Monday, June 23, 2014
Blessings Are All Around!
No pictures this time :(
Monday: After finishing our Preparation Day, we made several visits: one less active member who is married & a young father happens to be one of the grandsons of the Vargas family back in my first area in Fresnillo! Small world, right?
Tuesday: Lunch was extra special with the Arodondo family because today was the game between Mexico and Brazil in the World Cup! It had just started when we arrived and, of course, turning off the game was NOT an option. The World Cup is HUGE here. And all the televisions in all the stores & houses have been on constantly. Hermano Arodondo even asked me why I didn’t pray to have Mexico win when I gave the prayer on the food! Haha, and I’m still not sure if he was serious or joking ;) We had carne asada, chips and guacamole, beans, rice, pasta, etc. The Elders, the Arodondo family, and even Hermana Perez were all so absorbed in the game - it was hilarious to me! It was like Americans and the Super Bowl & when I told them I’d never watch the World Cup, Hermano Arodondo gasped and jokingly invited me to repent! haha ;) Soccer is like another religion here!
In the evening we had our 2nd lesson with Hortencia (the woman we encountered last week crying in the stairwell with her baby). She was great during the lesson and we presented the Book of Mormon and asked her to be baptized. She said yes, and the Spirit was so strong. It was very special and just further strengthens my testimony that this is the Lord’s work and He is preparing the people here.
Wednesday: We encountered several less active members to begin teaching, and when we ask why they don’t come to church anymore, 95% of the time it is because they were offended by some other member. This is so sad to me because it is the doctrine of our church that truly matters. Our perfect Heavenly Father loves each one of his imperfect children and we are all going to make mistakes, but regardless of the choices of others (which sometimes impact us), we will ultimately be judged according to our own actions.
In the evening, we taught the Romero family, whose niece is investigating the church. After the lesson, they invited us (and even more specifically me) to eat hamburgers with them from their son’s restaurant. They were huge! Hermana Perez & I only ate half - and saved the rest for the following morning. I’ve also learned here that food truly brings people together; when we eat with our members or investigators, they open up to us easier and we gain their trust.
Thursday: So, Hermana Perez is jus absolutely incredible. I am truly trying my best to be a good trainer, but regardless, sometimes I feel like she’s the one teaching me. Although I have more time in the mission, she is almost 10 years older than me and has more life experiences. She is wise and patient and we have each other’s trust. We often pass the time walking, by just talking with one another - about anything and everything. I am so lucky and blessed to have her as my companion. :)
Friday: We bought our fresh fruit & food at Tiangis again! It was funny because even some of the vendors recognized me and asked me things like, “Do you want to buy more granola again?” or “How many mangos do you want?” Sometimes I forget how much I stand out from others :) It must be a rare sight to see a tall white girl always walking around the city in long skirts and scriptures in her hands.
I love that the fruit here is so cheap! I bought two ripe honeydew melons for just over a dollar! (15 pesos) I makes me even more motivated to eat healthy :) And Hermana Perez bought a giant papaya the size of a football that should last her all week for 20 pesos.
Saturday: English class went well, and Hermana Perez even helped me teach part of the lesson.
We visited Hermana America with her 4 children (one of her little girls is named Nauvoo, after the city where the early saints lived!)
Then we encountered a new investigator who cuts hair in one of the outer rooms of her apartment. She was really interested in the way we pray and said she felt peaceful and different. I know that the power of prayer can bring us closer in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. He listens and wants to hear from each of us regularly. We can all receive more guidance and direction in our lives when we establish the habit of prayer.
“I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of Jesus, that he through His infinite goodness and grace will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.” Moroni 8:3 I loved this verse in the Book of Mormon because it is how I feel for all the people here, and all my friends and family back home. You are all in my prayers and I hope that all is going well.
Sunday: It rained during the night really hard. But I love rainy nights & the sound the drops make. I slept so well :) Church was great, like always, and afterwards we visited the Cadena family. They have 3 older children who have all become inactive, but at the end of the lesson on agency and obedience, they expressed feelings to come back to church again. We talked with them about the opportunity they have as a family to be sealed in the temple. Next month as a ward, the members will travel to the temple in Guadalajara. The Cadena family all said they have the desire to enter the temple together and be sealed for time and all eternity. What a blessing it is in our church that we can be sealed with those we love, and know that we’ll all be able to live together again after this time on earth.
I love my family and am so grateful for this gospel. I am learning and growing so much each day and have a strong testimony that this church is true. I love being a missionary and serving the people here.
All my love, support, and prayers,
Hermana Eliason :)