How is everyone? We are doing GREAT here in Jardines. The mission is the best place to be. Every week SO much happens and we experience so many great things that I never know where to start. It is sufficient to say that this week was very challenging. But not a bad week in the least. 🙂 We spent every day prayerfully searching for more families to teach, and received LOTS of rain. And closed doors. But Sunday we felt like Heavenly Father handed us opportunities to find and teach–and other tender mercies–on a silver platter.
We are working with the Flores Family right now that is FULL of spunk. Hahaha, they are CRAZY. We die laughing with them. They have not been to church in years and have not received missionaries in a long time. We had Family Home Evening with them on Tuesday night. Only one of the grandsons is going to church currently. We were prepared for the message but Moroni, the grandson, pulled out an agenda for the whole night and had us all read in Genesis about Adam and Eve. The best part is that we sat down to begin and MORE and MORE family members and friends that live in the house came to join. Moroni, 14, led a discussion about what we learned. Although there was a lot of … false doctrine thrown around, haha, we were able to take a short time to share what has been revealed about Adam and Eve in 2 Nephi 2. It was really special. The Book of Mormon gives us SO many answers to the questions of our souls. The mother/grandmother expressed to us her desires to return to church with all of her family and for her other grandson to be baptized. The spirit is working in their hearts and it is beautiful to be able to witness it all!
Last Sunday, Alejandro, a member from a different city came to our ward and told us he was studying and living here in Xela and wanted us to teach his brother! He gave us the house number and the name of their private condominium. On Wednesday night our appointments fell and we went to look for the house in the pouring rain. We went in and walked up and down the streets. After 10 minutes of searching and soaking ourselves, we could NOT find it. It was the end of a hard day and I felt like all of our efforts that day to find and teach had been in vain. We decided to leave the condominium, a little discouraged. Right as we were walking out, Alejandro walked in the gate’s door! He showed us his house and we set a date to return and teach him and his brother. We left the condominium and I thanked my Heavenly Father. I felt the spirit whisper in my mind and in my heart, “I am aware of you. I am watching over you.” It was something SO small that was very significant for me. I know that our Heavenly Father is in even the smallest details of our lives.
The next day, we went back to teach Alejandro and his brother, Ulysses, and found that Alejandro had invited us to a study group with a bunch of his university friends so we could share with them our message. It was SO SPECIAL. They had about 10 minutes, so we shared “Because of Him” and gave a brief overview of Lesson 1, the Restoration, and read from and testified of the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for the Spirit that testifies and speaks to people’s hearts. I am grateful for the unplanned opportunity we had to teach and testify of this gospel! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
We are also working with Maria Elena and her daughter, Vivian, who have received many witnesses from the Spirit of the truthfulness of our message. Maria Elena is dating a man who doesn’t let her go to church when he is in town, though, and that has been a great challenge. She and her daughter are reading the Book of Mormon together. Pray that we might be able to help her accept this gospel through baptism! She desires to separate from her boyfriend but he won’t accept it. They want to be baptized on the 11th of July. We love them and are working closely with them.
Sunday was like the sunshine after the storm. The Solis family came to church!!!!
We have been working with them for this time I have been here in Jardines so they can return to the fold. They came with William, who is also preparing to be baptized. Throughout the day, EVERY person we spoke with wanted us to return to learn more about the restored gospel. The Lord even inspired people to talk to US to ask us about what we believe and ask if we could return. We felt very very blessed. In the night, we very prayerfully contacted and found great great families to teach. We are SO greatful. I think that Heavenly Father wanted us to really understand that we cannot do this work alone. Nothing works if we don’t depend on HIM and ask for his direction and guidance and then LISTEN to and FOLLOW the promptings of the Spirit after asking for them.
I am so grateful for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ! I have understood so much more clearly every week in my studies the role of Adam and Eve and also Jesus Christ in this whole great plan. We are ALL in a fallen state. We cannot earn anything by ourselves (Alma 22:14, Mosiah 3:19). Only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ may we be saved! Many believe that the world has claim on the grace of God. But only those who keep the commandments and have faith unto repentance may receive the blessings of the grace of God in the kingdom of Heaven. I know that this church is true. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior. I know that our message is true–all of it. I do not fear what the world says, because I know that what we share and teach is the only means by which the children of God will find true happiness, forgiveness, and exaltation. I LOVE this gospel! I love the mission! And I love all of you. Thank for you everything!
Hermana Christine Marcheschi