So I first want to apologize for not having written you all for the past 2 weeks! It's been below 95 degrees so we were afraid to go outside. No just kidding, but it actually has been surprisingly fresh outside this past week. I even got to wear my sweater!!!!!!!! It was really funny because it was like 75 degrees maybe and everyone was walking around in like Artic exploration gear. It was like that "video except without it being cold. But I slept without my fan for 4 days so there is great cause to rejoice here.
Well, lots of things have happened in these past few weeks. One, we were stuck in our house
I have a satchel now so I kind of feel like Flynn Rider preaching the gospel.
Still working on the smolder, ladies. Prepare yourselves.
Pues... We have had a difficult couple of weeks trying to get people to take the steps necessary to progress and to enjoy the plethora of blessings God has waiting for them. There were a few days that I went to bed feeling really alone and like I was just spinning my wheels without any heavenly traction (thats a good one too someone copyright it). Anyways, the lesson I have really learned these past few weeks is that the majority of the time, it isn't until we are in the fire of affliction or difficulty that the miracles come. My dad sent me an email about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the book of Daniel in the Bible, and I spent a lot of time thinking about that story the past few days. Besides having extremely awkward names, these three guys were about to be thrown into the furnace for refusing to deny their faith and their God. Talking to the King with great courage, they basically said, "Look buddy, we know that our God can save us from this fire, but if he doesn't, we are still going to believe in him as we turn into carne asada." The key word here is CAN. God is a God of miracles (see Mormon chapter 7 in the Book of Mormon), always has been, and always will be, but sometimes it just isn't part of His plan to divide the Red Sea at the moment that we think it would be reaaaaaaally convenient. Sometimes we are just sitting there in the furnace and it is getting really hot and we are praying and it keeps getting hotter and we feel deserted and alone. But is it then that we give up our faith? Better not because really at those moments is when your faith is all you have!
There is a scripture in Ether 12:6 that says we won't receive a witness until after the trial of our faith. What I have seen and learned these past few weeks is that that is really true, and that when the floor starts heating up we need to be firm in our trust that God CAN save us, that He has the power to do it, but also the trust that He knows what's going on much better than we do, and that he will show His hand when the moment is right, as long as we continue doing the right things and keep ourselves clean and worthy of His help. Miracles happen and they will come.
The past few weeks we have only had 0 or 1 person come to church with us. We have worked and worked and taught and served and sweated and prayed and wept and gotten our pants really muddy ... and have only had 2 people come to church with us to see what we are talking about in 4 weeks. Despite our efforts, the attendance at church has been dropping consistently from 85 to 60ish.
Yesterday, at church, despite it raining, we had 12 investigators at church with us, and an attendance of 114. It was a powerful meeting, and I know the people that came with us felt the spirit of God. I got up and bore my testimony about what I have been saying in this email and started crying, and it is really hard to talk in Spanish when you are crying, but I really saw and felt the Lord's hand (after weeks of feeling the flames of adversity) that Sand His confirmation that although I'm not perfect, although I haven't mastered the legendary Flynn Rider smolder (see example below), He is conscious of me and will do His work in His own time.
Well, I made myself a turkey lunch meat sandwich on Thanksgiving for dinner to be festive but it tasted terrible despite all my good cheer. Don't worry, I'll celebrate Christmas better. I was going to send you all pictures of me mish-ing it up in my sweater but I loaned my camera to a member for her son's graduation. Here they have summer break in winter. It's awkward, but we deal.
Love you all and I hope you all get your Christmas lights put up fast because people here have had them up since the first week of November, and even if they houses made of aluminum and rotting wood, they have some pretty hip Christmas lights. Props to Hondurans.
Oh yeah, about the title, just .... love your washing machine, because here we get buff slamming our clothes and our faces against bumpy metal with soap, repeatedly, to wash our clothes. It takes a long time. But I'm a jungle man so I can handle it.
Hurrah for Israel!