Wow what a week! We have just been working away here like the busiest of bees and so I have some awesome progress to share!
First of course I want to say happy birthday again to my mommy:) she has been the most incredible example in my life and there really aren’t words to describe how grateful I am for her and how much I love her! She’s always taking care of me and helping me to grow in every aspect. When I grow up I want to be a mommy like her, but maybe not with quite so many kids, I don’t have as much patience as she does. But, I hope it was a happy day mommy I was thinking about you and trying to share your love with the people of Santa Ana! I’m really grateful you got your present from Mary the other day; I found out that you got it the day before your birthday and I was so relieved. Happy day momma!
This week marks the beginning of the end of my time with my amazing companion Hermana Bojorque. We have one more week together before she ends her mission and heads home to her family in Argentina. How sad! We try not to ponder on this because it makes us both really sad. I’m a little scared/ excited to have a new companion. Scary because what if we don’t get along! And excited because what if we do?? no importa really, I know there will be a reason that I’m with this new Hermana and there will be opportunities to learn and teach one another.
So let me start by telling you about my miracles! The first is that I received a letter from each of my grandparents:) oh you should have seen how I smiled to have a letter from my adorable nana and an early birthday card from my ever loving and consistent Baines Grandparents. Que lindo! As a granddaughter it really meant a lot to me and I am so grateful, glad you’re all safe and well and that I still have a place in your thoughts and hearts:)
I am so grateful for the Saints of the Santa Ana Branch of the church. This week we have seen so much sacrifice and service on their part for us. We have an investigator, Daniela, Who is just about ready to be baptized EXCEPT... she’s not married to the man she’s living with. They’d like to be married, but they don’t have enough money to pay for it. I don’t mean the wedding or the cake or the dress, they literally don’t have enough extra money to pay for the certificate. We’ve been teaching them that when they start to keep the commandments the Lord blesses them for their efforts and so one at a time they’ve been keeping the commandments. Keeping the Sabbath, reading their scriptures, praying, etc. etc. and so the Lord has decided to bless them through us! His full time servants:) but more then us, through the members of the church here. This week we did a fundraiser to help the family have the cash to pay the lawyer for the certificate. We decided to sell arroz con leche (rice with milk, a simple kind of dessert). We gathered together at the chapel (me, hmna B, Daniela and her boyfriend Marlon, our district leader even came with a member of the church who cooks really good, along with our neighbor Hermana chacon (your twin grandma!) and a nonmember neighbor who just wanted to help us (actually Lillian, our golden investigator gone wrong.)) We all worked for hours trying to prepare it, running to the store or the neighbors house various times and trying to teach lessons in between, all in the midst of the hardest rain storm I’ve ever seen, wow what a day. but!! In one moment of distraction all of the rice began to burn to the bottom of the pot...... within 3 minutes the taste of burnt rice and milk filled our giant pot of ingredients. We were almost devastated. My companion and I ran to the back room and said one of the most sincere prayers I have ever said in my life. This pot of rice and milk was everything to this family! wed already paid the ingredients, spent hours together and all their (and our!) hopes and dreams were riding on this stinking burnt pot!! We prayed a good 10 minutes having all the faith in the world that if heavenly father could split the red sea or teach Nephi how to build a ship he could save our rice and milk. Needless to say, the Lord answers the prayers of the faithful! With a little more sugar and a lot of effort it was all saved and the result was 60 cups of delicious desert ready to be delivered!
So many people sacrificed to make this possible. Our neighbors gave us an entire day, their car and even helped us to pay for some of the ingredients. Our district leader came from his area to spend the day helping us. And the members, oh the members. Many who are out of a job and barely have enough money for their family, bought all of it. All of it, even though it was an expensive and they could easily prepare it for themselves. Everyday I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but there are some days when my gratitude feels like my heart will just burst! In this one-day we sold more then 100 dollars worth of arroz con leche... Thanks to these members, their sacrifices, and the mercy of our Lord were going to have a wedding for this little family!! Wednesday will be the wedding (mommy I wish you were here to help me decorate!) and were planning her baptism for Saturday!
Wow what a novel... lo siento. But it really was one of the greatest miracles I’ve seen in all my life. Miracle after miracle that whole day.
One other thing I learned this week that id like to share. I know, I know that Heavenly Father knows our needs and our situations personally. This week I was studying my book of Mormon and I found my Future Husband.... Moroni!! haha in chapter 48 of alma (verses 11-13 and 17-18) heavenly father told me exactly the kind of person my husband will be, exactly what he has planned for me. I feel spoiled to have 3 examples of Moroni in my family already; my brother in laws and my very own daddy are this definition to a T. I would encourage all my girl friends (paige, kam, you ladies especially:)) to read these verses and not settle for anything less then what you find there. And all you fellas reading this, friends, family, missionaries:) and more then anyone my baby brothers, be this sort of man!! Study these characteristics and develop them! Be the men of God that his princesses (yes me included!) need. If you have any questions on how, please feel free to call my brethren in law (that cant be correct? brethren??) They can help.
2 other quick miracles
1. This week there was a moment when we were just about to die from heat when we passed by a shop and an investigator came running out and handed us 2 giant icecream cones!! The Lord takes care of us:)
2. Benita came to church!!! Yay!
Wow sorry this is forever long. Really this week has built and fortalized my testimony. Miracles happen, Heavenly Father is aware of us personally and Faith is everything. I LOVE YOU all and hope you all have a beautiful week!! Prayers from Costa Rica!
All my love,