One hot morning, we were walking down a dirt road at the very outskirts of our area, keeping our eyes peeled for the doors we should knock. We walked past one unassuming, crumbling brick house with a mess of cacti in front and saw a little old lady with flaming red hair raking dead leaves in the dirt. We had already walked past, but I just remember thinking, "We should go talk to her..." Without even a word to my companion, I turned around to head back to the house. To my great surprise, Hermana Beckstead had done the same. We discovered that this old lady was actually a member. And that she had been inactive for a long time. But for whatever reason, the Lord had sent us back to talk to her. After that lesson, she told us that she wouldn't be able to come to church that Sunday but the next Sunday she would come. Unfortunately, Hna. Beckstead and I forgot. Until, two Sundays later, there's Antonia, sitting in the chapel with her bright red hair and a smile like she'd never left. Most of the members didn't even know who she was. That's how long she'd been gone. But despite her many years of inactivity, Antonia is now ready to come back to church.
We helped her in her garden on Wednesday and I actually got to wear jeans for once. MIRACLES HAPPEN! No but really, she's super sweet and prepared to receive the blessings for living the Gospel. It's interesting how the Lord's hand is always with us, guiding both Hermana Beckstead and I back to this old, pile-of-bricks house to find one little sheep that had been lost for years.
This place is awesome. I still, after nearly 6 weeks here, can't figure out exactly what it is. But I think a lot of it has to do with the members. The branch here is struggling. Despite the huge church building and the 1,300 baptized members here in the city, there's only a good, 30 people that come consistently. But that small group of faithful saints is AWESOME. Talking last night to the one and only counselor to our branch president, Hermano Guazo, I realized what it is: understanding of the baptismal covenant. He understands our duty to God to serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. And he's pretty much given all of that to this branch. But he's still going. Because he knows that there's no one else here to do it. And it's our responsibility as members of the Lord's true church to accept His will and do what He asks. I'm really grateful for that example of faithful discipleship.
It's been a good transfer. I've learned a lot and it's hard to believe that it's almost over already. Summer is on the way. My old tanlines are already coming back. Can't wait to show off my shackle line from my ridiculous Danskos. Haha. #missionlife.
Keep the faith. Follow the example of the members of the branch here in Sáenz Peña and hold fast to the covenants you've made. And the Lord will bless us more than we can imagine. These things I know to be true. He lives.
Lots of Love,