Ok, this week we climbed some mountains, 4 or 5 I think, and I'm not even kidding. We were running all over the place this week with lessons firing(canceling) on us, people giving us fake addresses to mountain tops(in summer too? Come on!), and our trip to a super tall rock with a church on top today. But it was worth it! Our area may be huge(6 or 7 major towns in it), but there are more than enough miracles to make up for the moments when I feel like Frodo hiking through the green hills of Basque Country. People like Joel, the Guatemalan man from that family I mentioned who's progressing towards his goal to be baptized the 6th of August! And people like Adoma, our favorite almost homeless, a work in progress with drinking, and super Christian Nigerian friend who's been meeting with us this last week, and who even testified to some drunk people last night during our lesson about the Book of Mormon being the word of God(in Spanglish since he's still new here).
And funny story, we were walking through Algorta the other day looking for some people to talk too about the gospel(we don't ask for much as missionaries, just food and people to teach), when we found Adoma talking to a Bolivian man named Marcello on a bench we've met before. It took a minute to realize, but Marcello, who's been interested to meet with us for a while now, is actually the dueno, or landlord of Adoma, and straightaway invited us to come to his house to read the Book of Mormon! Small world haha, that a Bolivian man I met my first week here would be the man who owns the house of one of our investigators now! The Lord’s hand is in this work!
I’ve been reminded several times this week too about the lords ability to humble people. Whether it's seeing it in the lives of others, or the moments I have daily when I realized my shortfalls. These include, but are not limited to, falling on my face walking up the stairs, tripping on my companions long legs, tripping over wood signs in front of stores, falling in between two women on a train when the train stops, calling people by their wrong name during a lesson, learning that a word I thought I knew doesn't mean the same thing, the list goes on! But through all of these, and more, I've learned that I wasn't called to Spain for my abilities, but rather for me to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to help these people come unto Christ! And only in the mission have I been able to learn that!
Another miracle happened last night, when Elder Morley and I were called by one of the members that she'd be at the house of a less active who we were going to visit later.
Alicia had come to church that day, and her daughter, who's been baptized, has been at some activities with this member Miriam over the last few weeks, the only problem being Alicia's schedule with work. But during the visit, we taught the plan of salvation, with Oyer the almost 9 year old son listening too, and were surprised by the spirit we felt in this room. Helen the daughter testified of her baptism, and randomly, we both felt promoted to invite Alicia and Oyer to be baptized the 13th, which they both excitedly said yes to! Alicia even told us after that she's had the desire to receive baptism for a while now, since she's met us and talked with Miriam, but just didn't finalize when. The date worked for her and the family though, and we’re now going to help them prepare for that day to be all baptized as a family! All well worth the climb up Lamiako Hill for that to happen!
I read an amazing talk this week by Elder Edward Dube called "look ahead and believe" from 2014. The message to me was simple; in the service of the Lord it isn't about how much we've done, or where we've been, but it's all about what we'll do right now. As Jeffery R Holland says, "Faith is always pointed to the future". So in those moments when you feel the grass was greener back in the day, or that things are looking pretty dry now(missionaries are no strangers to this), stop it! You only have a short life here on earth, and since we can't edit or change the past, how much better is it to focus on right now, and put your faith to action! So I invite you all, to smile, think for a minute on how the Lord has blessed you, and then pray to know how to make the most of this life he has blessed us with! (DC 64:34)
Overall, a fun and crazy week, made better by a fun preparation day visiting the church of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, and playing a game with flour during a Rama activity(I'll explain that later haha, let's just say it involves flour, a coin, and a nose). I know that Heavenly Father and our Savior direct this work, and that all these things that happen, happen for a purpose!
Love and miss you all!
Spent the day with the Rama at the San Juan church!
Sandwich and bonbons!
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
We ring the bell with a wish for good luck, boom!
Manolo, the best nonmember husband of a member ever!
Ramiro the ward mission leader, his brother, and Manolo