Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 6, 2014 Letters to Dad and Mom

May 6, 2014

Dear dad,

¡Está todo bien! (now you`ve heard it in Spanish) ; )  [Michelle always says "It's all good!" accompanied by double thumbs up.]

 I love you!

Our area is pretty big and there are a lot of "callehones" (alleys) where there are a lot of houses. So it`s a pretty good sized area. In a bus, our area goes out probably an half an hour or forty-.five minutes. We walk, but to get out farther, we take a pick-up (called "fletes") or a bus or mini-bus. And there are not addresses in Patulul. But if you`re looking at Patulul from above, there`s the church (our Church) and everything to the right is our area, until Pachuta and Parma.

That`s great about Jordan. That`s sweet that he asked you to do that. [A young friend asked Chuck to come to his ward and assist in giving his baby a name and blessing.]

That`s interesting about the General Authority.  
[Elder Christoffel Golden spoke at the Antioch stake conference on May 5, 2014.  He emphasized in the Saturday night session that we need to let up a little on each other, and also to lighten up on ourselves, as well.]
That`s true, especially in the church. That`s the funny thing about the members - we are all perfectionists. Maybe not all, but a good deal of us are. But the thing is, we just have to do our best. There was an article in the Liahona ( I think) that talked about how we don`t talk a lot about "grace", but grace really does work. In the "Guide to the Scriptures" (it`s the Spanish version of the Bible Dictionary and Topical Guide), it says that grace is "The power of God that makes it possible that humans (humankind) can receive blessings in this life and obtain eternal life in the world to come and exaltation after they exercise faith, repent, and do what is possible to keep the commandments" (loose translation, sorry). And later, it says, "Every mortal person needs this divine grace, as a consequence of the fall of Adam, and as a cause of the weaknesses of man". I know that grace works. It`s through grace that we receive blessings and receive a forgiveness of our sins. It`s through grace that we can take part of the Atonement. Too often we are too hard on ourselves, but if we`re doing what we`re supposed to do and are exercising our faith and keeping the commandments and being a witness of Christ, then we are doing our part.

We found an inactive sister that is attending an Evangelical church. But, here`s the thing, she reads to the congregation from the Book of Mormon. We had heard about her from the Senior couple that also works in our area. We thought she was going to "bible bash" with us or something, but we were humbled. She wants to go to church - she knows it`s the true church and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. But something happened between her and a member a while back. It was so sad. So we`re going to help her exercise the Atonement in her life so that she can partake of these blessings, as well.

I love you, dad! I pray for you and mom and our family everyday! I`m excited to see you and mom Sunday! (and everyone else who might be there)

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Conover
P.S. and can you believe that it`s been nine months tomorrow? I can`t. It doesn`t feel like 9 months.

May 6, 2014

Dear mom,

I love you!

{Mom asked Michelle quite a few questions about her new area and how she is adapting to it.  Michelle gives her answers but follows each one with "don't worry".]

I`ll get to work on taking pictures on P-Day so that you can have more of an idea of what Patulul is like.

We definitely don`t have cold problems here - it`s hot, but there are hotter parts in the mission, I`ll admit. We have blackout problems - when it rains really hard, the power goes out. But, every time, we say, "¡Que bendición!" (what a blessing).

We don`t use our boots, I`ll admit. We can`t walk fast in them, so I bought a pair of shoes that hold up in the rain. So, don`t worry. And someone stole my umbrella in my first area and, so far, I`ve bought two (I`m using the third one, now). But don`t worry, it`s fine. (and the umbrella was the only thing they stole - it was outside of our apartment and someone took it. So DON^T WORRY).

Correction - I don`t know if it was a cuss word and I don`t remember the word, I only remember that the way he said it and that it sounded like a cuss word. I do not know cuss words in Spanish.

Just sometimes we have dogs chasing us. ; ) Don`t worry, I haven`t been bitten and I know some tricks to keep them away, so no tenga pena (don`t worry).

YOU WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!! [First time since mom's hip surgery just before Michelle went to Guatemala.] That`s so exciting. Isn`t the new movie great? I love the emotion and the pauses. You feel the Spirit so much more and realize the importance of it all. Yes, we learn every time we go, but the Spirit is different with this one. I love it. I`m so happy that you got to go to the Temple. You`ve missed it, I`m sure. I know I have.

Well, tomorrow I complete 9 months in the mission and wow. The time has flown. Really. Hermana Johnson and I are astounded with the fact that we are halfway done. It does not feel like 9 months, at all. It has really flown by, these months. And I`ve learned so much in the past 9 months and will continue to learn. I`m grateful that I`ve learned about exact obedience here in the misison and being diligent in all things. And learning how to contact a bus and teach people. Helping people find out who God really is, as our Father. Learning about the Atonement and applying it to their lives and seeing the power of the Atonement changing them and their lives for the better. 

Everyday I learn a little bit more how Jesus Christ is the center of EVERYTHING. Without Him, we can`t have this blessing of the Gospel or the Atonement or anything like that. We wouldn`t be here. We wouldn`t have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and repent from them. I know that the Atonement works and that Heavenly Father only asks for our obedience. He has given us everything and only asks for our obedience.

I love you, mom! I pray for you and I`m very excited to see you and dad Sunday. And I`m also excited that you went to the Temple!

Con MUCHO amor,
Hermana Conover

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