If I had to sum up this week in one word it would be ATTACKED. Before you freak out (mom) hear me out:
Dogs- after one of our lessons we were standing outside (she lives on the second story) and has a big dog. It started to bark and freak out and I did not think much of it. Until....I turned around and saw a huge black dog come out of nowhere with its eyes blood shot red. It literally looked like a dog out of a horror film. It was, in every way possible, upset and here I am in the corner of an unstable staircase with my companion behind me. I had no idea what to do because not only did we have to get it to stop being upset, we also had to get it to go down the stairs. I said a prayer as I turned my back to the dog. The barking stopped and when I turned around I saw it silently walking down the stairs without hesitation. Not only that, it started to walk the opposite way that we needed to go.
People- Obviously I am from the U.S. I am a gringo and always will be. Here some of the people do the most disrespectful things at me. Most of them are drunk, and it's really annoying. But luckily, I am with my native companion and she at least 6 times a day tells me to walk quickly past people and to not turn around when they say certain things, etc. I feel bad but at the same time I am SO BLESSED to have a native companion that knows EXACTLY what to say and how to deal with them.
Bees- This was terrible... We were walking to one of our appointments and all of a sudden I see a huge bee following me. I kept walking not drawing attention to it, until there was literally 4 and my companion starts freaking out. We were frantically dropping our bags, and running in a street trying to get the bees to leave us alone. They were VERY persistent. One of them got in my companions hair at the same time there was a lady crossing the street towards us. She noticed our predicament and she stopped to helped us. I had prayed again that we would be protected and they would stop following us. We were not stung; they immediately left when I finished the prayer AND we got her name and address. We will be stopping by her home one day soon. :) There is an analogy with the bees here I'm sure of it. (..sharing the gospel... busy as a bee)
Even though we were "attacked" by many different things, prayer was a vital part of my week. When I was feeling unsure or not safe, we knew prayer would be the only thing to help us, and it did.
We had a wonderful experience while teaching Oscar (the 8 year old who's mom is a less active, and who's dad died a couple months ago). His grandma was taking care of him and the twins while the mom works. She explained that Oscar had said and done some disrespectful things and she needs his help around the house. We were asking why he did it, and I felt that it was because he missed his dad. I continued with the prompting I got. I explained to him that it's hard being the oldest and the example. It's hard being "the man of the house", and it's especially hard when you have a hard day and all you want is to talk to your dad. We both started to cry because I shared how hard it is and how I know that his dad is so happy with his decision to be baptized and to be the example in his family. We sang, "I am a child of God" and I really tried to put myself in his shoes. It really was a spiritual experience.
For Urbano, he is trying his best to break his addiction with smoking. Hermana Guerra and I decided we would also give up our own little "addictiones." We both crack our knuckles and it's extremely hard to stop, especially when you do it often. It is allowing us to understand that if it is hard for us to stop doing something so simple, how much harder it is for him. We encourage him and praise him when he gets through the hard days without giving in to his cravings.
The most important thing that helps us share this work is the smiles we bring. I notice the difference when we look dead tired, because we trekked miles upon miles in the sun. Then we get to a door looking exhausted we don't have the wonderful opportunity to share our message. But when we are happy, and when I personally put myself in their shoes or at least just want to share my testimony with them I see a positive difference.
I feel like this is my home. The people here are my family. I wish everyone could be here with me experiencing this, because the spirit I feel here is remarkable. Everyday is my favorite day.
I love you all and am praying for you!