Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy December!

Hey everyone!

Guess what! I got a package in the mail yesterday! and it was from you! It had dove chocolate, dried apples, andes mints, pie crust, chocolate pudding mix, my favorite granola bars, and a present that is all wrapped up, which I'm still deciding if I'll wait until Christmas to open. Thank you so much! It's so exciting to get packages, especially when I can share the things inside with my companion. I also got a letter from Mommy, which I haven't had a chance to read yet, but I'm excited to read it!

This is what I wrote to President Barrientos this week:

"My spiritual highlight for this week was yesterday when Shiela, one of our recent converts, shared her testimony in sacrament meeting. She is usually reluctant to share her testimony, but the spirit was so strong as she did, and it was very clear that she knows the gospel is true and it has made a huge difference in her life. It was really great because we had an investigator at sacrament meeting too, and I kept watching her face as people shared their testimonies, and I could tell she was feeling the spirit as they were speaking, especially when Sister Shiela shared her testimony. It was a good day. I love seeing how the gospel changes people's lives when they accept it and are baptized."

We've been having Sister Shiela work with us sometimes, and it's always really powerful when she shares her testimony about how she came to know the church was true. She didn't want to be taught by the missionaries at first, but it was when she read the Book of Mormon that she really knew it was true and she started seeing changes in her life. She read the entire Book of Mormon before she was baptized.

So, I have to tell you a really cool thing that happened on Saturday. The power went out in the morning all over our area, and it stayed out all day long into the evening. At around 6pm, we remembered that we were planning to show a DVD to the Guillermo family later that night, and we couldn't watch it with them if there was no power. So we found a bench on the side of the road, and we prayed that the power would come back on so we could watch that DVD with them. Then we walked to our next appointment. I kid you not, after we had walked maybe 2 or 3 blocks, the power suddenly came on and the lights in all the houses turned on. It was really cool. I just started laughing because it was so incredible that five minutes after we prayed for the power to come on, it happened. That experience strengthened my testimony that Heavenly Father really does hear and answer prayers.

Tatay Alfonzo came to church again yesterday! I was so happy! One of the fellowshippers that came with us to teach him this week said that he has really changed from when the missionaries were teaching him before. Apparently he used to say to the missionaries that they were a lot younger than him so he knew more than them. But now he is so childlike, and when we teach him he seems to just soak in what we tell him, and he is really willing to do what we tell him to do. He is the cutest old grandpa ever. I just love him so much. He accepted to be baptized. At first he was hesitant to set a date to be baptized because he wanted to know everything first, but we told him he just needs to know the gospel is true and to keep the commandments. He accepted January 29 as his baptism date because it is also his birthday, and he just kept laughing becuase he was so pleased that he could be baptized on his birthday. He makes me smile so much. The only problem is that he can't see well enough to read the Book of Mormon on his own. We're trying to figure out what to do because we feel that he needs to read the Book of Mormon every day. We thought about buying the Book of Mormon on CD, but he doesn't have a CD player and we can only find it in English. We would go read with him everyday, but we don't always have a fellowshipper, and we can't teach him without a sister with us. Do you have any suggestions for how we can help him to read the Book of Mormon every day?

I don't know if I've told you about Sister Crisamel yet. She is probably in her later fifties, and she is a really sweet grandma. We found her one day when we went to the side of the road to pray because we remembered we hadn't prayed when we left the apartment and we werent' having any luck in teaching. We happened to be next to a sari-sari store where Sister Crisamel was working, and Sister Cabato bought a snack and started talking to her. She said she had been taught by missionaries before, and she agreed to let us go with her to her house to teach her (she was just getting off work right then). So we began teaching her. At first she said she couldn't be baptized because she had been baptized in another church before and the bible says "one baptism". After we taught her about the restoration and the plan of salvation and emphasized the need for the priesthood in order to baptize, she started to understand, and she said she would consider being baptized, but she said she would have to think about it "not once, not twice, but many times". The next lesson we had with her, we taught her about the restoration of the priesthood, and we read the verses in JSH about John the baptist restoring the priesthood to Joseph Smith. At the end of that lesson, she accepted a baptism date. It was really unexpected, and it was really a miracle that she was able to understand and accept baptism. Her scheduled baptism date is January 12. She is such a sweet lady. I just love her.

Well, that's about all I have time for. Thank you so much for your prayers and your letters and emails! They help me so much. Thank you so much for supporting me to go on a mission. It is such a wonderful opportunity, and I am learning so much! I love you all!

Love, Sister Boekweg

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