It’s so crazy to believe that today I have been out for 2 months. In many ways it has gone fast and in others I think “it’s really only been 2 months”. I’m still trying to get my mind to understand I’ll be here for a year and a half. Ha-ha.
How was New Years? We didn’t get much sleep here. New Year’s Eve is apparently the most dangerous night here in Bolivia, so we had to be in our house by 8:00. There were fireworks going off ALL night, the big ones, from every house and I am not exaggerating. It was so loud. So, I was able to be up and bring in the New Year, I watched fireworks while Hermana Alarcon slept. I don’t know how that was possible. What did you all do?
So, I was trying to decide what to write about this week, when we had this incredible experience yesterday. It changed my life and I am still trying to believe it all happened. I’m so excited to share it with you. This week was a little slow because of New Year’s. We haven’t had much success and I’ve realized on a mission when you feel unsuccessful you wonder why you’re here. Yesterday we had meetings after church and then lunch went late so we didn’t get to meet with all the people we had planned on visiting. After lunch Hermana Alarcon and I, were deciding where to go. She mentioned that we should just go to the person we had in our planners for that time. It was great, but I asked if we could visit Carla on the way (I think I told you about her when I Skyped you, the one who knows a little English.) We had her in our planner for earlier in the day but didn’t have time, and she is only home on Sundays, so it was our only opportunity. We went to her house and discovered that her friend was there and so he joined us for the lesson. We taught the Plan of Salvation. Her friend Wilder was super doubtful, he asked many tough questions about Faith, the Celestial Kingdom, and the importance of Jesus Christ. Hermana Alarcon did an awesome job answering all of his questions, but after every answer his response was, “I just don’t understand”. We bore our testimonies, and expressed to him that we could share our testimonies with him all night and no matter how badly we wanted to take our feelings and put them into his heart, that’s just not how it works. We explained that only through prayer and personal revelation from God can you come to know the truth for yourself. I could tell he wanted to understand so I promised him that if he sincerely prayed he would receive an answer. He looked at us like we were crazy, but we committed them both to pray. We finished the lesson and asked Carla to say the closing prayer. She didn’t want to so we then invited Wilder. He was skeptical but accepted... It was the most sincere prayer I have ever heard. Most people we ask to pray follow the steps word for word like it explains in the pamphlet. But, not him, he let the spirit guide him and he asked God about everything we had taught him. After the prayer, Hermana Alarcon began to say goodbye. I looked over at Wilder and asked him how he felt. He was silent and then he put his face in his hands. Tears began to fill all of our eyes. He finally removed his hands and said... it’s true.
I cannot describe the feelings I felt. The spirit just confirmed to him that everything we shared with him is true, and he couldn’t deny it. None of us can. As we left we hugged Carla, and Wilder grabbed my hand firm for about a minute. He put his other hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eyes with tears in his and thanked me. After we left and turned the corner of their house Hermana Alarcon and I took a moment to pray, expressing gratitude because it was all Him in that lesson. We hugged. This is why I’m here and I just witnessed something that we share with people in every lesson. Now I KNOW the converting power of the Spirit. It changed him and it changed me. I don’t think in my own life I have received an answer like that so fast and powerful. This church is true and I will remember this for the rest of my life and I know Wilder will too. How did I get so blessed to be a part of it all?
I love you all so much and I am grateful to get to share these experiences with you.