Another great week of saving souls! Of both animals and people... :) I've come to find out that my heart is too big when it comes to animals, because this week I got my second pet on the mission! We were walking into an appointment and this cute little dog runs up to us and starts following us around everywhere, including into our investigator's house! They told us he had been running around out there for four days and they were pretty sure he was just a stray. We got him out of the house, and taught our lesson, but when we walked out, he was waiting at the door for us! We played with him for a few minutes and then it started POURING rain. We didn't know what to do, so we just started to leave and put our stuff in the car and he jumped right in! I didn't have the heart to make him go back out in the rain, so we just took him home with us. We stopped at the elders' apartment on our way to show them, and I'm sure it was a pretty funny sight, two soaking wet sister missionaries crying laughing with a dog in the car. :) Hence, the name of this letter, from Elder Peltzer. The elders told us that they saw a flyer for a lost dog named batman, but it wasn't our dog. We named our dog batman anyways though, but we ended up calling him Bruce Wayne, or just Bruce for short. We took him home and he did not want to get out of the car. We stood in the pouring rain for about 20 minutes trying to get him out of the car and up to our apartment. We ended up getting an extra blanket to pick him up (gotta be careful of rabies). We fed him some crawfish sausage that someone gave us and then made him a little bed on our balcony where we kept him overnight. Luckily, the next day in church, we found someone who had been wanting a little dog for a long time, so we brought Bruce to him after church. I think he renamed him Dracula though. So yeah, random adventure of the week. I just could not leave him in the rain. He also looked just like a homeless Bandit, and I miss Bandit a lot, so I felt like I owed it to him to save a fellow canine.
One thing I'm working on right now is asking more inspired questions during lessons. Sometimes, if I'm not careful, I can ramble on and just get through a lesson. In the end, even if the investigator understands everything, it's not super personal or applicable to them if I wasn't asking questions throughout the whole thing. Something that's been helping me is not going from one principle to the next without asking at least 2 questions, and really deep questions, like "whys" and "hows." We were in a lesson with this sweet lady from Honduras, and right at the very start when we started with "God is our loving Heavenly Father..." I felt prompted to ask her how she knows that God loves her, and why it's important to know that God is our Father, and she just opened up from there. She talked about light and how God has filled her life with light. When she said that, it literally brought light to me and Sister Johnson, and the whole lesson we were able to keep referring back to that light and how the Restoration was a Restoration of the complete light, and how the Book of Mormon is more light, and things like that. It really strengthened my testimony on the power of questions, and especially inspired questions that the Holy Ghost brings to our minds, because it totally changed the direction of the lesson to something very personal and applicable to this sweet sister.
This week I got to the end of Ether in my reading of the Book of Mormon. It's really quite a depressing ending because everyone dies. Within a few chapters you see something like 15 generations pass by with a rotation of wicked/righteous kings, and it ends with all of them wicked and all of them dead. This really hit me, along with something that an elder in our district who is going home in 2 weeks said. He was talking about things he's learned on his mission and he said, "Above anything, I've learned the importance of persevering to the end and staying strong. I haven't come this far in my life, and I haven't spent 2 years begging people to come to church/come back to church, to get home and flake out." That really hit me because I've seen soooo so so so so so many less actives who once had burning testimonies and amazing conversions, and here they are ten years later rarely letting the missionaries over. Tenemos que ser diligentes! (We have to be diligent!) It's not that hard to just get tired and slack off, but the ending will always be destruction and misery like the Jaredites. Keep going forward people! Don't ever let a Sunday slip where you're just not "feeling like it" because that turns into years of inactivity and a whole mess for some missionaries to try and sort out. Just hold on because as hard as it gets, it will never be as hard as if you let go.
One last cool thing from this week: We were with the Bucios, who I adore so much, and Sister Bucio randomly got super curious about kids with special needs in an eternal sense. I told her about Jessica which she loved. Brother Bucio told us a story about a family in their ward when he was in high school who had a son with severe special needs. They were all getting their patriarchal blessings one Sunday (because in a lot of places the Patriarch has to travel to different places and you can't get one until he's in your area), and he got through the whole family except for the son with special needs. As he was starting to leave, the boy expressed that he wanted a patriarchal blessing too, so the patriarch went into the room and gave him a blessing, but could hardly say anything because he just started sobbing and sobbing and sobbing some more. After the blessing, the family asked what was wrong, and the patriarch said, "Do you know who your son is? He was one of the top captains before this life in the war against Satan. When he was coming to earth he was scared to fight Satan again, but Heavenly Father held him in such high regard that he promised to protect him from temptation or anything else Satan could throw at him, so he gave him this body as a protection and shield, to guard one of the most noble spirits in the premortal existence." I definitely cried. Yes, I know that this could be a Mormon myth, but I love the idea of it anyway. I just want to give a shoutout to my sister, Jessica, for just being my sister. She's absolutely incredible and has blessed me and my family with her pure joy and love and excitement for life.
Being a missionary is just the best! We see so many miracles every day, both in our lives and in the lives of the people we work with. I love you all lots! Have the best week ever and I'll talk to you soon!