Hello Family and Friends!!!!!!
The weeks are really going by so quickly, and we just had our first change here. We have a new district leader, and a new sister missionary from Colorado. I’m so glad I get to continue my training with Hermana Fuentes, and I don’t need to have another companion for my last six weeks of training. Man I love Hermana Fuentes!! She is so awesome, I can’t even express how much I love her. She is Always so positive about the work and with me, and with everyone. She is always picking me up when I feel really down, and sincerely gives love. We have the best time working together and I know a lot more Spanish than my first day with her, so now I can actually tell stories about you guys and everything at home. We laugh a lot and love serving together.
Hermana Fuentes and I had the neatest experience this week with our investigator Javier. He is an uncle of one of our members that we work with. Javier always loves having us in lessons, but hasn’t completed commitments. We clarified even more to him what our purpose is here as missionaries, and that we truly want to help him. After this talk with him and giving him a commitment to read in the Book of Mormon, he decided to put forth a bit more effort. In our lesson with him the other day, we were reading in Mosiah 18, where Alma baptizes the people in the waters of Mormon. As we were sharing and teaching, the good feelings of the Spirit were so strong, and I looked at him and said, "¿Usted puede siente de El Espiritu Santo ahora?" (can you feel The Holy Ghost now?) He smiled warmly at me and said, "Si." My companion said this too, but not out loud. When we were preparing to leave, Hermana Fuentes was marking another chapter in the Book of Mormon she felt Javier should read. I felt something that he should read about faith in Ether 12. I looked over at what she was marking and it was that very chapter. WOW! I looked at her excitedly and said, "¡¡¡Yo queria este capitulo por Javier tambien!!!" (I wanted this chapter for Javier too!!!) We left that lesson feeling so good and I had my arm linked with Hermana Fuentes´ and proceeded to sing and skip happily down the road!!
The Spanish is coming out with more fluency and I feel more confident in myself to speak. Contacting is a lot easier for me now, and finding what it is I need to say is much easier now. There is still so much I am learning of past, present, and future tense and other grammar rules, but everything is coming out smoother now and it makes me so excited. I can say in a small way that I am a Spanish speaker, not perfect, far from it, and I don’t understand all, but I don’t feel as discouraged now. If people look at me confused and have no clue what I said, I just do what I can to try again and have more clarity in my words.
We also had another really great experience this week too!!!!! While we were contacting we approached a man on the side of the road sitting, holding a rope attached to a giant pig. While contacting him he gave us a reference of someone who would be interested in our message. We immediately went straight for the house he was pointing too and introduced ourselves to a woman sitting inside the house. She welcomed us warmly and lead us to the other room. We met a young man by the name of Yamil. He is 16 years old, and had met with missionaries before, so he was willing to have us meet with him right then and there. We then proceeded to get to know him a bit and then teach a message of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. While teaching he responded so great and was understanding the principles and doctrine we were teaching him. Without any debate he willingly read and prayed with us. A lot of the time here when we ask people to pray, they never want to and always say that they will do it in the next lesson. But because of the way his parents had raised him, he willingly did it. And then when we asked him to come to church on Sunday he accepted without hesitation. When this Sunday came, he actually came! He came in a white t-shirt and jeans with a smile and I was SO happy to see him!! Wow! Investigators we have had for a longer amount of time have not practiced this much faith, and he is younger than all of our other investigators. Wow, such a special experience for me. :)
I am more than grateful to be a missionary and see the work moving forth little by little. The experiences we are having here are frustrating, envigorating, challenging, and at times discouraging....but The Lord gives us little moments of success with the people. It is so great so see little changes in others. Because really, a lot of people if not most people need time to come into this church, the true church of God. Two Sundays ago when we didn’t have several recent converts and a family not attend church my companion was feeling so discouraged. She said, all of the churches here are full, except the only true one. It is more challenging, because this IS the true church of God. One faith, one God, one baptism. :) I am a member of the church and I am forever grateful for this! I am not perfect and have a lot to improve on, but I know I am worthy and ready to receive the blessings and love of God.
I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a flippin’ fantastic week!!!!!!!!! :D
Love, Your Hermana Keri Chantel Stephenson