WELL this week was super great. Being a missionary is just the BEST. Anyone who is deciding between going and not going … y’alll already know what I’m gonna say. To clarify, missions are not the EASIEST. But they are the most gratifying, satisfying, fulfilling, and elevating. I thank my Father in Heaven each day for calling me to serve as a missionary. And you know what? We are ALL called to be missionaries. Let us always pray and search for opportunities to share the gospel. God will provide them for each one of us.
We had Family Home Evening again with the Flores family and this time we prepared to teach “The Restoration. “ Upon arriving, Hermano Luis was joking about giving the message and we laughed along until we all sat down and he whipped out the agenda he had made and his photocopies of Book of Mormon pages to teach us all about the authority. It was SO SINCERE and although we were a little surprised to hear that there were TWO churches that have the authority … (we cleared that one up …) we were so so grateful with Heavenly Father for touching their hearts! His inactive son and his nonmember wife came home early from work to be in the lesson with us and his son, Ivan, was so supporting and loving and patient in his effort to help his father teach his lesson. Ivan thanked us for being there and told us that although it might have to be a patient battle with their family to return to church, it was one worth fighting. We ended the night laughing as usual. They are great.
Maria Elena and Vivian are doing well, but attendance has been a trial for them. At noon on Saturday, Maria Elena called us crying and told us her mother had passed away. We hurried over. We found her very beside herself, kneeling at the side of her bed. She asked us to pray and ask Heavenly Father to bring her mother back. We looked at each other and my companion offered the prayer. I was reminded of the words of modern prophets on prayers being in the name of Christ and knew that we had to follow the spirit and ask for the things the Savior desired in our prayer. My companion offered a sweet prayer asking comfort for her family and we together discussed the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the hope that our Heavenly Father´s plan of salvation gives us when a loved one is lost for a short time. We shared “Because of Him” at the end. That video is very inspired. I know that we may not be able to feel the pain that Mary felt in that moment and feels right now, but the Lord Jesus Christ can and has and does.
We went back with one of the families we contacted last week several times this week but found the house empty every time. On Saturday we passed by and found the mother and her two daughters at home! We shared the glorious message of the Restoration of the gospel. They have not grown up in a very religious household but the Restoration answered many questions they have had. I know that this message gives others hope of finding the knowledge of Christ and his gospel that will permit their families to live eternally at our Heavenly Father´s side. We met the father of the family and their other son as we were about to leave and set a date to return to teach them all. Every finding opportunity we have is such a blessing from Heavenly Father. We may put in a lot of effort, but it is always HIS hand that puts families in our path and the spirit in their hearts.
This week, we also had a great multi-zona with President Smith. It was beautiful. He spoke a lot about working with the members and earning their confidence and also teaching investigators, not lessons and really being worthy of and listening to the spirit to discern the needs of those whom we are teaching. He finished by sharing an experience from his own mission. It was an answer to many of my prayers. It lifted our spirits and we had a great night of work.
I studied President Eyring´s talk, “The Comforter”, this week and one of the messages that I pulled from it that struck me deeply was a realization of how perfectly the Lord has made me rely on Him throughout my mission. I have passed many moments feeling lonely so that I could learn how to rely on the Savior and the Spirit. We pray and plan and work hard to find that it is always the Lord who puts the harvest on our backs. Each convert is HIS convert. Each success is His. He is the Lord of His vineyard! I know this. He has suffered my same afflictions and worries and stresses and knows my joys and triumphs. I studied Mosiah 14 this morning and it impacted me greatly. The efforts we make to feel the spirit and search the Lord each day are WORTH IT.
All my love!
Hermana Christine Marcheschi