This week was great! Still no pictures but hopefully it will work with the new one you are sending. Thanks so much for doing that! Also, I know you probably already sent the package and I'm sorry I didn't bring this up earlier, but I have enough medicine to last me until Sept. 11 so I was just wondering if you could possibly see if you could refill that for me before then. Thanks so much! Also great job with school mom! Thanks for always being such a great example of hard work and dedication. I love you! And dad, no, I have not been out for 6 months. :) But I had a pretty good laugh when I read that! Yes, I think I know who Sister Eakle is. She goes around doing apartment cleaning checks so I'll make sure to get some pictures with her when she comes to Aguas Buenas. And yes, I'm eating well... maybe a little too well..... The couple who lives above us brings us food ALL THE TIME and it's soooo good! Even with walking 10 miles everyday I'm still gaining weight so that should tell you that I'm pretty covered when it comes to food. :)
To answer your other question, Aguas Buenas is a really large area so it's poor and rich. In the pueblo (the main part of Aguas Buenas), it's really poor. Anyone that lives close to the pueblo is more on the poor side. But if we go way far out into the mountains and the campo houses, those are a little bit richer and cleaner.
Not a whole lot to say about this week... just another week of working hard, learning lots, and witnessing God's tender mercies every day in my life. This week, God opened my eyes to the progress I've been making with Spanish and it makes me so happy! For the most part, I can understand what most people say and I love it! It's so much easier to have good relationships with people when you can understand them and Heavenly Father has definitely been blessing me with the gift of tongues to be able to communicate with His children here in Puerto Rico. It was really exciting to notice that this week. :)
Our little dying branch is slowly chugging forward. Sometimes it's hard to see the progress that it's making, but I know that because we're working hard and doing our best, Heavenly Father will bless us and will help this branch. We may not be able to see the little miracles now, but I know that little by little Heavenly Father is strengthening this branch and I can't wait to be able to look back and see how far it's come.
This week I learned a lot about the Book of Mormon. We focused a lot on using the Book of Mormon in our teachings and it was amazing how much it changed our lessons. Before we had been a little timid to share things from the Book of Mormon because here, it's very easy to offend people if you share anything that isn't the Bible or part of the Catholic church. But we are working at being fearless missionaries so we decided that no matter what happened we were going to share at least one scripture in every single lesson and every single contact. Heavenly Father helped us put it into practice as soon as we left the house, because there was a lady just getting into her car and about to drive away, but we walked right up to her and started talking to her and then used the Book of Mormon to testify of the plan that God has for us. The Spirit was so strong and she started crying and we knew that it had been what she was looking for. It was an incredible testimony builder that the Book of Mormon really is the center of what we teach and everything relies on it's truthfulness. The rest of our lessons and contacts that day were so spiritual and guided by the spirit and we were able to teach more in unity as a companionship and find a good balance in our teachings. It was such an amazing experience! So many miracles come from the Book of Mormon!
It reminded me of a scripture in Jacob 4:6 "Wherefore, we search the prophets and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witness we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea." We search the prophets in the scriptures and because of their words and their teachings our faith increases and we are endowed with power. I know that the Book of Mormon really can give us this power, even the power to command the trees, the mountains, and the seas. There is real power when we dilligently study the word of God and feast upon the truth. I know this to be true and I have seen it work miracles in people's lives and in my own life. I love this gospel and am so grateful for my Savior and for all that He has blessed me with and for the scriptures which teach us and guide us and strengthen us. The church is true!
I love you guys so much! Thanks for your love and your support! and good luck with school and work everyone!