This week has been crazy busy, fun, nerveracking, and stressful, but so so wonderful! My new companion is Hermana Martinez! She is from Retauleu, San Felipe, Guatemala. My 4th Guatemalteca ;) She is the cream of the crop as I think you say in the states. I was so nervous to have a new companion that I didn't know anything about...but I am overjoyed to be with her! She is such a beautiful person and has good desires to work :) She is 22 and was baptized about 2 years ago. There is something about the testimony of a new convert that is so special. She has such an excitement about learning the gospel. It has been fun to read the scriptures and learn with her. It is fun and hard to be with a new missionary. I have been learning the basics all over again this week and am trying to find the best way to help her. I have been reminded of my training...I left all of the talking up to my trainer and just did my best to stay awake in the lessons. haha Now the roles have flipped. But we have been practicing ALOT before we leave the house and she is feeling more and more comfortable every day. On Saturday she even invited an investigator to be baptized. I was so proud! I feel a pressure even more than ever to do all things the right way and be a good example for her. I know I will never come to be the perfect missionary or trainer, but I hope that when she finishes her training that she will have picked up some good habits from me and will always have a good attitude. I have already learned a ton from her. She is such a happy, patient person and does everything with a willing heart.
Hermano Manuel Acosta was baptized on Saturday! I am just so happy for him. This week, we saw a true repentance from him. When we went to visit him on Monday, we felt the need to ask him again if he was drinking coffee. He told us that he hadn't drank coffee since we had talked about the word of wisdom except for that morning. He ran out of milk so he had to drink coffee instead. I was devastated! We discussed with him the importance of keeping the word of wisdom and during the lesson, you could see that he felt really bad. We explained to him that what he was feeling was regret but that it could be alieved if he chose to repent. We invited him to pray with us and ask forgiveness from God and promise Him that he would never break the word of wisdom again. As he prayed, tears started to fall from his eyes. When we asked him what it was that he felt, he said he felt a peace and felt that God had forgiven him. He told me right before his baptism that he felt like it was Christmas day and that it would be the best day of his life. I haven't seen a smile so big in a long while as I saw yesterday on his face when he stood up to receive the gift of the holy ghost. God has been preparing him for this for a long long time. It is such a beautiful thing to see how his life has changed now. I know he will be a strong member in the church for the rest of his life.
This week we found a ton of new investigators. Yesterday, we found a hermana named Mercedes. We had been contacting a ton of doors and I was feeling a little bad because my hija was feeling a little disanimated after about 20 minutes of not talking with hardly anyone positive. The last door that we decided to touch was a cute little white house in front of the house of the other missionaries. I hadn't ever contacted there, thinking that the other missionaries had wiped out the area, but as soon as Mercedes saw us out the window, she quickly opened the door and asked, before we even introduced ourselves, if we wanted to enter. So we went inside and had such a beautiful lesson with her! We shared the Book of Mormon and at the end, I invited her to come to church with us. She said yes! And even invited us to eat dinner with her tomorrow. When we left, I gave my hija a big hug and we had a good talk about how persistence and diligence bring miracles. God answered our prayers and gave us a miracle even bigger than what we had asked for.
Overall, it was a wonderful week. I am so happy to be here in Metapan with Hermana Martinez. I have been so blessed! We have made it our goal to have a baptism every week next transfer, so we are going to work like crazies to find a ton of people so that we can meet this goal. I know we can do it. We have been guided to so many wonderful people this week and if we keep working how we have been, I know God will keep blessing us for our efforts. This is the work of the Lord. All we have to do is have faith, be diligent, focused and obedient, and work for and with love. The holy ghost does the rest.
This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. My testimony has become firm in the Book of Mormon throughout my mission. As we have started the 12 week training program with my companion, I have been watching videos of how we can be better missionaries. In one of the videos, Elder Holland talked about The Book of Mormon. He said," No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.” I love the Book of Mormon so much and testify along with Elder Holland that it is true. It is so divine! It is so true! It is so necessary for each of us! It breaks my heart each time that someone here in El Salvador rejects the invitation to read it. I want to leave you all with my testimony that I KNOW THAT THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE. I have felt that every time that I read it. And I invite each of you that read my letter, to read it a little more often. Read from the beginning until you finish it and I promise that whatever hard situation you are in will get better. You will have peace and joy in your life. I love this gospel and am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. I am eternally grateful for my mission and all that I have learned and all that I continue to learn every day. I hope this letter finds you all well and that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Love you all!
This is my daughter, Hermana Martinez. :)
Here was our first picture together before we left the mission office :)
Goodbye photo with Hermana Delgado :(
A picture or two with Manuel from his baptism :)
And just a picture to show that I finally learned how to tie a tie. :)