Week 23 – Accumulating the Light

People ask me what America or Americans are like, what the church in Michigan is like, etc. I always try to explain similarities and differences but the conclusion is always that no matter where you go, you can find the good, trustworthy, responsible, faithful, hard working, and the lazy, brutish, ignorant, proud, and annoying. And everything in between. Thanks for sharing; sounds like a good read.

Good news: We found a chinese restaurant that isn´t half bad and pretty cheap. It was a dream come true. In this little hole-in-the-wall place while enjoying our lunch, my companion and I were accosted by a man who is a huge Trump fan. He interrogated me in my political beliefs and then I started questioning him (calmly), only to find out that he knows nothing about America and is just racist against Mexicans. It was a funny experience and I know that before the mission I probably would have argued more and would have been frustrated by his puffed up ignorance full of hot air.

The work here is going slowly but surely. Our problem is getting people to come to church on Sunday. They simply can´t get baptized if they can´t keep the Sabbath day. We are working with two families each with 4-5 people so that´s exciting. It´s pretty amazing to see how powerless we really are and that the miracle of conversion is the work of the Spirit and no one else. I can´t do anything to soften the hearts of these people except to be worthy of the Spirit so I can bring it to them. I´ve learned that we can only bring the Spirit and the gospel to the doors of the hearts, we can´t penetrate them. The rest is up to the person and God´s will.

There´s a quote or a phrase from James E. Talmage´s “Jesus the Christ” that I think of often. He talks about “darkness of mind produced by persistence in sin.” I see this everyday. One of the tricks to success in this life is accumulating as much “light” as we can. Sin blocks the happiness, knowledge, understanding, power, and love in our lives. There comes a point where people are servants to their sins so much so that they can´t understand or see anything that is truely good.

We had a miracle yesterday. A couple weeks ago we did a family home evening in a member family´s home. The wife´s father isn´t a member and he was there as well, but he didn´t want to participate and wasn´t in the room. Yesterday he showed up at church! He told me that during that night he was in the next room listening to everything and that morning he felt like he should come to church. We have another lesson with him this Wednesday.

Carolina and Salvador are doing great and are working on their family history!! Also, Vanessa, her family, and Nelson Santamaria (my converts from Libertad) went to the temple for the first time last week! I was a proud mama. I forgot to tell you guys this but two weeks ago, Cecilia (Nelson´s mom, the woman who accepted the gospel but could never leave her home to go to church or to get baptized) passed away. I can´t visit them but I sent a letter to Nelson. He´s only 14 and I was nervous about how he would react to this test of his new faith. I learned later that he went to the temple and was able to witness the baptism of Cecilia 🙂 Temple work is such a beautiful doctrine! I count her as my convert even though I couldn´t be there for the baptism. I´m so happy that she could finally have the baptism she always wanted but was never able to do in her mortal life.

I´ll try to get a picture of the door of the house of my proposal if we pass by this week.

There are always less-than-perfect moments but those memories fade. I only remember the good. Especially here when I see so many bad parents. Even compared to parents in the States you guys are awesome, I´m not only comparing you to the worst haha 🙂

Fall is always an exciting time for school and sports. I want pictures of Seth, Sam, and Reagan kicking butt!

Transfers are in one week and honestly I´m looking forward to it…3 months with one companion is enough. I like change in my life.

Love you always,
Abby

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