Mis Seres Queridos
I didn't write this e-mail first, again. So, I am only going to share two really sweet stories from the past week, even though this week was way epic and we were ridiculously busy.
Jose y Elizabeth
We received a referral through the phone this week for a man named Jose who had received a card from the english-speaking missionaries to receive a free copy of the Book of Mormon in spanish. He called the number and we received his information via text. We visited him and his wife on friday night and it was one of the best first lessons I have ever taught. They are just amazing! We taught them about who Heavenly Father is, the importance of ancient and modern prophets, the church that Christ established and eventually about the restoration of the church through Joseph Smith and knowing if it is true through pray and study of the Book of Mormon. My companion and I bore powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the story of Joseph Smith and then asked Jose and Elizabeth what they thought and how they felt. Jose said, "I don't doubt it at all, I could feel that it is true and really want to read the Book of Mormon." Then the icing on top of the cake was when he said, "Are they people that you share this with who really don't believe that it's true?" My companion and I just looked at each other and almost laughed. My reply was that I sure didn't believe it right away and took several months reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it before I received an answer from the Lord. Jose's response was, "so..we are more advanced than you were when you learned, aren't we?" Haha They are definitely more advanced than I was when I first sat down with the missionaries, I was a stubborn brat who just wanted to find a way to prove them wrong, if I remember correctly. Elizabeth said she definitely had felt something in her heart during the lesson and was really excited to read the Book of Mormon. We returned on Saturday and read the introduction with Elizabeth, Jose was working, and she was just so excited to get reading. They are so amazing and I am so excited to see them again on Tuesday night!
We visited Liana this week on Wednesday and it was probably the best lesson we have had with her so far. We brought Elders Esplin and Griffiths with us because they are really funny and we thought they would make Liana smile, but there definitely was a greater purpose in them coming that we weren't aware of. Once we got there we started with the normal routine of brushing her teeth, washing her face and then feeding her dinner and shortly after we got there two of her guy friends showed up. They were nice to us but you could tell they felt pretty awkward around a bunch of missionaries, and as they spoke with Liana they used a lot of foul language. I hadn't heard words like that in so long, well at least in english, and I was shocked at how sensitive I was to them and how they made me feel. After a few minutes, Elder Esplin (a sweet country boy from Colorado) said to the two young men, "Now there are two ladies in this room, that kind of language needs to stop." He was so bold, and the two guys stops swearing! It was so neat! I was so impressed by Elder Esplin's respect for us that he felt the need to approach the situation so boldly. What a blessing it is to serve with such gentlemen. Now, after the two guys left we taught a lesson to Liana about Lehi's vision of the tree of life and about God's love for us being manifest through the sacrifice of His Son. The Spirit in the room was SO strong, especially in contrast to the feeling that was in the room while her friends were there. At the end of the lesson she reminded us that she was an atheist not too long ago and that we would need to be patient with her because she will be slow to change. I told her that we were patient and that Heavenly Father is even "patienter", oh boy, my english is getting so bad. I just love Liana so much and have seen so much change in her that it seems anything but slow. I know she is gaining a personal relationship with Heavenly Father as she prays and knows that He loves her. There is no greater joy than the joy I feel as a missionary.
We baptized Helen this weekend, she is the sweetest little 10 year old I have ever met. Her family had stopped going to church and hadn't been in a long time, but when Hermana Hastings and Hermana Martinez started visiting them last transfer they quickly regained a testimony of the gospel and prepared their daughter Helen to be baptized. In the pictures I sent Helen is the one who is smaller with the short, dark hair. The Elders also had a baptism at the same time of a young girl who also came from a family who had not been to church in years. What a miracle it is to see families return to the fold and become more unified in the goal of having an eternal family.