Monday, May 5, 2014

I Will Be Found of You

May 5, 2014

FAM BAM!!!!  Less than a week now and you get to see and talk to your favorite missionary!!! J  I am so so SO excited!  We planned it out this week and determined who has the best internet connection and not too many kids so we can actually hear each other!  Hope you are getting excited!  We only have 40 minutes though, but it is better than nothing, right?!  Also, be prepared to be amazed at my companion’s English!  She is preparing her testimony in English to share with you guys!

Every Tuesday we have our district and zone meetings and we always take a taxi because the church building where we meet is quite far from our house.  So we always go to the main road to catch a taxi.  But for some reason, EVERY Tuesday we just struggle to try and catch a taxi.  During the week we ALWAYS have taxis honking at us and wanting to give us a ride.  But not on Tuesday mornings.  One of the other Hermana’s in our district – Hermana Teo, and I were discussing this phenomenon.  The taxi drivers only have ONE job – to pick people up and drive them where they want to go.  But on Tuesdays it seems like we always see 5-10 taxis that ignore us and continue driving. 

This last week on Tuesday, one lady finally stopped for us and she must be a new taxi driver because she took us to the WRONG church building.  Haha – just our luck though!  So we were a good 20 minutes late for our meeting, and that did not go over too well with the Zone Leaders.  This next Tuesday (as a punishment) we are in charge of treats!

Part of our district - the day we were late!

So let me give you an update on our investigators.  All of them, except for 4, have problems. From getting permission, to couples living together that need to get married first, to those who just don’t want to come to church – you name it, we are seeing it.  This letter I will focus on those who are progressing!

Aldo is 17 yrs old.  His mother, Karina is a recent convert.  The past few weeks he has had no desire to read the Book of Mormon or attend church.  But we didn’t give up on him.  Through continuous efforts to visit him and through frequent bearing testimony of this wonderful Book and the importance of the Church, Aldo is now reading every day and he attended church on Sunday!  So if everything goes smoothly he will be baptized on 17 de Mayo. 

However, this past Sunday we were worried that Aldo would not attend church.  Here is what happened:  We passed by their house to wake them up for church! As we were outside of their fence calling "BUENAS! Buenas!"  There was no answer.  My poor companion was super discouraged because antes [before] we had passed by several other houses and none of our investigators were able to come to church.  We sadly and silently left their house and started back towards Babahoyo. 
I was broken hearted that they didn’t wake up to come to church with us.  As we were walking away, I said a prayer in my heart that one of our investigators would be able to come to church.  After ending my prayer I had the strongest impression to go back and try to wake them up one more time.  I hesitated because it was a long walk and we were both tired from walking around and pretty much inviting the whole world to come to church with us. J  I finally stopped and told my companion we needed to go back and try one more time to wake them up!  She doubted for a moment, and told me they didn’t want to come.

But I was determined to have them come, so I convinced her to try one more time.  As we approached their house...MIRACLE...the door was open.  This time as we yelled “BUENAS” it was followed by Karina coming to the door and her church clothes in hand listo [ready] to get ready for church.  My cute companion said (in English) "I LOVE YOU, Seriously!"  She thanked me for listening to the prompting to go back one more time, and gave me a huge hug and her smile was back!  She loves these people with all her heart so when they can’t or don’t come to church she is so discouraged. 

Next, we have Familia Jaramillo - Tamara and Alfonso, who are the cutest couple ever!  Hearing they could live with their family for eternity and have the example of faithful church members in their life brought tears to their eyes and has given them the desire to learn more.  We hope to place a fecha bautismal [baptismal date] for 24 de Mayo.

Then finally we have Narcisa.  Narcisa had actually not been progressing, and we were even contemplating stopping teaching her.  One day this week we were sharing a scripture with her, when out of the blue she interrupted us and asked, "Hermanas when is my baptism?"  WHAATT?!  In my mind I’m saying, “Well Narcisa, we weren’t sure if you wanted to get baptized, but it is scheduled for the 10 de Mayo.” 

Although we always visit Narcisa at her restaurant, Galaxys (where she sells papi pollo (fries with chicken)) and are frequently interrupted by her customers needing to pay, we have had many sweet experiences of feeling the spirit surrounded by all of the distractions.  And...SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!  And she stayed ALL 3 HOURS!!  She loved it and was touched by the sweet members’ testimonies that were shared about their conversions into the church.  We love Narcisa.

This week in my training I am learning the principle of FINDING!!!  I’ve learned a lot about how to talk to everyone and anyone about the gospel and the importance of finding members who have dear friends that they want to share the gospel with. 

On the subject of FINDING those who Heavenly Father has prepared for us, Hermana Toledo and I thought of the song “One way or Another” which describes finding perfectly!

“One way or another
I’m gonna find ya
I’m gonna give ya, give ya, give ya, give ya,
The gospel
Maybe next week
I’ll meet ya, I’ll meet ya”

Haha, my companion and I like to describe our lives through song!  We have had the wonderful opportunity of contacting the referrals from member of the church in this area and in the sweet experience of sharing the gospel with those you love!  The famous saying JUST DO IT, applies to missionary work!  Just pray about a friend that you have that needs the gospel and contact the missionaries, JUST DO IT! J

In the spirit of finding, my companion shared a sweet story with me this week that she read in the Liahona [this is the Spanish version of the church magazine].  The story was written by a guy named Aaron West:

I Will Be Found of You 

At the conclusion of our Sunday School lesson, Sister Hart asked us to turn to Jeremiah 29. She said she would read verses 12–14 aloud, and she asked us to ponder the meaning of the words.

“Then shall ye call upon me,” she read, “and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

“And I will be found of you, saith the Lord …”

Sister Hart went on, finishing verse 14, but my thoughts lingered happily behind, savoring the promise “I will be found of you.” I was reminded of the times when my wife, Emma, and I played hide-and-seek with our young children. When it was our turn to hide and their turn to seek, we always made ourselves easy to find. Sometimes we made noises or left a foot in plain view so they would find us quickly. Sometimes we hid in the same place repeatedly. We wanted the children to search for us, but we also wanted them to find us. We looked forward to their hugs and their joyful, unrestrained giggles of triumph.

This memory deepened my understanding of our Heavenly Father’s love for us. He wants us to search for Him, but He also wants us to find Him—He knows how happy we will be when we do. He does not try to trick us. Rather, He does all He can to help us know where and how to search: He gives us the scriptures, calls prophets, listens to our prayers, guides us by the power of the Holy Ghost, blesses us with temples and priesthood ordinances and family and friends. And if we have found Him somewhere once, we are sure to find Him there again if we are willing to renew our search.

“I will be found of you, saith the Lord.” What a comforting promise! In a world where trouble and temptations seem to find us so easily, it is reassuring to know that our greatest source of strength is so easy to find.

As I read this story I too reflected on memories with my siblings of playing hide and go seek and my siblings always saying "Make a noise!" Although my sister and I always wanted to find the BEST hiding spot, we eventually wanted to be found.  This story deepened my understanding of the LOVE God has for us.  "He wants for us to search for HIM, he also wants us to FIND Him."

Like in the title of the game, I encourage all of you to SEEK HIM.  There is much comfort to be found in this phrase from Jeremiah, "I will be found of you".  Our Heavenly father is looking forward to our joyful and unrestrained hug of triumph when we are reunited once again.  "SEEK and ye SHALL FIND."  You came to earth to find our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again.  May we continually SEEK Him and look forward to the day when we are reunited with our Heavenly father.  I promise there will be no joy as sweet and exquisite as when will rejoice together with our Heavenly Father and older brother Jesús Christ!

Well family and friends, I love and miss you all dearly!  I can’t WAIT for Mother’s Day - it is going to be better than Christmas!

Con amor,
Hermana Bartholomew

Fruit Stands EVERYWHERE!!

Rio Babahoyo - the river bordering Babahoyo and Salto

No comments:

Post a Comment