(Sorry, no photos this week. Carrie was unable to get them loaded on the computer she was using. Hopefully we'll get lots next week.)
Family and Friends!
It was another great week in the Dominican Republic! I love it here in Villa Mella. The people are so gracious and loving. Some of them have nothing when it comes to possessions, but they are full of joy and love. That sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I am amazed every day.
The Spanish is coming. I’ve made a goal to finish the Book of Mormon in Spanish in the next few months. Sometimes it’s hard to understand, but I’m getting better each day :)
There is a lot of work to be done in Villa Mella. We are working really hard to strengthen the ward and find more people to teach. Some days are frustrating. Being a missionary is really, really hard. We walk around all day in the hot sun, giving a message to people that I know can change their lives for the better and sometimes I feel like I haven’t made a difference--investigators aren’t home, people aren't interested, people didn't keep their commitments. But then other days I see the Lord's had so profoundly in the people he has prepared for me to teach, and then I remember why I am here--to invite people to come unto Christ.
I had one really amazing experience this past week. We had been working really hard for a few days trying to find people to teach, but we hadn’t had much success. We decided to go visit a family who Hermana Hansen taught a few months ago. She hadn’t gone back before because the parents didn’t seem interested. When we got there, only their daughter (in her 20s) and her daughter were home. We started teaching her, and the spirit was strong. We asked her to pray about the things we had taught, and I testified to her of how we can receive answers to our prayers through the power of the Holy Ghost. She then told us her best friend was a member of our church and she remembered reading the Book of Mormon with her family growing up. She asked if she could have one. We gave her one and encouraged her to read. We came back a few days later and she had read like 30 pages. Then she came to church on Sunday. Every time I teach her, I feel the Spirit strongly testifying to me what I need to testify to her.
The Lord really has prepared people to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel blessed to serve as a missionary so I can bring it to them. We don’t need to be full-time missionaries to share His gospel. One thing that has been made very clear to me since I have been here is that no matter who we are, what our background is, WE ALL NEED CHRIST. I challenge all of you to share Christ's love with someone this week, whether that is an act of service or bearing testimony of him. I know that as we do, we not only bless the lives of others, but we are also blessed. When we are on the Lord's errand, He will always use our service to do good even if we can’t see it.
I love this country. I love you guys. I love my Savior. And I love sharing His gospel. There is nothing better :)
Also Dominican mangoes are the best mangoes in the world. I eat one just about every day :)
Please keep praying for me and the people I am teaching :) Thank you so much for all of the letters. They are so uplifting. Keep them coming!
Lots of love,