Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011

OK well it was normal until last Friday, just like every other week, no joke. I was getting tired of the same thing week after week and to be honest wanted a little bit of a change, was thinking that maybe I would be leaving Lebu but hey I got something else.

So you know Stephanie, our awesome golden investigator. Well as you know we haven’t talked to her in 2-3 weeks, well all of that changed and got crazy, we also found out why:

She took a job in Los Alamos and worked every day from 7am-10pm so we didn’t talk to her for a week because of that. That was tough on us and her.  The next week she was back in Lebu and talking to her dad, who has not been part of her life for like 17 years.  He has been kind of awful to her which is why she moved to Brazil with her mom and later Spain by herself.  Anyways, Stephanie and her father began to fight and it got really awful apparently (this is all according to her because we had no contact with her as you know). So she got so upset and flagged down the first collectivo she saw (those are like taxi cars that run on bus routes, all over Lebu) and asked the guy how much it would cost to take her to Concepción right then. He said 40 luca (about 80 US dollars) and she said OK and did it, just upped and left. (Just so you know, when we go to Concepción we take a bus, and those cost 3.7 luca [about 7.50 us dollars]) While in Concepción she turned off her phone for a week.  She then turned on her phone after that week while still in Concepción and got a call from her dad, he asked her to come back so they could work some things out. So she went back to Lebu to talk with her dad.  

That leads us to Wednesday of last week, so I’m going to start now from our eyes because the story is much better that way: We were at a missionary conference in Concepción on Wednesday and the assistants had an activity we had to do. They split the room in half and had half write down an investigator we were having problems with, or that had a doubt. We were on that half so my comp. My companion, Elder Gibbs wrote down Stephanie’s name, wrote down a quick background and her doubt about the Church.  We went into the gym and the other half of the room had blindfolds on. The activity was we had to go to a random blindfolded person and talk to them, find out their doubt, and commit them to baptism.  So me and Gibbs sat down with someone, and started doing just that.  As we were talking we realized that the person they were acting like sounded familiar and realized they were acting as Stephanie.  Out of all the people we pick our investigator (By the way,  the gym was filled with people, one third of the mission was there).  So we start talking and doing the activity kind of thinking it was weird. Gibbs then grabs his phone to see what time it was and how much more time was left in the activity, the screen comes on, and we see Stephanie is calling us. Now realize at this point it has been 2-3weeks since we have heard from her, and we are teaching a random elder that is acting as her at this exact moment. So we rush in excusing ourselves because we needed to take that call soooo bad. Stephanie says it’s been a while and she has missed our amazing lessons, can we stop by tomorrow?  We say of course.  That made our conference.

We go over the next day to her home and she tells us the collectivo Concepción story and it all makes sense to us.  We set a baptismal date for the 9th of April and leave, what a great  Thursday. Friday morning we get a call from her saying we are not allowed to go to that house anymore, and that she was being kicked out that day and needed to find a house to live in right away. (Long story about why she was kicked out of her home) We had a huge problem because if Stephanie didn’t find a house, she would have to move up to Concepción and live with her other grandma. So we had to find her a house to rent, that day, for 40 luca a month. There are 2 problems with that:
1) there are no houses in our sector for rent.
2) Most houses are rented for 80 luca a month in Lebu. She can only afford 40, that’s huge.
We start looking Friday, all day. We find nothing. So we call her to see how she is doing. We also decided to fast for her. We call her again later that night to see how she is doing, and she says she found a house and gives us the address. We go over and she tells us her story: she was walking all over looking for a house and asking everyone in the street. She asks this one guy and he stops and thinks, then says no sorry, and she continues on. She asks for about 3 hours more and she said she prayed the whole time, then she just got too tired to move and thought “well, God will provide. That’s what those missionaries keep saying.”  She started to walk back and she ran into that same guy on the way back and he asked if she had any luck. She said no and he told her she needed to come in and talk to his wife who explained they had a house that Stephanie could rent because they can’t use it at this time. They have to live in the husband’s father’s house because he is on his death bed and needs them. They show her the house, she of course says yes, but how much, and they say for you, 40 mil (mil is another word for luca) a month. We helped her move the little stuff she has yesterday and she was so happy and content with life. She knows God is blessing her because of her belief and willingness to listen to our message. We went on a walk with her and her little son (2-3years old) and some collectivo driver yelled to her, she went over and talked to him, then came back all happy. She explained that he remembered that she needed a job and heard that on Monday there would be an opening at some place in the plaza, and that if she went and applied Monday she would get the job.
And that is the story of Stephanie.  One more great thing,  she wants to go with us to all of General Conference.

Here is a picture of Elder Gibbs, her Grandmother, Stephanie, her son, and me. 

One more story about what happened last night with another. There is a member that we hang out with named Jessica. Her daughter is a member, but her mother and "husband" (not married but live together) aren’t. So we visited and gave them a lesson. They are an amazingly fun family and we love them. So were with them last night and the husband told us that he had a dream 2 nights in a row. And for some reason my companion Elder Gibbs had this feeling like he knew what the dream meant. He told the husband straight up and interpreted his dream, the husband said he felt like what Gibbs said was correct and true. The husband then said, ok when is this General Conference and he is going to go when he is up in Concepción working this weekend.

These are the missionary stories that you hear about and kind of doubt their reality, and never think you will have a moment like this.  But they are 100% true. It was a crazy week and my testimony of the power of what God can do for us has grown so much. It was crazy and amazing and scary at the same time. But it all worked out in a crazy way and we are all overjoyed that it did. Remember things like this do happen, it’s weird and crazy but they do!

I love you all so much and miss you very very much.

Missionaries from my zone in the MTC.  We got to see each other at the conference in Concepcion. 

Elder Kyle Allen

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