How are you all!? Okay. So I don't know exactly where to start with this email today... I haven't thought much about what I want to update you on haha but I have to email right now because we have a lesson in exactly an hour. I know, a lesson on p-day?? Doesn't make much sense. But sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do!! We have a lesson with an investigator's son, Angel. Long story but his mom is a member and his dad, Oscar, is waiting to be baptized because he's on probation. Anyways... Angel is 15 and not baptized but wanting to listen to us. He doesn't like feeling pressured but he's ready to learn more. And this is the only time we can teach him until, because he is going back with his mom (they're divorced) and so we're doing it!! I am super excited. Let's see though... Random updates...
1. Yamara spoke in Sacrament meeting yesterday at our branch conference!!! Pretty awesome huh!? She spoke about how she is trying to spread the gospel to her family and friends.... She did AMAZING!!!! Lorenza came too and it made us very happy. She is progressing still but is having some marriage issues with the one and only Antonio (chaparone - Hermana Piggott haha) ... when we were over there the other night they were arguing tons and it wasn't the best... So that's been on her mind a lot. But we're hoping she'll recognize how the gospel can put more peace and happiness into her heart, keep her in your prayers!! I know she'll be baptized.
2. Jesus turned 16 yesterday!! Woot woot!! He got a hair cut too and now tucks his white church shirt in at church... he looks so handsome and grown up!! Yesterday when he was passing the sacrament too, there was a moment when I caught him looking over... So I looked at him and he gave me the biggest grin and nodded. SO CUTE!!
3. Yesterday in Sacrament meeting I became a MOTHER. I had Maria, Jesus's darling 3 year old sister, crazy Christopher who is the Rodriguez's boy.. Oscar's little brother (I know there are soo many Oscar's to keep track of haha), and this random other little 2 year old boy sitting next to me during the meeting... Maria has been sitting with us when Jesus is passing the sacrament and what not, and I have been bringing crayons (Lauren Haller sent them to me and they have been AMAZING!! Soo helpful to entertain the little ones) and paper for them to draw on.. So anyways, I had them all next to me drawing and what not and ohh my goodness. I truly felt like a mother. I was constantly having to help them quiet down, not be so noisy with the paper, not let the crayons fly all over the place, not let them crawl all underneath the rows.... Hahaha it was CLASSIC. I thought lots about you as well mom. Now I have a taste of what it feels like haha. And it's hard because none of these little ones know better. It was bad though because how I rounded up the 3rd little guy was he came with his grandma, who is another story, and she did not care if he was running all around!! So he ran up to the stand, and then when they were confirming Oscar (another one - he's this darling Cuban who the Elders baptized) this little guy ran up there and was hitting their legs.. And nobody did anything so I had to go quietly grab him and I kept him with me the rest of the meeting. It was rough. We have TONS of little ones in our branch right now so it can get noisy sometimes... And when we have an investigator present I am super sensitive to noises, wanting them to feel the spirit really had, so anyways... It was a good time!!! Haha
4. We have new investigators we're working with so we're super excited! More updates to come. And as of our current investigators, the ones we're really focusing on... Raquel's husband isn't allowing her to come to church right now, she's dying to be baptized but he's the head of the house and what he says goes... (this is common in the Mexican culture) it's so sad. We're praying and working with the situation though. Keep praying for her AND him, Gabriel. Also their son Gabriel whom we're teaching as well. Margarito is coming along.. slowly but surely. Maggie is progressing more now too. And yeah, I can't think of everyone at the moment because I am so scatter brained while emailing!! More updates next week.
5. This weekend we get to go to LINCOLN for a baptism Hermana PIGGOTT and Hermana Lee are having. Since Hermana Richards taught this couple for a long time, she wants to go and we got permission from President Weston so guess what that means!?!? I GET TO SEE HERMANA PIGGOTT 5 DAYS!!!!!!! Haha I feel ridiculous but I already miss her sooooooo much. I LOVE Hermana Richards too of course, we're very good friends as well and such a solid companionship... She's seriously awesome and we have the best time together... But I am so excited to see Hermana Piggott!!!!!!! I love that girl more than I can express!! Hermana Piggott I am SO excited to see you!!!!!!! Hahaha she'll be reading this, ojala. But yeah and her and Hermana Lee called us the other day about a referral and when I heard Hermana Piggott's voice I was going to cry!!!!!!! It was honestly the best thing ever and I was THE happiest kid!!!!!!! Hahaha so I cannot wait till. For the baptism too of course, such a wonderful celebration. And it will be such a joyous reunion haha
6. MOM & DAD!!!! Ohhhh my goodness!!! Your VALENTINES DAY PACKAGE WAS AMAZING!!!!!! Wow..... I cannot get over it. I am OBSESSED!!!!! That box was HUGE and packed with the most incredible stuff!! It was all packaged SO darling too. Barb j, I am obsessed with that rose wrapping paper. But really, you went ABOVE and beyond. Haha and embarrassing fact. I had the package in my car because I wanted to open it up at lunch, we were at the church doing weekly planning, and I didn't have time to open it up that morning and couldn't wait till night because I had been waiting all WEEK to open it up.. So anyways, it was in our car and Hermana Richards at lunch said we should go get it. She was anxious to see what was inside too. So I got it and took it straight to our room and then one of the Elders heard I got a package so he rushed into our room... Grabbed my package, took it into where everyone in our district was (Sister Hamblin had made us all lunch) and all of the Elders suddenly WHIPPED out their cameras, demanding that I opened it in front of them all and they wanted to film it??? Hahahaha sooo embarrassing. So I did and they were all amazed. Haha it was so darling and Valentiney too haha. But I shared lots of the candy with them all and they were happy. Ohh the Elders kill me. They are out of control. They all have been giving me the hardest time about not going to p-day activity too because we usually stay back at our place to relax and only drop by and say hi... But they won't get off our backs about it so we're going to go today haha. We have a lot of new people in our zone though, so it should be fun. But yeah so the package was amazing and I loved all that was in it. The millions of treats all packages sooo cute, the shirts, socks, skirt, pjs... Mom I am OBSESSED with the necklace and wear it every day.. And everything else. You're the best and I could not have felt more loved!!!!! And also, that ended up being a super fun day, I felt soo much love in my heart, however at night NOBODY was home because they were all on dates hahaha. So that was rough. Oh, and Hermana Piggott sent me the cutest Valentines package and I got a letter from darling Grandma Barth, Jess & Aeriel!! I am so spoiled!!
7. There are people riding horses on the streets EVERY DAY. Have I mentioned that before??? It's HILARIOUS.
Okay... I can't think of anything else specific right now... And I need to hurry and email President!!! But I have a quick message I want you to all PONDER about..... I want you to REALLY think about these scriptures this upcoming week. When I stumbled upon them a few weeks ago, they haven't left my mind and I have been thinking and pondering about them every single day. I've done some studying along with them as well and done some reference chains which I'll have to share later but here they are.....
ASK YOURSELVES THESE QUESTIONS
Alma Chapter 5
14 "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?"
15 "Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?"
16 "I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?"
27 "Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins?"
28 "Behold, are ye stripped of pride?"
And then my FAVORITE one in the chapter.......
19 "I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?"
Read all of Alma 5 too... But REALLY ponder over these few verses for me will you?? Think about it. Think about what they mean and how they relate to YOU. Think about what it MEANS to have a pure heart, clean hands, to have the image of God ENGRAVEN in your countenance.... Ponder over it all and I'll share my thoughts next week. Share yours with me as well in your emails next week. I would love it so much.
Okay, I have to go. But I love you all sooo so much!!!! And know that I am the HAPPIEST missionary alive and couldn't love the work I am doing more. I truly love every single day sooo much and am so so sooooo happy. I also feel like a new person every single day and feel as though I am continually learning and growing soo much. I am so so blessed to be apart of this great work!!!!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never want it to end. This is THE LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, adios mi familia!
I LOVE YOU WITH ALL OF MY HEART
Con mucho amor y un gran abrazo,