Well, I felt REALLY loved this week. I got FOUR letters on one day this week!!! THAT NEVER HAPPENS!!! haha But it made my day! So thank you! thank you! thank you! to everyone who sent me love and encouragement by mail this week!! And thanks a ton to everyone who sent them via prayers on my behalf. They are really making a difference. Thank you!!!
Well I had some few exciting events this week:
1) Exchanges with Hermana Schegel!! Do you all remember my trainer, Hna. Kiewra? Well Hna. Schegel served with Kiewra for 6 months, so they are really great friends, and I met her a couple times during my first transfer and loved her. She is super bubbly and easy-going, and a really hard worker. I've had the chance to work in a trio with her a couple times over the last few months, but this last Thursday she and I had an exchange together here in my area. And it was AWESOME. We taught 5 lessons in 1 day. It was really so so great. It was nice to feel like I could be myself for a few hours with her. It was definitely a BIG blessing in my life!
2) We had a combined district meeting (with the whole zone) at The Rock... which is this place in Calabases, CA... just at the very edge of our mission where you can look out and see the ocean... on a clear day. haha Well, it was far from being a clear day, but some of the smog burned off as the day went on. It was a really awesome day and I was able to help Hna. Williams self-discover a little bit more, which was good.
3) Yesterday, Tanner turned 19. Holy mole [moe-lay], Batman! (haha... get it... mole...? ok Logan is probably the only one who will get that. nevermind. just a dumb Latino joke...haha) But I digress. NINETEEN. WOW MOM!!!!! I can hardly even believe that...
4) Guess what else happened yesterday? That's right! A BAPTISM!!!!!! Well TWO BAPTISMS!!!!! A part member family that I was teaching up in Canyon Country. The two kids--Jenny and Daniel (17 and 15) got baptized yesterday and I got to go. It was so great to be there! The parents are getting married on Aug. 27th and then their father will be baptized on the 28th. I probably won't get permission to go up for that one, but I was so excited to get to be there for Jenny and Daniel. This family is so great. What brought them mom and her daughter back to activity and got the rest of the family interested was the fact that the parents just had a little baby a couple months ago, Jocelyn, who has down syndrome. She is so precious. It is amazing what miracles God works even through His tiniest children. It's so interesting to me that I'm teaching all these families with special needs children. I'm trying to gird up my loins for whatever that might mean for my future... :).
5) Hna. Williams and I sang "Dearest Children, God is Near You" in Spanish for the baptismal service. It actually went really well. I don't think I've mentioned my singing at all... but it turns out that in general, Latinos are terrible singers. And I definitely don't have a spectacular voice, but well, better than anyone else here. So I've even sang in Sacrament mtg. And almost every lesson we have I'm asked to sing with or for people... haha I bet you never thought you'd see the day did you Mom? I guess all it took was for me to become a missionary and serve in Latino wards... hahaha.
6) Lucia is still getting baptized this coming Sunday, despite everything that Satan is putting her through right now. She is ready and knows she's ready and is not willing to back down for anything. Pray it stays that way! haha I am so happy for her and so proud of all the changes she's made in her life. Seriously, it's been an incredible blessing to observe in participate in at times. It is moments like this that make everything else you deal with as a missionary completely worth it!
7) I had an experience last night when I was filled with so much anguish on behalf of someone else. I was so worried and sad and yet I knew that there was nothing I could do to help this individual except pray for them. I grabbed my scriptures to find peace and solace, but I didn't know where to read, so instead I just prayed and prayed and prayed. This calm, peaceful assurance washed over me and I knew everything would be ok and that this person was known and loved by God and that the situation was in God's hands. Then, a scripture came to my mind. Jacob 2:3. Now, I'll admit that I'm normally pretty good with scriptures, but I had NO IDEA what to expect from Jacob 2:3. haha Well I decided that if it was just a random idea that it certainly couldn't HURT anything to look it up anyway... And it didn't necessarily answer or remove any of my concerns, but I knew that other missionaries before have experienced similar situations and suddenly I realized that it is just part of my calling to feel anguish on behalf of other people. And that it's a GIFT to help me love them and to help motivate me to serve them with everything I have. God knows each of us. He knows our circumstances. Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to find true and lasting happiness on earth and in eternity, but He will always love us, know matter WHAT we choose to do. He loves us for WHO WE ARE. So remember that. :)
I love you all and I hope you have a great week!! The Gospel is true! This is God's work! Let's DO IT!