Hola my beautiful family!!
So this week has been another one for the books! It amazes me how much happens in just seven little days! and with this being my first whole week in Argentina, I have no idea where to start, so bear with me! basically to start out the week, we set goals and decided to just really tackle the menos activos. The people here are so wonderful!!! Each house we go to, each family we teach, I fall more and more in love with them! We spent time with so many of the amazing families in the branch this week, and I want to bring all of the littles home with me. (the kids of course, not the lice). We met several new people this week, and have a great, full week of walking and teaching planned.
One of my favorite experiences from this week was with a woman named Estela! We had been out all day running from appointment to appointment, and nothing was going through. It was getting dark, but we didn´t feel satisfied to go home, so we decided to go to the only neighborhood with lights. We talked to several really great people, and then we came to a house with a lady in the back yard. We stopped and started talking to her. She told us that she lost her husband, two daughters, and a grandson in a car accident 2 years ago, and has been really struggling and looking for answers. She told us that she´s been to all of the churches, but no one has helped her find her answer. My brain just screamed ¨We have it!!¨ We talked about the Plan of Salvación, and she loved it. I bore testimony of how we won´t always understand why challenges and trials happen, but that there is hope, and that the Lord will never leave us lonely. At the end she said she wanted to learn more, and even told me that I speak beautifully (that´s called the spirit..) We set up a return appointment for tonight, and I´m SO excited to go teach her!!
We´ve really noticed that there is a strange feeling of ¨disunity¨with the members here, and due to our very low numbers of those who actually attend, we wanted to figure out how we could help to bring them back to the fold. Well, let me start by saying, that has turned out to be a bigger task than we had ever dreamed. Their testimonies are so strong, and they are so humble and giving. The only problem is that we couldn´t seem to figure out why they weren´t coming to church. It´s hard to come into a place where everyone thinks they say they know ¨exactly who you are and what you want¨, and THEY want nothing to do with you. But if there´s anything I´ve learned from my mission it´s the importance of showing people love, and showing them that you´re there FOR THEM. not because it´s your job. I think I kind of asked for this, when I was in Washington we had a lesson on talents, and Hermana Cooley said that I had a talent of loving people..... at that time I agreed, because since my mission, I´ve worked to really develop charity for people. But honestly, loving people is NOT always easy. Especially when they push so hard to make you feel that they don´t want to be loved. But that, along with a lot of other things, is what these people really need. The love of the Lord works miracles, his plan is perfect, and as members of this church we have been promised so many amazing blessings.
I was reading the conference Liahona again and I read the talk by Elder Bruce D. Porter. I LOVE this talk! He starts out by talking about we know that we live in a world where there is a lot of trial, hardship, and grief. But along with that, ¨we have great reason to rejoice!¨We live in the fullness of times! We have the gospel! And that, puts us miles ahead. He says (forgive my quotes, I´m translating from Spanish) ¨We shouldn´t fear the future, or allow our hope and joy to falter, because the Lord is with us!¨ To the saints of his church, the Lord says ¨Sed de buen ánimo!¨ or ¨Be of good cheer!¨ and do not fear. for I, the Lord, and with you! We all have problems, and just because we´re members of the church doesn´t mean that those problems will disappear. BUT, we have the Lord on our side, and when we seek his guidance, and put our trust in him. He will never leave us helpless. He will help us to withstand the storms of mortality. Brigham Young said: ¨With the gospel, there has never been a moment when I haven´t understood that everything that happens will be for my benefit.¨All things will come together for my good. At the end of the talk, he tells of one of his roommates in college who was always optimistic. He said one day as he was walking in the midst of a fierce Provo storm, he was seen walking with his arms raised high, singing the song from Oklahoma: ¨Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! I´ve got a beautiful feeling, everything´s going my way!¨ He says something along the lines of: ¨Even in a world full of sorrow, we as Latter-day Saints can also sing with joy. We can rejoice in knowing that a beautiful morning awaits us.¨ Christ lives! He is my Savior and Redeemer. The Lord loves his children, and wants us all to stand strong, live faithfully, and maintain the hope of that bright and beautiful morning that we have been promised if we put our faith in him. I know this church is the true church of God on the earth today, and that we have so much to rejoice about. I count my blessings every day that I get these 18 months to help others to embrace these same truths.
Oh, I love you all! Thank you for all you do and are.
Esta semana que viene! Con Mucho Amor, Hermana Cox