This week has been one of miracles–really. I know the Lord has been guiding us at each and every step and blessing us with just being in the right place at the right time. We have been able to meet so many people that we’ve been trying to find for a long time. It’s been wonderful to meet them and establish a relationship and extend a hand of help where needed.
And there have been many hands needed.
Church was amazing, too. What a blessing to have Hugo (Yessica’s boyfriend) there for the first time! It was great–the Spanish class we have for Sunday School is really growing. In the last few weeks, a couple of Spanish members have moved back–what a blessing, especially because almost all of our progressing investigators are Spanish. I’m stoked about that.
To be honest–I am feeling good. All those people that we found are amazing people. Really amazing–I love them so much, and I feel like the Lord led us to their doorsteps right when they were home. We were able to sit down with them and really just listen to them. Hear what is happening and see the results of it. My eyes have been opened to the very real trials that come into people’s lives. That has been a unique blessing in my mission that I had not ever before realized. Before my mission I thought of all the adventures and people and service, etc. I would do and be and have. It didn’t cross my mind that I would become more acquainted with grief, become more acquainted with sadness and trials and the desperate need we all have for a Savior. For deliverance.
Our investigators, too, have all just been slammed this week with trials–why does it all come at once to all the people with whom we work and love?!? Really.
It’s been hard–a lot of trial and weight added to me (at least that is how I feel) all at the same time. Amber–Joanne’s granddaughter–just had her mom pass away this weekend. There is family in town and Joanne is now faced with raising her 16 year old granddaughter. Just some things on her plate that weren’t expected…..and some serious sadness. It’s put her progress on hold as we haven’t been able to meet with her and it’s really left me, too, feeling somewhat helpless. We’re praying and on alert for whatever they may need.
And then Yessica’s car got towed and she can’t get it back until Saturday–meaning it is costing several hundred dollars. Bless her heart.
Thankfully, Oscar and Christina are doing really well. On Monday we went over and they fed us dinner! We had chile relleno, and Christina snuck a jalapeño into Oscar’s dish. He cried out in pain as it burned him and we all kept eating like nothing happened (mine was fine). Christina giggled and he looked at her and then she pulled out the jalapeño. Ha! I love them so much. We talked about baptism that night, and asked what was holding them up. I realized that they are feeling unworthy of baptism–afraid of it, even–because it is something so sacred and good and holy. They are afraid to mess anything up after baptism and therefore, haven’t moved forward. It’s wonderful to see how seriously they are taking it, but it made me realize that we haven’t taught about repentance or the sacrament or the atonement clearly! The elders used to teach them, but they got moved out and we “took over” a little bit ago and, though all the lessons had been taught, I realized that a few very key doctrines were still not understood. I was so grateful for the “DTR” we had so we could see that. I was on a split that night with Sister Moe (a Chinatown missionary having an “off-Island” experience). Though she couldn’t speak Spanish and understand very well, she made a comment at the end that struck my heart–“you know, trying to be like Jesus is a lot easier when you have the Holy Ghost.”
I had never thought of it that way. It IS SO much easier to be like Jesus when we have the Spirit leading us and guiding us and protecting us and whispering truth and bringing light to us. No wonder the Lord is so willing to let all come to the waters of baptism–He wants all not only to come to the celestial kingdom and “enter in by the way,” but also to have the Spirit with you so that you CAN all the more STAY in that way. Stay on the path. Hold to the rod.
As we’ve driven around finding people, we’ve found ourselves in the most beautiful places. SERIOUSLY. It is amazing–the sun and the sky and the grass and fields. I love it so much. It hits me again and again that I am not in the Bronx and am living in a country town/lifestyle. Ha!
Finally (just kidding).
We went on a hike today and it was gorgeous. Gorgeous and fun to be out in nature. And–you know me–rejuvenating. Renewing.
I love you!