Welp, here´s to 2014! Hope you all passed it well! Everyone kept asking us what we did for New Year´s like we were allowed to do something different… Nope. Bedtime in our mission is 11pm so… When midnight rolled around we just slept! Hahaha.
It´s been kinda weird because everyone is leaving on vacation so it´s been really hard to teach as of late. But we found a single mom of 4 young children that is AMAZING. Heavenly Father put her in our path on New Year´s Eve a few short days after her husband walked out on her and the kids. She´s incredibly receptive and it just shows in her countenance. The Spirit is always really strong when we are there in her house and she always invites us to come back in a couple days (we both think that if we told her it was okay, she´d invite us everyday). It really has been a joy finding and teaching her and her family. Yesterday we were teaching her about the Plan of Salvation, the plan that God has for us. When we told her that before she was born here she lived with God as his spirit child, her eyes just lit up in a way I can´t even describe. 🙂
We went to have lunch with a family that got baptized in May of 2013. The whole family got baptized together and they´re all very strong in the church. It reminded me of the importance of teaching the gospel and the teachings of Jesus Christ in the home. When the family is united in their faith and they can teach the wonderful attributes of Christ – love, humility, forgiveness, selflessness, charity, service, etc – they can all progress and grow together. So we´ve been praying and fasting to find a family that Heavenly Father has prepared to make the promise with Him to follow Him, keep His commandments, and remember Him always. This promise is the sacred covenant called baptism.
Speaking of baptism, the girl I told you about on Christmas is getting baptized this Saturday. My heart just fills with joy.When we found her we just knew she was ready. Even though she did have to change a great number of things, she accepted all of it. It was so cute: we left her a General Conference Liahona magazine with a single talk marked for her to read and she´d read EVERYTHING – the WHOLE Liahona- when we came back two days later. In addition, we´d left a page from the book True to the Faith and she´s read almost the entire book… She said she just has this hunger to learn more and to be better. We told her that those feelings are what come naturally from the spirit. 🙂 She has a LOT of her support from her mother who isn´t a member but has seen the changes in her daughter and loves it. Her mother told her one day (which later she shared with us):´´ I am so grateful for those missionaries for coming and teaching you. You´re so much happier and that makes me happy.´´ The gospel is for EVERYONE. If you´re sad, it makes you happy. If you´re insecure, it gives you security. If you´re lost, you can be found. It fills in the gaps in your life that sometimes you didn´t even know you had. And if you´re already happy it makes you happier. I know because I´ve seen it happen to countless people with which I´ve been teaching and learning from.
This Sunday was very beautiful and very blessed. A number of people that have been less active (haven´t been attending church) for many church decided it was time to come back. One man went up to bear his testimony in Sacrament Meeting and shared his testimony. When two of his three children passed away one right after the other he got angry with God. He was hurting so much that he stopped his religious life. After 25 years he finally felt that it was time to come back. ´´God doesn´t leave us. We leave God. We´re the ones that decided to walk away. But he´s still here. He´s still waiting. And he´s always willing to welcome us back with open arms. I know he is merciful because after all this time he still loves me.´´ Wow. The work with less active members continues to be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.
Christ is my Lord, my Redeemer, my Savior. He is the greatest evidence we have of the love of God. And as it says in Romans 8:´´For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able toaseparate us from the blove of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.´´
I hope you all enjoyed your New Years and that this year you will come until Christ a little more fully. Stop rebeling. Stop letting anything else take up more space than God. Because that´s the only way to have pure joy in this life and in the next.