How is everyone?? Man…where do I begin?? I don’t even know. Time is flying and I can’t catch up! My thoughts are still back in yesterday haha. Anyways, things are going really well here. As in super well! Sister Rudd and I are amazed at the investigators here- they’re dragging us to the baptismal font and it’s been such a privilege to be part of their lives and watching them come closer to Christ. I know that who were are as missionaries, as individuals are not important, but the one who is important is the Savior and Heavenly Father and those we’re teaching. We’re only their guides.
Sister Myrna is so sweet. She’s counting down the days to her baptism and in every one of her prayers she prays that she’ll be ready and nothing will get in the way of her baptism. She loves the Book of Mormon and is always bursting with light whenever we see her. Remember how I told you that I wanted to leave that area? Paradise? It’s interesting because no one else in Paradise is progressing except Myrna…she’s the only one, and so I just know that every soul is important to God because He does incredible things for just ONE PERSON:) He knows when people are truly ready, and Sister Myrna is so ready! I’ve never seen an investigator progress has fast as she has. She was laughing the other day because she said that last year missionaries came to teach her, but she just argued with them and so they never came back! There really is a perfect time for everyone :)
Another one of our investigators is Brother Joey. He’s awesome too. He’s the nephew of a member, and honestly, at first glance, you might think that he wouldn’t be interested in listening to the gospel…that’s what I thought at first. He’s 30 and has had a little bit of a rough past. He has 2 little girls but they live with their mom in Manila after they separated. But Brother Joey is so great- he smoked before but now he’s gone a week and a half without smoking at all! We pray all the time for him and he’s been changing so much. Something that is really cool to see is when people don’t just change spiritually but physically as well- and now Brother Joey is just more at peace and is happier and you can tell just by looking at him. We taught him a couple days ago, and we were reading in I Nephi 2:9-10 where Lehi is telling his sons that he hopes they’ll be like a river and a valley- steadfast, constant and always doing good. Joey really liked those verses, and so I asked him what he would tell his two little girls if he could talk to them. I don’t know what I expected him to say…something like he hoped they’d be like a tree or the sun or something I guess, but what he said surprised me and left me without words. He said without hestition “I want them to be like you two! To go on missions too..when I see them again, I’ll get them baptized in this church.” It was really sweet, and again, I wish you could meet him so you could really see all the changes that has happened in his life.
And another miracle is Brother Ariel. He’ll be baptized next week. His wife is a member and they have 2 little girls and we started teaching them in January. At first he didn’t want to be baptized but over time he said yes, but his original baptismal date of March 12 kept getting closer and closer and he still hadn’t read the Book of Mormon or prayed about Joseph Smith, even though he was going to church and keeping the Word of Wisdom. I was frusterated, to be honest, and didn’t have much hope or faith for him, but I’m so grateful for our district leader, Elder Ronquillo, because every time he would always ask about Ariel and how his progress was. He seemed to have such faith that he’d still be baptized! We moved the date to March 26 and Brother Ariel was actually disappointed to my surprise. We just told him to be ready he’d really have to read and pray about it. He said he would, but again I still wasn’t sure. The only thing that seemed to be holding him back was his reading in the Book of Mormon…he was excited to be baptized, but I just kept thinking that if he didn’t read, that conversion really wouldn’t be there…so I started praying and praying all the time for him that he would have that desire to read and that he truly would be ready and converted. The night before we went to teach him again he texted and said he had read ‘a little.’ I thought, well at least that’s better than none! But when we got there he had read the entire book of First Nephi! (before we were struggling to get him to read chapter 1!) He loved it and couldn’t stop talking about it and then we talked about his testimony and prayers and wow…I was almost hyperventilating the Spirit was so strong. He’s ready. More than readyJ We scheduled his baptismal interview and then…he got sick and was confined in the hospital!!! But he was really worried about his interview so we just did the interview in the hospital as he sat in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV! I’m so grateful for Heavenly Father and I know that we are only guides for His children here on earth. I’m so grateful for His help to them.
I know this is God’s work. I love being a missionary. I know His work is perfect, even when we the missionaries are not. I know He loves His children and I know He loves all of you…and I do too.