|we got fresh coconut after one of our teaching appointments :)|
Hello my beautiful family and friends! How are you? How has your week been? Gosh seriously I know I say this a lot but I am so sorry that I haven't been able to respond to most of the emails you've sent me! I'm a terrible person I know hahaha! This week has been AWESOME. Lol I've laughed so much! The exchanges with Sister Phillips on Wednesday were SO funny! We worked so hard! We went out at about and stayed out until almost that evening and only because we had to finish our studies. It was crazy cause since we both hate tricycles cause they're too small for us! So we walked EVERY WHERE lol. It was really nice tho because we got to see and talk to so many people.
We met an old man from Perth, Australia (he was visiting his future wife here ....) I happened to have a Restoration pamphlet in English so we talked to him for a while and he told us about his first wife etc etc hahahaha when we finally gave him the pamphlet he firmly rejected us but took the pamphlet hahahaha. It was so strange trying to explain the pamphlet in English, lol we both struggled and kept looking at each other like "what is happening right now?!" Ahhh my english is becoming so fresh, its really funny lol! In that same day we climbed through a cemetery to get to one of our appointments (they are part member family we just started teaching) I almost died laughing as we were jumping and climbing because she was freaking out LOL! Working hard and literally being out all day felt really good and was super rewarding! I learned so much! Gosh every time I have to be the temporary senior I learn a lot! Its such a huge blessing for me and such a huge humbling experience for me. My willingness to serve and my willingness to do hard things and especially the people that we teach every day are literally changing my life. Through this service and through them I am able to learn and grow so much it honestly brings me to tears. Never before in my life have I felt like this before and never before in my life has the welfare and others taken precedence over everything else. It truly is so rewarding when you serve others because you literally are in the service of God.
There is a less active couple that we teach, and the wife shared this experience with my companion and I. So her husband and her literally live day to day. They live in a shack. Literally a shack. It is one room with a smaller room where they sleep. They have 3 kids and the only reason they weren't coming to church before was because her husband didn't have appropriate church clothes and he was really embarrassed. When we teach them in the evening the only source of light that they have is a few candles that are placed strategically to provide as much light as possible. Well a couple weeks ago the husband was sick and he couldn't work for a day and because of this the family literally had no food. The two younger ones were crying all day but the parents couldn't do anything for them because they didn't have 2 pesos to rub together. In the afternoon sometime while the kids were crying their eyes out for food because they had had none so far that day, the wife sat down on the ground (they don't have chairs) and said a prayer. She literally pleaded with the Lord that He would provide food some how for her family and literally about 20 mins later one of their neighbors came knocking with 2 huge plates of spaghetti and bread. This experience was so incredibly powerful to me. It made me see even more that our God truly IS a God of miracles and when you put your trust in Him, He will give you anything and everything you stand in need of. I am seeing small miracles happen in our branch as we speak! Since I have been here I have seen the attendance in sacrament meeting increase dramatically and steadily every week. We (my companion and I and sister reategui and her comp because we serve in the same branch) have more less active members coming to church and there have been able to commit and baptize a healthy amount of pepole. I am so grateful that I have been here to see this! When you strengthen your relationship with God you are not the only one that is blessed. Your example and faith affect the lives of those you love and those around you. Yesterday when we went to our appointments we had so many members present! Lol we were also able to get a couple new investigators! I love the people here so much!
This Gospel is so powerful brothers and sisters. I know and feel the things that we teach so strongly in my heart I hope with everything in me that the people we teach can feel it too. In Ether it says "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness, I give unto men weakness that they may be humble: and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me: for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Wow I have really seen these words come alive for me on my mission. It is so beautiful what is promised here and first and foremost SO TRUE. I have been blessed to see my imperfections and short comings every day that I serve and because of it I have been given a way to correct them and through this Heavenly Father has helped me BECOME MORE. I know and testify that when you humble yourself, and when you put the Lord first He will show you things you never thought were possible. This work and this Gospel are so rewarding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am grateful to be apart of the missionary work that is happening all over the world!
I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
See you again next week :)