Bringing home "baby"
Well another week has come and gone! We went up to Tampa on Thursda to pick up our baby ( by the way saying "I can't wait till we get our baby" to your companion as a sister missionary in public probably isn't a smart thing to say...got a few judgemental looks from some people). But anyways our new companion fresh from the Provo MTC is Hermana Gibson! She's not a Guatemalan health nut philanthropist but instead she's white and from Oregon so I mean I was close. Haha she's a bit on the flaco side but I'm starting to think that president put her with us so we could fatten her up. Challenge accepted. And since she's from Oregon we can still proudly introduce ourselves to people as the "Missionaries that aren't from Utah."
It's kind of hard having a new companion because Hermana Newbill and I are really close, but she's a hard worker and wants to be a good missionary and is willing to do all she can to get better which is what we were praying for. She's awesome though. Haha I feel like we kind of scare her sometimes though because Hna Newbill and I have been having an ongoing rubberband war....we found one rubberband in the house and ever since then one of us keeps it on our wrist and will randomly attack the other with it and we usually end up in a ball on the ground tackling each other trying to get the rubber band back and when this happens Hna Gibson just kind of gives us this blank stare and doesn't really know what to do haha. But already I feel like I've learned a lot from her and her desire to improve just makes me want to improve even more. And being with her has reminded me how I was when I first entered the mission field and now looking back I've realized how much I've changed. How much I've grown (spiritually...not physically let's hope). I feel like I've become a lot more like the person Heavenly Father wants me to be. I think the biggest change that I've seen in myself since I've got here is that I'm not afraid anymore. When I first got here I'll admit...I was kind of afraid to just walk up to people on the street and invite them to be baptized. I was kind of afraid to speak up during lessons because I didn't want to mess up or say the wrong thing. I was kind of afraid to talk to members and ask them which of their friends or family members we could teach the gospel to and baptize. But now I'm not. I'm not sure when I changed but I know how. It's because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. It's because I've learned and am still learning what it really means to have faith in God and how powerful faith in God can be. Missionary work isn't scary because missionary work is just telling people the truth. And even with my Spanish too...the first week I got here I fasted asking that if I worker hard, after 3 months of being in the mission field I would feel comfortable with my Spanish and wouldn't be afraid to talk to people in Spanish. And 2 weeks ago I didn't really feel like I was going to feel that way by the time "three months in the mission field" rolled around. But I worked really hard and prayed really hard ( WORK HARD PRAY HARD...pretty much the motto of my life these days) and it's kind of amazing...this whole week I've felt like my Spanish has improved so much. Like I'm telling you it's weird...I honestly suddenly feel so much more confident in it. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers and that He's helping me everyday.
Well the reason that this email is titled this is because we have been praying a lot and have decided that we needed to drop a lot of people this week. And not just people...friends that I've been teaching since I've gotten here and have come to care a lot about. But we have been spending too much of the Lords time on those who aren't really willing to do their part...or at least for right now. So we are leaving Gino, Alfredo, Marcela, Rogelio, like 50 Maria's and a few others. This was really hard for me at first. Especially with Gino, Alfredo and Marcela. Both Gino and Marcela were miracles the way we found them. Both of them received witnesses that Joseph Smith was a prophet the during our first lesson with them after they prayed about it with us. Gino prayed and asked if he was a prophet and got chills all over and a warm feeling in his heart as soon as he finished praying. Marcela was the 13 minute silent prayer and afterwards she just couldn't stop crying because she felt so peaceful. And Alfredo...man I have never fasted and prayed so much for someone in my entire life. I put literally every ounce of wisdom and life experience and effort into trying to help him recognize and receive answers to his prayers. But we feel inspired to leave all of them for a time and if learning more about the church's and progressing towards baptism is really something that these people want...they will let know. But I truly believe that missionary work is never wasted. Maybe we weren't able to help them accept the gospel completely right now but maybe we prepared them just enough to accept it the next time around. And no matter what learning more about God and Jesus Christ and the power of scripture study and prayer will help anybody. And if they didn't learn anything, I for sure did. I learned so much from these people every time I studied for, taught, thought, fasted and prayed about them.
Something that I've learned even more this week that when you drop someone, God will always place someone new in your path. And this past week we had a lot of miracles!! We are now teaching the spouses of four part member families which is huge. Ward council was so happy to hear that we were actually able to have lessons with the people we did. And on Sunday we got 9 referrals from members when in the past we will get like one. And also we were able to have a lesson with a lady named mirea (she's related to magali in some way and is the mom of Itzel, who got baptized last Sunday) and has been coming to church for over a year but has always avoided the missionaries and didn't want to be baptized. But we had a lesson with her during church with our Ward mission leader and she left with a baptismal date in 3 weeks and she said we could start actually teaching her! It was really hard to leave those people this week and there was a lot of time where we didn't
really have anyone to teach but I know it was just because we needed to find these new people. Hopefully we are able to make some great progress with them this week! Love you all!
Paz y bendiciones