Guess what? Super has the same meaning as it does in Spanish as it does in English. And I love that word so Im happy. And really, I am doing great. I have seen the church grow SO much here in Ocotal since I first arrived in December and it makes me so happy! When we first arrived only about 30 people were coming to church (members and investigators) and now there are 40-50 that come on a regular basis. When we arrived if Berman(14 year old teacher that has a firm testimony) wasnt there the Elders would pass the sacrament. Now there are about 4 or 5 other men that are consistently coming that are worthy to do it. We have also been so blessed this month with investigators exercising their faith and coming to church. The lowest number of people we have had is 5 and the most is 10 and we have had at least 1 family in the church every Sunday. I know that the Lord is blessing us and the members that have been so faithful in working hard to build up the church here.
Right now were preparing two families for baptism: Yelba and Cesar and Claudia and Javier. You already know about Yelba and Cesar. Their son got baptized about a month ago and that had a baptismal date back in December. Cesar hardened his heart and didnt want anything to do with us at the end of January. Then on Feb. 7th, we arrived at the house to teach Yelba and her son, and he was there waiting to listen. He accepted the invitation to be married and baptized and set his own date for this Saturday. Please pray that all will go well for them. They really want to change, its just been a rough road.
Claudia and Javier are amazing. This family is so special to me. Claudia is 33 and Javier is about 40. The thing about Javier is that his mom left when he was about 5 and his aunt chose to raise him. He doesnt know how to read. He and Claudia have been together for 16 years and live with his aunt that raised him, Rosa, and a lot of other members of the family. When we come over, everyone pulls up a seat to listen (they love the hymns) but Claudia and Javier are the most positive. They are such humble people and so willing to change. Heres an example, this Sunday, before church, Claudia told me that she and Javier could only stay for about an hour because they had to go to her moms house soon. At the end of sacrament meeting, President Chavarria challenged all the members to not leave immediately after to their houses and to stay for all 3 hours. I saw them turn to each other and whisper a little bit. They stayed all 3 hours. I was really impressed at their willingness to be obedient to the leaders as they are still not even members. If all goes well with Javier not smoking, they will be married and baptized this Saturday.
Omar still hasnt accepted a baptismal date but we know he will get baptized soon. He just doesnt want to rush into it. He comes to every activity and meeting without fail. Were trying to teach him by the spirit to know his needs.
This week we found Mari and Dora through contacting. Doras husband got killed 12 years ago and Mari seperated from her husband 6 months ago. They live together with her two boys, Joel and Marzito. They have been great missionaries as they introduced us to their neighbors and another woman, Marta Lucia, that lives in the elders area.
Alot of members from Ocotal are going to the temple open house in Honduras this Saturday. Our recent converts, Aura and Byron, Eric, and investigators, Mari and Omar are going to go. It should be a really great experience for them. Too bad we cant go!
Im so grateful for the Chavarrias and all they have done to build up the church here in Ocotal. Missionaries taught and baptized Hermana Chavarria about 48 years about and Hermano Chavarria 46 years ago. Yamilett their daughter is living with them for a bout a month to help Hermana Chavarria as she fell and has a hard time doing the cleaning. 2 of Yamiletts children have served missions and they are such faithful members. Its so amazing to see how the work of the Lord allows missionaries to follow the spirit and find families like this one and changes lives. I hope that 40 years down the road, the same thing can happen with people I have found and taught with the help of the Lord. I know that this church is true and that the Lord blesses us when we are obedient and put our trust in him. Pray for my investigators this week, pretty please with a cherry on top.
PS Be sure to give mom a lot of love.
PPS Congrats to the Cutlers and their mission call!!!