Tuesday, August 12, 2014

June 23, 3014- Last Week in Tehuacan

Hey :)

Well, as y'all read in the subject line...week 24 in Tehuacan was my last week here. Tomorrow, we'll be heading to Puebla, and we'll see where I go next! Our new mission president is also coming this Thursday...I think that they officially take over July 10, but it'll be good getting to know them these next few weeks (and year!) 

The highlight of this week was definitely Rosita's baptism!! It was a bit complicated because she's 75: She had to sit in a chair, Elder Pendleton tried to baptize her 2 times, then we decided that Elder Ramirez needed to jump in there too to help, and the 3rd time, it was good :) Thank goodness we thought to bring the other baptismal suit! But it was absolutely beautiful. And she was just smiling and smiling as she left the baptismal font. It was such a great moment :)

This week, we have also been teaching Marina's aunt and cousins. They're pretty great :) I know that they're going to be baptized, and I hope that I get to hear about it soon! It's been really cool to see how involved Marina wants to be involved in the teaching! During one of the lessons, her aunt asked us why we don't drink coffee, and Marina just started talking about the Word of Wisdom - how it's a commandment, and not good for our bodies, etc. It was awesome! She has been super involved in all of the ward activities, Karla and Daniel love YW and the Primary, and even the baby is more happy at church :) It's been great seeing this change in her and her family.

There's a part of this month's ensign that I want to share. It's from Elder Holland, from a CES Devotional that he gave in 2012. This week, we had an experience with an investigator, who asked us, "What's the point of trying to be a good person when everyone else is bad, and yet I have more trials than they do?" It's a question we get a lot. And sometimes...I don't know how to answer. Sometimes I have to see all of the things that these people have to go through...and sometimes I wonder myself. But...when I read this message, it brought a lot of peace to my heart. This life is an independent journey. Yes, we need the help and influence of others. Yes, we need to look outside ourselves and help others...but what it comes down to is what we've done, how we've lived the Gospel, how we've represented our Savior during our time here. 

"When He comes, I so want to be caught living the gospel. I want to be surprised right in the act of spreading the faith and doing something good. I want the Savior to say to me: “Jeffrey, I recognize you not by your title but by your life, the way you are trying to live and the standards you are trying to defend. I see the integrity of your heart. I know you have tried to make things better first and foremost by being better yourself and then by declaring my word and defending my gospel to others in the most compassionate way you could.”

He will certainly add: “I know you weren’t always successful with your own sins and with the circumstances of others, but I believe you honestly tried. I believe in your heart you truly loved me.”

I want to have something like that encounter someday as I want nothing else in this mortal life. And I want it for you. I want it for us all. “Israel,Israel, God is calling” - calling us to live the gospel of Jesus Christ personally in small ways and large ways, to reach out to those who may not look or dress or behave quite as we do, and then (where we can) to go beyond that to serve in the widest community we can address."

I love Puebla. I love the people here. I'm hoping that this next part of my journey has been as great as the first :) Thank you for your letters and prayers, and know that I pray for all of you, every day. Have a great week! :) 

Love always,
Hermana Smith

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