La Semana Santa
Or, the Holy Week!
The past week was full of miracles and great experiences. There were hard moments too, of course, but the Lord has really supported me through those as I've turned to Him as my strength and for comfort and guidance.
One cool thing about this week was that not only was it "La Semana Santa" for Christians, but it was also Passover! And I just happened to be reading in Exodus about the flight from Egypt and the Lord's institution of the Passover in my scriptures study this week. It was really profound, and caused me to reflect even more on the life and miraculous gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the battles he won for us. It also made me think of how much gratitude we should have to our ancestors, and remember all that the Lord has done for them (as the Book of Mormon is ALWAYS reminding us) to increase the foundation of our faith.
We got to go to the Easter Pageant a second time, this time in English! (Though I'll admit, I kind of preferred it in Spanish for some reason!) We went with Sandra and Syra,
We got to the pageant, visited with them and took some fun pictures with members of the cast, then sat down to watch it. Just before the pageant started, I turned to Syra and Sandra and said, "Now, remember how we were talking about how to recognize the Spirit? Pay attention to what the Spirit is telling you while you watch the pageant tonight."They both said that they would, and we sat back to watch. Syra had been multiple times before, but it was Sandra's first time. At the end of the pageant, I went up to Sandra and gave her a hug (she gives the BEST hugs) and asked her how she liked it. She couldn't stop smiling and said, "I'm really, really happy. It was really amazing."After a minute or so, I said, "So, what are you going to do when you go home tonight?" intending to just remind her to say her prayers. She immediately said, "I'm going to pray to know if everything you guys have been teaching me is true."I smiled. "Do you believe God will answer that prayer?" She got a little bit more quiet and her smile softened. After giving a small nod, she said, "Yes ... in fact, I think He already has." In that moment I'll admit, I felt my heart beat a bit fast because I felt a huge rush of joy. And I know I probably looked silly with how much I was smiling. "And what was the answer?" I asked her. She got even more quiet. "It's true," she said, beaming. "It's all true." That was probably one of the best moments of my entire mission. She recognized the truth. She felt the Spirit testify of it to her, felt Him answer her question, and recognized it. She still has a lot of questions and a lot that she wants to learn, but she knows that we're working towards baptism and she wants to prepare herself and really understand as she moves towards that. Since she's only ten we'll also be talking to her parents about it, of course, and there's still a ways to go, but it was a huge moment for me to see her truly recognize the answer to her prayer, and helped strengthen my own testimony!
We had the special privilege of going to the temple with Hno De Miguel for his first time doing baptisms for the dead this past Saturday. It was pretty busy because there was a youth temple trip, so we waited for a long time. He looked around and said, "Wow, that's an amazing way for young people to spend their Saturday morning." He was really touched by the Spirit throughout the whole thing and could feel the significant difference of being in the House of the Lord.
We also had a cool experience when we were exploring part of our area this week. We decided to bike for the afternoon and were heading down this road. I was in front, and we kept passing houses. I thought some of them looked like they might have Spanish-speaking people there, but I didn't feel impressed to stop at any of them. Finally, I saw this one house and pulled up to it, and we went up and knocked the door. She didn't speak Spanish, but as we talked about the Book of Mormon and offered to give her one she was completely receptive. We offered to send the English missionaries to her house, and she said that she would like that, that she was interested in learning more. Sister Anderson and I both felt like she was the essence of a golden investigator - truly prepared to receive the Gospel and looking for that light in her life - and it was humbling to know that we'd been used as instruments in the Lord's hands to bring her that knowledge.
And last but not least, D&C 58:3-6 brought me a lot of peace this week as I went through a bit of a rough emotional patch for seemingly no reason: 3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. 4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand. 5 Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow. 6 Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come;