Hello! It was a good week, not really missionary wise, but we're still enjoying the work! We've been having struggles finding. All the people we find are either not in our area, speak English, or aren't interested. So we've been saying a lot of prayers of faith to find, and we will continue to find referrals for others as well! I'm just glad the gospel is being shared.
Something cool that happened this week though, so a few weeks ago we got a referral from the English elders saying that a member from Guatemala moved in and she has a lot of non members she's living with and so she wanted us to go visit her. When we did, we found out her name was Rute, and she's actually from Brasil! She recently moved here from Florida and has an awesome conversion story, and is really good in doing missionary work. When we first knocked her door, she spoke to us in Portuguese and I was like uhhhhhh why can't I understand what she's saying, because it sounded like Spanish but I didn't know what she was saying. Luckily Hna Gonzalez knows a little bit of Portuguese so she responded back in Portuguese and I was like woah. So yeah! She kind of speaks half Portuguese Half Spanish to us, so I get about half the conversation! But it's pretty cool! She's actually going to temple prep classes and preparing to entertain the temple. So we sang "I Love to See the Temple" in Portuguese! It was hard but cool. She is going to start coming to the Escondido branch because Spanish is easier for her to understand. Super cool!
Our mission lately had been having a focus on Repentance and teaching it to others as well as applying it to ourselves. Lately we've been listening to a talk that puts Repentance and the atonement in a good perspective. So, let's say you're 12 years old and you want to become a professional pianist. There is no way you can become a professional without a teacher, but you're only 12 years old, you don't have a lot of money or knowledge of how to do this, so how are you going to pay for these piano lessons? Well, that's where your mom steps in and pays the debt of the piano lessons. Because she did this you would like to show her you're gratitude for the gift and repay what she already paid, but here is absolutely no way you can afford that or ever pay her back. So all she asks is that you practice, and practice, and practice to show how much gratitude you have for what she paid for you. Although you continue to practice and practice, you continue to make mistakes and you never become a perfect piano player. But because your mom has paid for the lessons the piano teacher is able to transform you and teach you how to become a professional although you continue to make mistakes. So hopefully if all that makes sense, the piano teacher represents our Heavenly Father, the mom represents Jesus Christ, and we are all the 12 year old kids that need to show gratitude for the gift our mom has paid for us. And the practicing represents Repentance. A lot of the time people look at repentance as something that's bad, for people who have made major sins. But it's not. Repentance is a gift we've been given to be transformed into the sons and daughters of God that we have the potential to become.
In Alma 34:32-33 it says...
"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
"And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed."
Repentance is a way we can improve our lives. When we repent we put God's will above ours and by doing that, although it maybe hard, in the end our lives turn out better than they were before. Like it says in the scripture, right now in our lives on earth is the only time we have to improve the quality of our lives. So take advantage if the gift Jesus Christ paid for us and change. I would like to leave with an invitation found in Alma ...
"Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you."
I know that we will be received in the arms of our loving Heavenly Father if we repent. I have experienced it myself and I would love for you all to experience it as well. Thank you so much for everything you all do for me and I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't seen your loving repentant examples. Love you all!