… Well, not really. It’s hot as heck and of course, there’s no snow. But there are Christmas decorations!
Hola mi familia y mis amigos!
Before I begin with what happened this week, there’s something I forgot to write about that happened the week of my birthday!
On December 8th, we had a district meeting and the sweet Elders of our district threw Hermana Barraza and I a surprise birthday party! They even bought us an ice cream cake 🙂 We have a great district here!
Anyways, this week.
First off, we had our first baptism! Monica got baptized yesterday at 8AM, right before church 🙂 She was really supposed to be baptized on Saturday but unfortunately we ran out of water for the baptismal font, so we couldn’t fill the font all the way. So, we got permission to have the baptism on Sunday and it was great. 🙂
Also on Sunday, I got to give my first talk in Spanish. It was terrifying! My voice shook the entire time, but thankfully it’s over now 🙂 Shoutout to Elder Madder and Hermana Barraza for helping me to translate the entire thing! I don’t know how I could have finished in time for Sunday without their help!
Okay time for a funny story! Last night, we had choir practice with the members. Choir was just about to start when the Elders came in. There’s a little girl, about 6 years old, one of the member’s daughters, sitting in the pews watching the choir. Elder Madder came up to her to shake her hand and she crosses her arms, rolls her eyes, and looks away. It was the sassiest expression I had every seen on a little girl in my life, which is really saying something because I have 4 nieces! I wish I could have taken a picture!
Anyways, all throughout choir, whenever we’d have a break, Elder Madder would try to get her attention, and she just kept ignoring him. She’d come over to me and Hermana Barraza and take selfies with us on her moms phone, and Elder Madder would try to join in and she’d shake her finger at him. Poor guy! He only has 4 more months left in his mission, if he can’t even get a six year old to give him the time of day, how’s he going to get that #RingBeforeSpring when he gets back?
For my spiritual thought this week I thought I’d share something from my time at the MTC! When I was writing my talking this week, I remembered a devotional given by Jenny Oaks Baker, a really famous violinist and the daughter of Elder Oaks. During her devotional, she’d preform songs with her family and in between each song she’d share a faith building experience from her life. One of those experiences changed the way I view faith forever!
When she was studying abroad in Jerusalem, she found out her mom had cancer. Every night she would pray fervently for her mom to be healed, having complete faith that her mom could be healed. However, the cancer only continued to progress. Frustrated, she finally asked her dad one day:
“How can I have faith if it all depends on the will of God?”
This was Dallin H. Oaks response:
“Faith is not faith unless we are exercising faith in Him and His will.”
I’ve asked similar questions to this many times in my life, so Elder Oaks response really stood out to me. When we’re praying for something specific, it’s important to have faith that these things can happen, but we also need to pray with the faith that Heavenly Father knows better than we do (Isaiah 55:8-9), and believe that all will work out the way it’s supposed to.
Jenny Oaks Baker’s mom did end up dying, but thanks to Elder Oaks advice, she was able to work through that painful experience with faith and hope to keep moving forward.
Not everything in this life will work out how we want it to, but with faith in Jesus Christ we can have the strength to pull through those hard times, and come out a much stronger person at the end of it!
I love you all and hope you all have a very Merry Christmas this Sunday!