Thank you so much for all your prayers and wonderful letters! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!
Jo got baptized yesterday, one of the most difficult and interesting baptisms ever.. She forgot about the whole having to go to church the day of her baptism thing but we went and got her during Sunday school and barely made it for sacrament meeting. Friday we had a super powerful lesson with her about the commandments that really focused a lot on the atonement. She has gone through a lot of really awful things in her life and the part of the atonement that covers our pains and afflictions was a completely new thing for her. She is very determined to keep learning to do the right things and she has a ton of faith. It really was a special baptism.
I just have to count all the small victories too. All of the men I´ve baptized in this area were at church yesterday! I´ve never talked enough about my first baptism in this area, Gilvan. Let´s talk about Gilvan. That man is a dang superhero. He has the Melchezedek Priesthood and everything now and comes every week and porbably is the only member who pays tithing. He brought his sister Sandra to church yesterday. His family in general is kind of awful, but he is just 100% going to the Celestial Kingdom and is the next bishop of the branch that needs to open in Colinas. You go, Gilvan.
So funny story, a dog bit my companion. Yeah not a very clean dog either. We helped a woman carry her groceries to her house and when Sister Johnson sat down there was a dog under her chair. The woman just told her it´d be fine and kept offering us food and could tell from her face that Sister Johnson just wanted to scream with pain. Well, that woman isn´t going to church, we left her house and my companion just starts bawling because it really bit her deep. So, we went to the hospital to casually get some rabies shots. Then the nurse calls us the next day and is like ´´are you taking your antibiotics?´´ What antibiotics? Her leg is all swollen by now, but we went to the REAL hospital, got some medicine, and today we´re going back for more shots. And we have to observe the dog every day. Haha maybe the owner will get baptized. Stupid dogs.
I´m surviving this area still, with tears and laughter, much more of the latter. I really do love these people, and that´s why they´re so frustrating. I know their lives can be better. But I´m praying for patience and humility, which is awful, but we all need more of it. ´´Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers´´ Who doesn´t want God to lead them by the hand. I´m just trying to be open to all the Lord has to teach me here. Just this past week I´ve learned more about marriage than any other week of my life... haha sometimes I just feel unqualified to help people. Missionary work sometimes involves a little bit of marriage counseling and addiction recovery. Things people go to college to learn how to do. But I know the gospel does help in all aspects of life, especially a knowledge of the atonement. True healing only comes through Christ. The gospel is meant to bless families. No one can gain exhaltation alone.
It has been a hard week but in so many ways I feel so much stronger. Spiritually and physically I feel like I´m climbing a huge mountain and I need to Lord with me just to keep breathing and taking another step. I hope your week is wonderful and that you can count all of your blessings every day. I love you all so much!!
Até o proximo!