Hola Fmilia! Buenas Dias! So much exciting news in the letter this week I was so excited to email you guys! So Matthew 5:6 and D&C 131:6 are wonderful scriptures and it talks about hungering and thirsting after righteousness. For you to grow in the gospel and stay on the path that leads to eternal life, you need to develop a habit of gospel study every day. I found that lil gem in my personal study time in the beginning of the week. I read in PMG how to effectively study and it totally helped! I've changed the way I do personal studies and I'm being taught by the spirit more now. It's so amazing! On Tuesday we did intercambios (exchanges) with the English STL's. I stayed in my area and sister Reynolds came with me for the exchange. I love her so much! She's from England and she had a sweet accent the people loved it. I felt like the trainer and she felt like the trainee because she wanted to learn Spanish from me so she could help with the door approaches. We wrote down some notes from her and we were off! It was my 1st time pretty much without any help from my HMN because she was in sis Reynolds area with sis Wen for the exchange. I relied on all of the Spanish I knew and we shared the gracias a que el vive video with a family. I was able to share the video, my testimony, and set up a return appointment.. all by myself without help! Holy smokes how wonderful is that?! That evening we went to a appointment with Grizelda and share a lesson I came up with a while ago. It's called come follow me (venid a cristo/sigura a cristo). It had 2 scriptres that talk about following the example of Christ, a picture of the Cristis's/ Christs hand out stretched with the nail prints in it (with the scriptures in Isiah that talks about how he has engraved us in the palm of his hands so he will never leave us) and the last part of the lessons is a 6min bible video on LDS.org it's called Jesucristo es el pan de vida (Jesus is the bread of life). I love sharing this lesson with people because it always brings the spirit! I loved exchanges with sis Reynolds because I really look up to her, she had one transfer left in her mission. She's full of life and energy all of the time and happy. We have a love of eating healthy food and exercising in common which was really nice! She told me that she looks up to me because of "how amazing my Spanish is" she wanted to hear me talk in Spanish it was funny lol Overall the exchanges were great and I made a new friend(: The day of exchanges we received 15 referrals. 15 in one day- that's ridiculously amazing! This whole week my comp and I have just been following up with them. We did 20 and a 1/2 hours of finding this week and taught 19 lessons with 5 members present, and got 4 new investigators. The Lord has truly blessed my comp and I this week.
It's been a busy week for sure but well worth it and new people are coming out of the wood works. Last wed we got a call from a member in the Denver 4th ward and she asked us if we would come to a lesson with us that night with an inv she met at a restraint, out appointment fell though so we agreed. We taught the restoration to a single man named Ulvaldo. He listened intently, asked questions, said he would read the BOM, and come to church! At the end of the lesson he gave my comp and I two huge things of M&M's candy each. We walked out of his apartment with our jaws almost to the ground. We both instantly knew he was one of the Elect, and ready to receive the message of the restoration. I find my most excitement in times like those, because they are so surprising and the spirit testifies to you of the truth. Heavenly Father definitely lead us to find Ulvaldo this past week.
This past Tuesday I finally finished reading the Book of Mormon! Whooooo I was quite sad with the last few chapters with all of the killing and evilness but I was thankful to finally say I read the BOM though for the 1st time thoroughly. I found so many new favorite scriptures and wonderful things. A few time while reading I would come across thing and think to myself, "I never knew this story was even in here." Or "oh yea I remember learning about that in seminary/primary." So many things/stories now clicked in my head and I understand more than I ever did before! lol It's amazing how just reading the scriptures for 20min every morning can do and how much peace you can feel in your life. I've asked myself why didn't I do this before my mission or during all of my difficult surgeries? I could've felt a whole lot more peace. A mission really changes your mind about some things. It's hard when the people we teach don't understand the importance of reading the BOM. It makes me sad because of how I know it can bless their lives, just by reading a little bit each day... So here in CO there are several Hispanics that walk around the streets with these little carts that say the name of some cities in Mexico (the most common is Zacatecas) and they sell paletas (Mexican popsicles) in them, or other things like mangos on a stick, corn on a stick, and so on. It's like a back in Mexico again! One day I will buy a mango on a stick- I'm determined .
So the best part about this week was that the Lord blessed me with opportunities to improve my Spanish. Literally for the past 3 weeks. It started with a prayer to have the Lord help me find ways to improve my Spanish. Then I got the impression to take the lead in our lessons, after that worked I got asked to teach gospel principles by our district leader. The exchanges with the English sisters was in my area so it was all me those 2 days and all of the Spanish I knew how to say because sis Reynolds doesn't know any Spanish. Then Brother Rodriguz Campos asked me to give a talk in sacrament meeting. I have found my confidence in speaking, teaching and reading go wayyyy up. I prayed and these were the answers I received for ways to improve my Spanish. Yesterday before I gave my talk I asked for help to calm my nerves and as I spoke I wasn't even nervous. After I gave my talk SO many members in the ward came up to me and told me that I did a great job and gave a great discurso (talk). The obispo's (bishops) wife came up to me and said that she's giving a talk for mother’s day and that I inspired her to give it in Spanish (she's white and doesn't speak Spanish). I was so happy my talk inspired people and that they felt the spirit. My HMN told me that after I spoke and sat down people were looking at each other and saying that they couldn't believe that I've only been out in the field for 10 weeks. Some of the missionaries that talked to me said that they've been out for 8 months and haven't been asked to give a talk yet... I said well I prayed ways to improve so that was my answer- can't complain about that! We also had a less active who we've been seeing come to church after 6 years. I was so proud of her. She brought her 3 kids who aren't members to church and we sat next to xillali and arantxa in Young Womens (I felt so young again). Overall yesterday was wonderful and a blessing for me.
While we were tracting in the rain an inv answered the door and let us in. We shared the restoration and every time after I would say something she complemented me on my Spanish. I read a scripture about the Aposticia and she said that I read better than her granddaughter who's spoke Spanish her whole life. haha I guess my plan to read the BOM in Spanish during language studies in paying off!(: The other highlight of the week was when we were tracting and I found this guy to talk to and since I was taking the lead I spoke a lot and asked if we could share the gracias a que el vive video with him. After I spoke he asked me how long I've been speaking Spanish for and I told him 10 weeks. He did not believe me and said that I speak with a Hispanic accent! Who knew? It's been hard for me to notice my progress in Spanish but after this week my whole perspective has changed. Now I LOVE my mission because I can finally communicate with people and understand more! Whereas before I didn't have any confidence in reading in front of people, speaking, or teaching. The Lord has opened up my eyes and now I can see the progress I'm making. I was reminded not to be too hard on myself. I'm so thankful for the progress I'm making- this week I've turned a corner.
On another note I found out some sad health news for myself... ever since I've been out on my mission my stomach hasn't been the same. I've been eating more bread than I ever have in my whole life. These past 4 weeks my stomach has hurt every day and I haven't wanted to eat anything because I'd get sick. Well Thursday morning I couldn't take it any more after trying to get a hold of our mission nurse and not return phone calls. I called her Thursday morning at 7 am and she told me to buy some pepto bismo. I didn't take that for an answer because I knew that wasn't the problem. I called a member who's a certified nurse and told her about my stomach pain and suggested it could be a gluten intolerance. All week I haven't ate any gluten and my stomach has been SO much better. I will from now on be eating gluten free. It makes sense because my whole life my stomach has never really digested food well and I'm always bloated. It's going to be difficult but it's made me 100% better. I've been telling the members I can't eat wheat or flour for our dinners. I'm going to have to tell the mission pres. because gluten free food is expensive.
That's pretty much it for this letter.
Thanks for all of your support I love you!