Oh. My. Holy. Smokey. Bear.
I can’t even believe that another week has gone by! Whoa!
Well, our number of investigators (potential and progressing and street contacts and everything combined) is about 80. Can you believe that!? We received all the elders’ women to teach and we are so busy. The days (and weeks) fly by because we are up and at’em and working and walking all day. It is so fun! I just love my mission so much. I feel the Lord’s guiding hand every step of every day. And sometimes we epically fail, and I know He is just laughing with us as He watches us get rejected at people’s doors and juked by investigators, and left in the dust by the wawas. So funny! Ha, I love it so much. Hermana Card is the best and we always just laugh and carry on. We have so much fun everyday! I hope all is well at home! I sure love you all! I am so grateful to be a missionary. Life is so good. The future is so bright. The Lord is so close! I love my life. I love it, I love it, I love it!
Ok, so many things happened this week, I just want to highlight some:
Cool story: yesterday, we were on our way to a pass-off lesson with elders Hincapie and Gagnon. We were taking the bus and there were some Dominican ladies talking and I was practicing understanding their Spanish. One of them left and then the conversation stopped and an older gentleman stood up and moved to the door. I was standing across from Hermana Card and when this older man stood up, the Dominican woman next to him motioned for me to sit down. I said that it was ok and I was fine, but she insisted, and I felt a little prompting to sit there. I did and she looked at me for a second and then looked ahead again. I was nervous about my Spanish but I needed to practice and I just felt really good at the moment–strengthened. So I asked her about her day and we just started talking. It was incredible! I could understand most of what she was saying and I could converse pretty well. I asked about her family and she lives with her husband and her three kids and her grandson. This is incredible–to find randomly someone who lives with her family and is kind and happy and married and religious. She started talking about the bible and asked if I believed in Jesus Christ. I explained that I was a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I pulled out the libro de mormon and explained a little bit about it.
She went off on the bible! She loves reading and is LOVING the bible and is reading right now about David and Goliath and just loves it. I was so stoked!! She lives with her family and loves the bible and God and Jesus Christ. It seemed that she even understood that they are different people. Our bus stop came too soon and I didn’t get her information or anything. But as we left, I gave her the Book of Mormon–the only one I had in my bag and it was specifically for another investigator at we were going to have that night (Luz). We gave her our number and the address of the capilla. I really hope and am praying that she will call us. When I gave her the book, she said, “Oh, no, I can just take your number.” And I insisted (she felt bad because it was my book, she wanted to pay or something). I gave it to her, even though in my mind I felt like I needed it for that night, but my heart wanted to give it. So I did. And I bore my testimony and then we got off the bus. When we got off the bus, Hermana Card asked me what her name was and I didn’t know. I ran up to the window where she was sitting and mouthed/yelled, “Como se llama?” And she mouthed something I could not understand and then wrote it in the window. It was backwards for me, but I think it was Mili (meelee). She was so awesome. I hope she calls or comes to church.
Everything worked out so great, too! And it always does because The Lord is so good and so kind and so all-knowing. He knows when an appointment is going to fall through. He knows when we’re going to be late. He knows when we are going to get rejected or feel sad because we get yelled/whistled at. And He always provides a way and a better way and greater blessings. For example–after the bus, I was on my way to a lesson in which I NEEDED a Book of Mormon, but didn’t have one. We were meeting Elders Hincapie and Gagnon for a pass-off lesson and they brought a Book of Mormon. The lesson was all confirmed and everything, and then she didn’t answer the door. So, the elders still had the Book of Mormon, and I asked for it and got it. And then we had a lesson with Venia get canceled, which turned out to be better because now Hermana Dilone can come with us on Friday to Venia’s and our online lesson go moved back because we were now doing less-active lookups and our online lesson (Ilka) texted back and said that this was better for her. Everything was better for everyone! It was just so beautiful and easy how it all worked out. The Lord is so mindful of us and is so quick to lead us to the people we need or should see each day.
We had “morir sonando”–an AWESOME drink that filled my soul–at Hermana Dilone’s. It was so good! Hermana Card took notes on the recipe: 🍹Morir Soñando (Dominican Drink–“die dreaming”)
1 large can of Pineapple//Orange//Lemonade Juice (Pick flavor of Juice)
A cup of ice
A pinch of vanilla
A pinch of sugar
1 can evaporated milk
All I can say is that the Lord is good. Only. He knows everything! And I am so grateful that when I ask Him what to do and how to do it, He will tell me. He will help me somehow focus on the incredible amount of investigators we have and will help us present the doctrine in such a way that will allow the spirit to testify and all of us to learn together. I feel so blessed that The Lord in His goodness and mercy and perfect plan is allowing me to meet and befriend so many incredible people. Who knew they were all here in the Bronx?! And I was sent here to meet them and “change their lives.” Well, sure, I’m trying. But I am in no way changing their lives–that is all the Lord. Him and Him only. And even if I would make some tiny impact on them–just no. I’m not. I’m not changing their lives. They’re changing mine. The Lord is changing me. I love it and I am so grateful.
More things I have learned:
Do not ever fear!! The all powerful and all knowing GOD is your father and your Savior and brother! Always have faith. Always have faith and never fear. If you are full of faith, you cannot and will not have room for fear.
It is better to love than to do anything else. Do the things that make people happy –as long as they are safe and good–because it is important to treat them kindly. Kindness is a virtue that helps people remember who they are. They won’t remember what you say and, a lot of times, what you do. But they will always remember how you made them feel.
This is my opportunity to show that I love God more. Don’t let anything come between you and your connection and relationship with Heavenly Father. He will raise you up to the sacred call you have accepted–in all areas of your life.
This doctrine of Christ is the anchor of your soul and it is the purpose of missionary work.
“God loves you and he knows every one of your strengths and every one of your weaknesses. And he knows every one of your sins. And he is calling you.” And I have accepted this call! So when I or you or anyone feels down or inadequate or anything–chin up and charge that mountain. Because He is calling you. And I am thinking about something as I am teaching some less active members who feel there is no hope for the, no forgiveness–even no means to forgiveness. THis is false. And I am exploring a new thought I’m having about this: we hear faith unto repentance all day long in the scriptures. But what about your faith unto forgiveness? Where is your faith at the Loed can, and indeed will, forgive you?
Faith leads us to hope. Deep hope. And then to trust. To trust to do something that is not natural for us–admit we are wrong, serve, go behind every one else. The natural man is an enemy to god and always has been. Faith helps us do things we wouldn’t naturally do if we were left to ourselves. When we teach about faith, we teach about a power to overcome the natural man. Faith unto repentance. Faith allows us to purge the natural man in such a way that we can make a covenant wih god. We remake that promise every Sunday–take His name upon us and always remember him and always keep his commandments, so that we might ALWAYS have his spirit to be with us. In the covenant, we receive access to the Holy Ghost and the frequency of that gift is ALWAYS. And what do we receive from the Holy Ghost? Direction. Power. Light. Understanding and truth.
When we have the spirit we have the empowerment to obey and honor these commandments AND covenants. And then our faith grows. And the more we have of faith, the more the cycle continues–Further light and knowledge and personal revelation.
There is a pattern of all things. The doctrine of Christ is not an event. It is a pattern of life.
So let’s live it!