Hermana Lundy Willes

Hermana Lundy Willes

Monday, March 10, 2014

It Felt Like Carnival Was Forever!

Well, two whole weeks! (Hermana Willes wasn't able to email last week because all the missionaries were on lockdown during the Carnival celebration in Santa Cruz.)  It felt like Carnival was forever.  Carnival is like Festival of Colors only everyone is drinking and breaking as many commandments as they can!  We studied in the morning, like usual, and then had a schedule of things to study.  We read the whole mission manual, the whole book about adjusting to missionary life, watched a billion videos on the work of salvation with the members, and deep cleaned the house.  I was dying to get back out and teach. 

So, we had an awesome experience with one of our investigator families, Jimi, Jovita, and their three kids.  They had been street contacted by my companion and her trainer, but then they could never find them again.  So, a couple weeks ago we found them and Jovita, the mom, was washing clothes and said she didn't have time to talk.  But, we were like "No, its fine! We're here to help, so we'll help you wash your clothes!" So we did and, honestly, that has made all the difference.  They came to church the Sunday of Carnival and, since it was testimony meeting, I was kinda nervous.  We hadn't really had a real lesson with them yet and we knew the Dad had problems with the Word of Wisdom.  After the meeting ended, they had to leave (we did too because it was Carnival and we had to get home) and we planned to meet with them on Wednesday.  We went on Wednesday and they weren't there.  On Thursdays, we had an activity with the ward and when we showed up no one was there.  My companion, being the good missionary that she is, was like "let`s go get Jimi and Jovita!" So, we grabbed a member to be our companion and off we went.  When we showed up at the house, the Dad came to the gate and, with tears in his eyes, told us he wanted to change, that he wanted a testimony like the ones he had heard on Sunday and he wanted his family to be happy like the families he had seen at church.  He had major drinking problems during 
Carnival, but he wanted to change.  As heartbreaking as it was, a part of me rejoiced.  I just keep thinking "We can help you! You can change because the gospel is true and if you listen you can have everything you want and more!" We taught them that night about prayer and committed them both to pray and then tell us about it the next day.  We went back on Friday and only Jovita was there, but she told us that when she prayed she just felt so peaceful.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and then committed her to baptism.  The spirit was so strong and I was so happy I couldn't stop grinning! I knew I was going to love our investigators, but I didn't realize it was going to be this much! Tonight we are having family home evening with them and I'm so excited! They are so awesome.

We are still working with the Dad of a member.  Every time we teach him, he says "Your testimonies are so beautiful.  I'm super catholic." He has a lot of questions, which keeps us on our toes.  We're working on teaching the rest of the family as well.  They are all super awesome and they just need that little extra motivation, which I know will come when Natalia leaves on her mission.  He always prays for us and he knows a little English, so he loves talking to me in English.

Anyways, the work is progressing here.  The Lord has been so kind to me, helping me with spanish and always granting me tender mercies everyday.  The church is true and I'm so grateful for the privilege I have of building the kingdom down here in Santa Cruz.  Hurrah for Israel!

Hermana Willes

Hermana Willes and her companion, Hermana Murga

Hermana Willes with President and Sister Willard

Hermana Willes with one of her cute Bolivian friend

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