Well, we finally have a minute to stop and write! Sorry it took awhile! How was everyone's Veteran's Day? Ours was awesome! It's a long story, but through someone that Sis Burns and I contacted last week we ended up at a Veteran's Day program under the I-12 that included music from the Louisiana Gospel Fellowship. aka - awesome gospel choir music. It was classic Louiaiana.
I got permission, no problem, to look at class stuff so I'll get on that! ... I probably won't worry too much. If I can just get there, get a job, and have a basic but good use of my time schedule, I should be good. Right? Haha, what do you think? I need some wisdom! :) And thank you so so so much for helping me with all this stuff! As far as the apartment goes, I'm pretty much at your mercy haha. I'll take whatever.
Back to my real life!! We are teaching a TON!!!! Like every missionaries dream. 21 lessons - that's a HUGE high for here! And it should be the same this week. I've worked hard my whole mission and have always strived to be consecrated, but I'm not sure I've ever felt so consecrated before. I think it's because Sis Burns and I are unified in that consecration. It's awesome. The Lord is just pouring out blessings on us right now. Plus, I've worked for a while on my attitude, and I just feel like I see miracles in everything. Before rejection bothered me because of being sad, or whatever, with not seeing people progress. I had faith in the Lord, and trusted in His timing, but I always kinda felt like I couldn't really figure out how to live that, and really give it over to Him. I don't know what it is, but all of sudden, I feel like I can finally do that. Ah, I don't know how to explain it! Like before I studied grace, and I had faith in it, but was frustrated because I couldn't apply it right. I'm not doing anything that different these days, but just time and diligence seems to have worked its magic. I hope at least some of that makes sense. I feel like, in a way, I'm finally that house that C.S. Lewis talks about. The one that the builder comes in, and at first starts making the normal adjustments. But then there was this time where the changes became really uncomfortable!! Throwing up a courtyard here, and a new wing there. And I'm starting to see that indeed, God is forming my heart into one that He can use for the rest of my life. I'll go where He calls, always. I am converted to Him because I know Him. Before I knew my Savior lived, now I find that I know Him. Because He is the one who's been making all those changes, and through it, I'm coming to know Him quite well. I'm grateful it's a process that continues all my life :)
Remember Nancy? I began teaching her in March or so and then she went to Mexico, and returned a bit ago? She's doing great! She still isn't sure about baptism/wants to wait for her husband, but we've just kept teaching, and she's progressing well. Her apt was destroyed (bad neighborhood) while she was in Mexico, so they've been living with a friend, but were finally able to move to their own place in this trailer park where we have other investigators, so it's awesome. She came to church Sunday, and is in 2 Nefi :)
Claudia... who knows. She hasn't been back to church since that day, but always with a "reason”. I'm pretty sure she's stopped reading, and her appointments have fallen through. But we have another one set for today, so we'll see what happens. I did talk to Greysi a bit ago, and she still reads her kids Book of Mormon. She's pretty special :) I just can't help but love them to pieces. I think Claudia is bunkering down because she knows I'm leaving soon. It will be really important to keep good contact with her because everyone in her life has always eventually abandoned or been taken from her.
Tanya is doing absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's who we had to leave the library last night to go teach. We hadn't seen her for a week and were a little nervous. Plus she doesn't have a phone. But it was just a series of unfortunate events, and she's doing great. Just really tired from her pregnancy. Our lesson last night was on repentance, and it was so powerful. I mean, she was. She finally opened up about her past, and I can really see that she acknowledges her sins, but has this amazing faith in Christ to balance it out. She's truly understanding, and that was so comforting to see. I've watched a handful of people in this branch get baptized (from the elders) and they never lasted more than a month at church, sometimes not past the Sunday they were confirmed. And so I'm naturally nervous to let that happen to anyone. It's why we can't push people too much, well we also can't control them. Anyway, I could just tell with Tanya last night that she's definitely for real. I've never seen someone change so much. She's a completely different person than the one I knew in January, or even a month ago. Not just spiritually either, she's just... different!! She understands how she can start a new life, and just move forward. She knows it's going to be really difficult. She definitely is in a hard spot. She left home in Guatamala at either age 8 or 12 and went to Mexico and was a nanny. At age 13 she began drinking. That all continued here, until she ended up pregnant. She told us she was hysterical when she found out, and that the father gave her $900 to get an abortion. She said that honestly, she was tempted. But she didn't do it, and that was basically her switch point. Wow. I just can't believe how blessed I am to know these people!!!! Her b-day is tomorrow - she'll be 20. We can't take her anywhere, and she doesn't have a car... so we're gonna think of something fun to do. Maybe some b-day cake or papousas and the restoration dvd. Haha, that's about as fun as we can get :) I just, words can't tell you how full my heart is down here. I'm changed myself.
Tomorrow we're going to the temple. Esmeralda is coming for the first time to do baptisms! And so is Martin!! He's still our favorite :) He sent us a message the other night that basically said we are his guardian angels that found him and saved his soul. It sounded better in Spanish. But man! That's the stuff written in Ensign magazines! But we didn't hardly do anything! We were just there that night, and opened our mouths, he did the rest. Him and the Lord.
Ok... we have to go. Lots of plans for the day :) Sorry it's so scattered, and I'm pretty sure there's a ton of things I forgot that I meant to respond to from your emails... sorry. But I'm excited about the eBay thing :) And I've been praying that Mom wouldn't get layed off - I'm so glad. And I will forward this for sure to Grandma Hughes as well, thanks for her address. I just wish I had time to write her at least a little something separate, but I can't. Hopefully she'll understand. And thanks so much for the pic of Erika and Garrett! That's awesome! They look great! Where was that taken? Garrett is so tall too!
Ok, I love you all bunches and bunches! Can't wait to hear from you Monday :) I hope you all have a fantabulous rest of the week!
Con mucho amor,
P.S. Have you seen Ephraim's Rescue? You HAVE to see it! It's a long story, but we got to watch it at the mission home last week (perks of living in BR for 11 months - haha. Pres had us go because of some sisters that had to come to stay up here for a bit) Anyway! It was amazing! K love you bye!
P.P.S. We are so excited about the package!! And your letter too, Sis :)