Letter received July 6, 2015

Hello hello!

We have had one fantastic week! I have a new companion! Hermana Kennedy. She rocks. She's my 3rd companion this transfer, but I think finally we'll be settled in together here for a while. :) Hermana Kennedy was my sister leader in Cajamarca for two weeks. She's seriously the best. We're having a ball!

But we are also getting this area whipped into shape! This area has about a million investigators. GREAT investigadoras that REALLY know the lessons, but investigators that are not progressing. So Hermana K and I have been trying to do all we can to figure out why the biggest thing for ALL of the investigators (and all the less actives) that we have been teaching is COMING TO CHURCH!

It's something so simple... so easy. But SOOOO important! I guess I've just been really blessed with my goodly parents that taught me very clearly that Sunday is the sabbath day. And on the sabbath day, we go to church. Well, because of that teaching, I guess the sabbath has always been a delight to me (to quote Elder Nelson)! But not everyone has had that same clear teaching all their lives... so as missionaries we're here to invite, drag, shove, and push them like loving parents) INTO THAT CHAPEL! And when they are rebellious and/or lazy, like any good mother, we guilt them after. :)

We are visiting this less active right now that is AWESOME. She has a strong testimony, great scriptural knowledge, powerful prayers, and all the desire to follow Christ... she just won't come to church. This week she promised us she was going to be there early, with her son, everything. But the hours passed and she never came. So we went to her house after church to see what happened... we had her son who was playing outside call for her and she cheerfully poked her head out of the upstairs window... In just seconds we watched her cheerful smile turn into horror. Let's just say, I hope my face doesn't look like that on judgment day.

We had an incredibly loving but incredibly frank lesson with her that day. Some may have said we were hard on her. But I know that the words we said came from the Lord. They weren't even our words; they were His. The Lord wouldn't be the one to smile and say, I"it's okay, I know church starts early and it's a whole 2 blocks from your house!" He would be heartbroken. He would be devastated. And so were we. NOT because we don't like her. But because we LOVE her and we know that she was not reaching her potential, but that through Christ's grace, she can!

We didn't know how she would respond. But we felt strongly that our words came from the Lord Jesus Christ. We just hoped she wouldn't take it like Laman and Lemuel (see 2 Nephi 1:26-27).

Our mouths could not be shut. And after we expressed our sorrow and love for her, she had tears streaming down her face. We were able to find her REAL need as she opened up to us. We have already seen a change in her as we have made goals and plans with her to strengthen her weaknesses. I know that His grace IS sufficient. But as Uchtdorf said in this last conference... "Grace is a gift of God, and our desire to be obedient to each of God's commandments is the reaching out of our mortal hand to receive this sacred gift from our Heavenly Father."

On my mission I have heard many sharp words... many sharp promptings... I really have come to know my weaknesses very well. But in that way I have come to know my Savior and His grace very well, also. (See 2 Nephi 4:17-19 & 30).

I love the Lord, I love the sabbath, I love you all!

Sigan adelante con firmeza en Cristo.

Hermana R

AuthorAshley Ysasaga