Hello my dearest mother! :) (And everyone else too)
This week has been one of our rougher weeks. I'm not exactly sure why, but it just feels like we've been trying to work hard but time just keeps flying by, like we're trying to grasp it to hold onto time, but it just keeps going by faster. Despite all this, we have been able to see miracles :) Yesterday, we had the baptism of a young girl named Veronica. Her older sister, Katty, was baptized in March. Veronica came to church last week, and we invited her to be baptized this week and she accepted. She was really sure about her decision too. After she was baptized, Katty and Veronica shared their testimonies with the people that were there. Katty started crying, but she said that she knew that this was true. Veronica also said that she knew this was true. She said that before we came and started visiting them, she didn't have much confidence in the "word of God" but she's learned more to trust in God since we've started visiting her. It was so good for me to hear that, because I have wondered if I'm reaching people sometimes. I just need to have more confidence in the Lord though, and trust that He can touch His children through me.
We also had the opportunity to change companions for one day. Hna Catu, another sister in our zone, came to Monsefu, and Hna Lopez went to her area with her companion, Hna Cruz. Hna Catu has the same amount of time in the mission that I do, so because this is my area, it meant that I was the senior companion. It was a good experience. I realized that I have so much more to improve on. She helped me too, to see different ways that I can teach. (I also made Oreo Amazing Balls for a FHE that we had with a family-basically crunch up oreos, mix in cream cheese, and then roll into balls, and pour melted chocolate over them-a recipe from one of my friend Megan from BYU. Everyone loved them!)
We had a good experience on Saturday. One of our investigators named Rosa (we have multiple investigators named Rosa) really wants to learn how to read music. So we started doing our piano classes again-especially for her. I brought the music book you sent me. It's great! Anywho, we just did the basics, but it was good. She was happy with the little bit she learned. We also wanted to have a lesson with her, and invite her to be baptized. After we were done, she wanted to listen to me play, so I played around some. She loved it. I suggested that we sing a hymn to, and we sang the song Secret Prayer. Afterwards, we talked about the words, how prayer is important in our lives, and how we can develop our faith through prayer. Faith leads to repentance, and we read the words to "More Holiness Give me" -the first verse. Hna Lopez then talked about the 3rd verse, how we can have purity through baptism. We invited her to be baptized. She said she wanted to learn more, but that she could definitely set this as a goal. The Spirit was so strong though! I love music so much! And the hymns are wonderful! :)
Easter easter easter...well, it was a little bit different than in the United States :) It seemed like everyone here celebrates Good Friday, and Sunday isn't quite as big of a deal. It's kind of sad, because they had big parties or whatnot to celebrate the crucifixion of Christ. Sunday, the day of the Resurrection, was more normal. Personally, I'd like to remember the day of the Resurrection more. Friday, we had an activity in the church for everyone, and it was pretty much all day. At the beginning, we spent some time reflecting on the Atonement of Christ, and what that means to us. It was nice. They also had lunch for everyone, and then afterwards, the members played volleyball. We can't play with them :( Oh well. It was fun anyhow! We did learn however, that one of our best investigators, Tania, is conviviente (the Spanish word for "living-together") It broke our hearts because she is progressing, and wanting to learn more about the gospel, but she can't have a baptismal date until she accepts a day to get married... (my Spanish isn't translating into English very well right now). She doesn't know this yet. She came to Veronica's baptism with her 2 daughters because she wanted to see what a baptism in the Church is like. I have faith that she'll be baptized. I'm just not sure when.
I'm so grateful for this chance that I have to be a missionary. The Atonement is essencial to everything we do. Without the Atonement, nothing we do in the Church really means anything. My testimony of the Atonement has grown so much since I left home almost 6 months ago. I love ALma 7:11-13. It is one of my favorite scriptures. It brings me so much peace to know that I'm not alone. That I do have my best friend in Christ who knows exactly how I feel 100% of the time. It's so wonderful. I know that Christ lives. I know that he is aware of me, and that he loves me, and I love to share this knowledge with the people I meet.
Take care :)