My dear Family,Another week has passed, and I am coming up on my 3 month mark. Crazy! Sister Margaritis and I are being so blessed here in Maple Valley. We have 6 or 7 solid investigators. It is amazing to see how the work has changed just from when I got here. We had no investigators to begin with! The many blessings we have received inspire me to want to be a better missionary. Heavenly father is allowing me the privilege of teaching these people, and I do so many things wrong. The only way missionary work can progress at all is if it is turned over to His hands. That is all we can do in life to find peace and happiness, do our best and trust in the Lord that He will provide what we seem to be unable to produce on our own.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
Dear Family,It has been a blessed week. We are teaching a girl named Alyssa (yes, same spelling!) who referred herself to Church head quarters so she could be taught. She has many LDS friends. Her one friend, Maddie, has been sharing the gospel with her for a few years. She has been to many church activities and has felt the Spirit. Our first lesson with her was amazing, like a missionary's dream come true. She has heard the lesson on the Restoration twice already, and so it was basically a question and answer session on the Restoration. The Spirit was so strong as she talked about her experiences and as we testified to her of God's love for her. Towards the end of the lesson, Sister Margaritis asked her if she would be baptized if she came to know the Book of Mormon was true for herself. With a big smile on her face she happily agreed to. She is scheduled to be baptized on September 7th! After that I told her how happy her Father in heaven is with her. At this point I looked to my right and her friend Maddie was in tears and I looked to my left and Sister Margaritis's eyes were glistening, and in my heart I felt JOY. It was one of those moments that are talked about that make up for all the hard moments, all the times we want to give up and turn back. To see someone have a desire to follow their Savior and be baptized through the proper priesthood authority as He was makes a missionary so happy, and Heavenly Father! Alyssa's greatest concern is that of the Book of Mormon and being able to overcome her need to find "proof" that it is true. She knows that only through reading the Book of Mormon and praying and asking specifically if it is true can she know for herself in her heart that it truly is the Word of God and that this is Christ's true Church on the earth. I love Alyssa and I feel so blessed that the Lord has allowed us to be able to teach her. Her friend Maddie is a great example to me. She openly shares what she knows to be true with her friend, because she knows how happy it will make her. Maddie has such a strong and beautiful testimony of the Restoration of the Church and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Dearest Family,It has been a wonderful and blessed week! We have more set appointments than ever before! We are teaching Karen, Nancy, Teresita, Maria, Pauline (and maybe her mom), and Alyssa, oh and someone named Sarah who I haven't yet met because we were on exchanges. I love them all! Each has such a different perspective on religion and God and on the message we have to share, but what they most definitely have in common is that God loves them and is guiding them and desperately wants them to receive the blessings of His kingdom. There are many other people who we are "close" to teaching, people that we are developing friendships who say they aren't interested in the gospel, or they just don't think they are.
Something I have pondered a lot on my mission from day to day is the meaning of happiness. I want happiness. We all want it. I sometimes question why I'm not happy every moment. I am a member of Christ's Church. I have a wonderful family. I am in good health. I know Jesus Christ lives and loves me. Am I supposed to be "happy" all the time? yes...and maybe no. I have thought a lot about Joseph Smith. He had a glorious message to share with the world. And for it, he dealt with persecution beyond belief. Surely Joseph Smith was not "happy" in the sense that I think of happiness. He was doing God's work, but he and his family suffered so many heart-wrenching things. How could he have been "happy" throughout it all? God hasn't promised us joy or happiness in our every moment on this earth. We are fallen beings. We suffer from sin, we suffer from trials and tribulation. He knew, and we knew, before we came here that this would be the case. Our joy is not rooted in the fact that in every moment we are as "happy" as can be. Our joy is rooted in the promises that God has given us, that one day we will receive a "fulness of joy" and we can live forever with our families, and we can be with God. Joseph knew this, with all his heart, with all his mind, and all his strength. We are not condemned for not having a smile on our face in each hard moment, but we are expected to trust God. He loves us immensely, infinitely, as does Jesus Christ. We can have complete confidence in that.These are just some of the thoughts that have been formulating in my head for the last couple months, so take them with a grain of salt. My witness of this may not be as deep as that of Joseph Smith's (not nearly), but I do know that it is true. My confidence and happiness lie in God and in the promises he has given me. I am weak, but He is strong.
I love you all! I miss you all! Have a fantastic week!
Dear Family!This week something happened to me for the first time in my life!......I was stung by a wasp! I'm assuming it was a wasp because there was no stinger in me. And it did not swell up because I think I squeezed the toxin (or whatever they sting you with) out of my finger, because I was squeezing it so hard and I would not let go. I screamed like a little girl. I think Sister Margaritis was shocked and embarrassed and stunned because my scream came out of nowhere. The look on her face was pretty funny. I'm sure if someone saw it they would have laughed their head off as I ran down the side walk, screaming, then hyperventilating, then talking to myself/Sister Margaritis. So now I can say I've been stung by a wasp! Just why I wanted to come on my mission! Ha!
I wish I could tell you all about the members here. They are wonderful! Oh and I need to tell you a quick story from Sunday. There were these 2 little boys in red button up shirts. The family was visiting the ward. I turned to them and asked them their names. The younger one said, "Daniel," and the older one said, "James." James was looking at me and then my name-tag and then I said, 'And I'm Sister Mecate." And then he half whispered, "And you're Beautiful." I looked at him, surprised and flattered! Ha! His parents are going to have to watch out for that one! But he made my day for sure!