Emily's weekly reports of her mission adventure in San Pedro Sula
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Happy Columbus day!
So thanks to the fact that Becca made me a really epic calendar to bring on my mission (Thanks, Becca!) I still know about random American holidays! Cool, right?
Let's see, what did we do this week.... Well, we're seeing the adverse effects of making the process of getting married more difficult and more expensive. We've been to see a number of families this week who have testimonies and come to church but can't get baptized because they're not married, and for a whole collection of obnoxious reasons it's really difficult to get married. So that's lame. But we are confident that the Lord is all powerful and that the time and means will come that they will be able to fulfill all of the Lord's commandments! Let me tell you, when Nephi took the time to write about the first two attempts to retrieve the plates, he was inspired to do so! Sometimes we can't acomplish our righteous desires on the first attempt, but that doesn't mean God isn't with us! He always makes a way, so I know that Alma and fam. Sanchez and fam. Sabion (just to name a few) will someday be able to be married and baptized and sealed to their families. That's awesome, isn´t it?
This week we've been working a lot with a young woman named Loany, who told the missionaries in the other half of our area that she wanted to hear about our church so they refered her to us. She has been ready and excited to hear every bit of the gospel, has been coming to church for the past three weeks, and is progressing joyfully toward her baptism this Saturday! We are so excited for her! We know that she was prepared to the Lord to hear and accept this true and living gospel. Also scheduled to be baptized this week was a woman named Darlin, but she will have to postpone her date because she didn´t come to church this week. We're kind of concerned that she accepted the date in the first place out of committment to us, not out of actual desire. That's kind of a bummer. But I know she's felt the Spirit and received a testimony, so I know that the time will come when she'll will be filled with the desire to be baptized.
However, speaking of prepared to hear the message, we have got this family that is straigh up golden! They were a reference from fam. Sanchez (waiting to get married) and they are so excited about the gospel! They didn´t come to conference but they came to church the week before conference and they came to church this week, which makes them just one attendance away from baptismal eligibility! It was funny the other night--we started our lesson by asking if they had any questions about their chapter in the BoM (we had left them Moroni 10, and the only other thing they had read was the title page and the introduction) and they very quickly and very adamently said yes, so we start to open to Moroni 10 and the wife, Deñia, says "Why did the Lord command Nephi to kill Laban?" And we were a little taken aback by that. So we asked if she had been reading in 1 Nephi 4, and she said she had read the whole chapter, and then they both told us that they had started at the beginning and read 1 Nephi 1-5 as a couple! We didn´t even almost ask them to do that! But they did it! And then the husband, Jose, asked us, if this book is like the bible, where bible is there a story like this? So we explained that the BoM isn´t exactly the same as the bible, but (thank you footnotes!) we could refer him to the story of David and Goliath. We read that together and they both felt a lot better. They've continued to read together and their baptismal date is set for Oct 26. And what's more, their friend, Diana, sat in on our lesson the other day and invited us to come teach her as well. We've only taught the first lesson, but her first question when we showed up to her house was "Why are there so many churches if the bible says there's only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism?" Talk about an opening line opportunity! So I'm sure we'll have some pretty miraculous stories about her soon.
Um, on the whole, we're doing great! It's wonderful to just walk around and feel happy all the time, because we're sharing the good news of the gospel! We survived our fast on Friday (there is a reason that fast sunday is on a sunday. There is serious wisdom in the Lord that we are designed to fast and rest on the same day. But we have a standing lunch appointment on Sundays, so we fast on fridays instead). Going to church and partaking of the sacrament is getting more and more awesome by the week. For the first time in my life, I am seeing and appriciating the work that is preparing for baptism when we haven't been living in child level innocence before hand. And it started to strike me recently that if we take that much time and work to prepare for baptism, and if the sacrament can literally be a renewal of the baptismal covenant, shouldn't we put a little time and effort into preparing for and appreciating the sacrament as well? Also, 15 (15!) of our investigators came to Sacrament meeting yesterday, so that was a seriously abundant blessing.
This morning we had breakfast with Sister Dester, our mission president's wife. She's very sweet and loves us all dearly, so we love her right back. Parents, I think you guys could totally rock out to being mission presidents. Just saying. They live in San Pedro, so we're hanging out in the city today. So far, due to the fact that the Wendy's here is the same as the one in Puerto Cortes, it's pretty much the same :)
Well, life's great! I got mail this week at zone conference and it was like Christmas! Thanks so much for the packet of letters (Mom and everyone else involved in sending them) and the packet of letters and candy (Young family)! You guys are so great! It was a reallly cool confirmation of scripture, because a couple of weeks ago, when I was expecting above mail and it didn't come, I was wondering why I couldn't have that tender mercy to relieve how hard the mission was feeling in that moment. But the blessings come after the trial of faith, and I am so glad that the Lord gave me time to learn how to be happy and positive anyway, and then He added to the happiness that He had helped me to grow.
I know that the Lord is with me. I can feel the Spirit so strongly so often, and I know that He is the real teacher here, not me and Hra. Escalante. I know that this truly is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His true church, His kingdom upon the earth. I know that every blessing I have ever received I have received because of this gospel, and I know that it will only bring more blessings. I am so glad that the Lord brought me to Honduras, that He is using me to bring about the immortality and eternal life of His children here, and that He is making me into the daughter He would have me to be. There are hard moments here and there, but they are becoming few and far between. You know those people who are just happy all the time? That's happening to me! And it's awesome! Even when hard stuff happens, like falling off a bridge into a big puddle of mud, you won't catch me complaining!
Le amo a cada uno de ustedes, y yo espero que ustedes estèn felizes y saludables! Siempre estoy orando por ustedes, y yo sè que el Señor esta escuchando, y entonces yo sè que Èl va a guardarles para mì! La Iglesia es verdadera! Yo lo sè, yo lo vivo, y yo lo amo!
Todo mi amor,
P.S. Kelly, I don`t think I ever wished you a happy birthday. Sorry, that's lame of me. Happy birthday, Kelly! Hope it's a good year!