Monday September 5th, 2011
Family and friends! Yet another week has gone by...how is everyone. We are just all sunshine and cool weather-finally-here in ARROYITO. I am so happy its warming up. I feel so awkward from going to like wearing 4 layers a day where you could barely see my face to being so revealing with only a light shirt and a skirt – haha - it feels weird but we are way stoked to be starting spring!
So some funny things that happened this week. Yesterday we were contacting at night just right before we went home and we knocked on this ladies door and as she opened it she looked so confused. We told her we were missionaries and sharing a message about Christ with everyone and if we could share it with her. She took a minute just standing there and thinking and then with a puzzled look tells us that an hermano came to her house today already and talked to her about God. We tried to explain to her that we were from a different church, and our message is really important and she still didn’t get it and told us to come back another day because she already heard about God today, and it was enough, and we could come back tomorrow…..haha - it was funny. I was cracking up that she felt like she could only hear about God once a day and got her little fill from that.
Also this morning we were waiting in line FOREVER - family you know how I am about lines… and how I am so impatient and die - and it was like so crowded and out the door because we had to pay our bills….and all the sudden this little girl just like bends over and throws up everywhere and everyone just like acts like its nothing, and the lady pays her thing and takes off and everyone just leaves it on the ground, and I was about to DIE, because my companion hates throw up and I swear I thought she was going to like faint……..and everyone that came in was like walking and slipping all over the place in it and it smelled up the whole place and it was just like not phasing anyone…....like really? Gotta love Argentina.
So this week has been pretty rough. We have been working so hard and sacrificing and working P days and fasting so we can find more people to teach and baptize. Sometimes in missionary work its so hard not to get disenchanted because you will be literally running around ALL day dead tired just trying to find anyone to accept your message and it seems like no one is willing to listen. They are all stuck in their -we can say-traditions of their fathers-and are...comfortable...and don’t’ feel like they need or have any desire to change. Sometimes we feel that we are praying so much for guidance to find those people that are waiting and we end up at the end of each day actually finding every single person in this town who does not want anything to do with you and your message. We try to keep our heads up and remember the name we represent and carry on our name tags, which is Christ our Lord Jesus, and try to even comprehend what it was like for him when he was on the earth and how much he - even the son of man -got rejected by everyone. We are really just keeping a positive attitude and having the faith to find and teach new people.
We are still working with Magali, who is the one that is so golden, but living with someone. Its so sad, because she is really just waiting for him to change, and this last week when I taught her I was just like - he is not going to change - you need to think about yourself and do things for your higher good and be with people that will build you up and not hold you back. It’s sad because even his family is like making fun of her for investigating the church and not a support at all. She is praying a lot to know what to do so we are just hoping she gets the answer soon so she can finally get baptized.
We are also still working with Ricardo who came to church for all 3 hours by himself again and loved it. We already see changes in him and he is feeling a lot better and happier, but its just really hard with his addictions and all the problems he has had in his life. We are praying and hoping he can overcome his addictions and drop everything so he can get baptized and be clean and start a new life. Pray for him!
We also keep on trying and working with precious David - who is not a member - and Tommy his brother who is inactive. I love them so much! I just love the youth so much…… and work with them as much as possible. They are so important and all are suffering so much! They need to step it up and find these things that will make them happy and strong in their lives and do them. Its good because we finally found David’s doubt...he has no faith and doesn’t know how to have it...so we talked and taught a lot out of Alma 32 and it was such a good lesson and his mom and sister were there to support and he really has the potential to progress but he just needs to step up and make they choice for himself and have the desire.
Sunday was a disaster. There was SO MUCH WIND...there is always some kind of weather problem Sunday mornings! So we walked like 45 minutes in the wind to look for this family to go to church because the parents are inactive and the kids are not members and need to get baptized and they were not answering us forever so finally we like were screaming at the door – haha - and they came out and like rejected us and had like 10 different excuses why they wouldn’t go. I about died. As we were walking away beginning the 45 minute walk in the wind to get to church, I just thought of my dad and it all made sense that so many years of trying to wake up his kids and drag us all to get to church on time…. he would end up just getting over it and getting over us, and going by himself, and getting there on time front row....that is how I felt. I just wondered - why am I doing this....all I want to do is go to church and enjoy it, and if no one else wants to go….I will go alone. Thankfully God is a loving patient forgiving God and through prayer only he can soften our hearts and bless us with his comfort, and care and patience. Barely anyone was at church because of the wind. I was so over it and bitter, and of course by the end of church a miracle happened…..because when we are working hard God is always going to reward us with miracles. A boy named Franco who is 13, who I worked with at the beginning of my mission here FINALLY made the decision to get baptized, and we put a date for him the 17th!!! I almost cried and he was like all awkward haha- but I was so happy because after such a long hard stressful week of heart ache and sacrifice we finally saw a miracle.
This week was also really hard on me because an inactive member-one of my best friends who is like a mom and I love her more than anyone - like confided in me and broke down, and I found out about all these problems that are going on in the family and the parents are separating, and I seriously was a mess - I don’t think I have ever like been that upset in my life, and cried so much. I did so much and prayed so much for the spirit to help her, and to know what to say to her because she is literally suffering so much and is so unhappy. I couldn’t believe what has happened to this family who have all been sealed in the temple and her husband was the stake president just like a few years ago. So much has happened to them in just a few years and Satan slowly and surely is destroying this precious family one by one. She truly thinks she will never be happy again. She has lost hope. She has lost everything. This week I have really studied and found out the importance of FAMILIES. Literally the only way to true happiness within the home of the families in this life is the gospel and by LIVING EVERY PART OF IT. Satan’s biggest target in this very moment is within the family and he is doing everything to destroy everything that is of worth to us in our homes like our relationships our marriages our children and will do anything within his power to weaken us as the family unit so he can attack and split us up.
I love the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 29 verses 34 and 35 that all things that are given unto us from God are spiritual, and for our benefit, and God is never ever going to give us a commandment or law that is not spiritual and that is temporal, natural, carnal, or sensual, but everlasting with so much promise and joy. Every single aspect of the gospel that we are invited to do and live DAILY is for our spiritual benefit as a person and in our homes and families and when we lack in something or fault something, we are lowering our spiritual strength and increasing the chance for Satan to creep in and try to weaken and lower us making us miserable like him. I love the scripture in Alma 37 verse 33 that states that we must humble ourselves and be meek and lowly in heart so we can withstand every temptation from the devil with our faith on the Lord Jesus Christ....and also Alma 13 verse 28 that states we must humble ourselves call upon the Lord in his holy name and watch and pray continually so we can not be tempted above which that we can bear and so we can be led by the holy spirit.
We are given so many clear and so many simple commandments to follow in our homes and to do with our families so we can have that strong foundation and unit and not be led into temptation like family prayer, family home evening, scripture study together, church, and with following and living each part of these commandments like it says in one of my favorite scriptures in Mosiah 2 verse 41 we will be blessed in ALL things both temporal and spiritual and if we hold faithful UNTIL THE END we will enter in a state with God of never-ending happiness. Now of course it is not going to be easy to do all of these things all the time but like it states clearly and promises in 2 Nephi 9 verse 18 those of us who support and endure the crosses of the world...their joy shall be full forever. We must endure together as a family and we must work together doing everything in our power to have the strength and unity and love in the home so we never fall. This morning as I was studying in the Doctrine and Covenants I was so pleased and thankful for the promise from Christ when they are talking of the second coming and they state “My disciples shall stand in holy places and shall not be moved”….we not only as disciples and servants of Christ’s church have the invite and opportunity but the responsibility as families and in our homes to always be locked and cemented in that firm foundation so we can be not moved. I am always impressed by The Family Proclamation to the world - and I love the part that states...
“Happiness in the family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”
I plead and pray with every part of my heart that we are all remembering the importance of the family and how much we have responsibilities to nurture, raise, and take care of them in the gospel. Like it says in the end of the proclamation...we promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the FUNDAMENTAL UNIT OF SOCIETY. Watch and protect your families. We need to go the extra mile. We need to double the things we do to double our strength and testimonies so we can be immovable. We need to stay as completely involved and surrounded by the blessings and promises that the church has to offer our homes and I promise each of you that is you live by them - your family will make it. You will receive eternal life together. You will enjoy the blessings of the gospel daily in your home. You will have more unity and love and peace as family members, and have more desire to do good. You will see change and spiritual growth in your children and feel the enriching and never ending love that our Father in Heaven has for us and our families more abundantly and fully in your life.
I love you all and testify that this Jesus Christ and His teachings are the answer to all of life’s questions and problems. It is the way to save and protect our homes and families…..I invite you act on the invitation to receive the blessings from your Heavenly Father that he has awaiting you and your family and accept to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.