So... the reason that Hermana Traylor and I had to go to the transfers meeting this last week was because we've been called to be the sister training leaders for Atlixco.... I felt super overwhelmed the first couple days, and I still do, but I know that the Lord has called us for a reason and everything will work out just fine. So far we only had one "sister training leader" situation with some new sisters that weren't getting along too well, but other than that, this week was pretty normal! We're hoping to start intercambios this week (because Atlixco has the most hermanas in one area than any of the other areas...) so we're going to have to do about 2 a week in order to fit everyone in this transfer. Lots of work, but I know it'll be ok :) We're actually super excited to get to know the hermanas more and we are going to learn so much from each other them. (And guess what?!?! Hermana Gómez is in Atlixco now! She finally left Tehuacan after 6 months and is now here with our best bud Hermana Talbott! We actually hung out with them today too! I sure love her!)
So like I said, this week was pretty normal! We had a couple of really good lessons this week that really just made the whole week worth it! And they were with Gabriela, Sara & Andres and Veronica.
This woman is so amazing. Everytime we leave her house, I just love her more and more. This last week, we talked about the Atonement with her and explained again what will happen after this life. After finishing, she paused for a really long time then asked, "And do I have to be baptized in order to live with God again?" We told her yes. Then she started to tear up and her next question just broke my heart. "And if my family doesn't get baptized as well? Will they live with God and with me?" We told her no. Baptism is the door. She then started to explain to us that her husband and her have been having lots of problems, and that they might seperate because she is learning about the gospel. She also told her WHOLE family (parents, aunts, cousins, etc.) about us, showed them the pamphlets, taught them about Jospeh Smith... and they told her that they would disown her if she got baptized. She told us that...she had too much fear of reading the Book of Mormon, because she knew that if she read it, she would know that everything is true, and that would mean that she would be rejecting God if she still chose not to get baptized. She's afraid of not having the people she loves most with her, learning and progressing with her. It was a really amazing lessons though, because the member that came with us bore her testimony and it was so strong. She also was disowned when she got baptized, but God has helped her to keep going. Then Hermana Traylor bore her testimony about how God is more important, because her family isn't in the church either. And it was such a powerful moment for Gabriela, and all of us, and all 4 of us couldn't help but cry. And I know that this is what she wants...but she can't have faith if she has fear. So we invited her to once again read the Book of Mormon, and to really ask God if this is what she needs to do. She told us she would and...I really pray that she can find the faith necessary to follow through, and really, to follow Christ. We're seeing her tonight, so send some quick prayers her way if you can :)
Sara & Andres:
Well, when we left the last time, we left feeling like they weren't feeling so sure about the church. So on Saturday when we saw them, we decided just to talk about how they were feeling and everything. They expressed a lot of things, a lot of doubts, a lot of different feelings that they were having...and it went really well. We left feeling like we were all on the same page, and we feel like now, they know that we are only here to help them to improve their lives through Christ's Gospel. They understand that yes, it's important to have a baptismal date in order to have something to work towards, but that it is is so important to search, pray and ask if this is the decision that they should make. It really helped to establish trust between us and them, and I know that now, they are a lot more willing to keep trying.
I'm not sure if I've told you all about her and her family but we love them! They work in Casas Geo and that's how we met them, and we've started teaching her and her husband. This last week, we shared the Restoration with them. We have always felt so good about Veronica, and now we feel even better! We shared the video with them, and when it finished, we asked how they felt about it. Veronica looked at us and said "I'm without words. I'm so glad that God has put this wonderful message in our lives. This is exactly what we needed to hear." YAY! It was a super great lesson, and we're really looking forward to meeting with them again :)
Also this week I completed 10 months in the mission... so crazy! :P Moving on, haha!
I mentioned at the beginning that Hna Traylor and I had to meet with some other hermanas that want President to give them a new companion. President called us to ask us to go to their house and explain to them why they need to be together. Some backround: both of these Hermanas have 15 months in the mission. They are now the best missionaries they've ever been and I know that the Lord put them here in this area because they can work miracles out here. It was actually a really cool spiritual experience for me, and I'll tell you why in a sec. We got to their house and they started to explain things to us. We asked questions, trying to figure out the situation more, and they shared a lot of things with us. We sat and thought a lot... and then we just testified of the Atonement with them. We talked about the enabling power that we can recieve through Christ and also about forgiveness. ...and I think it was a moment that I really needed as well, not just them. There's a lot of things that I don't understand about the Atonement, and there are a lot of things that I don't understand about Heavenly Father and Christ. But...it was a learning experience for me because I was able to feel just how much God loves us, and how much He wants to help us. Repentance is hard. Facing challenges with patience and understanding is hard. Forgiveness is so hard. But not impossible with God. And I truly felt like that was the message that President Stellmon sent us to share - and the message for us to learn.
"Surely the reason Christ said, “Father, forgive them,” was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver. The entire plan of salvation would have been lost had He forgotten that not in spite of injustice and brutality and unkindness and disobedience but precisely because of them He had come to extend forgiveness to the family of man. Anyone can be pleasant and patient and forgiving on a good day. A Christian has to be pleasant and patient and forgiving on all days."
- Elder Holland, New Era Dec. 2008
Well family, I love this area. I love this mission. I love this work. I love my Savior, and my Heavenly Father. I don't know where I'd be without Them, and I sure am glad that I can testify of Them each and every day. There's nothing else I'd rather do than this. And thank goodness I still have so much time to do it!!!! :) I love all of you SOOOO much, and I hope everyone has a great week :) Talk to ya next Monday!