Monday, July 4, 2016

Miracles Still in Progress

Last Sunday, my companion and I decided to fast to be able to find some new investigators. We specifically fasted that we would be able to find and teach an entire family. That night, we stopped in to visit our good friend Hugo to teach him about the law of tithing. When we got there, to our pleasant surprise, we found that not only Hugo was waiting for us to teach him, but also his mother Bernarda (less-active), his sister Marisa (less-active), his niece Erika (investigator), and even his sister Cristiani (investigator) had closed her little store to come listen in. It was our first time meeting Marisa and our first time teaching Cristiani. Hermana Villanueva and I were like, "Uh . . . what do we teach?" Tithing is not usually what we teach as a first lesson. But we felt impressed to just continue with the plans we have made, and it was perhaps one of the most spiritual lessons on tithing I have ever taught. Everyone participated, asking questions and making really good comments. 

We returned to visit them on Thursday, and felt impressed to teach about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This time, Marisa brought her 10-year-old granddaughter Larise, who has heard about the church from one of her classmates who is a member of our branch. Once again, the lesson was very spiritual, although I became concerned with some of the doubts Marisa expressed. Her comments showed that she didn't believe that anyone can know which church is true, if there even is a true church. We emphasized the power of revelation, of asking God and receiving an answer directly from the source, and invited her to pray and ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of God on the earth. When we finished teaching, we all knelt down to pray. As we explained that we show reverence by folding our arms, bowing our heads, and closing our eyes, Larise said, "I remember this is how Lujan (her classmate) taught me to pray!" Marisa offered the prayer. It was sincere, heartfelt, and powerful.

Yesterday, Marisa and Larise came to church. Marisa was there for the first time in 30 years. We enjoyed listening to the testimonies of the members, which brought a pleasant spirit to our meeting. I was shocked when suddenly Marisa walked up to the pulpit to share her testimony. "I know that God is real," she began, and I thought, Good, she believes in God. What is she going to say about the church? She continued, and told about how her family has been passing through a difficult time, and how she was feeling lost and confused. She concluded with this sweet testimony: "I used to think that nobody could know which church was true, but then I prayed and asked God. He answered my prayer. I know that this is the true church. It is the only true path that will lead us to heaven." 

I am amazed at the power of God to take a skeptical and unbelieving heart and touch it and soften it, that it might be transformed and purified. He did it with Marisa, and He did it with me, and it is truly a miracle.

Hermana Watts

Goodbye Presidente y Hermana LaPierre

Hello Presidente y Hermana Svec :)
so...umm...I fell off my bike.  How did it happen, you ask?  Oh, you know, I was just trying to ride without holding the handlebars and . . . well.  

 I got permission to go visit my old area Minga Guazú for my last P-day here, which sure was a special treat.  Here are some photos:

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