Letter received on 1/26/15. Posted on 3/3/15.
My lovely district. #Miamiforever
We will be sad to see Elders Dunford and Call and Sister Madsen go tomorrow.
Hey there familia!
Another awesome week! We are really seeing a change in our Key Indicators and in our feelings of satisfaction as we try to constantly seek the Lord’s vision for our area rather than our own – it has been truly wonderful! After a slow first few weeks of the transfer, we are so so excited to finally see some fruits! And aren’t they delicious!
Mayte is a miracle woman. I have never met someone so ready and prepared for this gospel. Everything we teach, she just says, “Okay, I can do that. I believe that. I feel that it’s true.” EVERYTHING! We are busy setting up her baptism for THIS SATURDAY at 11:00! We just reviewed all of the interview questions with her and she’s golden! I cannot tell you how strong her faith is. She is seeing so much opposition from her husband and other external factors, but she has told us that she is ready to quit her job if they don’t give her Sundays off and other really bold statements that just prove how real the Holy Ghost is. She knows that God has been preparing her for this time and tells us, “I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by again.” SO HAPPY!
We are still teaching away Henry, our adorable little 8-year-old! He, too, is one of the most spiritually sensitive people I have met. In all of our lessons, he’s just so cute. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and afterward talked about baptism, telling it was something that would make both him and God really happy. His response was, “I know! That’s why I can’t stop smiling right now!”, and continues to accept everything as well as avidly read Book of Mormon Stories – our little member friend who is helping us teach him told us that whenever they have free-time at school, he pulls it out and reads it without any shame – such an example of the believers! We finally got to meet his mom yesterday (we had permission from the grandparents to teach him, and passed-on verbal permission from her, but now we’ve finally met face-to-face), and she’s super cool too. She’s not ready for him to get baptized yet, but we had an AMAZING member present lesson with her that really softened her heart. Woo! He has the most hilarious comments during our lessons though. He started telling us on a date his mom’s boyfriend took them on last week when they started “holding each other’s backs” (arms around each other’s shoulders, we think), and he said, “I was like, Oh my gosh, in front of Henry?!”. We also taught the Word of Wisdom to him and a few other 7-9-year-old squatters who, when we told them the prophet told us not to drink coffee, immediately commenced some scriptural wailing, exclaiming, “Oh, NO! MY MOM DRINKS COFFEE!”. It was precious.
We’re teaching a really cute couple, too, named Anthony and Heather who are super sincere about finding the “best” church to raise their new baby in. We were talking to A about the Book of Mormon reading he did, and he told us, “I don’t know. There are just some words in here that make me doubt that this is the word of God…”. We proceeded to ask him if there were any specifically, and he opens up to 1 Nephi 17 and tells us, “Okay, so all over this chapter it says, in the middle of the verses, “yea” (pronounced like “yeah”). Everywhere! I really don’t think that God says, “Yeah”. Thrilled that this was his biggest concern, we quickly informed him that it was written in older English, back when “yea” and “nay” were a thing, and brought the smile of understanding right back to his face. It’s amazing how quickly the right questions can clear up such tiny concerns that are often a big deal for people.
Bro. and Sis. Phillips are some good ‘ole, out-spoken, Jesus-lovin’, amen-ing in Sacrament meeting, people in our ward. I’ve probably mentioned them before, but they are the most golden-hearted people you’d ever meet. We had a bit of a cold front yesterday (62 degrees! fuzzy socks and warm jackets were worn – people even busted out their mittens and scarves!), and so the church was more ice-boxey than usual, and the Relief Society room even more so. A baby began to cry during the lesson, and Sis. Phillips shouts out, “No wonder that baby cryin’! He gon’ freeze!” A member of the bishopric had just walked in, heard that, and said, “Oh, would anyone like my jacket?” Her immediate response was, “Give it to that baby!” I don’t know if you think that’s as funny as I do, but it I laughed out loud. And still do when I think about it, come to think of it.
My lovely companion, Sister Endemaño said a wonderful thing this week during a lesson with Mayte: “There’s a difference when He knows that we know”. Chew on that for a bit.
Lovin’ on Alma 51:23,25-28 this week. Even though Moroni’s cities were so well-fortified, he got distracted by the contentions within his own people and allowed the city of Moroni to weaken. Amalickiah immediately took advantage of that weak link and occupied the city. He then proceeded forward strategically, taking six more cities. Only Teancum and his mightiest solders could stop him. Often after we work to get our defenses high, we get comfortable after a while and allow our guard to slip allowing the adversary to sneak in and, little by little, take control of small things. Often we don’t realize it until we are in too deep and almost feel it is impossible to be free. It takes our strongest efforts to combat him, to push him back out, and to throw a javelin into his heart (maybe not that extreme, but you get the visual). This was an awesome reminder to never allow myself to get comfortable! Especially when it comes to mission rules, my teaching abilities, and communicating in Spanish, for me. One of the greatest things about the Atonement is the constant change and improvement that comes when you really use it correctly. We should be bettering ourselves every day and never be satisfied until the perfect day!
We had dinner with the Hatfields this week, husband from South Africa and wife from Belize. Our Elders never showed up for the dinner, so we got to take their food with us (haha). She made us delicious butterscotch-ey pudding and told us to tell them, “No pudding for you, Elders!” The Gospel is ready, willing, and waiting for you to enjoy the delicious better-than-butterscotch flavor – all you have to do is show up to dinner or accept it to enjoy the most wonderful blessings that God has just cooked up for you! All you have to do is show up to dinner! Don’t be caught at the last day with him telling you “No pudding for you!”.
Sorry if that was sacrilegious.
So, an awesome week! I love you all! Keep strong! Tell someone that Jesus loves them today. And that you do too. 🙂