The purpose of this blog is to highlight the beautiful city of Guadalajara; the faithful members, the valiant missionaries who serve here, as well as the people, culture, and food.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Divisions with Hermana Ibanez and Hermana Anderson

I had a wonderful experience going on divisions with Hermana Ibanez and Hermana Anderson.
They were so sweet to be with. Once again, what a treasured opportunity it was to be with these dedicated servants of the Lord.
We met them back at the church at 4:00 after our day of interviewing. It was hot and muggy outside and both these young ladies were using their washcloths to wipe their brow and faces as we spent the afternoon together.

We took a taxi from the church to their apartment. They live in a large apartment building on the second floor.  It is just tiny and sparse. I loved that soft orangy-pink sheets were hanging in their front window with a clothespin in the center to keep them closed.  Their windows were wide open, and they had bars on them, of course, and the warm breeze was blowing through the window and blowing those homemade curtains back and forth. I am sorry that the picture I took doesn’t convey that soft orangy color, I just caught the glare from the sun with my camera. 

Their apartment was clean and tidy and organized and I loved seeing it. Their homemade Christmas tree branch that they had found was in one corner with handmade decorations. Pictures of their families, Christmas words, colorful socks, and since Hermana Anderson's Christmas package came yesterday, they now had gifts under the tree. It was very tender.

Their kitchen was clean, but truthfully, so so sparse. The dishes were done up, the laundry caught up, with towels hanging on the line in the next room. Their closets were organized and the shoes lined up…
They are moving next week to a different apartment.
They took me to see their new apartment, just a few streets away. It is upstairs also, and has a large covered patio where there is a washing sink/board and where the water connection is.  It has two square rooms, with a small bathroom off to the side. It has blue floor tile. They were so excited to show me upstairs on the roof where they could hang their clothes on the line and the sun would dry them quickly.

standing by their area map

the perfect missionary Christmas tree

laundry room

notice the pink privacy door :)

As we left for the appointments they had scheduled, we walked along the neighborhood.  I am still so amazed at how friendly, and polite people here are. Everyone we pass will say good afternoon, how are you, have a pleasant day... and we passed lots of folks walking by, waiting for buses, out on lawn chairs, sitting together in doorways. We could see into door ways as we passed by and saw older folks, especially, sitting in lawn chairs in dark rooms, away from the heat, visiting and just resting.
We stopped by to see a lady the Hermana's are teaching who is a seamstress, and she wasn't home. As we continued on our way to their next appointment, we stopped and had a prayer together and asked the Lord to guide us to know who we might stop and talk with. The very next person we saw was an older man sitting on a small wall outside his doorway. We stopped to talk with him and he absolutely talked and talked for about 20 minutes. They were diligent as he talked to keep bringing the topic back to our Father in Heaven, the Book of Mormon we were holding in our hands, and the restoration pamphlet they gave to him. They asked if they could leave him with a prayer. This older gentleman, shirtless, wearing only a loose pair of shorts and crocs that were way too big for his feet, immediately stood up, reverently and without shame, bowed his head as Sister Anderson offered a prayer right there standing on the sidewalk, in the doorway to his little home. 

I have learned from our valiant missionaries here in Guadalajara, that it does not matter where we are... that sidewalks, and entryway's becomes holy places as we bow our heads and offer prayers in behalf of these children of God. Our missionaries offer prayers that the countless people they meet will be blessed with faith, to be touched by the holy spirit and desire to know more about what they have briefly been taught. I find myself wanting to peek, to see if we are still standing on the ground... this is the Work of Salvation as the Lord Himself intended it to be. One by one, seeking to touch the hearts of man, if they will have ears to hear.

Continuing along, we arrived at their scheduled appointment, a mother and her 2 daughters. The father was away on a trip and the younger son was outside playing. When we first arrived they seemed to me to be a bit miffed that we were interrupting their TV show. The Hermanas began by reviewing what they had talked about during their last visit, and continuing talking about the introduction to the Book of Mormon. They had them each read a paragraph. They gave them an assignment to finish reading that introduction this next week. Their lesson was short. Their focus was to help them keep their commitment to read from the Book of Mormon.

I asked if I could bear my testimony, and Hermana Anderson translated for me. I testified of the power and spirit of the Book of Mormon that would come into their lives, if they would just read a verse or two each day. That by just making the attempt, they would be blessed.

The Hermanas then asked if they could pray with them. We got on our knees together in that cramped room, and they invited the mom to pray, and after some encouragement, she agreed. She opened her Book of Mormon to the last page, where the Hermana’s had written a pattern for a simple prayer.  This sweet mother prayed using this guide and filling in the blanks as she went along.  It was laborious for her, and we were each quiet and reverent, as were her daughters. I found myself craning my ear, listening to every Spanish word she said, carefully, knowing exactly what she was saying..... even though I didn’t understand her Spanish words. 
I am learning what it means to understand the words you do not know through the spirit of the Lord.

The Hermana’s then surprised me by inviting this family to come to their FHE activity later that night, and also to join them for church tomorrow. We left, saying goodbye and thanking them for making time for their appointment.

Later that night, after I got home from our baptism with the Elders, I got a text from Hermana Ibanez and Hermana Anderson that this mother and daughters not only came to the FHE activity, but were planning on coming to church the next day. I am so happy for this family, and for the Hermana's.

Good for them!