I have to start off by saying that this letter has to be one of my favorites! WOW what an amazing opportunity Hermana Parry is having. It makes me so glad that she is SERVING the Lord at this time in her life. I look at the pictures she sends to us and I LOVE seeing her smiley face. I know that she is the happiest she has ever been and that is saying a LOT, because Mackynzie is one happy kid. I am so extremely proud of her love of the people. I am so happy for the growth and knowledge she is sharing with all of us. - Love, Karyn
|Hermana Burnham and Hermana Parry|
We will be a forever friends!
|We bought a cake with a dying elders (elder crane's) face on it. |
We thought we were funny!
|A sleepover at the mission home due to an incident at our apartment.|
1. A common theme, or even the main underlying theme, in the Book of Mormon is that is we are obedient, we will prosper. As missionaries, we are only going to be successful and feel the spirit work through us when we are exactly obedient. I also learned that in order to be exactly obedient, you have to have a deep faith and strong love for our Savior and Heavenly Father. Without those 2 things, we dont feel inclined to be obedient. So therefore, if we want to prosper, love the lord with all your heart, mind, and might, then you will be guided to know what to do!
2. The gospel is plain and simple. Christ stated several times that the doctrine of Christ is plain and simple: Come follow Him. Profetas testify of this plainly. When we teach this way, everything clicks for the investigator- had an experience with that this week and I cant wait to tell you about it.
3. All things are done in wisdom of God. He has all power and we learn in the Book of Mormon that he truly is in the details of our lives. We see it time and time again. Its so interesting how even Moroni's challenge (one of the most used scriptures in the Book of Mormon) gives attention to the wisdom of God. It states that if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them. That just proves to me that God is preparing and that it is by his mercy that people have the opportunity to recieve this special message. People just dont find this truth by coincidence. It you watch "How Rare a Possession: The Book of Mormon," you even see how those men attribute their experience to find the fullness of the gospel to God. Trust in His timing and in His ways.
4. There is a quote in PMG that says you cant convert past your own conversion. That is totally evident in the Book of Mormon! The best missionaries were driven by their own testimonies. Once they received a spiritual witness, they didnt hestitate to share that joy. Our testimony must be deeply rooted like that so that we feel that burning desire like Alma the Younger or Lehi to share this gospel with the world.
5. The biggest thing I realized this time around is the reality of the atonement. I love the quote that says that the atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps more importantly than the investigators. a mission is hard. But on my hardest days, I would open up the Book of Mormon and read something that specifically correlated to my problem. The Lord is very aware of our situations. He knows our feelings and our faults. We are not alone in His work. He is constantly sustaining us and is so proud of the work that is going on. We need the atonement all day, everyday. It enables us to do this work. It is impossible to do it without it. But if there is anything I learnd, it is that Christ will give us strength to overcome our weaknesses and diminish our darkest days.
Ok there you go, that is my little rant for the day. Now for my week. Nothing too spectacular. Actually I take that back. Everything is spectacular. I just love this people so much. Whenever I leave a house I cant stop saying how much I love them nor can I wipe the smile off my face. These people are awesome.
Especially Florencio and Maria Gomez. We had a scare on Saturday actually. We called Maria to verify our cita with her and her husband that night and she said that she actually had to cancel and that the Book of Mormon is not the same as the Bible and that she didnt want to be baptized anymore. She then just hung up without us being able to say anything... Uhhh what?? We both felt like we needed to go see her so we drove directly to her house and she kindly let us all in. We had an awesome lesson. We talked about the Book of Mormon, Christ's baptism, the Apostacia, and the Restauracion. Everything went really smoothly and it was simple. But the best part about it is when the light bulb went off for her and she understood it. I know it was the Holy Ghost. Our mouths were filled and the spirit was confirming that what we were teaching was true. She then said how beautiful God is. How His plan is perfect. She was then testifying to us that the Bible really does testify of the Book of Mormon and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the exact same church that Christ established many years before. We have the authority and the way to return to God with our families. She kept thanking God because She knew taht we were sent there in that moment to answer all her dudas. She is more excited to get baptized now then she was last week. All is well. Hermana Burnham and I think that this experience was just to remind us that this work isnt easy. We have to constantly be working. Then on Sunday we had an awesome lesson with Maria and Florencio about Lehi's dream and the love of God. We all made goals on how we can better hold on to the iron rod in order to partake of the tree of life. They are stellar. I love them so much!!! We are going back on Wednesday to learn how to make tortillas.
This week we also called Leo and Vacenta to see how they were doing. The first time we met them they told us they were busy all week so they wouldnt be able to see us. Therefore, we waited a little too long to contact them again. When I called them, Leo picked up and was so HAPPY, so so happy, to hear from us. He thought I had returned to California and he was so sad because he and his family were so excited. I had mixed feelings when I heard this. I loved it because I felt loved but then I felt terrible that we hadnt called sooner. But anyways it doesnt matter because we are meeting with him and his family on Tuesday and we are going to bring Hermano Santa Cruz with us to teach Restauracion. Hermano Santa Cruz is one of my favorite people ever. He is from Guatemala and is hilarious. Honestly dad, you would love him!
Another important lesson I learned this week, well... This is an interesting one actually. We went over to share a quick message with Ronnie this past Thursday. We read 3 Nefi 11 and talked about Christ and how the gospel is individual for each of us. He then opened up and told us a lot. Apparently he lived in Salt Lake a few years ago before he returned to Guatemala. He learned about the church there and attended a few services. He loved it! Thats why he stopped us the other day. Also he said how he really wants to get married. I guess that part it kinda of random to the story but I just thought it was sweet! haha Anyways, we also talked a little about baptism. I wanted to invite him to be baptized but I didnt. We left the house and then while we were walking to the car, I felt like we needed to go back and just ask him. Hermana Burnham and I were just joking about how awkward it was going to be to knock on the door again and be like, oh hey we just saw you but we really wanted to invite to be baptized... We said a quick prayer for confidence and knowledge to know what to say to him. When we returned he hoped the door and we just invited him! Ill be honest, I was expecting him to say yes of course, I was hoping you would ask me. But instead we definitely didnt get a yes. But we didnt get a no either. When we left for the second time I was like, what the heck! Why did I have that prompting to do that if nothing came from that... Bad thinking. Hermana Burnham reminded me of Abraham and Isaac. Everything then clicked. We are sometimes just given promptings in order to see how much we will do for the Lord. I know I wasnt asked to sacrifice my first child, but that was a really awkward situation and I needed to remember that I am here for the Lord and he wants to push and try me to help me become something more. Its beautiful isnt it? A tender mercy that happend that night was that Ronnie texted us and said that he hopes we are safe and that we have a nice night. I like to think that the question of baptism was burning his heart and that he was genuinely contemplating it. We will see what comes out of it! Love that little hopeless romantic.
I just want to end saying that i love you all so much! Thank you so much for you sacrifices for me to serve these people. I am learning so much from these people and I know that we are placed in each other's path for a reason. These people keep calling us angels and you know what, its awesome. I know that God is working really hard through us right now. I feel like his instrument in this work and it is indescribable.
I was sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday watching Irving pass the sacrament and I got thinking, wow, he is going to marry in the temple and be able to be with his family forever. I then just started balling because I realized that if I dont bring anyone else to the gospel thats ok because Irving is doing it all right. I am going to be able to see him in Heaven with God and Christ and that is going to be the happiest moment ever. Honestly, that is why we do this work. There is an end goal and it is going to be everlasting happiness. Continue to work hard to get there.
I hope this makes sense. I just went off an a bunch of tangents. I just really love this work and all the things I learn. I cannot get enough of it.
Mucho amor siempre,