Monday, June 28, 2010
Happy Memorial Day, Singing in the Rain
Received June 1, 2010
Good Morning Family and Friends!
Thanks again to all of you for your emails. You guys rock! And I hope you know how much I love you and how much all of you mean to me! Thanks for all you do. Thanks for all your love and support. I really appreciate it!
Well it sounds like summer back home has officially begun now that all the kids are out of school and that there are a bunch of new graduates running around! I hope that you all had a fun weekend celebrating and that it was a good Memorial Day for everyone.
Some of you asked if they celebrate Memorial Day here in Puerto Rico. I wasn't near any cemeteries yesterday but I know that it was a holiday here. All of the government offices were closed along with a lot of other things and everyone was partying it up. So yeah, I think they had the day off. But I am not sure if they celebrate it in the same way we do. I know that on November 1st they all go to the graves and remember those who have gone before. So I'm not sure if they do it on Memorial Day as well.
Anyways, I am sure you were all dying to know that . . . (haha)! Sorry I just thought I would answer the question.
This week went by so slow. I don't really know what happened but it seemed like this week went by slowly. I am adjusting to life here in Puerto Rico but it is just so different from the way that my life has been these last six months. It feels like I have been transferred to another mission. It's so weird. The change has been kind of hard. Almost as hard as it was last year. But it was a great opportunity and blessing to be able to suffer a little bit and grow closer to my Heavenly Father. It's true what they say about the mission; there is nothing like it in the world. And it is the best thing that any young man could be doing in his life. I am thankful for the opportunity to be here and I hope you know how much all of your support and love means to me.
This week was a really neat week for me though. A lot of really special things happened for us this week and it gave me just an overwhelming gratitude for this opportunity that I have to serve. We had a really neat experience on Wednesday. My companion and I weren't getting along so well and we started to knock on some doors. Right as we started the rain began to fall and it just started to pour. I started to get my umbrella out of my pack and I asked my companion if he had his or had at least brought his jacket. He looked at me and said no. I thought to myself, "well, he's been a jerk to me lately so he deserves to suffer." But then I thought "no, that's not right." So I threw him my umbrella and pulled out my rain jacket. We kept going getting more and more wet but loving every minute of it.
We got to the end of the street and when we yelled at the house the lady there started laughing at us and invited us in. I'm not sure that she would have invited us in if we both had our rain gear. But I think because we were sharing what little we had, it struck something in her. She told us to get in before we got soaked (it was a little late for that but we were still really thankful for the offer).
We went in and taught a first lesson and the lesson went great. The lady's name is Mary Selles. She´s been through a lot in her life and she actually told us that she had talked to the sister missionaries before, so that was great! She had been given a Book of Mormon but her pastor had told her some lies and so she got rid of the book. We shared our message with her and it was a message that she really wanted to hear. She talked about how sick she was of all of the confusion and corruption that there is in the world, but especially in the churches. I felt like our message was specifically for her and she loved it. At the end we read with her in Mosiah chapter 3 when King Benjamin talks about the Savior and His atonement. Then we asked her if she thought the book was evil like her pastor had said. She said of course not, that the book made her feel good and it talked about the Savior, therefore how could it be evil! We went back a few days later and reviewed the original church of Christ and the apostasy with her. She stopped us in the middle of the lesson and she said "look, I am feeling great and I am learning more than I have ever learned in my church. You are going to keep coming back right?" We said "of course" and it made me so thankful that we were guided to her that day in the rain. She said that she will be at church this week because she knows that this message is special. We both left that cida singing in the rain.
Our awesome friend Angel Colon is doing great! We taught him this past week about tithing and the word of wisdom and his answer for both of them was "well, I know that's what I need to do so I better do it." The man is incredibly prepared to receive the gospel and is taking all of the steps that he needs to take in order to be baptized. His date is on the 12th of June (here in a couple of weeks) and I have never seen somebody so committed to being baptized . . . well besides Jose Petrona. . . nobody! :)
We have another investigator named Freddy. I don't know if I have told you about him. He is a dry member. He knows the church is true he just is stuck living with his ex-girlfriend because he has nowhere to go and has no job nor money to find a place of his own. Anyways . . . we passed by this week to check up on him and he sat us down and taught us for like half an hour. It was a really sweet experience. I never thought that I would see the day when an investigator taught us a full lesson. We always learn things from them. But not like that! (hahah) It was awesome!
One more story and then I will let you guys go. I know that everyone is so busy now and that there are more things to do so I won't take up all of your time (hahah).
Anyways, I think I told you about the other Angel that we have, Angel Pavon. We also found him knocking doors in the rain (Blessings!!!!!). Anyways, the man is also incredibly prepared. He has so many questions and doubts about God's doctrines that have been changed by men. For example, he told us in the first cida that everyone says God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are the same person, but deep down something tells him that is not true. Or another example he gave is that everyone says we began to exist when we were created by God, but that deep down inside something tells him that he lived with God before this life.
He has read a ton of the Book of Mormon in just the few weeks that we have been teaching him but the real miracle came yesterday. He is great and awesome and ready but his wife didn't really want to have anything to do with us. She is so nice to us. But I think she just didn't really appreciate what she had heard about us from before and so she always has something else to be doing when we come over. We had been praying really hard that we would find the way to be able to get her involved or be able to just talk to her at least. When we went over yesterday it was the same old story. But towards the end of the lesson Angel asked why satan was cast down to the earth. Why did God send him here where we were going to be. She was walking by right as he asked that question and she kind of stalled there pretending to do something so she could hear the answer. We answered the question and I could tell that she really liked it because she went inside and stopped whatever she was doing and came out and sat in the back of the room to hear the rest.
She asked if we were Mormons and what we were all about. We told her, and she liked what we said. Then she asked how we could know which church was true. We turned to James 1:5 and asked her to read it. She then told us that she can only read English. That she grew up and went to school in New York. She went and got her English Bible and I went and talked to her about it! It was a complete answer to our prayers and it was truly a miracle. We were able to talk about a lot of things. She talked about how she doesn't want to be pushed but that she wants to know. I told her that she can know if she asks and does those things that God requires us to do in order to receive this answer.
She asked about the Book of Mormon and said that she wanted to talk more about that next time. Then I went to put away my puzzle showing the plan of salvation and she was so interested in it! What is that! Oh we have to talk about that next time too. She told us that she would be with us in the next lesson because she likes our style and has so many questions. It was truly a miracle! Because I'm not really sure what changed her heart or her mind but I know one thing is for sure . . . that her mind was in fact changed and I know that it was only through God's power that it happened! Just an incredible experience.
Anywho, it was a great week. It was a hard week, but in our hardest weeks and our hardest times, we seem to have the sweetest, neatest weeks and the sweetest neatest times. I want to thank you all for always, or at least trying to always, be there for me. I don't think you know how much it means to me. I love you all with all my heart and I know that there is an army of prayers behind me. I am so thankful for that! I hope you all have a great week and that you know how much I love you guys!
Enjoy the summer and Trent . . . use sunscreen buddy! (hahah silly goose.)
Love you guys,