Wow, that week went by pretty fast…

Well hello everyone! Man…we definitely had quite the week here in good old Villa Soldati, lots went on. For starters…(drum roll please)…Familia Traveso made the decision to enter into the waters of baptism this past Sunday! Wow, it was something special I will tell you that.

Three weeks ago we were introduced to Marta for the first time. Her brother being the bishop of our ward had of course, talked to her about the gospel and had even invited her to start taking the discussions a couple of times, but to no avail. This time was a little different though. A couple day before we met her,  her husband had passed away. Even though they didnt really get along, they had their family and you could tell that she was at a low point. We talked, set up an appointment and left to go to our next visit. As soon as we left, we could tell that she was more prepared this time and ready to start the discussions again. We met her family and the two boys were shy at first but there was also something missing as we expected.

In the coming weeks we visited the family and each time we came by, we could tell that there was something that was beginning to take hold inside of them. Each time, we had a lesson the spirit was strong and you could tell they had a desire to learn about the things we had to say, and the things that the spirit would teach them. There wasn’t nearly as much contention in the home between Marta and her sons, life just seemed to not only be getting easier for them, but it seemed to be getting better then it ever had been. Marta turned down a job offer that she had been given because by accepting it she would have to work on Sundays and not be able to make it to sacrament meetings. The day after we found this out, one of the sisters helped her find a job that ended up being a way better opportunity for her.

Of course this family had their questions about the gospel which was good because that only showed their interest and desire to want to learn what was right. Though out the last three weeks, they applied what they were learning and as you can see, they were blessed for that.

The one thing that I think was key in their conversion was the support from people that were at first strangers to Marta and her family, but are now really great friends. She had the support from her family and the ward. As Missionaries, we are simply messengers of a life changing message. The Holy Spirit does the teaching and the converting. And the members are the ones that help those we find grow in the gospel. This family was visited by so many members at once that we were worried that at first, worried that she would get distracted from the purpose of the visits. We actually had to tell members that they could come to the next visit with us because the amount we had coming with us was so big that there literally was not room for most of them in the house (some lessons we taught standing up because ALL of the chairs chairs in the house were occupied.)

Now they are progressing and learning the truth about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And they are happier than they have ever been. The boys have their friends in the ward and Marta 8/10 times can be found at her house sitting back enjoying a cup of mate with one of the members in the ward.

Helping people have this change in there lives is why I am here as a Missionary. It was almost as drastic as night and day to see how they changed for the better. Definitely never going to forget it!

I learned a lot this week, but not just about the Spirit and the power of conversion. I also learned a lot about promptings as well. Before I share this fun little experience with you guys, let me just start by saying that I am perfectly okay. I feel comfortable sharing this because I feel that this story has a very significant meaning to all of us no matter where were are.

So we were walking to the bus to head to our area and when we were about 100 yards from the bus stop. We walked past a plaza where there were some guys hanging out and I noticed as we passed them, two of them left the group as we passed. After a while, I check over my shoulder and there are a lot of people around because we were walking past a school that had just gotten out so there were a lot of kids with there Moms around. But I noticed the two guys that just seemed a little out of place. I didn’t really think anything of it then but I had them on my radar. We get to the bus stop and there is a Mom with her daughter waiting for the bus so we go and stand next to them not really thinking anything of it. I am waiting for the two guys to pass so I can get a better read on them and sure enough they pass us and I could just tell they were eyeing us up. I still didn’t say anything and just watched them as they kept walking. I still wasn’t 100% sure, but then they went and sat on a curb 100 yards away. Thats what tipped me off. They had no where to to go, they had just decided to leave their group of friends to go walk and sit on a curb…yeah right! So I tell my trainer, “Hey those guys are gonna rob us.” He takes a look and says they don’t really fit the profile. I told him how they followed us for a bit and he still didn’t really think anything of it cause to him, they were just two guys sitting on a curb. Plus what did I know, I was just in my training. But soon enough, a bus comes and the Mom and her kid get on. I had a really strong impression that we should get on the bus and just go somewhere else but my comp told me not to worry about it so we let it pass. Of course, as soon as it passed, those guys walk up to us and pull out the gun and well, we lost our cell phone that day.

It was a good thing it was only our cell phone (not that we had much else), but it did make work a bit more difficult that day. I was just kinda steamed cause I saw it coming, I knew it was the Spirit that made me aware of it, and my comp didn’t listen and I didn’t have the courage to tell him that we actually needed to get out of there. I am writing this and wow, the parallel is pretty amazing. Think about how our Heavenly Father feels when he practically wants to spoon feed us blessings and we either don’t recognize it or we dont want them. Sadly enough that’s what happens. This is why it is so important that we are in tune to the Spirit at all times. Who knows, maybe in the moment when we need something the most, the answer could be right in front of us. But if we are not in tune to the Spirit or we just flat out ignore it, those blessings are going right by us. Just like that bus did the moment before we were robbed.

Well that is enough for this week I suppose, we had a big week this week as a ward here in Villa Soldati and we are working so that we can continue seeing the success that we saw this week. Hey, do remember that in the big picture, it was the Lord that did all the work. We are just happy that we could bring some more of our Heavenly brothers and sister to the truth.

Hope everything goes well back home and know that I am praying daily for you guys!

Elder Justice

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