Hola Buenos dias..Tengo mucho para decir..wowwww..This week was amazing! The best part of the week was for sure going to the Nauvoo Temple with the branch! We drove a van there, Hermano Jesus Huerta was driving (he is my favorite) and we had no air conditioning so we had all the windows down..the ride was entertaining. The Elders were able to go, as well as the other two Hermanas! It was so special. (Sidenote..the man in the library sitting by me just fell asleep and is snoring..good times) I love our branch and the temple. :) I know that Temple ordinances were restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith! We were able to do an endowment session as well as see two sealings of the Ortega and Rodriguez families..The Spirit in the temple was so strong! I cried, full of gratitude for the blessings we receive being members of the church of Jesus Christ. I am so excited to have my own eternal family and be sealed for all time and eternity to my husband and children. Being at the temple with our branch was like being in Heaven with our family! Both families spoke at church yesterday and expressed their love for the Lord and how these ordinances have changed thier life. Heavenly Father loves us so much and wants this level of happiness to be reached by all His children..that is why He restored the church. I bought my now favorite picture of our Savior at church bookstore in Nauvoo..it is sitting on my desk, entitled "Christ's love"..He is smiling because He loves us so! I also bought two "future missionary" badges at the store for Cynthia Ortega and Debbie Crespo..both are 9 and want to be missionaries like Hermana Reese and me! We ate dinner at the Ortega's house last night and I asked him the difference he felt being married to his wife before and after the Temple ordinance. He explained that after being sealed to her for all time and eternity she is part of him. That is the relationship between Adam and Eve as stated in Genesis. We become one after being married by the Priesthood authority. That is so special!
My appreciation for the Temple ordinances expanded more this week also because of another experience. I found out that one of my favorite Spanish members in Sioux City passed away. I actually called Sioux City on a three way and talked to Hermana and Hermano Briseno..all of us crying hysterically..their daughter Ana passed away because of heart problems.. I am so thankful to have known her because she was an outstanding example for me of faith and love for her Savior. She has a very rough life, with lots of medical issues but she always stayed positive and knew God loved her. Unfortunately, she hadnt made it to the Temple yet to receive her endowments..that made me sad, but I talked to Hermana Briseno again and she said they are taking the Temple classes and will be going to do the work for their daughter. I know Ana is in paradise just waiting for that work to be done! :) She wanted it bad and I am thankful that we have the Temples to be able to do the work for our relatives that have passed away that would have accepted the church and Christ. I will miss Ana but I know I will see her again. Her parents are doing better and remember the plan of salvation, which gives them hope for the future.
On to the investigators..We have our first appointment with Jenn today! She is a friend of a recent convert in our branch that has been coming to church but hasnt accepted formal lessons yet..well today is her birthday and her first lesson! We got her cupcakes and a few presents at the mall yesterday..Reese and I hit up the mem day sales and got a new Spring wardrobe...yeah for cute clothes! Anyways, we are super stoked to teach her..she actually doesnt believe in God so we are starting from ground zero..I know the Spirit has touched her heart, we just have to help her to recognize that. Fransisco obviously wasnt ready for baptism yet, his date was on the 30th of May...We actually saw him on Sunday, so that was great because it had been 2 weeks which is a long time for us! His health has improved, the Elders are going to give him a blessing tomorrow at our appointment..We gave him more reading to do, he had done his other, and he seemed happier! I was so happy to see him I wanted to jump and tackle him..dont worry I held back. We are working with him on getting a better understanding of the importance of church attendance and reading the Book of Mormon! We are setting another date with Angel for the 15th of June..he has the desire to be baptized, he is looking for a job that'll work better with his work schedule. He has been praying and doing his reading..he even invited his brother to church! I told him he wants to share it with people because he knows its true..that is why we want to do missionary work! We have that testimony and want others to feel the joy and receive the blessings. Julio's date will also be moved back to give him more time..we are thinking the 10th of July. We have taught him alot, he just has a problem with the word of wisdom..He has the desire to change and we are encouraging him that time is now! Happiness now, not later. Diana wants to get baptized June 19th but doesnt follow through with her commitments, like going to church. We have an intense lesson planned for today to share with her about keeping the Sabbath day holy. We are going to encourage her that she is ready to be baptized (she desires to follow Christ), just needs to be ready to make the commitments necessary to continue to grow in the Gospel. Gladis is AMAZING. She made us a really yummy dinner last week! She has been doing her reading and praying..we set a date with her for the 24th of July to be married and baptized. Wahoo! Gladis was raised Catholic so the transition from their church doctrine to ours has been a little tough..but she now understands things more clearly. She believes President Thomas S Monson is called of God and that we have the Priesthood in the church. We gave her the new Spanish bible the Church came out with and she is reading the Liahona from General Conference. This week we are going to teach her husband and son as well..emphasize the importance of marriage and living the Law of Chastity. He wants to get married but Gladis wants him to learn about the church as well. The only problem is that she has work on Sundays..we are praying hard for her work schedule to change or for her to train someone to do her part on Sundays. We are going to attempt to bring the Santanas to a lesson this week or have Gladis come to their son's baptism this week-end. (They are friends.) Maria V is doing better..she gets really sad so everyday I am calling her and reminding her that she is a child of God and deserves to be happy. Christ atoned for her sins and we are on this earth to have joy! We aer going to commit her to read the BOM with Noemy, a member of our church (they are best friends). Maria S..we are working with her to have a desire to be married and baptized! She knows the BOM is true and loves what she is learning..just has to make changes to follow all the commandments. Jairon and Sarai..wowwww talk about cool people!! They both came to church and liked it alot. Kept their commitment! They are a couple from Guatamala. Sarai will have her baby in July. :) Jairon is very interested and loves the Bible. He has completely changed his life through Christ. They have so much potential! We are talking about marriage with them..especially since she will be having a baby. Luckily at General Conference the leaders of the church talked lots about teaching your children so we may share a talk. They were able to listen to the talks at church by the families that went to the temple..I think that inspired them...
Well I love you all! I love doing the work of the Lord! I am trying to become a better missionary everyday and serve the Lord with all my heart. We owe Him everything because He gave us everything! Muah!