Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Miracle at my Halfway Point

Dear family, 

I am keeping my letter short this week because there are simply not words adequate enough to describe it. Two days ago we were privileged to be a part of something that many people told us would never happen - put purely and simply, we witnessed a miracle. 

Earlier in the week we received the long-anticipated news from Miguela that - after much prayer and some additional consideration of Alma 5:62 - she had definitely moved past the fork in the road and made the decision that would forever define her path in this life. 

Frustrated by his prolonged mistreatment of their family and emboldened by her still-budding testimony, Miguela finally gathered the courage to force her 'husband' out of the house. She told me later that, even though she still loved the man he used to be and had hope that someday he could still change; she realized that she couldn't let him impede her salvation any longer. She knew what she had to do and she did it.

As a result, I am proud beyond words to announce to announce that this past weekend Miguela was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church! ...And I don't think I've ever seen her happier. 

I will always remember clearly the moment she came up out of the water with a smile on her face. She turned to look at us and I noticed immediately that resplendent light about her that we had seen a few weeks ago, now even brighter than before. It seemed to reach out to everyone present there because we knew how valiantly she had fought and how much she had given up to arrive at that moment. And I can honestly say that wrapping my arms around her to give her a tight hug at the end of the service has been one of the most sweet and rewarding moments of my mission thus far. 

It has taken a lot of effort and faith to finally get to this point and there have been countless ups and downs. It seems though, that the roller coaster may have finally rolled to a stop, but I am still trying to catch my breath and wrap my mind around the enormity of it all. All I can say is that I am immensely grateful and humbled to have witnessed - and perhaps been a part of - this joyous and irrefutable miracle. 

Interesting things that happened this week: 

- We brought one of Liu's cats home to catch the rats. We named it Trapper. The tiny little thing, as cute as it was, was actually a lot more trouble than it was worth. It ended up getting itself stuck inside the hole where the rats are coming out of. It took 12 hours, lots of patience, a little strategy, and a bowl of refried beans to coax it out of the wall. And it didn't even kill anything...so we took it back to Liu less than 36 hours after we carried it home from her house inside one of her lacy pillowcases.

- All of the young men in our branch wear 'future missionary' tags, which are printed on cardstock and say their names and the year in which each could potentially put in their papers. I am happy to say that both Angelo, and now Yordys, both proudly wear theirs to church each Sunday: Angerlin Vargas 2018, and Yordys Tineo 2015.

Todo mi amor, 

Hermana Kaitlin Olsen

Trapper the cat

Miguela's baptism

Miguela, Hermana Stanton and Kaitlin

Miguela and her family

After the baptism

Miguela's son

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