How are you all doing! I hope good! Mom told me you all are pretty busy with plays and such so I hope that goes well for each of you! Gosh I love ya all so stinkin' much and I am sooo proud of you all! And Jos good luck with all your auditions! Know I pray for you all everyday.
Well my family I just got done reading Seth's email for this week. AMAZING! I am so proud of him and all that he is learning. Let me tell you, you learn SO much on the mission it is insane! Your testimony grows and is tested soo much. As I read about Seths experience I just was sooo grateful that he is out here with me, and it's good to know I'm not the only one that had a hard week. ;) This week was really interesting. I had a good lesson taught to me about faith.
As a missionary one of my biggest frustrations is being scared to talk to people. It is sosoooo weird because I haven't really ever considered myself a shy person, and suddenly when I have the most important message to share in the ENTIRE world... my mouth remains shut. Managgia (a personal favorite italian expression of mine). It bothers me because I know that the solution to the problem is more faith and simply opening my mouth, so why is it soooo hard to do it? These thoughts have been in my mind the past week. And when you start focusing on how many people you aren't talking to its easy to start thinking about how much you Aren't doing as a missionary, how weak you are, and how much better you SHOULD be because you know it's true. Blasted Satan... He certainly knows how to work. It reminds me of what Elder Holland said in his conference talk this past year that if Satan can bind the tongues of the righteous then he is content. Well with all this running through my mind I shall be perfectly honest I was frustrated. And it was 100% frustration in myself, why wasn't I a stonger missionary? Why do I get scared? Why don't I feel the spirit guiding me?
We really saw lots of Miracles this week. Liz is doing so great and even called us asking when her baptisimal interview will be. Mauro and Cicilia... funniest people alive and came to church on Sunday! Mauro was dressed like Indiana Jones, don't worry... complete with Cowboy hat, Leather Jacket and cowboy tie. We had a Minor blowout in Gospel principles because Cicilia said that she didn't feel anything. Mauro turned right to her and said "That's because you aren't reading...." I about busted up! It was so cool to see how he had recognized the spirit. With the help of him and some great testimonies from ward members we smoothed things over and promised her if she would read she would start to feel the spirit. Monday we had a great family night with them and the Salazars. Things were good and I was hanging in there.
So then yesterday morning we left the house early because there was a bus strike at 9. We hopped on the bus and about 4 stops later, I am NOT exaggerating about 14 Jehovah Witnesses (no offense, I respect their religion, but it just happened to be that they were JW's) got on the bus. When they saw us, they all came over an stood by us and their leader was literally 5 inches from our face. They were all just staring at us. We just smiled and didn't say anything. They kept being loud and bumping us and talking about us.... as if we couldn't understand. Can I just tell you the spirit was out the window. It was the strangest feeling. Finally the head guy says, "I've never seen girl missionaries... only your friends... where are you working today?" We explained that we had a church in Centro and that is where we were going. He then said, "Well then we won't be in that area." Man was I tempted to snap at him. But we just kept quiet and wished them luck as we got of the bus. I don't know why but it shook me up. Lets just say... tears were shed. Shocking I know. I think it's the first time I cried. It was just a combination of all the frustrations coming out. Well Sorella Bowman and I had a good chat as we waited for our appointment at the church- we decided that it was probably better that we just kept quiet. The rest of the day yesterday we taught a man who is soooo confused about who God is. He won't exept that he is our loving Heavenly Father. And then we taught a girl who we met on the street and she was an Athiest. With each of these lessons they didn't miraculously believe what we were saying, and the girl didn't even take the Book of Mormon, but I got the chance to bear my testimony. And as I thought back over the day each of those experience just reminded me that I had a testimony and that none of those people could shake it. I felt that what I learned was that I without a doubt KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true. I KNOW that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God and that he restored the Gospel. I KNOW Heavenly Father Loves us and that he cares about each of his children. We are in a tough battle to share the truth and help people recognize that they have a Father and Savior who want to help them, but what I have to remember is that no matter how grim things may look, we are fighting a battle we WILL win.
And so just like Seth was saying.... everything comes back to Faith. And you can't just get some faith and expect not to nourish it, or have it tested and you have to take care of it. It is a continuous process. Through lots of thinking this week here are somethings i KNOW: that I have been called as a missionary for my SAVIOR, I have the Holy Ghost with me and I WILL make a difference no matter how small with each person I come in contact with. I know that Heavenly Father is preparing people and it is our Job to find the elect even if that means planting a million seeds.
Our last appointment last night was with a woman named Romina who is struggling right now. She is less-active but really trying to come back. We shared with her Elder Hales talk, "Waiting on the Lord" I love these parts...
"What, then, does it mean to wait upon the Lord? In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end.
To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it “with great diligence, and … patience.”17
It means praying as the Savior did—to God, our Heavenly Father—saying: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.”18 It is a prayer we offer with our whole souls in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Waiting upon the Lord means pondering in our hearts and “receiv[ing] the Holy Ghost” so that we can know “all things what [we] should do.”19
As we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we discover that “tribulation worketh patience”20 and we learn to “continue in patience until [we] are perfected.”21
Waiting upon the Lord means to “stand fast”22 and “press forward” in faith, “having a perfect brightness of hope.”23
It means “relying alone upon the merits of Christ”24 and “with [His] grace assisting [us, saying]: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours.”
He knows your sacrifices and your sorrows. He hears your prayers. His peace and rest will be yours as you continue to wait upon Him in faith.
Every one of us is more beloved to the Lord than we can possibly understand or imagine."
I KNOW that is true. You put your trust in Heavenly Father, and HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU! He loves me, he loves each of you and no matter what each of us is going through or worrying about, if you patiently wait in Faith(which means acting and doing your part), he PROMISES he will take care of you! I know its true and that it is possible through the atonement of our Savior. I have also been studying a lot in Alma and came accross this gem..
Alma38:5 And now my son, Shiblon [daughter, Katie], I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
Now, I am not anywhere close to the trials, troubles, and afflictions that Shiblon faced, but I know that the promise is true for each of us. So put your name in that scripture if your having a bad day :)
All I know is that even now I'm not suddenly going to be perfect at talking to people, but I'm going to try my heart out! Thanks for your support my fam! I love you all so much!
Just before I go, I thought I would share this little diddy with you. Saturday we ate lunch with the Salazars. Lina made sausauge.... BY HAND. Yes, she stuffed the intestines and cooked them. GUESS what type they were? BLOOD SAUSAGE. Yep, she made me leave the kitchen as she poured about a liter of blood into the mixture that she then stuffed into the lining. I about died. The sauage was added to some delicious pig soup- complete with every part of the pig possible.. and I mean EVERY PART, yes liver, heart, lungs, stomach, feet, ears... you know the typical pig soup ingredients. Don't even ask how I muscled it down. Prayers are answered and I'm glad I can hold my breath ;)
I LOVE YOU ALL AND I LOVE TIMES 17 BILLION BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!