Hello my dear family and friends and anyone/everyone else that I love :)
Happy Pi Day!! How are you? ¿Bien? ¡Bien! This week was really good. We had 3 more baptisms this week (although we only count 2 of them as convert baptisms, because one of them was an 8-year-old). Hna Inma, Ceferina, y Pedro were baptized!
A little bit about each of them:
Inma-We found her the first week we were here in Monsefu. We taught her, and she felt the Spirit strongly, and we invited her to be baptized at the end of January, and she said yes. But then she went out of town for about a month, and we couldn't ever really find her. She came back at the end of February though, and we taught her again, and she came to church on her own, and finally, yesterday, she was baptized! Yay!
Ceferina-She's a sweet tiny lady who has had a hard life. We found her and started teaching her, and invited her to be baptized. She said yes at first, but when we returned, she said she didn't want to be baptized. We asked her if she had prayed about it, and she said no. We asked her to pray right then and there and ask if she needed to be baptized. We did it, and afterwards, she said she felt good about it. She has been excited for this time too. She told her friends and family that she was going to be baptized on March 13. So cute :)
Pedrito-Honestly, I love this kid so much. His mom is a member, and he's grown up in the Church. Apparently in places outside of Utah though, it is customary for the missionaries to teach 8-year-olds too. When Hna Lopez told me we were going to teach him, I was confused. She told me that all the kids need to be taught by the missionaries-they don't count as convert baptisms, but the missionaries help to teach them to prepare them right before their baptism. I told her that if the missionaries in Utah did this, they would never have anytime to teach anyone else. She thought it was weird that I was never taught by the missionaries. Anywho, we spent 30-40 minutes at Pedrito's house every day talking about the lessons. He was so cute. He asked us if we could read the Book of Mormon together, and he was just so excited to be baptized. He was sad when he couldn't be baptized last week with our other baptisms. But yesterday was really special for him :)
We also had the chance to go to the stake celebration of the Relief Society birthday party on Saturday, because Hna Inma came. We can go to the activities of the stake/ward if we have investigators with us. The first part was spiritual, messages about the wonderfulness of RS, and the blessings in the lives of the members since it was established. Afterwards, they moved into the gym where they sang Kareoke. It was so funny! They had so much fun, and I loved watching them.
In the past week, I really have felt so much love for the people here. I have felt so much that this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now, and that this will really have an impact on the rest of my life. Yesterday, in Principles of the Gospel, we were talking about the Scriptures, and Hna Lopez asked me to share an experience where I received help from the scriptures. I shared a little bit about my decision to serve a mission, and how I wasn't sure if I was going to go, or if I was going to stay and study another year-how I made the decision to stay for the next semester, and how I prayed. I told them that after I prayed, I opened up the scriptures, and the first scripture I saw was D & C 18:15-16 (I think). As I read that scripture to them (converts, investigators, people I love) I really felt so incredibly grateful that the Lord has given me this opportunity to help people find the truth. I feel like Ammon, in Alma 26 (I think) who rejoices in the fact that the Lord allowed him to be a missionary, and to help his brethern come to a knowledge of the truth. The Gospel really holds the power to change lives.
So I got your letters today with the pictures and program and the notes from the funeral. The program really is beautiful, and I love the bookmark. I loved reading the messages that everyone wrote me! I love to feel the support from home. Sometimes it really does feel like I'm here alone, but I know that there are so many people back home that love me and that are praying for me. Thanks for doing that for me Mom. I also got notes from the Beehives in our ward. I could feel of their personalities from here :) I also got a couple of dear elders from Erin and my friend Amberly (Ilarene's friend). Basically the elders in my district were really jealous (again).
Well, I'm gonna call this a letter. The Gospel is true. I love sharing it with people. When a lot of time passes and I haven't said anything and contacted anyone, I feel kind of lazy . I know this Gospel is true. I love you all so much!