Sibonga continues to be a delight. I keep wrenching more love out of my heart, and then sometimes, it just flows freely.
Funny story of the week (which also maybe illustrates a point): We were walking yesterday, kind of exploring because we'd just had a bunch of dropped appointments, and a woman comes out of nowhere (actually, she was probably peeing in the bushes). We said hello, and she didn't respond, but then turned around to tell us to visit her mom over there. Already, this is getting weird- but it's a referral, so we went to contact them. No one was there, we continued on, and taught a lesson to a very Catholic woman, mother of someone who ran away from us. We came back to our referral, and ayo-ed at the gate. (Have I told you this? We don't knock doors- you just yell "Ayo!" and that's it.) A nice woman came out, we told her who we were, and she hobbled away without a word. In a minute, a nice old man comes and opens the gate into this weird resort thing- like picnic tables, but also chain link fences. He tells us to follow him- and I felt okay about it, even though this could have been totally horror movie. He took us to the back- where there is a zoo!! In tiny Sibonga, there are monkeys and tropical birds, and lizards and a huge crocodile! They weren't really interested in our message- but maybe.
Here's what I learned though. I don't know how the plan of the Lord works, and I don't know lots. I was starting to think I knew this area and had gotten things figured out- and then there's a zoo! And so I'll keep walking, and following strange referrals, and visiting less actives who don't seem like they're making much progress, because when you least expect it, there's a zoo!
Updates on people here:
Joshua, the 9 year old who's getting baptized at the end of this month. We've been working with him- and his less active family members. There are all these children- I'll take pictures tonight, and we have a great time. This week, we got some of his uncles to join our lessons. He'd also been struggling to pray in front of people, and we were really worried about it. But don't worry! On Sunday, after church he bounded over and told me that he'd said the prayer in Primary, and then prayed gladly every time this week. He's also reading the scriptures by himself, and even in the youngest converts, it's wonderful to see the power of the gospel.
Brenda Baran: she's progressing so well- and understands the scriptures like only the elect do. She wants to be baptized, but she's not married, just living in- it's such a problem here because of all these legal complexities and money. So it'll be a little bit of a long haul with her. But it will come nonetheless.
Marlo Cabije: Oh, she's special. She's a reason I'm here in Sibonga. She's slowly but surely taking the steps to repentance. She told me yesterday- "You're smart. You get me. You have me pinned down. You know that I needed that scripture (Ether 12:4) and that I need an anchor of hope." And then she paused. "Actually, it's just the spirit. Strong vibrations." Just the spirit! And Marlo Cabije is so right. I can't figure the woman out. She laughs and then cries and then swears and then hugs her child. But her Heavenly Father loves her so much and sometimes, he shows us a little bit of who she is. So pray for her, please, that she'll have the courage to do what she knows is right. She's reading the scriptures everyday, and that's incredible progress.
I know, that's not everyone, but that's it for today! I love you all so much. Read the scriptures, understand who you are, love a little bit more, expect the best.