|The Quiroz sisters....Love them!|
Wow, that is SO great that Emily is inviting so many friends to church!! And that the ward is focusing so much on missionary work. The focus in church has really changed, huh? I've seen a huge change in our ward here, and I was wondering if this was going on all over the world...or just here in Peru? And I am SO happy that it is happening all over the world!! Everyone needs this gospel. Keep inviting friends! My friend Mikilah Gregerson sent an email this week (she is on her mission in Colorado, Denver North) and she said that she is teaching so many high school students because their friends had shared the gospel with them....So, tell Emily to keep inviting her friends! Give them a Book of Mormon! It might sound scary, but it's really not. It is what makes us happy. And if we love someone, we want them to be happy right? So give them a Book of Mormon! They deserve to know the truth, too!! Everyone does!
This week in our ward, we hit an all time high of members who came to church!! Because there are thousands of members in the ward but only about 100 of them are active. But this weekend there were about 250 people at church! People here are inviting, inviting, inviting, which is great for us because that means we are baptizing, baptizing, baptizing!! :) And of course this week is when everyone came...the week when I was assigned a talk!! It was so cool giving my talk and seeing the benches of the chapel full :) It made me happy! :) I spoke on recognizing the impressions of the Holy Ghost. Before my mission, Cameron told me that I should try to give all my talks without any notes and just go by the Spirit. So that's what I did! I had thought about it all week, about what I was going to say, and I just got up and starting talking, and it went really well!! After my talk, I sat down, and was thinking about it and I was like, "wait a second. I just gave that talk in Spanish! What?!" It's amazing how Spanish is just like my second language now! It's getting to the point where sometimes I can't tell the difference when someone is speaking to me in Spanish or English. I am scared to lose my gift of tongues after the mission! I love Spanish so much!
This week, I have seen a lot of the fruits of my missionary work. I have realized that being a missionary...while the main focus is helping people come unto Christ and be baptized...but so many other things happen too. Our old ward mission leader is 21 years old and he did not want to serve a mission at all. But, we've been inviting him to come out with us to lessons and be a part of our missionary work. Yesterday, he told us that seeing our missionary work and having the opportunity to work with us these past couple months, he decided that he wanted to serve a mission!! So, he turned his papers in yesterday and we are waiting for his call to come! Also, we are still teaching the Quiroz family and they are very, very humble. They don't have light, water, or food in their house. So our ward has gotten together to help the family. We are providing food for them, and the Bishop is working with the owner of the house to make a contract to hand ownership over to the Quiroz family so that the church can go in and fix up the house and give them light and water. It has been so cool to see the ward come together and help this great family...and they deserve it so much :) There are SO many ways to do missionary work like this. Missionary work isn't just contacting in the street and handing out pamphlets. It is helping people come unto Christ. And there are so many different ways to do that! Being an example, doing service for someone you love, giving out a Book of Mormon and telling them what a blessing the gospel is in your life. All of these things bring people closer to Christ :) I know this church is true and that everyone needs this gospel!
I had a really cool experience with the Quiroz kids this past week. We were doing an "Iron Rod" activity where they had to go from one end of the room to the other and I was standing on the other side holding the candle representing the end, or eternal life. After the kids had gone through everything...faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end...they finally made it to me and gave me a big hug and kept saying "We made it! We made it!" That was a really cool experience and it made me think of our Heavenly Father. I was so happy when the kids had finally made it to me and they just gave me a hug and were so happy and excited. I imagine that is what it is going to be like when we get to return to our Heavenly Father. He is watching us here on earth and he is rooting for us to get back to him. Now is the time to keep enduring. Keep enduring through the hard rough times, and enjoy the blessings of the gospel. Because Heavenly Father is watching over us and rooting for us to come back to Him, ad when we finally make it to the end, we'll be able to give Him a big hug and say "We made it!" And that will be a very very good day! :) I know this church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and every time I read it, the Spirit testifies that it is true. I know that Christ came here to America to visit the people here and teach them the gospel. And I am so lucky to be here in Peru with the descendants of those people :) I love it here. I love being a missionary and sharing the gospel with the people of Peru :)
Thanks for everything Mom and Dad. For your emails, and your support :) I am praying for you always and I miss you!! Love you all!