Family and friends,
I was so spoiled today to get so many messages! Thank you all for all your love and support, I love hearing from you. Although I don't write to all of you, I do print and read all my messages (as my family knows because already I sent home a HUGE binder). Thank you for your prayers, I can feel them every day!
Well, good news is I'm feeling a TON better. I think I had that 48 hour flu because I feel like nothing even happened. Boy was I glad too because we had a really busy week! Every day I realize more and more how merciful the Lord is, this is truly His work and nothing that we do could ever mess it up. He blessed us every day with at least one person to meet with, not to mention all the Less Actives that we visited with. It really was an incredible week.
The weeks out here FLY by, so much happens in one week I keep thinking half of it happened a month ago! Please bear with me as I try to get it all organized.
Tuesday was quite the day. We had District Meeting in the morning and a wonderful service opportunity after. We met the Rogers family. Bro. Rogers had worked as a BYU professor for 25 years and had just retired when he suffered a stroke. As a result, he has lost mobility out of the right side of his upper body as well as lost sight in his right eye. Every winter they move down to St. George where the weather is a little bit more mild. This year they had some trouble packing up because of Bro. Rogers' health. They asked if we would be willing to help them organize and clean out the shed and we were more than happy to. I never thought that I would learn so much in the few hours we were there. Bro. Rogers taught geology or something at BYU so he has a lot of rocks.... I mean a LOT OF ROCKS. Everywhere! But they are all so organized.. As we helped him and his wife clear the giant shed I pointed to a huge rock and asked him what it was... well, bad Idea. Haha. We spent the next hour walking around his yard as he talked to us about each type of rock. He picked up a rock and told me to lick it... I was so confused as to why ANYONE would ever lick a rock, but he said to trust him... So I did. He goes on to explain that the only way to really be able to look at the details is to moisten the rock.. Then he smiles and says, "well, in this case, to look at the details of the fossilized dinosaur poop...." and cracks up laughing! hahaha, oh man. He got me, he got me good. I have always been intrigued by all the wisdom that is accumulated in years and years of study. I admire Bro. Rogers for his absolute and undying love for nature. He shared with us the beauty that is found in each rock, the complex patterns and miracles that occur on the surface of each...He bore humble testimony of the greatness of God. That nothing so simple yet so complex as a stone could have ever been formed without our Father's hands. I learned more of our Father's love through an old and wise professor than I have from anyone else. I love people! Oh and he also asked me to repent for attending UVU, that BYU is the only way to gain entrance into the kingdom of God... hahaha. ( of course I disagreed...)
Tuesday night we first had dinner at Bro. and Sister Webb's (there are a million Webb's in the Raft River area). Their daughter, Rachel, has been really good at helping us out with missionary work. She wants to serve a mission after she graduates so she has been really awesome at practicing now! We had a little FHE lesson with them and encouraged them to be missionaries in their own way. We taught them how to use Preach My Gospel to teach the first lesson. We committed Rachel to share the message of the Restoration this week! She is going to be a wonderful missionary, I can just feel it. After dinner we met with the young family that we are getting prepared for temple marriage. Boy do I love that family. Although they are not much older than me I can see how the gospel has began to take a hold of their lives. They are keeping their commitments and we can see their relationship growing ever since we encouraged them to pray as a couple each night. We talked to the bishop on Sunday and he agreed that they have been growing. Ramiro will be interviewed this week to set up a time to get him ordained! We are so excited for him, he is going to be a wonderful, worthy priesthood holder that will bless many lives.
Wednesday was even more crazy busy than Tuesday. We were invited to attend a seminary class and talk to the kids about the importance of seminary if they are wanting to serve missions. Boy did it bring back memories. I forgot how much I had loved seminary. After we went with the RS president to visit some less active sisters in the ward. That night we had an appointment with the Juarez family! yaaaay! I am sure I have talked to you about this family, I absolutely love them. We have not been able to meet with them often because of work but they have STILL been attending church regularly! They are reading and praying every night as a family. Basically they are the most perfect investigators ever. Well, we had an appointment and we had planned really getting them to commit to baptism. Last time we had talked to them about it they had been really weary and did not want to set a date. They were kind of upset at us for pushing a date so the next couple times we met with them we didn't bring it up, we simply taught what they needed. Well we walk up to the door and they had completely forgotten. We waited while their kids got out of the shower and Juan finished eating dinner. Before we knew it they were all sitting in front of us with their scriptures, pamphlets we had given them and the Gospel Principles book from last SUnday. They inform us that they are almost done with both the Book of Mormon AND the gospel principles book... WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?! Amazing, I know. We pray and begin talking about following the Savior and doing what he asks of us out of Love... When out of nowhere bro. Juarez is like "well, yeah... It's so important to follow our Savior, that's why we have decided to be baptized. We've prayed about it and really want to do it.". It took all I had to keep from having my jaw drop. Hna Martinez and I just look at each other in disbelief! Never in the history of EVER have we been able to bring up baptism without them saying that it's too soon or that they don't want to do something that important that fast... and here they were asking us "well, what's next? what do we have to do to be baptized?". TENDER MERCIES.... that's all I have to say about that. I have grown to love this family so much, I am SO happy that they see the absolute need for the gospel. They see how it changes lives and they want it. Bad. We are now working on getting sister Juarez to quit drinking coffee, but that should be cake, especially after having them understand and be wiling to pay tithing and live the law of chastity. OUt here tithing is what throws it all out the window, they work so hard for such little pay but this family will do ANYTHING the Lord requires of them. So now I ask for your help... Please, Please keep sister Juarez in your prayers. Pray that she will be able to find the strength and faith to quit drinking coffee. We wanted to set some goals with her because she's been drinking it since she was really young, but she wanted to try cold-turkey. Her faith is amazing. Please, Pray for her!
the rest of the week we taught 3 new investigators, we will see how things go. The combination of harvest and hunting season (which started like Monday of last week... grrrrr) is putting a dent in our work, but boy how blessed we have been. Ultimately this isn't our work, it's not about us keeping busy... Frustration comes from having this wonderful gospel and a desire to share it and no one being home! We have really seen improvement in the families we have visited, we simply want to share this happiness with everyone else... Well, hopefully winter comes fast so that no one will want to leave the house and we can catch everyone!
I wish I had more time, I have so much more that I'd like to share! I Just want you all to know that I love my Savior. We can do it all through Him. He is there when no one else is. He blesses us in ways we often fail to recognize. He blesses us through other people. I love Him and I know that He loves each and every one of you. Please don't forget that.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!