June 3, 2013.
Oh Familia y Amigos, this week was just delightful. Let me tell you about it.
First of all, something amazing happened. For the first time I expressed myself in Spanish! Like, I said everything I wanted to say and was able to say it like Alivia would say it! I kind of chastised a guy -- in Spanish! It was awesome! I can’t believe I was able to do it! Let me tell you, it is definitely not like that all the time. But, the Lord blessed me between the hours of 7-8 on the 2 de Junio. I spoke real Spanish. Up until this point I could teach my little part of the lessons in Spanish and converse mas o menos and do door approaches, etc., but this time it was like I was actually talking! It was the coolest thing ever! After the lesson was over he was talking to us about relationships and us getting married and teasing us about boys and stuff and I could totally joke along! I can FINALLY joke around with people! Well, I am starting to be able to. It was the best thing ever! AH.
Second, we had a mini miracle, and it was great. Do you remember the story about Christina and Anita? I met these girls the second week of my mission. This was the girl (Christina) who called us the night we met her, at like 10, and asked us to pray for her and asked when we were coming back. Remember that? Okay, so ever since then we have been trying to go back. We have gone and tried to see her for at least once a week for the past 5 weeks. We haven’t been able to find her. But, this girl was always on my mind. Every time one of our appointments would cancel or we had some time I would say, "Let's try Christina". Well, this week, on Saturday, IT WORKED. She was home! She opened the door and ran out and hugged us and said "Where have you been!? I have been waiting for you!" We assured her that we had been trying to see her for the past month but she had never been there. She was shocked and happy. She came outside to read in the Children’s BOM with us. Then her mom came out. Her mom told us we could go read inside. It was clear that she did not want to talk to us, but she was fine with us talking to her daughter, so we went inside. Before we got to the door Christina says "She will be sitting there. Don’t listen to her. I don’t trust her. My family does, but I don’t. Just don’t listen to her." We thought that she was talking about the woman who lives with her, but as we walked in you could feel the Spirit leave, immediately. As we turned the corner there was a hugeeeee santa muerte shrine. For those of you who don’t know what santa muerte is, as I'm sure most of you don’t, santa muerte translates into "The Saint of Death" and is the creepiest thing in the world. It is devil worship–except with shrines and other garbage. The "saint" looks like the grim reape. It is a huge thing down here, like, if you aren’t Catholic, you worship santa muerte. It is terrible. Just talking about it makes me feel creepy and weird.
The devil is so real and so rampant here. Ugh. We aren’t supposed to go into santa muerte houses and the Elders got really mad at us when we told them about this experience, but I was not about to leave Christina. So, we sit down and ask her about the shrine. She said that her whole family believes and worships it, but she doesn’t. She only believes in God and prays every night and reads in the Children's BOM we gave her. She then started crying and said, "I just love Him so much." Those were her exact words and we couldn’t hold back tears. We told her we were so proud of her and promised she would be blessed if she would continue to do so. We read a story with her and then taught her how to pray (using true prayer). She then offered the most sincere, heartfelt prayer I have ever heard uttered. I love Christina.
The Church is true. Know it, Live it, Love it. I love you all.
Hasta la Proxima Ves,Hermana Alivia