Good morning everyone!
This week has been a roller-coaster of emotion! I have determined that the talk by Hugh B. Brown about the currant bush will be the theme of my mission. This week we saw it happen in the lives of the amazing people we teach, especially Luis.
Due to some legal issues he can't get baptized yet and it was literally the most crushing phone call we have ever had to make. He is so ready and loves the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and knows it is true and he can't join the church yet. That was a currant bush moment to the max. He had been doing everything he was supposed to and doing do much better and feeling so much better and now he can't take that step yet. But Heavenly Father has a very special plan for that young man and now he gets the chance to learn all he can and be 100% solid before he enters into the waters of baptism. And he is still as amazing as ever!
Grace moved out of our mission so we can't teach her anymore but she has been reading and praying and it is so hard. We went to their apartment complex during the week and randomly we went to talk to a group of men and it just happened to be Luis' dad who just got here from visiting in Mexico like 5 days before we found him. It was so amazing to be able to testify to him about how much Luis has changed and how he could have the same change in his life. With God there are no coincidences.
Stella is doing great! We went over to see her this week and she prayed after the lesson. She plead to her Father in Heaven that everything can work out so she can be baptized and get the Holy Ghost. It was such a powerful witness that we don't do anything as missionaries. All we are here for is to teach them the information and how they can do it on their own because the Spirit is the real teacher.
So funny story for the week...we were doing service at the Action Center and they had Hermana Smock and I paint a set of table and chairs for kids. So..I was leaning on my side to get the other side and my wrist and elbow gave out and I smacked my face on the table top and got a bloody nose...We were in the bathroom FOREVER trying to get it to stop. Thank goodness that it was near closing and no one saw! I got to go clean up the murder scene after we got it stopped....not the most graceful I have ever been....But Hermana Smock got a kick out of it so that is all that matters.
One of our members asked one of her friends if she wanted to take the lessons and she said yes! So the member invited us over for Family Home Evening. The amount of miracles that came out of that lesson are crazy! So this family has been pretty less active so having FHE is a BIG deal! Active families struggle with it! It was really great and Ivancito (little Ivan) said the prayer at the end..which doesn't happen. It cracked me up! He started, "Nuestro Padre Celestial...is everyone's eyes closed?..." I love little kids! They are the best! And now that I can understand the word that are coming out of their mouths it is even better.
So after FHE, we got a return appointment with the friend and she said she wanted her whole family to be there to listen to us! So we went back on Saturday and they were all sitting in the living room waiting for us. Um that NEVER happens! There is a reason that it is its own point in Preach My Gospel to invite the whole family in to hear the lesson....they stole our job......
So I have a challenge for all of you! Hermana Smock has a goal to give 50 copies of the Book of Mormon before she goes home at the end of the transfer. Which is so awesome even though we have like 10 left out of all the ones we had. But I have really grown in my appreciation of the Book of Mormon. I am starting it my 3rd time since I have been out here and there is no doubt in my mind or heart that it is true. And this week as we have shared it with everyone I have seen how much I know that it is the Word of God. So I want to challenge each one of you to share the Book of Mormon with someone but also to get a paperback copy of the Book of Mormon and start from the beginning and mark every single reference to Jesus Christ. Our mission president has us do it in our first transfer and it helped me see just how much it testifies of Christ. So, will you do it? If you will, you can send me an email that you accept it...please :) But I promise that it will bless you lives more than you can imagine. We have to read it in 42 days the first time but you don't have to if you don't want to.
The longer I am out here, the more I know that the Church is true and following Jesus Christ is really the only smart thing to. It is the only way to true and lasting happiness even though the world may say differently. I used to make fun of people who quoted Church movies and scriptures in normal conversation... but now it's me. I have seen both sides; people who follow Christ and are blessed and those who don't and wonder why life is so hard and heartache so evident. I have seen some of the most broken families and individuals healed by the name of the Man I am privileged to wear every day. This decision to serve has changed me forever. I am not the same person I was when I left Providence, RI almost 6 months ago and I am more grateful for that than I would ever be able to express. And it is because Jesus Christ lives and He is our Savior. He is also our perfect older Brother and Friend.
If you haven't seen the Easter video the Church did please go watch it. helives.mormon.org
I love you all!! And I hope you have a great week!