Email on Monday, May 19, 2014 at 5:54 p.m.
Hellooo Family and Friends!!
This past week has been such a rollercoaster (but when is it not? The beauty of a mission!) Hermana Pena and I are working hard to find and teach people here who will truly be receptive to our message. It’s so hard when we teach a full lesson and our investigator ends by saying ¨Si, si, es cierto, I totally agree with all that you are saying! There are so many churches! But what is most important is that we do good things and that we are good people, and nothing more. The churches don’t matter!¨ It makes me want to cry because (1) either my Spanish was terrible and they understood none of what I said, or (2) they can’t accept our message because we failed to help them feel its validity, or (3) because they simply choose not to accept it. Either way, it makes me incredibly sad and frustrated because they can’t even IMAGINE the blessings they are missing out on, in this life and the next. I just want everybody to be able to feel the love of our Savior ALWAYS and be able to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father with their sweet families forever. I wish everybody could read Hermana Pena’s and my mind so they could believe our message.
We are teaching a sweet woman named G who owns a farmacia close to the church building here in San Cristobal. After our first visit, we gave her her own Book of Mormon and testified of its power. We asked her to read 3 Nephi 11 and I testified of Christ’s visit to the Americas. When we left the lesson, Hermana Pena said to me, ¨I didn’t know you could testify of the Book of Mormon like that in Spanish!!!!¨ I laughed and tried to remember what I had said and COULD NOT remember, for the life of me, what I had said to our sweet investigator! I told her that I CAN’T, hahah, and that I know it was the Spirit. I feel honored that the Spirit could testify to G through me that day. It was a moment that reminded me WHY I am in the mission. When we returned a few days later, G told us she had read the title page, the introduction because she wanted to know more, and ALMA 11 because she couldn’t figure out where 3 Nephi 11 was (even though we marked it with a tab) and the cute woman searched forever and finally just read Alma 11. She also has a lot of trouble reading because of her eyesight close up. WHAT?! I love this woman! She has such a pure desire to know, and it makes me feel so happy. She told us that it’s like she has a hunger, and when she reads the Book of Mormon, it is delicious, rico, for her hunger. When we left that lesson, I swear Hermana Pena and I were just glowing because we were so happy. We probably scared everyone in the street.
As for the mission life, it is hard!! But everything seems to be of such little importance when we are working. Our apartment has some fleas, but I haven’t been getting bitten recently but we think I am having an allergic reaction to something else because I got sick on Saturday and have hives up my legs and stomach and neck and they ITCH but it’s all good!!
Hermana Pena is such an amazing example to me and I learn from her every day. She has been having constant back problems but never complains. She always makes sure that she gives me her own candies and treats before she eats them herself, and she is always looking to give and give and give until others are happy. She often writes me little notes and leaves them on my desk in the morning. She is a daily reminder that our mission calls called us to SERVE. Not to preach, not to teach, but to serve. We learn from our Savior how to serve, and Hermana Pena and I are trying every day to serve like the Savior did. I love that the people from all ends of the lands were drawn to Christ because they heard the stories of His SERVICE. Hermana Pena always tells me great quotes and phrases off the top of her head and my favorite this week was ¨The people don’t care how much we know, until they know how much we CARE.¨ She is the greatest. Hermana Howard, my CCM companion and one of my dearest friends, wrote me a letter that I wanted to quote in my letter home (because it makes me cry) but I forgot it in our house…. Next week! She wrote about the Savior’s hands and her obsession with them. Get excited for next Monday.
I love my companion! I love our investigators and the sweet members here! They feel like my family. Many are more than willing to give us names and help us in this work and we are so grateful for that. I love this work even though it is hard!! I am so grateful to have the blessing to serve. Never take the gospel for granted, and never take your blessings for granted. I love you all!! Keep studying and praying–it will pay off, I promise.
All my love,