July 28, 2014
Mom and Dad and everyone, I’m so jealous you got to go on Trek, but so so happy for you and the experiences that you have had!! I would love to have that opportunity again in the future. (Buy me a handcart for a homecoming present and I’ll take it up to the hills above our house or something.)
I’m so sorry for failing at this whole writing emails thing. I need to plan more of what I’m going to write because I never remember much when it comes time to tell you all about my week. 🙂
This week was SUPER interesting!! We went to the terminal where all of the buses stop in Xela Tuesday morning for transfers. My new companion was the trainer of my trainer, and she’s been in Nahuala, our area, for 8, ALMOST 9 MONTHS! She knows all of the members and almost all of the less actives (over 100), and where EVERYTHING is, which is great because it saves us the time of having to try and find where most people live. Our area is super high up in the mountains and everybody speaks Qiche, but luckily some of the younger people more close to the center speak Spanish too. If we visit families that only speak Qiche or speak Spanish with much difficultly, we bring a member with us to translate. Sometimes I wish I could just speak Qiche myself because I don’t feel like the lessons are the same when they are translated!
We have found some really positive families this week to teach and the members are great. One of the fathers of the families is named Fernando. He and his family own a store and sell clothing and jewelry and perfumes, and also order things from catalogues for customers. My companion has been to their store a million times before and had ordered stuff from a catalogue a few weeks ago and she wanted to check if it had come in yet. We went and began talking about her order, etc., and were about to leave when I felt prompted to ask about his family. We began talking and he told us his wife could only have two children, and then he began to ask us questions about our beliefs, what we believe about the purpose of this life, etc. and we began talking about the Plan of Salvation and we had such an amazing conversation there in his store! I was so grateful for my companion because she was remembering all of the perfect scriptures, but even better was the spirit there in that room. He asked when we were going to return and we set a date for a return visit and told him we were going to bring him his own BOM later that night. When we brought it, we met their two children and his wife. Their family is so abnormal here in Nahuala. That husband and wife love and respect each other SO much, they make choices, cook, garden, tend the store TOGETHER. We returned on Saturday night and began talking with the wife and felt prompted to just listen and ask questions about her life. We had a wonderful discussion as she told us how she grew up, everything. She began working at 6 years old to help earn money for her family in a huge factory sewing buttons onto sweaters. She had three different jobs during her childhood and young teen years and would walk 6 hours every day to get to her school so she could study. She told me of a older woman, at first a stranger, who lived near her school and took her in, fed her, and bathed her feet in salt water when she noticed her situation. (There really are angels here on this Earth.) She had a child at age 17 and worked three jobs to help provide for her child. She met her now husband a few years later, who treated her daughter like his own and has been so so good to her all these years. She and her husband are both teachers and they live very well off for here in Nahuala. It makes me so happy to see her in such an amazing family after learning so much patience through tribulation in her youth! She invited us to see her garden behind her house and led us back to where her husband was watering the plants. We sat in the middle of their little fenced garden and just talked with them both. The daughter came out and talked with us for a little and then we all went inside and had hot milk and bread and talked more. They are an incredible family and I’m so happy we’ve had the chance to gain their trust and get to know them!
Another family we met through contacting the father in the street. I was talking with another street contact when my companion began talking with the father that was walking next to us. He began to speak to her in Qiche and she could UNDERSTAND what he was saying, which was such a miracle for us and for her, because she doesn’t know Qiche haha! But he invited us to his house. We went to look for him, found his house and began to talk with Him and his niece. In walked his daughter, then his son, then his other daughter during our lesson. He understands most of Spanish and the children all speak Spanish, so we were able to teach the entire family about the doctrine of Christ, and they were all so engaged and asking questions and everything! It was a miracle for us, because most people don’t want to talk to us out of fear that their church leaders will punish them. We committed them to baptism and they all committed to pray seriously to feel the confirmation that it is correct.
This new area will be a challenge for me, and I will always miss and love San Cristobal, but I know that I am here for a reason and that I will love the people here just as much as all those in my old area. Sometimes I ask myself why I ask for more patience and humility and faith in my prayers because Heavenly Father has been answering me with trials. But I KNOW that He tests us in order to give us opportunities to choose the right and be blessed with the natural consequences of our good actions. I know that miracles come when we are pushing ourselves to and beyond our limits. I am not perfect (which can be discouraging on a mission hahaha) but I am so grateful that the Lord knows the desires of my heart. I am grateful for the infinite power of the Atonement! I am learning more about myself and growing more spiritually than ever before in my life. I know that OBEDIENCE IS ALWAYS WORTH IT! Trust me when I say that the joy that comes from HARD work and obedience is incomparable to our own comfort that we may think we are sacrificing. I love you all so so much and I hope that you are doing all you can to increase your own personal testimonies because there will come times when your testimonies will be tried! But I promise that choosing the right is always, always, always more than worth it.
All my love,