Hey family and friends!
It has been perfect weather here in the department of Cortes. From San Pedro Sula to where I am at now in a town called Portrerillos is about an hour and it has been rainy and cool weather!
I will share a few crazy experiences and then I will answer some questions that mom had! I was so sad this week to miss syds bday, moms bday, and valentines day! But know how much I love and miss you and pray for you!
This week we visited with a few members and investigators. It is weird to see sometimes when people lose interest in the gospel. I always get sad and wonder what they are thinking.. but I guess everyone has their agency. we are goingto San Pedro this week to help the Family Humania get married and their baptism will be coming up to! Every time we go to their house they give us coconuts to drink. They dont have much, but they are an example of giving what little they have in gratitude to us. I am grateful for them and their example to me.
Something that was of a little bit of concern was that a gang member in our area was killed and when that happens there is a little more tention.. but we were safe and so were the others in our area. It was a scary thing at first, but it died down after a day.
We also had the opportunity to hear from a general authority, Elder Alonzo, from the quorum of the 70. It was awesome to hear him speak at stake conference this week, he is good at delivering a message and joking with the people. He gave some great advice.. reminding the priesthood that they need to bring the bread to church, and that we should prepare ourselves spiritually to take the sacrament. Also that partaking of the sacrament is a vital part of the perfeccion of the saints, and that it is something that requires repetition.
At the end of the priesthood session on Saturday I asked him if he could take a picture with me. He told me to wait until tomorrow.. I thought that meant no. So the next day I wasnt going to ask again, but my companion told me I should and so I stood outside the door waiting as they set apart the new stake president. when he stepped out of the room he said, ¨who wanted to take a picture?¨ I was really surprised that he remembered.. but I will attach the picture, it was a very cool experience.
I am thankful for the people we encounter each day. They are crazy, but fun to talk to and be around. I have felt touched by the generosity many times. I know the church is true and in helpin gand teaching others, I can feel my own testimony grow as well.
Who are you excited to teach again?
the main people that are fun to teach are those who really listen to us and ask questions. not many people ask questions.. but there is a couple named judi and manuel. they both are married with other people and are living together.. but they have been going to church which is awesome. they even went to stake conference.
When was the time you felt the spirit teaching this week?
A time when I felt the spirit was when I was giving my testimony. I have felt peace when I bare my testimony with all my heart and I think it helps others as well to know that they can have a testimony through prayer and acting on the answer that they recieve.
What did you learn in your scripture study this week?
In scripture study I always feel like I can do better in contacting, or in delivering the initial message of the restoration. I studied how we can help others to realize that not everyone that screams into a microphone is a prophet, and that God choses his profets. I find myself learning how to teach stuff that I have known since I was little. I know that Heavenly Father uses profets to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but through studying I have gotten better at explaining that God has always chosen profets, and that he chose Joseph Smith in these latter days to act as a prophet. I alwyas think that if someone understands the great apostasy, they will feel the need for a restoration of the gospel. Amos 8.11 is one of those scriptures that talks about the apostasy.. after reading that we can explain the need for the restoration. I know a restoration of the gospel was necesary for us to act in Gods name, with His power on the earth again!
I love you guys.. have a great week this week!
Family and friends,
This week we saw the fruits of many days of work here in Paraiso. The most rewarding of all was on Friday when the Humania family finally got married. We saw Heavenly Fathers help as we got their papers together. On wednesday morning we woke up at 4 to go stand in a long line in San Pedro Sula to take out the last of the papers that they needed. At 10 oclock the line hadnt moved and we were tired of sitting there so long. A street pastor even stood preaching from the hours of 8 oclock to 10 oclock because he knew we werent going to leave so he yelled at us to have the holy ghost. I always wonder what people´s perception of Heavenly Father is when they choose different ways to worship Him. At 11 o clock a nice guy told us that because brother humania is so old that he could cut to the front of the line. He saved us alot of time and trouble, and on Friday a member of the church that works at the courthouse helped us get them married quick. their baptism is scheduled for this saturday.
In trying to find people to teach this week we have encountered many people who are interested in hearing our message. One family in particular was of surprise to me because the dad was the one that was asking questions and wanted to hear us. I have noticed that the people that usually accept us are single women with a few kids whose dad doesnt live with them or doesnt stay in the house much. But this family was different. It makes such a big difference when the man of the house is interested, because he can help his family understand and be a good influence on them. They told us that they would read the pamphlet that we gave them and that they would pray to know if it is true that the gospel was restored through prophets in these latter days. I hope that they will follow up on that promise.
I am so thankful for the chance that we have to help others by sharing the gospel. There have been many times where I feel like I really am fighting for the right. Many people have a skewed vision of who God is and what we need to do to return to live in His presence. In studying and teaching, little by little I have learned that it really isnt that complicated, and that as imperfect human beings, we have a little wiggle room!
What I mean by this can be explained using one of my favorite scriptures.
3 Nephi 31.12
And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father givethe Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shallfollow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting nohypocrisy and no deception before God, but with realintent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, bybaptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh thebaptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.
And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, thewords of my Beloved are true and faithful. He thatendureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following theexample of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
At first this scripture seemed a little bit harsh to me. After I read it I thought about all the people who have not completed the steps of the Gospel of Christ. But afterwards, I tried to apply this scripture to my own life. In this scripture, Nephi explains the simplicity of the gospel of Christ, and what it is that we need to to to return to live with Heavenly Father. He is very clear to that those who do not follow these steps ¨cannot be saved¨. That was the part that seemed a little bit harsh to me. I began to think, what is my job? after having completed the first 4 steps, faith, repentance, baptism, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost my job is to endure to the end. This is the part that I think allows us a little wiggle room! Enduring to the end is hard, but I think it should be happy too. Enduring to the end is not being perfect, so each time that I feel like I don't get to talk as much as I want to in the lessons, or I mess up on a part in the lesson because I am still learning Spanish, or have things that don't go my way, I am comforted to know that these situations have no effect on my chances of returning to live with Heavenly Father. What does matter is what I do. I think this can be applied to everyones life. Everyone feels inadequate at times, hearts get broken, things don't go our way, we want to have fun and it doesn't feel like were having fun, but these are things that Satan can use to distract us from our eternal purpose of being happy and returning to live with Heavenly Father. Comfort cannot be found in temporal things, but in following what Nephi has explained as the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I know this to be true. I love you guys and I hope you have a great week! Be safe and love one another, Ill try too! ha ha
Dear Family and friends,
This week was another good one her in Paraiso. We were able to see all of our hard work pay off as the Humania family got baptized together this week! It was a humbling experience for me to see them be baptized, even when they dont have much. I know that they have much more prepared for them after this life.
I had the chance to baptize two people, and Elder Figueroa baptized three. Although it was a very cool experience, it had rained all day so everyone got to church all rainy and muddy, and the water in the baptismal font was freezing! I have gotten used to cold water a little bit from taking bucket showers in the morning, but I don't know if I would have gotten baptized in that water! haha
One of my mission buddies Elder Palma who is from Honduras had to have transfers so our District Leader has been a third companion for a few days. I think we will stay a trio until changes next week. It has been a fun time to share the gospel and teach. Having 3 people adds a different element to teaching because all of us want to talk and explain. It reminds me a lot of living with Pete and Chinedu because sometimes it is 2 on 1. We have had much success in these past few weeks, more than I have seen in my whole mission. We have more people wanting to learn about our message and more people willing to open their door and their hearts as well. As to why, I don't know! I would like to say because of our obedience or hard work but I always feel like we are trying hard, so the most reasonable answer for that is that our prayers are being answered. I know that Jesus Christ is hastening His work, and that He has prepared people in different places and in different stages of their life, and I am very thankful to be apart of that.
Yesterday we had the chance to explain Lehi's vision to a couple that we are teaching. They initially thought that the tree represented the tree of knowledge of good and bad.. We explained to them and drew them a picture of the dream, and got to explain to them that they need to hold on to the iron rod. I love that story because of its simplicity. They understood that they just need to hold on to the iron rod as tight as they can to reach the goal of Eternal life.
Each day I feel that the experience that I am having is helping me to grow, and I am so thankful for the people who are examples in my life. Mom and Dad, Marshy, Syd, and Savannah, Grandparents, aunts uncles, leaders, friends, teachers, and all those who have always lovingly counselled me to do what is right. I am full of gratitude because I know that I am not doing this alone. There are so many who have supported me and I am so thankful for that. I know that this church is true and I can testify of the happiness that comes from the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He lives!
Have a great week everyone! I love and miss you guys,