Monday, February 2, 2015

The Essence of the Gospel

Well, if you could rewind to almost 4 months ago and I was walking for the first time in the city of Quillabamba feeling completely overwhelmed with the language, the culture, my companion, and my new missionary life.  You would have DIED. I was so stressed, but not, all at the same time. I knew I was supposed to be here and the Lord was helping every step of the way. But through it all I have learned one thing. It all comes down to love.

 Love-it is amazing.

 I was reading the general conference talk by our prophet this week from 2 conferences ago and it just all clicked. In the talk it described how if I love the Lord with all my heart might mind and strength I will obey His commandments. And a part of this is to love all men. We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey. I have SO many weaknesses, and I need to improve so many aspects of my life but if I realize that with love all things are possible. Especially the love that I have for my Heavenly Father. If you could spend one day with Hermana Hoskins and I……… you would LAUGH. We seriously don’t agree on anything. Well except for the gospel, we both love our families, and we enjoy eating food. But seriously, and it doesn’t help that we both have extremely bold and confident personalities. When we disagree it is a good thing we are not offended easily because we are pretty bold with each other at times. Oh I just laugh… This girl has been my rock though. We have found our balance. But I was wondering what that balance was. It was love. Christlike charity. We serve each other. She knows when I need her to ask how I am. She knows when I need to take two seconds and eat a chocolate candy bar. She knows when I need a note telling me how amazing I am. She understands and recognizes. I appreciate this so much. But as I have been here I have been reminded of what my parents have taught me. Be thankful and loving. Tell those people what you appreciate about them. Tell them specifically “Thank you for…” It really makes such a difference.

President Monson goes on to say that we will never regret being kind. Especially in our families. Say kind things, smile more, be interested in their experiences, write them a note. There is too much impatience, too much arguing, too many fights, too many tears. We need more people that will build others and be there as someone to help them through this journey that is tough at times. I also realize that the relationships NOW in my life are often the ones that need the most love. Oh! I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be a missionary. Helping others feel the love of our Heavenly Father is nothing I can describe.

Last night we were able to run into an investigator we have been teaching. She has been going through a lot. Her husband has not been getting paid by the government for his job, she has had many traumatizing experiences in her past, and she is now on her 3rd marriage. But wow!  This woman has so much faith. She is so humble and the cutest Mother. She has 3 kids and the two youngest are the cutest 3 and 1 year old I have ever met. She wants to have the gospel. I can see it in her eyes. But as we sat there talking with her about how her family can be together forever I could just feel Heavenly Father testify to me about how much he loves her. It is love. I then testified to her how much he loves her and how much we love her.

Wow, love heals. It brings hope. It strengthens relationships. It helps us enjoy the journey right now. I am so grateful for a living prophet. I know he holds the keys to lead and guide this church and if we heed to his council we can overcome all right now, in our lives today. I LOVE YOU ALL. I am so grateful for your examples and support. Until next week.

Hermana Frame

We got to play volleyball at our church with a few members and the other sisters! I died because he was in a USA jersey! It was a blast! And of course I am wearing sweats in 100 degree weather because there is a million mosquitoes and it is the best to not have my legs look like swollen elephant legs.

Hermana Garcia has been such a great friend here 
and she is so patient to sit and talk 
with me each week!

Abuelita! She LOVED us painting her nails
 and talking with her about her life this week.
 Oh I love her so much!

The pineapples are in season! 
Oh wait actually a member informed us
 that they are "always in season'' here in Quillabamba.
 It is like a fresh pineapple from Hawaii.
 And we bought it straight from the market
 that the trucks arrived that day from the jungle.

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