October 22, 2014 Week #14 Festival de las naciones–¡vivir la vida!

10:21:14:1image1

It’s getting colder!

10:21:14:2

Secret Agent Missionary

10:21:14:3

Happy Missionary Life

Hola!! Translation for the title: festival of the nations–live life!

First and foremost: the Lord lives and has blessed us so much this

week! He is the anchor of my soul and my best friend.  I love this work.

This week I have been the most tired than I have ever been (on my

mission)–so much walking and running after buses and crazy things

happening to our investigators and members, but miracles all along the

way.

This week our rapidly progressing investigator, Juana, accepted the

baptismal invitation (2nd time is a charm!) and is planning to be

baptized on November 15. I cannot wait! And I am fighting for her.

Daisy has kind of stopped progressing, as much as my heart breaks to

say that. Crazy things have been happening with her family–her son

having hearings and in jail, her daughter visiting and having tons of

friends over, her husband fell and is in the hospital, her building

almost caught fire. Just crazy stuff. We haven’t been able to meet

with her and have a lesson, just stop by and hear more news and then

head out for her to go to court or the hospital. Please keep her in

your prayers. Her heart is prepared, but her situation is trying her.

Juana is the bomb! She is a miracle–when we ask her to read and pray,

she actually does it! She asks questions and is so clear and patient

and consistent. She works as a home attendant and cares for a man

named Gino that has been living in a bed for 38 years after an

accident when he was 13. He is so smart and functioning in his head,

but his body doesn’t permit him to move, really, or to speak very

much. I am so excited for the resurrection! What a glorious day that

will be–for all of us–but especially for Gino. He is so sweet.

10:21:143

Juana and Gino

We had a miracle on Sunday. We were expecting a few investigators to

come,  FO SHO Juana. We got there and waited and looked and greeted

and she wasn’t there and didn’t come. We were so bummed! We sat in the

back in case she came in late, but announcements and hymns came and

went and the sacrament ended and she wasn’t there. The door reopened

after the Santa Cena, and in walks Juana! She came!! We sat down

together and enjoyed some AWESOME talks–the last one especially,

which was about being perfected in Christ. It was beautiful, and

included tons of scriotures and very pure, simple doctrines. It was so

perfect. He closed with the last few verses in chapter 10 of

Moroni–which we had given Juana the day before to read, too.  She

leaned over and looked at us and smiled, pointing her fingers at us

and gave me her hand to hold for a moment. It was so perfect. Hermana

Card and I looked at each other because during our last lesson with

her, we ended up reading together with Juana the chapter we were going

to assign her to read, and as we were closing our lesson we didn’t

have another chapter prepared. Moroni 10 came to my mind and as I

turned to it in my scriptures, Hermana Card leaned forward to Juana

and marked that same chapter for her to read without seeing where I

was headed! It is times like that on my mission that are most profound

to me. To be so much on the same page with your companion and to be

really united in teaching and directed by the Spirit. It is so

beautiful.

We had the festival of the nations this week. Oh my gosh–so fun!!

Man, our ward parties need to step it up! Ha, just kidding.  I just

mean that it was crazy, and this is totally expected because our ward

is so diverse in culture and tradition and so forth. The only

Americans–born in the u.s.–are us missionaries and some of the kids

in the ward. So for this grand party, everyone gets together and

presents their home country–la República Dominicana, Honduras,

México, Ecuador, y Puerto Rico.  Each country goes ALL out–you’d

think it was the Olympics or something! They bring traditional food,

dresses and clothing, music, flags–you name it. Each country sends up

a representative or a few people to present a dance and some facts or

stories or poems about their country and afterwards, it is a giant free for

all/fight for the best food you have ever tasted! Man, it was so fun.

I absolutely loved it.

10:21:141

Festival of Nations

10:21:142

Festival of Nations

It was especially cool and tender to see everyone so proud and so

engulfed in their homes–their Home Countries and family history and

culture. Everyone was so proud to be a Dominican, a Honduran, a

Mexican, an American, etc.  It got me thinking of President Uchtdorf’s

talk when he referenced the ugly duckling and how, when he understood

who he really was, he realized that he was magnificent. What if we all

felt that way about who we really are–children of the most high and

all powerful God! The creator of heaven and earth and of YOU is your

father. Do we really understand that? That we are children of GOD? Our

bodies are temples for our spirits and our potential is infinite! I

wonder if we really did understand that, if we too would jump in the

middle of the dance floor in front of everyone and sing and dance and

bake delicious food and share it and laugh and praise all the live

long day.  Boy oh boy!

One more miracle (of the thousands we see every week): we visited a

potential investigator named Minerva. She lives alone and when she

opened the door, she seemed a little confused or annoyed that we were

there. She let us in and immediately started telling us her story.  We

listened and realized very quickly that she was harsh and to the point

and firm in her thinking. I was thinking that we’d have to drop her

because there would be no way for us to get her to read the Book of

Mormon or come to church (especially because she went off about

church and how she doesn’t believe in men–pastors or bishops–but in

the one true God). But as she said that, my mind went to the Bible and

all the prophets that testify of Christ in that book. She told us how

she studies the Bible and always has; how she taught her kids to

study, too.  We started with a prayer, and when we finished, she

smiled (for the first time) at us and said, “I do that, too.”  We

didn’t know what she meant, and she clarified, and said, “I end my

prayers like that, too.  In the name of Jesus Christ.” Whoa! That’s a

first!

Anyway, so I asked her what she thought about prophets.  She said that

there were prophets in the Bible like Moses and Adam and Isaiah, that

they wrote the scriptures, but that was then–in old days. I

looked at her and testified of Joseph Smith and prophet Thomas S.

Monson and it got quiet in the room. We explained that since God is

the same yesterday and today and forever, if there were prophets then,

then surely there are prophets now. She looked away and back at us,

and it was just incredible. I felt like I could really see the wheels

in her head turning and see her heart softening and her eyes being

opened and the spirit touch her heart. I felt humbled to be there with

her as the spirit testified of this simple truth. We explained more

about prophets and the conversation turned to her family. We testified

of the reality of the plan of God for us, and read in Mosiah 16:8-9.

She looked at us in disbelief–like she had just seen color for the

first time–then turned back and said, “la vida eterna?” And she

laughed.  “¿Que significa es?” We taught about the plan of salvation,

specifically about the atonement, the spirit world, resurrection, and

judgment. She chewed on resurrection for a long time and got a little

fiery with us about it. “My parents are dead. You say my parents are

living right now?” We clarified that they aren’t on the earth right

now, but are living in the spirit world learning about Christ and that

they have the option to accept Him and His gospel, or not. She looked

at us and didn’t say anything. Her eyebrows moved a little and she was

thinking hard. We testified to her that she would live again in her

body and would see her family again in their bodies.  She couldn’t

believe it! We could see her struggling within herself and trying to

decide to let herself open up and believe, or not. It was my first

time to have an experience like this–to be able to really bring light

and HOPE into someone’s life and to see it catch fire within them. It

was so beautiful.  It was amazing to see the wheels turning in her

head and feel the Spirit working through us.

10:21:14:6

My heart is so full to my Lord and my God. I love this gospel with all

my heart and I love being a missionary and meeting these people that

really are kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.

I feel so humbled that the Lord is using me to be an instrument,

hopefully, to “bring to pass much righteousness.”  I know His gospel is

true and I know that it is hope and happiness and peace.

I love you all! Have a great week! Be good.

Hermana Boud

 

10:21:14:4

The Bronx in the Fall

10:21:14:5

Another yummy meal!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: