How are you? Sounds like all is going well and you are now freed from the slavery of the school year.... now to enter the maybe more psychotic slavery of summer. Yay summer!!!
Anyway. Hope you know I love you all dearly :)
This week was pretty great!! It FLEW by, but they are all really starting to fly by to be honest. It is really crazy. ON Monday for Pday we made pizzas with the Fowlers which is always a fun Pday. Then we played a few really violent rounds of Uno (which is still called Uno in Spanish, fun fact, I was hoping it would be called One.....) Then that night the Fowlers had a Family Home Evening and we were able to bring CLEICI!!!!!!!!! I was beyond excited. I don't know if I have mentioned her lately, but she is a less active who we have been working with my whole time here in Nasca. She is amazing. She is 21 and about to have a baby, the end of this month!!!!! She hasn't come to church since she found out she was pregnant, but we have been able to have some amazing lessons with her and she really wants her baby to have a gospel foundation, so she is working really hard to get back to church. It was a perfect F.H.E. about seeing the hand of God in our lives and the Spirit was very strong. It was a great night!
On Tuesday I had exchanges with one of the other sisters in Nasca and it was really good. I think I learn more on the exchanges than the other sisters who I am supposedly helping. We had a lesson that afternoon with Lizbeth (Enrique is away in the mine on the weekdays) and she was a little discouraged. They are having a lot of opposition in getting the money together to get married (it is insanely expensive and complicated here) and their whole family is telling them they are making a mistake. We were able to talk about following the prophet and left a Liahona with a talk by President Monson for her to read. We have been praying and working super hard for them this week. They are seriously so special, and I know that is why they are being faced with so much opposition. Satan knows how great they are.
On Wednesday we found a new less active named Gloria! She is really confused about church doctrine and what she believes, but she has a lot of desire to be able to be able to listen and work on gaining that testimony back. We were able to explain the importance of the restoration of the church and the doctrine of Christ. Ever since we had the last training with President Douglas, not a lesson has gone by that we haven't talked and testified of the doctrine of Christ. It is truly a daily pattern of life. It is how we come to be disciples of Him and be worthy to return to Him :)
On Thursday we had a lesson with a recent convert from the other branch about family history and committed him to prepare to go to the temple on the 13th of June. He is super prepared and has a really strong testimony of this gospel and of the Book of Mormon. We are getting a lot of people ready with hopes that we can take 15-20 people to Lima to go to the temple on the 13th of June, which is also the day of transfer calls. Pray for them!! That night Hermana Mendez and I ended up talking about the mission and what we had learned and the meaning of life. Haha, but really it is amazing, It just continues being amazing to me how much I have learned in such a short time. I thought I knew a lot before the mission.... but I didn't.
On Friday I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants 59 verses 8 and 12. In the footnote of verse 12 (it is 12a in Spanish, no se in English.) It talks about what Christ wants us to offer to him. The song "What Shall We Give?" from Christmas started running through my mind and I realized that all He really wants and all that we can really control and give to Him is ourselves and our will. Then, that night we taught Lizbeth about keeping the sabbath day holy and it was awesome. She had told us that Fernando had like a parade thing for school (there is ALWAYS school stuff on Sundays here. It is terrible) and that they weren't going to be able to go. We were able to teach the doctrine of the sabbath day and how we would be blessed for observing it and why it was so vitally important. She was like, Wow I understand now, I can't even miss one Sunday, one day of taking the sacrament. We will be there. There will be other parades, but not other opportunities to remember my Savior. She is seriously awesome. Their family is one of the most prepared families I have ever taught in my whole mission, maybe the most prepared.
On Saturday, we had a lesson with both Lizbeth and Enrique and we were super nervous because they were expressing a lot of doubts about getting married and other things we had taught. We went into the lesson praying for guidance and it was once again an amazing spiritual roller coaster. Their questions are directly from the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit is constantly guiding us to scriptures that answer their questions. They had to push back their wedding date, but they are now planning on being married on the 11th of June, and baptized on the 12th. They are even more determined to get to that goal, and they are working very hard to gain strong testimonies of the Gospel. In reality, they already have them, but they are just in the process of accepting it :)
Yesterday was a pretty great day in church! Lisbeth, Enrique, and Fernando came as well as Cleici and all her sisters. I know that this branch is ready to grow, and now we are just working on the members and helping them to be strong. It is a really young branch, but there is a lot of potential here:) I can't wait to see it in 30 years, seriously.
Every week I am continually amazed by the power of the atonement that I feel and see every single day. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Christ paid the price for each and every one of us, and that he suffered all our sufferings. That is real and literal, infinite and pure. I know that Christ lives, and that this is His church. I know that He loves us, and wants us to succeed and return to Him :) I love him, and I am so humbled to be a representative for Him for 18 months.
I love you all!!! Have a great week! Share the Good News!!!!!!
Hermana Lauren Bailey