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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