Monday, April 27, 2015

Eating Gringos

Buenas Tardes, Amigos y Familia,

Well, we´re still here in Santa Lucia, getting used to all of the rock climbing (almost) that we´re doing, because Santa Lucia is full of hills. I´ve been really grateful to be training Hermana Platero. We laugh a lot when we´re slipping and sliding down the hills. Of course, a lot of things are still new, but she´s been an example to me. She´s often been the one in the lesson to invite people to be baptized, which makes me proud :) It hasn´t been easy, but I´ve really loved training. 

         The other day (can´t remember which) we were with a member family, and the hermana had a recipe book. There´s a type of food called a gringo, which also happens to be the nickname for north americans. (in my case gringa) The family was laughing about eating the gringa. I was like, I´m out of here. No, they´re a good family. It´s the family of the hermana Suyapa that we baptized the other week. She´s still doing well, and the whole family is going to church. 

         It´s a good branch here. Maybe we don´t get a ton of references but there are some people willing to work with us. One that I admire a lot teaches the principles of the gospel class for the investigators and recent converts. He knows a lot and has a gift of teaching. He´s also the hermano that baptized Hermano Eugenio and Hermana Mirta. 

        Their family is doing fine too. The gospel is growing and more of their family is attending church. But we´re still trying to help them be baptized. 

         One of the most amazing oportunities that we had this week is one that I hope I won´t ever forget. Elder Ochoa, the first counselor of the presidency of the area Central America, came and spoke to us on Thursday the 23rd of April.  We got to shake his hand and meet his wife and hear both of them and President and Hermana Bowler speak. It was a really great experience and I learned a lot about the things that I need to be doing better. Especially, have more faith. 

        Despite all the hills and the people that try to contend and the members that want to eat me, I love this area. This last week we were teaching a Señor and a girl, his neighbor, entered. The interesting thing was that she stayed, when we were there to teach the elderly man. We had talked to this girl before, but I didn´t know much about her except that she lived on the same street and is 13 years old. But, as we taught she sat down and stayed to listen, so we involved her in the lesson. We found out that she had been listening to the elders before but when the elders were taken out of the area no other missionaries came back. Her name is Heidi and I´m really happy we were able to find her. 

        One thing I learned from Elder Ochoa is that when we don´t invite people to be baptized, when we don´t share the gospel, we´re taking away the oportunity for other people to choose. We take away their agency. Heavenly Father´s plan is for us is for us to be able to use our agency to choose good. As we understand and follow Heavenly Father´s plan, we understand that we need to share the gospel to help others use their agency. 

        Ok, I think that´s it for now. Congrats and Good Luck to all that have exams, are graduating!!, have birthdays, etc. I´ll let you know more next week at what time I´ll be skyping for mother´s day. It will be Sunday in the afternoon - what time do you all have church?? We have church in the morning. 

         Have a good week everyone. God Lives and He Loves You. 

          Hermana Hogge

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