Could there be any greater happiness than being a missionary? There are so many things to smile about! Here are a few of them:
- My new companion is Hermana Lord from Orem! I met her when she was ¨born¨ in Granada eight months ago. She went to Mountain View High School and we have mutual friends. She also was Hermana Quezada´s companion for two changes, so we have a lot in common. This hermana is so positive, hardworking, obedient, and just a general joy to be around. Our biggest problem is remembering that we have to stop talking so we can go to bed! We´ve seen miracles in our first few days together and are excited to keep working to see more.
- Angela got baptized! There are not words to describe how wonderful and complete her conversion has been. It was a very sacred experience for me to be a small part of it. I was so sad that Hna. Garfield couldn´t be there! As we took the mototaxi to her baptism, Angela leans over to me and says with a contented smile, ¨Hermana, I feel certain of what I´m going to do.¨ In her confirmation the next day, she cried. Then she passed to the front to bear her testimony later in the meeting and I was crying with her. There is no greater joy than participating or witnessing true repentance!
- On Wednesday, Hna. Lord and I were walking down the street at 8:30 PM and both felt the impression to stop at a certain house. We yelled ¨buenas,¨ and a middle-aged woman let us in. Within a few minutes, we learn that she and her daughter attended church several years ago and were receiving the missionaries, but the missionaries had changes so they never got baptized. But they´re excited to learn more and come back to church! They quickly accepted a baptismal date and a return appointment. I´m here to testify that Engisn moments really do happen!
- The mission opened a new area in our zone that has never had missionaries before. The four elders there will be bringing their investigators to our branch for a few weeks until there are some newly baptized members, at which point they will be starting a nucleus (smaller than a branch) that meets in their home. It´s incredibly exciting to see 27 new investigators at church from an area that has never known anything about ¨the Mormons!¨ The Lord is hastening His work!
- We´re continuing to see progress with many of our less-actives, thanks to support from the branch and also pure tender mercies of the Lord. I never knew the thrill I would have to see people at church!
Well, I´m getting low on time, so I´ll finish up. Please remember that I share the good moments with you, so don´t feel jealous or think that missions are just one big conglomerate of happy endings. We´ve also cried with a recent convert family who has left the church completely and asked that we never visit again. We were lied to by several investigators, and yelled at by their family members, and catcalled in the streets. We felt hungry, and tired, and apathetic at times. We didn´t meet the standards of excellence for investigators at church. Yet overall, in this moment I feel happy to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands. I know He directs every aspect of this work! I´ve said it dozens of times, but it does not cease to be true! He is always pleased with our efforts, but He is never satisfied. We are never finished progressing - isn´t that a happy thought?
I love you and I love the gospel! Remember to live it!
photos: The sisters in our district - all of us Utah Mormons! In front of the house that will soon be the nucleus of San Rafael del Sur!