Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Letter #17 - January 18, 2010

Queridos Amados,

Thanks so much for your emails this week. What a wealth of wisdom and strength you all are. I am grateful everyday, nearly to the point of tears for what a strong, united family we are, full of love and eternal. I can’t say thank you enough.

Ali, thanks for your story of the lady at Days and your insight. We truly can’t change many of the situations that make up our day, but you are exactly right-we sure can do a lot about how our circumstances affect us. You are wonderful. I loved reading your email last week and hearing about your busy and exciting life. Are you sure I did
n’t respond? I must have done it in my mind. I think a lot about you while I’m walking around in the streets, especially on P-day right after I read your emails. Don’t you love life’s new experiences. I think you’re amazing.

Will, thanks so much for your email. It made me way happy. You seem so much older and mature, really understanding and applying the gospel. That is amazing. I wish we had even one of you in the young men’s program here to strengthen the branch. It would work miracles.

Mama, I did get the birthday package with the flowers and the brownie mix and the dress. It was delicious and the members I shared it wit
h loved it. The flowers have sprouted and are growing at the casa of the lady who cooks for us. I get to check on them twice a day:). And the dress is so pretty, it’s just the buttons all the way down the front are a little problematic… I can still wear it, it’s just not an everyday dress. But I’m doing fine in the clothing department. Except for the fact that the left sole of my Danscos split already! I’m so mad. I can still use them and because of the nice inserts I can’t even tell. It will be a problem in the rainy season though. Good thing I have two pairs of shoes. The SD card you sent was the wrong size… I need a mini SD, but it’s not urgent. Seems like the packages are arriving. The only one I didn’t get was Paige’s (boo :( Maybe it will still come). And I’m thrilled that the package I sent you arrived so quickly. Sorry abou
t will’s shirt. Now that I know how easy it is (and pretty cheap), maybe I’ll send another shirt when I get the chance. And I’ll have to send stuff for Dad and Ali’s birthdays too.

Speaking of birthdays… HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Paige and Leslie tomorrow and to Rachel Ilene last week and to Erin Sorenson about three weeks ago. I think you’re all stars and I hope you have(had) lovely birthdays.

The big events this week were two weddings
and two baptisms! I wish I had more time to write about them but I’ll have to give you the short versions. The weddings were a little crazy. We had talked to the members to get a budget to decorate the church (toilet paper and ballons look lovely when done right…) and to have a small refreshment of sandwiches and soda. And we talked to the Relief Society to do the decorating and food. But the day of a lot of things fell through and I ended up buying the decorations (minus the toilet paper flowers and bows that one of the ladies in the ward made) and helping make the food and carrying everything to the church where we had Alberto (the husband of our cooking lady, Johana) saw off the lock to the outer gate/door because the keys were with another member who was in Managua with all the young women at girls camp. Then Hna. Pineda and I proceded to do the decor
ating ourselves for about a 45 minutes before the RS pres showed up. All in all, after a lot of running around and waiting, we got the two pairs of investigators married. One pair was Napoleon and Belkys, a young couple with a little boy, and the other was Marselino and Lilian, an middle-aged couple with like six grown kids. I think that if we work really hard with them this week, they will all be baptized this Saturday.

The baptisms were two great-granddaughters of a cute little Recent Convert in the ward. We actually had a lot of support from the members at the baptism which was nice and everything went pretty well. We still need to teach the girls (Marvia and Yahoca) a lot more of the gospel but they are coming to church regularly, and like it.

I had a very important conversation with my Father in Heaven yesterday. I was feeling very inadequate and completely overwhelmed with all that was being asked of me. I know how important our work is and I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing all that I needed to, nor that I had the ability or knowledge to do so. But I know that my Father in Heaven does. I poured out my heart to him and pleaded for help, for strength, and for the spirit to guide me. It’s interesting how much I’ve realized that I can’t do this on my own. And the Lord answered my prayer with success last night in finding four new families to teach. We do all that we can and fall short many times. Our efforts might feel tremendous and still seem to yield very little at times. We are very human, and very limited in many ways. But luckily we are members of the only true church on the earth and have received a very important gift called the companionship of the Holy Ghost. We have a Father in Heaven who knows us, who knows what we are trying to accomplish, and who knows the right way to accomplish it. He is always there with his arms wide open, waiting for us to ask for his help and willingly follow his guidance.

Being a missionary is the best thing in the world – we are never alone.

I love you all so much. Keep being the wonderful people you are and don’t be content with only working on your own spiritual growth. Find those you can help everyday to draw closer to Christ.

Love, Hna. Crosland

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