Hey everyone! How are things in the good ol´ U.S. of A.?
In a letter recently received from Aunt Becky, it really hit me that I am living in a foreign country. I am doing things I have never done before, and perhaps will never do again. I eat different food, speak a different language, live a different life, dress a different way, and feel different things. I often feel uncomfortable, scared, inadequate, unworthy, slow-tounged, and imperfect. But those times are outshone by the times I feel comfortable, courageous, clean, creative, and most of all, I feel the Spirit. This mission I am serving is not easy, but it was never meant to be. I feel blessed for all that I am learning, seeing, experiencing, and doing. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve.
This last week has had some ups and downs. Elder Allen´s first night in the area, we had an awesome lesson with a family of 3. They are a mom, Marisa, and her two kids, Sabrina and Jeremias. We both felt the Spirit, and the lesson went great. They were excited to read, and for us to come back on Wednesday, two days later. But on Wednesday, they couldn´t, so we rescheduled for Saturday. That fell through as well. They told us they would call us during the next week, and we were a little worried. On Sunday night, another important appointment didn´t happen, so we decided to just drop by Marisa, Sabrina, and Jere to see how they were doing. We got there, and they we all sitting out front, enjoying the cool evening air. We sat down to talk to them, and it eventually led to their reading. We asked how they had done during the week reading in the Book of Mormon. Marisa and Jere said they were reading, but Sabrina (22 years old) gave us a guilty look. We talked to her and found out why she hadn´t been reading. She said she had read something that she didn´t like, something that scared her, so she stopped reading. We investigated a little and found out she had reached 1 Nephi 4:12, and that was the last verse she read, becuase she didn´t like it. This verse is the one where the Spirit tells Nephi: ´´Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him (Laban) into thy hands;´´ She could not believe the Lord would command one of His children to do such a thing. So, not feeling good, she stopped right there. This was on Wednesday. Because of that, she had kind of been avoiding us during the week. For us, that was hard, becuase the solution, or answer to her problem was literally written in the next verse! We said ´´Sabrina! If only you had read a few words more, this last week wouldn´t have been wasted!´´ We read with her verse 13 ´´Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.´´ Then we re-read the whole chapter helping her see why that had to happen. We testified to her of the goodness of God, and the he doesn´t just go around ordering his children to kill people. When we finished, she had a strong conviction of the Lord´s reason for doing it, and realized that often, He does things we don´t understand, and seem just too hard to accomplish. But like Nephi, she now knows that the Lord always has a reason, and will always provide a way for his commandments to be kept. After, we watched the Restoration video with them, which is what we originally wanted to do, and talked about Joseph Smith and his important role. We left with the Spirit strong, and them with instructions to call us, any time, day or night if they found something like that again. We don´t want Satan to have 4 days to work on our investigators.
My companion, Elder Allen is great. He is definitely the best teacher I have been with so far. He has the Spirit, to start off, and also has so many good examples, stories, games for kids, and ways to teach that are so clear. I find myself just listening to him, enjoying the lesson, and forget that I should be teaching too. We were with one of our investigators, 9-year-old Juan, teaching one day, and he had Juan and his siblings completely entranced in the lesson about the prophets, the foundation of Christ´s church, the great apostasy, and the restoration through Joseph Smith. He was using stories, visual aides, and just teaching amazing. It came to be my turn to teach, and I started explaing how Christ formed a church, but how it was lost from the Earth. I saw their looks starting to fade, and I could tell they weren´t quite getting it. So I looked at E. Allen and said, ´´Do you have an example for this part by chance?´´ He just smiled, nodded his head, and started in again, amost instantly grabbing the attention of Juan and his family. I was thinking what a shame it was that I didn´t have that way with kids, or all the cool games and examples, but then I realized that that is why we are put in companionships. I have an easier time teaching adults, and explaining the details clearly, and he gets the concepts across clearly and simply. So putting our strengths together, we can help even more people. Plus, we can learn things from each other. It´s hard to think what Missionary Work would be like with only one missionary. I imagine the Church would barely grow it all. It is quite impressive what a companionship can accomplish when they are working together, with each other, and with the Lord.
This week I forgot my card, so no pictures, sorry!
I am going to have to agree with Dad. Mom- that letter was cheating! haha
I just found out yesterday about an eyeglass place in my area. Send me that link anyway, and I´ll let you know next week how much it would be to fix mine here.
Thanks for all the news from home, pictures, and everything! I can´t believe how big Ellie is! Her hair is finally long! haha I would love pictures of the new house, people (big people as well as the kids), and anything else you talke pictures of.
I can´t believe Matt and Rob will both be home in the next few months. It seems like they just left!