I´m just going to write a few stories, but try to give them a bit more detail.
We had a great lesson with Edison, his wife Claudia, and their 10 year old son Martin. We watched "Together Forever," an older church movie that talks about how the Gospel blesses families, and about how families can be eternal. It was an interesting lesson because of how close we got, so many times, to a really powerful spiritual breakthrough, but that every time, right when we were almost there, the phone rang, or someone knocked on the door, or Claudia had to leave to go help out her sister. It´s an interesting pattern that is actually quite common--whenever we are getting to a really spiritually powerful moment in a lesson, distractions start to pop up on all sides. But I think they still felt the Spirit quite strongly, and we´ll keep helping them to see through the mists of darkness to see the truth.
Last week we started teaching a lady named Miriam. She is a wonderfully interesting lady--she is about 75 years old, and has literally investigated every church there is except for ours, looking for the truth. A year and a half ago, she left a church that she had been a part of for 25 years when she found something in the Bible that wasn´t in agreement with what the church taught. The first time we visited her, she gave it to us really plainly: "I´m looking for Christ´s church, the holy, true church of God, for His chosen people, and if you are that people the I want to be baptized in your church!" Last week we printed off a chapter of the Book of Mormon in large print so that she could read it. This week we did three more and ordered a largeprint copy of the entire book. I´m excited!
Irene and Evelyn: I think I´ve written about them before, but here´s a brief summary. When I was in La Ligua, a sister and her young adult daughter showed up out of the blue at church one day. The daughter is heavily handicapped as a result of a car accident several years ago, but even so she got up to bear a powerful testimony about the scriptures. When I got here to El Mirador, I realized that this was their home ward, where they were baptized and where they go to church as often as they can.
This Sunday we went by to visit them, and caught them right as they were on the way out the door. Evelyn, the daughter, was having trouble breathing (she had a breathing stem for 31 months, it was taken out towards the beginning of October, and she just never adjusted to not having it). We helped to get her down to the car--then, while Irene went back up to bring the clothes, we sang hymns with her for 15 minutes. It was a beautiful moment, in a way, even though it was a bit unusual. In between hymns, Evelyn would ask us questions to make sure that she was really understanding the scriptures that she was reading in that moment. I am praying now that everything goes well in the hospital in Santiago!
We were out on the street one day when Matias Rojo (18), who I have written about before--a recent convert who has been inactive but went to General Conference with us--walked up. We started talking, and within 2 minutes Maria Paz (15), another recent convert whose family we had been trying to get to know, walked up and joined the conversation. She said that her mom, Pamela, was at home because she broke her finger in a car accident, and that if Matias would come with us we could go by and see her. He agreed, and so we all went together. They all hit it off wonderfully, Matias, Maria Paz, Pamela, Pamela´s daughter Pamela, and they are all planning on going to church together now. It was a very beautifully orchestrated miracle. There was no doubt it was God´s hand.
I absolutely love my mission. I hope that I am able to convey a part of that love and excitement through these letters. Thank you for all the support and love that you give me to help me here.
Viviendo el sueño,
Elder Jason Ray