Call me ¨Dora the Explorer¨ because this week was full of adventure and even more Spanglish. I also have a singing map and backpack and a BFF monkey. I lied, we´re not allowed to have backpacks.
So, let´s go in order with the days! Me and Hermana Leishman celebrated our 1 year mark on the 3rd by wearing fuzzy socks. Now that we are at the 1 year mark we can´t celebrate EVERYTHING with food, ya know? It was a good day full of reflection of how far we´ve come and how freaaaaaked out of our minds we were when we arrived to this long country on the other side of the equator.
That day we got contacted by a very nice and very drunk man. We talked about prayer with him, and then offered a prayer. He decided to return the favor and BLESS us...so, putting one of his hands on each of our shoulders he prayed...mostly saying that we are all sinners and how we need Jesus Christ. I was like, ¨Amen, true doctrine¨. Then we wiped off his spittle from our faces, wished him the best, and pressed onward, ever onward.
The 4th of July was highly patriotic. We wore red, white and blue and listened to the 9/11 Motab CD that got here from Gma Annie this last week! I was so happy to listen to my favorite song of all time sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, ¨Homeward Bound¨. It´s beautiful. Listen to it.
We then ate Korean food for lunch, or as Hermana Leishman referred to it ¨Top Ramen with hot sauce¨. God bless the USA!
Saturday we cleaned the baptismal font and made friends with the resident Cockroach. It gave us an excuse to sing ¨la cucaracha¨. We relocated it, but it kept falling off the paper towel. Oh, the trials of missionary work.
Sunday was Patricio´s baptism! He was baptized by his son, Joaquin. His daughter sang with us ¨Families Can Be Together Forever¨. There was over half the ward there, and we even had an investigator stay all 4 hours to see it! While he was changing we had everyone write their testimonies. The wife and kids were emotional because they had been waiting so long for that day, and now they can progress as a family to become an eternal family! How amazing that our church is the only church that can promise that, happiness for eternity!
Among other news, I am starting to get the names and faces down. If I don´t know their name I just make one up.
Sunday night we found a young man (22 yrs old) named Richard. Not Ricardo, Richard. We were looking for his neighbor and asked for his help. Then we began to talk to him after finding out that neighbor wasn´t there. The Lord´s hand is in his work. Heavenly Father knows his children better than we can imagine, and he places us in area that we need to be at every moment of the day. Richard told us that he used to go to church, never got baptized, moved, and now is working. He said something along the lines of, ¨The world is just...lame!¨ and told us he´s been thinking of going back to a church. We were all like, ¨Yeah, ok, cool...we can help with that!¨.
There are elect people in the earth that are looking for something to fill them and make them happy. The world doesn´t offer us happiness that is eternal, only the gospel that our Heavenly Father has given us does that.
It all comes down to our desires. I´ve been doing an exercise every day, asking myself ¨What am I desiring right now?¨ It helps me to reflect for a second and align myself with what I should be doing vs. what I want to be doing.
I remember Dad talking to the youth and saying (based off of Alma 29:4-5) ¨God grants us according to our desires. If you want drugs, drinking, sex...you´ll get it. If you want to serve and be happy, you´ll get it!¨
Sorry if that is not exactly pointed, but that is what I remember.
I know that Heavenly Father loves us enough to let us have whatever it is that we think will make us happy. A rush, a thrill, a moment of carelessness....whatever....
but he gives us the gospel to show us what will truly make us happy, how we can live lives rich with purpose. It´s not always the easiest path, but I can promise that it is the path that has made ME the happiest in my life.
Patricio´s desires changed. Before he didn´t want to share with his family, he worked all the time, he was distant. Now he and his family spend quality time together, talk about what they are learning, and have more peace in their home. All because he had a desire to change!
Richard has a desire to find something that is different than from what the current worldly society has to offer, and if he keeps listening to the Spirit he will find it in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Desires lead us to repent, to change, and to find time to talk to Heavenly Father daily. He loves us, he knows our desires, and he helps us to change our bad desires and replace them with eternal happiness.
I love you all and am so grateful for your love and support, letters, prayers, and service. I know that we are all a part of a marvelous work, and if you don´t feel like you are a part of it, JUMP ON BOARD! You´re missing out of the fun!