The Mighty Team of Whitworth and Mathis continues together!
Transfers this week and Hermana Whitworth and I are staying in General Villegas!!! I am so so happy. It was another great week, dominated by rain but that does not stop us from going out and preaching the gospel! Also it is true that when the rain pours, the blessings follow. People are extra receptive to our message when they see two young girls soaking wet on their doorstep.
We had a little dog friend, well quite the opposite, follow us around literally an entire day. When it first came to us, we commented on its surprisingly ugly features and its annoying nature. Well that came back to bite us because it would not leave us alone... and I'm pretty sure He is Villegas most hated dog because every street we went down every dog was drawn to him and we ended up in the middle of many dog fights. It was a little less than ideal and you bet we were pulling our hair out and saying some choice things to that dog by the end of the day. Yet by our side it walked, and waited outside houses as we would have our lessons. Hermana Whitworth sang the song from Annie, "dumb dog, why are you following meee?¿ We are rethinking any desire we have to ever have a dog, haha.
We met a love named Sol this week who was baptized about 2 years ago. A few other members of her family were also baptized and through the years their family has slowly fallen away from the church. Sol is almost 12 years old, and she just radiates the light and joy of Christ. She is counting down the days until she can go and do baptisms in the temple! She has all of her books, pictures, memories with the missionaries and with the church all kept neatly in a bag and she shared her memories with us joyfully. Though only 11 years old, and in a family of members who havent been too steady in church attendance, Sol is reading the Book of Mormon personally and is praying regularly. She also told us that she wants to be a missionary someday. This amazed me, and though she may not understand quite now, she is a huge example to her mother and her siblings. This really made me think of the power in one righteous example, who is doing the things they know to be right, no matter their age or circumstance, while at times they may be the only one standing.
We had an interesting experience this week as one of our investigators named Ailen told us that she did not want to continue taking the missionary lessons and that she did not want to be a waste of our time. This was a huge surprise to us because she was one of our investigators who was progressing the most, attending church and actively engaged in the lessons. We asked if we could stop by her house to talk to her in person because we wanted to understand her better. We passed by later and as we talked we were able to understand more that she was just overwhelmed with the commandments and the "requirements" so to speak, of the church. She is a perfectionist, and did not like that at times she was not keeping her committments to read or to pray. Luckily, we were able to tell her that she can take things one step at a time. She is making a huge effort which is so evident to us but invisible to her. We promised her that there is greater happiness and joy, and more blessings ahead, and that the great thing about this gospel, in the words of Elder Holland, is that we get credit for trying, even if we do not always succeed. Her heart was softened and we are blessed to be able to continue to teach her. But as we talked to her that night we were both overwhelmed for the love that we felt from our Heavenly Father for her. We were able to catch a glimpse of the patience and the hope that He has for us, and the desire that He has for all of his sons and daughters to follow Him and to return to Him.
We also watched General Conference this weekend which was so, so good! How lucky we are to be able to receive guidance in these modern days! One of the messages that stood out to me was how this life is one of joy! Of the many words that could have been used to explain this life, Lehi writes, men are that they might have joy! Joy comes through work and sacrifice. It comes through putting God first and trusting in His perfect love and plan. It comes through quality time shared with God's precious children who are our brothers and sisters. I hope that you all have a week full of joy and happiness, and remember that you are loved beyond measure. God is watching over you with patience and with love, waiting for the time that He can embrace you in His arms of love. Take each day one step at a time and don't forget to look up and give some thanks to the One who gives us all.