Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My 21st Birthday!

I cannot believe that today is my 21st birthday.  My time here has gone by so quickly, and it seems sometimes that I was - yesterday - a brand new missionary with all this nice brand new clothes, ties and a new/clean nametag.  Currently, I’m at 8 weeks left until home. My nametag is now brown with almost 2 years of work, sweat and dirt, 2 years of walking dirt roads, hiking rocks and small mountains.  Two years of sitting in tin shacks and spreading the word of the Lord in one of the most sacred countries in this world. It has been an amazing journey!
So this week was busy with its ups and downs, and we have had tons of work to do here in Bela Vista.
As I mentioned last time, we have been working with Firmina. She has been having major problems with her husband. Well we discovered more about their situation.  Her husband is indeed a very violent person. He has tried to strangle her many times, and he wants to control her and have her be at his will. I’m so grateful for her faith, and what she has had to do these past two weeks. She made the decision that she no longer wanted to do anything with him. Being on how wicked a man this is, we supported and helped her build enough faith to move out as soon as possible. Well, she was living in the shack attached to the house, and being that she was living the law of chastity already, she has plans to get baptized this weekend.   Well, Satan is really good at stirring people’s hearts to contention, and he had this man at his will. The husband found out about her plans, and he threatened to throw her out on the street should she be baptized. This man has no reason to do that, other than to just be cruel. He doesn’t even have a religion and just spends the day in the streets with his friends.

Oh well, the Lord is more powerful. We prayed and prayed and prayed for her, and Saturday around 6 in the evening, she found a house and rented it out. We dropped almost all our appointments yesterday and immediately went to go help her get her stuff out. It’s interesting that as she was doing this, the man began to weep and told her that it was his family’s fault that he was so violent with her and that he wanted her back. As we like to put it, "she loves Christ more than she loves him". We got in the truck with all her stuff, and that was that. As missionaries, we support families and unity, but we do not support abuse and the kind of treatment that this man was giving Firmina. We got out and helped her move in, and as she was putting her things in the new house and organizing, she started smiling and expressing how happy she was that the whole thing was over. She is now there with her children, and she is looking forward to being baptized this week. I’m so proud of her for her faith in the Gospel, and all she has done to come closer to Christ. This is the beginning of a new chapter in her life, and she will be blessed with a bright journey ahead.  
Elder Fogelberg is doing incredible. He has already become a great missionary, and I’m so excited to see all that he’s going to be able to accomplish in his mission. I’m so grateful for him!
Elder Cuestas 
This is the view of Mindelo that I get from my area

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