December 7, 2009
Bon Dia! Mi Famia y Mi Amigonan
I hope that all is "hopi bon" with you all back in home. Make sure that you take your coat outside so that you all don't get sick from the freezing cold! hahah! I hope that you are all enjoying the snow though. You should enjoy! IT really isn't Christmas without snow. I'm just sorry that the snow has to last for another 3 months!
Speaking of Christmas, the Christmas devotional was absolutely amazing! I know that last year they broadcast it on KBYU and BYU-TV as well as playing it in all the churches. I hope that you were all able to see it! It started at 9 o' clock here, which was a little weird, but it was so awesome. It was great to hear the voice of the prophet of God along with two other apostles and prophets of the Lord. I loved the messages they shared about focusing more on the Savior for Christmas instead of all of the physical things. The program was amazing and as we left the church I was expecting to feel the chilly December air and the sound of snow crunching under my feet. It was a little weird to walk outside and feel the 85 degree nighttime air with a nice ocean breeze. Sorry but as much as you say you hate the snow, Christmas just isn't Christmas without being bundled up and freezing your butt off so enjoy it! haha!
Thank you to all of you for your emails and I am so excited to get your letters tomorrow at the zone conference. Anyways here in Aruba things are going great and to answer all of your questions . . . Yes I am still loving it! I love it here! It's so awesome! It was a little difficult to adjust to riding our bikes all over the island, but now it's great. I love it.
It's such a joy to be able to be working here in the service of the Lord. And it sounds like some of you have more questions so I will try and clear up a few of those.
First off . . . dad asked how long the missionaries stay down here. I will probably be down here on the islands for 6 months, but really it's up to the Lord so there's no set time. But the deal is with our passports we can stay on Aruba for 90 days and Curacao or Bonaire for 90 days, so all in all that's a total of 6 months. So yeah, I will probably be down here until my year mark in the mission which is in May! I can't believe that it's that close, haha!
2nd . . . Jenny asked how many elders are on the island. I didn't know this but she said that the island is like 6 miles by 13 miles, and so yeah, the island isn't very big. But on this beautiful island there are 10 elders and 2 sister missionaries along with a senior missionary couple. So yeah, even though the island isn't very big, the word is being proclaimed loud and clear. Even though none of us can speak Papiamento very well. (haha) But that's OK. It's not your language that converts people it's the spirit of the Lord.
So yeah, those were some of the questions that I got this week. If you have any more just send them along and I would love to answer them!
This week went absolutely amazing! We are working really hard to find some great people who need the gospel in their lives. And the work continues to progress. The biggest news from this week is that our investigator with a baptismal date, named Vivian, is progressing great. She has such a strong desire to change her life and become a disciple of Christ. It's so awesome to teach her. We taught her on Saturday night. We had passed by basically every day that week to try and teach her and every time she had an emergency and had to go or something like that. It was Saturday night and we went to visit her. She wasn't there again. We were so discouraged it was pretty bad.
We decided to visit her neighbor who is a member and teach him a quick lesson. As we were living his house I told him we were sorry that we hadn't been able to teach Vivian with him this week (we had taken him to every dropped appointment that we had). I told him that my goal this next week would be to teach her with him.
We began to ride off and me and Elder Bailey stopped by her house one last time to see if she was there . . . and she was! I know that it doesn't sound like a big deal but to us that meant the whole world. All of those silent prayers that we had been saying that she would be there were finally answered and we had an absolutely amazing lesson with her member friend by our side. Elder Bailey did a great job of teaching her about following the prophet. We committed her to following the prophet and then we moved into teaching the Word of Wisdom. As I began to teach the Word of Wisdom the member was so excited that he jumped in and started talking about coffee!
We were both shocked because usually we talk about coffee last because it's the one that people have the most problems with and we knew that Vivian had troubles with coffee. But he jumped right in and started to teach about coffee! We were a little worried but it turned out perfectly. Vivian told us that she has had an addiction to coffee for years and that she has been trying to quit but she just couldn't do it. She told us that this commandment from a prophet of God was a blessing from God. She said that it gave her the desire and the will that she needed to take that step and cut coffee out of her life. It was so awesome to see how choice she really is and what a desire she has to change her life and follow God.
She says that she doesn't have faith but she is one of the people that I have talked to in my mission that has the most faith. Faith is having works along with your beliefs and she is one of the first people that I have met that is honestly willing to change her life and make the changes that the Lord asks her to make. It's so amazing to see how truly prepared she was to receive her message and I know without a doubt that she will be ready to enter the waters of baptism on the 19th.
I have one more story for you and then I have to get going so we can do everything that we need to get done. This week we were teaching Aileen, a recent convert from San Marteen. She speaks English so it's really different to teach her, and it's actually really hard. But we went over on this day to ask her if she had anyone that needed the gospel. We read her the scripture in Matthew that says those who lose their life for the gospel will find it, and she said that's so true! She said if I don't share this gift that God has given me then I really don't deserve it!
I learned such a great lesson from Aileen (like i always do from investigators and new converts). We truly are blessed to have this amazing gospel. I did a horrible job of sharing the gospel before my mission. But really we are given an incredible gift by the Lord to have His message. I thought that was an awesome insight by a lady who has her head screwed on right.
I hope all of you are doing great and that all is going well. I got to eat fish eyes this week and they were pretty good. It was like sucking salty bloody slime off of a small pebble, but it really isn't as bad as you would think it is :) hahah!
I love you all and I hope that everything is going well back in Utah. Here in Aruba the work continues to progress and we are finding and talking to everyone we can so that this message can cover the earth. Thank you for all of your love and your prayers. I really do feel your support, even if you don't think I do. I do! I promise. Have a good week, good luck! Be safe, be healthy, and a big good luck wish to all of you who have finals this week! Make sure to get lots of sleep!
Good luck . . . just one more week to go and you'll be done!