There are some days on the mission when you want to be a missionary forever. As a result there are some days when you want to quit and be done with the mission. But I want to focus on the first type...those times when one wants to be on the mission forever.
|Super Cute Child!|
This week was truly incredible.
There were many times today when I was just touched by the spirit at how amazing this mission experience is. My life and the culture and living and everything seems very normal to me. But today I realized that there are lots of things that would be a big shock to family or friends back home, such as living conditions, bugs, rain, the food...but mostly there are times that I just want to be able to remember forever on the mission, that I will never be able to capture on film. For example, the every day things that happen, when we´re sitting outside on a dirt log and teaching humble people about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. It just doesn´t get much better than that. Or when we´re walking down a long street in the country side and mountains and in the middle of no where...walking as missionaries to serve and find people to teach. But I love just sitting outside, teaching people in the humblest conditions. When we´re sitting on logs, or under the rain, or we cram into their tiny house as the rain comes to get out of it, and they have a dirt floor, and I don´t know how to begin to describe it. Now adays these conditions are normal to me, and I love them. I just wish I could capture so many on film to remember forever.
|Wild Pigs...just walking on our way|
to church...totally normal.
Really, I love being a missionary. I love losing myself in the work. This really is a privilege to serve and I am grateful for it.
Tonight we also had our futbol activity en la iglesia. We are playing soccer each friday night to animate and get the jovenes excited. We teach a short lesson before we play and invite them to come to church before we play, so that way there is a purpose in the activity. It was a success. And I LOVE this activity. I get to play soccer every friday for an hour...the best.
|Futbol on P-days|
I went to the temple sealing of la Familia Lino with Hermana Dominguez.
The sealing was beautiful. It was short, but really beautiful and the spirit was really strong. Not to mention that it was neat to sit there and see the beautiful walls my mom painted that just added to the experience. It brought so much joy to watch them be sealed as a family for eternity, and not just for this life. They were all super happy and I know it was a really special experience for them. I love that family so much. We took pics after and then rode back on the bus. This gospel is true and really amazing. I know that families are meant to last more than just this life, and I´m grateful for the knowledge I have that they are eternal. And I am ever so grateful for the opportunity Dios has given me to be part of these experiences. The mission really has changed my life.
|Temple with Familia Lino|
This afternoon we went and visited Humberto. Well, I remember very well my first few visits with him. He´s about 60 years old and requires SO MUCH patience, he loves to talk, it´s hard for him to understand lots of things, and it was hard to really see him progressing at first. But we kept going back for some reason. Well tonight, he accepted to be baptized this coming Saturday. He said that he believes the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that this church is true. I was floored and amazed at the goodness and miracles of God. Super happy for the miracle that we´re going to have a baptism this month. And just amazed at really, how much Humberto has progressed and how while it appears that it´s hard for him to understand, he really actually just gets it. The gospel is very logical and he just gets it. He was like, "well yeah, there have to be more books than just the book of mormon.." ha, and we were like, yep, you bet. It´s just amazing. He´s very humble and willing and ready to learn. In his final prayer, it was very sweet and he thanked God for sending us and for learning more about His work and it was beautiful. Hermana Paredes and I left that house with the biggest smiles and so much joy and happiness. God is so good.
Then tonight we went to visit Claudia. We decided going into this visit that we were going to leave with another baptism date. Well, sure enough, we had a heart to heart convo and it was amazing. She told us how she wants to really serve God and be an instrument in His hands. She told us that she has seen His love and she has felt good. She told us that she got up at 3am and was praying. She said she started reading the Bible and then the Liahona, and that she has just realized that God has been guiding her and leading her and she wants to be able to be with her family all together at church. She told us how she didn´t go to her church on Saturday (Jehovah´s Witnesses) and she didn´t feel bad about it at all. She said she has seen changes in Josef (her son who´s 12 and is a member) since we´ve been meeting with her, and she has seen these things. I testified that these are all manifestations of the spirit and they are answers to her question and petition that she has been begging for for these months. She agreed. I then handed her a calender with this last week of August and for September said, "So, when are you going to be baptized?" She said she was thinking maybe in February on her birthday. Then we told her not to postpone it and gave her the calender again. She was smiling, and knowing that she had to choose a date. She looked up and said, "How about the 14th of Septembe" I was dying inside I was so happy. And said, "that´s perfect." We have worked so hard with her. We have been visiting her like crazy, sacrificing whatever thing, getting up at 3am each morning to pray for her for weeks (because she wakes up to pray at that hour because it´s quiet), and always thinking and talking about her and how to help her and what is it that she needs, etc. I love this woman so much, it´s unbelievable. We left there with the biggest smiles on our faces. I just wanted to cry I was so happy. It just doesn´t get better than this. Yes, I´ve felt happy eating ice cream with my friends, or going to the movies with a boy, or winning a really important soccer tournament game. And yes, that´s fun and made me happy, along with lots of other things in my life. But this gospel...this is true joy and happiness. It is different, and yet amazing. It penetrates the heart and really just sinks in. It´s the best. Why? Because it´s eternal and everlasting. And because it´s real.
|On the temple steps after the sealing ceremony.|
I am amazed at how good God is. He truly is amazing. Yes, we worked hard, we have been doing everything we can and have been working on increasing our faith. But these results are not the results of our work. They really are just gifts from God and fruits of His work. We are just instruments in His hands, and lucky and blessed enough to be a part of it all and watch it all unfold before our eyes and God moves this work forward, preparing for Christ´s coming. Love it.
I love this work. I am ever so grateful to be here and lose myself in the work of the Lord.
Thanks for the amazing support and love yáll send me. I feel it always.
|Pedicure last P-day...totally necessary!|