Thanks for your letters familia! I love getting them. Your letters and prayers mean the world to me.
El barrio: I LOVE the ward! This Sunday the members responded so positively when we asked for a member to go with us for 3 hours each night for more member presence. They CAN do the work and they want to. They just need the faith that it is possible. I really think that Elder Cardoso and I are working hard to create the spirit of the work that they need. It’s amazing how willing they are to help when we ask them. Santos, he is still so great! The other day we got to go by and see him and he answered the door with his Book of Mormon in hand! Ah! He seriously inspires me to love the people like God does. Also the other day a member fed us dinner and it was....drumroll please.....Stouffer’s Lasagna! It took me back! Good old days…very Sunday. Lastly on this part, I felt inspired to ask the Bishop about starting English classes. He said yes. They will start on Tuesday. Someone else was listening to the Spirit! But for real, English classes have helped the members and brought at least 8 investigators/future investigators. So good. The Spirit will prompt who it needs to to get things done. Will you be the one that listens? Or will God have to tell someone else to do what you ignored?
Los Investigadores: AHHHHH!!! I am so excited. After months and months and months of famine in our ward and area, Jesus and Ruben have a baptismal date of the 24th of March. They both came to church yesterday and a baptism. I had never had an investigator at church before! It was awesome! Such a good feeling! And it was cool to watch the ward react to missionary work they can see. These are miracles. By them, God has taught me to never give up on His work. It must be done.
Jesus, the aforementioned investigator, disappeared for 4 days. So, his baptism might get pushed back another week. He is so funny! He is 85 years old. When I asked him how he keeps the commandments, he said "en la mente". This last week when we were talking about what he needs to do to keep the Spirit and prepare for his baptism he said, "Satan and I don’t go well together". He got robbed at gunpoint this week at a casino in South Phoenix. He came to church for the first time yesterday and also attended a baptism. Afterwards, he was concerned about what he would wear when he was baptized. I really care about him and his progression to God.
The other huge miracle I get to feel of every day is Ruben. Ruben is so prepared for the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the last lesson we had with him, the Spirit was so strong that I was overwhelmed with this indescribable love for him. He has so much faith and is so willing to act. He actually read the Book of Mormon. And... yes, he is actually married to his wife who lives in Mexico. So, there are no hold ups there! I feel so blessed to be an instrument to show him where to go to find joy. God didn’t need me to push him to be baptism. He has been prepared and I was given this gift to be a part of it. I teared up as I listened to him pray, to hear and feel of his faith as he continues forward on this path.
Now the random other things you NEED to know about this thing they call a mission.
- Thank you sooooooooo much for the iPod and speakers. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to have music! And the adapter thing is possibly the coolest thing I have ever seen in my life.
- Weekly planning has a new name in my agenda. It’s my fat day. I seriously almost go crazy every Thursday. I eat away my anxiety. I buy the rolls of cookie dough and just keep making them.
- I have exchanges tonight!! I am so excited to work with different missionaries, to learn and ask questions about missionary work. I am SO EXCITED. Also, we got news that we have been asked to work one of the Easter pageant nights in Spanish. Additionally, we have a sister missionary conference where we are going to the temple. So next week will hopefully go like this: Thursday= go to the Mesa Temple all day and do things with sister missionaries; Friday= go to the Easter Pageant with Ruben and ward members and bring burritos we will make; Saturday= work at the Easter Pageant; and Sunday= baptisms! It’s going to be a crazy week preparing our investigators and SO MANY DAYS AT THE TEMPLE. I am really excited.
- I took a picture of the “Breastplate of Righteousness.” Did you know that it is located in a trailer park in South Phoenix? No worries, I found it. You will get the picture soon. It happened to be on a day when I looked like I worked at Wal-Mart! It was bad. I put on a tan skirt and was like, oh, blue is a good contrast! Negative. I should have just changed... oh well. Picture to prove it.
- I had a dream come true as I cleaned the chapel on Saturday. Igot to use one of those vacuum backpacks! Ah! So cool! Dream checked off of my list.
- Today’s zone activity involves pizza. I LOVE PIZZA. So I’m really excited to bask in good attitudes today. Happiness is a choice. Sometimes it’s a lot harder to choose, but I’m doing better. It’s still REALLY REALLY hard. I had a dream this last week that brought a lot of peace and has really helped me focus. Its effects were too strong to just say it was just a dream. "I dreamed a dream in time gone by" ahh I honestly love it when cars drive by with rap music on real loud... sinning? IDK but I like it. It gives me 2.5 seconds to feel like a human. Anyway, this dream really helped me want to take this time on my mission to come to know my Savior and His atonement as much as possible before I have to take my nametag off.