Monday, April 1, 2013

virtue loveth virtue, light cleaveth unto light

Dear loves of my life,

It's a wonderful day to be a missionary in the Spokane Washington mission! :) That's what President Mullen tells us every week in our letter. And it's TRUE. I love being a missionary in Spokane Valley. It's been 60 all week and yesterday it was 70! What a dream. I think I will love, LOVE being a missionary in the summer the most of all. I could drink in the sunshine all day everyday. 

This week was so, SO great.

On Tuesday as we were driving, Sister Sanchez turned to me and said, "Promise me that we'll find a family to teach this week." I just laughed because hello?? I wish! And then a few minutes later a quiet but distinct voice came to my heart and my mind, "I promise you that you'll find a family to teach this week." And I knew it was true. We've been working so hard here. Sister Missionaries moved into the Ponderosa ward where Aridai has been going to church and so they started teaching her instead. I prayed a lot to have trust in them and feel good about having them teach her because WE LOVE Aridai. I know God loves her and I just want them to know how much she means to us. We fasted last Sunday to know how to help her progress more and then we got our transfer calls and found out Sisters were taking over the Ponderosa area so we knew that was the answer to our fast. Even though we didn't want that answer. Humility is accepting God's will as your own. Learning a lot of that on my mission.

We watched the YW General Broadcast with Katelyn on Saturday and it was so, so, SO great. You really are so much more in tune with the Spirit as a missionary. As soon as the first notes of the introductory hymn began, I started to tear up. My heart was so full the whole meeting. And they showed this beautiful video about this girl getting ready to go to the temple and she has little glimpses of her whole life like mission, temple marriage, children. It was so sweet. And I just remembered again how sweet it is to be a missionary. This is the honor of my life. They talked so much about virtue and being virtuous and that is my great desire. I want to be a virtuous daughter of God. 

So a couple weeks ago we had an open hour of finding and as we prayed right before we went out, Sister Sanchez said, "Please help us to find a miracle." And so the first door we knocked on was Veronica S. And she let us in and when Sister Sanchez said the opening prayer with her she began to tear up and say that she was having a hard day. She felt like God was answering her prayer. The lesson was not that great because she has a dog that NEVER stops barking and the few times we've been back have been kind of crazy, but nevertheless we knew that was our miracle! 

Finally, on Friday, we invited Veronica and her husband and her 4 cute boys to come on a church tour with us. We had a hard time finding a member to come and I was certain it would fall through anyway. Not because I don't have faith, but because that is our luck. And I do have faith! We were praying all day that we could think of which member to call and that things would work out. I felt like I should look at our branch directory one more time and I passed Juan A.'s name. Juan A. is the sweetest little guy. Probably in his late 40's. He's single but he is devoted to the gospel and he comes every Sunday. He wasn't the perfect fit for Veronica and her family because well, he's single, and a man, and I just didn't think we should call him. But my heart told me to anyway. And he answered and he could come! Another miracle. 

Then all day we kept trying to call Veronica to remind her about the tour and verify if she was coming but we could never get a hold of her. I was so sure they just wouldn't come. But then at 5:45 right before the church tour at 6, her husband, Luis called to ask us for directions to the church. Sister Sanchez and I cheered for at least five minutes. We were SO happy! The church tour wasn't miraculous. The spirit was there, but their 4 year old cutie boy was a little rambunctious and it was hard for them to all focus. Then at the end of our church tour and lesson we kneeled down and asked Luis to give the closing prayer. He had never prayed before so he was really nervous. We taught him how and then we waited, with bowed heads for what seemed like FOREVER. Just sitting there in silence. This happens a lot with new investigators and so I silently said my own prayer that he would say something. 

And then his 9-year-old son finally said, "ok, I'll say it." The moment his mouth opened and he said, "padre celestial" the spirit entered in stronger than it had the entire lesson. It was so incredible. And so precious. In his sweetest little Spanish voice he said, "Thank for you this day. Thank you for everything we have. Thank you for our clothes and our house and our family." And then he stopped because he couldn't remember what else to say. As soon as he did, his dad picked up where he left off and finished the prayer. 

It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. And at the end we said, "what a great team you make!" and they smiled and you could tell they felt it. They felt the spirit and the love of the gospel. And just like that I kept my promise. The Lord kept his promise to me and to Hermana Sanchez.

We found our family.

And as they were leaving the church building, the little 9-year-old said, "we forgot something in our prayer." "Oh, you did, what did you forget?" "We forgot to ask for the things we want to know." Which was so sweet because we had told his dad to ask in his prayer if what we taught was true. So we told him that that night he could go home and pray with his family again. Oh, children are the best missionaries. 

Well, my friends, being a missionary is the privilege of my life. I love you! Find ways to strengthen your testimony each day. God loves you. Oh, he loves you.

I love you too!

Hermana Em
Bonus picture! Sister Percivel sent us this picture on Easter where Hermana Em and Sister Sanchez had a lovely Easter meal! 

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