Mi Querida Family,
It was really great to hear from all of you yesterday! Sorry I kind of broke down at the end.. I really wasn´t sad.. just so incredibly happy. I had no idea how blessed we really are to be in such a great, solid, strong family... tied together for eternity through temple ordinances. It was so amazing to see Andrew on the other side... I kind of had deja vu for a little bit remebering the times we were together calling him on mothers day and christmas.. It was interesting to be the missionary this time. I wish you all the best of luck this week. Andrew in interviews, Rachel in the AP test, Liz with finishing up Junior Year, Matt being a menace with his lacrosse (keep that bracelet on ya hear), and Thomas with his baseball bat. I wish I had a cool story to share this week... Just that for P-day today we decided to help the other sisters in our district deep clean their house because it had been inhabited for the past couple years by a dirty specimen: se llaman Elders. The house reaked.. we cleaned up cockroaches in the cupboards, earth from the corners of the floor. And some strange vegetable that had been sitting in a drawer for who knows how long. I feel bad that Hermana Corne and Hermana Wight had to live their for a week before having time to clean! Now the house sparkles, and smells slightly of bleach with an overwaft of apples and cinnamon. We Hermanas, truly are the army of helaman.
I am so happy to be here in Ibarra with Hermana Silvera. We have been trying really hard this week to work as diligently as we can. I realized that I need to push myself every day... contact every person I see. And challenge many people to baptism. I´ve been able to feel really good at the end of each day because of my efforts. I´ve also been able to see this week the power of goalmaking. We have an investigator named Sylvia who´s baptismal date is for the 24th of May. We found out this week that she has a smoking addiction. And we were able to help her make a game plan in order to superar este prueba. She still really wants to be baptized on the 23rd, and so she has real desires to complete this goal. We gave her a list of scriptures to memorize that bring a lot of strength, like Moroni 10:32. We also challenged her to throw out all the cigarettes in her house and to not buy more. Everytime she feels the urge to smoke, or feels lonely or down, she is to get down on her knees and start to pray. She told us on Saturday during a tour, that so far its working, and she just thinks about how much she wants to be baptized and she finds strentgh. Sylvia has so much faith in the Lord and it makes me so happy to see her progressing. We really can feel such a strong spirit when we are with her. Also she told us that the relief soceity president, Gladis came to visit her with her counselors. Sivlia said this made a huge difference. She can really feel the support from the ward. More than anything, this made me super grateful. There´s such a great relief or joy when you know that the ward is helping with the missioanry effort. I can´t describe it. All you members out there.. help the missionaries out.. but more than that.. its actually really just helping out our Heavenly father, adn bringing people back into the fold of Christ. After the tour on Saturday Silvia stayed at the church for a relief soceity activity. All the members interacted with her and she had a good time! Silvia really is "de oro". The elders were able to give her a priesthood blessing as well. The only thing is, because of mothers day, she wasn´t able to come to church on Sunday because a friend came to visit. I know.. it doesn´t make much sense... so we´re going to talk to her about keeping the sabbath day holy.
We also were able to teach the Familia Vinueza who have baptismal date for the 24th. They are really trying to read the Book of Mormon.. but in our lesson with them last night, the dad told us that he would really like to read the scriptures as a family each night. This was great for us! He truly wants to have more unity in the family, and knows that reading the book of mormon will bring that peace. We made a plan for them as well. Each night at 8.00 en punto, van a leer El Libro de Mormon juntos at the dinner table. I think we might just call them at 8.05 tonight to see if their cumpliendo eso. They also were unable to come to church because family came to visit for mothers day. I can clearly see that this week we need to focus in on keeping the sabbath day holy and church attendance. This is going to be our focus, that and contacting this week. We want this so bad that our weekly goals for investigators in sacrament meeting this week is 7. I know as we put in all our efforts, God will do his part as well.
One of my goals this month, is to be more virtuous. Never thinking negative thoughts or saying anything negative about anyone or anything.. including myself. NEver doubting in my potential. Becoming pure in mind and heart. One of the steps in my plan in order to be more virtuous is to memorize 3 hymns this month. I memorized my first hymn in Spanish this week, Tan Humilde al Nacer (all 4 verses) and I´m excited to get to work on the next one this week. Hermana Silvera is a great help with this.. we practice on the bus and on the streets. I have made a book mark with lines and I´m using it as I read the book of Mormon (In spanish I might add). When I come across a verse that I think applies to the value virtue... or just applies in helping me have a more pure, joyful attitiude.. I take note of it on the bookmark. Once I have filled the entire bookmark I´m goint to laminate it, and keep it for times when I´m feeling down. Then I´ll have a chain of scriptures that are close to my heart that will help me rememeber this maravilla de mayo.
I´m feeling so great here in Ibarra! I feel so confident in teaching, in contacting, in ward counsil.. in everything... I really feel like God is strengthening me each day. Now its just my job to help strengthen those around me as well!
I love you all soooooo much!! Have a great week!
Que Dio Les Bendiga!