Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014

It has been such a maravilloso week!  Seriously... everyday we are so tired when we get home.  We plan for the next day, eat a tiny dinner, and get in bed.  We are so tired, but we keep on talking and laughing in the dark room in our bunk beds (I´m on the bottom bunk).  Hermana Boren said the other night, "We should be sick of each other... we`ve been talking all day!" Then we just kept on laughing.

I am just so happy.  You know you are happy when you can't stop smiling during a prayer at a member or investigator`s house.  When you hear a 7-year-old boy sincerely bless you and your companion and thank God for sending us.  And we walk home from homes, even on a hard day, just in awe at how beautiful the stars are here in Argentina.

So many times you see people fall who once knew... or still know.  I am never going to let that happen.  I have been thinking a lot about Discipleship.  "If ye love me, feed my sheep."  That is the way to not fall... we must always serve and look for ways to share the gospel.  Here is a really humbling story I had.

We are teaching a less active family.  Elizabet, the mother, is a large woman with a very raspy voice and forceful beso (you greet everyone with a kiss).  As we taught them, I noticed that I was feeling somewhat frustrated with the way that she was yelling at her children.  Because her voice is so raspy I had a really hard time understanding her... and I wasn`t focused on what she was saying.  When we left their home, I noted to my companion that I didn´t appreciate the way she yelled at her kids. At the end of our meeting, I had felt that I needed to share about self-worth, so I bore my testimony about our potential and the worth of our souls.

 Fast forward to later that night, when Hermana Boren asked me if I understood what Elizabet had said during our lesson.  I replied that I did not.  She then told me of Elizabet´s story... her mother left her family when she was nine years old.  She was the oldest of six children, and was left to raise her family.  Her father raped and abused her.  When she was 14 she became pregnant with a boyfriend she had, but lost the baby because of her father´s abuse.

I can´t even tell you how I felt after I heard this.  I had been sitting in the lesson and not paying any attention to what she was saying... only dwelling on other things that were running through my mind.  My own pride and ignorance kept me from understanding her... and I can see now why she is the way she is.  It was a very humbling experience for me.  I am grateful to see how the gospel can completely change someone´s life.  Even someone with so dark a past as Elizabet.

We also got to celebrate the 9th birthday of Ailen... one of our investigators that is going to be baptized on August 16th!!  She is so sweet.  It is humbling to hear the father of the family, Sergio, say, "No you eat all of the chicken, I am full.  The smell of it cooking already filled me up."  It is obvious that they don`t have enough money to feed all of us, and he is so sweet and hard-working.  They asked me to cut the cake, and I accidently dropped a few of the pieces.  Cutting a cake in front of people has been one of my biggest fears ever since I served at that  wedding for Chantry and I destroyed all of those cakes... it's just so much pressure!

Well wish me luck... I am teaching Gospel Principles next sunday to all of the adults!  And we will (hopefully) have a lot more people there than usual, because will begin in the afternoon rather than the morning (Argentine´s hate waking up).

Love you all so much.  Read Alma 37... verse 33 until the end is all about how we can be disciples.  Doctrine and Covenants 11 as well.

Love, Hermana Eleanor Briggs

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