Happy Pioneer Day!
What a wonderful week it was. I think it was full of more testimonies to me that God puts us exactly where He needs us.
This past Tuesday we went out to a part of our area called La Matanza, which is absolutely beautiful, to help out at a vineyard. The member that took us is my absolute favorite. Her name is Marili and is my mom but the Argentinian/Canadian version. We went with her and her kids to a friend’s, who is from Germany, to cut down the grapevines. Now I have very little – to no experience with this, and as I was walking through hundreds of aisles of vines cutting off the ends to let them grow more fruit I just thought of the Mormon message, “The will of God“. Everyone should go watch it. After working all morning, we ate lunch and showed the video to the owner a handful more of his German friends that showed up. We had someone translate it because we only had it downloaded in Spanish, and it was a really cool experience. Afterwards, a man named Norgort ran up to us and told us he has always had the desires to help others and as he watched the video he knew it was through this church he could follow the example of Jesus Christ.
Then, on Thursday we had intercambios! I was excited for Hermana Tyler’s first intercambios and for the first time in a while to go to someone else’s area and just learn from them. And it made it even better because we got to travel to another island in the Canaries called Gran Canaria and visit Hermana Freestone and Charlesworth in Telde. I was with Hermana Freestone, and I just absolutely adore her. She was one of the few people I knew before the mission because I met her friend randomly on BYU campus and she introduced us. That was a year and a half ago and it was awesome to share experiences of our missions and see how perfectly fit they were to each of us.
A short half hour flight back (which is funny because we waited longer for the bus to come to take us from the airport to home than the actual flight haha), we were back in our area. Here’s where I tell how much God blesses you when you “whitewash” an area. You start from literally zero investigators, and somehow you meet people on the street and they tell you they want you to meet their cousin also and old investigators just begin calling you.
One of those random phone calls was Alison. I’m not sure if I mentioned her last week. She is a 21 year old girl from the another island Lan Zorote. She has basically raised herself and when she met the missionaries last summer, she found the hope she had been looking for but due to tons of obstacles, she lost contact. But she happened to just randomly call us the second day we were in La Laguna and she came to church this past Sunday!
Another perfect timing experience happened Saturday afternoon. Marili was awesome (once again) and took us all the way out to the end of area to meet an inactive woman named Maricarmen. I knew I would love her because she is from Galicia (the region of my first area, La Coruña), haha. She was the first woman to be baptized in the little branch in her hometown, Lugo. She moved to the islands a little over 20 years ago and kept strong. But these past couple years have been extremely challenging and she has lost a lot of her faith. We shared with her a talk from Brad Wilcox “His Grace is Sufficient“. He gives an awesome example in his talk about a mom paying for piano lessons to understand the meaning of grace and the Atonement. Maricarmen has a daughter who is absolutely obsessed with soccer, and we related it to her. She has already paid for the lessons, already spent her time driving her to and from practice, it’s all done. Just like Jesus Christ has already paid the price for all of our sins through his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and His death on the cross. But like a child can show her gratitude to her mother by practicing hard, we can show thanks to our Savior by using the Atonement in our life every day. I know that Jesus Christ truly is our Savior. And that by His grace, that doesn’t just make up for all of our mistakes at the end of our course of life, but helps us take every single step, day by day.
Last story to add to the testimony that God truly is the Great Clock worker that Hermana Tyler says I can’t not add to the email happened on Saturday leaving an eating appointment. I hear a big thud and look over to see my companion sprinting down the street at full speed. I look forward and see a man face down, laying on the tracks of the tram that runs through town. He went around a corner too fast, and his motorcycle hit the curb and he flew forward onto the tracks. As my companion runs toward the man, I see the tram coming at full speed our way and wave my arms for it to stop. At this point, a couple of other men ran out of a cafe that also saw the incident and run to the rescue. We called the ambulance and tried to help him the best we could. His left shoulder was in serious pain and his head was bleeding pretty badly. We stayed with him until his family and the ambulance came. It was an eye opening experience for me for sure that each day is a blessing, that we must live carefully, and have gratitude for all the good people there still are in the world that run to the aid when they see another in need.
And to end the week feeling just so grateful for how much God has blessed us these past 2 weeks as we have whitewashed, we spent another p-day cleaning the apartment all day. Yay for clean vents over the stove and stain free tile under the laundry machine!
Have an awesome week!
Hermana Brooke Devereaux