Letter 18 – Happy Thanksgiving!

Buenas Tardes!
      Feliz Dia de Accion de Gracias! Or as we like to say, Happy Thanksgiving. Haha. Things are always longer in Spanish, but I like it. Today we have a Thanksgiving lunch and a dinner because our members spoil us and we get not one but 2 meals today! Lunch we are having with Hna Randerez and her family and dinner/dessert is with Hna Ortega, 2 amazing women in our ward. We are also bringing an investigator to dinner with us! His name is Honorio and he is AMAZING, our current miracle that I’ll write about. Hermana Randall is sick today but we have an all day pday because it’s a holiday (regular pdays we start to work again at 6pm) so I’m hoping she can rest. I had some photos I wanted to send but the computer is not working and the Smith’s are out of town for Thanksgiving, so I’ll just try and send them Monday.
      Honorio is a man we met just walking on the street, he was selling things outside of his house. (That is actually what he does for work). So we started talking to him, like we do everyone else, and found out he is from Sinaloa, Mexico. So we set up an appointment with him and felt good about it. That was about 2 weeks ago. We went into our lesson and WOW he was so excited about the Gospel! We left him a Book of Mormon and committed him to read the Intro. We came back for our second lesson with him and asked if he had read it. He said, Hermanas I am ashamed, I have only read a little. And we said that’s okay! At least you read! And he said…. I’m only done with 2 Nephi. We said WHAT?! That’s a ton! He read all of that in 2 days! Every time we go back he has read more than we ever expected, and has really studied it rather than just reading it. Ah he is amazing. Right now he is in 3 Nephi and almost cried when he told us how beautiful it was that Christ came to visit this continent and we said WE KNOW! We were so excited and the spirit is always so strong when we teach him…. he is hungry for the Gospel and we cannot teach him fast enough. Honorio said he knows it’s true because he feels the spirit whenever he reads it. He also likes how it fits in with Mayan and Aztec history, and we said haha well yes it also does that too. It’s true! He came to the ward Thanksgiving dinner (a fun mix of Hispanic and American food, haha) and we gave him a tour of the chapel. He said to us: Hermanas, angelitas (little angels), why did you not come to my door sooner? We said well Heavenly Father led us to YOU! That is God’s hand right there doing His work. We showed him the baptismal font and he said THIS is what I want. And we said okay! Be baptized the way Christ was! It was incredible. We could see the Gospel working so incredibly in his life. So yesterday we taught him what we call the Big 3 (law of tithing, word of wisdom, law of chastity) and he said okay, can I be baptized tomorrow? We said AHHH! ….maybe in a few weeks. So we picked December 12. There are incredible people out in the world who are READY to hear the gospel and Hermana Randall and I were so blessed to be able to find Honorio. He is one of the sweetest men we have ever met and we love him.
      One thing I have also been thinking about is how much JOY there is in this work. When you throw yourself into the service of your God, it becomes easy and joyous because He blesses you with strength. Leaders and those who have served missions (well, also Doctrine and Covenants 4 🙂 ) say to serve with everything you have and I have always thought, yes, I will do that! But being here and doing this work I think, oh, THIS is what you are talking about. It’s the most incredible feeling, like nothing I have ever felt before. You don’t need to think about yourself, there are way too many people who need to be helped, served, and taught the Gospel. The concept of losing yourself in the work and finding your true self by serving God have become real to me on my mission. The transforming power of the Gospel is real, even to those who have had the blessing of the gospel their whole lives, like me. It’s AMAZING. It’s incredible. It’s completely indescribable and non-palpable, but it is so real. AH! I love this work. I’m humbled and thankful to be here. The gospel is real. The Atonement is real. The transforming nature of serving and giving service to others is REAL. And I love it.
      Well those are the highlights of what has been going on here, I’m sure I will think of more to write Monday. THANK YOU for the letters, Abs, Colin and Elle.:) They made me smile and laugh. I’m going to write back today or Monday, depending on when we have time. Oh and Mom THANK YOU!!!! for the music!! It made me so happy, and one of the other sisters gave me speakers that were left over from an old apartment. Tomorrow starts CHRISTMAS TIME! So you can bet I’ll be listening to Sufjan Steven’s Christmas album. 🙂 At least the non-apostate songs. So excited!!!!!!! Just read Dad’s email I hope dinner together is fun! AH I remember last Thanksgiving in Maine with the snow eating at the little dinky diner… that was one of my favorite Thanksgivings ever. So fun. Okay gotta go! Love you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!
con amor,
Hermana Aud

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