Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Three Months In

Ahah!  I knew she was sneaking other emails behind my back.  Silly girl.

Wow! The time here is really flying fast. Hard to believe I have already been gone for 3 months, tomorrow! I only have 15 left! This week has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. Hna. Powell and I didn't have cambios, but one of the other hermanas in our ward left to train for her last 6 weeks here. The new Hermana is Hermana Villena, and she is super sweet. She and Hermana Chacón (these two hermanas are the hermana leaders) slept in our house last night because we had exchanges, and we finished super late and it wasn't safe for them to walk back to their house.

  When we got inside, Hermana Villena told me she thinks our house is ugly and that we should change houses. I thought it was funny because my first day, I HATED the house we have. It's true, it's super ugly. The kitchen is super tiny, I am taller than the bathroom is wide, and sometimes I bump my head on the ceiling because I am too tall. But the house is perfect for the both of us and we have exactly what we need. So while the house is ugly, it's okay. The only thing that kept me going my first day with the house was thinking that I am not here to have a fancy house. I am not here to have a fancy kitchen and bathroom, and I am not here to worry about ceilings that aren't tall enough for me, as funny as it is when I bonk my head every now and then. :) I am here for the people, not for me.

While I have had NO baptisms yet, I know that the Lord is preparing people to hear his gospel. While I was in exchanges with Hermana Chacón, I had a little experience that goes along with this. So, there's this man named Chrístopher who has been attending our ward, and has a baptismal date and everything, and he is super excited. The problem is that he does not live in the ward boundaries, and needs to assist the ward closer to his him in order to progress in the gospel and have a calling in church  For several weeks, he did not want to attend the other ward because he didn't know anybody there. Thankfully, they got it all worked out and everyone is happy, and the other missionaries in the other ward will have his baptism there instead of here.

 One of the missionaries in the other ward is in his very first 6 weeks, so this is his first baptism. I couldn't help but be a little sad at first because my initial thought was that this baptism was basically handed to him because most of the work has already been done, and for a second-I was a little bitter. I have been here for a month and a half and rarely have opportunities to teach formal lessons, let alone get a baptism "handed" to me. But as I was talking with Hermana Chacón about this (she was the one who had been telling me all of this, since she had originally been teaching Christopher), I let it go because I knew that it wasn't my fault that I haven't had to opportunity to baptize someone. Everything I am doing is helping to spread the gospel in some way, shape, or form. All I can do is keep working, and keep working with ANIMO (excitement/happiness/a good attitude )!

Also, my companion and I were knocking on doors contacting people to teach, and Hna. Powell realized too late that she didn't have any cards to give that we like to pass out, so on the fly, she told the lady that answered the door that we are representatives of Jesus Christ, and that we are singing hymns, tonight. So the lady that answers the door goes inside, a different lady, older, comes out, and we sing Lead Thou Me On (one of my personal favorites) and she was so happy that she went inside and came back out with homemade jam for us as a gift for singing for her. She felt the spirit so strong that she almost cried, it was a really cool opportunity, PLUS we got super good jam. :)

Anyway, creo que eso es todo por este semana! 


Finally got pictures from Caley!!  This is Caley's companion, Hermana Powell.  She's Caley's trainer and first companion.

This is their apartment:  You gotta love that front gate and the infamous pile of wood in the second picture.

I got an actual letter from Caley for my birthday!  In it she asks what blessings have I received from her and Josh being on a mission.  Do you feel that you are growing closer to people in the ward or in our family and with Christ?

I had to stop and think about those blessings.  Everyone has said you will get twice the blessings for having two out on a mission.  We have been blessed, just not in ways I thought.  Sometimes challenges are placed in our lives to help us see those blessings that come afterwards.  For example, my husband has needed to take FMLA for medical reasons.  We have been blessed to have 12 weeks of paid leave since he never calls in sick.  He's had the time to see doctors during the day because of it.  We've been blessed to have several doctors that made correct diagnoses and get him on the right medications and that we have insurance to pay for it all.

Somehow bills are getting paid even though the logical math doesn't make sense.  I know what we come home with every month, but somehow it's all working out.  My testimony has gotten stronger that the Lord does indeed know our challenges and provides a way for us to work through them.  I've become more humble in my prayers and a better listener to the answers given.  For those that are struggling, don't give up.  Prayers do go past the ceiling instead of bouncing off the wall.  Take the time to listen as the spirit speaks in a still small voice that is gentle and caring.

1 Kings Chapter 19 verses 11-13

The Lord talking to Elijah:

And he said, Go forth and stand upon the mount before the Lord, And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind was an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake;

And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Elijah was able to then talk to God about his questions because he listened to the still small voice, not the "noise" of today's world.