Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mexico Week 49 -- The Process of Conversion

Dear favorite family!  How are ya’ll? I hope you’re all happy and doing well! This week was a great one so buckle down and get ready for these stories! 

First things first, the pictures! 

They called a “General Cleaning” day and we had to clean from 9:30 this morning to 4:00 this afternoon. There was no permission to leave the house! We had the hymns going loud and ended with these pictures!

We ate with the bishop yesterday and his son is serving his mission in Oaxaca. Turns out they eat lots of insects there and he sent some home to his family. I have been pretty blessed in my mission because they were all nervous and didn’t want to eat them! Ha! Ha!  We don’t eat weird stuff here.  Hermana Gonzalez and I are prideful and had to try them ... what an experience! They didn’t taste bad because they were super condimented but they were a little crunchy!  We decided we could never be on Fear Factor. 

This week we had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders and took the Subway!  You know how much I love the subway!  I went to the area of Hermana Durnford and we worked together again. We ate with this precious old lady and afterward helped her put all of her Christmas decorations away. She was literally the sweetest. Hermana Durnford is just super special. She’s teaching me that we just have to cut ourselves some slack every once in a while. She works hard and is just too cute! We had a good time!

Some more Christmas cards showed up this week! Thanks to the Heck family, Sister Randall, the Cohen family, and Jessica Pace! 

Big thanks also to the Goode family. This adorable stocking showed up this week! 

 The picture with three adults is me with Hermano Miguel, Jasmin, and Yahaira. We’ve been teaching them for a little while, and wow, their problems are too hard to imagine. There are just really sad things in their past, and we have been working so much with them. We went to visit them this week but we say that they truly aren’t really progressing. We had such a powerful and we talked about the Atonement, what we truly have to do to return with our Heavenly Father and the Spirit was so strong. Their faces about killed us, just pure guilt. We just testified and testified and teared up a little bit and well maybe we teared up a little more as we left. It’s probably the hardest thing in the mission - when you are just giving it all you’ve got and you know they feel it, but there’s still something more that prohibits them from living the gospel. They will always be special people. 

THIS WEEK WE FOUND HERMANO VICTOR. He was the elders’ investigator that was baptized with us our first week here. He went for a few months, but then stopped going, ignored phone calls, didn’t open the door when we knew he was home, stuff like that. Well we found him this week! He says he knows he needs to fix things, and we wants to work things out. He also went to church on Sunday and we’re now setting regular appointments with him. I love finding people! 

Okay, now for our golden families. Hermana Judith is reading the Book of Mormon!! She is loving it and reads whenever she can. She told us that one day she couldn’t find her book. She was looking all over the place and her 8 year old says, “Mom, what are you looking for?”  She told him the blue cook that the Hermanas gave me.  Her son answers, “Oh, I have it. I took it to school and I’ve been reading it.¨  She said she was so surprised! She says he sometimes turns off the TV and reads for a little bit. We were so surprised and ahh, what a special family! We taught her the Plan of Salvation this week and she was just soaking it all up and asking questions and telling us how much peace she felt. On Saturday we talked about Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy! She has such a strong desire to be obedient. She remembered her baptismal date and said that she is doing all she can to be ready by that day.  We love her to death! We just missed her at church this week because she has seasonal asthma and she had an attack Sunday morning and went to the hospital.  She is the absolute best though! 

Monday night we had plans to give the last lesson and then stop visiting the Moreno family. We have about a month with them and they just weren’t really progressing. We showed up at her house and she just started crying about how that day she left to go look for her own house and was going to leave with her kids. In all of this her husband shows up from work and we shared a message with the whole family! He offered a kneeling prayer at the end and we saw new hope with working with them as a complete family. They went to Ward FHE this week and they went to church! We passed by for them and went with them. The kids loved their classes and the bishop’s daughter was a perfect friend with her daughter. The hermana loved church and wants to come every week! It was so special seeing them there and the ward helped us a ton with welcoming them and helping them find their classes and everything! 

This week I was studying the Febuary Liahona and just a couple of quick things that I wanted to share with y’all. President Eyring talked about testimony and conversion and he says, “Full time missionaries can pray in faith to know by the spirit what to teach and testify. They can pray in faith that the Lord will let them feel His love for everyone they meet. The missionaries will not bring everyone they meet to the waters of baptism and to the gift of the Holy Ghost. But they can have the Holy Ghost as a companion. Through their service and with the help of the Holy Ghost, missionaries will then, in time, be changed in their hearts. That change will be renewed again and again as they and we unselfishly continue over a lifetime to act in faith to strengthen others with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Conversion will not be a single event or something that will last for just one season of life, but will be a continuing process.”  I loved this and truly feel like I am experiencing a conversion that will bless throughout my whole life. We need to love the Lord and serve Him not just as missionaries, but our whole lives. We have to be who He wants us to be. 

I was also reading about our pre-mortal life and a quote from President Benson really hit home. He promised, “Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us.”  Wow, is that an incredible promise or what? Sometimes I’ve tried to imagine Him or think about how He is, but one day we will see Him and He will be so familiar to us. I just hope and pray that it will be a happy experience because I was gave 100% and not one of regret! I am so grateful for the plan of salvation. I know it’s the truth. I know we were with Him before and I know that we can be with Him again through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that we will be held responsible for what we did and didn’t do here. I know that He guides us every day because He truly does want us in His presence. 

I love you all to the moon and back! Be good! Be missionaries! 

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