Oh, hello. Long time, no talk.... yeah?
Well I just wanted to thank Dana for the email. Thanks for you example and testimony, I love seeing converts to the church who are as strong as Dana cause my biggest fear in the mission is that converts will fall away, but I just pray they can stay strong even when times get tough. I am SO glad to hear that Sister Evans made is back to Nicaragua after her procedures. She is the best!!! I love the whole family actually :) Hope Matthew is excited to leave for Australia in just a couple weeks.
It was just dandly dandy talking to the family yesterday. So sad we couldn't face time... oh well. Not a lot has happened since yesterday but I guess I'll just tell you all about the stuff that I didn't get to tell you about. Baptism Saturday, name, Joaquin, father of 5. His wife was baptized early December, but he would never let the missionaries into his house to teach her. Anyway, in early december my companions invited him to a family home evening with his family and another family. He came, and it was a terrible experience. He ended up leaving because everyone was giving him a hard time about his life and all the wrong choices he was making and so forth. After he left my companions asked if just they could go talk to him. They went and told him sorry for what happened and what the others had said to him, that's not how the church works. But if he wants to learn more they were there to teach him. He said he wasn't interested, but he said if his wife wanted to she could get baptized. So her and the 2 oldest kids got baptized. After a couple weeks, he wanted to know more. That was right when I got in the field. So we taught him, and at first he never wanted to answer our questions cause he felt really bad if he didn't know the answers. But... slowly he started learning the answers. Pretty soon in lessons he was explaining things to his wife who was already baptized. He quit smoking, after smoking since he was 13 or so. He was made a total turn around. 100%. It was so amazing to see his change from the beginning to now. He was SO excited for his baptism and he can't wait to hold the priesthood and be the leader in his home. On Christmas Eve we went and caroled to him with some of the elders that had given him blessing or baptized him. He started crying. The toughest man in the world, and he was so grateful and so humbled. I just love that no one is cast off forever. The Lord indivially knows each and everyone of us, and the second we decide to change He is right there to lead up by the hand and bring us up out of the depths of life. It is such a beautiful thing.
There is one thing I ask... this brother and his fine family have NO church clothes what so ever. And no money. Hence why I got them boxes of pampers for christmas and why the $20 on their door meant the world to them. So I do ask... if any of you have extra shrits/ties send them my way! I would has he's about the size of Ross F? His kids are like 10, 8, 2 and a baby for the boys. The daughter is 14. So if you have any extra church clothes that would be great.
With our other investigators this week it was good. The lady Digna and her 3 daughters we are teaching are doing good.... Digna has a 'boyfriend'/ husband, and she really wants to get married so she can get baptized... but he said, he doesn't want to marry her cause he doesn't want to feel tied down... 4 kids later. So I am just praying he will soften his heart cause she wants to be married. She brought her friend Beverly to one of the lessons and she is getting baptized in January! Her and her two sons. How exciting. She is so ready. We were knocking doors the other day and found 2 different ladies that have been going to chruch for about a year, read the bom, all that jazz, but haven't joined the church yet because they don't feel like they've recieved their answer!!! So... hopefully some answers will come rolling out of heaven soon, or maybe we can just learn how to recognize them.
Walking down the street the other day we saw these 2 guys Daniel and Flourentino who were super interested! We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We go to have a lesson with them at the church, come to find out they are 7th Day Eventists.... Totally came to prove us wrong about worshiping on sunday. They said they believed everything we believed except for the fact that we worshiped on sunday. They whipped out all these news articles about worshiping on the 7th day. They were looking for somewhere in the scriptures where Christ approved worshiping on the first day of the week instead of the seventh day... But since they haven't found it they will continue to worship on saturday. We continued talking and just testifying.They wouldn't take the answer that since Christ was resurrected on Sunday that's why we worship on sunday. They found it interesting that we had 12 apostles like Christ did when He was on the earth and I found it interesting that they have a woman prophet. It was an interesting conversation, and obviously we don't have all the same beliefs. We just invited them to church for christmas, and I don't remember doing this but my companion said I threw in the line, you guys obviously won't be busy since you have church on saturday. Anyway, that was just a very edifying lesson I'd say.
I think I already told you about our investigator Fransisco, he is seriously just the cutest little oompa loompa I've ever seen. He has such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, even though he thought Joshep Smith wrote it.... Haha. That was a little confusion we had to clear up. But he has the most sincere desire out of anybody I know. And the Lord has been preparing him, I guess he used to drink a lot but a month ago he had to go to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, so he hasn't drank since.... so word of wisdom, no problem!! He chose the 15th of January for his date of baptism.
So that's about that. These past couple days have been super warm, I haven't even worn a coat! So crazy that it's winter. I am glad to hear that my family snuck into my mission area and looked around.... Mom, I'm glad you didn't see the bad parts. I guess some of my stories about broken windows, bloody doors and drug dealers may have put a bad image in your head haha. My tongan companion told me when she was talking to her family yesterday her cousin told her how he got shot in his stomach in rose park. Great! Just more of an adventure haha. It's not that bad, I love being here.
So I may be getting new companions this wednesday because it's tranfers. I could even go to a new area... or maybe just get my visa. I guess we find out like that day before we leave cause they get us a flight out of here as soon as they can. But I will just be letting you know as things come up. Time is up. But thank you so much for the wonderful christmas presents. I LOVED hearing all of your voices on the phone and on the tape recorder. I put it right by my bed while I fell asleep so it felt like I was right at home being put to sleep by my very own family. I loved the shirt Cameron. Funny thing is right before my mission I went to aggie ice cream and though to myself wow I LOVE THAT SHIRT. So, you totally read my mind :) I loved the pj's as well. The stocking was my favorite though. We went caroling to investigators and recent converts. That was so fun. We went to this one ladies house and while we were singing she just started sobbing and her kids were like, oh my, she's crying again. But she just said she hasn't felt this much love her whole life until she found the church. That is my favorite thing about being a missionary. All we do is bring hope, joy, and peace into lives. Well we don't, but Christ does.
I know this church is true. I am so grateful for the atonement and the opportunity everyone has to change and come unto Him. I love you all!!! Thanks for your love and support.
Your lovely missionary, Hermanita Marshall