Hello to my wonderful family and friends!
Well, it`s been a week. The Lord seeth fit to try our patience and our faith. We reap what we sow. Lots of lessons learned! I`ll jump right in with what I jotted down on my sticky note to write today:
Reading: My companion and I were lamenting the fact that hardly anyone here reads. That includes members, investigators, and recent converts. How can we expect people to progress, gain testimonies, and remain firm in the gospel if they never read a few pages of a pamphlet, let alone the Book of Mormon? Anyway, the Lord has a sense of humor. Later that day, we were walking down the street and Hermana Quezada spotted an elderly man sitting outside of a house reading a pamphlet of the Restoration where we had left one with a different family member the week earlier. Obviously, we had to go talk to him! He was friendly and accepted the invitation to come to church and get baptized. Then he didn`t come to church after we had a second lesson and recommitted him to come, but that`s beside the point! I learned that I should never complain and just trust in the Lord instead. He is directing His work, and He knows how to help His children gain testimonies, be baptized, and remain converted. Perhaps it`s not through reading, I don`t know. It`s hard sometimes because of the low education level, vision problems, and culture that don`t encourage reading. However, I know that Heavenly Father will still accomplish his work here!
Eating: I ate pig liver for the first time this week. Also, cow liver. And we had our once-a-transfer dinner with the Ramirez family, who are wonderful. There is such a difference between homes where the Spirit is present and homes where He is not!
Animals: We killed a scorpion in our bathroom this week. Also, we have mice. We let in a cat that often sits outside our door, and within five minutes he leapt onto my bed to catch a mouse that was scurrying up the wall and walked outside triumphant with his prize. It was rather spectacular. Other stories: a chicken flew into my companion`s lap and scratched her arm. A dog came up close behind me when we were contacting and barked really loudly and angrily... my companion nearly wet herself when I practically jumped out of my skirt with eyes wide from the shock!
Super Members: Sweet Hermana Dorita has diabetes and is emaciated and frail. Her youngest daughter is on a mission, and her other children don`t support her a lot. Yet despite her pain and illness, she is fiery and faithful. She fell this week and had a huge bruise on her cheek, but she was still there in church with a smile. Singing her favorite hymn with her, ``Praise to the Man`` was a highlight of my week! Also, we went to visit recent convert Hermano Mario on a particularly difficult day, and he just made us so happy with his comments of, ``So I was with a Jehovah`s Witness the other day, and even though I`m new in the Church, I was able to explain and defend the truth... ``, ``I have two friends that want to change their lives and come to church. My plan is to pass by their houses to bring them with me on Sunday,`` and ``I was out of town for work driving tour buses the last two weeks, but I attended church where I was and really enjoyed the meetings.``
Attitude: I let myself get stressed and disappointed this week when basically all of our baptismal possibilites for March have now fallen through. Also, the pressure for numbers and everything was getting to me, and Sunday was rather trying as well. I realized that it`s really easy to lose perspective: we can get so caught up in the little details that we forget what we`re really trying to do here. We forget who is our perfect Guide and our Father. It doesn`t help anything to get depressed! I`ve recommitted myself to work hard and work happy, continuing in obedience and strengthening my faith. It`s not good to compare yourself to others or judge them, ever! It`s easy to think, ``Why are those hermanas baptizing a ton when they`re not obedient? Why am I not as friendly or as bold as so-and-so? Why is she training and not me?`` These thoughts are sinful! They are not faith-promoting or charity-promoting. We MUST trust in Heavenly Father and His plan 100%. The mission causes you to come face-to-face with your weaknesses. Ether 12:27! Repentance!
Anyway, I`m out of time, but I just want to say that I love you a LOT! My family is amazing. I read three or four of your letters that I have printed off over the months when I was feeling down, and they were an answer to prayer.
Keep on keeping on! I love you ALL!