March 22, 2011

First time for everything

I have no idea what to write to ya´ll today. This week was long, and yet not really. Hard, and yet incredibly satisfying. The biggest thing though that happened this week was that I experienced my first fallen-through baptism. But I think we learn the most from the days that sometimes seem the worst. We´ve been working with an elderly couple from the ward since the week I got to Los Frailes because the husband is not a member but has been attending church and investigating for many many years. He had his interview Friday and after alot of convincing, we invited him to pray through the night and then come to the chapel with an answer of yes or no. In the end he chose not to show up and is now very upset with us. I just have to keep reminding myself that everyone has their agency, and no matter what, I can at least know that we did everything we could to help him get there. One day he´ll be baptized, it just wasn´t the right time I guess.
Anyways, in other news, I was super sad to hear about Japan and all the trials they are going through there. It also kind of gave me a slap in the face to hear about all the missionaries that were sent home a month or two early as a result of the earthquake. For the first time in my mission I realized it really could all end just never know. That´s why I need to be taking advantage of every moment I have out here to share this gospel with everyone. It really is through the little things that we can help others come unto Christ, and even though I definitely haven´t seen as many baptisms as other missionaries, I take comfort in the fact that I am at least trying to love every person I meet and help them better understand the love Heavenly Father has for them.
Yesterday in church I had the opportunity to teach the gospel principles class since the teacher didn´t show up and the elders taught it last time the teacher missed. I have never been a very talented teacher, especially when it comes to doing it on the spot and in Spanish. However it was a great learning experience for me to see how really the best classes are when the class teaches the class, not when a teacher does. It also was a great reminder to me that it is the same for lessons as missionaries. My most effective visits with investigators is when they teach us what they´ve learned and give their perspective. It is such a blessing to see the growth of individuals in the gospel through this work.
Another thing Hna Reay and I are really excited about is Yaritza. She is a mother of three that we´ve been teaching for weeks who came to our picture frame activity last friday and made one of the temple that is now hanging on her wall. Well she was finally able to get her husband to sit down and visit with us this week. We got to share a lesson on prayer and the restoration amidst shrieks from their two energetic little boys, and as Yaritza has already received her answer and wants to be baptized, we hope her spouse will feel the Spirit as well so that they can be married and baptized together. Lots of prayer and fasting will be needed, but I know this family has been prepared and I can´t wait to see the blessings of the gospel change their lives.
Well I´ve got to wrap this up, but thank you to all of you for your continued love and support through emails and prayers! I love hearing from you! Until next week!
Hermana Bradley

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