So not really sure where to start... hmm...
Pues. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. That's a good start, right?
I also love this work with my whole heart. It's incredible, these things I teach every single day are things I grew up knowing and loving, but for some reason since being on a mission, they hold an even more special place in my heart now. I treasure the Book of Mormon, and I treasure every talk given by an apostle or our sweet prophet, and I treasure every opportunity I have to pray because I know that God is real. I know it with all my heart. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind. God has orchestrated certain experiences for me to have every day that just build my testimony. He knows what I need. And it gives me so much peace and comfort knowing that God, being almighty and all-knowing and all powerful, knows exactly how to take care of me. Never before have I felt so much love from my Father in Heaven. Never before have I felt the helping hand of my Savior before. I love it.
Now anyway, this week.
So many amazing things! So many hard and stressful things! Haha normal week of a missionary, I'm realizing.
We have 6 people set for baptism now. 6!!! One of them is Eduimar and she is amazing.
So we hadn't been able to get a hold of her for a couple weeks. She was always busy, always too tired, always working. But one night, we were out of people to visit (which is common), and we just thought we'd try her house. I didn't even grab my scriptures, and Hermana Grubbs only had her planner because we seriously doubted she would be home. We usually have to st up an appointment with her! "Ye of little faith..." am I right? Haha well we knock on the door and about a minute later, we here the door knob tURNING AND THERE SHE WAS. I about died, right there. It was scary, but also really awesome. She let us in and she opened up her Book of Mormon and was like, "What are we going to study today?" It was incredible! She bore such a solid testimony. She is so ready. She is so prepared by God! We just pray now that she will attend church so she can be on her way to enter the waters of baptism and start on her journey back to her Heavenly Father!
Our two other sets for baptism are Cyra and Toby. These two... haha these two teenagers wanted nothing to do with us at first! Their family are members, but very much less active. Their dad wants them to prepare for baptism so he set up an appointment for us. We walked in and ended up staying much longer than planned. We taught the restoration of the gospel, but we were able to follow the spirit, addressing what we thought were their needs. It was the first lesson that we felt truly connected to the gospel, in every second, and it was amazing. We were able to just become friends with these two. Mormons are normal people! We just had to show them that haha we were ourselves, and it was great. I know for a fact that God calls us based on who we truly are. We shouldn't change ourselves to the point where we lose our identity. I was able to be my weird, funny self and so was Hermana Grubbs and through that and the Spirit, we have set these two for baptism next month! Such a sweet experience.
This last week I was able to lead a training for our district meeting and I looovvveeedd my topic! How does having a daily change of heart help us to endure to the end? You guys, the foundation that we build on our Savior Jesus Christ will better enable us to fully repent. We are able to have faith in the repentance process when we act and when we come unto Christ. After we repent and continually have faith, we are then able to make that promise of baptism with our Father in Heaven, thus starting on that straight and narrow path back home. Enduring to the end is a process... something that we will be doing our whole lives. I love it because it makes sense. We start by having faith. By acting on and cultivating that faith. We then go to God with a broken heart, repenting and coming back into the fold of God. It's a process, a never-ending process of becoming more like our Savior. And it's awesome.
One of the coolest experiences I've had so far was following the spirit to sing to an older lady named Margarita. I was scared out of my mind, but the spirit kept telling me to sing, "Senor, Te Necesito," which is "I Need Thee Every Hour," in english. So I did. And it's amazing how following the spirit is able to honestly change people. My companion and I were overcome by the spirit as we sang, and we understood every word that came our of our mouths. The woman was filled with the love of God, and she bore such a powerful testimony, one that I think she needed to hear.
This is our purpose. Invite all people to come unto Christ.
Missionaries don't force anything. We aren't trying to convince anybody of anything. This gospel, this church... it's true, and I know it, but I can't force anyone to believe that. We help people to feel God's love every day, even through singing simple hymns.
This work is never-ending, and we are blessed to be apart of something so amazing.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH.
Never ever ever doubt God's love for you, ok? It's perfect.
Hermana Brie Gould