Hola Familia, I´ll spare you the ¨so much happened this week¨. But honestly, it´s hard to put into words all of the emotions and happenings of the past 8 days. It´s always interesting to reflect on the things I´ve learned every day of the past week. This area is tough. But each day, I gain more love and appreciation for the people here and the things they go through. This culture is SO different. The church is true, the doctrine is the same, but the applications, the learning curve, and the daily living are completely different. Something I´ve thought a lot about this week is the effect of our personal burdens in our lives. Each and every one of us has something in life that is a burden. I see it with every person and family that we teach, in my own efforts to learn a language and bring souls to Christ, and at home with all of you.
Some burdens are more visible and apparent than others, but everyone has their ¨thing¨. But the beauty is that we´re never alone, we have a loving Heavenly Father who knows our limits, our capacities, and although sometimes he pushes us, causing us to stretch more than we think is ¨possible¨he never gives us more than we can handle. Elder L. Whitney Clayton said: ¨Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues that contribute to eventual perfection.¨ Little by little, day by day, we are tested, tried, refined and reformed. We leave behind old attributes and acquire new ones that allow us to become more like Him. How great is God´s plan?? We had 3 menos activos and 1 investigator at church on Sunday! It was a MIRACLE! And the greater miracle was the attitude of love that the members showed. Something that 2 weeks ago we thought was impossible. Hermana Keller and I sat in the very back of Sunday school, and both of us were fighting tears. There is still so much work to be done here. But we´re seeing ripples, no waves, and for that I´m so grateful!
We had interviews with Presidente Avila yesterday. That man is a man of God. He is incredible, and it seriously was like anticipating a meeting with our ¨Papi¨. He came a few days ago to talk with the branch presidents about the area, because they were potentially thinking of combining them due to the lack of attendances. But he told me yesterday that he is so impressed with the things that are happening in this area. He said ¨This is why I sent you hermanas here. You have a love that no one else could give these people. It is still going to be hard, and it´s going to take time. But never have I seen miracles like this happen in just 3 weeks. Ever. Don´t doubt that your efforts are making a difference. This branch is going to flourish, things are changing, even if you can´t always see them.¨This was seriously the biggest relief. We have been working and working, and some days it seems like you just go in circles and no one is listening. I have this tendency to think results will come overnight. Loco, right? President David O. McKay said: ¨The rich rewards come only to the strenuous strugglers.¨We are promised so much, if we endure, and we endure it well. Trials come, heartbreak happens, but in the end, the faithful will be victorious! Let us all live worthy to say as Paul did: ¨ I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith!¨
I love you all more than words. Esta semana que viene. Les Quiero, MUCHISIMO! xoxox Your Hermana Cox