Dearest Family and Friends,
Wow!!! Time truly does fly...I feel like I came to Georgia a week ago, and it's already been 6 weeks. Time is really strange on a mission. I never truly understood that until I actually came out on a mission. Haha, funny how that works right? :)
Baptism.....This baptism was the highlight of my week. Words cannot describe the love and the joy I feel for Ana and her two kids, and for the decision they made to be baptized, make covenants, and start fresh on the path to Eternal Life. As I have watched them grow, my faith has been strengthened. I watched as a mom and her two kids willingly accepted EVERYTHING we shared with them, and committed immediately to follow Jesus Christ. What incredible faith. Their faith, and willingness to give up EVERYTHING to be a part of this Gospel has made my faith increase, and made me appreciate what I have, and how lucky I am to be a member. I didn't have to give up everything....but to watch someone completely change their life for this Gospel has really made me think this past week. So, the service was beautiful. PRESIDENT AND SISTER FOOTE CAME!!!! I was soooo excited!!! Sister Foote asked me to translate for them, so that was scary. I LOVE the practice. :) I'm sure I did a lot of it wrong, but I just appreciated that she gave me the opportunity. Ana and her kids looked so beautiful. You could just see the joy in their eyes. I was holding it together pretty good, but when sweet little Ayari was baptized....I just lost it. It just touches my heart to see this sweet family enter the waters of baptism. This gospel is going to be such a blessing in their lives. I am so grateful that I came on a mission. Heavenly Father is truly blessing me. I am the luckiest missionary in the world, no joke. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father trusted me enough to let me find those 3 souls, and help them come back. What an incredible blessing.
District Meeting.....I've always loved district meeting, and I always learn something incredible, but this last meeting was ESPECIALLY amazing. We had been having some issues in our companionship, and I really hoped that District Meeting would help give me some guidance. I was right. We talked about Christlike attributes. I learned from the scripture about how charity is the pure love of Christ - that I can get down on my knees, and pray to have the love of Christ in me at all times. I had never really thought about that. I learned what I needed to do to bring the spirit more fully into my life. I've really been praying for charity this week. I've noticed a HUGE difference. I don't get angry or agitated as easily, and I have a love for everyone around me that I never thought I was capable of. Yay for district meeting!! I also learned from Ether 12:27 that if I have a weakness, I can give it to Heavenly Father and He will make it strong. I don't have to go through my whole mission thinking "Oh, I'm just going to be awkward in door approaches....or I will never be good at getting to know people" I don't have to think that. I can give those weaknesses to Heavenly Father, and He can make them my strengths. Oh how I love district meeting! Here's to a great week!!
Exchanges....so we went on a 3 day exchange this last weekend. It was REALLY helpful. Sister Gallardo and I stayed Spanish, and SIster Stewart went to English. I learned SO much. Miracles always happen on exchanges. We were able to visit a lot of people, and I was able to practice my Spanish more. It was incredible. So, here's the best part about exchanges. We went to a member's house for dinner....and she fed us....chicken feet. I TOTALLY ATE THEM!!! It was gross...and weird....and it really looked like a chicken foot....but I DID IT. Boom. She only made them so we could try something weird. She wanted us to be able to write our family and tell them we ate something crazy. I did, however, pass on the gizzard....;)
Sunday......so sadly, Walter still hasn't come to church. :( We have faith that he will, though. He really wants to come. I know it. I guess it just isn't time yet, but we'll keep working with him. :) HOWEVER.....it was the confirmation of Ana and her kids. What a beautiful experience. Our stake Patriarch was the one that did the confirmations. When he was giving Ayari her blessing....he paused....and then told her she would serve a mission and be a powerful influence to others in the church. Tears were streaming down my face. How beautiful!! :) The priesthood is real, and powerful. I am so grateful for the branch, and for all the love they have shown Ana and her kids. I am sooooo blessed!!! At the end of church, Ana asked if we could help her with something. What would you guess it was? I had no guesses.....well, guess what? SHe asked us to help her PAY HER TITHING!!!!!! This is her first Sunday as a member, and she is already paying her tithing. I have never seen so much faith in ANYONE. I'm even getting teary now just typing it. I am SO blessed. I cannot believe Heavenly Father let ME have the opportunity to LEARN from HER. :) MIssions are amazing. Just saying.
Well, that's my week. I am so grateful for all the experiences I've had here on my mission. I would make the decision 10 billion times over again to serve. I am not only teaching others, but others are teaching me through their examples. I can't wait to see what other experiences I will have on my mission. I hope you all have an amazing week!!! :)
|Shannon with Ana and her two children at the baptism|