It was great to receive a letter full of updates from home also full of the Spirit! Thank you for always writing with a spiritual focus as well. It is always one of the most spiritual parts of my week as I reflect on what´s happened and read your testimonies! I´m very happy to say that reading emails from home is a spiritual boost. Keep it up!
This week we have seen some really great miracles along with some small disappointments. Hernán and Sandra are still progressing so great but they just can´t make it to church. We were planning to have their baptismal service on the 12th, but they didn´t make it to church yesterday so we moved it to the 19th. We talked really openly with them about the importance of attending church again before their baptism so that they can be very prepared and know for sure that the church is true. They also think that it is important to attend again to be better prepared. They really want to go, but it seems like they have obstacles and things coming up every week. Yesterday they had to go to Ciudad Del Este to help Hernán´s brother who recently was in the hospital. But they´re super pumped for next week and I know they´ll be able to be baptized the 19th.
Also, awesome news. They quit smoking!! It´s so great to see. Hernán hasn´t smoked in about a week now and Sandra hasn´t smoked since Saturday. They are seeing so many blessings from living the Word of Wisdom and are really changing a lot. They are also willing to get married so we are planning a wedding ceremony before their baptism. I´m really looking forward to it.
We also saw a great miracle with Michael this week. I don´t remember if I´ve talked a lot about Michael, but he is so great. He is really good friends with the Souza´s and they have helped him so much to make the needed changes in his life. He really wants to get baptized, but also needs to quit smoking. So we had been working with him for a while, and he wasn´t progressing too much with the Word of Wisdom. His attitude was more like ´I don´t think I´ll be able to do it.´ It was disappointing because we knew how much he wanted to change. We talked with him a lot about putting his faith in the Lord and always praying for the Lord´s help. Then this last week he has been changing a lot! He is lowering the cigarettes a lot. Before he was smoking about 20 a day and now he is down to about 3 or 4. His attitude is totally different and now he is saying "I´m going to do it, I know I can do it." It´s been so great to see. He has a baptismal date for the 19th and so it is important for him to quit completely by the 12th. He´s so determined to do it. His faith has really grown so much and it´s a testimony to me that the Lord looketh on the heart and can change anyone in a moment.
I really appreciated Dad´s comments about the plan of Salvation. Thank you for being a great example to me and helping me understand more the importance of missionary work. It´s great to hear about your experiences at home because it helps me step back and think more about my purpose. Sometimes, being a full time missionary, I get caught up in numbers and plans and just getting everything done, done done. But then I read your experiences and feel the love that you have for others, it helps me to remember that the real importance of missionary work is to help others receive the joy of the gospel that we have. Reading about your wanting for Lydia to receive that peace that the Plan of Salvation provides helped me to think more about the awesome blessings that the Plan of Salvation provides.
Thanks Mom for sharing your thoughts about Elder Eyring´s talk. I really love it! Your comment/quote made me think more about Elder Scott´s talk on faith and character. There is one part I love from that talk, where he defines a testimony as confirmations from the spirit after a continuous string of correct choices. I love that! I know that my testimony has been strengthened so much here in the mission from the confirming truths of the Spirit after I follow its promptings. When we listen to the Spirit and see the beautiful fruits after, it´s such a testimony builder.
Love you all so much!