing as he's 53 and lives with his parents, but we got to teach all of them and they're a cute little fam, even though they're super Catholic and super set in their ways. And then I found out that Luis, Angel's 85 year old dad, used to be a piano professor in Germany but can't play any more because his hands tremble. So after they "coaxed" me into playing for them (NO ONE has pianos here and I'm always itching to play), Luis was our best friend. I don't know if they're in a place to progress as investigators, but we'll see. :)
3. We finally found Ailen (our 16 year old investigator who's mom has cancer and we had an AMAZING first lesson with her about eternal families). We would stop by all the time and she was never there, but we finally found her home and she is excited to work towards baptism in January. The only thing is waking her up and getting her to church on Sunday. :) Oh how the Argentines love their sleep. I never imagined how 9:00 church would be the greatest stumbling block in opening the door to salvation! It serioulsy is the hardest thing that we struggle with, but I'm determined to help my dear folk of San Justo find a way to wake up on Sunday morning.
4. We had the most glorious ward party on Friday night, despite being VERY different from our cozy little Highland 23rd ward parties. They cleared out all the chairs from the Sacrament hall which serves as cultural hall as well, set up long tables (leaving plenty of space for dancing) and cranked up the music to welcome everyone in. We got there at 8:00 because that's what time it started, but Argentines aren't exactly noted for their punctuality. So you can imagine what it's like for MORMON Argentines. :) At 9:30 we said the opening prayer (our bishop got permission from President Carter to let us stay out until 10:00 that night) and everyone broke out their personal tuppers of rice salads, noodle salads, and whole giant chickens, Bishop walked around the tables tossing big chunks of fresh bread to everyone, and we just went at it, having a good old time, everyone sharing food. We left before the dancing began, but found out that the party lasted until 1:00 in the morning. The best part? Three different members brought friends to the party and brought them to US to introduce them and set up a time to come visit them. The wonderful San Justo ward is really catching the spirit of missonary work and getting excited about sharing the gospel with the friends. And for us a missionaries there is nothing more precious than a member referral. It was like Christmas morning meeting those three friends.
In other news, I'm sooo excited because President has set up a wonderful Christmas Eve day for us. At 5:00 in the morning we will head out in colectivos to go to the temple!!!! I have been dying to go, and the Buenos Aires Temple is so gorgeous and freshly done over. Then we have lunch as a mission (it's a miracle to see the whole mission together) and the special musical program that our little musical group has been preparing for weeks. We had practice again today in the morning, and Hna. Carter has put together some IMPRESSIVE presentations. Maybe not QUITE like the MoTab Christmas Concert, but still pretty special. I'm beyond excited. Then we get to talk on Sunday!! Woohooo!
Well fam, I hope you have a glorious, cozy, happy week before Christmas. Eat some layer bars and snowball cookies for me, and don't forget to give Sash and Tia something for Christmas. How blessed we are to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, the real reason for celebrating this special time. Love you all!