Hello to all!
This week went great! Not only did Fina follow through and get baptized, but Maria, the other lady who was scheduled to be baptized this coming Saturday, ended up getting interviewed and baptized with Fina on the same day!!! What a blessing from The Lord! We are being so blessed here in La Cienaga!
We are working with a lot of families, including Junior and Juana, and Kartel and Kenya, and they are doing fantastic! They all went to church last week! Junior and Juana still haven't saved any money up to get married, but it looks like their situation is really hard. I am in a very poor area. Some people here that we teach literally don't have two American dollars to their name. It is amazing to realize how blessed I was growing up. There are people here who don't eat until they find the money to buy the food, and that can last for a little while. They have houses of tin and electricity sometimes. They're good people though, and they've got hearts of gold. They'll always share with you what they have and they always think that they have to buy us a soda or something, really good people! They tell us not to give out money here, so I don't do that, but it makes me feel kind of bad. I try to think of it this way. I came here to help people find something better than money and material things so I just try to concentrate on that.
The Baptismal Service for Fina and Maria was a little bit rough, but luckily they don't know what a Baptismal Service should be like, so they don't really know what went wrong. When Maria got in the font, she was about to go swimming! Then, she dunked her head in the water, haha! We couldn't help but chuckle to ourselves. But The Lord knows that we're trying, so all is well!
Enrique is doing good, he went to Church with his wife, now we're really going to have to start helping him leave behind drinking and smoking. From what his neighbors have told us, he has already changed since he started learning about the Gospel. We haven't had a lot of opportunities to pass by lately because we've been working with so many people, but he is a good guy and we've got to start helping him leave those bad things behind for good!
Haha, ya, we have to wait to go into the office or each Thursday the mail comes in order for me to get the letters. But yes, I do get those letters from Todd, Leah, and Scott, thanks so much for writing me! (We asked Jeff how the pouch mail letters get to him because the siblings write to him using dearelder.com which gets sent to the DR through pouch mail. We wanted to make sure he is getting the letters that are being sent!)
The hammocks are sweet!!!! We set them up on our back porch area and we use them every day! (Picture on the blog!) I use the one from Grandma, and Elder Clase uses the one that Dad made (good job!), and it hasn't fallen once Dad! We actually tried to sleep in them about a week ago, but we just couldn't make it through the whole night, so we had to go in about midnight and sleep on the regular beds, haha. But wow, they are so awesome, we use them all of the time!
Sorry that I haven't sent more pictures. Both of the areas that I have been in I can't walk with my camera in my backpack. You can probably guess why as I've been robbed three times already - and two of those times were by the same two guys in a span of 5 minutes! But The Lord protects us! No need to worry!
Oh, and by the way, I haven't found another memory card. I think that I may only have one, I'll check again, and if I do, then I can send the one in the camera home. I sent a picture of our baptisms, the one with the lady in the yellow shirt is with Maria, and the other one is of Fina. (Picture on the blog.) The other is of me hanging out in my sweet hammock! Wow, we love those things!
Well, it has been a week full of blessings and a transfer full of blessings so far. I am so grateful for the Lord and how He has blessed me. I truly can testify that He lives and that He knows where we are at every point of our life. He has the power to reach down and pull each one of us out of our own Gethsemane's. I've learned more and more on my mission that His suffering in the Garden was a very personal thing. That it was almost like Jesus Christ took my name personally into the Garden of Gethsemane and suffered for me personally, that He took the cup upon Him that had the name of Jeff DeSpain on it, and He suffered for me. He also took your cup upon Him, whoever you may be, and He suffered for you, and He knows exactly how you feel, and how it feels to be you. I testify that He lives and that He can conquer whatever may be in our lives. I quote the lines of one of my favorite songs when I testify that He lives, to silence all my fears, He lives to wipe away my tears, He lives, and I shall conquer death, and He is the only one who can and has made it possible. Don't quit moving your feet! Keep with it, and the end of your trial will come, I know that living this Gospel is the only way to find lasting happiness and peace in life, it is the very reason we are here, and I know that it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Thank you so much for all that you do, and I am so grateful to have all of you be a part of my life. Thanks so much for all that you've done for me and keep up the good work!