Hope this email finds you all well and happy, preparing for the Christmas season no doubt!
As the title says this last Thursday I completed 6 months in the mission. A third of my mission is gone, and I closed my eyes for just one second. I have to say that if the time continues to pass as fast as it has, I dont know if I will even have time to do all that I want to do. It really spurred me onto new heights this last week.
Companion Update: Hermana Handley and I are getting along famously. She told me yesterday that I am the first companion that she has had in 16 months that she genuinily likes and considers a friend, not just tolerates. So that was nice to hear, haha. We are both trying to prepare for Christmas in the cheapest, prettiest way possible. Something tells me that we are going to end up having a lot of paper snowflakes and handmade things on the walls. We did splurge and spend mil pesos on some glittery garlends, we plan on decorating a little bit today if we have time.
Things here in El Salvador are progressing day-by-day. We are working as hard as we can but I got to say, walking all day in the heat (it is about 85 degree weather and the sun is really strong up here in the mountains) uphill, really manages to kill your energy level. I have learned new meanings to the saying, ¨The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.¨But despite everything we leave, and press on, and work all the days!
We were able to find quite a few new families and investigators this last week. The only problem that we are really facing right now, is the school gets out for summer vacation next week. And here in a little mining camp.... No one actually lives here. So next week, the population of El Salvador is going to go from about 5,000 people to like 2,500, and most of them are just going to be the men that have to work over the holiday. Our chances of finding people are dropping like a stone in a lake. But we have been praying and fasting faithfully to be able to find the people who are looking for the gospel truths this holiday season, and we know that if we stay valient, we are going to find exactly who we are meant to find.
The one story that I feel the need to share with you all this week is about a family. The mother is named Elizabeth, and the father Juan Carlos. They have 3 children, 19, 13, and almost 2. They have been sharing with the missionaries for a very long time. A couple of years actually. The problem that they have is that they have lost faith in a loving God. 14 years ago Elizabeth was nursing their brand new baby boy. And he began to turn purple, they rushed him to the Emergency room, but things here in Chile, medical wise work a little differently. It took them a long time for a doctor to have time to even see the baby, and then he refused to treat him, he said they were wasting his time and that he didnt want to look at the baby. And because of that, their son died. They had the doctor thrown out of the medical profession, but it didnt bring back their baby. So for 14 years they have been in mourning. They havent celebrated the birthdays of their other children for 14 years. It is so sad to see two people, with young children, so hurt and affected by the past, that they cant appriciate what they have.... Breaks my heart every time. They are always receptive, they say what we share is beautiful. That they want to believe it with all their hearts, but they just cant find the faith in God to believe it.
So the question I have for all of you is this: How do you get back your faith, when you feel like you have lost it completely after such a long time? We have shared all of the typical stories and scriptures, we are working with them as much as we can, and really concentrating on the love of the Savior, plan of Salvation, all of that. But you, my family and friends, how do you go about finding the faith you used to have?
I want to leave you all with my testimony of the Savior. I know that during this time of year when the world is so commercialized we need to remember why we give gifts in the first place. Because the greatest gift to mankind was given to us over 2000 years ago in a quiet part of the city of Bethlehem. Where shepards testified of the birth of our Lord, your Savior Jesus Christ I know that Christ lives, I know he was born here, he lived a perfect life, he suffered for our sins, he gave up his own life, and then he took it up again three days later. And I know that in our days he has once again raised his church. We have a living prophet today to testify and guide each and every one of us through the trials of these last days. I love my Savior and I know he lives. I invite all of you to go to lds.org and watch the new Christmas videos that the church has produced. I also want all of you to watch the sweet little Mormon Message, The Spirit of Christmas. I have had the privledge to share that little video with many people this week. And every time it touches my heart. Not just because I get a little glimpse of my angelic little sister at the age of 6 or so. But because it is a poignent reminder that Christmas is more than a box under the tree in pretty paper.
I know my Savior lives. And I love him. May he bless each of you. I love you all,