This week was GREAT!
First we had the conferencia with Elder Audukaitis and Presidente Detlefsen, and then I tried to take leaps of faith!
OKKK... so, Elder Audukaitis, member of the area presidency, first quoruom of the seventy, came and BAJO-ed the cana on us! (dropped the bomb basically!!!) He is a tall, smiley, Brazilian man, who said he wanted to meet us all beforehand and shake hands with his friends.... because after his lecture WE will not want to be HIS friends! YIKES! What a way to start! :) But boy is he a man of power!
Elder Audukaitis asked us if we had the meta (goal) of one baptism last week, to stand up. Only me and Hna. Olsen, and three other companionships stood up in two zones. He asked everyone for all of our excuses for why we couldn´t make the meta or why we coudn´t baptize this last week. We made a list and took an hour talking about every single one and then erasing every single one. They were ¨legitimate excuses,¨ ¨because the investigadores have to go to church at least 3 times and they´ve only gone once, because the investigadores are waiting for their divorce papers to go through, etc. etc.¨ But Elder Audukaitis said that none of the excuses were important. That we are not relying on the Lord and that we are not believing in miracles. He did it in a very powerful manner - you could hear a pin drop becuase it was just AWKWARD!! But, BOY did I feel the Spirit!!!!! I felt on FIRE! He told us about his mission and all of the incredible stories that occurred. He told us about missionaries in his mission as a mission president. And then he told us he had seen our numbers as a mission and that we were not living up our llamamientos. That we need to rely on the Lord con FAITH and con accion en nuestra fe!!! He told us that English Classes are garbage, that we are bad missionaries if we don´t talked to people while we are on the bus, that we need to ask for references differently and more effectively... and even with his blunt, direct approach, I drank it all in. It was INCREDIBLE!!!! I could feel the Spirit SOOO powerfully - I wanted to run out of the capilla and go find Oscar and baptize him right THEN!!! I was STOKED!!! I was bouncing off the walls, and right when we got out of the church I ran up to the first contact I could see and just talked to her. She was surprised at my excitement and gladly gave us her phone number to call her. Woohooo!!!
Our mission Presidente has decided on a new ¨Norma de Excelencia¨ for the mission. We need 1 baptism a week, 15 new investigadores, 20 lecciones, and 5 en la capilla todos los Domingos. Presidente´s new norma de excelencia - is REALLY REALLY HIGH.....like, exceptionally high, ALTISIMA for our area de Centro, but I have faith!!! Presidente said that he wants the new missionaries who are coming in (like Ben´s class) to have this as their normal planning. This would be INCREDIBLE if we can do it as a mission!
And for me as a missionary, I want to do it more than anything! I know that Presidente Detlefsen recieves revelation for our mission and that everything he says is from the Lord. I also know that the visit from Elder Audukaitis was necessary for our mission. Our mindset has been that this mission is ¨hard¨ and that the people are duro!!!! Well... that´s COMPLETELY true!! :) BUT, that doesn´t mean we should lose our faith in our Savior and His work! and Heavenly Father knows His children and He´s preparing them to hear our message. We just have to take more leaps of faith!
I think it´s the same with life in general - I have been learning that I need to be more humble and have more faith. And with more faith in Heavenly Father and His Only Begotten, I can see miracles!!!
One of the leaps of faith I have taken was with Neli, a contact that we made. We went to visit her and she was home! She gladly invited us in and gave us herbal tea and cookies. Neli is a HOOT!!! She´s a bubbly old lady who´s less than 5 feet tall. She goes to yoga and always serves her neighbors. Neli lives alone, and is VERY Catholic! The Saint of Urgency is her favorite and she had pictures and pictures and a minature statue of this Saint in her house - it´s like her ¨favorite movie star¨ but it´s a Saint! hahaha!!! She began to ask us questions, so we began to teach leccion 1. We talked about the love of God and of Jesus Christ and she began to tear up. i think she feels very lonely. We taught her about prophets, the apostacia, the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon. As we explained the Book of Mormon, she began to tear up again. I knew she could feel the Spirit. We read a little bit together, and then knelt down and prayed together about it, but she said, ¨Chicas, I know this book is true.¨ She´s excited to read it! So, I took a leap of faith and did what Presidente has asked us to do in the first lesson... I asked her to be baptized. She instantly changed and fiddled around and said, ¨I´m Catolica, Chicas. I can´t change...¨ But she said she´ll read the book of Mormon and she wants us to come over again. I have faith with Neli - I KNOW the Spirit touched her because I could feel it powerfully and I could see it in her eyes. She just has to decide to change. If she does, she will be abundantly blessed!!!
OH YEAH!!! We had a random contact come to church!!! His name is Augustine - he said we were happy smiley girls and wanted to know why. (He had pulled over to the side of the road and was sitting in his car talking to us!!!) We taught him a bit and invited him to come to church. And HE CAME!!! He didn´t give us his address, but he said thank you and it was very good to know about. I hope one day he´ll come back and partake of the blessings of the church!!!
Oscar´s baptism SHOULD happen this weekend. With his health, we might need to move it to next week, but we are praying and praying that it will happen pronto. We will try to sack a fecha tonight with Jose Luis (AGAIN! haha) or decide to dejar him for now. I really hope he´ll take the leap of faith and just say YES!
I love ALL of you sooo much!!!!!!! Hermana Olsen says Hello!!!!
Animo y Adelante!