Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19, 2014

Dear Family,
Yes, I made it to 22! My life is complete! Haha, I'm kidding. I'm excited for all that I will keep learning as I get older. It's a weird feeling to have a birthday on a mission, because every day is very similar. It feels just like any other day (besides all the wonderful birthday wishes I have received!) This birthday will be wonderful, because I'm sure Heavenly Father has some miracles to share with Sister Evans-Bottoms and I as we open our mouths to share the gospel. He always does. I must make one complaint before I begin the rest of my email. I have had to lower my standards and throw away things that could have been recycled! I almost died of the horror! Washington has failed me. In Maple Valley we had recycling dumpsters. But here in Auburn, we only have a trash compacter, which I guess is better than nothing. I was just horrified as I watched all of our plastic and cardboard items go into a trash dumpster. What has this world come to?! Anyways, it's ok, I moved on. I will just have to live with it. Bringing souls unto Christ is more important than my personal quest to save the earth. But I think there are some connections we can make between the two. The earth has really become polluted as mankind as progressed in knowledge and technology. We have to make a constant effort to keep the earth clean with all the awful things we are putting in it. There are many programs formed to remove pollution that has already contaminated the earth. Similarly, the earth is spiritually polluted in many ways. Many of God's commandments have been forgotten. As we live the gospel, we can keep ourselves clean from spiritual pollution. There are many programs we have that provide us with the knowledge and protection we need to remove pollution or to keep it from ever entering our homes-seminary, church, mutual, family scripture study and prayer, family home evening, general conference. The Lord has provided us with endless sources in which we can find spiritual strength, protection, and peace in a world that is doing everything possible to take those things away. Not to mention, we have a living prophet of God on the earth! who gives us counsel and guidance from the Lord himself so that we can obtain the greatest blessings of this life, and we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. "And hehath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as yewill not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence." 2 Nephi 1:20. We must never forget the commandments of God, because they are what will bring us the greatest joy and happiness. So many of God's children have! That is why we must share these things with them. And the Lord will help us as we do.
This week has been filled with miracles. We have been striving to talk with everyone that we see about the gospel. One thing that we talked about in district meeting was sharing our testimonies. As we implemented that counsel this week, we not only had better conversations with others, I myself felt my testimony strengthen as I shared it!
We had a lesson with a young man who lives with is brother and sister. He works for a concrete company at the age of 19-lots of hard labor! We were able to teach him and his brother the restoration. The Spirit was so strong! His brother said he had spent time in jail before and that he felt good talking about God and Jesus Christ. It felt peaceful. When we asked the young man to pray and ask whether Joseph Smith was a prophet, he humbly said he would. As he started to pray, he got a little nervous and told us about how he always got the chills (in a good way!) when he prayed. We told him that was the Spirit! We invited him to be baptized after he prayed and he said it was something he needed to talk to his mom about, but he gladly invited us back to his home, and was so excited to read the Book of Mormon. When we got up to leave after that lesson, none of us wanted to go, because the Spirit was so strong. When you are so happy in a moment, and you know that God's Spirit is with you, it's hard to leave. I love when we are able to teach those who are humble and sincere in heart. They teach me so much.
Later that week, we met a lady who has been taught by missionaries before. She gladly invited us back to her home. When we went the next day, she wanted to know what her purpose was, so we started teaching the plan of salvation. She said, "Yes, I already know this! I just want to know how I can be a part of God's church!" So we went ahead and set a baptismal date for her! She is so sweet and meek and wants to serve God. We left the Plan of Salvation pamphlet with her, and when we came back she told us she read it and she thought it was written just for her! We have been praying to find those who are prepared to hear about the gospel, and Heavenly Father hears our prayers. He is leading us to them. Because He loves us, He will always hear and answer His children's prayers.
I love you all so much. Thank you for the birthday wishes. Have a great day at home for me, and I will have a great day here!
Sister Mecate

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