My beautiful beautiful family whom I love dearly dearly! How are you?!?! I am great, I miss and love you all!
This week was really good, and it seriously flew by. I decided today that I am just going to relate a couple really spiritual experiences from the week. Bear with my scattermindedness :) I just made up that word I think :)
On Wednesday we went to read the Book of Mormon with Faviana (she is the recent convert who is 75 and can't read) and when we finished the chapter and asked if she had any questions or anything, she asked us what she had to do to go to the temple and receive her endowments. We just about fell over and died. We have been trying to encourage her for weeks to go, but she was nervous about this, that, and the other. Her health isn't great. She can't read. She doesn't always understand well. She can't remember for very long, and she was nervous to have to travel. But she had been praying a lot and some of the relief society came by to encourage her about it. When we came by she decided she wanted to go. Well we hopped right on that. She had an interview with President Galargaza (the Branch President) on Thursday and an interview with the mission counselor on Saturday, and she is all good to go. We were a little worried just because sometimes it is hard for her to understand and sometimes it is hard to understand her, but both interviews went perfectly. The thing is, even though she may not understand a lot of things or a lot of what will happen in the temple, her spirit and her faith make it impossible to deny that she is more than ready to go to the temple and a more than worthy candidate to be endowed from on high. She has had a very hard life, including an incredibly abusive husband, which is why she has so many issues. But the Lord blesses His followers and loves those who just keep on trying. It was a very happy few days with her :)
On Friday, we went down to Marcona to do family history and were very successful. The members down there are awesome. Me and my comp split up to be able to teach and create accounts online at once. I ended up teaching a recent convert couple with an older lady who has a son on a mission (who I actually knew in Ica, but that is random info). As we talked about the temple and vicarious work, their questions lead us to a higher focus on eternal marriage, enduring to the end, and repentance. They are an AMAZING couple, and they just really want to progress and do everything they should be doing. They were so cute and sincere, and the member with me bore a powerful testimony of eternal families and the sealing ordinance. I am so thankful for the priesthood and the temple. We are so blessed.
Then, yesterday, all of our investigators with baptismal dates fell through and couldn't come to church. I was devastated. None of them lost their date, but I just felt like we had explained everything; the why, the how, the blessings, the consequences and had made really good plans and it all just fizzled out. I was praying really hard and asking Heavenly Father to forgive us for whatever mistakes we had made to not help them get to church when one of the ladies we have been teaching walked in with the member (Mayi) we had committed to get her and HER HUSBAND AND LITTLE BOY. A family walked in to the church :) It has been my prayer for months to be able to teach and help a whole family. So when they walked in, I just started to cry. We had made really firm plans with the wife and she really gets everything we teach her. They are young and have a lot of questions about everything, and they are amazing. Their names are Lisbeth and Enrique, and their little boy Fernando. HUGE tender mercy, and we are way excited to start teaching them.
I also had to speak in church yesterday, and spoke on praying, reading the scriptures, and attending church to receive personal revelation. I felt the spirit so strongly as I spoke, and had been feeling it all morning as I prepared the talk. I felt like it was really what Heavenly Father wanted me to speak about. Then, after the meeting, 9 different people came up to me and thanked me, saying that it was exactly what they needed and that they would never forget what I had said, but more they would never forget what they felt. All 9 of them said that. It was a huge testimony to me that God knows His children, and that He will prepare his servants to be instruments in His hands when we seek it and are worthy and listen. He knows every one of his children. He orchestrates it so that an insufficient missionary can give a talk and 9 people with real problems in Vista Alegre Nasca Peru can feel His love. God is big, but He loves individually. I know that. Christ will walk with us every day if we let him and invite him. His atonement is real, and the love of God is infinite.
I know this gospel is true, and that Heavenly Father loves us.
The blessings of the temple are priceless.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is REAL. And it happened. On a cross at Calvary, many years ago. And my life changed that day, and continues to change every day because of that day.
The Holy Ghost is real, and powerful.
I love my family dearly, and feel eternally blessed every day to have each and every one of you :)
I love you!! Have a great week :)
Hermana Lauren Bailey