For all those who read the subject line and got a little panicky that maybe something bad or dangerous had happened to me here in good ole ATL, breathe, I am fine. Just a funny story which I will tell later in this email :) Oh and we just got transfer news! I am staying in Cunningham!!
AHHHH It is so hot here in Georgia. I melt and sweat so much it's borderline unladylike. And you want to know the truly sad part? People tell me this has been a relatively cooler summer. HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS???? Humidity. Goodness gracious.
So. This has basically been the week of Jonathan. We taught him every day. And it has seriously been the best week of my mission. Hands down.
I'll hurry and talk about other people before I go off on how everything went with Jonathan.
We taught Perla and all the neighborhood kids. So funny to show up and the kids start running around between houses to gather everyone up for the lesson. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and the look on the kid's faces when they learned that they would see their passed loved ones again was beautiful.
We fasted with our investigator Aracely and are praying that she now feels the strength she needs to overcome smoking! Her friend sat in on the lesson and had never heard about the Book of Mormon. So Aracely explained it all out. So cool to see her eyes light up as she bears testimony of what she believes.
Sports Night. Lol. Lol. Lol. Who woulda thunk I'd come on my mission and have to brush up on my soccer skills that have been in the cobwebs for the past like... 8 years?? But hey. With latinos as your coaches and Jonathan as your biggest fan, anything is possible. Including scoring 4 goals. HA. Miracles. Flat out miracles I tell you. Jonathan was so proud, "ESA ES MI MISIONERA!!" (that's my missionary) I doubt I will ever be able to replicate those mad random skills that appeared that night. I tried to convey that is was pure luck and the grace of God to Jonathan, but he was just a little too proud of me to accept that his missionary was not a Futbolista....
We did some cool service in a Habitat For Humanity affiliate! It is called ReStore! Sorta like a donation center that then sells the stuff. We got to help price things and then place them around the store.
Taught Lizbeth and the kids again finally!!! They are struggling a bit to purposefully make time for the Gospel in their lives. But Ricky and Linzy came to church so hopefully they will start progressing again!
Ok. So. The pepper spray. In one of the lessons we taught Jony this week... somehow the topic of self defense came up. Juan Carlos had been trying to teach me some self defense moves and Jonathan pointed out that in the moment you don't really think smoothly and it just gets crazy in a fight. "You should just have a gun! or pepper spray!" I pulled out my pepper spray that I carry in my bag and showed him. He proceeded to take off the cap and to "see if it works" sprayed a tiny puff into the middle of the room. We didn't smell anything and thought, "hmm not too strong" THEN IT HIT LIKE A FIRE IN YOUR LUNGS AND I WAS CRYING SO MUCH AND WE WERE ALL COUGHING AND DYING. For about 30 minutes. We had doors open and trying to fan out the house. Then Abuelita (94 years old) started coughing. And the baby. And the asthmatic nurse. BUT EVERYONE SURVIVED. After it all died down, Jony looked at me and told me my pepper spray works. He felt so bad, it was so sad but funny in hindsight cuz no one died. During his closing prayer he prayed for forgiveness.
All of the lessons with Jony each had something special about them. Whether it was after his baptismal interview and he shared with us his testimony or when he told us "I've had 3 other sets of missionaries who tried to teach me. But something about you two was different. You weren't so serious, you smiled. I think that with you two it was my time to change."night was special too. He texted us a scripture he had just read and explained why it had stuck out to him. So we called him and we read 2 chapters in the Book of Mormon with him. He was giving comments and asking questions. He is so wonderful. So converted.
The baptism itself was special. Jonathan was so CLEAN!! A) He got dunked twice because the first time his arm came up and it was a complete immersion and B) He didn't have a single sin. Getting to see him make that decision and make those baptismal covenants was beautiful. There is so much LIGHT in his eyes. He is so excited to receive the Priesthood next week and get a temple recommend. He came out of the dressing room for us to continue the rest of the baptismal program and he said he felt so light! The Branch members showed up and provided a lot of needed support since his mom chose not to come. Some members brought food and that meant a lot to him that they went out of their way to make his day special.
I know that this work that I am about is life changing. It is incredible to see the change in people's lives as they grow closer to Christ and make covenants to follow Him. I am so blessed.
I love you all :)
Yo se que vive mi Senor :) Y que gozo me da este conocimiento :)