No lights, Animal droppings & a Disappoinment
Hola Ma and Pa,
Thanks as always for your love and prayers and letters! I just think of you all and your support when the going gets rough, and I know I can overcome any challenge!
This week has certainly been exciting! Tuesday to Wednesday, we had exchanges with the sister training leaders--Hermana C. and I went to Ciudad Delgado (also in Soyapongo) and Hermana I. stayed in Las Arboledas with two other hermanas. It was an incredible experience, and I learned so much about how to teach, how to contact, how to study, etc. more effectively.
When Hermana C. and I got back to Las Arboledas, that's when things started going wrong! First our light went out, and it turned out we had been paying the receipt of our neighbor and he hadn't paid ours. Now everything is straightened out, but for a day or two, we lived like the pioneers! Then I started finding small droppings all over the place, and this was a little bit terrifying for me. I do not like animals, and especially not in my house! After searching for the light box, we discovered that there was a bunny! It escaped from our neighbor's house, climbed onto our balcony (everything is right next to each other here, so it makes sense), and from there got into our house. We left it on the balcony for an hour or so. It wasn't there when we got back so I guess that turned out alright!
I think the most disappointing thing of this week is that this sweet hermana was going to be baptized on Friday, but her parents did not react very positively to this and decided to keep her in the house and not let her talk to anyone, including her (member) boyfriend! (She is in her late 20s, so it surprised me that she lets her parents have this much control over her life).
Another crazy thing happened this week--Dia de los Muertos! It is insane over here, everyone out in the streets with their family, everyone else selling plastic flowers to put on graves. It's festive and bright and I love it!
Ahh so our email time has been cut in half, and I really am struggling to type & send all the amazing experiences I have been having. One of my favorite spiritual experiences or insights of the week is this incredible realization I had about what grace and the Atonement can do for us in our daily lives. I have been thinking a lot lately about my tendency to get frustruated with people that I spend a lot of time with. I personally consider this a weakness, and one that can be remedied by learning to have true charity. As I flipped through the Bible Dictionary the other day, I read the following sentence:
"It is through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, recieve strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means."
I know that there is so much more that I would like to do than I can acheive on my own. As I have tried to come unto Christ and be the best missionary I can, I have become more aware of my own weaknesses and have been filled with a desire to overcome them. But I cannot acheive this on my own. Whenever I think that there is too much for me to do, I know I can rely on Christ. I do my part by trying as hard as I can to develop patience, love, charity, diligence....any good quality that I desire...but it is Christ that grants me the ability to do so.
I love you all so much! I hope that you have had a happy Halloween, and I am praying for you all. Love,
PS One thing we have been doing as a companionship that I really love is, every night, before our prayer together, each listing a miracle we saw in our lives that day. There really are daily blessings and miracles when we are living righteously!