Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 8, 2013

It's P-day.  We are going to hike there.  Yes, even on P-day we are inviting all to come unto Christ!
Okay - now can you see the statue on top of the hill?


Well, this week was amazing!! I can honestly say that I´ve seen more miracles here in Cuenca this week than last week!! Super cool the conference, it was the great end to the week, but unfortunately we couldn´t see it all. We only saw all of the Saturday sessions, except for President Thomas S. Monson´s talk in the priesthood session, but I´ll have to find time to watch them. Well, like I said, this week has been great!! Let me tell you about it!!

So, I don´t remember if I told you, but last week on Sunday, we had the Madrid Temple President come and talk to us about the temples and missionary work. He related experiences about when he was mission president of the Spain Barcelona Mission and it was really cool! He related an experience where the zone of these two missionaries set a goal for so many baptisms. It was the end of the month, and they didn´t get their goal, they were one away. So these missionaries decided to miss their Sunday meetings to find this baptism. While they were sitting on a bench, this person gets off of a bus and asks them if they were missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They said that they were, and the person said that he had all of the lessons and that was ready for baptism. They reviewed all of the lessons to make sure, and he was baptized the same Sunday. Super cool story that comes into play later into my week.
Coming to Christ does lift you above the common place.  (View of Cuenca from the hike.)
As you know, I was sick on Monday, but it was a miracle that it left me before P-Day ended so I was fine to teach and walk around by 6:30. Super cool how that worked out for me. We had two lessons with less active sisters. With one of them we talked about what impedes her to go to church, and we found out that she gets bored all three hours of Church. We challenged her to come to sacrament meeting at least since it is the most important meeting in the church. She accepted the challenge and we´ll see if she comes. I hope that she does. We then met with the other and pretty much got to know her and see what her doubts were. She´s a lady from Africa and we went with Henry, since he´s from Africa too, super good friendship there. Anyway, we talked about the family and how it´s ordained of God. It was a good lesson, but it was long as well since she answered the phone and talked for 15 minutes or more. I just looked at my companion and we were just there for a long time. We finally got out and it was a good lesson in the end.

Tuesday we did contacts in the morning and it wasn´t the best thing since it´s so cold and rainy all of the time, but we found some people. During medio-día [lunch break] we had lunch with a member and her daughter who´s an investigator, and it was great!  We then had a lesson with another investigator about the restoration. She´s super good. Later on we had a lesson with Jose, the recent convert, and he took us to his "house" to teach him about priesthood and about his calling as branch mission leader. He´s so good! I just love that guy!!
We made it.  We came unto Christ
Right after we got out of his house, we walked a ways away, and sat at bench, and before we sat down, I told my companion, what if what the Temple President (mentioned above) said Sunday actually happened while we sat here on the bench. So I sat down with my companion, and I´m not kidding, 30 seconds later, this Dominican lady stops in front of us and asks us if we were missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was shocked!! I said that we were and she told us that she was a member, but less active that wants to come back to church and wants to know where it is. We told her where it was, and she also gave us her number and address. We found out that she is the owner of the piso [apartment] where Jose lives. We told her that a member lives in her apartment and that she could go to church with him! Super awesome how miracles just happen!!!
Wednesday we had district meeting over the phone since Madrid is a 2.5 hour bus ride. So we had it over the phone, but it was okay, not the best, but okay. Not too much else happened that day. We tried to have lessons, but it wasn´t too successful that day.

Thursday we had weekly planning and it was good, especially since we thought about some prospective new investigators. After planning, we had medio-día [lunch break] in our piso [apartment] and then went over to have a lesson with an investigator. We talked about the Book of Mormon and also a bit of what the plan of salvation is. We also committed her to read 2 Nephi 2 so that she could have a bit of an intro to what we would talk about the next time. It was good. We then taught English to the 14 year old son of an investigator and he´s pretty good, even though he doesn´t take it super serious, but it´s okay, he´s 14 so what should we expect. We ended the night with Petra and her family! Spanish member family, but the two guys are less active. We´re trying to help them come back. It was a good lesson and we talked about how reading the scriptures, prayer, and going to church helps us to have a firm testimony. We then ate dinner with them and it was really good! The dessert was especially good!!
View from the top of the hill (at the foot of the Cristo statue).
Friday we had Noche de Hogar [home evening], with Henry, and that was good, but more of the branch should come, but of course, all of them work. Henry was the only one that showed up, so yeah. Just had it with him.

Saturday we had 3 lessons. One with two new investigators who we met on the street and it was GREAT!! They are from Peru, and they have heard the missionaries before and are wanting to know and learn a bit more. We then went over to an investigator’s house to teach her English and had a lesson after and we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We extended an invitation to be baptized, but she said that she couldn´t until May. She´ll take that step, but not until then. It´s fine, but yeah, we´ll see what happens. She´s prepared so it should happen soon. We then had another lesson with another investigator, and we read with her 2 Nephi 2 since she didn´t read it. We also explained it and she liked it. We met with her at her new piso [apartment], even though she´s just renting a room. We ate sweets with her after. Good day!
The edge of town from the valley below Cuenca.
Sunday we watched as much of conference as we could. We watched one session with Henry at his house, then got the key to watch it at the church in the branch president´s office. We then went back to the church to watch some more conference, then had a lesson with a new investigator. Daniel, we pretty much just got to know him and talked about the family with him since he has his family here. Really cool guy and I have great hope for him. We then watched a bit more conference, and went over to our new Peruvian investigators’ house. We taught them about faith, prayer, reading the scriptures, and going to church. Elder Lyman did the chicken with the towel and it was pretty cool!! There were kids there so it was fun for them. We also gained another investigator there with a friend of theirs. Super awesome!! We then watched as much of conference as we could until it got late and we had to go to the piso [apartment]. We got there at 10:00 PM, just on time.

Today we saw the hanging houses as well as going on a hike and saw the Cristo at the top of a mountain, and then saw really cool rock formations in the mountains on our way down to the hanging houses. I hope that all of you are doing good!! Take care and I´ll talk to you next week. Long letter and short on time. Love you all!!

Elder Bauer
The most famous of the hanging houses of Cuenca.

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