We received the phone call on Monday afternoon that I would be leaving and training, and the first thing we did was cry a little together and then go buy ice cream at our favorite ice cream shop nearby. :) I have been so incredibly blessed with the best companions in the world, all of whom will be amazing friends for life, and I've never been able to part from one of them without crying my little heart out. Hermana Sanchez and I had some hard and some truly miraculous experiences together, and I love her sooo much! We always joked that she was "my daughter born in the wilderness of my afflictions" like Lehi's son Jacob. 9 de Julio was truly the refiners fire for us where we fought on the battle fronts with Satan and followed the Spirit to see miracles.
So we spent our last two days together working with all our heart, and we had a really amazing experience. At the beginning of the transfer, we did a random street contact where we invited four punk kids sitting in the park to church. We had written down all their addresses, but never went. I'm ashamed to admit that we didn't take them very seriously and never really planned on passing by because we thought they were probably false addresses anyway. But every night in daily planning, I would open up my planner, see those four names, look at the name Emanuel, and say, "let's go visit Emanuel!" So we would ALWAYS put Emanuel as a plan B, but we never managed to get to his house. It became kind of a joke, and sometimes we would forget to put Emanuel in the plans, but then a few days later, I would flip to the back of my planner, see that name among the four punk kids, and for some reason the name always just stood out to me. So, as a special going away present for me, we put Emanuel as a plan A on Tuesday and made our way to his house. We knocked on the door, a nice lady let us in (Emanuel's mom) and we had an incredible lesson. In that lesson, Roxanna and her kids agreed to be baptized, and Hermana Sanchez just told me today that they are progressing wonderfully! I may never see the fruits of that little seed, but I will never again brush off those tiny little promptings from the Holy Ghost that sometimes just appear to be silly little Hermana Leavitt whims.
That is one simple, but seriously profound thing that I have learned on the mission. The promptings from the Holy Ghost are truly "still" and "small," and if we're not listening REALLY carefully, we will very possibly just glide right by them.
And these past few days starting out in Moron have just reinforced that lesson over and over again. From the very first moment that my name popped up on the screen with Hermana Neira, I KNEW that Heavenly Father had people prepared for us in the city of Moron. And ever since that moment, I have prayed harder than I think I've ever prayed in my whole life that I would be attentive enough to the spirit so that He could guide me to them. Seriously, I think I say a little prayer every five minutes, sometimes more, because I want more than anything in the world to be the tool in Heavenly Father's hands that He needs to save His children here in Moron.
So Moron (pronounced "Moh-Rohn," not like the "moron" that us americans say when we read it.) It was THEE biggest change going from 9 de Julio where everyone jaunts along the gold-paved streets whistling a happy tune to the busy, dirty, dirty streets of down town cityish Moron. It seriously is like a completely different mission, and I had forgotten how to be a missionary in the city! Those first days, I really was praying in every moment to find those people that Heavenly Father has waiting for us, and we had door after door closed in our face and rejection after rejection. At one moment on Saturday, we walked along in the grey afternoon, sooooo tired from being on our feet for about 6 hours straight without a single person giving us the time of day, and I have to admit that a little tear came to my eye and I looked up at the cloudy sky asking Heavenly Father why He wasn't answering my fervent prayers. I wanted so badly for Hna. Neira to have a good experience, to find the people waiting for us, and I felt like we were hitting a brick wall! But I've learned that sometimes Heavenly Father lets us exercise a little faith, and after we show our faith, the miracles ALWAYS come. As tempted as I was to give up in that moment, we continued on, and Heavenly Father literally poured out the blessings upon us.
Last night, I had another experience with the still small voice of the Holy Ghost. We were walking along in the warm evening, and across the steet there was a man working on his car. I thought to myself (which I've learned is often how the Holy Ghost communicates with us) "It would be cool to talk to him. But no . . he's working on his car and I don't want to interrupt him." So we kept walking. We went to the house we were looking for and they weren't home, so we turned around and walked back on the came route. And there he was again. The man working on his car. And yet again, I thought to myself, "Man I should really talk to him. But no . . he's really busy." Wow, Hermana Leavitt, how silly can you get! Thankfully I clued in after about ten steps, called Hna. Neira back and went back to talk to him. As I introduced myself and talked cheerfully with him, he didn't even take his head out from under the car to look at us. "I don't believe in God," was his response. And I thought to myself, "Wow, some prompting." But I just kept talking and eventually he took came out from under the car looked at us, and said, "Come on in." To make a long story short, we met his wife and three kids, had a lesson on the plan of salvation that I think was one of the best lessons I've ever had in my whole mission, and when we invited them to be baptized at the end, they smiled and said, "Yes!" This same man who said he doesn't believe in God wrote down the baptismal date for his family and said, "I am. SO. Excited for september 1. And I don't even know why, but I'm so excited." This family hardly even understands what baptsim is, but when the Spirit is doing the teaching, they know how they FEEL and that's all that matters. We found our family, the family that I was praying and praying for every minute since we arrived in Moron. Heavenly Father answers our prayers, and He communicates through the still small voice of the Holy Ghost.