|"Consider the Lilies" courtesy of ldsfriends.com|
Hey all! I hope your Monday is going well! I have good news! The mission rules changed and we get an hour on the computer now. HOORAY! So I plan to give many details about what is going on lately.
Okay, so to begin with, Dad thanks for what you said in your email. I needed to be reminded of the importance of submitting my will to that of the Lord. Things have been tough in this exchange. This morning was really tough, but then I read your email and remembered that there is a reason I am being tried right now in this situation and that I just need to push through.
So, ABBY GOT HER MISSION CALL!!! SHE IS GOING TO ROME!!!!!!!!! I received her Dear Elder Friday after a zone meeting and all the elders were laughing because I was freaking out. I felt like I had received my own mission call. She is going to be so great and I am so thrilled for her. It is perfect.
Okay, so this week has been pretty eventful. Tuesday the mission secretaries called us and told us that my companion`s visa had expired and she had to take a trip to Colombia... But President didn`t want me to travel to Colombia, so she went with another Latina Hermana and I stayed behind in a different sector. It was tough because we tried to cover the important appointments in my area as well as hers, which was exhausting. But it was a really good experience. It was nice to have a little break and work with someone new. There is always something to learn from each and every person. Also, she is from the states, so it was nice to have a little time to talk in English and our study sessions were awesome. There were a few times when we had to do divisions with members because we had so much to cover. It was cool though because I really felt comfortable and was able to carry the lessons. We had a lesson with a sweet girl named N. and she had a question at one point. Her family is super Catholic and have been giving her a really hard time. Her dad took her Book of Mormon and wouldn't allow her to attend church. Anyway, at one point in the lesson she said, "I have been reading in Moroni and I read verse 27. If I continue in the Catholic church, when I see God at the judgement bar, this is how it will be." And then she began to cry. It was tough to see, but at the same time, cool, because it was a moment where we could say, "That's why it is so important that you receive your own testimony of these things. Because once you know what is true, once you know what God wants you to do, nothing else matters. It will be hard. But the good thing is God is on your side." Anyway, it was a really neat moment, to see someone realizing the importance and weight of the everything. I am so grateful for the environment where I grew up. I have been very blessed.
One man we have been working with is named F. He is great. He really really wants to change. He has problems with drinking, and yesterday we taught the Word of Wisdom. We had touched on it a little before, so it wasn't a huge shock to him. But as we were teaching he was really excited to change and was finishing our sentences. I was saying, "It is not going to be easy, but Hermano, I know that..." and he says, "It won't be impossible. Y yo lo voy a hacer. (and I am going to do it.)" It was so cool. One of those mission moments that makes all the hard times worth it. (I sound like a parent.)
We are also working with a woman named F. and her kids. They are great. I feel like they are my younger siblings. Every time we see them they run up to us and hug us. It is really nice to feel a little love from the people here. They feel like a little bit of family here in Imbabura.
Okay, Mom, thank you so much for being so willing to help me in all the things I need. Good luck on the piano. I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT. And when I get back, I am going start practicing again. I have been playing here in Imbabura for one of our wards for chorus and it isn't pretty. Haha. I am excited to practice at home. Things you can include if you have more room - "Missionary Pal" book, Lectures on Faith, pic of all of the family, including Sam, pics of Sienna, cartoons for lessons I teach to kids about like the plan of salvation and the restoration (remember the ones in those old manuals? Can you send some copies that I can color and cut out and use with kids?), and a simple cookie recipe.
Oh! So I have been on and off sick lately. A couple weeks ago I was super sick with a sinus infection and the medications I was taking made me super super sick, so I had to stay one day with some members while my companion went out and took care of our appointments. They were so sweet. It was so so nice. My health really improved and I felt like their faith and love (CHEESY) was exactly what I needed. It was a really cool experience. Anyway, last Monday we went to that waterfall and I got attacked by bugs. I am going to send pictures. My legs were COVERED in bug bites. Then my legs and and ankles and feet swelled up. Literally my ankles were the size of tennis balls. It was so bizarre. Anyway, some of my shoes didn't fit and I had a really hard time walking. It was the wierdest thing. But I have been taking some pills and using this cream on my legs and they are healing. Anyway, there is an explanation to go with the pictures I will try to send.
Okay, gotta go. I love you all.
Mom, answers to your questions: Imbabura is significantly different than Quito. We walk and hike so much more. It is literally what you see in Nat- Geo magazine. M. is doing well and her family members are not members of the church. Luckily the younger people here speak Spanish, so she speaks Spanish. She is 16. And we wear the traditional outfit on Sundays. I love it!