Monday, April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013, Plainfield, NJ

Hello everyone! First, thanks to all of you that help me to be a better missionary: Emily, Lydia, Tanner, Mom, Dad, Chris: thanks for your emails/missionary updates. They strengthen me more than you all know. Natalie: I can't believe you go home on SATURDAY. WHAAAAAAA? That makes me feel like I want to throw up. I'm really proud of you and everything that you have accomplished and become on your mission in Taiwan. Talk to you soon (MOTHER's DAY!)
This week was amazing. We had even MORE investigators at church. Two former investigators came to church, Brian (16) and his sister Jasmine (12). They're half Peruvian-half Guatemalan. We visited their whole family and invited them to church and immediately after the invitation, the parents declined. But Brian spoke up and said, "I want to come, I'm not doing anything on Sunday." And immediately after his sister basically just repeated what he said. So their parents dropped them off and they both came and were super happy to be there. Brian even went to his own class, with just him, another Peruvian girl and the teacher (who is a scary Ecuadorian lady that screams her testimony during testimony meeting). We were proud of them. ALSO, The Manzano family came to church. On Saturday, we were teaching the whole family again and we asked Uncle Feliz how he was feeling about baptism (originally was scared, didn't understand it, and didn't want to do it). He replied that he had had a change of heart, that he had felt the spirit, that he knew the Book of Mormon was true, and that he was ready. Elder Leon responded with, "Hermano... quiero llorar" (Brother, I want to cry). So him and the two kids, Christopher and Anthony, will be baptized next Sunday in Scotch Plains! (because the Plainfield building does not have a font) We're still working with Oswaldo and Guillermina, as they are waiting to be married. We set them with another date for the 18th of May. But we might have to move it because that's the same day as Stake Conference. All will be well, that's all I know. The Lord knows what he's doing.
The past week was pretty good. I felt like a lot of people juked us and bailed on every appointment that we set but other than that, we managed to get 8 new investigators and contact a lot of people (new missionaries LOVE contacting, even if they're scared). Elder Leon keeps telling me that he feels like we can work so much harder, do so much more. Fresh blood always has this drive that pushes you till you're dead. And although we are working really hard, I know he's right, especially with the monthly focus being consecration. I love training and working with a new missionary.
We have also been focusing on visiting an Hermana that is in an old resting home in North Plainfield. Her name is Hermana Olympia Mejia, from Honduras. She can't really speak, if she does, it's a few of the handful of the few words that she can mouth. She's pretty old, has a bone problem, and a huge chunk of her mind is always off in heaven. But she's such a lovely sweet lady. Every time we go by the home, we make our way into the Recreational Room, weave our way in between moaning and chatting old people, (most of them half dead/crazy) and find Hermana Mejia sitting with the only other hispanic lady in the home. We kneel by the hermana, ask if she remembers us (she always nods yes), ask how the food and her week is (she always says "it's ok" with her hand), and then read the Book of Mormon with her. And I feel like whenever we talk about our Heavenly Father or Jesus or the gospel, her face gets all clenched up like she's going to cry, but she can't so she just stares at us with these sad eyes and holds our hands with her feeble fingers. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite all others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel. We are doing just that with Hermana Mejia. I just want to make her happier, and I know she is as we come by the lift her up and bring her closer to Him.
The gospel is true. Christ is our Savior. He LIVES and personally DIRECTS the church. I know that. My love goes out to all of you, family, friends, and all OTHERS.

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