Hola Familia!! QUE TAL!
This week's been very different, but great. A really hard thing happened this week -- well actually last week -- but anyway, do you remember the less-active member Bruno who we went with his sister to help fix his car then invited him to church and he came? He ended up coming again, a couple of weeks ago thanks to a lot of prayer! Then we didn't see him for a week or two. So last Thursday Hermana Winters got the impression to call him, but we didn't have his number, so she asked Luisa for it. Luisa said that she'd call him to make sure it's ok to give it to us - little did she know that was the last time she'd talk to him. On Friday their was a shooting at the bar that he worked at as a security guard. The boy with the gun went for the other guard, but Bruno jumped out to tackle him and hence got shot.
We were devastated, especially with the prompting we needed to talk with him that week. We found out he was getting ready to quit that job, too. It was one of the most real experiences I've ever faced with death -- he was just there one day and the next not. Luisa and her family are crushed. The viewing was beautiful, and the line wrapped outside of the funeral home around the next parking lot - half of Dalton came! The funeral was equally inspiring, the family asked if the missionaries would provide the music for the funeral. We were able to do Teach Me to Walk in the Light and I Am A Child of God, and I was able to use the violin! The Rodriguez's very tearfully thanked us for it, and so did many members of the congregation. It was a very special experience. It's interesting that funerals are such a sad thing, but they also bring people together in a beautiful way!
The Lord is watching over us as missionaries. The other day on bikes, we were feeling a little discouraged and down. We started heading down the street walking our bikes, when a van pulls up to us and the man says, "Que Pasa!" I said, "Hola! Como Esta! Somos misioneras!" They went on to say, "Yes, we know!" And the young man in the front seat said, "We're members, my brother and I, we just moved here from Guatemala but didn't know where to find the church!" Their names are Margarito, 23, and Hector, 27, and Margarito has been working here for about a year, and Hector got here 3 WEEKS ago!! Margarito was has been looking for the church here but couldn't find it, so was happy to see the missionaries that day! Sadly, he works every day but Thursdays and Fridays so he can't come to church :(. But Hector is legit as well -- he actually has a wife and four children in Guatemala. He told us it's very hard for him to be here and he misses them a lot. He baptized his oldest son a month ago before he left. When he came here to the US, all he brought were some pairs of clothes, so he came to church on Sunday in a t-shirt and jeans, and everyone thought he was an investigator! Which was kind of funny to me because he's been to the temple more times than most of the members in our ward. But he liked church, or at least said he did, which might have taken a lot for him because I could tell by the way he talked that he really missed church in Guatemala. It was a huge blessing that the Lord gave us to meet these two young enthusiastic members! Praying that Hector doesn't find a job that makes him work Sundays as well.
Two weeks ago we walked home, thinking we hardly did anything that day, but by the train tracks we talked to a man who didn't even look Hispanic to me, turns out he was, and invited him to church. On Sunday, the Bishop called us over, "Hermanas, this is your friend Efrian who you invited to church?" Haha, I had NO CLUE who he was, and then I finally remembered, and acted like I knew who he was all along! Ha! so he came to church. He lives in the Elders area so they'll begin teaching him. I am excited to see him progress!
We visited the Catholic church. I didn't like it very much, but it was good for Oliver and Elizabeth to see that we cared enough to come see them. They were thrilled to see us there, so maybe they'll come to ours one day!
Okay, so picture this...The women of the Dalton and Rocky Face wards sit down to watch the General Women's Meeting after enjoying cookies and lemonade. The lights fade, and a sweet voice welcomes the women to the Broadcast. A missionary in the back row starts flipping out when it begins and in a whisper-shout, says, "THATS MY MOM!!! MY MOM'S VOICE!!" Haha! All of the sisters of the ward were like, "Really!?" Mostly it was just great to hear your voice, Mom. During Mormon.org hour I played the invitation 5 times, because I just like listening to your voice!
My favorite parts of the meeting were Sister Burton's bold call to serve where there is Help Wanted -- she is amazing! And Elder Eyring's comment on "nurturing leaders." I really loved it and I think we can all get something different out of the messages that inspires us to do better, to stand taller and have a higher vision.
The Zone Leaders called me and I have to give a fifteen minute training at Zone Conference this Thursday on faith and repentance. I am SUPER nervous. Please pray for me and send me any brilliant ideas or thoughts that you may have on those subjects!
I know that the Savior's Atonement is real. It is all-encompassing. He is our Rock and our Salvation. We are all indebted to him!
Love you all!
P.S. Today is Hermana Winters' birthday! We're going bowling so she can beat us all again... :)