Monday, March 28, 2016
Hello Family and Friends!!!!
HAPPY EASTER!!!!! Or "Semana Santa" as they say here in Peru. Here they celebrate the whole week and Thursday through Sunday is a holiday.:) I hope you all enjoyed it and were able to have your testimonies strengthened of the reality of the Savior`s atonement and resurrection. This week has truly been very special for me as I tried every day to study about and think of the Savior. I had begun to feel like my relationship with my Savior was becoming a little distant. Sometimes it can be so easy to let the gospel lose it`s wonder if we aren`t careful and if we don`t continually strengthen our testimonies through meaningful, spiritual experiences.
I recognized that this week needed to be a special one and that I wanted to use this "semana santa" or Easter to really draw closer to him again. Every day I studied about what he did in that particular day of the week over 2 centuries ago and tried to turn my thoughts to him throughout the day. Every time I mentioned his name or testified of him or his gospel I tried to really feel it. Wow, it was a beautiful week for me and it all culminated with a very special and spiritual Easter Sunday. That morning I once again read the question of the angel to Mary at the tomb, "Why seek ye the living amongst the dead? He is not here, But IS RISEN." (Luke 24: 5-6) What a beautiful statement of hope and joy. He is risen.
I loved the Savior`s own testimony as we said to his apostles, "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." (Luke 24: 39) I remember reading the story of Thomas who doubted until he saw the Lord in person. However, the Lord, in his great love, gave him the testimony he needed with the words, "Reach hither thy finger and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side and be not faithless, but believing." What a beautiful invitation that the Lord extends to each of us. I especially loved his words that followed. "Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believed." (John 20: 27-29) That statement from the Lord made me think. I have never seen the Savior with my mortal eyes, but do I really believe that he lives and is the Savior of the world? As I reflected and prayed the spirit confirmed to my heart once again that yes, I do believe. I know he is my savior and that HE IS RISEN. And because he rose from the grave, I will too. My family, friends, loved ones, we can all see each other again and live in happiness in his presence as long as we follow his example and are faithful in what he has commanded us to do. I finished with the last verses in John, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye MIGHT BELEIVE that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name. I love my Savior and can`t wait until the day that I will be able to fall at his feet and bathe them with my tears of gratitude. My hope is to live worthy to be prepared for that day.
Another spiritual feast came on Saturday night as we had the opportunity to listen to the General Women`s conference! I love love love this meeting and I always leave with a heart and to-do list full. :) This conference was centered so much on service and love for one another. It really struck me how simple the messages were, yet how powerful. I had the spirit testify to my heart that this is exactly what I need to focus on now in my life and what will truly help us as women to be the daughters of God and contributors of his Kingdom here on earth that he needs us to be. I can`t wait to listen to more counsel from our prophets and apostles this coming week in General Conference. I hope everyone has plans to watch and has prepared questions you want answered and guidance you need. I know that as we prepare ourselves to receive revelation from the Lord that he will grant it to us.
This week was also the last week of the transfer and yesterday we received our new assignments. (They have started telling us earlier so we can prepare so now you won`t have to wait a week to hear what happened.) I will be leaving my area and going to a new area called Campoy to be a sister leader with Hermana Suarez from Ecuador. She will be my 3rd companion from Ecuador and I’ve been in the same zone as her before so I feel like I know her a little already. :) I`m excited and have received my confirmation from the spirit that it`s where I need to go. I am very sad to leave Monterrico because I have truly come to love so many people here. I`ve seen miracles daily in my life, the life of the members, and the life of our investigators. I`ve felt joy I didn`t know was possible and seen the Lord about his work. The greatest feeling is knowing that I’ve been able to be an instrument in his hands, however small it may have been. I`m excited for the new adventure that awaits in Campoy and to come to love the people there as well as the sweet sisters we will be able to serve. I`ve heard great things about Hna. Suarez and am very excited to come to love her even more and learn from her. I`m sad to leave my sweet companions. I`ve enjoyed our 3 musketeers so much :) But I know we all have learned what we needed to from one another and grown so much together. Now it`s time to see what else the Lord has in store for us.
Transfers. bye Monterrico!
With my companions up on diente do oro
Our sweet sisters in our zone.
Please keep praying for L... and F.... We invited L to be baptized this week but she still says she needs time. We don`t know exactly what more she needs to help her make the decision but she is feeling the spirit and loving the gospel more and more. She has also gotten into family history to help F... prepare names to go to the temple and has just fallen in love with it. (Reminds me of someone else I know...mom;) We are hoping that will be a big help for her testimony. :) F... leaves for Germany to study on the 5th of April and will stay there until he finishes school. He is going to live with a family of members which will be really good for him, but I’ll sure miss him. He`s such a good kid. His birthday is on April 9th and it is also the day he will go to the temple and be baptized for his dad. How special. :)
Z... is still doing well and has received the answer that the church is true...but she is still having a hard time accepting it. :) We are going to keep working with her but please keep her in your prayers.
Please keep praying for C... V... as well. He is a less active member that has returned to the church but is the only member of his family and doesn`t have much support from them. His wife is basically against it and it makes things hard for him. But he is so strong and I know he`ll make it through.
I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week. Enjoy General Conference, I`m sooooo excited to hear what the Lord wants us to hear. Please pray for me with this new transfer!! Love you all! :)
The 3 musketeers eating lunch in bed!
At the church with our less active member E... She is the best.