Monday, April 8, 2013

''Too many of us try to serve the Lord without offending the devil''

Hi fam bam!
How was everyone's General Conference weekend? Mine was the absolute best.
Alright so last week I left off with our appointment with Carmen. Not even five minutes after we sat down with her she just broke down and started sobbing. She told us that she's not happy, and she’s having some serious family problems. One thing that is interesting about being a missionary is that we can speak to people in a way and with an authority that we don't have when our tag comes off. There is no way before or after the mission I could have said some of the things I said to Carmen and her husband Nelson. But when we speak with love and the Spirit, with the person's best interest at heart, they trust us. Nelson responded that his family is the most important thing to him and he doesn't want to lose them. Hermana Blodgett told him he was going to lose Carmen and his girls if he didn't get help, but that we were there to help him. And so is his Heavenly Father. We talked about the power of prayer in the healing process and with tears in his eyes, Nelson offered his first prayer. He told God he had a serious problem, that it was out of his control, and that he was ready to change. He expressed gratitude for us and our willingness to help, and for his beautiful family. It was one of the sincerest prayers I've heard. We told him we'd stop by several times a week, and he gave us his number so we could call and check on him. Then we went back out in the living room and watched a video about the Savior since Easter was the next day. We invited Nelson to church and said we'd come over early to be able to walk with them. He said he'd come! We decided on 10:00 and said our goodbyes. When I was kissing Carmen goodbye she whispered to me that we should be there at 9:00.
Monday night we had a lesson with Carmen and family. Since Nelson really needs our help, we're coming over 4 times a week. We wanted to do something fun for them because we figured the mood in the house needed to be lifted, so we brought over The Testaments movie with popcorn, cookies and Fanta. We met with him again privately before meeting with the whole family and we made some plans to help him. Then we joined the rest of the family for our movie night. It was really fun. The four of them sat on the couch together and for an hour or so they looked like the happy family they should be. After the movie we bore our testimonies and said a closing prayer. We asked Nelson to say it. He was timid at first, but then Jessica said, ''It's not hard, Dad. Start with 'Dear Heavenly Father' then tell him what you're thankful for, ask him for what you need, and close 'in the name of Jesus Christ, amen'''. Cutest thing ever. And it was the first time Nelson's family had heard him pray.
Wednesday we met with Andrea. We taught her about the importance of daily prayer and scripture study and going to church every week. Afterwards we asked if she had any questions and she was like, ''So what do I need to do if I want to go on a mission?'' I love this girl. She's not even baptized and she already has the desire to serve a mission! She's going to be the best member, and I can't wait to take her out teaching with us after she's baptized. And we're trying to get her and Paola to be friends. They're going to meet this Sunday at church :)
That evening we had a lesson with Jar, Marina and Laura. We read Mosiah 2 about King Benjamin's speech and invited them to Conference. After Marina we saw Carmen again. We had dinner together and then had a lesson about service - especially serving our families. We did an activity where they had to choose a member of their family and find one way every day to serve them. Nelson was there again and he paid attention and participated in the lesson.
Thursday we saw Mary and José and they told us that since our lesson on the family things in their home have gotten much better. Oh how happy I was to hear that! In the metro on the way home Hermana Blodgett and I saw a girl with an American flag shirt. We put our hands over our hearts and sang the national anthem :)
Friday we had Zone Conference in Pavones and it was fantastic. The AP's put together a video of our missionaries' videos of them opening their calls and it made me wish I had a video. They had pizza for us afterwards and brought us our mail. I got a birthday package from Grandma Klee, and letters from Stephanie, Elder Ponce, Yo (who will be in my mission in just a few weeks) and the Relief Society back home.
Saturday morning we had lesson with Emmanuel. We taught him the restoration and he really liked it. During one part we were talking about the things Jesus did when he was here, including peforming mighty miracles. Emmanuel goes, ''Like walking on water. I've tried that. It's not easy.'' Hahah he's so funny. Towards the end I felt like we should invite this dude to be baptized. I was already looking at Hermana Blodgett and I whispered, in the quietest voice I could, ''Baptism'' and without skipping a beat she transitioned into the perfect invitation to baptism. Homeboy said yes! He's awesome. Next time we see him we're gonna give him a date!
Saturday night we went to Pavones for General Conference. It was the Saturday morning session and we watched at 6 in the evening, so it was live and I was watching it with all of youuuu! How cute. We went with Eduardo and Evelyn, they watched in Spanish, while we watched in English. I love Conference so much dangit. Afterwards Eduardo took us out for kebab and then we went home.
Sunday morning we went by Carmen's to pick them up for Conference. We saw Jessica and Paola outside in front of their piso, but didn't see Carmen. And then five seconds later we saw her walk around the corner with Nelson, holding hands! They told us Nelson was coming to Conference. What the heck! Talk about a General Conference miracle. We drove to Pavones and then did a temple tour with the whole family before Conference started. It was really awesome and I was glad Nelson was there for it. The session we watched was the Saturday afternoon session and it was the only one Carmen and her family could be at, but there were some talks that were perfect for them so I was grateful for that. During the two hour break we sat on the temple grounds, talked to other missionaries and members we hadn't seen in awhile, ate some lunch, and enjoyed the atmosphere before the next session started. At 6:00 we watched the Sunday morning session, and then we came home. I was bummed cause we didn't get to watch the Sunday afternoon session, but we're going to try to find time this week to do it.
I left a bunch of stuff out, but mainly I'm just excited about the Carmen and Nelson situation. I love being a missionary. Do I say that a lot? I don't even care, it's seriously the best. I don't want to come home in 10 months. This is the only time in my life I'll be able to do what I'm doing and I never want it to end. I loved the missionary themed messages at Conference this weekend and I encourage you all to do your best to be good member missionaries. Don't just pray for opportunities, actively look for them! And when they present themselves, don't you dare ignore them. In this dark, depressing, hopeless world, we have the best news there is; God lives, Jesus is the Christ; The gospel makes life worth living and we should share this precious gift with everyone.
This week I hit 7 months and Hermana Blodgett hits 11 tomorrow, which means our diets have begun. We're on ''10 and 7 months to sexy.'' Haha it's a Spain thing. Be good! Write me! Share your testimonies! Watch the game tonight! And miss me :)
Hermana Munden
P.S. I'm not going anywhere. Happy April Fool's!

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