Feliz (belated) Pascua familia!! I hope you all had a great Easter! Mine was definitely interesting. The missionaries ran the sacrament meeting. They did an awesome job speaking. Luckily I only had to play the hymns and the musical number. Except, I did have to say the closing prayer at our ward Zumba activity on Saturday. That was scary. Actually, I have some funny Spanish stories for you!
1. I was talking to a lady in another ward and I guess she wanted to test how good my Spanish was or something because she totally tricked me! She somehow made me agree to cutting off all my hair to make wigs or something. Super embarrassing and I was so grateful my companion was there to help me out of that.
2. We were in a lesson with Yesenia and her grandma. Her grandma never really gives a ton of emotion or comments during the lesson because she is so sick. But as I was explaining the plan of salvation, I guess I said that we come to earth to receive a body of "carne y juevos" instead of "carne y huesos" and she just started cracking up. (Translation: we all have a body of meat and eggs.) It was cute because I had never seen her smile before but wow, that was definitely an experience
On a more uplifting note, we had zone conference this week with our Mission President. Again, can I just say how I truly believe that part of the reason I am here in Texas is because I need him and his family in my life. They are awesome! (One of the little boys actually was wearing a tie that used to be President Monson's. The condition of him getting this tie was if he decided that he would serve a full-time mission.) Anyways, the conference was awesome. I am sure you can read all about it on the blog- texashoustonmission.blogspot.com. It was all about teaching effectively! Which is something that I really needed to relearn- and that was evident because that night we had a lesson and I applied some of the things he taught, and wow, it was awesome! I thought it was interesting because when you think about the work effect, it means to cause something else to happen. So when we are teaching effectively we are making it so our investigators will WANT to make and keep commitments in order to draw closer to Christ and follow God's plan for them. The process is understanding-belief-act-conversion. In the lesson we had that evening, we were teaching this lady named Cecilia. We found her randomly while looking for a potential investigator. Our potential wasn’t home, but I really think that was supposed to be that way so that we could find Cecilia. For the first 45 minutes of our lesson she told us all about her life- and has it been a hard one. She is single and has 6 children- the oldest is 13. She told us how she has been praying to know how she can guide her family and that she feels like we are an answer to those prayers. We taught a very clear lesson about the Restoration. She wants to know that it is true so that she can be baptized. I am excited. She bailed on going to church this Sunday last minute after we worked hard to find her a ride, which was really sad. Satan works really hard to put barriers in this work. But I know that if we do our part as missionaries, the Lord will move mountains to break those barriers for the 10's of thousands that are here waiting and prepared for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I really do love being a missionary. I know that the Lord loves his missionaries and hears are prayers. There is this 8 year old named Angie who just loves the gospel. We do noche de hogar every Monday night with her. Last Monday we talked about the plan of salvation. She expressed how she really wanted to live with God again in the Celestial Kingdom. Afterwards though, she just started crying and crying and crying. And we were like oh no, what the heck just happened. She then told us how she was so sad because her parents would not let her be baptized and that she couldn’t go to the Celestial Kingdom unless she was baptized. This seriously broke my heart. After talking to the grandma about the situation also, she said that the parents always work on Sundays so they haven’t been able to go to church and see what her daughter has been learning. This week we have all been praying that her parents would have Easter off so that they could attend church. When church started yesterday, she was not there with her grandma... It was so sad. But after the sacrament, all the sudden we see Angie walk in with her parents!!! I just lost it. I was so happy. I’m excited to go over tonight to see what they thought of it and if they will now let Angie be baptized.
We also just started teaching a family. They are golden! On Friday, we taught them about the plan of salvation. The parents gathered all their 5 children and they were loving it, every single one of them. They were holding hands and were so excited that there was a way for them to live together forever! When it was time to go, the little boy just started crying. I don’t think he wanted us to leave. He is only a year or two- not quite sure. But I know that even he was able to feel the spirit that was in that room. The Spirit was so strong. I don’t even know how to describe the feeling you get when you teach a family. The gospel is for families- God's plan is family. And Jesus Christ is the central part in that plan. I am so extremely grateful for that.
One more story before I sign off, when we were with Yesenia, she said another really awesome prayer. She said "please help these missionaries go save more people." I think that sums up what I have been doing pretty well - or at least what I am trying to do! Saving one soul at a time here in Gulfbank. It is the best. I love talking to people, especially about this gospel. There is nothing that brings so much happiness.
I know that this work is orchestrated by God. I’ve learned that you don’t always know the fruits of your actions immediately but as long as you do good and act on all good feelings you are helping the work. Press forward. Get going. And you’ll be alright.
I have also learned that i need to be here and be here all the time. I have to take advantage and give this all that I have. There is only 16 months left. It breaks my heart that this goes by so fast. I love being a missionary!
Love you all so much!