Dearest Familia :)
How are you? How is life? From what I can tell, life is just great!
Thank you so much for the pictures from the wedding! Emily is just beautiful! (And Taylor is too ;) I'm so glad that you got to go to their wedding. Know that I was thinking about them that whole morning! Kinda funny-Saturday morning we went to help plant trees in a town called Reque-where our district leader works. So while Emily and Taylor were getting married, I was in my jeans, getting dirty and sweaty. It was awesome!
Questions...I did get my package. On Thursday, we had a conference for all of the hermanas in the mission in Piura, so it was easy for me to just go and pick up the package, but for future reference, yeah, put Elder Butler's name (and my name too) on basically everything. Until I tell you to change it.(Thank you!!)
As for when I'm going to call, I'm not exactly sure. Probably sometime in the evening-ish. Mother's Day in Guatemala is the 10th of May, so I'll be the only one calling home between the two of us. I'll try to call the home phone first, but if Cameron's calling the home phone, I'll try one of your cell phones. It's so weird to think that I'll actually get to talk to you on Sunday. Wow! (I'll have to brush up my English a little bit :) I think right now you are one hour behind me. And phone cards are pretty cheap here, so don't worry too much about it :)
This week has been really good. We've still had our struggles, but I feel good about the work that we've been doing. Right now the progression of our investigators is slow, but what is important is that they are progressing. We might not be here to see the fruits of our labors, but knowing that we've helped to plant a seed or put some water or sun on someone's faith makes us feel good.
One thing I've learned in the past week or so is how much I need to rely on the Lord. In Ether 12:27, it says something like "If men come unto me, I will show unto them their weaknesses." I've thought that's so interesting, that when we come to the Lord, it's in that moment that he shows us what we are lacking. I think coming on a mission is a HUGE way to "come unto the Lord." I've definitely been shown my weaknesses. But the Lord doesn't stop there. He shows us our weaknesses, but then if we continue to exercise faith in him, He will turn those weaknesses into strengths. And I'm totally in the process of that.
One experience we had this week really helped me to see how we can have our weaknesses turned into strengths too. It was Wed morning, I think. We had worked the whole morning, but we still had about 20 minutes before lunch, and we didn't have anyone left in our agenda to visit. So we went to make contacts in the park. While we were in the park, we had 2 men with ties and briefcases come up to us (which is more rare than normal in Monsefu-men with ties and briefcases). They were salesmen for some pharmaseutical...something. Anywho, they had an education. They started asking us where we worked, and we explained that we were missionaries-the whole shpeil. They started to ask us about our beliefs-what was the doctrine of Christ, are we saved by works, faith or both, do we need to be baptized again if we were baptized Catholic first-questions like that. They weren't attacking-they were genuine questions-but at the same time it was still somewhat intimidating. But it was interesting to see that as I mentally, consciously, decided to trust the Lord, that he could put the words in my mouth that I needed, I could feel the Spirit. I spoke the words that I needed when I needed them. It was cool though because when we finished talking to them, they said "Congratulations-you know what you believe, and you explained things really clearly." It was such a testimony to me of the power of trusting in the Lord and in the Spirit. This is one of my weaknesses, to trust in myself and my lack of ability rather than in the Lord. I've learned this on the mission. And I've also learned that He really will turn my weaknesses into my strengths when I have faith in Him, and trust in Him.
Anywho, that's basically how I'm growing right now. We have transfers next Monday, and we're 95% sure that Hna Lopez is going to leave, and that I'm going to stay. I've told Hna Choto that she should come be companions with me :) We'll see. The Lord knows what's best though! :) So next week I'll let you know what all is going on with me. Hna Lopez really is the best. We've been together for 4 1/2 months. As companions, you go through so much together-things that only you two understand, and that for us has really helped us to bond and have unity in our companionship.
You asked about the Book of Mormon. I LOVE The Book of Mormon! Really, I've never read it like I've read it on the mission. In the morning, in my personal study, I choose a "pick'me up scripture"-a scripture that I write in my agenda and during the day, when I'm feeling down, I think of that scripture. It really is so cool to think of. The answers are so clear. I love being able to answer people's questions with The Book of Mormon. It gives me the strength that I need to continue to work. I love love love love it!!! Even though I've read it before, there are always things that I have never found before! It really is wonderful.
Well, I think I'm gonna call this a letter. Good luck to Laura in your AP Tests! Pray before you take them, and read your scriptures too D&C 130:18-19, I think! (The Scripture mastery). I'll be praying for you too! Thank you for all of your love and support for me. Tomorrow, I hit 6 months in the mission! I can't believe I only have a year left! GAH!! Time flies by so quickly! Keep praying for me and for the missionaries at home too-they need your prayers too (pray for them specifically by name, if you know who they are-that's one thing we're asking the members here to do for us to hopefully get them more excited about missionary work).
I love you all so much! Talk to you on Sunday!