Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Emily sent the following email and pictures on Monday, August 4, 2014:

Hi!  I love you and I miss you!  

Tonight we are going to take the Roque familia with us to deliver some treats to some other members of the ward so they get to feel the good feeling that comes with service.  We have been working with a lot of menus actives and trying to get them to church.  It is really interesting to think about all these members of Christ's true church that are so weak and wonder what hope they have.  A lot of them, even though they were baptized have a very limited knowledge of the beliefs that we have as members of the church.  It hurts me that they stumbled upon the best thing for them, but that even if they can say they understand it, they don't know it internally because they don't come to church because they have errands to run or they are tired.  I don't know if this is just a trend in hispanic wards, but if you don't say hi to them at church, they can be really offended.  It's almost humorous, but mostly just sad.  You have to go to church because you are honoring your covenant with God.  We really do make covenants to give all that we have: our time, energy, and talents for the building up of the church of Jesus Christ.  ....ahh I'm getting boron again!  I'm so sorry!

I did make banana bread with Hna. Avila!  It wasn't until we put the bread in the oven that we realized it wasn't going to finish baking until after 10:30 so we decided to be obedient and go to bed and then set an alarm to get it out.  

We had a very revelatory mission conference.  The president was there and we presented on a variety of things.  It's cool because it allows you to receive revelation on a wide variety of questions that you may come with, ranging from how to  teach laws and ordinances after baptism, to the type of missionary we want to be, to how our efforts are supported by the plan of salvation.  

I participated in the musical number again!  First of all, my himno playing in sacrament is improving.  I can very confidently say that I know Heavenly Father is helping the music reading come to me more easily because I am stretching myself and doing things that make me nervous so I can help his ward.  I maybe have 30 min to practice the 3 hymns that I will be playing that day.  Sometimes all the ward gets in the right hand, and I feel bad because they deserve more that I can't give them, but I still feel happy that I can try to serve them.  

Back to the musical number.  I felt just like you!  I was the accompanist and I played my "if you could hie" song while Hna Avila, Cable, and Allen sang the lyrics to "Oh How Lovely Was the Morning."  It turned out really really cool!  We had to work for a while until we got the timing just right, but they were very proud to be able to perform it, and it was beautiful.  I can see that it takes additional skills to be able to accompany.  I liked it because I noticed me naturally doing things that I'd seen you do and I just wanted to call out to the whole ward that I am your daughter.  I noticed myself bringing them in with the nod of my head, I was wearing my glasses that day..;), and I had to clap out a rhythm part for them in addition to having them practice certain parts over and over :)

We learned about being faithful to our temple covenants.  This time is the best time we will have in our lives to live certain commands so fully.  Commandments like obedience, and sacrifice and consecration.  They read a quote that said that every missionary's ability to call down the powers of heaven is directly related to his or her level of personal consecration.  Sometimes I feel like I stress myself out trying to figure out how I can be more consecrated.  It seemed to me like consecration is like sacrifice, but then we give our will over to Jesus Christ.  A more understandable standard to shoot for would be trying to be a good and faithful servant, meaning worthy and obedient (and I'm adding diligent).  

It is true that this church is all about progress and the journey towards perfection.  It is healthy to get a balanced dose of information that makes you want to improve and promises that God is merciful and loves us.  

We are burning up in the sun here!  I'm going to return home so brown!!  We are finally having better investigators and people that can progress!

Some of my favorite investigators are Johnny and David.  They are the Roque's grandsons.  We don't know where their mom is, but it seems to be like a mystery that is not public knowledge.  They are 13 and 16 and so wonderful!!!  They both speak pure spanish and don't understand english.  Johnny speaks such clear, expressive spanish, it is like art the way the words flow from him.  David (16) the older one is more serious and more quiet.  Johnny is more outgoing and he will answer our questions.  It could be a little awkward because I don't want them to feel like they are being obligated to listen to us even though that is obviously what their family wants.  We are going by when the majority of the family isn't there so we can address their needs and make sure that they have sincere desires to learn and that we aren't just talking at them because that is what other people want.  Johnny really touched both our hearts when he sincerely thanked us for coming and teaching them and told us he liked it when we came.  mmmmmmm...it hurts it's so cute!

Antonio.  We found him collecting bottles from the garbage can and we talked to him.  After asking him how we was, the first thing that jumped from his lips was "bendecido" (blessed).  I was humbled by his response.  He asked us some questions and I could tell that he trusted completely that what we would answer would be the truth.  He didn't seem to doubt that we would be authorities on the matter and were bringing pure truth.  I heard the words of Preach My Gospel and realized that the confidence he was displaying in us was him recognizing us as servants of the Lord.  It says that people who are prepared will recognize you as servants of the Lord.  We walked away from our contact feeling really touched and I knew that through deductive reasoning, we must have found a prepared person :)

Probably my favorite investigator is a wonderfully cute and sweet mom named Rebekah.  She has one baby with another on the way.  She used to go to a christian church in Pacoima, but it's a little far for them to get there right now.  She has a lot of good questions and she also trusts the things we tell her.  She read the foyetto before we came back for our first lesson.  She likes going to church and takes her husband with her when she wants to go.  We talked about church, and usually people are nervous to come so we offer to meet them out front.  She told us she didn't know if she would be able to get there this sunday, but she might just surprise us!  She told us she can tell that we are good people and  ahhh:)  I just love having people that want to learn and will make progress. 

Emily with her companion, Hna. Avila.
They are at La mas linda, the only place within their mission where the ocean is visible.

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