Wow, some pretty amazing stuff went down this week! Congrats on everything that you all are doing and for all of your success! I'm so happy to hear from all of you and to hear all is going ok. I was informed in an email today that my english is getting a little bad hahaha sorry, but I'll try to do better. I'm just used to speaking spanglish and people understanding me and also, the keyboards here are not the greatest ... But still, the grammar is off, I know, I know.
So the song I used I believe is sung by Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood ... idk which. But here's the story behind it. This week was rough one. Haha Lots of stuff is going down in the DR and of all of it, we had little success. So yes, they are changing our area from a sisters area to an elders area. We talked with our mission president this past week about our area and it gets a little dark at night. What you gotta know about the DR is that there isn't electricity or light, as we call it, 24/7. It comes and goes and we use inversedors ... I think in english that's a backup generator, for things like light in the house. Small stuff. But when there isn't light, we can't use the microwave, the washing machine, and the fridge light goes out. That also means there aren't street lights on. So at night, it gets really dark in my area and it's not a problem. What is a problem is that we have to walk 20-30 minutes without light in the street from our area to our house, and that's a little sketchy. So for our safety and the safety of future sister missionaries, our area is being changed to an elders area. So we've been working our butts off to prepare the area for them. We've dropped some people who haven't been progressing, we've been finding new people to teaching, we've been working hard to get members in every lesson so that they can help the elders out. Also, emotionally, it hasn't been easy either for me or my comp. It's been a rough road. Thus, some pages turn, some bridges burn. But the lessons learned? There were many :)
1) Turn out. There have been so many times when members have dropped everything and come out with us on the lessons or done us a favor. It's been such a blessing and a miracle to see. And yeah, life happens and the natural man gets you down feeling like you're inadequate, or helpless, or tired, or like you just want to give up. But the example of the members help the missionary work thrive, despite the challenges that arise.
2) Have faith. the Lord sends things our way for a reason. In the moment we don't know why. I still don't understand why. but I know that He is here and that He will help me, if only I ask.
3) Be patient. Like I said, the Lord sends things, but in His time. Sometimes we can't see why until later. And yeah, it's frustrating. sometimes you want to scream or cry or hit something hahaha but people have their agency to choose. And you have the Lord. So turn to Him and plead to Him.
4) Endure to the End and live in the moment. Things pass and go. The book is still there to read, page after page, and the water still keeps running after the bridge is burned. So why stop and focus on the bad stuff? or why not appreciate the moments as they come? There is still good things that are waiting to come, but we need to keep moving forward. We need to keep turning the pages of the book and reading or, as my wonderful brother would say, "Build a bridge and get over it." the faster we can overcome our difficulties or bad spots in our lives and can keep enduring to the end, the faster the blessings can come or the faster we will be able to spot them.
Haha the mission is so amazing and an awesome experience and it's amazing what you can learn from each and every moment.
One more thing that I want to share that my dad brought to my attention: How, after a day full of hard work, crammed with family stuff, social lives, and church callings, can we find time to share the gospel? When, at the end of the day, we realize that we didn't open our mouth or invite anyone, did we miss the opportunity to share with someone? there is a phrase one of my companions shared with me and it goes something like this: Everyone has the duty and responsibility to share the gospel, and we should be doing it all the time. And, if necessary, use words. Sometimes we think that missionary work is about talking to people or going out with the missionaries. And those things are great and it is missionary work. But sometimes its the small and sincere things too. Our examples. Our service. Standing up to our beliefs. There really isn't enough time in the day to be able to survive the challenges of life, plus put on our church clothes and proselyte with the missionaries. We have families to support, bills to pay, meetings to attend. But I can promise you, that when our friends and family see our service, when they see our faith through our examples, when they see us read church material during lunch breaks, or ask to pray before doing an activity at work, or refuse to take a drink during happy hour, they will be drawn to the light that we have. They will somehow be drawn to ask or to wonder. And when the right moment comes and we take advantage of it to speak about our beliefs with them, they will be understand and be able to know. We should always be looking for opportunities to preach the gospel. But we should always be living and practicing everything we are to teach. Sometimes it doesn't take a baptism to get an entire family pumped to share the gospel with their friends. Sometimes it's having a friend ask about our beliefs, or giving a book of Mormon to a loved one or seeing that friend come to church, or seeing the gratefulness in their eyes after a service project. I can't really explain it too well, the experiences that I have seen. But I can say how rewarding it has been for me to see the light and excitement more in the Member's eyes when they go with us to the lessons and see their friends accept the gospel and missionaries.
Anyway, that's my long shpill for the week. Haha, sorry that it such missionary talk most of the time and not some cool stories. But some of the more sincere things are the ones that need attention. Thank you all for your love and support, letters, email, packages, and prayers. I'm so grateful for all of your examples for me and for those that surround you. Take care and have a great week!
Love, aloha, y amor,