Familia! y Amigos!
Wow... We have seen a lot of miracles this week. I´m not sure if I can get to all of them in the time I have. We´re going to hang out with Hermana Sánchez today and we are taking a little time out of P-Day to teach someone who seems really great!
First, an update on J! In fast and testimony meeting yesterday, she got up to give her testimony for what I think is the first time. She told the ward how thankful she is for us and because of the work we did with her, she wants to go on a mission. I think I can go home from my mission feeling like I had success. I don´t ever feel like I have had a more gratifying moment in my life.
She´s really learning so much right now and she is embracing the Gospel. It´s beginning to settle into her soul and she´s becoming such a confident, strong, wonderful young woman.
We´ve been working a lot more with Ns lately. I haven´t written about him for a while, but he has made a lot of progress in the last few weeks. We had a lesson planned for him a few days ago, but he was sick and so we decided to do more of a fun lesson to make him feel better. We read Moroni 7 with him, and he loved the part about charity and how it is the pure love of Christ. We talked to him about getting a priesthood blessing (one of three we offered people this week). He had never received one before, but he accepted. He told us he felt a lot better (and I suspect comforted) the next day. We felt an impression to talk to him about getting a patriarchal blessing, and he´s really excited!
One note about Spain: Due to the economic situation, it´s really hard to get people to come to church because few people are willing or able to change their schedules for fear of losing a job. With Nicolás, he hasn’t been able to come to church for the last few months because of work, but told us that he was trying to change his schedule so he could start coming to church. I don´t even remember asking him. He really wants to make changes in his life and do the right things.
I forgot to talk to you about Ls last week. He´s a member in the ward here, and he is INCREDIBLE. He is always super excited to help us and he loves helping our investigators. He´s even willing to help when it´s hard for him to come. He´s gone contacting with us, he´s given us good referrals, he makes the effort to be friends with our investigators. He´s the member that every missionary wants on their team! His brother, J is slightly busier, but is just as willing to help us. He was our mission leader for a while and really gave us a lot of support. I made J thank you card this week to thank him for his help as our ward mission leader and it took five missionaries to sign it before anyone noticed that I spelled J's name wrong in the illustration I made. His name was J. Luckily, he found it amusing.
I love my companion so much. She´s like a carbon copy of Sarah (my sister for those who didn´t make the connection). Her sense of humor is the same; she´s super organized; she gives people funny nick-names. We get along super well!
Ml, a less active member who no one actually knew existed (he met with missionaries about 5 transfers ago and no one has met him), called us up out of the blue to talk with us. He was stressed because he hadn’t had contact with church for a long time because of work and he had to work on immigration papers in order to try and get a new job. He really wanted to meet with us, and he told us he felt so much stronger and happier afterwards. We met with him again and he brought us a bag of fruit and other snacks to thank us!
Ji appears to be progressing A LOT. The baby has still been a little sick, but she still really wants to come to church still. She is reading and praying and doing everything she can to learn more. She had mentioned this week that she felt really grateful that we had found her because she really wanted to change her life. She really feels like she has found the truth. We taught her about faith and the Plan of Salvation this week and felt like it answered the questions she had in her heart.
We visited a member Aa, because she had been very sick. We showed up at the right time because she was just returning home from the hospital and felt very lonely because no one was visiting her. We spoke with her for a few minutes and it became fairly clear she needed a priesthood blessing. The Elders dropped what they were doing to come and help. She had felt much better. We shared a scripture about faith with her, and she told us that every time we came to her house and shared something with her that she felt like it was exactly what she needed to hear.
Our zone leaders are teaching a man named Domingo. Domingo is easily one of the sweetest men I have ever met. You can tell that he´s had a really tough life and has come off of a rough road. Every time we see him on the street he wants to come and tell us about what the Elders are teaching him. He is so excited about the Gospel and wants to tell everyone about it. He tells us that he loves the changes it has helped him make in his life. I love being around him because he is always asking questions about the Gospel and how he can apply it to his life.
I've learned a lot about faith this week. I read in Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon a while back and I thought on this verse a lot. It is essentially just a list of miracles that occured in the Book of Mormon, but I love verse 18 the most. In reality, miracles are based on our faith, and faith is an action. When we show that we believe and trust in Jesus Christ, we pray, read the scriptures, serve others, attend church, forgive, repent, and become better people. This is what yields miracles.
"For he did cry from the morning, even until the going down of the sun, exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance lest they should be destroyed, saying unto them that by faith all things are fulfilled—
Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.
And it came to pass that Ether did prophesy great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe, because they saw them not.
And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.
But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.
Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.
Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God.
Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.
For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.
Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth.
Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites.
Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.
And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith.
And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God."
I love you all. Have a great week!
Hermana Kathleen Sykes