hello friends and family!! this week was one of the hardest weeks of my whole mission but I have felt the love of Christ through it all.
the positive things first:
1. on p-day last week we went to Galveston with all of the sisters in our zone because some are leaving this transfer and they wanted to have a fun "last pday". we were planning on going to Pleasure Pier (an amusement park on the water) but it was closed! so we went on the ferry instead and went out onto the ocean. it was BEAUTIFUL. I didn't feel like a missionary..haha. it felt like a dream. there were dolphins jumping and the sun was perfect! it was a nice little break and some fresh air.
2. one day when we were eating with Hermana P she was on the phone and Hermana R and I were talking about how tan we were and I put my arm against Hermana P's to compare her Dominican skin with mine and she whispered while she was on the phone "café con leche" (coffee with cream) as in she is the coffee and I am the cream. hahaha shes the best.
3. The G family took us out to dinner on Friday night at an amazing Mexican restaurant. she wanted to take us out before they moved but it was the best night ever. I love this family so much and I have grown so close to all of them. I told them that when I come back to visit my mission after I am done, I am going to Austin too. to see them and to love them.
4. yesterday in between the sessions of conference we went to F and R's apartment. we knocked on the door and F was skyping with his family in Guatemala and it made me so happy! I got to meet their family all the way in Guatemala and it was so great! seeing their circumstances there humbled me.
5. C and D. New investigators! It is a mom and her daughter and they are so great. they are getting baptized may 21! how did we find them? another miracle. we were going to an appointment a while ago after we talked to someone on the street. we knocked on the door and a lady answered but it wasn't the same one we talked to earlier. but we explained that we are missionaries and what we do and now she is on her way to preparing for baptism. I love the Lord and how He works.
6. A new finding activity that we are doing is super fun. So when we nightly plan we say "ok. tomorrow we are going to find and talk to a guy, wearing a black shirt in his garage" or "a girl with glasses walking her dog" stuff like that. well one day this week we had both of those as our goal. we were walking in a neighborhood contacting some referrals and we saw a guy in a garage. we didn't see the color of shirt but it didn't matter to us. as we got closer he was wearing a BLACK shirt. SO COOL! we talked about Christ and how He was resurrected. he actually lives in Galveston but I just love the sense of humor God has. it is great.
7. GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!! holy miracle. I don't think I could have asked for a more perfect time to hear the most perfect words and messages in my life. ALL of the talks helped me A TON especially at this stage I am at in my mission and I was so inspired.
some quotes that I LOVED:
"Christ promised that He would be close to us" -Henry B. Eyring
" A correct understanding of our Heavenly Heritage is essential for exaltation" -Donald L. Hallstrom
"Forgiveness is a glorious and healing principle" -Kevin R. Duncan
"How do we become humble? We are reminded of who we depend on--Jesus Christ" -Steven E. Snow
"Choose the harder right, not the easier wrong" -Thomas S. Monson
"To actually believe something, we need to get the gospel out of our heads and into our hearts" -Bonnie L. Oscarson
"We will find peace in our soul as we walk with Jesus Christ" -W. Christopher Waddell
"Because Christ loves you, He will put you on His shoulders and rejoice!" -Dieter F. Uchdorf
"The Savior knows how it feels to be a refugee...he was one" -Patrick Kearon
"The Lord doesn't make things easy, He makes things possible" -Dallin H. Oaks
"The first and great commandment: to love God with all of our heart, might, mind and strength". The first truth: God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind and strength" "If we love God, tomorrow will be magnificent. Why? Because He wants it to be" "Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow and forever" -Jeffrey R. Holland
One of my favorite talks was by the new apostle Dale G. Renlund about the Atonement and the Sacrament. I loved the story he told about the lady who didn't get the sacrament and after church they had her go into a room and they gave her the sacrament. I couldn't help but think that every week we need to imagine ourselves in a room only with Christ and having Christ give us the Sacrament and Him saying "Remember me". Our covenants that we make are INDIVIDUAL. We all need them.
harder things this week:
A.......we haven't seen him since my last email. we set up appointments with him, he is totally excited and when we go, he isn't there. it has happened like 3 times. it is so discouraging because we thought he had so much potential. pray for him that he will have a real desire!
L. this week something happened that we least expected. we had two amazing lessons with him. we talked about his missionary work and service and the priesthood. we brought President A with us to the one about the priesthood and O to the missionary work lesson. they both went SUPER well! well on Friday, L went to Houston to pick up his check from work and he visited his cousin. Apparently him and his cousin talked about religion and how he was getting baptized soon. The cousin didn't approve at all. She was yelling at L and she was telling him that everything that he has learned is a lie and how he is crazy and shouldn't be meeting with us or going to our church. We didn't know this but later that day we called him asking him the details of his baptism (what time, who will baptize him, etc) and that is when he told us that he doesn't want to get baptized anymore. IT BROKE OUR HEARTS. we were trying to get a hold of him and trying to talk to him but he didn't want to. the next day was conference and he texted us saying that he wasn't going to go and that we should just forget about him. this wasn't the normal L!!!!!!! it was SO sad for us. we were so depressed. we were devastated. the whole weekend we were trying to get a hold of him just to talk and listen to him but he never responded. All day Sunday we fasted for him. so on Sunday night we decided to just go over to his house. he was there but it was the saddest thing. because he was SO sad and lost. He wasn't the normal laughing/cracking jokes/happy L. we were so discouraged. but we talked to him a lot and the most important thing we did was we listened. we just listened. he told us about all of his thoughts and at one point he said that he was just going to stay Catholic. as time went on, we started telling him that Satan is strong. when he knows when we are doing the right thing, he attacks us. we read Ether 12:6 (A chapter in the Book of Mormon that reads: And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith) with him and explained that this is just a trial of your faith right now. it is just a trial and we are going to work together and with God to help you get through it. after the lesson he seemed a lot happier and a lot better. a lot more himself. we asked him to pray at the end he pleaded to God (crying and all) to help him get through this. He then recognized that this is just a trial and he can get over it and keep pressing forward. We have an appointment with him tonight so please keep him in your prayers that his heart will be softened and that he will feel the comfort and peace that he needs. We love him and wont give up on him, because the Lord won't.
although this week has been hard and discouraging, I have been walking with Christ. Walking up to the door of L with tears in our eyes for how scared we were what was going to happen and praying all day long for him, Christ was right next to us. Watching conference and rapidly taking notes about what I learned and am going to apply, Christ was with me. Walking back from hundreds of appointments with no one home, Christ was there ready to help us push forward. I am so grateful that I have these times in my mission because I wouldn't have them anywhere else. I have never felt Christ's love so strong ever before than on my mission. I love Him.
|one of my favorite people here on my mission: A. G.|
|Ferry ride on P-day!|
|My favorite little boy - G!|