July 21, 2014
Well okay this email is just to you mom, but it's also my email to everyone. Hi there! I'm here! Sorry about the lack of pictures these past few weeks. My memory card is having a hissy fit, but I figured out how to work around it. I should be able to send pictures today.
I realized that the past few emails I’ve talked about dumb stuff like the World Cup and things in the beginning, which left me with almost no time to talk about the people! So today I’m going to talk about the people first, and if I have time, I’ll add in some dumb stuff. Woohoo!
So this week has been an emotional rollercoaster. Seriously I had one of the saddest and one of the happiest moments of my mission this week. As I told last week, Erick was marked for baptism for this Saturday, and we had marked to follow up with him every day during the week. His only difficulty was gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. All this time that he's been coming to church and meeting with us, he understands what we teach, and he's super integrated in the ward, and is super happy, but says he hasn't felt anything about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. I know he's felt the Spirit, and we tried to help him recognize that coming to church, living these commandments, praying reading the scriptures all bring the Spirit, and that there is no better answer than this, but to no avail. All this week I prayed and studied and wracked my brains to find the problem. What more could I do, what was missing, what did he need, what wasn't I doing right? But finally Sister Marques and I felt that we had done everything we could, and it was now his decision, and we couldn't force him. So on Friday we sat down with him, and explained our purpose as missionaries (see Preach My Gospel p.1) and that the next step for him was baptism, and that the decision was now in his hands, and there was nothing more we could do until he decided to be baptized. He thanked us for everything, said he liked the church, but also wanted to see other churches, and decide where he fit in best. We ended with a prayer, and were getting ready to go, when he got serious, and asked if he could talk with us again. We sat down and he started to thank us again for everything we've taught him, but got all choked up. When he was done, I told him the story of how we found him, and that God loved him and heard his prayers, and that these changes that he was experiencing were evidence that this gospel is true. If it weren't true, it would have no power to change anyone. But it is. And it does. Sister Marques and I both felt prompted to mark Alma 32:28-43 for him. He didn't change his mind, (YET!) but he has some things to ponder on. We can't keep meeting with him for now, but the members are following up with him. I am very very sad that he hasn't chosen what I know will be the best decision in his life, but I still have hope that my prodigal investigator will come back soon.
So that was the low point during the week. But on Saturday, we received some fantastic news. We went to visit Rose, and she said that this week she had been smoking only one cigarette per day, and the day before hadn't smoked at all, and wouldn't smoke any more and wanted us to mark a day for her baptism. Sister Marques and I gasped/squealed in unison. We marked for this Saturday! She finally came to church again, and is doing super well! But the enemy does everything in his power to stop us from making good decisions, so please pray that she can be strong, and that everything works out :)
I want you to know that I know that God lives, and I know that Christ is our Redeemer. I know that through his Atonement, we can change. We can become new people; start over again and again and again. We can change even our very natures. It is amazing. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ, and I know they love us infinitely.
Have a wonderful week!
|The Princess and the Pea|
|The Sisterhood of the Traveling Skirts|
Sister Dana, Sister Rodrigues, Sister Hicken, and Sister Fortes