So when I was starting out the mission, somebody told me that “at the beginning of the mission, you’ll be full of energy and motivation to work but have very little experience. Then at the end of the mission you’ll have lots of experience but very little motivation and energy!” Hmmmm, I’ve decided it’s a lie. haha. The more experience I have in the mission, the more energy and motivation I feel to work more and more and more! The mission doesn’t change, it’s the missionary who changes. So if we do it right, we’ll only increase in strength and love instead of decrease. It’s like when I took a workout class in high school. I remember the first time I went, I thought I was going to die. I almost threw up cause it was so hard. Slowly we continued repeating the same exercises all semester long and at the end of the year, I could do the whole thing and instead of feeling tired afterwards, I was full of energy and felt really good. With practice we get stronger, not weaker!
This week was really rewarding for Hermana Pérez and me. Nicolas was baptized and the service was great. He is an exceptional kid and we both feel like his influence will be huge. He’s gonna help a lot of other people come to Christ, including his family and friends. He is also excited to receive the priesthood, go to the temple, and serve a mission (he’s 13). I have never seen a kid so dedicated and sure of something. Right off the bat he was going to all the activities and wanted to go to church with white shirt and tie. He prayed to know if the church was true and made his decision to be baptized. He reads his Book of Mormon every day and is just an all-around good kid. He’s the fastest baptism I’ve ever had in the mission. In 3 weeks he had all the lessons and was all prepared. That’s the minimum amount of time in which somebody can get baptized and usually people aren’t ready so fast. We’re really happy for him and his family!
The other beautiful part is his family. His dad was baptized as a kid and never went to church much afterward. His dad has had a really tough life. His parents died young and his only living relative threw out all his church stuff in the garbage after he got baptized. He’s a truck driver and one time a little girl ran out in front of his truck. He hit the little girl and she died. That moment tortures him every day and he had depression for many years afterward. Now he has a beautiful family and works ALL THE TIME to give them the best life possible. He wasn’t gonna be able to come to the baptism because he had work but then at the last minute he showed up! I asked him if he had gotten permission to leave work and he said, “No.” Surprised I asked, “What did you do then?” He said, “I just left. How could I miss my son’s baptism?¨ The next day he came to the confirmation as well. Hopefully he doesn’t lose his job. Or maybe he will so he can find a better one! haha. Anyway, the little brother, Franco, decided he wants to get baptized too. He said the closing prayer and was super nervous, but it was really beautiful. The little girl Sofi said, “When can I get baptized???” To which her mom responded, “in 3 more years!” The mom, Fabiola, got a little emotional as well in the baptism and we know she’ll follow his example soon enough. They also invited some family members that aren’t members who really enjoyed the baptismal service. So special.
Alejandra is a woman that we’ve been teaching lately who has a really tough life. She lives in a dump house and her little son has special needs and pees on EVERYTHING (seriously, the first time we taught her, we sat down on the sofa and it was soaking wet. We had to go to the house to change after cause we could tell by the smell that it wasn’t water.) She has struggled with depression and bipolar disease. Her husband treats her like one of the kids and tells her what to do all the time. He threw away all the things we left her, including her Book of Mormon. He told us that she was reading it obsessively and didn’t want us to confuse her. We didn’t think he would let her come to church and when she didn’t show up we were thinking of dropping her because we can’t help against the will of her husband. But then in the last minute, she shows up to Relief Society and she was all nicely dressed with a skirt and everything. She participated in the lesson and then ran out really fast when it finished. We were really surprised, so we’ll see what happens and if we can’t soften the heart of her husband a bit this week.
Oh and guess what!!! We had a meeting in the mission president’s home like always with all the zone leaders and coordinating sisters this week. And guess who is the newest coordinating sister??? Sister Mendoza!!! My companion from earlier on in the mission. We opened the sector Jardín Del Valle together and I remember we both only had 3 months in the mission and really didn’t know what we were doing. It was so fun to see her again. I love her so much and I was so surprised that tears leaped to my eyes for a moment. It was really sudden and unexpected to see her again.
Funny moment of the week: we were doing language study and Hna. Pérez was practicing saying, “She can” in English. But it sounded like she was saying, “Chicken.” “Chicken, clean the house. Chicken, teach the lesson. Chicken, go to bed.” It was pretty funny once I figured out what she really wanted to say!
Today we went to a restaurant that supposedly has food from all over the world. In the United States section of the menu it had ribs!!!! We ordered ribs and another dish from Turkey that we decided to try. It was awesome. I hadn’t eaten ribs for so long. Also the restaurant was really cool and modern looking and played a bunch of oldies music from the U.S. Pretty sweet.
So this week I finished reading the Doctrine and Covenants and there was a really awesome scripture D&C 127:2-4. It’s about how we should even rejoice in suffering when we suffer for God, because we will receive lots of blessings for everything we’ve suffered and all. It’s really great. Also I read in Moses and chapter 7 BLEW MY MIND! It was really beautiful. I highly recommend that you all go home and read it. God shows Enoch his plan for everything that’s going to happen in the world, from the creation until the millennium. It also talks about how God weeps when we make bad decisions and it was really touching to read about Enoch’s experience when he saw the God of the Universe weeping. It talks about the flood when Noah was on the earth and how in the last days, God will flood the earth one more time. But this time, He will sanctify the earth by flooding it with the Gospel before Christ comes again. The Gospel will fill all the earth like a huge flood and all the Saints will be gathered again. (First spiritually and then physically). Super awesome!
Wow. I wrote a really long post. Not gonna have time to write to anyone. Sorry! Love you all. I love my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. I love serving them every day and I’m super duper happy. My heart is just full of gratitude and hope.