Hi family!! :)
With Ileana...we really hadn't been able to see her for almost a month. But we went with her this week, to have a lesson and to celebrate the 11th birthday of her daughter Brittany..and it was her first birthday in her life, because in their religion before they couldn't celebrate birthdays. So it was really exciting for her. Anyway, we had a super good lesson about the Book of Mormon with them, and they committed to reading the Book of Mormon every morning at 5, before work and before school for the girls...and, I was glad I got to testify about the difference family scripture study made in our family! I'm super grateful for the example of mom and dad for getting us up every morning super early to read. Aaand then I felt bad about how I didn't go lots of times and stayed sleeping............ but, I could testify about how the times I went I could see the difference! [note from Mom - I don't remember her ever skipping family scripture time.] And then it was incredible, because on Sunday, Ileana came to church! And she walked an HOUR to be able to come. Because they live really far away, and don't have money to pay for the bus, and her daughters had taken the bikes to go to a school activity. So she walked an hour by herself in the hot sun, to be able to keep the commandment of going to church. I'm seriously amazed by the faith of a lot of the people here. It makes me really think, and ask myself, would I be willing to walk an hour by myself to go to church? What am I willing to sacrifice to show my love for Jesus Christ?
We also had a special lesson this week with Marcela and Marvin. Marcela shared with us how in the short time we've visited them, and from going to church, they've really felt a difference in their home. They've fought a lot less, they've said nicer words to each other. And they could tell that it was really the gospel of Jesus Christ that had made the difference!! I know that the gospel blesses families, and that God really wants us to be happy, and have joy with our families, and that the gospel is really the way we can accomplish it! And we talked about baptism a lot. Marcela really wants them to do it as a family...but she also wants to be 200% sure. She says she wants to be able to go to the pulpit in the front of the church and be able to say that she knows! She says that there's a person that she hasn't forgiven in her life...and she says that until she can forgive them, she knows she won't be ready for baptism. But, I love that they really understand that baptism is a promise with God..that it should really change their lives! so, we're excited to keep teaching them, helping them recognize the Holy Ghost more in their lives!
And yeah. Javier and Ivannia are doing great, they came to church again! With them, they're just looking for the way to find the money to be able to get married. It's hard, because he just lost his business.... so we're praying lots!! I know that the Lord really does miracles, and we just need to have faith! :)
Also, it's fun. The stake is doing a choir for Stake Conference......and no one in the stake plays piano........so I get to go to Guapiles, it's like a half hour away, on Sundays in the afternoon to play piano for the Primary choir! And they sound super good!!! It's just been reminding me of like the practices for the Primary Program. So so fun. I love gospel music!
And yeah. It was a great week! And we're excited for this next week...Iraida and Johan and Maria Elena passed their baptismal interviews, and Iraida's getting married on Friday, and they'll be getting baptized on Saturday!! :) I'm so grateful for the opporunity we've had to teach them, and see the sacrifices they've made as they've strived to keep the Lord's commandments.
anyway, yeah. The Lord has blessed us so, so much with so many incredible people here to teach. I love the Lord, and His gospel, and these people here. Being a missionary is great. :)
and I love you all! sorry this is super long! have a great week!!