16 September 2013

Semana 35 The Lord Loves his Children

September 16, 2013
Hola Familia!
Hey Family! Hope you are doing well!
I'm still enjoying good ole TN. It is such a special place down here. I absolutely love it here.
This week we have been doing the Warren County fair. The English Elders here worked the fair booth all last week and we came on the evenings. We have received about FORTY Spanish referrals from it. So cool! The booth had these surveys at it where we asked people to fill out four simple questions about what their interest would be in learning about the gospel. This mission has been having a lot of success with these surveys and I'm super excited to be serving in an area where I can be apart of it! It's been an amazing way to find a lot of prepared people.
I've also been doing another "40 day fast" like I did in my first area but this time I'm focusing on a lot of different things. Sister Jensen is doing it, too and the blessings are amazing. We have so much more power in our lessons because we are a lot more worthy of the spirit. I have never had more powerful lessons than in the past couple of days. It is amazing. Definitely one of the best things about being a missionary. I know that my setting apart and ministerial certificate give me authority, but living worthy of the spirit gives you power.
 My companion Sister Jensen is awesome because she is so willing to be obedient and want to do the things the Lord expects of us. My whole mission I've either been the greenie, trained the greenie or greenie busted (which is being someones first companion after they have been trained.). It is awesome. I'm already one of the "older sisters" in the mission just because I came out right as the wave of new sisters were coming in, but it is such a blessing to still be around the fire of missionary. I still feel like I have that fire and I hope I never lose it. Can you believe that we are getting TWENTY new sisters this next transfer, then after that ANOTHER TWENTY? So cool! A lot of them are English, but still it will be cool to see the mission change even more.
Can I tell you about a few of the people we are teaching?
Jodi and Leo: They were a golden family that we got from a church hq referral and we have had some amazing lessons with them. She is American and he is Mexican and they have a 5 year old boy. They just barely texted us a few days ago that they are going to be going to church with someone else. HEARTBROKEN. We feel like they might have been antied.. we are praying and hoping that we will be able to get in a lesson with them. The hard part is I know that they felt the spirit in the lessons that we taught them. We were really blessed to have super focused lessons with them and I know that they know that the church is true. I'm afraid it is more of a Social Conversion v. Doctrinal Conversion. :/ I sure hope it pans out...
Betty y Oscar y Familia: SUCH AN AMAZING FAMILY that sister Jensen and I are privileged to teach. A family from Mexico with 3 girls. We had an amazing lesson with them last week where the Spirit was undeniable in every place of the room. They have had all the lessons but there is something holding them back.... we don't know what it is. They want to be baptized as a family and we can tell that that is something really important to them. Their 14 year old daughter Jocelyn seems the most hesitant.... we are trying to focus our attention on her and have made some really amazing breakthroughs, but we can tell that there is still more that she needs. She is Cougar's age and I can tell how strong "friends" play a role into an 8th grader's life. It is really sad because I can really tell that importance of having good friends at that age... We are hoping and praying that they are ready soon. Another concern that we are worried about is that all of their extended family is Catholic. I know that that is a major obstacle for a lot of the people we are teaching who receive a spiritual witness that it is true, but are worried what others will think.
Erika: SO AMAZING. This could potentially be a 3 generation LDS family. Her daughter and grandson are already members and she goes to church every week. Erika's mom lives in Honduras right now and she is waiting on her mom to come up her before she gets baptized. The hard thing is her visa got rejected until October so we have no idea when she could make it up here.... Again with her we can tell there is something deeper holding her back and we are thinking it is her fear that her mom won't approve of her getting baptized. Erika is so amazing and special. She knows the gospel is true and believes it so much. Her and her daughter Isabel are also teachers so it is really fun being around them.
Do you have any ideas for what could help our investigators?
I can't even describe to you how special this branch is down here in McMinnville. The branch is small and a lot of the members are English members who speak Spanish, but there is such a love for all of the people here. I've loved serving in an English ward, but now I feel like I'm getting more of what my mission call asked me to do: Preach the Gospel in the Spanish Language.
Transfers are next week. If I get transferred I will have only been in the area for 4 weeks, but I've been so incredibly grateful for the time I've been here. Like I told you in my last couple of emails: I know that the Lord is in the details and that He is looking out for us. This area was literally an answer to my prayers! We have so many progressing investigators and always have an investigator coming to church every week. Now we are just working on helping them act on the testimony they already have so they can be baptized soon...
Thank you for all of you who decided to read my whole email. I ranted a lot, but I hope you know that I love the mission. I've finally been out long enough to look back and recognize the challenges that I've faced and the ways that it has been hard, BUT I know that the Lord has been there for me during the past 8 months.
He loves his children and I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I've had to be able to see the love He has for them. My eyes have been lifted and my heart has been touched to see and feel how much He loves then.
Con Amor,
Hermana Rich

1 comment:

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