I woke up at around 6:15 on Thursday morning. Breathing lightly, I stared at the ceiling and tried my hardest to recollect the events of my latest dream, something about going out tracting into a giant squid with Doctor Who as my companion. My memory started seeping back into my semi-conscious brain...the day before Elder Gil and I had a pretty good day, we taught Manuela and Jorge, one of the Daughters of Walter and Ingrid started listening to us and we visited a recent convert, Julissa and talked about the vision of the tree of life.
And then it hit me.
A year ago, (this is a huge stretch for my 6 o'clock brain) I was on a bus, going through the gates of the CCM for the very first time with my MTC district. A year ago...I started the mission.
It's a very interesting thought, and a rather indescribable feeling, reflecting on all the things that have happened over the course of this last year...and how many things WILL happen in the year that follows.
And just like that my friends, I found myself smack dab in the middle of my entire mission.
When did that happen?
I'm telling you, I'm not sure how time is governed, but it is definitely something relative (as Albert Einstein pointed out), because in "normal" life, it seems to go at a snail's pace...but here it feels like if I blink everything'll be over already.
But on the bright side, I have been having some pretty good days here in Guatemala City!
This past Saturday, Elder Gil, Elder Walton, Elder Rosales and I all went to the national Architectural Museum...only to find that it was closed. So we decided to go to the two neighboring museums, the Art and the Natural History exhibits...but it was overall a huge disappointment, nothing too special, and everything was really badly managed....and I also had an encounter with the scariest Bird Exhibit in the entire world! It was just this silent hallway overflowing with taxidermy ducks and flamingos...
Alfred Hitchcock was really on to something when he made the movie "The Birds."
On Sunday, the Francos were confirmed members of the church. They were both thrilled. Later when we ate lunch at the Relief Society President's house Sister Gonzales commented that in the class Ingrid told all the sisters that, "A lot of people were telling me a lot of bad things about the 'mormons' right before my baptism and I felt really confused...but the missionaries just kept telling me to 'ask God' and so I did...and I got baptized!"
Ingrid is so great, when we passed by their house yesterday to visit them, she said that she had read the entire General Conference Liahona....and told us which talks were her favorites!
I am so lucky to have converts like the Francos.
The rest of the week went by at a rather normal pace...nothing too out of the ordinary.
The first day of the second year of my mission started off with a bang when we got a call from the Zone Leaders in the middle of our weekly planning session.
It was Elder Villarreal, calling to say that they were planning to go on divisions with us that afternoon and that I would be staying in Montufar II with him. I glanced at my agenda, it was close to empty, and the appointments that we DID have set up were extremely tentative.
Talk about bad timing.
So I had a problem here...Elder Villarreal, my Zone Leader was going to come here with me...and I had a feeling that if the day flopped right on it's face it wouldn't look too good on my reputation.
Elder Gil did the Catholic "Sign of the Cross" gesture in front over my stunned face and said, "Good luck to you my friend" in English.
We did a quick intermission and I went and prayed in a different room.
If there's one thing that I've learned in the Mission, it's the fact that if we are specific in the things that we ask for in our prayers, God is specific with the blessings that he gives to us. So in my personal prayers that morning I had a planning session with my Heavenly Father.
I asked for a miracle at 6 o'clock p.m. that day, that we would find a family to teach.
I don't think that I have ever been so distinctive in my prayers before in my entire life.
We started divisions at 4 o'clock, went and visited a less active family, and by the time 6 o'clock rolled around I was all ready for a miracle.
And what do you know, the church is true....because we received just that.
Elder Villarreal and I left the house of the Escobar family, and we see a 14 year old kid walking down the street...he sees my Zone Leader and they tackle each other in a bear hug.
Elder Villarreal's grin is as wide as a summer morning: "Woaaah! Jorge! What are you doing here! Is your family home?"
"Just my dad" he answers.
"Let's go then!"
We only had to walk two doors down to find Jorge's house, his Dad is there and incredibly excited to see us as well, he invites us in and invites us to a glass of "Water" (water in this case being interpreted as Coca-Cola).
It turns out that it was a family of old investigators from Elder Villarreal's 2nd Area...they moved before they could get baptized and the missionaries had lost contact with them.
Miracles exist my friends.
And every day I see another one!