We are having many people at sacrament meeting every week (worship service)--the less actives (members of the church who are not attending regularly) we are working with. That is one of the things I love best right now--watching the less actives come back to church and start to flourish and want the blessings of the gospel in their lives again. This past Sunday we had about half of the R's large family in church--they filled up almost an entire third of the chapel. As I have been working with the less actives, I have been recognizing that I am being a successful missionary as I am helping them come closer to Christ.
What I have learned from the Holy Ghost this week is the power of teaching through activities. On Monday we had an amazing lesson with a less active family where we taught about the gifts our Heavenly Father has given us. We structured it as a Family Home Evening (a family activity and study night) and we even began by singing a hymn. We sang "I am a Child of God" ("Soy un hijo de Dios"). That set the tone to the entire evening! This family for the first time in a long time all sang together and taught each other about the gospel through a simple activity of using their talents--coloring and being creative. As they each taught of the importance of the thing they created we were able to teach them about our Divine Nature as Sons and Daughters of God. They were able to feel and recognize the Spirit and be happy together as a family.
(Tuesday) I also went on an exchange with Hermana P this week. She is serving down in a place called Chowchilla. (Chowchilla is about 50 miles south of Ceres where Anne is serving and 40 miles north of Fresno.)She has gained so much of the members trust and love there!
El miercoles, (Wednesday) we had an amazing lesson with L and her family. We were able to teach the plan of salvation by having them walk through it step by step and making it more understandable for a 3, 4, and 7 year old. It truly is a blessing to be able to teach children--it allows us to focus on the basics and in this way teach more clearly to adults and to ourselves.
El Jueves, (Thursday) we did service again! Yay! This time we went through an entire room packed with random things, cleaned everything, organized, and tore out all of the carpet. As we have been doing more service I have felt more love for the members and the people living in this area. I love the scripture in (The Book of Mormon) Mosiah 2:17 that talks about service. We also helped teach a Preach My Gospel class at church and helped them do a faith, Iron Rod activity (kind of like what we do at camp). The members truly understood how other people can feel without the gospel in their lives. Hopefully this helps encourage them to be member missionaries.
El Viernes, (Friday) Hna W and Hna M went down to Fresno to go to a baptism so Hna S and I were on splits.
El Sabado, (Saturday )we had a wonderful street contact! Although she was not interested in learning more, she recognized us for who we are and testified to us that she knew that we were representatives of Jesus Christ. That was an interesting experience. I also had an hour during lunch to practice the piano for a musical number I am accompanying on Thursday--Sally DeFord's "Because He Lives." (I should have practiced the piano more before the mission!)
El domingo, (Sunday) there were more less actives in church than there were actives I believe. Hopefully it will be all active soon! We had a great team-up with a sister from the branch--Hna M. We had a lesson with the family R in which we allowed them to catch up with Hna M and then teach according to their needs. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and ended by singing "Senor, te necesito!" I was so thrilled when in the closing prayer they offered thanks for the Spirit that they felt in their home.
This is what missionary work is about! Allowing others to feel of the Spirit and come closer to Christ. How grateful I am to be serving the Savior! I know He lives! I know He loves us! Los quiero mucho! Y los extrano bastante. Espero que todos tengan mucho felicidad esta semana. Y que recuerden sus bendiciones!! (I love you and miss you lots. I hope you all have a happy week and I remember all of you in my prayers!!)
P.S. (They traveled 90 miles to the temple in Fresno, CA on Tuesday.) Today after we went to the temple, I left with a renewed sense of peace and happiness and more determination to help our members get to the temple. I am so grateful to be able to go to the temple! I love the temple!