Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Nathan's Bishop's family threw him a surprise birthday dinner/party!
They contacted us and asked for pictures of Nathan and our family
and made a poster. Then they sent us these pictures the night of
his birthday. We were SOOOO happy and grateful!

How did they know he'd love the Woody cup?! 

Studying the picture poster
With the Bishop and companions
With his Elders Martinez and Menacho
Nathan's birthday gifts to himself:  a milkshake...
...and a Colombia-themed soccer ball

Thank you all for wishing me a happy birthday. I hope you all had a great New Year. I enjoyed mine a lot, even though it was pretty crazy. This week has been very good, we almost had 30 lessons with members this week! It's all because one day we did 3 divisions with members (meaning that it was us solo with a member), and we had a member almost every single day to do a division and another to have lessons with members. We also found some great people, one of which I´m going to talk about later. But my birthday we found this amazing person (the one I´ll talk about later). I was with our ward mission leader, who while we were walking told me a lot of stories from his mission, which was pretty cool. He also told me that I teach really well for someone who only has 5 months in the mission, which caught me by surprise. I asked him for suggestions in how I can improve (which I do anytime a member accompanies me). He actually told me that he didn't have any suggestions for me, which took me by surprise, because he teaches really well. That made me feel pretty good.

After that we went to our first dinner. One of the members invited us over for dinner, and gave us rice with sausage and chicken, which was delicious. They have some traditional dessert here in Colombia. I don't remember what it's called, but its basically a firm pudding that you can cut like cake that tastes faintly of butterscotch. It's really good. Then we went to our actual dinner with the bishop's family, where the surprise happened. We were sitting outside for a long time, and they surprised me when I walked in and saw the poster. They gave us a really good dinner, sang to me, had the cake and all the pictures you saw. Mom, did you seriously send them those pictures? They said that you did. And did you have to include the picture of 15 year old me? It was terrible. But it was really great, I was really surprised. And today I got to celebrate it a bit more when we played soccer. I bought myself a milkshake (as seen in the picture) and a soccer ball (also as seen in the picture). We also didn't get to sleep at all the night of my birthday, because our neighbor downstairs decided to blast music so loud that our house was shaking until about 3 am. But that's pretty normal.
But as for this investigator. It's a single mom with an 8 year old son. We had a really spiritual lesson, with me and our ward mission leader, Hno Wilson who's a returned missionary from Mexico. He works with this lady and got us the reference to talk to her. Her son is really funny, he's super serious and super smart. He reminds me of a more serious Eli. He understood basically everything we shared. After this lesson we were talking with the other missionaries, and Hno Wilson was talking about our authority to promise blessings to people. He said that this lady accepted our visit because she's feeling empty, like there's something missing in her life. She didn't say this to me, but to some friend who told Wilson. And he told the elders that I promised her that if she listened to us and applied what she learned, she wouldn't feel this emptiness. He said I said almost exactly that, and he was very surprised, because no one had said anything about that to me. I don't remember saying anything like that, but it makes me feel better. It makes me feel like even though I'm weak, and I'm missing a lot, the Lord still uses me to talk to those that He's prepared. Sometimes we worry too much about saying the perfect thing, being 100% sure that we're feeling the Spirit. But we don't need to do that, we need to do what feels right and trust that He'll work with it.
I think that's about all the news for this week, I hope you all have a great week and that the new year starts out great for you all. I love you all, thank you for your prayers and support.

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