Tuesday, August 12, 2014

April 7, 2014- Week 13 In Tehuacan and Week 1 with Hermana Gomez!!!!

Buenas Tardes, Mi Familia y Mis Amigos!

So, This week was amazing. I am just gonna start by saying that.

So on Tuesday, we went to Puebla for transfers and there I met my new companion, and hija(!), Hermana Gomez! She is from Chiapas Mexico, is 22 years old and has been a member almost her entire life (her family was baptized when she was 9 years old) She is already an incredible missionary! I'll be honest, I am so glad that I am training someone that only speaks Spanish, because 1) I have NO idea how could have taught spanish to an American and 2) She is helping me a lot with my Spanish :) But, we have also been learning some English together, so that has been fun. She is so eager to work, and I love that she isn't afraid to talk to anyone! This week, we did a lot of contacting, and she just dove right in, following my lead in every moment. That has been pretty scary because I know I'm so far from perfect, but we are working and learning together! We have 11 new investigators this week, and I'm gonna tell you about some of them :)

Elia. We contacted Elia in the calle, and then visited her the next day. As we began to share our message about eternal families, she completely opened up to us. She is the mother of 8 children, and her husband passed away about 3 years ago. She is trying hard to teach her children to do the right things, but she feels so alone without her husband. She doesn't intend on marrying again (she is in her 50's we think) but she feels like God is really watchin over her and her children. As we talked, it was so evident that her family is her whole life, and she would do absolutely anything for them. We testified that she was going to see her husband again, that they could be husband and wife forever, and that the Gospel could help her to teach her children and bind them closer together. The Spirit was SO strong...it has been a really long time since I have felt it like that. As we ended with a prayer, she just had tears rolling down her checks and just thanked Our Heavenly Father for sending us to her. We left her house, and I could still feel the power of the Spirit burning in my heart. God is preparing people to receive the Gospel. We're excited to continue to teach her. :)

Francisca. She is a fireball, haha. She was a reference from a different ward, and she isn't ready to "change completely in one day". She's going to be baptized though. I have a pretty good feeling about it :) She went with her granddaughter to General Conference this weekend, and she loved it :) We will be teaching her again this week with her daughter-in-law, and she said that she is really excited to meet with us again. :)

Mikaela, Manuel and Fernando. They were also a reference from a less-active member. Mikaela is the mom, and Manuel (19) and Fernando (9) are her two sons. Yesterday, we had our first lesson with them. I'm not entirely sure why, but we are also teaching them with Elders Pendleton and Ramirez, so it was a bit rocky at first, trying to balance out 4 very different missionaries. Mikaela is still a bit skeptical about us but Manuel was so receptive to everything we talked about. Mikaela wanted us to come by FOR Manuel because he has some problems with things concerning the Word of Wisdom...but he is so eager to learn more. And I think with time, their whole family will be baptized. Fernando is so cute and so smart, and he can't wait to go to church with us this next Sunday.

This weekend was also GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!! Guys, I love General Conference SO MUCH. And it's even better because I got to watch it in ENGLISH!!!! Haha, I was so grateful for the opportunity to understand everything that was said. Wasn't Conference just awesome?! I definitely noticed a few themes...one of them being that we need to defend our faith and be true to what we know. I loved what Elder Holland said: "It is evident that the answer to the bumper sticker question ´What would Jesus do?´ will not always bring the most popular answer." I know that this is so true. Sometimes, we really do have to "endure the crosses of the world and despise the shame of it." I have definitely had to do this more in the last 3 months than I ever have in my life, and I know it is just going to get worse. But I am proud to wear my Savior's name over my heart every moment of every day, and I will gladly defend His church and gospel. I also loved President Monson's talk on love and charity. I especially love what he said about forgiveness. "Forgiveness should go HAND IN HAND with love...Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals." I know that this is sometimes hard - to forgive other people. And even more so, to forgive ourselves. But really, when we understand that EVERY soul is great in the sight of God, we can realize that every person deserves our love and forgiveness...including ourselves. If we truly love God, we will love His children and ourselves, flaws and all. 

I love all of you so so much. I love this Gospel, and I love my Savior. In the words of Elder Rasband, I invite you to "Take up the joyful burden of discipleship!" This life isn't easy, it was never meant to be. But we can stand tall and bear all, with the assurance that we are standing shoulder to shoulder with our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who knows perfectly what it means to live a hard life. Have a fantastic week!!!! Until next time! :)

Love always, Hermana Smith

Photo: With all the new missionaries of this transfer!

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