Hola Querida Familia!!
So the title of this e-mail is a little decieving since I've only actually been here for 4 weeks (tomorrow...but who's counting?!). But they count the first week here as Wed- Sunday when you first get here, so if you go by that then I'm on week 5. Which means I only have 4 more weeks until we go to California!!
This week was good. Not as many funny stories to tell as last week unfortunately, but it was still good. I was running the other day back to our room after our gym time at the field with my companion and the 2 other hermanas in our district and heard someone scream "Laree!!!!". It's been a while since I've heard someone call me by my first name, so that was kind of funny. I turned around and it was Yina Fernandez!! Mom and Dad, you're probably the only ones that know her, but she says hi! It was so fun to see her. '
This week, we've also been continuing to teach our 2 investigators, Mario and Ricardo. These have both been good experiences. Ricardo is an Evangelist and has some trouble accepting the Book of Mormon. When we taught him on Tuesday, we tried so hard to prepare what he needed to hear, we were going to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ (PMG lesson 3), but after talking to him for a couple minutes, it became pretty clear that that was not going to happen. We tried to talk to him about why the Book of Mormon is important, and kind of stumbled our way through teaching him that. The lesson that we prepared was apparently not what he needed to hear, but now we know what we need to teach him tomorrow!! One of the blessings of teaching him has been that it has forced me to think and study more about why we need the Book of Mormon. That's been what I've been studying ever since the lesson and it's been really great. Our Tues. Devo this week was all about the Book of Mormon too, and our lessons in class have been on the Book of Mormon too, so it's been a very enlightening week! It's been so fun to study more about why we have/ need the Book of Mormon. Hopefully our lesson with him tomorrow will be helpful to him. After we taught him, our teacher helped us see some things we can improve in with our teaching. that was really really helpful.
Probably the best experience this week was teaching Mario again on Monday. Most of our lessons with him so far had just been good lessons, but not anything super powerful, or didn't really seem like it was what he needed then. I really really really wanted to teach him something that he needed to hear. I had been thinking about and praying about it all day and was studying the lessons to know what we should teach. Sister Southworth and I would sit down to prepare our lesson and just stared at the lessons, but didn't feel anything. We finally made a lesson plan, prayed about it, but still didn't feel much about it. During our additional study just before our lesson, we finally put something together and felt pretty good about it, but had very very little time to practice it. I was so nervous to teach it, especially because we had wanted it to be so spiritual and powerful for him. We said a quick prayer and then went in to teach him. It was exactly what he needed. We talked about our Life on earth and the Atonement, and asked him if he had ever felt bad or guilty for something he had done, and wanted to be clean. He told us about some things that he had done while in Mexico that he still felt really guilty about. We spent the rest of the lesson teaching him about the Atonement and testifying to him. We had him read the scripture in Mosiah 14 that says, talking about Christ, "by His stripes, ye are healed.". The Spirit was so so strong, by the end of the lesson, I didn't even want to talk- we just sat there for a few minutes, pondering the lesson and feeling the Spirit. We testified to him that he can be clean again, and we also invited him to church, he said he'd come! After he said the closing prayer, we all just sat there for a couple minutes. I did not want to leave!! I am so so grateful it took that long to prepare the lesson- it was worth every minute!
Even though I know these lessons are roleplay and that in reality our teachers playing these roles are members, RMs, and endowed, it still feels so real there is still so much power. It's been a really great experience. I'm glad that it's like this so I can learn before I'm in CA.
Hope you're having fun in UT Mom and dad.
Love you all!!!