Hola (: As I write this to you, I have never been more happy in my entire life. That sounds crazy, but it's a kind of happy I can't even describe.. It's a different kind of happy. The kind of happy that comes from sharing the Gospel and being so full of faith you think you're going to explode and the Mormon Tablernacle Choir is going to sing every time you open your closet doors to start a new day.
IS THAT CLICHE OR WHAT?
But it's true. Yo estoy muy contento.
Okay. First little miracle this week.
A long time ago, I met this mother who is a friend of one of our ward members that we had dinner with. Her name is Jessica and she has a son named Alejandro. She is from a different ward but she shared that her son is 16 and having troubles.. doubting the truth of the Church/Gospel and asking all the wrong questions. She was super worried about him and he had shut her out because.. that's what 16 year olds do to their moms..
I had the thought come to me to write Alejandro a note. So I ripped a brown paper bag and wrote as fast as I could. In the note I told him that...
" His mom knows he has a good heart and that he needs to prepare himself now to serve a mission for the Lord. Questions are good but only when asked in an environment of faith. Alejandro, it's true. Don't believe me? Ask Him yourself. Your Heavenly Father loves you more than you can even imagine and wants to have a relationship with you. Remember what you Savior did for you. Hang on to your testimony with all you've got. It's the most unique thing about you. Don't let it slip. With love, hermana Skidmore - Cal Sac mission from KCK."
So that was like a month or 2 ago.
We just had dinner with that member and Jessica again. Guess what she said?
Alejandro has completely changed. He goes to church and seminary and has mentioned serving a mission which was something Jessica NEVER thought would happen.
I wanted to cry when she told me. Like woah. I know it wasn't just the note.. and Alejandro didn't really tell Jessica why he suddenly changed.. ya know.. still a 16 year old and not wanting to open up to him mom. But she said it was a lot of little things combined.
I know it wasn't just the note. But just knowing that maybe I had a tiny part in that kids life.. no words can describe. The teenagers, guys. I seriously love them. I have so much faith in the youth of this Church and youth that just don't know they're mormon yet ;)
Now Gabriel and Jose...
They're cousins. Gabriel was the random guy we picked up on the street on the way to church one day and put him in a members car and found out he wants to be baptized... WHATUP.
But get this.
We text them to invite them to church, baptisms, ward activities, etc.. and we kept getting these sketch answers.. "si, te quiero!" "Adios mi amor!".. at first it was cute.. then it was like.. "miamora.!" (my girlfriend)... ew. no. I'm your minister not your eye candy, fella.
We thought we were going to have to hand them off to the Elders.. or drop them completely because they didn't have real intent.. WELL
We went over there, fully prepared to have the most awkward lesson of our lives accompanied by Alfonso, our body guard/Ward mission leader.
They come outside.. and the drunk old neighbors are like making out and their music is super loud.. I'm so mad.. . COME ON PEOPLE TRYING TO FEEL THE SPIRIT HERE!
I can't take it anymore... I march over there and they unlock their tounges and look at me.. LA MUSICA!!!!! And I give them a hearty thumbs down. He's like "oh geez who is this nun telling me what to do..?" But he turns it down and I march back over to Gabriel and Jose who are cracking up.
We then talk to them about how we're they're ministers and how we need to know if they're really willing to change..because they haven't come to church (we didn't mention the texts though).
Jose thought I was getting mad at him so he's like... Esta enojada? Esta triste? and I'm like noooooooo I just care about you a lot and want this so bad for you!!!
We figured out that they share a phone with all their cousins.. so it's the cousins that have been messing with us. Figures. Gotta get those men the Gospel.
So we had a really good lesson about having a change of heart and we gave Gabriel and Jose their very own Libro de Mormon and Santa Biblia with colored tabs (thanks for sending me those tabs mom (: ) marking Hermana Thomas' and my favorite scriputres and some other good ones.
They were so grateful. It was humbling. We read in Alma 5 about having a change of heart and coming unto Christ. They promised to read and start doing all they can to get off work and come to church. They plan to be baptized on October 5th.
But what happened at the end was probably one of my favorite experience so far.. Jose came to shake my hand as we got ready to leave and he asked me again.. are you mad? are you sad? I said...
"noooo! I'm excited for you! i just wanted to make sure you knew how important this is. Do you have any idea how much we care about you guys? We pray about you every night!"
Then I told him.."I've been thinking about your little son.. (he lives in Mexico with his wife while he's here making money).. and they example you're setting for him. I believe in you, jose. You can do this."
he was all.. "Pues, gracias.."
He lives with his cousins who drink and go out with women a lot.. He told me how hard it is.. knowing the difference between right and wrong but being surrounded by negative influences... I totally felt for him. Been there before. But he can do this. I know it.
Then I realized why I feel a particular connection to him..I said...
"jose, ya know what... I have 2 older brothers. They are incredible. Good men in the gospel. And you remind me of them. That's why I care about you so much. I want the same things for you. The same blessings that my brothers have seen in the gospel, I want that for you.. but more than that.. Your Heavenly Father wants that for you. and that's why we're here..God loves you so much.. you know that right?"
He was all... "Pues, si, gracias..." hahah man of little words.
Also side note - All of that was said in horribly broken spanish.. still relying on the Spirit to carry the message to the heart of the listener ;) haha.
But nonetheless! I love being a missionary. I have so many more things to tell you but I'm running out of time!
Please look for the little miracles that you see every day.
Also, epiphany this week.. sometimes we go through hard times so that we can be an instrument in the Lord's hands so as to empathize with another one of his children when they're experiencing a similar trial. Cool how that works. God's a smart guy.
The Church is true. The Book of Mormon is anther Testament of Jesus Christ and I have had a front row seat to seeing it change lives.