Things here in Rama Aplao have been going.... somewhere. Haha, this area is such a patience builder! We just have to work with the leaders so much.... but we can only teach so little at a time, or it goes over their heads. So we are having to learn to work at there pace and not at ours. And sometime their pace is s-l-o-w as slow can be. But that's all part of the ball game here. We have really been trying to rescue as many people as we can... but are starting to see that all efforts are just kind of .... stunted by the lack of Melchizedek priesthood holders in positions of leadership. But we are looking for the chosen men, to lead the church, and I know that they are out there. They just.... haven't made it out to church in awhile. But we can do it! I know we can. After 2 months here, I can already see a difference. There is still a few football fields left to go, but that will come.
I have restarted the Book of Mormon, again, and I just cannot express enough how true that book is. It is so true! Everything about it. I am so grateful to have been introduced to this book at such a young age, and to grow with the knowledge that it exists.
We had to chance to visit with this less active lady named Elizabeth, and she is just awesome! She has such a strong testimony, she just got shaken by something that happened with their adoptive son that suddenly made her question everything, but she knows that all these things will be for her eternal benefit, and that it really is time to come back. She cried and cried with us, about so many things that really would be hard for anyone to bear, but then she just transformed, and knew that our visit to her was her Heavenly Father saying "Hija, es hora para regresar a mi redil." And it was so special to sing her favorite hymn with her "Ill go where you want me to go" and it was amazing to see the Atonement applied and received right before our very eyes. She was filled with such anger and bitterness and sadness when we got there, but when we left.... you saw her eyes filled with an undeniable, indescribable hope. Hope that she really could change. Hope that it wasn't too late. Hope that she will receive blessings when she keeps her covenants. And that's really what we preach- hope to everyone.
Ive gotta jet, but I hope you know how much I love you all! I am so lucky to have such a great family. :)
Note: I asked Melissa about reading about some sisters serving in Chivay now. (If you remember that is where she wanted to serve sometime) and I asked her also about being a sister trainer. Per Melissa's request I tracked down Hna B's mom and with her permission I share Melissa's experience with her daughter. Missions are hard, especially in a foreign country. If the missionaries can get over that 3 month hump (after leaving the comforts of the MTC) - things get a little easier day by day. This is her response: