Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Drawing Closer to God

I have to say that Campana is the coolest place in the world. You can all be so jealous because it is beautiful here and the people are so amazing. 

For awesome news we had the baptism of Mexi and Kendi yesterday!!! They were SO CUTE!! Mexi is 12 and Kendi is 10. We have been teaching them for a little over two months and they were finally ready for their baptism. Their mom was a less active member but she has been re activated! It was so cute Kendi went in the water to get baptized, and after the baptism she came up from the water and she said "frioooo frioooo" and we all started laughing as she ran into the bathroom to change. (Here in Campana there is no hot water). Afterwards we all ate a pastel (cake) that we had made for the baptism and it was beautiful. The nice thing about Honduras is that people are always impressed with sweets. Our cake that we made from a box everyone was proclaiming "ahhh su pastel que rico!!!" And I was like, thanks, I added water, oil and eggs then stuck it in the oven, but you are making me feel so good about my cooking skills! And I am pretty sure everyone will be talking about our pastel for a few weeks. Thank you Betty Crocker!
We are also planning on having the baptism for Marco this Friday. Yesterday at church he was telling us that he was worried about the baptismal pants not looking good, so he didn't want pictures. And I wanted to just be like... wow that is so not important! But I tried to honestly listen to his concerns, and then told him that the pants would look fine, and that we were going to take a bunch of pictures. He didn't have too much of a choice. I think he is the first person to be concerned about the baptismal clothing not looking good... like in the history of baptisms in Honduras. People here just aren't worried about stuff like that. I was pretty shocked. We were also prepping him for the baptismal interview last week and we were going over all the questions. Ley de Castidad (Law of Chastity) came up, and he was like "wait you never taught me that." And I looked at my companion, then she looked at me, then I was like "Puchika! He is right." So we started into Ley de Castidad. It was a nice awkward ten minutes, then I went into "pornografia" and the first thing we always ask is if they have heard the word, or know what it is (most people have no clue). He looked at us and was like "si si yo comprendo yo se." Ahhh there is nothing better than 19 and 21 year old girls teaching you as a 19 year old boy about pornography and the law of chastity. Poor kid. 

We also had some really terrible news this week. One of our investigators got killed. We had a lesson with him on Wednesday, and he was telling us how excited he was to come to church. The last time we went he was showing us the turtle he had bought, and his new rabbit. On Wednesday he was showing us his turtle that he had cooked and how excited he was to eat it Sunday night for dinner. After I had a feeling we should go visit his friends, who we have pretty much dropped until they come to church. So we went and visited them, and it was super great, and we made a plan about how Fernando, Marjorie, Kimberely and Janary were all going to come to church together. As we were walking back we passed by Fernando again and he told us how he was going to go get his hair cut. We told him how excited we were to see him on Sunday with his new haircut. On Saturday night my companion called Kimberely to remind her about church, and she said they weren't coming because they just found out Fernando had died. My companion hung up, and she told me, then I started freaking out a little because I was like "wait, like our investigator Fernando?? The one we visited on Wednesday??" My companion is still new to the area so she hadn't realized it was the same person. I called back Kimberely, and she could barely understand me freaking out in Spanish since it is already hard for people to understand me on the phone since, well a) I am a gringa b) our phone is really ghetto and c) I am a gringa. The sister of Fernando also called us and told us. The funeral was on Sunday at 9, and we couldn't go since we have church at 9 and we had a baptism as well right after church, which meant before church we were running around like maniacs. My heart is torn for Fernando and his family. Keep them in your prayers. We are going to try to visit them tomorrow, and hopefully I can keep myself together. All I can imagine right now is my neice who died last year picking up where I left off teaching him, and him continuing his progress towards God. That night I was really upset and my District Leader called and reminded me of the section in the Doctrine and Covenants when Joseph Smith sees his brother Alvin in the Celestial Kingdom. I know God lives and has a plan for us, and that this life really is so short, and it is so important that we align our lives to God.  

This past month I have read the conference talking "Drawing Closer to God" by Elder Terence M. Vinson over and over again, and now more than ever I think it applies in my life. I love it when he says "But here is the point—rather than solve the problem Himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him. Then we can feel His love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him, and we can become like Him. For us to be like Him is His goal. In fact, it is His glory as well as His work." So that is my feat, my task, to learn to rely on Him in solving every problem and helping me in every challenge. The great thing is, I realized this week as I was reading the first chapter of Moses, that I can do this and overcome. As Moses said when Satan was tempting him "For behold, I am a ason of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten" and I, too am a Daughter of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten. We are all Children of God, and he has given us the tools and resources to overcome and conquer, and we can realize this as we draw closer to him every day. I love my Savior so much, and I love this plan that our Father set up for us. It is a perfect plan, and I know I can have hope in the future, and hope in every second. I know God loves each and every one of us and is so aware of us, and he truly works in the details of our lives. 

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