Hello Dear Family,
This week was pretty good. A lot better than the few weeks before. Although I was sick the whole week with a cough and my companion got a cold. We survived!
I got my package and I love it! My new bag is super awesome! and I love the necklace and the candy and everything! I got it on Tuesday at our district meeting. We also got jerseys as a zone...they are kind of ugly. I don't know why they picked the soccer jersey from the team in Holland. I wanted a Mexican one! But whatever. haha.
Let me tell you about Luis. I don't think I mentioned him before because he wasn't progressing very well, but we saw a miracle. Luis was the first person that accepted a baptismal date the first day we arrived here in Iguala. He is the nephew of a member in the ward. The problem with Luis is that he is a heavy smoker. He has smoked for 15 years and usually smokes 2 packs a day! We taught the word of wisdom to him and made plans to help him stop smoking but he wasn't really putting forth a big effort. He would tell us he was working on it but wasn't actually doing it. He has assisted church every Sunday that we have been here but would leave between classes to go smoke outside. Last Sunday, we went to visit him before church and taught him the Plan of Salvation and talked again about the word of wisdom. In the end he confessed that he really wasn't trying to stop smoking and felt guilty because we are so worried about him. We asked him to say the prayer and he said that he didn't feel worthy. We told him that is when he needs to pray the most and so he said the prayer and during the prayer he started crying. We set a goal for him to not leave church to smoke between classes and he agreed and complied! We were so happy that he was able to do it. We visited him on Tuesday and he was so excited to show us that he had only bought one pack of cigarettes since Sunday and still had 4 left! This was HUGE progress for him because he smokes 2 packs daily! He said that each day he was going to smoke at least 1 less and he had been doing it! He came to church yesterday and he looked so much happier.
We also saw another miracle. We received a reference of the parents of a member in a different ward we few weeks ago. They are named Juan and Martha. We have gone by to visit them several times but Martha hasn't been home and we have only talked with Juan. He was also very short with us and kind of rude the first time we went. We had been praying to find them together because they have assisted church in the other ward with their daughter 3 times and felt like they will be able to progress and be baptized. All week we were praying to find them, and we went on Friday and the Lord answered our prayers. Martha was home alone but invited us in and we started talking with her. While we were getting to know her a little bit, Juan came home...but totally in a bad mood. He seemed really angry and told us that he didn't have time to talk to us and that he didn't feel good. His wife told him that this would make him feel better, but he left and went into the kitchen. We didn't know if he was going to come back so we decided to sing a hymn before we prayed and hoped he would come back. We sang “I am a Child of God” and before the song ended, he had come back into the room, sat down and was a little more relaxed! It was awesome. We had a member with us and she offered the prayer and at the end of the prayer, Juan was CRYING! They started telling us about some problems they are having in their family and so we taught about the Proclamation to the World: The Family. In the end, they accepted a date to be baptized and Juan was super nice to us. It was amazing.
I am learning a very clear lesson here: The spirit is essential in teaching and the Lord is really preparing people to hear this message. Sometimes it is hard to find these people, but it is so worth the hard times when we find people who are truly ready to hear and accept this message.
On Saturday, we had an activity with the young men and young women in the stake...like the one we did with the primary but this time we went and visited less active youth in the stake. We went with a few girls from my old ward and my new ward. It was fun visiting with them. The girls really appreciated the visits and the youth that went with us felt really happy.
We called the sister with whom we were going to eat, and she had forgotten that she signed up and didn't have food in the house and was going to leave with her husband, so she took us to a hamburger place and paid for us to eat there. So Hna. Garcia and I had a romantic lunch for Valentine's Day with our boyfriends...Coca Cola. hahahaha.
After that, we headed to the church to get ready for the baptism of David! The Elders also had a baptism and another member was going to be baptized. All went well and Hno. Bringas was able to baptize his grandson. David's mom was so happy and thanked us a million times. She said that he has passed through a ton of missionaries, but we were the most persistent and patient and she knows that we were supposed to be here to help her son and her dad.
Now...I will share a few thoughts that I have been thinking about lately. I have been studying about commandments and obedience and the blessings that we receive from being members of this gospel...and how all of this is connected with patience and diligence.
We live in a world where we can get anything in an instant. If we want something, we want it NOW and we don't want to wait. Yesterday, my companion and I were walking in the street and I commented that all of the self-help books, how to be happy and successful, how to lose weight fast, who to lose a guy in ten days...haha...we can learn all of these things by living the gospel, reading the scriptures, being obedient, being patient, keeping the commandments...everything can be fixed by living the gospel. But we can't expect to see all the results immediately! The gospel is not a diet, it is a life-style. It is a way of life that helps us be happy, healthy and successful in the long run. It is not the juice diet that helps us lose the weight for the wedding next week and then we gain it all back eating the cake.
I love the gospel so much. Like...seriously. It is so perfect. I know that I am so imperfect and have so much to work on, but if we just live the gospel, listen to the prophets, read the scriptures and put our faith to the test, we will see so many blessings. Maybe not immediately, but I am totally, 100% convinced that our lives will improve and we will be able to reach our potential. We just need to be patient and diligent in our efforts. And be happy along the way.
I love you all so much. Thanks for all your love and support. I can't believe that another change has past. Hna. Garcia and I are doing great. I really love her a lot and I am so grateful we are companions. We had divisions with the sister training leaders this week, and it made me even more grateful for my companion. hahaha. I missed her! We are learning so much together and it is so fun training her, although she is really training me. :)
I know the church is true.
I love you all!!!