Dear Mom and Dad,
¿Por qué nunca se enojan los hijos de Superman?
Porque son supermancitos.
(Hay que contarlo en voz alta).
In other funny news, the stake president asked me yesterday if I was running for bishop, since I´ve been here for so long :D I told him I was putting together my campaign.
This week has probably been one of the highlights of my life. As I will explain shortly, this week I have been able to see that I am not just Elder Ray, working right along in Chile, but that I am an instrument of a loving Heavenly Father who is working miracles in this place, and who is using me to further this great work.
But first off--the new Elder in the pension! Elder R, from Argentina. He came into the mission at the same time as me, which means he is six weeks behind because he already knew Spanish. He is a convert from age 11, was inactive for several years, but then reactivated on his own and decided to serve a mission. At the present time most of his family has also reactivated, and the still-inactives are about to make the switch any minute.
Now, on to the stories. First off, a few years ago a woman named Y was baptized. She had a really tough time adjusting to the ward, but she new that the gospel was true and stuck through it for a long time, but went inactive about a year ago. We found her while heading to a different appointment in her same street. The sense that both my companion and I got is that she has an amazingly strong testimony, but that she needs some help remembering it. We believe that, if after meeting with us she chooses to reactivate, she will become an absolute rock in the church, the kind of person whose descendants will praise her name for generations. More news pending, I´m excited :D
Second off, another less-active member. Early in the week, we talked to someone random who gave us the address of an inactive family that we had heard of before (the 15-year-old son goes to church on his own, he has since I got here, but we didn´t know anyone else in the family). We passed by there, once again, on our way to another appointment, and they let us in. What followed was incredible. This family had been driven inactive by some really ugly circumstances. The mother, especially, was bitter and angry for years and years. We talked about repentance, about the light of the gospel, about the blessings still in store for them if they continued faithful. At the end of the lesson, the mom and one of the daughters bore their testimonies, in tears, about the church. They talked about their family, about the 15 year old´s future mission, about the power of the Book of Mormon. The final comment of the lessons, made by the mother of the family, was, "I think recess time is over." This family came to church on Sunday, the whole family. They participated actively in Sunday School, embraced old friends that they hadn´t seen in years, took the sacrament for the first time in years. They are now on their way to eternal life, and I feel privileged to have been one of God´s hands helping it happen. I definitely don´t believe that we, the missionaries, did anything other than walk in the door while wearing ties and name badges. But God and the Holy Ghost worked some miracles in there.
The next day, with the memory still fresh in our minds, we started knocking doors. We were let in by a lady who then told us that, for a period of some six months, she had gone to church with the same sister who so powerfully bore testimony just the day before. After we taught about baptism and the Holy Ghost, she and her 15 year old daughter immediately said that they wanted to be baptized.
Like I said before, I can tell that I´m just an instrument in a much, much bigger story.
Viviendo el sueño,
Elder Jason Ray