I understand Indiana experienced cold temperatures and rain this past week! It doesn´t actually rain here, not right now at least. It hasn´t rained since early December.
So I should probably finish the story from last week. I believe I left you in the precarious situation of a young man with a need to use the bathroom (and nothing more) And a locked door. Emergency is the birth of genius. So we went out to the patio where there´s a tiny window about ten feet up the wall, that opens into the bathroom. Although we had previously tried unscrewing the screen, we had not succeeded, however, urgency lent me strength and I got that sucker open in 30 seconds flat. After I stood on a wobbly old fridge, and (carefully) with the help of my companion, went feet first into the bathroom. The problem is, I inserted myself up to the waist, but to let myself down gently (without dying) I had to turn myself around in the window, ten feet off the cold, hard, ground. This was no small feat seeing as the window was MINISCULE. This is where I almost died. But, somehow, I accomplished it, and did not die. Thankfully all turned out well.
Things are better than ever, my companion and I are really getting along well and having a lot of success. I really appreciate your prayers for me and the people I teach. Right now we are teaching a family of five that is AMAZING. They were investigators of Elder Ferrufino and I that we found my first month, and they have always been special, but the timing was never right, we were never able to focus on them, that changed recently. We started teaching them, inviting them to family home evenings, which they loved. I have found that making fun of the poor gringo who can´t speak English is a wonderful unifying factor :) We also invited them to church. When we passed by their house Sunday morning to walk to church with them we discovered that they had already left, not wanting to wait any longer. That Sunday was from Conference, and it had a wonderful effect on them. This message is making a change in this family, I see them happier, more at peace. And it´s something beautiful. One day I wasn´t feeling too good, emotionally I suppose. Just feeling a bit down. We went to their house for a lesson, and when Maryuri was praying (one of the moms) I felt a sweet spirit fill me. Truly a tender mercy. It´s hard to put it all into words, I ain´t the most wordy person you have ever met, but I learned a little lesson. Lately I have been pretty hard on myself. It´s hard not to expect perfection from myself, and naturally I tend to be pretty tough on myself when I make mistakes. For that reason I was feeling down. But during that prayer I felt a feeling of acceptance, that it´s okay that I´m not perfect, although that doesn´t mean that I shouldn´t continue improving, just that failure isn´t the end. Take the next step, and make it a good one, better than the last. The beauty of religion, of belief in God, is that we know that He has made room for our mistakes, that we can improve and that our mistakes aren´t the end. That there is forgiveness. Anyway, I felt better.
We also had the opportunity of going to the temple in San José. I find that hard to explain as well. There is a peace that exists there. An aura that surrounds the entire property but that is stronger on the inside. One finds himself feeling closer to God than in another place. And you are... filled I suppose. I honestly don´t know how to describe it. Go to the temple, it doesn´t matter who or where you are, figure out a way. It will make the difference, in whatever problem or trial you are passing through. I promise you that. Okay, my brain has been picked.
Elder Noah M. Toney
(Sorry, he sent lots of pics this week. I cannot access them through my iPad. I will make a separate blog post of just pictures.)