Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.

Hi Family!

It's been an awesome week. On Monday I got an email saying the office elders wanted us to find a new piso. So we spent a good chunk of Tuesday afternoon piso shopping and the second one we looked at is the winner. I'm sooo excited to move - even though I hate moving. But this is gonna be a good move - six of us in such small living quarters is really hard sometimes. It's small, but it's clean and new and it'll be awesome.

We had a really good lesson with our new Portuguese investigator Daniel. I don't know if I mentioned him last week, but he was a reference from the MTC. We talked about the Book of Mormon and why it's important to pray to know that it's true. Last time we met he wouldn't pray in front of us because he was embarrassed, but this time he did it no problem, and it was such a sincere prayer. He wants to read the Book of Mormon because he knows it'll bring him peace and help him become a better person.

Elder Ward came to our Zone Training Meeting this week and he looked a million times better! He's so dang positive and super funny, I can't even handle it. He got up to tell us a little about his experience and said, ''This last week I've been interviewed by 12 major news networks - it's been a real train wreck.'' He's so happy to be alive and he's wonderful. In our meeting we talked a lot about families and how as a mission we're gonna put a bigger focus on families. We've been asked to pray to find families and to contact those families we do see. Ever since ZTM, Hermana Heims and I have been praying for families and sure enough we've been running into them. Actually, every family we've contacted has given us their number and it's been really awesome.

Thursday evening was really...interesting. First we got a call from this less active guy named Victor asking us if we had time to meet with him. We were at the church about to have correlation, so we couldn't see him then, but we invited him to Noche de Hogar and he said he would come. Noche de Hogar was good. The JAS were in charge and they talked about the blessings of living the gospel. We were about to sing the closing hymn when Claudia leaned over and asked if she could say something. I stopped Elder Valenzuela from announcing the closing hymn and we gave Claudia time to talk. She put everything out in the open. She told us all how she felt - that she thought God had abandoned her, that she was miserable and suicidal and that she couldn't find peace. At first I felt kind of embarrassed that she was telling the whole world something that seemed to me to be really personal and private. But then as she continued to share I realized that this woman was desperate for help. After she was done speaking, Oscar chimed in and said, ''That's what we're here for. We don't just come to church to hear the word of God, but to help those who need us - to lend a hand, to mourn with those that mourn and to comfort those that stand in need of comfort.'' He said, ''Don't feel alone Claudia. Your Heavenly Father loves you and so do we. He's with you, and we are too.'' Then this guy José talked about how he'd felt that way too before, but he found consolation in the scriptures. He encouraged her to plead for help when she prayed and to look for God's voice in the scriptures. He shared the scripture that helped him when he was at his lowest point and told her that she'd find one that would lift her. That Noche de Hogar turned into one of the most spiritual experiences I've had on my mission. Almost all of us were in tears and the Spirit was so strong. I knew that God loved Claudia and that He was aware of her. I knew He wanted her to be happy and that He had inspired her to call us.

The next morning in companionship study we prepared our lesson for Claudia. We found as many scriptures as we could about love, peace, comfort, and support. We wrote them on paper hearts and stuck then in a jar with chocolate. We took our jar of paper hearts and met up with Claudia in a park near her piso and read them with her. It was really awesome. When we got to Alma 31:31 she started to cry. ''O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me.''She looked up at me and said that that scripture was the one José had been talking about last night, and that it had touched her heart. I was happy we could help her and that she was able to find the scripture she needed.

That night we had a Noche de Hogar with the López family - a Spanish couple who are here as missionaries working in the temple. None of our investigators or less actives could come, so we brought Juan Luís - the other hermanas' recent convert. Since he's going to hit his year mark this month and he's preparing to receive his endowment, we figured it'd be a good idea to talk about the temple. We found a copy of the dedicatory prayer of the Madrid temple and read it together. I feel like the Madrid temple is my temple: 1) I'm serving here... duh. 2) I turned 8 on March 19,1999, I was baptized on the 20th, and I was confirmed on the 21st. The dedication services for this temple took place on those three days. Anyhow, the dedicatory prayer is beautiful and reading together with the López's really invited the Spirit and it made for a wonderful Noche de Hogar. Then she made us some bomb homemade pizza and fried ham stuff. Haha it was really good.

I'm really grateful for my companion. Hermana Heims is so wonderful and I try my hardest every day to make sure she knows how much I appreciate her. She's such a good missionary and she only has 2 weeks under her belt. She has taught me so much with her awesome example of obedience, diligence, and the desire to be here. When I don't feel like contacting she tells me, ''We have nothing to lose, and they have everything to gain.'' She's struggling a lot with Spanish right now and I wish there was more I could do to help her. She's incredible though and I hope we're together for a long time.

I love you guys! I can't believe how fast time is going. I never want this to end.

Hermana Munden

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