It has been an amazing week here in Padua and a week where I learned just how much I love Padua! On Tuesday and Wednesday, we had divisions, so I went to Aldo Bonsi to be with Hermana Castillo (seriously! don't know how President allowed it but he did!) and Hermana Carrillo stayed in Padua so that she could learn the area better. The division was great, and we had some good times, my little Peruana and I. But I think the greatest blessing was being able to return to our dear little scruffy pensh and the tree-lined steets and come to the realization that I adore Padua and missed it so much! After thinking that I could never love a place and people as much as I love San Justo, this was a great realization for me. :)
This week, we have been working alot with a beautiful family named the Familia Iglesias. Well, we've actually been working with them for about a month. They are a mom and a dad with 5 CRAZY little girls and 1 baby boy. The two oldest daughters are both members but have their records in a different ward where they were baptized, so the hermana's before us discovered them by accident. The mom, Monica, is absolutely wonderful, and wants really badly to get baptized, but she and her husband aren't married, so that's a road block. The third daughter, Julie, is the one who is going to get baptized in a few weeks (I sent pictures with her I think.) and she is such a character! She has the attention span of a little puppy, but is so earnest and adorable that we miraculously keep coming back (despite little 4 year old Nicole who tugs on my hair with grimy hands, 6 year old Morena who yells over us in the lesson, giving us a minute by minute recap of her day at school, and muddy puppies that jump on my lap). Lessons are always an adventure and we always leave exhausted, but I love that family with all my heart. They live in humble circumstances, but are so incredibly good, and we are praying and praying that Monica and her husband, Marcelo, can get the marriage papers going so that she can get baptized! They didn't really see the need, but all the talks in Sacrament this Sunday were about living the Law of Chastity, and after the meeting, Monica went up to the bishop and told him that she was going to start the paper work this week! Marcelo approves and loves the church too, but works such long hours that I still have never seen him.
The other day we went from a lesson with familia Iglesias in their tiny, very humble home to contact an old investigator who lived on the other side of town in practically a mansion. As we sat in her beautiful home and talked with her, she told us of her woes with her divorce and her life of drifting in and out of relationships with different men, despite the things that the missionaries had taught her about the Law of Chastity. It was so interesting to go from the polar opposite in the Iglesias happy home where they struggle to buy bread and diapers but are accepting and beginning to apply the principles of the gospel, to this mansion where the very nice but very very sad woman didn't want to accept the gospel and whose life right now is very cold and empty. How grateful I am for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that brings happy moments to our everyday existence and greater perspective of the beautiful things to come.
We were able to find Clotilde after two weeks of crazy medical appointments. I don't think I've ever mentioned to you that Clotilde has pretty serious health problems, cancer being one of them. But we had an AMAZING lesson with her and, as always, are inching ever closer to the light bulb moment.