WOW! How fun to see and talk to you all last night! I loved it SO much! I am so proud of all of you and the great things that you are doing. Thank you for your examples to me and for staying on track. I love you all so much and can't even begin to express my gratitude!
WE ARE STILL HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That´s right! No changes and we are SOOOO happy! I really thought that we would see a change, but I am so glad that we didn´t! It is a huge blessing that we are still together and I know that we are going to see miracles. We are both so happy and content. We just finished a great transfer, and we know that we are going to have another really awesome one! So happy! I love Hermana Dunn and the things that we are doing together. I am really grateful for all that she has taught me and continues to teach me.
Well, not too much has changed since last night, so I don´t have too much to say... but we did have an AWESOME week and I will be trying to send pictures of the BAPTISM!!!! Yenifer Daniela Barroso was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! She is so wonderful! And the especially great thing is that we found her through Andrea, and then through Yenifer, we found 2 more baptisms that will happen in the next two weeks. WOW! That is really the key, finding through the recent converts. That way, they have the chance to be the members present in the lessons, which really increases their own testimony as they testify, and they gain a support system when they invite their friends to come and see! It´s so awesome. Yenifer is doing great, as is Andrea. They have both started their personal progress through helping the young woman plan the family dance that they will have on Friday. The two little girls, Marian and Milagros who will be baptized in the coming 2 weeks are also doing great! They are wonderful in primary and are learning so fast. What is especially great is that pretty much their whole family are really active members, so they can go with them. They have aunts and cousins as a support system, so that really helps. We have a lot of fun with these girls. The other night, we taught them the Macarena and then did "Tuti-Ta" and they LOVED it. We are just having a ball!
This week was also the anniversary of our Bishop and Hermana Chen. We made them some lemon bars and took them over during their work break. That was fun. It is SOO important to love and serve the Bishop. He does so very much in the work. Even just little things, I think are really important. We are blessed with a really amazing Bishop who has great counselors who are really focused on the work. I know that it is for this that we are having such great success.
I am LOVING my Book of Mormon study! Mom and Dad, it was so great to hear that you have joined in on the study! I got a couple emails from friends today that said that they are doing it too! That is so wonderful. I love the Book of Mormon, and as I have been looking specifically for references to the Savior and His gospel, I have really come to know Him better and love Him. Something that I read at the beginning of last week that I wanted to share is from 1Nephi 21:15 where it says that our Savior will never forget us because He has us graven on the palms of His hands. As I thought about the marks in His hands, I realized that when He sees them, He really does think of US every time... my first week here, I had a minor bike accident and cut my hands up a bit. I still have the marks, though they are slowly fading. Well, literally every time I see them I chuckle and think about how clumsy I am and remember the bike accident. If I think about something so trivial every time I see these little marks in my hands, how much more does the Savior think of US when He sees His very permanent marks. Think of how many times a day we use our hands! I testify that the Savior is thinking of us ALWAYS... that "our walls are constantly before His face." What a neat thing to know that the Savior knows us personally, loves us, and is always helping us. Wow.
Well, I can´t believe that we are starting in on transfer number 7... so weird. Hermana Gonzalez had 10 months in the mission when I met her, just like I do now, and today she is heading home. So weird! I think that she will probably become a great blog stalker real soon (she learned from the best! though it´s not quite as cool since she already KNOWS me... I mean, who reads blogs of people they know... boring!) so I wanted to tell her a couple of things. First off, we are SO sad that there was not a despidida... Bummer. We miss you tons and love you lots. You have been in our prayers. Second, thank you so much for telling me about Karen! I am so happy that she is back with the Díaz family... I hope that things calm down there and that they get back to church ASAP. I think that Karen will really be able to help with that... I sure hope so. And really, just thank you for EVERYTHING: You were the best trainer ever and what a blessing it was to have time together again! Thank you for everything you taught me and everything that you continue to teach me. We will be doing something, and I will remember something that you said. Thank you for your example, your faith, your love, your guidance. You are AMAZING! I know that you have wonderful things awaiting you as you start this next chapter in your life. Enjoy every moment of it! We are going to miss you, but we know that it won´t be too long until we see you again. If you have to go and get married or something, at least send an invite. haha. WE LOVE YOU TONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you again for everything! Go take a picture at the TOP of the road that ends in Ushuaia, learn how to say FedEx, eat TONS of your Mom´s amazing Mexican food, and put into practice all of the great things that you learned in the mission! You are going to do GREAT THINGS :) If you make a Mesa trip, give my parents a call... they will love you since you are JUST like me ;) But seriously, Hermana! You are amazing. Thank you for your example of Christlike love and discipleship. See you in 8!
Well... for not too much to write, that became kind of a long email... oops! Know that I love you all TONS! Please write to me about what you are learning in the Book of Mormon and how you are feeling as we take this challenge together. This morning, in my study, I was just so happy knowing that you are doing this with me! You are the best!
I don´t have any doubt that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He lives. He loves us. He is truly the Son of God. He knows you by name, as He does me. He is our advocate with the Father. We can repent every day and strive to become more like Him. Not only can we, but we must. He is calling to us. It is our great privilege to listen and go to Him.
Thank you for being the best family in the WORLD. I love you all dearly. Thank you for your love and prayers. Know that I love and pray for you. I hope that all is well with Mackay. I was glad to hear that he looks good. I will look forward to an update next week. Hang in there, Elder Shelley! You are such a great example to me and I am learning from you every single day! Thank you for your faith. When times are tough, that is because the Lord loves us and is refining us.
I love you all!!!!
Pictures: Yenifers baptism