Hello my wonderful family!!
I hope that all is going well back home:) I am so looking forward to talking with all of you soon!! I feel very blessed to have a wonderful family back home that supports me, encourages me, uplifts me, prays for me, and is simply always there for me no matter how much distance is physically between us. Thank you for everything you do for me. I appreciate it so much! My companion can attest to the fact that I light up anytime that I hear from people back home:) (emails or letters) haha:) You brighten my life!! (have I buttered you up enough yet?) haha JK!! don't worry I don't need anything from you;)
So I have come to the conclusion that a mission always has something coming your way to stretch you so that you can constantly be growing and changing to hopefully become more like the Savior. I am facing a few difficult things right now, but Heavenly Father is blessing me with the faith I need to stay hopeful and happy through it. (Although that is not always easy:))
R could use a lot of prayers right now:) If you wouldn't mind including her in your prayers. Last Monday evening we got a message from her letting us know that she is unable to meet with us for the time being. She has to take a temporary break from meeting with us because she has some severe health issues. Whenever she meets with us she gets really sick so we have to wait for her immune system to improve so that we can see her again. She is the one with lupis (sp?), allergies to smells, deo, perfume, detergent, carpets, the sun, etc. So the odds aren't in her favor but she is determined to succeed. She is still set for baptism but it looks like it will happen after transfers in about a month. She is solid though and doing amazing!
We were able to get involved with a really cool service project this last Saturday! It was a puzzle walk/5k for families affected with Autism. We got there bright and early helping get everything set up, then we stationed ourselves around the path so that we could cheer them on while they were running the 5k, ran a photo booth, blow up toys, a flash mob, helped with clean up, etc. It was very cool! There was probably around 1,000 participants so it was really cool to get out in the community and for so many people to have exposure with Missionaries:) The Guidry's (our ward mission leader) was the family that got us all involved! It was awesome! We were able to round up around 24 other missionaries to be there as well:)
Not sure if I have mentioned the Grenados before in my emails home. They are a part member family:) E is the non member and N is the member:) They were actually the first people I met when I first got to the area:) We meet with them about once a week still:) The Elders are actually living with them too which is really neat! They are awesome! We have all become pretty tight:) Well.. guess what? E came to church for the very first time yesterday! He said that he was driving past the church and felt like he needed to be there:) So he came!! I was so happy! He is doing well:)
I am very grateful that I spent the time learning how to do family history work prior to leaving on a mission. It has been a great blessing:) Heavenly Father is using that talent and I have been able to help many people here in Omaha with missionary work on the other side of the veil. I have been able to teach about 8 families how to do it and they have all been really excited finding names and doing the work! I am also doing a combined young women and young men activity soon to teach all of the youth how to do it:) It is really exciting!!
Sorry I didn't have time to type out a spiritual thought:) I was going to pull it from the talk "Your four minutes" so if you have some time this week, I'd challenge each of you to read it! It is awesome!! A few things from it though..
"Now, consider how your pathway to eternal life is similar to these athletes’ “four-minute performance.” You are an eternal being. Before you were born, you existed as a spirit. In the presence of a loving Heavenly Father, you trained and prepared to come to earth for a brief moment and, well, perform. This life is your four minutes. While you are here, your actions will determine whether you win the prize of eternal life. The prophet Amulek described, “This life is the time … to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day … to perform [your] labors.”
"Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “I already blew it. My four minutes are already a disaster. I may as well give up.” If so, stop thinking that, and never think it again. The miracle of the Atonement can make up for imperfections in our performance. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has taught:
“To those of you … who may still be hanging back, … I testify of the renewing power of God’s love and the miracle of His grace. …
“… It is never too late so long as the Master … says there is time. … Don’t delay.”10
Remember, you are not alone. The Savior has promised that He will not leave you comfortless."
I love you all so much and look forward to talking with you soon!! Have a good week and know that I love you so much!!
P.S. "Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). The more works you put forth, the more faith you have to produce miracles." -President Weston-