So this week is Semana Santa (it´s actually a misnomer because it´s like 12 days long or something ridiculous like that). I´m already tired of it. So get this: everyday there is a procession from multiple catholic churches where they parade around with idols of saints, virgins, and Christ. The people who participate wear suits of a different color every day that look like Ku Klux Klan getups and they have to pay to do it to. It´s kind of blowing my mind that this actually exists. Not to mention they hand out candy while doing it. Kind of blasphemous...you all would have to look up photos to get the full picture. But yeah we are only a few days in and we both are pretty annoyed with the whole thing since it messes up all our bus schedules and the streets all get blocked off -__- It´s ironic because just the other day someone in a lesson told us that the Catholic church is the true church...
Anyway. This week has been really humbling, three times. Remember our investigator Mari? The one that is going to get baptized soon? Well we went to go teach her this week and her oldest daughter was there (the one who has a lot of problems). Without going into too many details she was just treating her mother horribly and saying awful things to her. Mari is one of the most patient, tolerant, and faithful people I have ever met. She lives in the worst of conditions and has had an incredibly hard life but yet she loves God and is so grateful for the little she does have. As we taught her this time especially I could just feel the love the Savior has for her and I just felt so sorry for her. It was one of the few occasions that I have had a hard time not crying in a lesson, but I am humbled and grateful that we were able to be the Lord´s messengers for her to transmit his love.
Number two. Mari´s daughter Selena is friends with a little 9 year old gypsy girl from down the street. She came in during a lesson and we found out that she is deaf and mute. Even though they have been friends for a while no one knew her name and they told us that she didn´t either. Telling me that there was a 9 year girl who didn´t even know her own name broke my heart, and I just couldn´t accept that so we tried multiple time through signing but finally decided to find out through writing to her. She wrote hello on the paper in English in response, which they thought was "pollo" or chicken, saying she doesn´t understand she´s just hungry. But we knew better, eventually she understood and wrote "Paqui". She does have a name after all. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she took pictures of us of a way to communicate to her parents where the book came from. We are now learning how to sign basic things in Spanish so we can communicate with her a little better next time we see her. We are so incredibly blessed to be able to hear, speak, and even know our own names.
Number three. Remember Juan and Mari Carmen? They are getting married on the 24th! Well yesterday we fasted for Mari Carmen so that she can somehow get a miracle to be able to attend church and get baptized. While we were there last night she was talking about her poor humble childhood and how important her spirituality and testimony are to her. She is so strong and has so much faith in the future. She works way too much and so has many health problems but with the little time she does have she reads the Book of Mormon. They have no money but are currently saving to be able to reach their goals. Her dream is to be sealed as a family one day in the temple and I know they will make it there.
I have to go now but I just have such a strong testimony of God´s love for his children and I know that he is aware of everyone´s trials and difficulties. I am so grateful for the gospel and my many many blessings. Love you all and have a good week!