I love New Years. I love feeling a total fresh start and feeling that I can go forward and continue to become and learn and experience. It's exciting.
In reflecting 2011 I made a list of the things I felt I had accomplished. The list looked very different than the list I envisioned at this time last year, and not in a bad way at all. In a "better persepctiv-ed" way. (Sis Bodily makes fun of me for making up words all the time... like the other day I said "anxietous" and she sad "it's just anxious. you make everything difficult". She's right. And it's true. But my words are pretty cool if I do say so myself... Be with it as you may) I looked at things that were bigger than just "I baptized x amount of people", but more "I have a better understanding of how much the Lord loves his children and wants them to be as happy as they can in His Gospel". Things like that. It was good for me, especially because sometimes I really get caught in a funk thinking "What HAVE I done in 16 months?!" (yes thats right... I am REALLY on the downward slope now....) So for me to look back and see the changes that I have made was really great. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways in 2011 and I am so grateful for that.
We had a New Years devotional on New Years Eve and it was incredible. It was a closer of our Book of Mormon challenge and a lot of missionaries bore their testimony about what they learned from this time around of reading it. I loved reading the Book of Mormon. I read it in Spanish which was an incredible experience and I definitely have a testimony of reading the Book of Mormon in a language you want to improve in! It did improve! I was able to give more tours at the Visitors Center in Spanish and more comfortably, and people understood me more. Also in talking with people in the street. I am grateful I have been able to learn a little bit of spanish, it has been such a blessing. With the Lords help, anything is possible! I bore my testimony about Hope in the Book of Mormon. How really, we are missionaries and we are trying to live the best lives we can in accordance with Gods standards because we have hope for good things to come. For others, for ourselves, for the world. Every story in the Book of Mormon has a message of Hope. Of Deliverance. Of faith... these people just kept on going and kept on going! I love reading Moroni's last few chapters... how hopeful he is for all of us. It's amazing. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It was so fun to hear so many missionaries bear their testimonies about the Book of Mormon. I wrote down a little from each one, and every one was so different which is a HUGE witness to me that God really does know us and knows what we need. If it wasn't from God, we would all tell the stories about Nephi and how he went and got the plates because he was commanded. But everyone had something different to say, a different twist on what they learned this time... it was so cool. The Book of Mormon is true. Do I say that a lot?
We went to the Getty museum today. Um,... It's amazing. It was sad because of course I got lost and it took us 30 minutes to get there, so we only had like 45 minutes and it is HUGE! And beautiful! definitely a place I will go when I come back. But without my sister Linz, because lets be honest, she would sit on a bench and sleep :)
Whew it's been a whirlwind of a week and a half. Feels like forever since I e-mailed last.
For an update:
Abuelo: He set a baptismal date, but he is now skeptical about it again because he is so worried about abandoning his Catholic faith, simply because of his heritage. He loves the Book of Mormon and says it is true and "has power" and he does know that this church is "good" but he doesn't quite get the connection that the Book of Mormon being true means that this is God's ONLY church. We go forward with faith! Trusting in the Lords timing for things is definitely something I have begun to learn on this missionary journey. We had an amazing lesson last night and watched "Finding Faith in Christ". He felt the spirit. I know he did.
Mom and Son: They are great... they aren't progressing at all yet, but they will continue to meet with us and hopefully they will gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. They have great questions, but I think it's more for an intellectual stance... but they are willing to read and pray, so hopefully soon we will see the beginnings of a changed heart. Mom always feeds us goodies and treats us so well. Son is very smart and has a very strong and powerful belief in God.
Jasmine: She also has a baptismal date but we haven't had a lesson with her since we set it because she has been out of town. This holiday season has been somewhat tricky to set appointments with people!
There are other new investigators and referrals that we are hopefully going to work with this week. I love these people so much! I love the Gospel and I love seeing how it blesses peoples lives.
I began the Book of Mormon over to read one last time as a missionary in Los Angeles and once again, that spark of excitement about this book comes. I love the Book of Mormon so much. And I know it is true because I believe God has told me it is true over and over again.
Thank you all for your prayers, love and support. I sure do love ya! Just love ya su-much!