Monday, December 3, 2012

Letter # 12 12/03/12

Dear Family,

Things are going great! We're working hard to find new people to teach, as always, and we have a baptism planned for the 15th of this month: Gabriela. She is just wonderful. It's really easy for me to forget that she's not actually a member yet, she looks and acts like a Relief Society president. She was a previous investigator, and she was taking the lessons from the previous missionaries in the area a little over a year ago. She didn't get baptized because she felt like the missionaries were putting a lot of pressure on her and she didn't feel ready. The thing is that with things like baptism-- or rather almost all important things is that you almost never feel ready. That's what faith is, right? But I'm happy to go as slow or as fast as the Spirit directs, and things have been going well. Gabriela told us a metaphor that I love: she's like the ant that goes first and investigates the area, and later the other ants (her family) will follow. We hope so!

I feel as much joy when I see less-actives and recent converts in Sacrament Meeting as I do when my investigators come. It's the same happiness, knowing that someone I love is doing the right thing for themselves. My second week here, we found a woman named Adriana (about 45 years old) outside of a house with her friend. We sang a "Grande eres tu" ("How Great Thou Art") and she invited us into her home across the street. We found out during the visit that she had been baptized at the age of 16 but had started working on Sundays and stopped going to church. Since then she has had some really powerful spiritual experiences and a lot of opposition. She has other children, but lives alone with her 9 year old son. We talked about the Book of Mormon, and replaced hers, which she had lost, with one of our proselyting copies. She offered the closing prayer and began to cry. After "amen" she knelt at our feet and embraced us, crying. I realized then what we must represent to her, how the Lord had put us there to be His representatives and rescue her when the time was right. She is the sweetest lady I've ever met, and has had such adversity and a lot of sorrow, but she has the most beautiful smile that she wears all the time. Now she comes to church with her son and her granddaughter (9 and 8 years old) and participates enthusiastically in the Gospel Principles class. She's preparing to go to the temple. How would her life be different now if we had not been there? She would still be lost and wandering. How great the wisdom and the love of our Savior, and how mindful is He of His flock. We can easily allow people to fall through the cracks, but to Him we are never lost.

There are so many less-actives here, and I'm called to help them as much as I am called to find those who never have known the gospel.

I love you. Remember your covenants, pray every day, read your scriptures and go to church. If we do these things, the Lord can guide us.

I love you all!
Hermana Phillips

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