Thank you for all the emails this week! I love reading them. It was good to hear from Marissa Birch finally! You should send the emails to her as well, I believe her email is marissareeder01@hotmail. DAD- happy happy birthday, 78? Right. Gosh time is flying. I was going to send you some hair dye for your birthday but I figured you are probably bald now. I'll send you a hat to keep your head warm. Hope your big day was lovely and I'm sure you still celebrated European Christmas and gave everyone gifts. You are so COOL!
SNOW!!!! Seriously. Snow. I could not believe it. I ran out side barefoot, threw a snowball at myself and ate it for breakfast! I was so glad to finally have a real winter day! Yesssss. Best thing that happened all week.
Well 6 sisters got their visas! Finally. They fly out TODAY. Weird, they are already at the airport. I didn't get mine though... so.... don't get too excited yet. But this week we are having zone conference, and Brother Atkinson's is speaking to us. He's from Argentina and he's a legend!!!! So I am super excited to hear from him. The theme... You're not called on a mission so you can fail, every missionary can baptize. So I'm pretty excited for it!
This week was good, hard, cold, hot, up, down and everything in between! We had a family of 4 to get baptized this next weekend. Digna and her 3 beautiful daughters. Their dad left their family. She loves the church. She just gets it all. BUT... she so happens to have a boyfriend. This boyfriend doesn't want to marry her because he wants to be free (so he doesn't live with them) but he pays for everything. EVERYTHING. Rent. Car. Food. So... she can't let him go cause she doesn't know how her family will survive. But she can't marry him cause he doesn't love her that much. So, she's not getting baptized this week cause there is a little thing called the law of chastity that she understands fully just hasn't quite figured out a way to live it yet. It is so sad to see somebody realize the joy of the gospel but just leave it by the wayside because something else catches their eye. We were teaching her the Plan of Salvation the other day and her 2 year old son who hardly ever talks was looking so intensely at a picture of Jesus. Then he pointed at him and said, "El es mi padre. El tiene una casa grande en cielo" Basically he said, that's my dad and he has a big house in heaven. SERIOUSLY kid just preaching from experience about the pre earth life. The mom just started crying and we all got chills. It was so amazing. So Digna still has the desire to be baptized she just fells trapped with the situation she is in.
Then there is Fransisco. Most sincere man you'll ever meet in your life. He was all set for his baptism this weekend, then we were doing the interview questions with him and we got to tithing and he was like...ooooo.... about tithing. The thing is I really want to pay it, I know it's a commandment of God. I just don't know if I can pay it right now, my disabled son needs pampers, my wife can't work cause she's taking care of him, my house is 1,000 dollars a month, gas is like 200 to even get to work for the month. The list goes on. So he said, I just don't want to get baptized if I know I can't live all the commandments so I still want to, just maybe in the future when I know I'll be able to pay my tithing. AHHHH. I just wanted to cry. He is so ready! The bishop even went over and told him all the help the church could offer him and all the blessings he would receive from paying tithing and trusting in the Lord, but he wouldn't take it. I totally understand where he is coming from. Totally. But I we can do is testify and just pray for him. It's so hard when you're teaching someone and they just don't think it's really going to work. Or they can't see how much the church will really help them. That's where faith comes in, and if they don't got it, it just ain't gonna work.
But, we found an AMAZING 10 year old boy. Marco. His mom was baptized a year ago and his dad was also. But his dad never went to church to get confirmed, so it didn't count. His mom is totally inactive and hasn't really been to church since. She said she felt TOTALLY pressured into baptism and well as the dad, hence why he never went to church to get confirmed. Anyway, Marco has a huge desire to go to church and do what's right. His dad said, if he wants to go to church I totally support him because if this is the true church and I don't let him go, I don't want that on my shoulders. So we were teaching him how to pray because he said he's always scared his family is going to die when they aren't home. So we taught him how to pray and told him he can ask that God will keep his family safe. Then he suggested to his family that they say a family prayer every morning before they go to work and school. He is such a sincere little heart. We were talking to him about praying and coming to church then he said, "I know church will really help me by stronger and better. But I really think my whole family needs to go to church cause I know it will help my dad stop saying bad words,and it will help my mom cause she is always angry and always is on her cell phone. And it will help my older brother cause he is kind of dumb and doesn't even know how to do the dishes and he always makes fun of people and it will help my little sister to stop whining and crying all the time. So I think when I go to church I won't even sit by my brother cause he always laughs at people and I don't like to do that, so I'll sit by myself." IT WAS PRECIOUS. His sweet little desire was a huge example to me of how we all need to be. We need to become like little children, who are just humble and ready to do anything the Lord asks of them. He came to church and even knew the first hour was the most important cause it's when we take the sacrament. I am so amazed by his strength and example and I really hope it helps his family gain a testimony and come back to church.
Then the disabled girl that lives upstairs ran outside the other day and literally tackled me and just said "I love you" as she was laying on top of me haha. Then she was like where are you going, I said to teach people about Jesus, she was like OH OH OH, I love Jesus. Can I grab my bike and come with you?? She is adorable. Then she has a new favorite habit of kicking toilet paper rolls down the stairs, it's so funny!
So the mission is going going going. 4th week here already. Time is flying! Thanks for all the inspiring words in your emails and letters. Time is up. Peace and love from this girl.
Love, Sista Marshmellow