Monday, March 23, 2015
Hola Familia y Amigos!
Wow, what a week! It feels so nice to be writing in English! I love English :) SO much Spanish this week! But it`s good and I’m actually feeling somewhat confident in my ability to express myself. I was able to help a lot more in lessons and communicating with people. The gift of tongues is real!!
Thank you for your prayers, especially if you prayed that we could find new people to teach...because we did!!! Yay!!! It really was a miracle to find the people we did. We found a girl named Olinda who is 18 and has a little 2 year old baby. She lives with her boyfriend but they are thinking about separating which she is scared about. She is so sweet and came to church with us this week!!! She also accepted to be baptized but not a date yet, please pray for her. We also found another lady named Jovanah when we were walking down the street to another appointment. She was walking with a lady my comp knew so while my comp talked to the other lady I talked to her. She was super quiet and timid but I tried to ask how her day went and stuff like that. She said she was really sad and having a hard time and then stopped and turned to me and said I need one of your prayers, please pray for me. So we stopped right there in the street and said a prayer for her all together. She moved here by herself to work and is having a hard time adjusting and feeling at ease. We taught her a little about prayer and have another lesson with her this week. Please pray for her too. And for Maritza, another one of our investigators. She is an older lady that is so sweet and nice and always gives us chocolate or ice-cream when we come visit. The hard thing with her is she has some strange beliefs...as in she believes in aliens, fairies, Merlin the Wizard, Santa Clause, spirits, everything you could name and she tells us pretty crazy stories every time that she swears really happened. But she has great faith in Jesus Christ and we have hope that as she continues to learn; then those other beliefs will slowly be left behind. The nice thing though is that she has absolutely no problem believing that Jesus Christ and God appeared to Joseph Smith and restored the church and that angels ministered to him and all that stuff that sometimes others have a hard time understanding! Haha oh the people I’ve met here :) You can also pray for Dina, Raul, Mirium, Melba, and Eva :)
This week above anything else I learned what it really means to be a missionary. I thought I had an idea before, and I sort of did, but I had some very humbling teaching experiences this week that really helped me realize what it means when I put on my name tag and say I`m a representative of Jesus Christ. I don`t even know how many lessons we had this week where I sat across from someone who was truly suffering and really needed help. The people here are very open and tell you everything which is good but also hard sometimes. The biggest moment was when we were sitting with Mirium, a recent convert, and she was telling us about all these problems she is having in her family. Her oldest daughter is 18 with 2 kids from 2 different men and her current boyfriend is living with them. Her other children watch her example and are starting to get into trouble as well. She has to take care of everyone and her daughter`s kids because she just doesn`t understand responsibility yet. She was just crying and crying and I felt prompted to share a scripture with her in D&C section 121 when Joseph is in Liberty Jail and crying to the Lord for help. I read her the comforting words of the Lord, “My son, peace be unto thy soul. Thine adversities and thine afflictions will be but a small moment, and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.” I completely lost it. Right in the middle of reading I just broke down and started crying with her. I realized that the Lord was using me to comfort her even though I can`t speak the language perfectly and even though I couldn`t understand everything that was going on. I cried for her, I cried for me, I cried for all the people we have been teaching who are struggling, and something changed in me. I realized that the Lord was comforting me in those words as well and that because of the experiences and difficulties I am having to go through to be a missionary, I can now have more empathy for these people and really tell them that the Lord is with them and will help them because I have experienced it myself. I was talking about it with my companion after and she said something really profound. She told me that to be a representative of Christ is a big deal. People trust us with all their worries and concerns and expect us to have answers and to help them. It`s a huge blessing but also and huge responsibility. These are precious souls of our Heavenly Father who he loves and desires to help. I`m here to bring them peace and hope and love, just as the Savior would if he were here. I`m not here for me, I’m here to help others. That really changed my outlook and gave me a new desire to learn and work hard and find more people that are searching for hope and need the gospel. I can`t have fear or reservation to share my message because everyone needs it and it’s what I’ve been called by a prophet and our Savior to do. Huge learning experience for me.
I also gave away my first skirt this week! Our investigator Olinda didn`t have one so I gave one to her to wear to church with us. It was very humbling and felt so good to be able to help someone. :)
Please know I’m doing well and learning so much. Missions are hard and taxing in every single way, but the good outweighs the bad and the miracles and tender mercies make every hard moment worth it. I love you all so much. Thank you for all of the support and love, I really do feel it.