Monday, June 24, 2013

Listen With Love

Hola Todos!

Alright everyone, I hope my ridiculously long email finds you safe and happy this fine Monday morning. Im going to start off by sharing a heart changing revelation I had the other day. It goes along with the words that Christ said 

He that loseth His life shall find it...

Friday I had a lot... and I mean a lot... of extra time to reflect and think about how I was progressing as a missionary. I realized that often, I was so concerned with what I was going to say during a lesson that I all too often only half listened to what my investigator and coompanion were saying. I realized that I was so nervous before lessons because I was more worried with what I was going to say then what the Spirit was telling me my investigators needed to hear. 

Now I know you are all going to read this and say... duh Hermana Wilson.. of course your mission isnt about you. And I would tell you that I already knew that... but you guys... I really know now. The moment I started asking Heavenly Father to help me listen to my inveswtigators wiht love and hel me to focus on what they needed I felt the Spirit confirm to my heart that I was finally understanding what it means to be a missionary. Christ said... I have come here to minister... not to be ministered unto... I echo those words.. at the heart of this great work is one thing... love... above all else this week God taught me the importance of HIs pure and perfect love. 

The miracle of the week is the change in relationship between Hermana Morales and I. I dont just love her.. I can feel and see her love for me. After weeks of quiet, unnoticed acts of service we are finally a united companionship. I learned why she is the way she is... I learned to have patience... above all I learned to love without expectation or strings attached. Even though she works a lot differently then I do I have learned to yield in a lot of situations. I learned that the way I want to do some thing is not the only way. Finally, I learned how to pick out the miracles in every day.

So those are just a few lessons of the week... now to tell you exactly how God taught them to me... 

We did divisiones this week... Hermana Bonilla and I worked together in her area. We decided to work up in Villa Lomar... an area that I had never been in. We started by visiting Hermana Virta and her mother who has a problem with her knee and cannot walk. We taught them about the Atonement and the power of Christs love for us to transform our lives. We extendeda  baptisimal commitment and they said they wanted mor etime... I tried to push it a little bit... I explained to them what it meant to prepare for baptism and they both said if they learned that the Lord wanted them to do it... they would do it.. time will tell si... 

We passed by another Hermano... Hermano Altagracia... he is bound to a wheelchair so we sat an dvisited with him and read him some encouraging scriptures. As I bore my testimony to him that some times we have to do it the Lords way and not our way I could see the tears in his eyes. I just pray that we left him encouraged and uplifted... he is a recent convert to the Church and his faith is obvious. 

So after we visited him we had a lot of time on our hands because two of our appointments had not been home. We decided to try and contact an Hermano that Hermana Bonilla and her former companion had contact previously. It was done off the road in a little ravine. .there were four houses all together.. we were invited to come down and talk with one of the Hermanas..Michelle... as we were walking down the steps another Hermana called out to us.. are you missionaries for Jose Smith... Hermana Bonilla and I looked at each other and then we said that we were missionaries for Jesus Christ and asked her how she had heard of Joseph Smith... she said that she had been a member once... we asked her if we could come up and visit her when we were done with her sister... 

So we started teaching Michelle and her brother Roberto when the woman that had called out to us earliar came to sit and listen also. Hermana Karina is her name... anyway.. we taught them a good lessons about how we can be together forever with our families through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We wrapped up th elesson... left pamphlets with everyone and set up return visits... we had ended with a prayer and were just chatting for a few minutes.. .getting to know them better when an older woman walked in... their mother... all of the sudden she starts sayin gall these things... just these untrue things about the Church and the contention could be felt in the air. Suddenly.. it was chaotic... Hno Roberto told her to stop talking because she did not know every thing... while Hna Bonilla tried to bear her testimony I went around and got phone numbers for the three siblings and then we apologized, excused ourselve by sayin gwe were late for an appointment and left. As we climbed the stairs we could still hear them all argueing... oh man you guys... next time we ar egoing to teach Hno Roberto in his own house.. 

I also asked for my first reference with Hermana Bonilla... they did not give us one but she agreed to go with us to a teaching appointment when her husband was home to watch their kids. 

I think the highlight of the entire week was teaching Hna Velquiz. She is in her mid 20s... she lives with her husband who she has not married and has three children. When we got there we chatted for a little while.. Hna Bonilla had told me that she loved to learn and was interested in learning more about temples so we planned a lesson around her interest in temples. When we got there we asked her if she had read from The Book of Mormon and if she had questions... she said yes she had read and she had a question about Lehis vision... we were thinking... oh 1 Nefi 1... alright... we can talk about it.. but then she says... I just did not understand the significence of the tree... and then we realized that in three days she had read eight chapters in the Book of Mormon... oh man you guys it was so awesome... she said she did not understand it so we sat and read it verse by verse.. explaining the symbols and meanings... and then we even tied it into our lessons by telling her that temples for us are like our own tree of life... 

We encouraged her to pray with her family and to share with her husband what she was learning... she said that if we came by the following day at ten thirty in the morning.. we made plans to do it and then left to try and hit our last few appointments for the evening. That division together we had decided to focus on teaching instead of contacting and together we taught 10 lessons with 3 new investigators... 

The next day we followed up with Hermana Velquiz and unfortunately her husband had unexpectedly had to leave for work. We talked with her for a while.... as we were talking the words entered my mind... teach her how to help herself... I started to wrack my brain... what could we teach her that would help her every day... then I heard Hno Solanos voice in my head saying... Teach your investigators how to recieve revelation through the Book of Mormon... so excitedly I told her that we can recieve our answers through scripture study... I shared with her a personal experience and we talked about how to recognize the Spirit when we pray and read... we ended the lesson and I left feeling like God had really used me to help someone... Hna Bonilla and I talked and I suggested to her that maybe I was not meant to baptize a ton of people... maybe I am just planting seeds and some day missionaries are going to come to this area and they are going to harvest those seeds... I have decieed you guys that if that is the case I am going to do every thing in my powre to be a good planter. I am going to talk to everyone and just try to share the Gospel with everyone that I can. I am nerver going to stop trying to commit people to be baptized and to accept dates but I have decided that I am going to be happy with all the miracles th eLord gives me.. not just the baptisms... 

Anyway.... I am almost out of time but know that I love you guys... also know that I am getting a new companion in two days... I think President Ward is goin gto have me train which scares me a little bit... normally people train after twelves weeks... anyway.. we will see... I will let you know! The Church is true... I know it with all my heart.. as a representative of jesus Christ I can testify to it... I love you all so much... I pray that God watches over you always... Moroni 8,3. 
Until Next Week.

All My Love, 
Hna Wilson

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Monday, June 17, 2013

He Will Send His Angels...

Hola From Panama!
Time is so short today so I will make this a lot shorter than I anticipated. This week was... interesting... a few side notes before I jump into it. Mom please send those loan forbearance forms... I am not sure where they ended up but they are all filled out and just need to be sent in. Also because of where I am geographically (about three hours from the City and 35 minutes from the Canal) I only get mail about once a transfer so if you sned me some thing dont ask me about it for about four weeks... deal. 

Anyway, this week was probably the hardest but also the best week I have had here. Hard because the problems are worse but the best because God reache dout His hands and not only held me up but lifted me above it all. I have often worrie dthat my situation would break my Spirit and my desire to work my hardest to serve the Lord. I have prayed every day for strength and this past Saturday morning I was reading in the Conference addition of the Liahona. President Uchtdorfs Sunday morning address about  LIving in the Lords light really struck me... especially when I read... 

God does not wish to break your Spirit. To the contrary, He desires that you rise up and be the person that you were designed to be...

My family... my friends... God answers prayers. He hears you... but He does it in His time and in HIs way. Every I have prayed for love for my companion and peace in my soul that despite all that is going on here. And in the moment that I needed it most... with transfers only 9 days away... He has given it to me.. .my soul is filled with this light and this peace that I cannnot quiet describe to you. More amazing is the deep love and concern I have for my companion despite all that has happened... I can honestly say that I love and care for her as a fellow Daughter of God... and while I do not love the things she does her welfare, both spiritual and physical, are the upmost concern to me... if I can make her laugh... then to me... together.. our day has been sucessful. 

I have never sought God more fervently than I have these past 5 weeks. in the mission field... and I can feel Him... the arms of His love..., His merciful light holding me up in the moments that despair could easily consume my soul... at the moment I am reminded of a scripture... the words of our sweet Savior... which read.

I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. John 8, 12

The peace of God... the comfort of a clear conscious... is only found in and through Jesus Christ and HIs Gospel. I pray that each of you will seek Him with your whole heart... I promise you will find Him and His light... 

So I emailed you all on Tuesday because we attended the temple that day... that night Hermana Morale sand Hermana Torres decided to do divisiounes... they left Hermana Bonilla and I in my area which freaked me out... I was so afraid that I would not be able to do to do it... I prayed like crazy the whole three hour bus ride home and expressed my fear to Hermana Bonilla who assured me that I would be fine. When we got back to the house and began to plan to contact new investigators the peace I felt was so sweet... a balm to my troubled Spirit. We decided to leave the immediate area and head up to visit that Family that had dropped dates this past week with Hermana Morales... we made tentative plans to teach them about the beauty of repentance through the atonement... a lesson that was meant to invite the Spirit and calm their uncertainty and uneasiness... 

The day started rather bleakly to be honest... we tried to contact all our nueovos and none of them were home! At that point we were really discouraged and I was beginning to wonder if we would have miracles. Then we saw a little boy sitting in the open doorway of his house eatin ga cookie. We started talking to him when his mom came out. We asked her if we could share some thing with her and her family and she told us that her family would not appreciate it but we could share some thing with her. Standing there on the porch we taught her about God and eternal family.. .we commited her to be baptized... a commitment which she accepted and while she did not accept a date we left her a pamphlet and Book of Mormon, both of which she promised to read with a return appointment for tomorrow afternnoon...

We went and searched for more of our new investigators and when we did not find them yet again we decided to try knocking doors. We knelt down in a secluded spot and offered up a prayer that we could be guided in where we should go... the moment Hermana Bonilla said amen it began to pour... you have not seen rain untli you have been in Panama. We looked at each other and decided this was our answer and we hoped we could use it to our advantage. We knocked three doors... all of them said that they were Catholic and not interested... then we decided to walk up a different street and a woman called out to us askin gwhere our umbrellas were. We told her that we had forgotten them and she asked if we wanted to come in and wait fo rthe rain to stop. We ended up teaching her family, her sister with her family, and her other sister about Jesus Christ... we got two addresses and gave away two pamphlets wiht no commitment to be baptized but with two new investigators.... Hermana Bonilla told me after that when I was testifying to the gorup of about 15 people she said she was goin gto try and learn to testify like me... I told her that the unity that we have together gives me strength and courage and I just say what is in my heart and pray that God touches the people that are listening... I learn so much from Hermana Bonilla... I am so grateful that God brought us together to work and grow together even if it is only for a short while every week. 

After getting more Books of Mormon from the house we tried to contact Hermana Nishka... who we had found together during our first division. We were surprised and happy to find her at home and we taughter her about the Gospel of jesus Christ.... we commited her to baptism but she said that she had already been baptized... Herman aMOrales and I are determined to commit her this week and we are hoping that a fast on Tuesday will help us do that. 

We also found a 14 year old girl when we decided to knock doors close to the Church in that area. Hermana Bonilla said President Ward always stressed how helpful it is to have a chapel so close to where people live and we should use that to our advantage. We found Hermana Kaira babysitting her cousins. We taught her about families and planned a return visit for Tuesday as well. When we were ending her grandma called out the window that she should invite us in so I am hopeful that when we return on Tuesday we can teach them both. 

Then we left the area and headed by bus to another part of our area to visit Familia Ovalle. On the way I felt like we should stop and visit another one of our investigators. We found him sitting on his porch and we sat with him for a minute. He told us that right before we showed up he had been praying that somehow he would feel better... he said he had been having a hard day. So we sang a hymn with him... said a prayer and left him feeling better with promises to stop by that next week when we had more time and his wife was home. 

We then headed up for Familia Ovalle. We stopped just before we reached their house and said a prayer... pleading for the Spirit and the wisdom to know how to help them and commit them to a date for baptism. The lesson was one of the most beautiful lessons I have ever had... Hermana Bonilla and I were perfectly united and Hermana Chela was engaged the whole time... she understood every thing we taught her and even though she did not commit to a date we felt that the list of scriptures we had left her and the prayer that she had said would, within the next weeks, bring her to the waters of baptism. 

The last miracle of the day was when we were leaving our last appoitment. It was already 845 and it takes about 10 minutes to get back to the house, by taxi, from where we were. We both wanted to return to the house by 9 and so as we neared the street I said a silent prayer and extended my hand to hail a taxi. The first one... within five seconds... pulled up and we made it back to the house by 855. It truly was a guys need to understand that it nev er happens like that... last night Hermana MOrales and I waited for a taxi for almost 20 minutes... 

At the end of the day we had taught 8 lessons, contacted 45 people, found 6 new investigators and commited 4 of those new investigators to baptism.. all of which had said yes once they learned more... it truly was a day o fmiracles and I learn a lot about myself... above all else I learned that I can work this area without Hermana Morales and not just work but have success. 

On Thursday Hermana Bonilla and I went up to Maria Chiquita by ourselves... the other Hermanas decided not to go for reasons that I am still unsure of... We shared D y C 122 with Hermano Chifundo.... we had read it together as a companioship that morning and cried because we knew that God understood how hard things were for us... we knew that to know our Savior we had to take a sip of the bitter cup of Gethsemane and take a few cross laden steps towards Calvary....  the best part of Thursday was teaching a recently converted family the Gospel of Jesus Christ.. as I looked at them I saw them dressed in white... ready to be sealed as a family forever... one day I hope to baptized a family but I know that it will come in Gods time and in His way... 

Ending divisions was hard because there were numerous things that I was scolded for... I just try to remember that as long as I am doing it the Lords way I have nothing to apologize or be sorry for and I as I crawled into bed that night I knew that God was proud of me... 

One more miracle before I end... last night Hermana Morales and I found a family... Family Marina... we were walking and I just felt very strongly that I should talk to them.. they were stiting outside their house. They were so sweet and so welcoming. It is obvious just how important family is to them. We are going to visit them again on Sunday... I am so excited... I am praying for a miracles with them. 

Above every thing I have learned this week it is how much God loves us and is aware of our situations. I was riding on the bus last night.... looking around trying to memorize where the stops were... I have really felt this urgent need to know my area better lately and I am not sure why I am assuming it is for a reason that I will one day understand... anyway, I was looking around for our stop and a landmark or two that would help me remember when the girl next to me asked where I was going... I told her Villa Guadalupe... she smiled and said okay... we talked for a minute more and then when the bus stoppped she told me that this was my stop. I thanked her and followed Hermana Morales off the bus... as I left the best the words came into my head... I will send my angels to help those who put their trust in me... it took all I had not to kneel down and offer a prayer of gratitude to my Lord and Savior.. I was so grateful... I know that no matter what happens come transfers... no matter what God needs me to do for  HIs work here that I will be ready because He will help me be ready. 

Another great quote that I loved...

Trials may come and we may not understand everything that happens to us or around us. But if we humbly quietly trust in the Lord, He will give us strength and guidance in every challenge we face. When our only desire is to please Him we will be blessed with a deep inner peace... Elder Bruce D. Porter

God loves us.. all we experience... even the difficult... we experience because He loves us that much... enough to break us down down that He can then build us up..

If you guys have been worried about me dont be. Know that wherever I go, I go with God. Know that I love you all. That I pray for you and that I carry your words of encouragement and love close to my heart. Be strong and remember... We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Philip. 2,13 Until next week...

All My Love, 
Hermana Wilson

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Meeting Milagro and Other Miracles

Hola! Como Estan!
Every time I say that to people in the street I think of one of my teachers in the CCM. I try to be happy all the time like he always was. To begin, mom I finally got your package! It took almost exactly four weeks to get to me. Oh man did I love your letter though! I cried when I read it. I needed it so badly. Let everyone know that they can send me dear elders. Letters take about three weeks to get here. Anyway, on to what happen this week.

This week was hard for us. We droppped two baptisimal dates and one of our investigators passed away. I did not know her that well but she was an older woman who suffered from diabetes. We got her name and stuff so her temple work can be done within a years time.
Things are still difficult with my companion but I have the made the choice to do my best to make her my best friend. If we can part ways feeling like we are good friends then I will consider it a successful companionship. Yet we both know that the blessings we experience in this life are conditioned upon our obedience. If we want miracles the Lord requires exact obedience. I have faith that God can do any thing, even give Hermana Morales and I a baptism. But I also know that if, as a companionship we are not doing every thing to be obeient and to work hard then we are going to reap what we sow. Like I said before, this past week alone we dropped two baptismal dates and the third that we are working with is very uncertain. I try to see the miracles every day but too often I go to bed feeling like I have not done anything here. I find solace in Hermana Bonilla who slips me scriptures during Sunday School and in the Spirit who is my constant companion.  I hope that regardless of how unsuccesful I feel sometimes you are all still proud of me and know that I am trying so hard to be the missionary God needs me to be. Now for the miracles of the week.
I have never felt the Spirit quiet like I do when I begin my testimony with the words As a representative of Jesus Christ I testify... when done at the right moment it is so powerful... I had such an experience this week. We were teaching the Ovalle Family. We were talking wtih them about baptism and we extended the commitment or them to be baptized. They excepted and we tried to commit them to the 21st of June. They said it was too soon and so we suggested the 29th. Still they were hesistant. As Hermana Morales began to talk to them aout praying about what we had taught them I had that all to familiar, some times dreaded prompting, that God wanted me to say something. When Hermana Morales stopped talking the words, I want to share a scripture with you, spilled out of my mouth and I had not even thought of a scripture. As quickly as I realized what I had said Ether 12,6 popped into my mind and we turned to it. We read it together and then I said some thing to the effect of... we know that this decision is important and sacred to you.... that you want to be sure and not rush into... but just like this scipture says some times we have to take a few steps into the dark before God will light our way.. I can testify... as a representative of Jesus Christ that if you will commit to a date you will recieve your answer and feel ready by that date...
When I stopped talking I just let the silence fall for a minute.. I could feel that if we just sat there for a minute and gave the Spirit a chance to work we would get them to commit to a date. Suddenly Hermana Morales started talking... she testified of faith and then she commited them to... pray about what we had taught them. My heart broke as I felt in my heart that an opportunity had been lost... if we had been persistent I am confident that we would have commited them to a date... it was hard for me but I swallowed my pride... prayed for my companion as she spoke and testified of what she said after. God gives us these experiences that we might learn to love... I am trying my best to love my companion.

On Thursday we went up to Maria Chiquita with Hermana Bonilla and Hermana Torres. Hermana MOrales and hermana Torres left us to work and so we went and visited the same recent convert we had visited last week. Hermano Chifundo. This time his 20 year old son was there. He suffered a stroke or some thing and is bound to a wheel and can really only move his arms enough to function his wheelchair. He talks in a way that his words are slurred and some times hard to understand. We shared a hymn and a scripture with them, talked about how God understands all our situations. When I wheel Ricardo in for the lesson all I wanted to do was testify to him how much God loves him and is aware of him. I made a point to do that at the end of the lessons. You guys, I just love the people here so much... with all my heart. I wish that I could help them all come to the knowledge of the truth...
After Hermano Chifundo we went and looked for Hermano Javier, the investigator we spontantenously taught the week before. We found him sitting in his car and we asked him if we could share more of our message with him. We asked him if he had read the pamphlet we left him and said a little. We were kind of disappointed until he told us that he had read three chapters in the book we left him. We asked him what he thought and he said that it reminded him of the Bible. We decided to change our lesson to talk more about the Book of Mormon. We asked him if he believed it was the word of God. He said that just before we showed up he had been sitting in his car praying about it and when we walked up he felt like that was his answer... so yes... he believed it was the word of God. Hermana Bonilla and I were elated! We took the opportunity to talk about baptism. We told about the importance of baptism and read him a scripture from the Book of Mormon about it. We asked him if he thought it was important and if he wanted to folllow the example of Jesus Christ. He said he did and so I extended the commitment. He said yes. We tried to commit him to June 29th but I could not understand his reason why. Apparently it was some thing Hermana Bonilla did not want to push but we encouraged him to continue to read and set an appoitment up for this next Thursday. After the lesson Hermana Bonilla and I hugged each other. We had our own investigator and he was reading and progressing. It was th best feeling ever!
On Saturday eight year old Benjamin was baptism. Though it was not a baptism for my companionship I had taught him four times with Hermana Bonilla and to see him immersed in the water, knowing that one day he would go out and serve his own mission and change so many lives brought me so much joy. Hermana Bonilla hugged me and told me what a miracle she fet it was to have a baptism. We were both so happy that we cried. How great shall be your joy if ye shall bring but one soul unto me...
The same Saturday we visited a guy by the name of Adan Ortega. He had been caught in a shoot out was bed ridden with both legs in a cast. I felt bed as he made an effort to sit up and shake our hands. We sang, Nearer My God to Thee with him and each shared our testimonies about Gods love for us. Tears stung my eyes as I testified to him about how much God loved him. I just wanted him to know it. I wanted it to comfort him. I could see in his eyes that he felt it and as we left the house after the meeting I just prayed with all my heart that God touch Hermano Adan. I do not know when we will visit him again but I just pray that he knows how aware of him our Father in Heaven is.
Okay so Monday was probably the best day of this week. I was frustrated and discouraged in the morning because we had our district meeting and talked about how we needed to try and get two baptisms per companionship this month. I tried my best to push back my doubts as we returned to the house. We spent the morning cleaning and then left the house by 3. As we enteered the home of a member I was so frustrated because we were already 30 minutes late for our first planned appointment. We visited with Hermana Ochoa for a while, an elderly widowed member. We then asked her to pray .In her prayer she thanked God for inspiring the issionaries to visit her that day. She told Him how much she loved it when we visited her and she asked God to bless us. Man was that a humbling experience for me. I mentally said a prayer or forgiveness as we left her home to go to our appointment that we were now an hour late for and a prayer of gratitude that God had inspiried Hermana Morales to stop and visit her.
We then started to contact. It is my favorite thing and I am not sure why. I just love being out among the people in my area talking to them and finding more and more people to teach and share the gospel with. We went to look for a previous contact, Hermana Diosa. To our dismay she was not home but two houses down we found an Hermana Jarabi with her four kids and were able to set up an appointment for tomorrow with her.
We continued to walk down the same sidewalk and three houses down found a woman sitting on her porch with her three year old daughter. We introduced ourselves and the little girl, named Milagro, kept reaching out to touch my name tags and the buttons on my shirt. She had the sweetest smile on her face and kept making her laugh whenever I looked at her. Her mother told us that she was almost completely deaf and that she needed hearing aids to hear. My heart swelled with love for this little girl and as I looked into her sweet innocent face I saw a glimpse of the love our Father in Heaven has for each of us. For some reason it was one of the most intimate moments with the Spirit I have had since coming out on my mission. I will remeber for the rest of my life looking into the face of the little girl and seeing my Savior... His love, His compassion, and His mercy... meeting Milagro (spanish for Miracle) truly was a miracle for me.
Do you guys remember two weeks ago when I talked about Hermana Nishka who Hermana Bonilla and I had contacted at the grocery store during our first split together. Wel we finally found her at home! It felt like a miracle! We talked with her for a minute and she said she was too tired to listen to us right then but we set up an appointment for tomorrow and we are praying she is there. We also finally connected with Migel again. We had met him two weeks ago also one Sunday afternnoon. The second time we had visit his wife had been almost hostile. This time it was just Migel and we asked if we could come back this Sunday and teach both him and his wife together... it should prove to be an interesting experience... I will let you all know how it goes.
At that point we decided to try and find Hermana Diosa again. Instead we found her father with her son. We sat on the porch and shared a hymn and a prayer with him. We also bore testimony that through the gospel of Jesus Christ we can be together with our families forever. He seemed enthusiastic as we left and asked him to tell Hermana Diosa that we stopped by. I am not sure when we will visit her again but I will keep you all updated on that also.
To end I wanted to share a poem with you all that I wrote A few weeks before I left the MTC.... often times I feel it is a way that the Spirit answers my prayers and I hope you guys like it.
I study Spanish every day
And try to do my best
To live up to the name
I wear across my chest
I try to always smile
If only to pretend
That reallly I cant wait
Until this day does end
Some times I wonder why
Im doing this at all
Does God really think
I can answer His great call
Another door is slammed
Into a dusty face
And I try to hide it
As tears they stain my face
And as I kneel to pray
I ask Him how Ive done
When I think my lessons taught
Number only one
I wonder if Ill ever
Feel my heart is here
And cease to miss my famiy
Whom I hold so dear
I wonder what Im doing
And if Gods proud of me
I had dreamt of coming here
And successful I would be
But I feel Ive failed
As I climb in bed
And I think of His sheep
That I have left unfed
Then I dream a dream
I am standing in the street
Feeling like theres someone
Im supposed to meet
Ahead I see a man
Walking up the road
I can see that in his arms
He carries a big load
I wonder should I help
This stranger dressed in rags
But I turn my head
AS my conscious nags
Many people pass
And time wears slowly on
My patience has long since
Quickly come and gone
Then a voice does come
From underneath a tree
And I recognize the man
I earliar did see
Slowly I approach him
And he calls on me to come
He eats a piece of bread
And beckons me to some
Then asks me a question
That stops me in my tracks
It calls to mind my weakness
And all that I do lack
The face of God he says
Would you like to see it
I found myself annoyed
Of this I must admit
I scoffed and said of course
I want to see HIs face
It was why Id come
To this distant place
Would you recognize him then
If he stood before you
And in that moment
Without a doubt I knew
The people on the street
And those who slammed the door
If I looked into their eyes
I would see my Lord
The man then held his hands
Up for me to see
And with a soft gasp
I dropped down to one knee
I touched the prints of nails
And bathed them wth my tears
For staring back at me
WAs the One that I hold dear
I know that this is hard He said
And may often make you cry
But know that I will help you
If all you do is try
My angels will be with you
And I will go before
As you tract down every street
And knock on every door
And if your mouth youll open
I promise you will speak
My words with mighty power
For I always use the weak
So when you think you dont
Have the strength to do
Remember that I suffered, bled
And was crucified for you
And remember when you teach
To always find my face
And love my precious children
For here is your holy place...
You guys... I want you all to know that I know that my Savior lives. I see Him every day as I find, teach and serve the people in this area. My mission is already sacred ground to me for every day I feel Him walking beside me as I try my best to bring souls to Him. It is the hardest thing I have every done but is the most worthwhile thing in the world. I love it so much.... with all my heart and soul I want to help these people and make a difference... I know that God is with me and I thank you all for your support and love... until next week, pray for me and write me letters!

All My Love
Hermana Wilson

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Thou Hast Been Faithful...

Dear Everyone!

Alright, I want to start by saying that I have not got any mail because the elder in charge of distributing the mail has not been through our area. I will let you know when I get mail. Also mom, I am looking at buying some soft spanish scriptures because the hard ones they gave me in the MTC are kiling my shoulder. Please keep an eye on my bank account Thats all the housekeeping items for now, on to what happened this week.

I have always loved the scriptures so much. They have seen me through some very hard times and been my constant companion companion through many trials. Since beginning my mission I have come to love them even more. This week I have found many answers and discovered many gems in the words of our Lord.

Perhaps the most precious to was found in Ether 12,37. I was reading Ether 12, thinking of some of the things regarding faith my teachers in the MTC had taught us during out last week. It was a day when I was really really hurting because of some of the things that are going on here. When I read the words of Ether 12,37 the tears fell freely because I knew that God had heard my pl.ease for understanding. All I wanted was for to know tha<t I am doing my best to be obedient and while I am not perfect, I am trying so hard. AS I though about this I read the words...

And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me, If they are not obedient it mattereth not unto thee, thou has been faithful, wherefore, they garments shall be made clean, and because thou has seen they weakness thou shalt be made strong.

Even now as I write it the tears flow freely . It5 was such a deep powerful tender mercy from my Father in Heaven. God loves us all so much. I can testify to this truth and that we can find our answers in the scriptures which we are so blessed to have. I hope that you will all dilligently study the scriptures every day. That is where God will answer many of your prayers. I know that if you will do this you too will experience sweet, intimate moments with the Spirit and you too will know how much you matter to Him.

So I realized in my last email I have not really described my area. I am short on time so it will not be an in depth description but I willl give it my best shot. Its very poor. I am very grateful to be here with this these people. There are so many things I toook for granted at home that the people here do not have. Carpet, running water, electricity, and air conditioning are a few of them. We also take cold showers which are nice in the heat but I do ache for a warm shower once in a while. I have been getting eaten alive the past week and I am pretty sure we have bed bugs. We are hoping to take care of that this week. On Tuesday we had no water... all I can say about that is make sure you have a substantial water storage. We washed dishes, showered and brushed our teeth with bottles of water that we had saved.

There are a lot of black people in my area. In fact, I feel like most of the time the only reason people listen to me is because I am white and they want to know why I am here but I am glad they listen to me at all so I am not complaining. The area is pretty big, kind of like Elko with a central store and a lot of housing areas. There are alot of hills and I am going to have some killer leg muscles when I am done here. It rains every day and there are stray cats and dogs everywhere!.

Weekly Spanish update. It is going well. Some times I dont even realize when people are speaking in Spanish some times. I am getting very comfortable. I hope you are proud to know that I set up a dinner appointment and teaching appointment with two different people at Church this past Sunday. I also got up and bore my testimony. I prayed all week that if nothing else the members would feel that my testimony came from my heart and though I cannot remember all that I said a lot of them told me after that I gave a beautiful, powerful testimony. It was a wonderful tender mercy.

I finally got Hermana Morales to go through the area book with me! I asked her last Pday if Icould look at it. After a few minutes I asked her if I could write in it and after that she took from me and said she would teach me. Even though I already knew every thing she told me I pretended I didnt and even asked questions about things. The area book is now up to date and I can sleep better at night because of it.

This week I was hardly with Hermana Morales because she and Hermana Torres decided for us to have divsiones or exchanges. We started Tuesday night and ended Thursday night. I am pretty sure thats against the rules but I am not complainging over extra time with Hermana Bonilla.

We contacted 30 people in 3 hours which was a small miracle in itself. Then Hermana Bonilla decided that she wanted an ice cream so went into a store to by one. The cashier saw the Boook of Mormon in my hand and asked about it. We told her that it was another testament of Jesus Christ and supported the bible in his teachings and doctrines. She asked if she could read it and we gave her one with our testimonies and phone number in it, writing down her name and the area in which she lives. It was a pretty neat experience I am hoping we will contact her this week.

We also taught one of the guys we found last week. Hermano Darrio. He was the one who randomly said we could come teach him and his family. We went looking for him and found his friend Jose at home. We taught them both and Jose said he wanted to be baptized but works every day for the next two weeks so I am hoping that after that we will be able to visit and teach him more. He has definitely been prepared by the Lord. We had a family home everning with a recent convert name Hermana Carmen and I used the example Hermano Solano taught us in the CCM about finding our own stones for the Lord to touch. Hermana Bonilla told me after that the Spirit had been so strong when I was speaking that she knew everyone could feel it. I was grateful for that, some times I wonder if I make a difference here...

That was Tuesday night, on Wednesday we took pass along cards and wrote information about church, the day time and place. We made 95 of them with the intention of giving them all away. We wanted to talked with 70 people that day but I knew that Hermana Bonilla and I were both hoping for more. We practiced a litle bit and then left the house. We got on a bus and asked the driver to turn down the music. Then we stood up, in the strength of the Spirit of Lord and bore testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked about how it could change their lives and we invited them all to come to Church and learn more. Everyone was looking at us and when we ended in the name of Jesus Christ people reached for the pass along cards. We did that a second time before we started heading to our teaching appointments that day and it was a lot easiar the second time. Hermana Bonilla and I were definitely on a spiritual high as we ended a lesson with Juan, an 11 year old who cannot currently be baptized because his dad wants him to learn more, we are hoping that within the month we will see him a member of the Church.

We were walking back from that appointment when we decided to try some thing different. We approached a family sitting on their porch, introduced ourselves and extended the usual invitiation to come to Church on Sunday. Then I asked them if we could share a message with them. For two minutes they said nothing than the husband finally said yes and we taught them about God being our loving Heavenly Father, how the gospel can bless their family and a little about the importance of prophets. It was far from perfect but the husband invited us back and that was how we found the Gonzales family.

At the end of the day around 845 we were walking back to the house. We had given out all our cards, talking to 92 people, some of our investigators had wanted some of the cards so we did not count that as contacts. We were walking and talkin gabout how badly we wanted to hit 100 but there was no one around. We decided to each pray personally to reach this goal and that if God wanted us to have this experience he would give it to us. We turned on to our street and saw three people. I split off from Hermana Bonilla and spoke with a couple while she spoke with an Hermano that had been walking behind us.

At that point we only needed to talk to four more people. We stood in front of our hourse in silence for a minute and then I told Hermana Bonilla that maybe we should walk to the end of our street and back. With 10 minutes left beefore we had to be inside we walked. We had not walked 30 steps when we saw five people standing outside their house. It was all we could do to not run over to them. We talked with them for a few minutes about our message and invited them to Church. God had blessed us with 101 people that day. 101 more people who knew of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that it could change their life. When we got back to the house we were so exhausted that both of us were falling asleep as we filled out the area book! It was so wonderful though and I knew that God had used us that day and He had sent angels to prepare our way so that we could see those miracles.

The next day we went and worked an area that I had never visited and we practed teaching when we contacted. We recieved eight references that way which was wonderful and I am hoping we will revisit them this week.

I am running short on time and since I started with a scripture I wanted to end with a scripture. I was readingin D y C 121, a section that I had read many times before but this time verse 9 really stood out to me. I am struggling because I do not feel like I am doing much to help this area because of my situation with my companion. I feel like we could work so much harder and we bring so many more people to Christ. I thought of all of you and how proud I want to make you and then I read the words in v. 9...

They friends do stand by thee...

Thank you for all your love and support. I just love you all so very much. I know that no matter how hard things are here or how little I am able to do with my current companion I find peace in knowing that to you and to God I am a good missionary because that is all I want to be. I want to give my best every day... I love this work and I love my Savior... it is why I am here. I am consecrating every thing in the serve of my God and my King. Keep praying for me and know that I am often thinking of you. I want you all to know that I know with all my heart that these things are true. It is for this reason that I can find the courage to stand up in a buse of 40 people and testify that the gospel of Jesus Christ will change the lives of the people here in Colon. It has changed mine. It changes me every day as I see it transforms the lives of my investigators and the members. They do not have much but they have what they have the Gospel... and to them that is enough. This Gospel is the only thing that brings complete and lasting happiness. On the nights that I am so frustrated all I want to do is cry I think of this Gospel, I think of my Savior and I think of all of you and I know that that there is more to this life then just enduring. Men are that they might have joy. May you all find joy in every moment because that is what this Gospel is about and what God wants for you. I love you all. Until next week. Notice the miracles and thank God always for them.

All My Love,
Hermana Wilson

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