Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 2011!

For New Year's Eve, We made Mexican food for us and our zone leaders who live next door. Sister Nielsen and I made homemade flour tortillas, but they didn't turn out quite how we expected ;) They tasted more like biscuits. But it was fun! A nice family in our ward also came to our house and gave us some spaghetti and fruit salad. The members here are really nice. For New Year's everyone does fireworks. At midnight, it was sooooo loud throughout the whole city. Looking out our window it looked like a battlefield with all the fireworks going off everywhere. This week Sister Nielsen was sick quite a bit. She is getting better now though. We were invited to a dinner at a member's house who served us goat innards (w/onions and mayo). It was interesting, and I don't plan on eating that again.

Our investigator Mark (24) passed his baptismal interview on Saturday. He will be baptized on January 15th! We had an FHE with the Agustin family, and our stake president and his son came. It was a really good experience. I've never seen Brother and Sister Agustin laugh so hard (as we were playing the games).

The work is great! The field is white, already to harvest! I love being a missionary. I was happy because Brother Amor Delacruz (an investigator we've been inviting for a long time) came to church again, and says he plans to continue to do so every week now. He really wants to be baptized. We also visited an inactive member, brother Israel, who told us of an experience where he has had several dreams recently of someone telling him to come back to church. And then when we met him on our way to the house of one of our investigators, he told us how he felt a very peaceful happy feeling (obviously the Holy Ghost), and we came to his house to teach him, and he committed to come back to church. It was neat to hear him during sunday school - he was invited to give the prayer, and he began to relate all those things to Heavenly Father in his prayer (about his falling away from the church, and his dream, and us visiting him). It was a really heartfelt prayer; you could tell He really was talking to Heavenly Father.

Oh I have to tell you about two of our recent converts: Jerrene (16) and Laurena (13). They both come from part-member families. Well, Laurena was sleeping over at Jerrene's house, and they really wanted to work with us at 3:00 pm the next day, but we had to postpone it until 6:00 pm, so while waiting for us, they read their scriptures together, prayed, and practiced teaching (like missionaries). Then they actually went out "proselyting" to their neighbors, scriptures in hand, ready to teach the gospel. Haha! That ticked me to hear that. They both really want to be missionaries. They are really amazing girls.

I've been reading a lot in the general conference Ensign, and I've really been impressed with the messages. A couple themes I've noticed in the talks are: 1. Satan is real. He wants us to be miserable. He's very intelligent and knows what he's doing. He knows our weaknesses. None of us are immune to his subtle temptations, no matter how strong you think your faith is. That's why we must constantly be striving to nourish and strengthen our faith. As long as we have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion, we can stay protected. 2. Exact obedience is important. It's easy to try to rationalize letting go of the iron rod "just a little bit" here and there, or to justify "partial obedience" based on the circumstance - but little exceptions to the rules can lead to bigger transgressions. Sometimes we don't always see it that way until we look back on our choices and realize we could have done better.

I love you very much!
Have a great day!
Love, Rebecca

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