So good to hear from yall! Congrats on the reassignment Sister Bledsoe! When I first saw the email I thought you were going to Farmington, Utah hahaha... New Mexico will be SWEET! I´m so excited for you! Itll be so cool to get to be in the states for a bit.. I know from experience that by spending time as a missionary in your own country first it gives you a better perspective of the role of missionaries in another foreign country. It sounds weird but I promise you´ll understand later!
Also, it was cool to hear about the Cabo trip and all the cool things you guys did. I´m looking forward to one day when I can come with because I´ll finally be able to speak to the people there more than "Hola" and "Como estas?" Haha. Maybe the next one can be a year from now? :) Haha. And I know that by doing small acts of service like giving a soccer ball to kids in the barrios (I know what that is now too!) makes a big difference. It´s amazing how much understanding you gain in the mission, especially after just 4 months here in Perú. Well done fam!
This week went pretty well, we have been contacting a lot more and have been having some successes with that. We also got three people to commit to a baptismal date this week, but unfortunately none of them came to church this Sunday. On Wednesday we had interviews with President Ardila and mine went really well. He gave me a lot of encouragement and told me that I´m doing a good job and I really needed to hear that! The whole interview was really guided by the Spirit and I left more energized and determined to work hard. He really is like my dad here in the mission and it was great to have the opportunity to talk for a little bit. Btw, I told him about your recent missionary experience, Dad!
We have been inviting people (and by that I mean every person we talk to) to the four main sessions of General Conference, but just a few could make it Sunday morning. The rule in the mission is that we have to bring an investigator or a less-active to be able to attend the sessions-- except the Sunday morning session. So I really only got to see that session yesterday in the morning. It was kind of a bummer because we had had a bunch of people who told us they would go Saturday, but they all fell through for one reason or another. However, I learned a lot from the talks in the session that I DID get to see and especially was touched and motivated by President Monson´s talk. I feel more strongly now the importance of teaching the Plan of Salvation because it´s so important to keep an eternal perspective when we are faced with trials or when we have to make big decisions. If more people understood that the Gospel is salvation and not just a pretty message, I think they would choose to act and keep their commitments. So we will see how that goes! I feel a lot more motivated now to help everyone I meet understand these truths that I have known my whole life and have guided me throughout it.
Yesterday we had an interesting experience contacting. We stopped by to visit a less active sister who sells fruit at a stand in one of the marketplaces by Lupita´s house and as we started to visit with her, an older, homeless gentleman that we always pass and greet on the way to Lupita´s asked me to "preach something" to him and I went right into the Plan of Salvation right there in the street. We talked for about 30 minutes and we were able to explain almost all of the plan in between his long commentaries (Peruvians talk a LOT). He showed me a bunch of scriptures in the Bible and I realized he knows it very well. He went on to tell us he has been homeless for 40 years and wants a place to live. I don´t really know where this came from, but I promised him, as a servant of God, that if he keeps His commandments he will be blessed and find somewhere and live. The man (his name is Ricardo) thanked me for coming here from the United States to bring the word of God to him and to the people here. I told him my companion came from far away too, but he just kept on talking to me, haha. He said that he could feel that I was sent from God because I preached with His power and authority and with His words. I thought of the talks I heard that day in Conference and I thanked Heavenly Father silently for giving me the ability to teach in such a manner, It really wan´t me, but the Spirit working through me to touch the heart of this (kinda crazy, but sober) homeless man. I feel so blessed to be able to be here right now sharing this Gospel and for these experiences and I know that each one of His children is so precious to Him.
This Gospel is true! Sigan adelante!
Last p-day we played volleyball (futbol is now prohibited in the mission!) as a zone outside and our hands got all dirty. Hermana Ocampo and I!