Oh, hello there!!
Courtney, how was the dance?? Your hair and dress were SO CUTE!! Did you kiss him? Don't tell me details like that, I'm on a mission.... but I hope you had the time of your life. Mom didn't send me pictures of anyone else in the family, but I'm sure you all looked pretty too for whatever you were doing.
So, good news, I'm still in Salt Lake. Ha. And it's been great. I don't know if I ever told the story about the lady Amy me and Sister Harris met. Well we were trying to find this house one night around 8:30, and this lady was sitting outside smoking and we were about to go down this street and this lady yelled to us, it's probably not down that way cause that's a dead end. Then we started talking to her, she said how her brothers went on missions and she was like oh my word you guys look so cold, why don't you just get in my car and I will drive you around and help you find this place. So we drive around looking for this address, and she is telling us about her 3 daughters and her rough life she's had. We never find the street we are looking for so we go back to her house, and the street was the one we were already on and almost walked down until she told us not to. She felt so bad and was like oh my word, I am so sorry the devil just made me lead you astray I am such a bad influence....
We were like oh my word, don't even worry about it, it was so good to meet you and I'm sure there was a reason we were supposed to meet. She dropped us off at home, then a couple days later we walked by again and she runs out from her drive way and gives us a huge hug and she was like, oh sisters, remember the other night when I led you astray but you told me there was a reason we were supposed to meet, well I know there was a reason, cause as soon as you guys got out of the car I felt the more peace than I have ever felt in my life. I just wanted to tell you thank you for showing me your love. We ended up going inside her house and meeting her twin daughters. This was all the way back on Christmas eve though.
For the past week or so Sister Harris and I have really been meaning to go back and visit her, and she's always been on my mind. We got her daughters birthday presents and just wanted to go see how they were doing. Then this Sunday at church we had a meeting with the ward mission leader so we stayed later, then as the other ward was starting I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and it was Amy!!! I was just talking to her for a while and she was like, do you know what, after I met you sisters I started to read my bible and I just felt like church is the place I need to be, this is my first time to church is 15 years. I even brought my girls with me because I decided I needed to be a better mom. And guess what, my daughter, yes my daughter, is going to get her temple recommend today. I don't even know how I could have a daughter so good cause I haven't been a good example but I am so proud of her!!!
We stopped by later that night to drop off the birthday presents. We talked to them about reading the book of Mormon and praying as a family, then when we were done with the lesson one daughter was like, dudes, I just want you to know that the spirit was totally here and I know what you guys are saying are true. I am so glad you are here to help my mom quit smoking so she can live longer and so we can have a better life as a family. Amy was just crying and saying how grateful she was that the Lord sent us to help her quit smoking and get the blessings of the gospel again. She just kept saying how grateful she was that one random night we walked by, she said it is the change in her life she has been waiting for.
Then I think I've told you about Antonio, we found him washing his car one day. He's 23 from Veracruz, Mexico. In our first lessons with him he told us how he wants to change his life and knows that praying to the virgin Mary is not the right think go do. So we have been teaching him and he just gets it! His eyes just light up and he loves the changes the church is bringing into his life. We were teaching him the law of chastity this week, and he has had his girlfriend for 4 years (she is a member but he never knew she was). He didn't quite understand why it was important to live, especially after they've been together for so long. But he said he would pray about it and ask God why it was important. Then the next day we went to teach him and he was like, Sisters, I don't think I can live the law of chastity, I just think it will be too hard. We couldn't figure out why he was saying this, then we got it out of him. He started telling us how he works with this guy who is a returned missionary. He told him how the missionaries were coming over to his house and that he was learning about the law of chastity, then the returned missionary said, yeah that law of chastity, I started breaking it a month after I got home from my mission, it's not a very big deal. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to punch that kid in the face. Antonio was just like, if someone who did exactly what you guys are doing and served a mission, if he can't even live this commandment there is no way I can!! I told him the story of Alma the Youngers son Coriantum in Alma 39... we talked a lot about it and we just told him, yeah there are a lot of bad influences out there and a lot of bad examples, but in all reality the only example we should look to is Christ. The next lesson we had with him he said, sisters, I can do this. I can live this, I know it's important. He has the most sincere desire of anyone I've ever seen.
But that night it made me think so much about the example we set for those around us. We may not even realize the decisions we are making are effecting so many others around us. This sad story of the elder that couldn't keep living what he taught could have been the reason Antonio never came unto Christ. We NEVER know who is watching and who we are being an example for, good and bad. I just hope that where ever we are, what ever we are doing with our life, we can continually be an example for righteousness and show others the joy we find in living the gospel. I had a certain cousin of mine in mind while Antonio was telling me this story, I just hope he decides can shape up his life because I know he is having a negative effect on many many many people around him, but the only thing he may not realize is how powerful his righteous influence could be!! That's the way it is with all of us, we can change lives everywhere we go when we just allow the Lord to be with us and put us where we need to be!!
We also baptized an adorable 8 year old Destiny this week, her dad is in prison and it's so sad!! But her sister and mom got baptized a while ago and we just taught her the lessons and she was so excited to jump in that water.
Wish I had more time to write!! Love you all!!!
P.S. Trailer Park picture is dedicated to Madison Beyers, Carson Ward and Joshua Hancey. FOUND ME A PLACE TO LIVE!!!