I'm currently sitting in a freezing cold library as I write this email. Never thought my hands would be purple and I would shiver this hard in Louisiana, but I think their AC is stuck on 50 degrees. Oh well, I guess I should enjoy it because when I walk outside it will be 100+!
This week was just crazy for a bunch of reasons. First, I went on exchanges for the first time this week. The Sister Training Leaders usually go on exchanges with us. They are in Chalmette which is about 45 minutes away from us. Usually, for your first exchange, the trainee (me) goes with a STL to their area and the trainer (my companion) stays with the other STL, but nope, not this time. I got to be senior companion for the day and bring an English-speaking STL to all of our Spanish speaking investigators and less actives! I was kind of scared at first because I've only been here for a month, and I don't drive yet (you're not allowed to drive until after you’re done training... I feel like I'm 15 all over again sometimes :)). Anyways, I was kind of scared, but I was really pleasantly surprised at how well I actually knew the area and the people. We went tracting for the first time since I got here. We were in a predominantly Hispanic area and I was also pleasantly surprised that I don't struggle with my Spanish anymore! Other than learning some more vocab, I think I'm actually fluent now. The Gift of Tongues is real! It was nice to realize that even though I still have so much to learn, I'm where I need to be in terms of learning the area and I'm doing pretty well!
Those are all the things that really stood out this week. Other than that it's just a bunch more lessons, contacting, and blessings on blessings on blessings! None of our investigators came to church but so many of our less actives did. Including one who hasn't been to church in almost 40 years! FORTY YEARS! We're seeing miracles every day! It's crazy how the Lord's timing works out and how when we're praying so hard to be patient with one person, and they don't follow through on anything, but then our prayers get answered with someone else we weren't even directly praying about!
One thing I studied a lot this week was prophets, especially about the prophets as missionaries. One of my favorites is Abinadi! I've been working a lot on being more patient here and it is very much a work in progress. I loved the story of Abinadi in terms of patience this week. He went and taught the people and they tried to kill him. So he was like whelp, you're not ready yet, so he waited for two whole years! Then he taught them some more and they killed him. He just bore his testimony and taught the best he could, but for all he knew, nothing actually happened. His story is a testament to not seeing the fruits of your labors right away. He didn’t know that one person listened to him and that that one person went on to baptize thousands, and his sons after him baptized thousands after that! Never think that your efforts aren't worth it because we're on the Lord's time, not ours. You never know how much that compliment meant to someone, or how one day that guy at work is going to meet the missionaries and remember that you shared something about church one day and he felt something while you talked. You never know the effect you have! So just be patient, keep smiling and sharing this light we have, and you can literally change the world.
I love you all so much! You're all in my prayers all the time. I love my mission so much! The church is true!
Con mucho amor,