This week was so so great. The Lord is so good. Everyone is doing really well–seven people came to church! Yesica is bringing Hugo and they had big news this week–THEYRE GETTING MARRIED IN SEPTEMBER!!!! I can’t even tell you how happy I was/am when Yessi first told me. I almost started crying during the lesson. It was amazing. Hugo is so on board and the bishop is getting all ready for the ceremony in a few weeks. We’re shooting for the 13th or the 26–probably the 26th because it is a Saturday. I am SO stoked.
On top of that, Celin brought her husband to church! So Celin and Alberto came, Cristina and Oscar, Yesica and Hugo, and Mina came. Man–I was on cloud nine during church. Everything was so great and just…..worked out. They’re all reading in the Book of Mormon–and that really has been the difference. The Book of Mormon. It changes us. It changes everything! I love that book.
During a different lesson with Yesica, she told us how everything is working out so much better since she has made an earnest effort to learn about the church and read the Book of Mormon. Her little Juanito, too, is different. He is just a year old, and already she has seen a huge difference in him. He used to be SO fussy. Would hit and scream and throw tantrums. Now, he is a lot quieter, calmer. He doesn’t hit, even when his crazy cousin smacks him in the face and scratched his cheeks. He doesn’t hit back or scream like a maniac. Yesica thinks it’s the most amazing thing ever.
I do, too!
The gospel changes us. We are new creatures and new people. I just started the Book of Mormon again and read 1 Nephi 2 where Nephi asks the Lord about what his father saw and experienced. “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers” (1 Nephi 2:16). The Lord visited him and softened his heart. This implies it wasn’t always soft. I was reminded of a question Sharon asked a while ago–“how do I repent if I don’t feel bad about what I did?” That was a good question. She explained how she knew it was wrong, but that she doesn’t feel bad about it. I thought a second and told her that we all don’t feel bad for every bad thing we ever do. Sometimes, at least in my case, our natural man will want to do and sometimes will do whatever it pleases–with or without regret. When, in my case, it was without regret in my heart but with concern in my head, I took the course of asking Heavenly Father for godly sorrow. “More sorrow for sin” as one author wrote it. I think we can ask Heavenly Father for that–for more sorrow for sin. For more…..desires to do good and be good. I think that it was Nephi did–he asked God not just to understand, but to soften his heart. And because he approached the Lord with such humility and desires to do and be good. Alma says that a seed is enough to start. And the Lord visited him. Changed him. Molded him and opened him. I love that. I have done that–I have asked for more sorrow for sin. And as I’ve down that, little by little, my natural man tendencies — those quiet sins– have become my enemies. And I am armed and strong and ready to fight against them. The motivation came. The change of heart came.
It always does.
I am at the Dutchess County Fair today–it is way fun!! I love it, really. I love COMMUNITY EVENTS!! I love them–I love the people and the culture and the random booths and the random talents. The hidden hobbyists that all come out to show the world their progress and the happiness and satisfaction it brings them.
There are some seriously great specialty food vendors, too. I got some local raw honey–way stoked about that. And even spilled some nice pickled garlic relish on my shirt as I sampled with my pretzel stick. Am for sure going to learn how to make all of that–garlic has become my friend out here. Pickled garlic, garlic jalapeño jelly, etc. I am on a mission when I get back from my mission (excuse the poor word choice).
Anyway, I’m loving it. I love seeing everyone together, the sunburnt noses and smell of corndogs and French fries in the air. The families coming in all lime green to keep track of each other. The husbands carrying the giant stuffed animals for their kids (future husband–please don’t ever get me one of those. Let’s save our money and go on a safari instead). The veterans with their hats and t-shirts and shorts on. I love them. They came around in a horse buggy and I stood and applauded. Thank you for serving. I love you.
Last miracle–though we had many: Literally right when we stepped out of a member’s house, this guy drive by and hit his brakes and yelled at us, “Hey! You Mormons?” We answered yes, and then he pulled to the side of the road. We ran across and he came out of the car and told us all about his brother that was just baptized into the Church. He was a marine and he eloped and ran away and drank and then…then everything changed. “I don’t know what you taught him, but you changed everything. Thank you so much,” he said as he reached out and shook our hands. His name is Kirk. He gave us his card and we gave him ours and a Book of Mormon. It was such a miracle. I’m so stoked–what a blessing to walk out and be front and center on the porch right as Kirk drove by. The Lord is in the details.
The future is bright! And I am so stoked.