Hola! How is everyone! Thanks for all the emails and even the tangible letter from Sydney Adams! I love you all so much. It hurts. Ha, not really, it just fills me up and makes me float.
A lot can happen in 5 minutes:
For example, on our way to a less-active lookup yesterday (which didn’t go very well…) we were simply walking on the sidewalk minding our own business. And before I knew it, I was proposed to (7 times); I walked by a man peeing on a car; someone ran out of the bushes and then 8 guys followed yelling, “There he goes! Get him!”; then the police got involved and there were policemen on foot chasing someone; we turned the corner and saw 2 fire trucks and an ambulance hauling a stretcher into another house.
Don’t worry, we found the less active.
Wow! Here I am. I love this. My life is so fun and so quick and so great–The Lord is so good. That is pretty much my number 1 on my mission “The Lord is so good!!” Hermana Card and I always say that whenever anything goes well for us. We are slowly but surely climbing the scoreboard against the Bronx. I love this!!!! Here are some hints I’ve learned this week:
The atonement began with a prayer. Christ began with a prayer. Why should there be anything different with us, in our Gethsemanes? Why shouldn’t my day every day–my Gethsemane every day–begin with a prayer? Pray always. You have a friend, you have power, you have love and support when you pray. Please pray!!!
We went to Ceasaria Lopez’s house this week and she fed us a feast. She is like the grandma of the Bronx! There are always people at her house–whether she knows them or not–and she helps them. She is talented at everything. Anyway, a few people came over for some massages because heir necks were hurting, so we were kind of left alone with this group of people. We couldn’t share a message with Ceasaria, so we taught the restauracion to the four people in the living room. It was awesome! One lady and her husband live in Connecticut, but they had so many questions about this and the Book of Mormon and everything. I am SO bummed that I didn’t have a Spanish Book of Mormon with me! I have been walking around with some English ones (all we have at our casa) and a prayer in my heart that we can share them. But I always need Spanish ones!! The Lord is answering my prayer everyday and I insist on being unprepared without a Libro de Mormon. Dang it. Anyway, it was so awesome because we were late to the appointment and if we weren’t late, we wouldn’t have met them and been able to tell them and teach them and give them mormon.org cards and everything. The Lord is so good to us. Whether we are late or “on time” we seem to always be on time because The Lord helps us meet new people that he puts in our way as we are late or on time. He is so great. So quick to bless us.
We had a BOMB lesson with an investigator named Luz. She is so awesome and so prepared for the gospel. She lives with her family and has 5 kids and is on good terms with everyone. They are a strong catholic family, which may create some problems with prayer and the godhead and things…but I am seriously so grateful to have a family! Especially one where there aren’t crazy people or who knows what all over the ground and couch. Seriously, I feel like I just struck gold! We had a very quiet and peaceful lesson about the restoration. This was our first time to teach the whole thing, and it was great. While I recited the first vision, my companion said that Luz had tears in her eyes, and when we were talking about prayer and praying to know if this is true, she just started praying out loud. It was awesome, especially to hear her and her heart open up a little more. We had been walking ALL day and I was hungry and tired, and literally the second she finished her prayer, the door opened and her parents and daughter and grand kids came in and the volume turned way up. The Lord has the greatest timing. He is so great. They were having a great big family dinner, and they invited us to stay and eat with them!! I was so grateful, it was a surprise and a welcomed blessing from The Lord. We had rice with lentils and raisins and carrots and chicken and spices. It was SO good.
My heart is overwhelmingly filled with gratitude for The Lord and his goodness and blessings on us. He has taken great care of us. We met a woman, her name is Johanna, on the street. We actually met her in the elevator when we were going down from an appointment where the girl wasn’t home (this is called being juked). The Lord always has something planned, some opportunity, some blessing waiting for us when a door seems to close. We were bummed and felt bad that we got juked by Sulenny, but there we were and we just said hi and this lady told us about her life and that her mother just passed away. This means plan of salvation! We wished her a good day and she walked off as we figured something out. I felt strongly that we should’ve shared a message or who we are or something. But I didn’t do anything.
I told Heavenly Father that if we caught up to her I would talk to her and get her information and I apologized to Him for not opening my mouth sooner. We caught up to her just as she was getting into a car and I called out to her but then froze, I don’t know why or how but I couldn’t form a word in Spanish to talk to her besides “hola Hermana!” I am so grateful for my companion because she swooped in and said that we are missionaries and that we teach about Christ and families and eternities. She was super receptive and just said, “ok, just take my name and call me please and we can set up a time for you to come over and teach”. We didn’t even have to ask! She is golden (I hope so). Anyway, my heart is so full. The Lord is SO good! He blesses me so much! I feel like it isn’t even fair because the harder I try to be a profitable (or at least a less unprofitable) servant, the more He blesses me. And I can never catch up!! It’s just like that scripture in Mosiah I think it is–about us being unprofitable servants because the goodness and mercy and power and all the things The Lord has done and given to us and continues to do and give to us. I am an unprofitable servant. And, you know what, I am so grateful to be that. Because I know The Lord loves me because He blesses me so abundantly and richly in my life. Every time a door closes, I am blessed with a window opening. And I kind of feel like it is never a closed “door,” more like a closed bathroom window or dogie door, and what is opened is not just a window, but a whole wall that is taken out or something! He is so quick to bless me with everything. I love Him. I know he lives, and I know that what I am doing is right. And I know because I am happy. I am happy when He is with me. He is with me when I am obedient and grateful and serve (or at least just try to be). I am happy when I am obedient.
I love Hebrews 11–the whole chapter is just examples of what people were able to do and accomplish and receive through faith. Especially at the end, it is just a long list of all the things people endured and received and enjoyed through faith! Not through their wealth, their status, their knowledge, but just faith. Their hope in Christ. I love this. I also had a mini revelation in John 13 when the Savior is washing the disciples’ feet. Before he does that, he girds himself in a towel, and then he uses that towel in which he is girded to wipe and clean their feet. This is foreshadowing the atonement! He is using a part of him to wipe up their dirt and sludge and impurity. And this is why, when Peter says, “Lord, stop. Let me wash your feet, you are too great to wash mine” that Jesus responds with, “if I don’t wash you, you have no part in me.” It’s because if we don’t let the Savior’s atonement, this cleaning and purifying process, have a part in us, we don’t let Christ in, and we are impure. He is the way. He is the only way. I am so imperfect. So incredibly dirty and filthy! And I need the Savior to have a part in me so that I can partake of this gift–his atonement–and be clean. I want eternal life with him and my father in heaven and my family forever. And I must be clean! I don’t want to “suffer even as [Christ] has suffered” (D&C 19). I want to be wrapped entirely in the arms of his love.
And love. Love is the last, or one of the last, things the Savior teaches to his disciples–this is the defining characteristic of his disciples. Love. And he says this after Judas has left to betray him. He says this after he has washed their feet. And he washed judas’ feet after he knew he would betray Christ. And this is love. “And this is life, that they might know thee, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent”. This is the point of it all–this is the atonement! That we can know god. That we can find him as we seek him, and that we can be with him. I love the plan of salvation.
Also, this keeps running in my head from a Mormon message video “mountains to climb.” It’s president Henry B. Eyring: “if the foundation of faith is not embedded in our hearts, the power to endure will crumble.” This is true. I know it. Because that foundation of faith is our accessibility to the atonement. And when we don’t have that–the atonement embedded in our hearts–we can’t endure and we are lost. The atonement. The atonement is everything. It is power and redemption and comfort and hope. It is my life and it is my access to God. And I am eternally grateful for it. The more I learn about Him, the more I want to serve Him and His children. And the more I do this, the more I lose myself. Lose myself in time, in labors, in my leg cramps, in my Spanish, in everything. And I love this. I love being lost in the work because it is when I am lost that I am found.
Have a great week!! Be good and true and firm. Also, Mosiah 5 is my favorite chapter right now (besides the whole Book of Mormon). I love you all so much!