It is good to hear from everyone. I hear lots of good things are happening now for everyone inspite of trials happening but those just come. I need Molly and Phil's new address. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHIL!!!
I am so happy right now. I absolutely love my new companion. She is amazing. She is so sweet. Her name is Sister Avila. She is from Texas. She speaks Spanish and French. She has eight siblings. She loves to laugh. We have had a good time together. The work is going so well. I am super happy. I definitely feel the spirit more in my life now. I am thankful to be where I am at. The members tease me about how long I have been here. But it really hasn't been that long. I am thankful to be in the area. The work is beginning to pick up. Right now we have three families that we are teaching. I can't believe how prepared they are for the gospel of Jesus Christ. It truly is a miracle.
It still is funny how people react to my last name. Now my companion gets the same kind of thing I get. People struggle with both of our last names. I think it is funny when people ask if I am American when they see my last name. I laugh and say yes very much so. :)
Yesterday I had a neat experience with a member. Her husband is not a member but she and her kids are. When we first got there, it wasn't long before she burst into tears. She told us some of the struggles she was facing. We just sat and listened to her talk. Then we got interrupted and then we had dinner. So after dinner she asked if we would stay and read a conference talk with her family. We said yes. But before we read and while we were cleaning up, I felt prompted to share a scripture just for her. She said sure. I read Isaiah 64:4, 8 and 1 Corinthians 2:9. It was awesome because it was exactly what she needed. I shared with her some of the experiences that I have had since being on my mission. I talked about how my mission president asked us to double our faith especially when life continues to turn upside down. At times it is hard when life is not going the way we want it to or we feel that Heavenly Father did not hear our prayers or that heaven is so far away. When we feel that way we must double our faith and trust that everything is in the Lord's hands. He will take care of us. We forget all too quickly how much our Father in Heaven loves us and wants to help us. Just as I was talking to the sister, I suggested she read a talk by Elder Hales about waiting upon the Lord, thy will be done. She said yeah I will have to. So we went into the living room to sit down and start reading the talk. We were going to just read the talk that they were on. But the Lord had his hand in this experience because we opened up to the page of Elder Hales talk, waiting upon the Lord, thy will be done. What a tender mercy that I was inspired to mention the talk and then without even planning it we end up reading the talk. It truly was amazing to me.
Sister Avila and I have had neat experiences together in following the spirit. I am thankful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost in my life. I truly have been taught a lot. Yesterday in church someone gave a talk about being active in the church and active in the gospel. There is a difference between those words. We can be active in church but that does not always mean that we are active in the gospel. Being active in the gospel is exercising faith, repenting daily, turning our will over to the Lord and giving Him our heart. To be active in the gospel is changing to become more like Christ every day. It is important to be growing and becoming better all the time. This is something I think about all the time. I think about how I am growing and to what degree my commitment and conversion is at. I don't want to go home from my mission unchanged. I want to be deeply converted and have the words of eternal life written upon my heart.
I testify of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It changes lives. The power of the Atonement is there for each of us, making up for what we lack in. I have truly felt the Lord's power working through me. I am thankful to be weak because I can see even more how the Lord works through me. I testify God lives. I testify that Christ lives.
I love you all. Take care.