Well. This week was pretty good. Yumedi, Miguel, and Edison got confirmed and were so happy that they were "officially" members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They're the cutest. Their mom, Bethania, is progressing well. She dropped coffee and is on her way to leaving cigarettes behind. Hearing her bear testimony to us was the highlight of my week. She told us that her pastor freaked out when she told him she was going to be a part of our church. He began saying ridiculous things about how we worship Joseph Smith. She was firm and calm in her reply as she testified that Joseph Smith was a prophet just like the prophets of old. She said he was left in silence and didn't know what to say. She told us she knew that it was because the Spirit had touched his heart and had left him speechless.
This week we had Zone Conference with 3 different zones. President spoke as usual and led an awesome discussion about exceptional faith in Christ. Alma 5:15-17. We can begin to look forward with the eye of faith, see the results as if they already happened, and imagine ourselves in the future. I am so grateful for this mission and what it's been teaching me. Every day there is something new to learn.
I love you all, Keep shining,
Yumedi, Miguel, and Edison's baptism! They are so cute. Even if they like to jump around during the lessons a lot, I love them to pieces. The sweetest part was seeing their older brother, Luis, being able to baptize them after having received the priesthood just a week before.
Remember Luis? The investigator that went through so many doubts to finally gain his testimony? The investigator that got baptized last week? Well on Friday we had the privilege to see him enter the baptismal waters once again, but this time to baptize his three younger siblings, Yumedi, Edison, and Miguel. The air was thick with the Spirit as he helped his younger siblings into the water. Hermana Silva, Hermana Delcompare, and I sang "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus", and a member give an outstanding talk, opening our eyes to the potential that each one of those precious children has. She helped everyone to see them as the future missionaries, spouses, and parents they are. I love that family with my whole heart. Their mom is more excited than ever for her own baptism. She is fighting her addiction to coffee and cigarrettes but with the help of the Lord, she's progressed a lot.
The Lord is really so amazing. The miracles never stop here. Every day there is something amazing to see.
I'm grateful for another transfer with Hermana Delcompare. This week we learned how the Spirit works line upon line, precept upon precept. We arrived at an investigator's house to give a lesson and she didn't come out after quite a bit of yelling on her doorstep (don't worry, that's normal here, I didn't just turn into a barbarian. After knocking, everyone yells "BUENAS!" through the window). However, we stayed yelling for a bit longer and finally she came out. The lesson that we had was incredible. The Spirit inspired Hna Delcompare to share a scripture about the pure love of Christ then I felt Him work in me to share one about hope. He guided our words and the Spirit hit us like a wave. At the same time we all began to cry as we felt the pure hope and love of God in the room. It was as if He was there with us. When we left, we felt Him guide us again as I felt impressed to backtrack our steps. However, at a certain point I felt I didn't know where else to go. Hna Delcompare then said she felt we needed to cross the street and go back (again). We then found an adorable family that we stayed talking to for quite a bit. They don't live in our area, or even in our mission, but we were able to leave a pamphlet and take down their information to send to the other missionaries. That night, Hermana Delcompare and I learned a lot about how the Spirit works. It was amazing how He could reveal to us line upon line, bit by bit, where to go and what to say.
I love you all. May the Spirit guide you in every moment. I know that the Lord's hand is in this work. Every day I realize more and more that isn't us. It's all Him. And it is glorious. Keep shining.
In the mission we get to seed, sow, and harvest. Sometimes we seed and sow and sow and sow and someone else harvests. Sometimes we come just in time to harvest the work of someone else's sowing. Sometimes we only seed. Or only sow. But whatever we do, we help to get the Lord's work going. And in the end, we realize it never was our own harvest anyway, yet the Lord's.
This week was miraculous.
Do you remember Luis? He agreed to get baptized on Friday, the day before his baptism on Sunday. Wow. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson, we felt it guiding us. I think I'm still in shock that he got baptized. Luis really has seen a great change. He's extremely intelligent so ever since the beginning of the lessons he's tried to pick everything apart and find errors. He finally admitted he needed to read The Book of Mormon with less criticism and with more faith. That's when everything changed. His little brothers, sister, and mom are preparing to get baptized as well and are so excited. I love that family with my whole heart <3
Mercedes also got baptized on Saturday. She was prepared for so long by countless missionaries (she's been going to church for more than a year). We just had to invite her to act and hope it was her time. Her husband and daughter are members and it was so beautiful to see that cute family completed. I admire that woman so much.
Rafael Contreras got baptized on Friday! Do you remember him from the last transfer? Hermana Burrell and I started teaching him, then Hermana Silva and I, then I got changed to the other side of Gazcue. I am in love with that family. It was hard to accept that I couldn't visit them anymore this transfer but we got to see each other at church and I'm so grateful for that. His wife was less-active when we started teaching them, but is now an active member.
Gioconda got baptized on Saturday as well! Hermana Silva and I started teaching her in the beginning of last transfer then I got changed to the other side of Gazcue. Gazcue perks? I got to attend the baptism! Gioconda is true evidence of extreme change. There is no soul too lost to rescue.
Marie also got baptized on Friday. Hermana Burrell and I were teaching her quite a bit and she was going to get baptized, but then she dropped us because of family problems, then came back in this last transfer and told Hermana Silva and Antonio that she wanted to get baptized.
The Lord's hand in this work. It's so joyful to be a part of it all. Each one of these people have grown so close to my heart and have been able to see great changes. I am so grateful that I have been gifted this time to be a missionary. I really can't express how humbled and grateful I am for the opportunity to be here and meet these wonderful souls.
I love you all, Share the joy of the gospel with someone you love this week,you won't regret it,
1. The most shameful musical number of my life. We started out so great, Hermana Delcompare singing a solo, then comes my part to enter and I completely lose the melody. We tried again. I messed up. The third time we did it, I had to enter in English because I just couldn't get it right in Spanish (sometimes the rhythm is a bit different when the hymns are translated) Luckily everyone was a good sport and we all just laughed together. Gazcue = family
2. Mercedes! I love her!
3. Luis, his three siblings, and his mom. I love that family.
4. Gioconda and her stepdad on the left. They are awesome.
5. Hermana Antonio, Silva, Delcompare, and I. We all live together and it's great! We are staying together this transfer, so Hna Silva will be able to finish the training of Hna Antonio and I get to finish Hna Delcompare's training! Fun!
6. Marie :)
7. Rafael Contreras and Elizabeth, his wife. I love them so much.
I don't know how to capture all our week in one email. But here I go.
Highlight: We are teaching a single-mother family, the Familia Arrache. Each member of that family has grown so close to my heart. We were sitting in Sacrament Meeting yesterday and Pamela, the 17-year old daughter, asked if only those who were baptized could get up and bear their testimonies. We told her no and began to bug her so she'd get up. I pulled out a post-it and told her to write down her testimony so she didn't get nervous. She was laughing and telling us "no no no" but we insisted. She stood up several times to sit back down right away, After a few pushes and urges, she stood up and made her way to the podium and bore her testimony!! It was only her second time at church and when we looked over at her mom, she was crying. It was probably one of the most beautiful moments of my life.
Familia Urracca: Familia Urracca is another single-mother family that we're teaching. Maybe you remember Luis, from the last email? Yeah. So. Turns out he STILL has doubts about the Book of Mormon, despite what happened last Sunday. But he continues to study and pray diligently. He even asked for a meeting with the Bishop because he wants to clear up some questions he has. Betania (the mom) and two of her kids made it to church this week. I love them. Even though the little ones move a lot in the lessons, whenever they see us they go crazy and always try to make us visit them every day.
Mercedes is still excited for her baptism this Saturday. She is so adorable. She has been going to church for more than a year now, so this is a long awaited moment. I can't wait :)
On Sunday we ate with the Peruvian sisters, these two cute little return missionaries in our ward that help us out quite a bit. They made us Peruvian food. Mm!
I feel like there are more crazies in Gazcue than people sometimes. As we were contacting a lady in the street, this man approached us and pressed his finger to his lips, signaling us to keep quiet. After doing that several times and just staring at us, he then started yelling at the lady we were contacting, telling her some not too pretty stuff. She entered her house and came out with a stick to start hitting him! My goodness. Hermana Delcompare and I were scared stiff and backed away but afterwards we couldn't stop laughing about it. The man was fine and ended up walking away. There are just so many crazy people here. It's ridiculous.
Ah. I love Gazcue. Crazies and all. There are people here I feel like I knew before this life. This is the last week of the transfer and we'll see where I'll go but if it's God's will, I would be quite glad to stay here.
I love you all, Keep shining,
Write me! I would love to hear from you! :)
Santo Domingo East MIssion
SDQ 4102, 2250 NW 114th Ave.
Miami, FL 33172-3652
8540 NW 66th St.
Miami, FL 33195 - 2698
Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission