Monday, November 24, 2014

I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON LANDS!

Familia!!!

Wow. There is something very special about this place, I can feel it every day. The people here have a spark of divinity inside of them, and I suspect it{s because they are the very descendants of the Lamanites. And these are the Book of Mormon lands! Almost every person here, no matter what religion they are, has a firm testimony that God lives and that he is a God of miracles, and also that Jesus Christ lives and that he suffered for our sins. It is just incredible. The faith they have is a beautiful gift from God and I love the people here. It{s no coincidence that they have such faith, this I know. I love the people so much here, that it breaks my heart when they choose not to listen to the restored gospel.

Update with Gil... I learned a lot this week, and one of those things is that not everyone is prepared to hear the gospel, even if we think they are. It{s all about GOd{s will and God{s plan for his children. After the amazing lesson we had with Gil, we returned to teach him again and invite him to baptism. Well, Gil and his family are catholic, and we were turned away because his family doesn{t want any other religion but the catholic reiligion. Well, my companion says that things like this happen all the time, but it was really the first time it happened with me. It really hurt my heart that this family wouldn{t allow their son, Gil, who wants to hear this message, hear it. I couldn{t understand why God would allow this to happen. And so I cried a lot and prayed a lot. And I learned that God has a plan for Gil, and if for now it was for us to plant a seed in him that first time that we visited, then that is that. But I will never forget the spirit I felt in that lesson and how incredible it really was. It is so sad, but things like this happen in missionary work, and I am just learning this.

Update on Hugo- Hugo now is working instead of school, he is 14 years old. Well, since he is working sometimes he can{t come to church. And as you know, he needs to come to church in order to be baptized. Well, we are still working with him because he has such a strong testimony. We had an 8 year old baptism the other day and he came to watch!! It was a baptism under the stars in the casa de oracion (it{s not a chapel) it{s called a house of prayer because it{s like a giant house where we have sacrament. The baptism was so spiritual, and I know angels were watching!! Hugo felt the spirit too, and he wants to be baptized too. We will work so hard for this goal. He needs to come to church 5 times before he is baptized, and he has 3 times. 

We have a baptism though for THIS Sunday!!! IT{s the wife of the man who runs the RANCHO!!! Her name is Araceli!! We are so excited!!! We have been teaching her on the rancho, and it looks like she will be my first baptism!! I will send pictures.

Also, we found a family who is ready to hear the gospel!! They are catholic, surprise surprise, but they accept everythying we teach. They read the book of mormon together!! We are working on a baptismal date with them for the 3 de Enero.

I just can{t believe that God has given me this amazing opportunity to serve here in the lands of the book of Mormon and with the people whose ancestors may have been the Lamanites. I know this is exactly where I{m supposed to be. This mission is very unique and special. I feel that when I return from my mission, my very nature will have changed because of the work I am doing and especially because I get to be among the very people whose ancestors wrote the keystone book of our religion. It is beyond anything I have ever dreamed and I love every minute and the very sacred ground I stand on.
Also a shout out to Johanna and Ingrid for making me a pillow!!!! I love it so much and it was the best surprise for me in the MTC!! You guys are so sweet, and I appreciate it so much!! 

Talmage I Iove you and I wish you could see all the bugs and lizards that are here...keep working hard with b ball
 
 
Gabby... i love you and good luck with your first ball room performance!!

Congrats on your accompanying the combined choirs at school on the Hallelujah Chorus GRACEE!!! I love you

Love, 
Hermana Cook

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