Dear Mom, Dad, Lauren, and Ian,
Sorry I wasn’t able to write last week for the blog! I got onto the internet late and ran out of time fast. :( But today that gives me time to write about the cool stuff that happened last week!
So last week, we baptized Felix and Santa on Sunday after church because that´s when they were available. It was a super spiritual experience not just because it was a baptism but because this particular couple is very special to me and my companion. They already had a very strong religious background. However, they felt like all those years they were going to church and searching for the true one, they never felt satisfied. They never felt like they learned anything about their Savior. That is, until they met us. I´m not bragging, this is all stuff they had told us. I don´t know, there´s just a joy in learning that you really brought somebody closer to God. Let me rephrase that, because that´s the Holy Spirit´s job. …there´s a joy like no other when you see the fruits of your labors especially when those fruits are big and colorful! Felix and Santa are genuinely happier because they’ve accepted our invitation to Come Unto Christ.
Just yesterday, we confirmed them members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Vazquez confirmed Felix and I confirmed Santa, in Spanish, of course! It was weird; I’ve never confirmed anybody before, let alone in Spanish. The branch president or counselor usually does it. I tried my best to follow what the Spirit wanted me to say. It was a really cool and spiritual experience! ^_^
Unfortunately, I don´t have any cool stories this week. But what I do have is something I´ve been using to teach people for a while now! I call it, “Do the Harder Thing,” or “Haz lo que es Mas Dificil.” It´s not a talk I wrote or anything; it´s just something that makes sense to me. It goes something like this:
I think we can agree it’s much easier to be disobedient than it is to be obedient. For example, is it easier to swear when you´re angry or to control your words? Is it easier to make money on Sunday by working or to sacrifice it and go to church instead? I could go on and on with examples like this. But my point is that, yes, obedience is hard. Wilford Woodruff once said that “Obedience is never an easy [endeavor].” But here´s the thing, does it make sense that when we do harder things we benefit more from them? Don´t we become stronger when we lift heavier weights? Don´t we make more money or be more successful when we work harder? Obedience is no different! When we do things that God wants us to do, which isn´t always the easiest things, we receive more blessings. That said, Do the Harder Thing! It´s so worth it to receive blessings from God! And if I were to receive blessings, our Father in Heaven would be the absolute best person to receive them from!
That´s basically the way I see life now. I hope that the people who read this can try applying this to their lives and see if it makes any difference, because it sure made a difference in mine! I´ll try to put the little moments during the week into the letters so that you all can see what life is like out here. For example, Dominicans LOVE putting in salt and oil when they cook their rice. Also, to “help cook it,” they put a plastic bag in the rice while it cooks. Then when it’s all cooked, there´s a lot of hard rice at the bottom, which they eat. It’s called “Con Con.” And don´t get me wrong, their rice is good, I just don´t want to get diabetes by the time I get back! Lol! I cooked rice a few times for the members here the way you both taught me. The first thing they said to me when I started cooking was “Where´s the salt and oil? Where´s the seasoning?” Haha! When I served it, they gave me a weird look and asked, “Where´s the con con?” I laugh every time I think about it! Elder Reyes, one of the elders in my district, always jokes that when there´s Con Con (in Mexico, where he´s from), it means the person doesn´t know how to cook. HAHA!!!
They´re all teaching me here how they cook their food. I´ll cook some when I come back! Their jugos, I´m definitely making too! Jugo is juice, but more like a Jamba Juice kind of thing. Like frozen fruit, crème, stuff like that. I´ve mastered their strawberry shake thing!
That´s all I have for this week. I love you guys! I miss you and pray for you every day! Until next week!
|Scouting a place for our zone activity and found El Macao Beach. Beautiful!|
|Made a new friend at the beach; we named him Bob Marley because he's so cool!|
|Me and Bob|
|Our newest converts, Felix and Santa, preparing for their baptism.|
|March 16 - Elder Vazquez and I with our golden converts. I love them!|
|With some members of the branch. The guy kneeling down in the front is our branch president.|