|Last picture with Sister Jacobsen when they arrived in Puerto Rico|
|Who is this girl???? She's holding a SNAKE???|
|Fruit trees in her backyard|
|Gardens around her house|
|Their missionary wall|
|She and Sister Stevens live downstairs, an elderly couple live upstairs|
First, a few fun facts about Puerto Ricans and their culture. the food is so good! We don't eat dinner very much with the member, but when we do, it's so good! They eat tons of rice, meat, and beans and everything is drenched in oil and/or fried. So super unhealthy, but super good. :) There's this thing called the "Puerto Rican Belly" which everyone has and my companion claims you can't serve here without getting one. I hope I don't but if I do, I guess it will just make me one with the culture. :) Also, kind of strange but most people here shave there eyebrows completely off and then just draw them on every day. Most of them are blue or purple.... it's very interesting. Also, it's almost impossible to here when talking to people on the streets because while people are driving they want the entire town to here what song they are listening to. It's so loud! Christopher would fit right in in that category. :) Aguas Buenas is also the land of the dogs. Everyone has at least one dog, but most have 2, 3, 4, sometimes more. It's crazy! Every day I'm reminded that I never want to own a dog. :) And I absolutely love living on a tropical island! This week we were just walking down the street and a family was outside harvesting their coconuts from their coconut tree and they called us over and asked if we wanted one. They grabbed two enormous coconuts (these ones are yellow and not furry) hacked them open with a machete and gave them to us and we just sat there talking as we drank the coconut water straight from the coconut and then afterwards ate the inside of the coconut. It was way cool!
This week I met a 105 year-old man! We were teaching this elderly couple and the wife said her dad lived with them and that he was 105. Which is so cool so of course we asked if we could meet him. He was pretty handicapped so we just sat in his room and sang hymns to him. It was such a neat experience. I could just feel the wisdom flowing from him and was awed to think of all that he has experienced in 105 years. I felt so honored to have met him :)
We had a zone meeting this week and guess who is in my zone? Hannah Ahlander, Sister Ahlander's niece! She's super nice and way cute. So let Sister Ahlander know! :)
Time for the miracle of the week. So remember my story from last week about inviting 100 people to church? Well, not one of them came. It was really pretty disappointing. But we decided to try to contact those who we had gotten numbers and addresses for. There was one couple that we had invited as they were getting in their car and we dropped by their house and turns out they were so excited to hear about our church! The husband had never been to church before or prayed or anything, but he's been going through some difficult challenges so he told us that it was time for him to "find Christ." The Lord has been preparing them and they are so ready for the gospel in their lives. It is amazing! We've taught them twice and everytime the spirit is so strong and they love every bit of it. They even came to church yesterday and they loved it! There were so many mini miracles that led us to them and I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to be here at this time and help them find what they are looking for. It's been absolutely incredible! Like you said mom, we planted lots of seeds and as long as we are patient and diligent in doing the work of the Lord, we will see the fruits of our labors.
This leads me to my spiritual thought for the week. In Alma 32, I love the story about the Word of God and the analogy with the seed. But what I love most of all is the reward, if we nourish it with faith and diligence, is something that is most pure, most precious, most desireable, most sweet. I know this to be true with all of my heart. As I've made the gospel a bigger part of my life and let in grow within me, it has become something that's impossible to describe. Something wonderful, something beautiful, something eternal. It gives me direction, peace, happiness, comfort, hope, life. It's the most valuable gift we could ever receive. I know with all of my heart that this is the true gospel of Christ. I know that through Him we can be cleansed, healed, and comforted. I know that through Him we can receive eternal life, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God. I know this is His church and He will be with us every step of the way if we do our part in coming unto Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I love you guys so so so very much! Stay strong in the strength of the Lord!