Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 33

Hermana Green with her Companion Hermana Zimmerman out doing visits.

Hola mi Familia y Amigos,

This week was good and also kind of challenging.  I am learning so much every day, and finding myself being humbled.  I am grateful for the experiences on the mission and although they might be hard, I wouldn't ask for them to be taken away, because I know it is helping to strengthen my testimony.  We had four fechas (baptismal dates) placed, and they all fell through.  Sad, but we are not losing the faith and we want to baptize and have the desire and diligence to do so.  We just need to keep on working hard (be all in) and seeking the Lord's will, and we will find the elect and the Lord will guide us and help us to succeed.  One of the major things I took away from conference is renewing our willingness to be disciples of Christ with the Lord as our partner, to try a little harder each day to be more like Him.  I am reminded of a couple of quotes from General Conference that gives me strength and comfort.  Gary B. Sabin said; When we are fully committed and “all in,” heaven shakes for our good (D&C 21:6).   Ulisses Soares said; “Through increasing our faith in Jesus Christ, we will develop the capacity to overcome even what appears to be overwhelming obstacles. Therefore, as we exercise faith in Jesus Christ and in His Atonement, we will be strengthened, our burdens will be eased.  If we are steadfast and do not waver in our faith, the Lord will increase our capacity to raise ourselves above our current challenges”.

We had a great spiritual experience this past week.  We had a lesson with Ivette and Nicole last Friday and they weren’t feeling well, so they both got Priesthood Blessings, and it is just absolutely INCREDIBLE knowing that the words these Elders are speaking are words directly from our Heavenly Father.  They felt the Spirit and told us a couple days later that their health instantly was better.  I am so grateful for the Restoration of the Priesthood and that we have the same authority Christ gave to His Apostles to heal the sick, the afflicted, to perform ordinances with God's authority to help us become sealed families for time and all eternity.  What a comfort and blessing that is to me.  So, the lesson we had with them went really well!  They told us that they loved coming to church and loved the feeling of it there.  A couple weeks ago, we visited them without calling them before hand, just to drop by and see how they were. We had a feeling and were prompted that we should do that, so we did.  It was a good lesson and we left feeling confused on whether or not they still wanted us to continue to visit them.   Our last lesson with them, after we were finished, Ivette started offering us jugo and was just all happy and bubbly. Nicole said," Y'know, my mom gets so happy when you come, ever since my dad died, she has been really sad, lonely and cries a lot.  But when you come by, she lights up.  Nicole says, my mom feels like she is surrounded by a warm blanket at church and I love seeing my mom happy.  My mom really loves when you come by.  “My heart was so full knowing that she is feeling this way”.  Then, right after that, Ivette told us that the day we came by without calling, she had told Nicole that she felt like we were going to come by.  Ivette said," that day was a really hard day for us, and I felt and knew that you were going to pass by”.   I told Nicole that, and she said, "but mom they haven’t called?" and she said, " trust me, they'll come" and you came!  I knew it was from God."  In our last lesson with them as well, we were trying to figure out why Nicole had had doubts about getting baptized, and she said that she was scared that she would get made fun of at school.  They came to church on Sunday and we gave Nicole the Armor of God challenge coin you guys gave me, and a Spanish CTR ring, she said, Wow, for me - I will never forget you guys, thank you!!  We also gave Ivette a challenge coin, (the prayer one), she too was very grateful.  We had a fecha (baptismal date) with them, but yesterday after church Ivette told me that we can’t talk about baptism with Nicole because she is feeling too much sadness from her father's passing and doesn't feel like right now is a good time.  However, Nicole told us that she would be willing to work towards it, so it is all just kind of confusing what’s going to happen next, but we aren't giving up!  Anita, our miracle investigator from last week, she was going to come to church, but she woke up late and said that we could come teach her later this week.  So, we are looking forward to meeting with her.

Ivette, Nicole with their Challenge Coins. 

What have I learned the most in the seven months I have been out on my mission:  That is a very hard question to answer because I have learned so much!  But I think some of the biggest things I've learned are; 1) Obeying the commandments TRULY does bring the most happiness.  2) Heavenly Father is so mindful of us, knows us personally, and is constantly guiding my life.  3) The Book of Mormon is the most correct book and one that is written for OUR DAY.  Without the Book of Mormon, I don't know where I’d be.  There is very real power and knowledge from that book and it has the potential to change our lives, if we allow it to do so. I have loved reading the scriptures and have come to realize the importance of daily scripture study.  4) The little things in life have become the things that mean the most.  5) Faith and trust in the Lord and in ourselves is huge. I never thought I would have been capable of learning Spanish, but the Lord called me here and after a lot of hard work and continuous hard work, I have felt very confident in this ability and I know now more than ever that there isn't ANYTHING that I can't overcome.

This week we made a cake with Alex's family for Hermana Rivera, the Relief Society President in our Ward who feeds us every week, and drives us to church, and just does SO MUCH for the missionaries here.  And, this wasn't your average Betty rocker box cake!!  This was ALL by hand, we even made the frosting!!  It was so fun, and we didn't mess it up!!  High fives all arounddddddddd!!!
Alex's Family with Hermana Rivera, Green & Zimmerman

Easter plans are going to Church and then having an all Mission Testimony Meeting about our Book of Mormon challenge from President Boucher, focused on the scriptures of the Atonement.  It has really strengthened my testimony on how much the Book of Mormon testifies of the power of the atonement!

I am glad you are taking care of your Ward and Stake Missionaries!  Being one, it means the WORLD when members take the time to help us, get to know us, and feed us!  This time in my mission right now has definitely been one of the most challenging, but I am learning so much.  I am so grateful for the experiences I have had here, and no matter how hard it gets, I wouldn't trade any of it.  I know Heavenly Father has a plan for us.  The people I have met on my mission, I really can't imagine my life without.  I am so grateful every day for this time in my life.

Happy Birthday Khloe! Well, tomorrow.  I can’t wait for the day that our family comes and sees this amazing island and people of Puerto Rico.

Love you all, have a Wonderful Easter!
Hermana Green

Sending Love from Puerto Rico!

Hermana Green with Obispo Cruz, Hermana Zimmerman, Cortes & Antonio

Hermanas Locas!
Playing the Piano in Sacrament Meeting.

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