12 August 2013

Week 30

Week 30
August 12, 2013
This week it will be easier for me if I send forward you my weekly email to my mission president because it covers a lot of the same things I would probably like to tell y'all anyway.
I can't wait for you to read about Carmen. I seriously love her so much. She is such a sassy Puerto Rican lady. She has been living in the United States for about 10 years now and this is the first time that missionaries have found her again. And of course, Sister McNab and I (my first companion in this area) found and started teaching her boyfriend (/husband, they pretty much act like husband and wife, but we will need to work on getting them married....) our first transfer here. I will always be so grateful for the opportunity I had to meet Carmen because it really testifies to me that there is a purpose for Hopkinsville Spanish to be here even though we haven't had any Spanish baptisms yet. The Elders and us have been tag teaming teaching a lady named Letty and she is supposed to be baptized next week, so we are really excited about that. She is definitely prepared and her son just got baptized yesterday!
We still love Sister Carlisle like we wrote y'all last week. She is sooooo cool. I hope I always stay in contact with her after my mission. It's funny that on my mission I have gained a lot of new grandparents, most of them through the members we teach. Like I said in my email to President Andersen, we are experiencing some major breakthroughs with the less actives we are visiting. I'm glad that I'm able to see the fruits of those labors if anything. There was one lady who I never met for 2 and a half months who I kept calling and knocking on her door. Then last week, guess who came up to me and asked if we were the Sisters that kept coming to her door? SISTER DORVIL. And guess what? She is an RM who spoke
She is also from the Bahamas! And Letty is originally from Bermuda! I'm still trying to keep a list of all the people I have been able to share the gospel with that are from different countries. It's so cool! I never would have thought that this place would be such a melting pot!
Also, remember when I told you all about Angel?  Well, we ahve been teaching another one of his uncles and his wife. THEY ARE SO AMAZING. I love this entire family from El Salvador. I can't even describe it. A couple of weeks ago Sister Healey and I were thinking we needed to start seeing Angel less because he made it so obvious that he didn't want anything do with changing and eventually becoming baptized. Sister Healey and I wanted to stay focused on our purpose-- instead of just visiting with him all the time-- we wanted to make sure that we were focused on those who were ready to change and accept the restored gospel. But throughout the week we kept having this nagging feeling like we needed to go back and see him. I don't know why, I'm really not sure when he is going to change or want to change, or his whole family for that matter. They love the Catholic church. They are a very special family though. I can really tell. I can tell that Heavenly Father is very mindful of them and that is why He keep sending them back to us. Have I told that we are also teaching Angel's uncle and aunt? They are so amazing. I feel the spirit everytime we go over and there and visit with them. And they know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I'm not sure if they are ready to change from their Catholic beleifs, but it is definitley a start.
Letter to President Andersen this week:
"President Andersen!

Miracle Mail from Hopkinsville Spanish Sisters! We are both so excited to stay in this area because we both feel like we have got some unfinished business to take care of here. Also, here is a MIRACLE.

When I first came into this area I met this cute, sweet man from Mexico. We met him tracting trying to find an old potential. His name is Ciro and everytime we met we could only sit on his front porch because his wife was gone in Puerto Rico for the summer. He was always super nice, but we got to the point where we were only meeting him every so often until we could meet his wife as well. WELL his wife came home Puerto Rico last week and called us and asked when we were coming over. On the phone she called us "Hermanas" and everything. Then when we went over to the house she hugged us and embraced us, kissed us on the cheek like they do in Puerto Rico and when we sat down with her she told us she was a baptized member! She was baptized 30 years ago and was an active member in Puerto Rico for three and a half years!!!!!! We were dying we were so happy. At that point Ciro was in the room so the only thing I could think of to do was to teach the Restoration again. We taught it and Carmen remembered a lot of it. When we gave the first vision she was crying so hard. The Spirit was so strong. I have never felt it more strongly on my entire mission. You could not deny it! Carmen remembers and she knows it is true. She knows that she needs to come back. We told her that it was "un milagro" that God sent us to her again. She knows that. We committed Ciro to be baptized. He was pretty hesistant, but she said that she knows he will get baptized. It will just take him some time. She said that when he would call her in Puerto Rico he would talk about us. Ciro will be a tough egg to crack, but I have no doubt that this is a decision these two are going to take together. Carmen could not deny her feelings abou the power of Restoration and the testimony of the Prophet Joseph.
President, it was amazing. I have no doubt about it. I've been easily discouraged here in Hopkinsville wondering why we aren't seeing success in the form of baptisms, but I know God has his children here that he is mindful of. I feel so priveleged to share this message of the Restoration with my long lost brothers and sisters, especially in the Spanish language. These people need to hear this message. Carmen is going to be our main focus this next transfer. Heavenly Father is ready for her to come back and to take Ciro with her.

We have a couple of progressing investigators who know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, the biggest obstacle that we are overcoming is helping them recognize that this is the true church of Jesus Christ becasue a lot of them feel really content and happy in their Catholic life.

President, we have been able to "find those that will receive us" but I feel like we are struggling to find people who are actually searching for the truth of this gospel. They will receive us as missionaries and they love us as their friends, but its been hard finding those who are ready to change.

We did find an investigator named Jesus who is seeking. He is seeking what is God's will. I know that if he is really and truly sincere that he will be baptized. I just know it. I'm not sure if I will be able to see his baptism, but I know it will happen. We could really use some help with him getting him to FOCUS. He likes to talk the whole time we teach him
Then there is Jasmin who is one of the most prepared people I have met on my entire mission (and she actually found us, not us finding her), but I think Heavenly Father is still trying to teach me about patience. She has been working a lot so we have not been able to see her or teach her as much as we would really like to. I really hope I get to see it happen with her President!

Thank you President for all you do! I'm so grateful for you and your lovely wife! Interviews were very edifying, I'm so grateful for that. Thank you for reminding me that Heavenly Father will suffer me to come to this area so that I can even just find the "one lost sheep" who is prepared right now to accept the gospel.

Also, we are seeing some amazing breakthroughs in our less active work. They are coming back! Sister Carlisle is just one of the many blessings we have been able to experience while I've been here. Although it is discouraging our Spanish investigators still are not making it to church, we are having a lot of English returning members! The ward is going to grow so much!

We love and appreciate all that you do!

Sister Rich"
The Lord is blessing us. I'm so grateful for that. I feel like my faith has been tested a lot here. I have really doubted whether or not I had a lot of faith because I didnt feel like we were seeing miracles, but all of the missionaries around us were. It is hard to accept that we can still be successful missionaries although we aren't having the baptisms like we would like too.
Before I go I need to share my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that my testimony about him and the work he did has grown so much for me on my mission. We have to share it everyday but I finaly feel like I can bring convincing power to my words. We have had a lot of investigators who have questioned the validity of Joseph Smith and I feel like it all cumulated for me when I recited the first vision for Carmen last week.
I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God. I know that he saw God the Father, and the Son Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was called to be the prophet that would restore the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth in these Latter Days. I know that although he may not have been a perfect man, what he did to bring about the Book of Mormon and the sacrifices he made were perfect. He was a man called of God and he gave his life to seal his testimony. I feel priveleged to know that I had ancestors who beleived his testimony, sacrificed what they had because of their beleif, and walked along side of him. I am so grateful for the testimonies of my ancestors because it has brought me to where I am today.
We also had a lesson with our investigator named Larry last week and I cried after we shared the first vision with him. It had no affect on him and he was solid as a rock during it. I cried becasue I knew that story was true and I was so excited to share it with my brother, but he wouldn't beleive me. How could something that I knew so strongly to be true have no affect on someone else? It was hard, but we made it through it.
Thank you family for all of your love and support. Thank you for your prayers. Sometimes I wonder why I'm not more discouraged while I'm out here. I wonder why I haven't reached my breaking point yet, but I know that that is becasue y'all are praying for me. Somehow I find the strength to continue to "preservar hasta el fin!"
Con Amor,
Hermana Rich

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