Hey there Family and Friends!
Life is great! It's so fantastic to not have to worry about your own wants, struggles, distractions, etc. I get to focus entirely on making other people happy every day and however much measurable success we have each day, we are always successful in something. Honestly, there have been days when we wrote down a lot of "0"s at the end of the day, but it was always because we were able to spend more time helping someone to come unto Christ through some means other than those we write down, and we never felt discouraged by it.
That said, I don't want to give the wrong impression, we are currently on a roll! We have several people preparing for baptism in the coming months, had four new investigators this week, and plan on starting to teach two more families this upcoming week! Too many miracles to list, but honestly one of the families just moved in across the street from the sister missionaries (so we go there several times a week to swap who has the car) and they apparently lived really close to Jose Torres' hometown and knew tons of the same people! We met them when we were waiting to drop off the car with the sisters once and saw them moving in so we went over and helped them unload!
The other family is working on repairing a trailer home in the trailer park where most of our investigators live so they can move into it, their oldest boy is 18 (Wilmer) a senior who is super fun and loves when we come help. The mom has been taking English classes from the missionaries for about a year and is really the most advanced student there! We've been over to help them chop overgrown vines and plants with machetes, clear the ground near the house, and take out old and cracked windows! Both of the families are super nice and open to have us teach them the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! I love them so much!
Jazmin (speaks English and Spanish, her husband only speaks Spanish, she was the one who said that the ceiling falling in during church was just God pouring out His spirit on us), she is SO determined to do what's right! She told one of the members who in a lesson made the mistake of making a comment, "I hope I see you at church on Sunday" or something like that, and she responded with a solid "Oh I'll be there! It don't matter if my ride falls through, my car won't run, don't matter. I will find a way!" She is so fantastic and determined! We had a lesson about the Word of Wisdom and it was SO easy to teach her! She kept surprising us with things like "Oh I can't even have cough syrup, let alone alcohol with the medications I have to take." or "I quit smoking years ago and I've been helping Manuel (her husband) work his way toward quitting, too, now that we've got grandbabies. He's doing great!" and "Oh I can't do caffeine so I don't really drink coffee anyway. I never was much of a tea person either." Then just when it couldn't get better, she said, "Addictions limit you and keep you from being able to help people," "I can barely stand to take as many pills as the doctor tells me, who'd want to get addicted to 'em?", and "Oh Manuel loves fruits! I always try to make sure we get a healthy amount of each food group because if you haven't got your health, you don't got nothin'." She is always surprising us with being one step ahead of us! She's definitely the next member about to get baptized!
Behind her, Jenny is well on her way and since we always teach her at Hermana Smith's house, Hermana Smith's oldest daughter (who moved back in with her about a month or so ago) accepted our invitation to join in our latest lesson (she isn't a member of the church) and she participated and had great questions and now we're teaching her as well!
In short, this week I helped more people come unto Christ, used a machete (again), punched out windows, and went to an awesome carne asada barbeque and pretty much am just loving life and living it to the fullest!
As for you all, how did last week's challenge go? I'd love to hear if any of you had any fun experiences with it! This week's challenge will be one of three options.
Option 1) Pick one uplifting, motivating, or spiritually edifying poem (no less than three stanzas).
Option 2) Pick 3 scriptures.
Option 3) Pick 3 quotes from prophets or quotes that are edifying, positive, and uplifting.
WHICHEVER option you picked, memorize all you picked over the course of the week (scriptures or quotes one every two days or poem however you want to divide it). By the end of the week be able to recite all that you have memorized. "...If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." (13th Article of Faith) When you fill your mind with good, positive, intelligent things, they replace the bad, negative, and unwanted thoughts that get pushed into our minds by media, society, or just day to day life. If you are always seeking the most worthy and pure thoughts, ideas, literature, music, etc., then you will continually gain more control of yourself, more discipline to accomplish your goals, and more satisfaction with life. Start this week; don't ever stop!
The church is true. Jesus Christ lives and guides His church today through a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. God loves all His children and wants all of them to know about His church, His plan for them, and the Gospel of His Son so that we can obtain all the blessings possible in this life and the Joy and peace that come from living His teachings and building up one another in faith and in our day to day lives. The Book of Mormon is His word and the entirety of His restored Gospel as Christ taught and established it when He lived on the earth. I know it to be true. I have seen this Gospel change lives in a matter of months. I have felt God's spirit testify to my heart, mind, and soul that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is His church on the earth today, led by the Savior through a living prophet and proven to be His through the spiritual manifestation that, like Peter of old, we can each have as we read it, ponder it's message, and pray to God to know for ourselves. I love all of you and am so happy to hear about all of the positive, growing, and learning experiences that you're having! Keep it up!
Until next time,