This week we witnessed a miracle. There is a woman we have been visiting de vez en cuando (now and then) for the past month or so. Her name is Myrian and she lives with her marido (husband) and her youngest two children, Luhan and David. (Her oldest, Juan, lives with his grandparents so he can go to school and comes home for the weekends.)
A couple weeks ago, we talked in our district meeting about certain signs you can look for to know if an investigator is progressing or not. Some signs we mentioned were setting aside time to talk with the missionaries, even when busy; doing the things we ask them to do, like reading the Book of Mormon or praying; and making changes in their lives for the better. That night, we had divisions. I went with the sister training leader, Hermana Field, and we visited Myrian. When we arrived at her house by surprise, she was busy with her little boy who was sick, but she invited us to sit and chat for a few minutes. We talked and discovered that she continues to pray daily with her children, something we had invited her to do in one of our earliest meetings with her. She also told us that she had stopped going to the Christian church she had been attending as she felt it was becoming too commercialized. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and invited her to read it. As we left, Hermana Field commented to me that she exhibited all the signs of a progressing investigator.
On Friday, Hermana Sorenson and I returned to visit her. We were thrilled to find that she had read a few verses in the Book of Mormon! We planned to teach her the first lesson, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Before we began, I started to think, wouldn't it be nice to dedicate an entire lesson to the Holy Ghost and how to recognize it? When Hermana Sorenson looked at me and whispered, "We're going to talk about the Holy Ghost," I knew we had both been inspired.
The Spirit was strong in that discussion. We invited her to pray about the things we had talked about, to know if our message was true, and she accepted the invitation. Then Hermana Sorenson, following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, asked, "Myrian, we have another invitation for you. If you pray and find out that these things are true, will you be baptized by someone holding the proper authority?"
She said yes.
It is amazing to me how the Holy Ghost works in the lives of God's children. As missionaries, we may have sparked the changes in Myrian's life, but she is not changing because of us. She is changing because she has felt that sacred influence.
This is truly a marvelous work.
Q & A
1. What is the funniest thing that has happened in the past few weeks?
The funniest thing. Hmm. A couple weeks ago we had some sisters staying in our pension for the night so they could cross to Argentina (or something like that). Hermana Sorenson went to bed early because she wasn't feeling well, and the sisters and I stayed up and talked for a while (not too late, I promise!). All of a sudden, Hermana Sorenson yelled to me, "¿Ustedes cerraron la capilla?" (Did you close the church?)
The thing is, Hermana Sorenson sometimes talks in her sleep. So I didn't know if she was asleep or not. I asked her, "Why?"
"¡Porque la capilla no puede estar abierta!" I waited quietly to see if she was actually awake. Finally, with an exasperated sigh, she said, "Bueno. Hablemos de eso en la mañana." (Well. We'll talk about this in the morning.) Then she rolled over and went back to sleep.
So yeah. My companion sleeptalks. In Spanish. It's super funny.
2. What do you find most different about church in Paraguay?
Church in Paraguay is the reverse of church in the States. We start with Relief Society and Priesthood, then Sunday School, and then Sacrament Meeting. Other than that, it's pretty much the same.
3. What is your favorite hymn and why is it your favorite?
Favorite hymn. Good question. I can't choose just one. I really just love to sing. The other day, for companionship study, my companion and I just sang hymns for an hour. I love to share hymns with our investigators and less actives, I feel it really invites the Spirit.
4. Did you get to watch the General Women's Broadcast?
Not yet, but I should be able to Saturday.
5. Will you get to watch general conference in English or Spanish?
I think I will be watching Conference in English. I think it's best to hear the talks in their original language. There are things that just don't translate.
6. What kind of service do you do?
We've cleaned the church a couple times. We try to wash dishes and help with household chores, but a lot of the members don't let us. We share uplifting messages whenever we can, and visit people who need visits. Do you have any ideas for good service projects?
7. What kinds of crazy bugs have you seen in Paraguay?
We've had some giant cucarachas (cockroaches) in our pension. There are a ton of mosquitos, they're terrible. One time I saw a huge spider outside our apartment building. That night I had a nightmare that I had to kill that spider and the only way to do it was to cut it up into tiny pieces and burn each piece. There are some beautiful butterflies here. When I was in Obligado for divisions, I heard about but didn't see a type of worm that is poisonous - if it touches you it leaves a severe sore. But the bugs aren't that bad here in the city.