Weeks 32&33 – Happy Halloween & Paz Baptisms!!!

Elder Oaks spoke of how El Salvador, more than any other part of the world, needs the gospel most. Wow. He talked about the doctrine of the Trinity, of the Atonement, and Self-reliance. He bore his testimony in Spanish and it was cute. One thing that made me happy was that all of my converts in El Salvador were there at the conference! I have 10 now! 🙂

Friday we had the miracle of Flor´s grandpa signing his permission for her to be baptized. He said, “I don´t agree with this baptism but I´ll sign. Just don´t talk to me about it anymore.” Haha it´s a deal! We arranged the baptism in one day and she was confirmed yesterday. Yay!

Last Monday Vanessa, my convert from my first ward, invited us and the elders in my district over for lunch. It was fun to see her and her family again. Right after we recieved the signature of Flor´s grandpa for her baptism, we passed a man on his bike that we´d talked to maybe twice. I felt the urge to stop him and talk to him to give him a Book of Mormon. After I explained what it was he just said, “I feel so prepared to recieve this right now. I have to tell you that I see this light in you, like an angel. You´re pretty physically too but it´s more than that. I will treasure this book and even more, I will read it.” Holy crap it was so cool. It made my day!

This was an awesome week! I have about 2 more weeks in this area and I´m ready to leave although I do like it here. This Wednesday is Day of the Dead so we´re headed to the cemetery to contact all the people that will be there reverencing their ancestors.

I´m pretty sure I know that you miss me whether you tell me or not. I think my mental toughness can handle it 🙂 I miss you guys too. The psychology of the mission is interesting. I´ve thought about it a lot while dealing with the feelings of Hna. Carrillo and it´s tougher than you might think. It´s not just the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual exhaustion of the mission but there is also this pressure to not be “baggy” and think about home or your family at all. We´re supposed to be so spiritually strong that we take everything that comes in the mission with Christlike patience and long-suffering. When missionaries aren´t baptizing or they feel like they are doing everything right but aren´t enjoying it, they feel guilt or feel like they lack the faith. It´s a cycle of negative feelings that leads to stress and more homesickness. It´s hard to fight. I like to remind my companion that we´re not robots or machines and it´s okay to think about our family and to miss them. We just can´t let it get in the way of the work.

Yikes, be careful everyone, especially Seth and Sam while driving. Winter is dangerous.

Yes, I´m worried about the future of the country and of the world in general. Why do people have to close their minds to all things good, true, and intelligent? Giving people their agency, knowing what would most likely happen, I´m sure was a big sacrifice for Father in Heaven.

The Paz family were baptized Thursday. It was small but that´s the way they wanted it. They are a very interesting couple but they do what they say and I´m convinced that they´ve experienced their conversion. They still don´t understand many things but they have a lifetime of learnin ahead of them. We´re gonna work hard with their sons now to get them on board. The parents say that they don´t want anything to do with the decision their kids make to get baptized but I think they´re missing a little bit their role as parents. If they know that the church is true, they should want to make their kids go to church even if they don´t want to. Ah well.

This week I start volunteering at an English school. They told me I could teach the lessons to all the kids in English! Sweet. I have to start practicing the lessons in English haha.

I´m happy and healthy. Thanks for your love and support. I have no doubts that what I am doing and teaching is directed by God and it´s His work.

Love,
Abby

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