"Little Cat" from the Juarez family wanted to wear my tag for a bit and then show her dad that she wants to be a missionary someday!
The plan if salvation chalk drawings (more below)
I hope everyone had a beautiful Easter! I had the most beautiful one yesterday in Columbia Tennessee! We were at the mission office yesterday morning bright n early to meet some of the other missionaries in the choir and drive over to Columbia in the mission's giant shuttle! It was fun, I sat next to Sister Jarvis and she had a kazoo and a shaker and played Praise to the Man and Nearer My God To
Thee- it was awesome and I couldn't believe how amazing it sounded! At one point Elder Harris jumped in with his harmonica, it was magical!
Well my BFF Hermana Knecht was in the choir too so we got to spend the whole day together which was such a blessing bc we've never served by one another! We sang in two sacrament services and it was so beautiful. There was such a reverent and sweet spirit during both services. We were able to go to both wards as well and I fell in love with both of their Relief Societies. There are so many amazing woman in the church and I am so grateful for the blessing we have as sisters to have Relief Society. We ended our evening at a Presbyterian church and that was such a neat experience. No one from the Presbyterian church came- which I thought was so weird bc if they were coming to perform at our church then we would definitely all be there to support
them!- but we had many members there and other missionaries with their investigators and it was lovely. During the middle of the performance, I was completely overwhelmed with the Spirit, I was overwhelmed with the love that my Savior has for me. The songs we had been singing for weeks finally came to life for me and I just started weeping during one of the organ pieces. I just sat reading the words to our last hymn, I Know That My Redeemer Lives, and I just felt this cleansing power come over me, I felt my Savior take all of my weaknesses and all of my bad feelings from that day and make me new and make me stronger.
It's a hard thing to describe and it was a very sacred experience that I will never forget. Needless to say, I hope no one was watching me during our last song because I just wept while trying to mouth the words so it would kind of look like I was singing and not having a spiritual breakthrough! Afterwards we had a really fun drive home with our Zone Leaders and then the Assistants- it's so fun being with missionaries sometimes. It was nice to truly feel a part of the mission and feel unified with other missionaries.
This past week has been so so wonderful! We had so many incredible lessons with some people that we really love! There's the Albarenga family that is so awesome! There's about 4 adults living in the house and one of their little boys and their friends from Honduras are always there as well! Tuesday we read from 3 Nephi 11 and compared it all to the Bible and it was so amazing to see them warm up and realize that the Book of Mormon is the word of God too! It truly testifies of Jesus Christ and nothing more! People here in the south are so afraid of anything that's not the Bible- even the Hispanics, it's crazy! God has more for us people! He loves us SO much that He gave us MORE scripture to help us better understand His true gospel. Anyways, Thursday with the Albarengas was so fun bc they didn't know what an Easter egg hunt was so we brought some eggs and taught them how to
play- they loved it! It was super fun. Their pastor was coming by that night to study with them and we waited for a whole so we could join.
Finally he called and said he wasn't coming so Jose looked at us and said, "well, we have you here!" And so we shared a beautiful Easter message and the Spirit was so strong. Their friends were there too so we taught 7 people! They all were eating it up and they all had their phones out to video us singing Yo Se Que Vive Mi Señor (I know that my Redeemer lives) As we were leaving Jose was like, well are we going to see you tomorrow? And we were like, YA! They invited us to his wife Maria's baby shower and we had so much fun getting to know all of their church friends- they're the ones who threw her the shower- when we left one of them asked us to come by her house! We were like, "of course!" and got her info. I love this family!
We also had a super fun lesson with Elvin on Saturday! It was a perfect sunny day so we went and bought chalk and taught the Plan if Salvation on the tennis court! He loved it and it helped him understand all of it! I love using visuals because I am such a visual person myself, it really helps people understand more when they have something to look at. Elvin ended up going to church yesterday even though we weren't there, and he loved it! He's the best!
We had a lot of really crazy experiences with following the Spirit lately. We were knocking on former investigator's doors and I felt like we needed to go to Walmart and after I told Hna Schmit and she thought about it, she felt like we needed to too. So we went to Walmart and as we were walking in the bus pulled up and I was like, "Uh Hna, I think we need to get on the bus!" She was like, "Are you serious?!" So we prayed about it and got on the bus! We met some really cool people that day and I feel we did what we needed to, we just followed the Spirit and I know something amazing will come out of that whether we see it soon or not.
Cool story about a previous story I shared about following the Spirit....remember when we got on the bus to look for an address we knew didn't exist and ended up walking down the street and gave a random sad woman a hug and met two teenage boys? Well, we went and visited the address that the boys gave us and no one was home and just as we were about to leave, a car pulled up. It was their mom Anna! She immediately invited us to come in with her and shared a lot of what's been going on in their lives. She's a widow and has one son, Angel, who has been going through a rough time. Her other son, Miguel, is actually not her son, he's from North Carolina and had no where to stay when he moved here so Anna took him in and calls him her son.
Well we had an amazing visit with Anna and she basically said she was an answer to her prayers for Angel and she wants us to visit him and get him involved in our youth programs here. She told us to come back Sunday to see both boys. Well, we text Miguel the next day to see what time we could come by and he told us that Anna didn't want Angel involved in :/ we were almost in tears and decided that we would fast on Saturday. Well, Saturday we fasted that they would contact us or we would know what to do and went to volunteer at the pantry again (which was awesome!) and 30 minutes before we were going to break our fast, guess who text us?? Angel!!!!! He wanted to see how we were doing and we ended up setting up a time to go see him tomorrow! Fasting is so powerful! Miracles are real! I definitely do not fast enough!
Also, remember that crying lady we met in the thrift store a few weeks ago? We finally found her at home! Her name is Irma and she is crazy but I love her! We had an incredible lesson about the a Restoration and she was super receptive! We are going back Wednesday with a member!
Anywho, those were our crazy amazing stories this week. Sorry it was a lot! We are both staying here together one more transfer! I'm not going to troll mountain, woohoo! We are super excited to see what Heavenly Father has in store for us here!
I just want to share my testimony once again that I KNOW Jesus Christ lives. I know with all of my heart that He has restored His true gospel and church to the earth. I am so lucky to be a representative of Him and His church. I love the gospel, it is the only thing that gives me peace and hope in this life.
Even though Easter is over, I invite you to watch the Because of Him video, it's under 3 minutes and is super powerful.
"Because of Him"
I love all of y'all so much! Have a beautiful week!