Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jacob!

Happy Birthday Jacob! Hope that you got the card, so it isn't much more but one day you will understand. I can't believe I have a 17-yr-old brother, I never thought I would! But I bet, Mom, that you can't believe you have a 17-yr-old son :P !

Another fairly uneventful week in Mesa, but good nonetheless. For hopefully the last time this transfer our companionship was split up. A full-field sister hurt her ankle and can't tract, so we trained her on telephone calls at the VC while Sister Rodio went out with her companion all week. We had quite the scare and thought that she was going to be emergency transferred, which was not a happy thought. I will be ready for it when it comes, but I don't want us to be split up before then. I love this transfer and have great companions!

Rogelio has been struggling since his baptism. The first few weeks were great, and he was really a different person, but then he started getting really discouraged. He wasn't getting work and wasn't being patient through his trials. It was frustrating to us because we can see the hope and the blessings that wait on the other side of the trials, but he couldn't see that and wasn't trusting us. I guess in a way it is like being a parent, when your kids don't listen to you because they don't believe you know, even though you've been through similar trials. And yes, Mom and Dad, you can say "I told you so" if you want to... However, Armando, a recent convert, has been fellowshipping him and found him a stable job. He is much happier again and on Sunday at the mission president fireside he told us that he wants to share his testimony at the next one! How wonderfully exciting!!!!

Our zone is getting zone t-shirts and they asked me to help coming up with a few design possibilities. I ended up drawing one out which they all really liked. I didn't realize they would appreciate my art so much, seeing as how in the family that hasn't been my forte, but that of others. I was glad to see I got some of that talent too. The creativity I've always inherited, but didn't know I could translate it into art.

On Friday, we went visited a less-active member with the English elders in our area. It was neat to see that we could teach in unity with 5 of us. Daniel is an older man, with some hearing and speaking difficulties. He is super nice and funny, but very lonely and gets offended easily. He hasn't been coming to church because he hasn't really been getting the fellowshipping he needs and because of some miscommunications was offended by another member and neighbor. He also doesn't have any transportation to church, he had been riding with the member he was offended by. As we were thinking about how to best help him, we decided to try and transfer him over to the English ward, because it is closer, there are more members close to him, and in that ward there are a lot of older people who can fellowship him. We don't want him to think we are kicking him out of this ward, because we love him and want the best for him, but unfortunately in Spanish work, sometimes the best is not a large ward like ours. And he speaks English as well, so we think it will help. The elders in that ward said that it was an answer to prayers in their ward because there are some ward missionaries who are older and feel unused. The elders and a member went over yesterday without us, and they told us it was really successful and that he accepted their invitation to their ward. I love the stability created by the gospel, knowing that no matter where you are, the church is exactly the same. This is the only church that is that uniform, which is just a greater testimony to me of its establishment by God, and not by men.

We also had a really great lesson with an investigator Daniel (who also lives in the trailers) at the VC on Friday. We were trying to help him stop drinking for a while and when we were full-field we went over every night, but it didn't seem to help him. When we were called back to the VC, we couldn't go over and see him as often. For a little while, he thought we were mad at him because we hadn't been over. (That is still a struggle we have, balancing our schedule at the VC, but the Lord blesses us if we work hard, as in this case.) About 2 weeks ago we talked to Daniel on the phone and he told us he had quite drinking again. We went over a week and a half later and he hadn't started again. He seemed a lot stronger and happier about it this time. We brought him to the VC on Friday, because he has a distracting roommate who isn't interested, but likes to talk, so it is hard for us to teach. We weren't able to get a teaching room in the VC, so we gave him a tour of the art exhibit. It was such a great lesson and the Spirit was extremely strong. He felt it and almost cried many times throughout, especially when we told him about going on a mission. That is what seems to give him the most motivation to change. He just turned 19 and will be able to serve a mission a year after he is baptized. He wants to be able to share this with other people, which shows the conversion taking place within him. I am so grateful for the art exhibit and the strength it has. Art has the power to touch people's spirits in such a strong way. If you think about it, the world and even we as the Lord's creations are His art. All of his creations testify of him, and they don't have the voice to do it. If they could they would shout His praises. How much more responsibility do we have as His children to share our testimonies. We have been blessed with voices, let us shout and sing His praises always, through our words and through our actions!

Desde Mesa, con amor,
Hermana Ladd

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