This was quite the week–I don’t even know where to begin!
Berenice came to church with Mariana and Isabella again. 🙂 We weren’t expecting it, so it was a really great surprise to see them walk into the chapel during the opening hymn! This week, we started meeting with her to help her learn English. We’re starting to read the Book of Mormon together in both languages. She is amazing! She’s such an intelligent woman and asks the most sincere questions. Her little girls are precious. They showed us some pictures of themselves when they were little, and some of their parents when they were younger. It was really sweet! I then was able to show them pictures of you all (from that amazing scrapbook that you made me, Jenna!). It was really special to be able to show them the picture from my baptism when I was eight years old as well. 🙂
I have a testimony that Heavenly Father truly does know our needs! All of the talks and the lessons that we had on Sunday were tailored perfectly to the needs and concerns that Berenice has. Her two good friends, Hermana Ana and Hermano Roberto Ortiz, spoke in Sacrament meeting; then, in Relief Society, Hermana Rebecca Dominguez gave the most beautiful lesson about receiving personal revelation and finding truth. I was spiritually edified and uplifted in just the way I was needing, as well. We are so blessed to be able to go to the chapel every Sunday and be spiritually rejuvenated! It really is a place where we are able to receive personal revelation and direction.
I shared an experience with Padre a few minutes ago, but here it is so that the rest of you can read it too. 🙂
We were visiting an elderly woman yesterday in a care home, and we had the chance to talk with the manager. We had to talk with her because the member we were visiting wanted us to give a Book of Mormon to one of the other women, so we did, but they weren’t too happy about it. I guess they’ve had trouble with Jehovah’s witnesses before. Anyway, she was Filipino! I don’t know how to pronounce the place that she said she’s from, but she speaks Tagolog, Vasayan, and Cebuano. (I think that’s how you spell those!) She was such a sweet woman. She really warmed up to us, especially as missionaries, when I told her that you served in Cagayan d’oro. She mentioned that there are a lot of mormons over there and that they have a beautiful church. 🙂 Her name is Dori and she’s been through a lot of trials in her life! I believe that she was really touched that we would take the time to talk with her and listen to her experiences. It really was a miracle to me that we have that connection so that we could gain the trust of those people in that care center. I think that Heavenly Father has bigger plans for Dori than she thinks, too. 😉
Would you all happen to know a Christenson/ Christensen family? I was on exchanges yesterday with Sister Jarnagin, who is waiting on a visa for Portugal. She said she has family in Wasilla. (PS – Grandpa, I learned a little Portugese while I was with her for the day! I’ll have to practice it with you in the future.) 🙂
One more thing, and then I am going to send pictures. We went to visit Karina Gutierrez this week (that’s Dianna Cruz’s sister, the woman that was baptized in the El Rio Branch) and instead of finding her at home, we found her mother! We’d met her briefly before at Dianna’s baptism. We were able to go in and get to know her better, and then read the Book of Mormon together. At first she wasn’t very interested; she’d read half the Book of Mormon before, many years ago, and couldn’t really remember much. It was really special to see that as we read through a few verses of 1 Nephi with her and applied them to her life, that her attitude changed. She seemed surprised by the principles we discussed and how they seemed to be so relevant to her life. At the end, she was eager to pick up the Book of Mormon again and give it a try! When we went by later to see Karina, she told us that her mother had surprised her by saying that she wanted to meet with missionaries in Mexico (she was just there to visit for a week or two). 🙂 Isn’t that incredible? Heavenly Father is working to put this family together in milagrous ways!
I love you all! I’m still praying that you’ll be led to find the elect over there in Wasilla, Alaska. 🙂 Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Sutherland 🙂
Photos of Valentines Day
We heart-attacked Maria Garsia’s door when she was sick!
Sister Exchanges and Valentine treats from Jennifer!