Wow, a world without internet…I remember that being the worst. Have a great vacation! I guess as I´m writing this you´re already having the great vacation, so next week I expect pictures. Not gonna lie, I´m a bit jealous.
I have heard of all the terrorist attacks. People like to inform me on how dangerous my country is (obviously out of their insecurity concerning the craziness of their own). I´m a little worried about the young men of this generation like Seth and Sam if there is another world war. Yikes.
It´s raining like crazy here. I can´t feel the raindrops, it´s like getting hit by a waterfall. All water, no air. We have to bend over to breathe! It rains for about 2 hours everyday, usually from 7-9pm. The picture I attached is after we got drenched coming back to the house one time this week.
This week is “Fiestas Julias”, or the July parties in honor of some Catholic saints or something, but basically it´s an excuse to get drunk in the middle of the day and dance in the streets. It´s a center of drugs, sex, and theiving in the name of Christianity! We get to talk to a lot of people and a lot of families, but they don´t want to talk to us. It´s a bit rough this week but on the bright side we are now teaching Salvador´s mom and I pretty sure he is teaching her more than we are 🙂 She asked a question and he answered with a reference to the “Teachings of President Howard W. Hunter” manuel. Whoa! He made me so proud. They grow up so fast…:)
I´m getting used to wearing pants everyday and it´s pretty nice. I don´t get bit as much and it´s more comfortable, although it is so hot.
Love and hugs,
Yes, my package arrived Thursday and my freaking zone leaders forgot to bring it today so I´m getting it tomorrow 🙂
A baptism! how cool. The first year after a baptism is so important for a recent convert, and the hardest time for them usually. The way you can help the missionaries the most is to befriend her and help her nurish her faith-plant in this early stage of her spiritual growth.
Jessica Viraldo!! I figured she had to have returned recently. Say hi to Heidi for me!
Reading your email I thought of Lehi´s vision. There were people that had tasted of the fruit but because of the spacious building or the mists of darkness they fell away. The people that were continually partaking of the fruit, on the other hand, never fell away or were ashamed. Enduring to the end, or I like to say enjoying to the end, is the hardest part of the gospel.
I think the things you mentioned are key: feasting on the scriptures and not just reading them, sharing your testimony often, family prayers every night, and your own example of living the gospel bring the Spirit into the home. I remember that my initial desire to read and love the scriptures came from your love for them, when you taught my class my last year of primary. I still have scriptures highlighted in green 🙂
Here, one of the most frequently used phrases is “Jesus lives!”. Everyone in every religion says it but in my opinion they don´t actually believe it. If we believe that Jesus really lives, that means he is still speaking to us personally and through prophets. The gospel is not dead, nor is our capasity for learning, growth, and faith. I continue to have really special moments during scriputure study and prayer because I know that I am actually talking to my Father in Heaven who isn´t just an erethreal mist or an incomprehensible concept. Jesus Christ isn´t just a perfect man who lived a long time ago and took upon himself our sins. They´re still working with us every day! I find that when people fall away from the church, it´s because they stopped doing the little things, therefore they stopped feeling the strength that the Spirit brings. Mormon, in the book of Mormon when talking about the wicked Nephites says, “Because they depended upon their own strength, they were left in their own strength”. I love that because that´s exactly what happens every day. When we remember how much we depend on the Savior and that always we are unprofitable servants, we not only want to serve more but we feel love for our Savior and that´s what keeps me going.
Oh, wow. How sad for the Alley family. You never think these kind of things happen to people close to you. How grateful I am for the doctrine of the Plan of Happiness and the opportunity to repent every day and take the Sacrament every week. Poor Nancy! Yikes, I´ve never heard of anything that makes your eyes bleed.
Ya, I´m better. It was about a week that my stomach felt weird and only 2 days I stayed home sick. All better now. Although my face is breaking out really bad. I think its just the humidity but I hate it. This climate doesn´t agree with me because in Utah I didn´t have this problem.
Say hi to Matt for me! I´m curious to hear his Spanish when I come home and how different it is from the Spanish I speak here.
I´m glad the missionaries are good examples for the boys. Hopefully they´re good planners so you can get with them this week. 🙂
Salvador and Carolina got married and baptized on Saturday!!!! It was probably the happiest day of my mission so far. More people showed up than we expected and we didn´t have enough food. Other than that everything went relatively smoothly. Latin weddings are pretty different than ours. It´s very legal. The lawyer, bride, groom, and witnesses sit down around a table and after a few words from the lawyer everyone signs the paper and they kiss and it´s done. No wedding party, aisle, religious discourse, or vows. I´m glad that in the States the sealing in the temple counts for a civil marriage as well. For the baptismal program, Hna. Osorio sang the words to “Oh my Father” and I accompanied her with an arrangement of “Come Thou Fount”. They are seriously a miracle couple and they are so happy! Carolina was happy too although she doesn´t like to smile in pictures. She´s a lot like me in that she doesn´t care about getting dressed up or makeup and didn´t have a preference for anything concerning the wedding. She reminded me of me when you or Maddy or Jess ask me about colors or decorations or something and I just look at you and you say, “You don´t care, do you…”. Haha
Salvador, after church yesterday, left for Guatemala for a month until things settle down here.
Love you all,
A few notes from this week:
You have heard about us having to wear pants? Well, it´s happening believe it or not. We have to buy pants that are SUPER loose and big for modesty´s sake. Haha. It´s to protect us from diseases spread by mosquitoes but the elders are getting sick just as much as sisters and they wear pants. I´m doing it to be obedient to the prophets who have practically mandated it but it´s a struggle. The heat is one thing, but the presentation as well. I´m living history, folks. The first sister missionaries in pants! And yes, I still don´t like pants shopping. I had to buy dress pants two sizes too big. They´re huge and I feel frumpy in them, but it´s an act of faith in following the prophet.
Salvador and Carolina are getting married and baptized this week! I´ll have many photos for you next Monday. They are my miracle couple; helping them change and grow has made my whole mission worth it. Last night Salvador told me that he feels that I was specifically sent by the Lord to them because they feel a special connection with me. He feels so good in the gospel and feels that their family has a happy future, something they wouldn´t have had without the gospel. How cool! He almost made me cry.
This week was rough for them. Carolina´s mom, Ana, who also lives with them, had a boyfriend named Marvin who also lived with them. After we started teaching her, she kicked Marvin out in order to follow the Law of Chastity. Turns out that this Marvin is involved in some nasty stuff. He and a bunch of his buddies were arrested for killing 9 people! The problem is that because the people associate Salvador with Marvin, it makes life a lot more dangerous for Salvador, even though he wasn´t involved in anything. He´s scared that the police are going to come looking for him based on faulty information from people. So, Salvador has been on the down-low, only showing up for sacrament meeting then returning to his hiding place. Carolina has been worried sick and Ana is a wreck and went to San Salvador to visit her good-for-nothing ex is prison. sigh.
What´s amazing is that he´s staying in town only to get married and baptized. For him, it´s worth risking his freedom. Include him in your prayers! I had no idea I´d be dealing with stuff like this, but this is life for the people here. Imagine how the doctrine of eternal families and the Atonement make them so happy!
This week was my first time being really sick. I got a stomach virus Tuesday and couldn´t leave the house. Then my companion got it too. Lots of time in the bathroom but I feel fine now 🙂 hehe they all call it the “gringo stomach”.
Hope you´re enjoying the cabin this 4th of July! Love you all,