What a blessedly amazing week. I believe yesterday was probably one of the best days of my life, and this whole week has taken on a rosy glow in my mind.
First off, I ate grits this week for the first time in almost 2 years (it´s called polenta in spanish, they eat it in Argentina, too, but I don´t think it´s very common here in Chile. But, Elder Robustelli found some and we had a delicious, memory-filled meal).
We got to teach E a little bit about the plan of salvation this week. When we showed him that we lived before with God, that we really are his children, he got teary-eyed. And wrote down all the scriptures we had used on a pad of paper--what a desire to know the truth!
We had a couple amazing lessons with P and D, his girlfriend (and mother of 2 of his children, they have 4 children between the two of them, 2 shared). We talked about the iron rod and the tree of life, P is really determined to be like Nephi and not like Laman and Lemuel. He went to church on Sunday, he got there about an hour late, but wow--he made it! And to think that just a few short months ago he was so caught up in the things of the world that he didn´t even come out to answer the door when we knocked.
JC got in another accident, his third in less than 6 months--and none of them has been his fault. It is interesting, every time he is about to make an important decision in his life, he gets in an accident--before receiving an answer that the Book of Mormon is true, before baptism, and now, before receiving the Aaronic Priesthood. But, he is doing fine (and walking), and was able to receive the Priesthood this Sunday.
Hermano R brought a projector and a HUGE sound system to this week´s ward activity (remember, we started doing Family Home Evening in the chapel every week--picture attached). It was a huge hit, we watched the video of the Restoration on it, and I think he got a big kick out of helping out with the sound system, too.
Yesterday, as the bishop began sacrament meeting, the M family walked in. My jaw about hit the floor, because the entire family came, 9 year old C who was baptized a few months ago, her older brother and sister (the brother hadn´t gone since I got there), and mom and dad (mom started going to church again when we started visiting, but dad hadn´t gone in more than a year). To make things better, almost the entire ward was reorganized, and O, a kind of active member that we have been working with, was called as the new Young Men president. He is excited to get to work, and I think the miracle of responsibility in the church is about to play it´s part in him.
As wonderfully great as church was, the best part of yesterday was, without a doubt, the broadcast of the leadership meeting talking about "The Work of Salvation." It was a beautiful meeting, absolutely inspirational, and I´m quite excited for the direction missionary work is taking (more work with members, using Facebook to do proselyting (which will happen after I leave, but still, it´s really neat), working with the Ward Mission Leader). And I was moved to tears by one of the videos, as an entire family worked to share the gospel, from the return-missionary father who lovingly looked at his name badge pinned onto the cover of his scriptures to the 7 year old boy who invited his best friend from school, and his family, to his baptism. What an inspiration!
Viviendo el sueño,
Elder Jason Ray