Letter received January 5, 2015
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week. Things are rolling along here in Cajamarca! This week I am really learning what REAL ups and REAL downs are like here in the mission. Do you want the good news or the bad news first? :)
Let’s get the bad news over with and focus on the good, yeah? Erika and Michael (who we have been teaching almost every day since I arrived here in this area) HAVE DISAPPEARED! We have heard horror stories from all their neighbors and I’m just sick to my stomach over the whole thing. I just love that family so much and who knows where they’re at. Prayers for them.
Now let’s talk about the good news. MELANI Y MARIO! We’ve been teaching them two times every day (The Book of Mormon in the mornings and the lessons in the evenings). THEY ROCK. Exact quote from Hermano Mario about the Book of Mormon: “sabe que? Esta bonito lo que dice en este libro!” (It just isn’t the same in English- better in Spanish!). Basically, they’re the BEST. We taught them the Sabbath day this week and they have a little store so we were a little worried because they no longer would be able to sell on Sunday. #ohyeoflittlefaith They happily committed to keep the Sabbath day holy and one minute after we extended them the commitment, someone came by to buy something. They told her they wouldn’t be selling on Sunday because it’s the LORD’S DAY and that she should do her shopping on Saturday. They’re too wonderful! (Hermana Melani said to us, “eso es perfecto! Ahora tengo un dia para desconsar cada semani. LOVE HER!)
One more story about them this week… On Saturday we taught them about following the prophet. Background: both Mario and Melani have gained testimonies almost immediately of Joseph Smith, the Restoration, and The Book of Mormon. So we thought nothing of this lesson!
Well, I guess somewhere along the line we didn’t explain very well that we have a living prophet TODAY that leads the church and receives revelation directly from the Lord. Mario just could not believe it. He told us he was really scared and was trembling! Of all things, THIS was his biggest doubt. We taught him all we could, we testified, and we invited him to pray. He has received quite a few answers to his prayers, but this time he told us straight up that he just didn’t know if one would come! Well, we prayed harder than we ever have before that Mario would have the faith to receive an answer. Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and it was the BIGGEST answer to our prayers and his. Almost ALL of the people who spoke testified that we have a prophet today to guide us. And every time someone bore testimony that this is the true church, the strongest feeling came over my heart. Hermana Molina told me the same feeling came over her. SURELY it did for Mario and Melani, as well. After church was over, his little girl came up and gave him a picture she had colored in nursery. It was of a prophet and she said, “I will follow the prophet.” #ANSWER! That night, we taught about the priesthood and why it was necessary to have a prophet with this power. He testified to us of his answer and that he KNOWS this is the church of God.
Moments like those make very sad moment in the mission worth it. We teach with the spirit of prophesy (Alma 17:2-3). They have the faith to receive an answer (Alma 22:16). They are truly converted (Alma 23:6). Now this is the question… has there been so great love in all the land (Alma 26:33)?
I love you all! Almost as much as I love these people. Jk I love you and The Lord the most! I testify that He answers our prayers and that the gospel changes lives. And the best part is, it’s all true!
PS- Some old fotos from Hermana Molina's camera!