I apologize for not writing much the past few weeks, its been crazy here but I hope I have time today to write something good haha.
So this past week was busy.... first we had a multizone conference on Tuesday morning and President Ardila taught us a lot about teaching doctrine effectively and how when we do so, our investigators understand better WHY the things we invite them to do are important. For example, its a lot more effective to teach the doctrine of the sabbath day and the importance of coming to church than just saying, "Sister, you need to come to church this Sunday because if you dont come 2 times, you cant get baptized!" He was joking, but there are actually missionaries who do that, haha. What our job is is to teach the doctrine clearly and with power and authority so that they know that this is an invitation from God and that the commitments that we leave them will bless their lives. When we promise and testify of the blessings as well, we as teachers have done our part. We respect the free agency of each person and hope that they will make the decision to come unto Christ. I liked that training a lot and how he taught us to analize what each investigator should know, feel, and do (saber, sentir, y hacer). We learned a lot that day from President Ardila, the assistants, and from a really great training that Hermana Ardila gave. (BTW, she is awesome. Today she took us sisters from Chaclacayo to Gamarra, a HUGE marketplace that sells clothes for cheap because they make it all right there. Its crazy and theres tons of people and today it was pretty hot, but she was so patient with all the stops that everyone wanted to make and helped us out a lot. It was fun because we drove there in her car with her and ate lunch together and everything and it felt like a normal day shopping with Mom or something... really nice. HUGE thank you to her!!!) So the "multizona" was great!
This week was pretty good, weve been able to improve in various aspects as a companionship and in our area and were doing well. We have been teaching a young family lately and the parents arent married but have been taking the lessons for the past month and have accepted the invitation to be baptized; and the Sunday before last we talked to them about getting married and were seriously considering it. We were on cloud nine as we left them to consult the Lord in the decision with the certainty that theyd receive an answer. They had previously expressed to us that before meeting us they didnt have many problems, but lately they have had many trials, and they straight up told us that they felt it wasnt a coincidence. We explained to them that it wasnt, that the adversary doesnt want them to have the happiness of the gospel and that the Lord will strengthen them if they continue in this path (they have been having family prayer regularly and reading the Book of Mormon). Their 1 year old baby has been sick this past month and we found out this week that his health has worsened and he has been in the hospital for several days. The family obviously has taken a step back from hearing the gospel, but we are hoping that things will improve. They are a great family and my heart hurts for them. Ive thought a lot about them lately and have come to realize that, in general, we can let our trials ruin our faith or strengthen it. They can push us away from God or much, much closer to Him. Things happen for some reason or another, and we cant understand the reasons Heavenly Father gives us the trials that we have, but thankfully we have the Atonement to help us. I was telling Hermana Avendano about the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox and his book and also a talk by Elder Bednar about the Atonement and remembering all of that doctrine helped me to stay positive amidst all of the challenges we are facing. There is help. There is someone who loves us infinitely and has paid for our sins and all we go through and also helps us become better people every day. I am so grateful for Him and feel honored to be wearing his name every day. I hope I can improve every day and become more like Him and help others to do so as well.
This is just a small story that still doesnt have an ending yet but I guess what Im trying to get across is that life is hard... for everyone. We are here to be tested and tried, but we havent been set up to fail. We have a loving Heavenly Father who has given us His Son so that we can choose eternal life. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the gospel and hope that we all can overcome the world as Christ did through His infinite atonement.
Con mucho amor,
|Today we showed up to the mission office and found out that hermana avendanos cousin who was in Venezuela has been reassigned to our mission! SMALL world! Elder and Hermana Avendano :)|