Sunday, February 9, 2014

Yeah! The computers work! (Sent: February 3rd, 2014)

Hola Familia!

Finally I´m in an internet cafe that works! With pictures and everything! I´ll be sure to send them this week, because back in Matheu, the computers are jerks.

What a week. Belatriz was confirmed a member this Sunday, which was awesome. We´ve been visiting her and her family every day, and we´re always received differently. Sometimes they´re all excited to see us, others are indifferent, and on occasion it´s just absolute chaos with more Spanish profanity than I´ve ever heard even in English. But this sweet hermana is so patient, and has finally received the right to the guidance of the Holy Ghost whenever she needs it.

What´s more is that two of her grandsons came to church to watch her be confirmed! One of them, Aarón, is just a down right stud, who is going to be baptized the following Sunday. Braian, is the other one who is such a good person. Taking on the role as primary provider at 19, I´m really impressed with all that he does for his family. He really wants to be baptized, but struggles with a lot of Word of Wisdom problems. We´ve had several lessons with him about it, and in the most recent we decided to go all in. Either he dumps the alcohol, or we´re going to have to move on. We did everything: we testified, gave examples, scriptures, more testifying, pleaded, had his family plead- we even offered to buy him Manaos (Coca-cola ripoff) as a replacement. Then we gave him the yes or no choice: ¨Will you throw out your alcohol, right now?¨ He must of stared at his wine/soda mix for a half an hour. I was praying my heart out for him. Then he looked up and said that he wouldn´t do it.

I was heart-broken. I really like the guy. And it´s weird to continue to testify and promise all these blessings about baptism to his family with him listening even though he doesn´t want to make those changes. But we did so anyway, talking to the Garcia family about how they can be sealed in the Temple to be a family even after this life. It was powerful, and they love the idea. Slowly, one by one, they´re coming to Church and accepting the Gospel. I hope that in turn, each one will use the infinite power Christ offers them to make changes neccessary and follow him, so they can reach that incredible goal of a Temple Sealing.

Speaking of the Temple, we get to go as a mission on the tenth! I´m excited beyond all belief. For the last month or so before my mission, I tried to go to the Temple everyday, and so I have been missing it like crazy out here, where I haven´t been since the MTC. I can´t wait to be in the Lord´s house again.

Also, thanks to everyone who wrote to me this week. There were times this week that I was feeling a bit lonely and discouraged, and trying my best to fight off negative thoughts and feelings. I spent quite a few hours praying to find the charity needed to make it through the problems I´ve been having, and Heavenly Father reminded me through you all that I´m still loved and have an incredible amount of support. You all rock.

And I hope you remember that too. If you ever feel alone, or can´t see or feel that support from your own relationships with other people, please remember your Heavenly Father. As Jeffery R. Holland said, ¨amidst the wonderously complex tasks inherent in the universe, He seeks our individual happiness and safety above all other godly concerns.¨ He truly does love you more than you can imagine, and you can feel His love whenever you´d like to. Do all that you can to feel it, and it will come in whatever moment you need it.

I love you all. Talk to you next week.

¡Hurrah para Israel!

P.S. Pictures:

1. That capo I told you about, Aarón.
2. Belatriz´s baptism
3. Belatriz and the door fragments. Yes, a 74 year-old, half blind, and incredibly humble woman broke down the front door to be baptized!
4. My companion was having trouble pronouncing the word ¨our¨ so he wrote this to help him understand it. It reminded me of the way the Aussies say no. ¨Nauowur¨ Haha :)

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