We are still helping Wilder prepare for baptism! He had the chance to attend a baptism this week and he loved it! He said he liked how it was so reverent and the Spirit was so strong.
Juan and Kari are also still on board to be baptized the 23rd. They are on vacation here in Peru so we haven't seen them for a while. We have an appointment tonight to see how things are going and to help them continue to progress as a family.
Here in the South America Northwest area we have something called ¨rescued¨ from Thomas S. Monson´s ¨Go to the Rescue¨ talk. We have decided that not only are we going to baptize converts, we are going to rescue less actives as well. Because there are a lot. For example, my ward has about 1,200 members and the church attendance is 120...yup, we've got a lot of work to do here in Peru. But anyway, we ¨rescued¨ a less active this week named Madeley. To rescue someone, we need to teach ALL of the lessons again, have them attend church regularly and have interviews with the bishop. Here is the experience we have had with Madeley.... It's a great one...
This week we were able to rescue a woman named Madeley. She is married to a member who was recently activated. We met Madeley when her husband mentioned in ward council that they had separated and their marriage was not going well. Mandeley was completely inactive. We went that week to meet her, and found her very very depressed. She was drinking, her marriage was broken and she was living in her kitchen with a little blow up bed. We taught her repentance and invited her to church. Well, she came to church. So we started visiting her more frequently, 2 or 3 times a week. The process has been hard, she would be doing so so well...and then fall again. And that happened a lot of times. But we continued to teach her about Christ and the Atonement and the repentance process. Through the whole process, I have seen the changing power of the Atonement. It has been a hard process for her. It has taken a lot of effort and interviews with the bishop and time. But in our last lesson with her this week, we asked her how she felt now that she was active in the church. She described to us the feeling of happiness that she felt. The liberty and how good it felt to be clean. Something that she had never felt before and a happiness that was impossible to find in the life she had before using the Atonement. As she told us this, we sat in her kitchen, her bed wasn't there anymore, with her husband, they were hand in hand and she was just beaming. She was a completely different person. She was just filled with the Spirit of Christ. That morning I had read Mosiah and I saw the evidence of that scripture in Madeley. She was just FILLED with joy from living the gospel. She was so blessed temporally and spiritually. Temporally in her fixed marriage with Max and spiritually in the cleanliness and pureness and the Spirit that she was able to feel. Yesterday she received a calling in Young Woman´s, she took the sacrament for the first time, and she sat in Ward council talking about how to help other people come unto Christ with her husband. It has been so amazing working with Madeley and seeing the changes that only Christ and His Atonement can make in our lives. Now we are working to get them sealed :)
Well, one more fun experience from this week. As we were teaching a lesson, there was an old woman killing guinea pigs and chickens behind the investigators house. We were in a house and the kitchens are sometimes on the outside. This woman would take a guinea pig, cut its throat and then hold it upside down until all the blood drained out and then throw it into the boiling pot. Then take it out and pluck it. Then she took the chicken and did the same thing but...after cutting it's throat it got away, and was running around the yard squawking until it finally fell over. The dog went over, licked up its blood, then the woman went over and threw it in the pot (still alive) and its feet were kicking up everywhere in the air until finally it died... so she pulled it out and plucked it. All of this happened as my companion and I were teaching the restoration and inviting our investigators to be baptized. I know, graphic, but just imagine sitting in my place WATCHING all of it happen. It was so bad!! I have had trouble eating guinea pig and ckicken now haha. I'm definitely not in the States anymore :) It was a fun experience :) I think Emily will really like this one :)
Well, I love you all! I am so blessed to be here in Peru as a missionary. I even enjoy getting to know the animal-killing old ladies :) I love sharing this gospel and I know that every aspect of it is true. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father. And I now they love you all too. Keep strong in the gospel! Like Elder Birrell says, ¨you'll be happy you did¨ :) Love you all!!
This is me with my new bag I bought (I LOVE IT) Also, we are going to Yungay today for Pday. Look up the history of Yungay, it is SO cool!!