There are a LOT of words I could use to describe this week, but the first one that comes to mind is HOT. Seriously, it´s hot down here. The coldest day this past week was 96. The hottest was 102. And for those of you that are in Arizona and think I´m a wimp, try 100% humidity, a white shirt, and a tie. It´s hot. I promise.
But don´t worry, I´m drinking a LOT of filtered water and using sunscreen to avoid coming home looking like a piece of bacon. I´m succeeding so far. And this week it is supposed to rain. Which is good, because if it doesn´t rain this week, the next week they will turn the water off in our neighborhood for 6 DAYS! 6 days without a shower would be rough. But not as rough as running out of water in two months, so I guess it would be worth it.
other than the heat, our week ended in a domingo milagroso! (I have no idea if milagroso is a word. Sunday of Miracles)
First: Gilberto and Ana Paula, who have six daughters. This is how we found them (a miracle in itself). We contacted a couple in the street, got their address, and went to their house at the appointed time. We got there and called their names, Gilberto and Mariana. Ana Paula responded and said Gilberto lived there but she had never heard of Mariana. These people had given us a false address, but (un)coincidentally there was another Gilberto who lived there. So, Gilberto and Ana Paula went to church together. He fixed his car so they could go. Afterwards, we had a lesson with them. We did a Companionship Inventory in front of them to show them how they can have a wholesome conversation as a couple. After that, we had them have a “companionship inventory”, where they gave compliments, talked about their goals, and discussed the needs of their children. Ana Paula, as she was telling Gilberto about her day, told him that the church is what her soul had always been looking for, and that she knows with a surety that it is THE church of Jesus Christ. It truly was a miracle. They hugged and kissed afterward, for the first time in a LOOONG time. (A very long time)
Second: Tawani and Douglas (and Tawani´s mom, Edna). We contacted Edna in the street, and she told us she didn´t want to meet with us but her daughter had stopped going to church and needed help (yay for referrals!). We taught Tawani and Edna, they came to church on Sunday, and then after church we had a lesson with Tawani and her boyfriend, Douglas. Their relationship is not very good, but they are both REALLY good. The problem is that Tawani is only 17 and isn´t every mature in her relationships. They have a two year old son. We did the same practice with them as with Gilberto and Ana Paula. It was great. Tawani and Edna said that our church is the most peaceful and spiritual church they have ever been to. They couldn´t believe nobody asked for money or tried to take a demon out of them. Because that´s what most churches are like here. Someone screaming in a microphone, claiming to take a demon out of you.
Just more evidence that the church is true.
Third: Marinês came to church unexpectedly. Well, we hoped she would, but we thought she had skipped her appointment the night before so we weren´t exactly expecting a lot. It turned out we were wrong and that she was just in a meeting that went really late. She should be baptized next Sunday. (Miracles! She has grown so much!)
It sounds like Fall at home is perfect. Warm, fall colors, barbecues, missionaries for dinner, fresh apple cider and chili…
that is something that you won´t see here.
If it starts getting cold, just think about me. It will warm you up. Even just this email probably will arrive a little warm.
I LOVE YOU, FAMILY! (And anyone else who reads this)
P.S. If you haven´t read the book Evoking the Powers of Heaven, read it now. Our mission president gave every single missionary a copy of the book and said we have to read it. And he is inspired. This book is so good. Essentially, the author, using examples from the life of Christ and The Book of Mormon, shows us how to take the principle of faith to call upon God for help to accomplish our righteous desires. It is so simple. But it is so good.
P.P.S. I CAN´T BELIEVE KELSEY BARNES IS HOME!!!! It literally seems like she just left. CRAZY.
P.P.P.S Thanks Kimmie for the update and pictures! Hyrum is definitely inheriting some craziness. Make sure he keeps it.
P.P.P.P.S. Isaac, i hope (and pray) that you find a job and get accepted to school. It must be strange to be done with your service in the army. And in respect to Grandma Koetitz, it is incredible how I have felt the love from and felt love for our family on my mission. Families really are eternal.
Also, we have daylight savings this week, except we “sprung forward”, so when you “fall back” in a week or so I think the time difference will be 6 hours… right?