Something I love about Chiapas is you could literally live in your house and never have to leave... (only to pay the light and water bill in central). People walk house to house, selling everything you could think of. If it's a woman, on their head, and if it's a man, over their shoulder. Mops, brooms, water, fruit, toilet paper, sponges, chicken, tamales, bread, clothes, hammocks, tortilla, toys, EVERYTHING. They just walk down the street, yelling the names of what they are selling. Even the garbage cart comes right to our house, (a cart with wheels pushed by a guy who takes your garbage to who knows where...yeah garbage trucks no muy existe).
The best is that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland randomly spoke Spanish! It was super tender. He started out in Spanish, switched to English for his message, and finished testifying in Spanish. I LOVE HIM. We were able to watch and hear two of his addresses, and both were very powerful.
His second talk was super amazing, and I will never forget it. He went off script. Completely followed the Spirit..even addressing a little boy in the audience! Since it's live and needs to be in Spanish, Elder Holland will say a sentence and his translator will then translate it for everyone who doesn't speak English. The translator usually follows the written script that Elder Holland should be following, so it's a pretty decent translation. But it was funny to see the poor translator try to keep up with the pure revelation that Elder Holland was speaking as he completely went off script... and it's safe to say that anyone who doesn't speak English got a pretty watered down version of what Elder Holland talked about.
Yes, his talk was powerful in Spanish... but so much more powerful in English! That's why it was awesome when he switched to Spanish at the end and testified in Spanish. It was the most powerful testimony I have ever heard. This experience really strengthened my testimony of the restoration that God loves us so much that He really does have living prophets and apostles to guide us, and who really do receive revelation directly from him. MAN, THIS CHURCH IS SO TRUE.
Another bittersweet experience we had was fasting this last week, We have a goal as a zone that every companionship can baptize 10 people this transfer...we have two so far....but we believe in miracles! So we have an eternal investigator, Hermana E., who has been going to church on and off for years. She is Catholic and thinks she doesn't need another baptism because God loves her... and yada yada yada you know... all of Satan's lies!
So we were planning, and Hermana Ortega said, "If only we could do a 40 day fast for Hermana E. so she can get baptized! Well maybe we can't fast for 40 days...but maybe two!"
I said, "Or maybe we could do two consecutive fasts...fast one Friday until Saturday, eat a meal Saturday, and then fast Saturday until Sunday."
We felt the Spirit testify SO STRONG that it would work! So we fasted specifically for her, that we could find her in her house right in that moment, sing her a hymn, talk about the Book of Mormon. Then the next day she would attend sacrament meeting (she hadn't been to sacrament meeting in a long time.) Then the next week we would do the pre-baptism interview. She would have felt the Spirit strongly in one of these events and have a mighty change of heart and the desire to be baptized!
We promised we would do everything possible and be obedient. We put our faith in the Lord and we were sure it would work! So we did it all. We fasted for two days, and Hermana E. CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!! We were so excited, sure that God was responding to our prayers!
So we were nervous, but we went to her house on Wednesday, and did the baptism interview. We were there for almost 2 hours, and it was a spiritually exhausting experience....which led us to the sinking conclusion that she is not ready for baptism by any means. We walked out, feeling beaten. Seriously, how could the Lord let us down if we had faith and did everything? We did our part! In the Book of Mormon theres stories of thousands of wicked Lamanites having a mighty change of heart and are baptised in the same day! WE ARE ONLY ASKING FOR ONE PERSON HERE. Needless to say.... I was a little discouraged.
But my oh so wise companion, Hermana Ortega, comforted me. She said, "Well I think our fast was answered. We fast to know the will of the Lord, not to change it. He wanted to see our faith, and because of it, he prompted Hermana E. to go to church on Sunday. A little miracle, because He loves us. But He knew, and He wanted us to know, that Hermana E. is not ready for baptism at this time. But she will be one day, just not with us. He just wanted to see how far we would go to serve Him, and we did our part. But it just wasn't in His plan... yet."
I know, my comp rocks.
Love, Hermana Hansen