|My companion! And....dogs!|
Hey everybody! I hope you all had a great Holy Week (is that a thing, or just here in Latin America?) and enjoyed your Easter. And General Conference! Whoosh (does that make sense in English?). Conference is like Disneyland here in the mission. It's a vacation from walking all day, and a rollercoaster of feel-goods to calls for us to repent. Oh, how I love it :)
Lunch during Conference with the Murillo family =) (the son has a borrowed name tag on)
So, this whole going to buy gringo food once a month has had an interesting effect. My mouth and brain are quite happy with the situation, but it appears that my body only has gringo mode and tico mode, but eating both causes some problems haha.
Companion update: It appears that he's more gringo than me, sometimes. He learned English from watching The Walking Dead hahaha
There was a talk from this conference that I absolutely loved ( Elder Wilford W. Andersen, Saturday pm session). It was where he used the analogy of a dance and the music. How the dance steps we learn with the mind, but the music touches our heart, exactly how we learn what to do with our brains, but the spirit communicates with our hearts. It impacted me a lot, especially as a missionary! I don't think there's a sweeter 'tune' than missionary work. Spending all my day every day helping people change their lives and come to Christ! My job is to work miracles in the lives of these people! and it is wonderful.
The dance sometime can take a little bit to get used to. Honestly, here on the mission, a lot of times I just feel overwhelmed. Even though I know it's good and I like it, It can get pretty frustrated when I just can not figure a step out. It can be pretty embarrassing when I fall on my bum. And, of course, it's always in front of a crowd!
But it's absolutely worth it. Oh, it is so completely worth it. It is more worth it than words could possibly describe. I get to hear some of the sweetest tunes of the spirit, and there is nothing as satisfying as performing this dance well. There is nothing as satisfying as seeing children of our Heavenly Father start to feel the love that he has for them. And then see them turn that love to others. I love this work so much. Obviously it's a little tiring sometimes, or frustrating, or hard, or tricky, but it is so good.
On that note, we had a pretty sweet miracle yesterday.
I had been working a lot through contacts these weeks, and we found investigators who wanted to change! But they've had a lot of challenges, and, well, it's been really challenging. This week we've been focusing more on trying to work with members, and we saw the fruits of our labors yesterday.
One family, Family A, has a son leaving on the mission in June! We went there a week ago on Saturday (the 28th of March) and had a touching experience watching 'Because he lives' and inviting them to pray to know who they could invite to listen to our message and who would be prepared to accept it! The very next day, Sunday, they brought the grandma (the mom of Hna. A) to church. However, after that, we just couldn't seem to get plans down in the cement to go visit her. So, yesterday, even though it wasn't planned, we felt the need to go visit the A family. As we arrived there, we explained that we wanted to make a little bit more of a game plan concerning the grandma. But as we started talking, something marvelous happened. Hermano (Brother) A has been a member all his life, but Hermana A is a convert. The only member of her family! We started to talk about her other brothers and sisters and aunts and such, and the good experiences that they had all had with the church before. As we talked, they just sounded to me like prepared prepared people! As we finished the visit, making plans to start teaching all this family, we realized that the A family had given us 29 referrals. In a time where we're wanting to work with referrals more, it truly was a miracle. It felt like we pulled off a slick dance move!
This family has started to hold a special place in my heart. As we talked about how the gospel could bless each one of these people's lives, a love truly started to grow in my heart for them. I am so blessed to be a missionary, and to be that tool of the Lord to help give that little nudge to all those who are ready to come unto the fold of God. But I am in awe as I think about the faithful work of this family, over the course of some 15 or 20 years, to get these people ready.
Our Heavenly Father loves us. He loves me, he loves you, and he loves your second cousin's uncle's sister in law. He loves us so much that he sent his very own son to give his life for us. All so that we could progress and become like him, and have joy.
I'm grateful to God for my chance to go this week and teach these 29 souls the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how they can feel God's love in their lives. It's pretty hard to believe that God trusts in me, a complete novice, to perform this 'dance', but I'm excited for the challenge.
I hope you all have a great week! Thank you all for your love and your prayers. It makes the difference.