|we went to the temple this Wednesday for a session as a zone|
As always, so many amazing things happened this week! We a great lesson with Claudia, and we taught her lesson 3, which is the doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, and enduring to the end). We hadn't planned on inviting her to be baptized, but as we were teaching I kept feeling like I should. I didn't know at the time that she'd been invited to be baptized before, and that she'd pretty adamantly said no. Well, I went ahead and invited her, and she said yes!! When Hna Cedeño brought up the idea of a date, she was a bit more hesitant, saying it was a big change and she had a lot more she needed to learn, but we talked about how we're there to help her along the way and you don't need to have a perfect knowledge to be baptized. In the end, she committed to the same day, August 20th!! ... Only, right now, she's in Mexico because her mother is sick, and we're not sure when she's coming back. So pray that her mother will be well and we'll be able to get in touch with her soon to keep teaching her and get her ready for baptism!! It was also a really cool experience because Hna Cedeño told me afterwards that she'd been feeling the same prompting, and she thought I was going to do it but was thinking to herself, "If she doesn't, I will!" It's great to know that as a companionship we're unified and both listening to and following the promptings of the spirit!
It's really amazing to see the way that the spirit works, and the wisdom of the Lord. On Thursday we were OYMing in an apartment complex, and we saw two young women sitting on a patio and talking. We went up and started talking to them, and gave them a short lesson, bearing our testimonies (in English). Then, as always when we talk to people, we asked if they knew anyone in the area who spoke Spanish, and they referred us to a few doors down where Saul lives. He answered the door, and we quickly confirmed that yes, he speaks Spanish, and started talking about the gospel and our purpose. After a few moments he laughed a little bit and said, "It's weird to hear a Mormon talking to me in Spanish!" Come to find out he'd had the missionaries over quite a bit before, but really just as a friendly courtesy. But as we talked, he just kept smiling, and said at the end, "I like it better in Spanish." It really was amazing to see some of the purposes of the scripture in D&C that says that every man shall hear the gospel preached in his own tongue and in his own language! It's SUCH a wisdom in the Lord, because even though this man speaks perfect, fluent English, hearing the gospel in his own tongue opens him up that much more to feel the spirit. It strengthened my testimony of my calling of made me even more humbled to have been given the opportunity to bring this gospel to these people who are living in a foreign land in the manner that they can best understand and learn and feel the spirit! We have an appointment to see him tomorrow :)
Two more quick experiences (actually, three) - on Saturday, I called Lucina, and she told us that she was going to come to church on Sunday, so we were super excited! But yesterday, she wasn't there. I was playing for sacrament, and kept waiting for her to come in, and when she never did I had this feeling we should skip gospel doctrine and go over to her house. I brought it up to Hna Cedeño, and she was surprised by the idea (as was I) but we went anyway. Long story short, she was there (which was a miracle in and of itself) and we were able to have a great conversation and set up an appointment. It was clear that we needed to be there right at that moment, and it was humbling to know that the Lord had used me as a tool to get us there.
Yesterday we also met with and taught a less active. We'd gone over to the apartment to teach the mother, but though she was present for the lesson, the person we actually ended up teaching was her son, Luis. Luis has a number of things that he's struggling with right now, but one of the chiefest things is incredible pain in his stomach that he's been dealing with for over a year. He can't work and it hurts to do almost anything. He was baptized when he was 8, but he's 23 and hasn't been to church in about ten years. As we taught yesterday, he talked about his desire to change and about how he's felt different since he started coming back to church. We were able to testify to him and give him a new Book of Mormon, and as we left he said, "You know, you two have really great personalities. You make people comfortable." We thanked him, but talked about how anything he felt from us was really coming from Our Father through the Holy Ghost. He then said that we helped remind him of things he knew before and made him want to seek those feelings again!
We went by again this morning to give him an Ensign (because there's a GREAT talk in the August Ensign that was perfect for what he's going through!) and gave him a short lesson. Last night we'd asked him to read Alma 32 and we really didn't expect that he would have done it already. Come to find out he'd read it twice!! He was really able to apply it to himself, and without us even asking he said he's going to start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning. It's amazing to see the atonement working in people's lives and to know that you have been a vehicle to bring the spirit to their hearts. I've known that all along, but to see someone truly accept that spirit, truly feel it and let it work within their hearts the desire to change and come closer to their Father in Heaven, fills me with more joy than I think I can describe!
|The Gilbert Mural|
This week I had my first exchanges!! Hna Bailey is my sister training leader, and she came to Gilbert, so I got to lead the area for the day! (She also served here for a long time, so she knew her way around and was able to help me :))
So, in this picture we're standing in front of the woman's house. You can't really see it in the background, but here's the story - we were walking back to our car, and we saw her sitting on her porch, so decided to make conversation (one of our goals in the mission is OYM - Open Your Mouth - which basically means just talk to people and make sure they know you're missionaries and leave them with a good experience even if they're not interested). So Hna Bailey noticed that she had a bunch of cats, and we started talking about that. But when Hna Bailey introduced us a few minutes later, and then I asked, "Have you ever heard of the church?" the woman said, "Yep. Some missionaries came by here once and I chased them away with a chainsaw and told them that if they ever came back I'd call the police." So ... we were a little shocked, and honestly I was a little scared. But we had a really good interaction, and even though she joked that she just didn't have a chainsaw handy, she never yelled at us or demanded that we leave or anything. But as we were walking away, she said, "Have a good day, just don't come back!" in this sweet voice. It was kind of a hilarious and bizarre experience, which is why we had to take a picture!
Okay, now for scriptures!
Matthew 26:30. This is right after the last supper, and right before Christ went to the Garden of Gethsemane. It reads, "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives." As I read that, the spirit touched my heart. The last thing our Lord and Savior did before going into the Garden of Gethsemane to atone for our sins, before suffering all of the pains, afflictions, griefs, sins, and sicknesses of the world, was sing a hymn with his disciples. There is such a sacred power in music, and there's a reason why D&C 25:12 is my favorite scripture.
Matthew 28:1. This verse reads, "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." Think about when we were in Israel and everything we learned about the rules and laws of the sabbath. As soon as they possibly could, these two women made their way to the Savior's tomb. They didn't wait a moment longer than they had to. It made me think about how eager we should be to find the Savior!
As always, there's so much more I could write about (ESPECIALLY all the people we met this week and their amazing stories!!) but I doubt you'll even have time to read all of this!!
Les quiero MUCHISIMO!!!!