June 1st 2010
Thank you for the birthday shout-outs, friends and family alike. They were greatly appreciated :)We have 2 people on date for baptism right now and we are so excited about them. Hermana Naylor and I are apart of the Spanish Branch, which consists of about 30 active members right now, so it's tiny. But there are lots of less actives who we are trying to get re-activated. One LA who's name is Petra came this last Sunday and her husband sat in on our lesson with her last week. He isn't a member so we got a new investigator. The Stake President said in a Priesthood meeting, which we got word of afterwards, that there are enough Spanish people in the East Wenatchee and Wenatchee area to have 2 Spanish speaking wards!! He can definitely see the vision, which means we have a lot of work ahead of us, but it is cool to think that we are at the beginning stages of bringing forth the gospel and pushing the work forward. The Lord has definitely blessed us with being able to find lots of new investigators, and we were able to put one of them on date just this last week. Jackie is her name. She is an amazing woman!
Because we are being blessed with so many referrals and finding people, we've only tracted twice since I've been here. Tracting is an interesting experience to say the least, but just yeaterday we found 2 new potentials with families, and also taught a mom and her son. It's awesome! I think one of my favorite most spiritual experiences I've had in a lesson since being here was last Monday evening when we taught the Mendez family. I fell inlove with that family right from the get-go. One of the daughters, Julissa looks just like Alex! Its a family of Mom and Dad and 3 daughters.
The spirit was in their home from the moment we walked into their home. There was a tangible difference that we could feel. And the spirit got even stronger throughout the entire lesson. At the end, we felt prompted for whoever was going to say the closing prayer to pray to know that that Book of Mormon was true. They then asked me to say the prayer (yes all in SPanish). SO we knelt down together and I went to offer the prayer. As I began to pray, the spirit prompted me to stay silent for a fem moments. I did, and tried to begin the prayer again, but couldnt find the words...Until finally they came. With every pause during the prayer, the spirit came into the room ten times stronger. I hardly can remember what I said in the prayer, even immediately afterwards, but Hermana Naylor said it was my best prayer in SPanish yet...so I know in that moment that the Lord was blessing me with the gift of tongues. We left that lesson just full of the Holy Ghost. We got into our car and we both were just like, "Oh my goodness was that powerful!" We were literally physically exhausted because of the intensity and energy by which the Spirit worked THROUGH us. It is difficult to explain how it felt exactly, but what I can testify of is that the Spirit is the real teacher and the true witness of truth. That is why it is so so important for us to have the Spirit with us when teaching. Having the spirit is the only reason why this work progresses forward like it does~!
And just with how amazing that lesson was, Sis Naylor and I also had an interesting experience yesterday that was the exact opposite! In other words, the spirit wasn't in our lesson....due to the fact of who we were teaching. Now, let me explain. You know the scripture in Matt 7 that says, "Beware of ravening wolves that hide in sheep's clothing" Well, the experience we had yesterday taught us exactly that. We found an "investigator" last week while tracting who wanted us to come back to teach him. SO yesterday we went to our scheduled appointment. He refused to pray w/ us in the beginning, and then started getting into all these biblical contradictions and random tangents and circles. 15 min into the lesson we knew we needed to go. We closed our scriptures, and voiced that we were going to go. But, low and behold we ended up talking for another hour after that! We both knew that we werent going to get anywhere with this guy and that it was impossible to teach him because the spirit wasnt there. We knew all we could was testify of the things we knew to be true. And we did exactly that! Finally, as we were getting ready to leave...he decided to reveal to us his true identity and said, "Well, before you go I think you should know a little more about me and my background. I'm, a Jehovah's witness." He revelaed it as if it was some big secret. He pretended to be an investigator and ended up being a JW. He had prepared all these anti-mormon things to discuss with us about...and a bunch of other weird ideas...to try and confuse us and shake our own testimonies. INterestingly enough, Hermana Naylor said, "Well nothing you say could shake my testimony of what I know to be true"..And we left. Really that is the watered down version of the experience. But it left us feeling empty and hollow. We had to say our own prayer when we got to our car to get the spirit back. But, fortunately when we did pray the Spirit came and comforted us.
I learned alot from this experience though. First, how to recognize a "wolf in sheep's clothing". SOmeone who isnt sincere in investigating the church and had alternative motives. And also, what it takes to be "steadfast and immovable" in my testimony. I know this church to be true. I will not be shaken nor broken down. I will stand firm in my convictions. I know who I am. I am a child of God. This is HIS church and I testify that I know that He lives. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God! That is why I am here on my mission. TO find those who the Lord has prepared, those who are ready to hear the beautiful message in which we have to share of the gospel. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I will continue to press forward and testify of him the rest of my life, no matter what challenges the advesary tries to put in my path. This is the Lord's work, and "by their fruits ye shall know them" it will continue to press on and spread to every nation, kindred, and tongue.Keep the faith!~Con Amor,Sister V