Monday, January 7, 2013

I hope everyone is starting off an amazing new year up there.  January is turning out to be the month everyone said it would be, crazy.  It's pretty normal to see a hot morning, rainstorm in the afternoon, and a cool breezy night.  While this is funny sometimes, it's also a little... annoying at times.  But only a little.  We´re glad for the rain, because it's cool and is refreshing.  But the sun is a lot easier to work in.  But anyways, we´re really blessed in this area, it's just predictablly unpredictable.

Christmas was very special here (if I haven´t said so before, the last few emails were short- I know, I'm trying to repent with this letter).  It was simple, but very special.  We felt a lot of love from our members, investigators, and between us sisters in the house.  For Sister Ramos, it's her second Christmas in the mission.

This past week when we were contacting some references we had received we encountered an elderly woman that was a sweet visit.  Sometimes we focus on being led to people who are prepared to accept and live the gospel.  And while this woman, probably won't change much and I don't know if we´ll get to visit her again, we had a really sweet spirit and it was an opportunity to give a little service and comfort.  She´s housebound and is a little sad about how life is going for her right now. But we gave her a Book of Mormon to read and it was really neat to talk with her.  Sometimes we are led to people for different reasons than we expect.

Which leads me to my next point.  One thing I´ve really started to understand (but I'm sure I still have a Lot more to learn) is about our agency in this life.  I´ve seen people who´ve received their answer, they know the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and they know the Church is true.  They know because they prayed, and received an answer.  But they still don´t change anything. Sometimes, it's because their whole familly is of a different religion, other times it's because they don´t want to make a commitment to go to church every Sunday.  But whatever the reason, they´d rather keep living and neglect the answer they receive.  This is one of the hardest things.  Knowing that they are denying themselves so much happiness and so many blessings.  Yes, often times the Gospel requires sacrifice, but there are always so many blessings promised for us.
We have the agency to know for ourselves.  The agency to listen.  The agency to not respond.  The agency to change ourselves and the agency to have faith.  Sometimes we need to take a little leap first, but we will always be rewarded when we practice this little faith, this little hope.

Yesterday we were able to visit a family that was really special.  We have a missionary in our ward who returns on the 23 of this month.  Haha and this will make your jaw drop, and he´s getting married on the 8th of .. February! (but I've actually heard of this happening a couple of times already. The culture here, you don´t mess around with dating, when you´re dating, its because you see a future, etc.).  But none of his family are members.  But we had a really sweet visit with this family and the mom really enjoyed talking with us.  She showed us photos and the dad made food.  They are so excited to have their son return home and it was neat to talk with them.

That´s one thing that has impressed me with a lot of missionaries here.  Many, the majority I've met, don't have many family members in the church.  And often times, a mission is something their family doesn´t understand.  But it all just comes back to faith.  Faith truly is the first thing we need in the Gospel.  It is faith that will support you, comfort and help you.

But I'm so grateful for all of you and the love and support.  Love you all!