Hello Family, (Note from Mary: this is from 8/2/16)
Sorry for not writing yesterday. We didn't have time because we were traveling. I want to thank you all for all of the letters that were sent to me this week. It was really great to hear from all of you and to receive those words of encouragement. I hope that you all had an amazing week:)
This week was a very slow week. Not a lot happened. We did a lot of walking and contacting, but not very many people wanted to listen to us. It is frustrating sometimes when people reject so fast something so important for their lives. I know that in that moment they don't know really how important it is, but it's hard, and very sad to see how fast they don't accept it. But every now and then, there are those moments that make it all worth it.
On Saturday we were teaching a new investigator named Lucy. She lives by herself because her husband died about a year ago. She is still struggling from the death of her husband. It was an amazing lesson that we had with her. Normally when we teach, we talk about the different principles of the lesson that we are teaching, with questions every now and then to see if they understand what we are teaching. My companion and I were reading in Preach My Gospel about asking inspired questions and how that helps the investigators to teach themselves. We decided that we were going to teach our lessons with as many questions as possible. We then prayed asking Heavenly Father to inspire us to know what questions to ask. During this lesson we just asked question after question....following the Spirit. It was amazing to see her teaching herself by what and how she answered. Obviously we had to explain and teach some things, but the difference was amazing. At the beginning of the lesson she told us that she didn't believe in God. After 30 minutes teaching about the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she accepted to be baptized. It was amazing to see how the perfect questions allowed her to open up to us and to open her heart to the Spirit. She has a baptismal date set for the 14th (my companions last day!!!). He excited for that!!
So, Sori and Lady's baptism fell through this week. Lady had some problems that came up in her work that stressed her out, so she changed her mind and does not want to get baptized. But Sori is going to get baptized tomorrow!!! On Thursday night, we barbequed steaks with them for dinner. Before we ate, we asked Lady to say the prayer. She never wants to pray....but she accepted. I don't know why, but to hear her pray, and what she was praying for, brought tears to my eyes. I love that family, and I am so proud of the progression that they have made. I know that very soon, Lady is going to be able to join her daughters in their decision to be baptized.
Yesterday I went to Frontera!!!!! President gave me permission. I got to baptize Marcela....William's mom. It was awesome to see so many people from Frontera. Members and converts. It surprised me to see how happy everyone was to see me. It is such an amazing feeling when you see people after a long time without talking to them. Looking into their eyes and feeling the love that they have for you, and when they tell you the difference you made in their life. Some of them I didn't even know that I had helped them, but because of something I had said, or done, they changed something in their lives and were happy. One in particular is Hermana Betty. When I was in Frontera her and her husband had a lot of problems together because he would never come to church. He just didn't want to. They were at the point of divorcing. I saw Betty yesterday, and she told me that her and her husband are now very close and happy, and that they are active in the church. She thanked me and told me that it was because I would always give her husband a hug and invite him to church when I saw him (he always said no and got a little annoyed). While I was there...he never came, but she told me that one Sunday he was ready to go to church. She asked him what happened, and he told her that he wanted to take Elder Cavenee's invitation (although I wasn't there). She said that from that moment he hasn't missed a Sunday, and that has given them the blessings and help that they needed to fix their relationship one with another.
In the time that I now have in the mission, I have come to understand the importance of going to church. And more importantly....the importance of the sacrament. I used to go to church because It was what we do as members. I would feel the Spirit, share my testimony and it was great....but it wasn't special for me. I now understand and feel something deeper and different being there at church and taking the sacrament. It is how we as children of God can retain the remission of our sins that we recieved when we were baptized. Sometimes we don't understand what that really means. It is the only ordinace that we can repeat every week, and when we don't we are left with everything wrong that we did during the week. It is so important to be there EVERY week, even if we don't feel well. I love going to church!
I love you all and I know that you are the best family in the World!!!!! Keep up what you are all doing....and enjoy it:)
I Love You!!!