Monday, March 23, 2015

When we do the work of the Lord. . .

Dear Family,

FIRST! I am an aweful person. I must say I am sorry because I forgot to write Brecken last Monday...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRECK! I love you so much and I miss you tons! I hope your birthday was super awesome and that you had a lot of fun! Wow, I cant believe you turned 6! You are so old. I would love to see pictures from your party, and the creative things your mom came up with for whatever theme you had... it was probably something really cool. Man buddy I miss ya, but I will be back before your next birthday and we can celebrate it together. I love you. 

This week was CRAZY! I dont even know where to begin. Okay, that is a lie, this week was transfers... 

So, Hermana Alvarenga got transfered to San Miguelito in the city, and I stayed here in Volcan, my new companions name is Hermana Ramirez, she is from Guatemala, and she is BRAND NEW IN THE MISSION. She entered the MTC 3 weeks ago and now she is here... I cant believe I am training... its a huge deal. Like, I am responsible for making sure she learns how to do everything, that she is obedient, that she has fun, EVERYTHING. I feel so much responsibility and its stressing me out a ton. I will be honest, I am scared to death. 

Monday we went up to a place that is in our area called Cerro Punta. It is the coldest place in Panama, there is always water in the air, not like rain, but not like fog either, its like little water drops just float in the air.... there are mountains and farms and a huge river that runs through the city. It is so beautiful there and totally reminded me of home. When yall come down to visit, it is on the list of places to go. 

We have had some awesome lessons about the Book of Mormon recently. It is amazing how through the Book of Mormon you can strengthen every other part of your testimony. We have some investigators who stopped progressing and we started reading the Book of Mormon with them and they started to go to church and pray and started to strengthen their testimony bastante. We have had the same thing happen with some Recent Converts who didnt actually have a testimony, we started reading with them and little by little they are strengthening their testimony. I firmly believe that the Book of Mormon is essential to have a testimony of this gospel. Its what keeps us firmly planted in the gospel. 

So Tuesday morning is when we recieved news about transfers and Hermana Alvarenga had to leave Tuesday evening, so we spent the whole morning packing her stuff and the rest of the time she was saying goodbye to everyone. It was really hard for her. She had a ton of people to say goodbye to, one in specific that I would like to share. So we arrived at an apartment that we hadnt visited before and she tells me that they were investigators before, and that she wanted to say goodbye to them.. I of course was like, yeah okay lets do it! So we get there and there is a locked gate around the apartments and she tells me, "they live in the back and cant hear" so, thinking that I am high and mighty, I yell super loud, "BUENAS", then she tells me, "no hermana, they are deaf".... yeah.... we just started laughing and laughing. In the end we couldnt get in, but it was a great story.

We got to Bugaba around 7 and turns out the bus didnt leave until 12AM... but she along with another sister headed for the city at that time and me and the other sisters companion stayed in Bugaba because my companion was arriving at 3AM... so we waited there at the bus stop. 3AM came around and no bus. 4AM came around and no bus. At 4:30 a bus showed up and we asked them what time they left Panama and they said 8PM... my companion was on a 6PM bus... so we started to get really worried. We called the Elders and they got on a bus to the Frontera to look for them, they werent there, then they headed to David and found them there... that was about 8AM... So, we didnt sleep that whole night, but hey, its all good because at least we didnt lose a new missionary in Panama. 

We have been working a lot with our less active members. There is one named Javier Garcia. He is the coolest. He has 3 kids and 7 grandkids, his whole family are less actives. We started talking to him and I have learned that I am a pretty forward person, especially with people who are members, but with Hermano Garcia, its like I just tell him how it is, he tells me how it is, and we just have an awesome relationship. He likes to joke around and mess with me, which is fine, but they do have something that is stopping them from going to church and we are trying to help them resolve whatever problem it is that they have. Every week he tells me, "this Sunday we will go to church" and they never do. The last time we talked about the sacrament and how those other little things dont matter, but they still didnt show up on Sunday. If yall could pray for them I would really appreciate it... they need all the help they can get.

On Friday we helped our investigator Leyvis paint her house. It was super fun and probably the first time I have ever taught a lesson solely through conversation. Not sure if that makes sense... let me explain. So, we were painting the house, obviously we couldnt have a sit down lesson with her, so I just asked her where she thought she was before this life and from there we just talked about it.. I didnt actually teach anything, we just asked her questions and commented on what she said... it was really cool and afterward I talked to my comp and we decided we were going to try that with everyone. It was really a testimony builder for me because with inspired questions that help people think, the Holy Ghost is better able to testify to them about the simple truths of the gospel, they understand it. I love when we are talking to someone and you can see it click in their head. The Holy Ghost is so powerful.

This week, not going to lie, was super hard. I suffered from lack of sleep, stress, taking over an area, and training my comp. I am physically and mentally exhausted. But, we had some amazing moments this week where people felt the spirit and were able to understand the importance of what we are teaching as well as the doctrine. Amazingly, during those moments I didnt feel tired. That is what keeps me going.. spiritual fuel. When we are walking in the street and I feel like I am going to fall asleep standing up, I just grab my companion and we go contact people... it always gives me a boost, then I am good for about 5 minutes and we need to contact someone else. I truly have never felt this type of exhaustion, and sometimes I have no idea how I keep going, but somehow, we keep going. Now, its not like I am fasting 40 days and 40 nights, but I never understood how it was possible until now. If we are doing the work of the Lord, of our Heavenly Father, we can do anything.

I love you all so much. I hope that everything is going good and that yall are happy, healthy, and loving life. There is no greater joy than when we focus our lives on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and strive to live the way he would have us live. I hope your week is wonderful and that you can feel the spirit with you always. I hope that all the women in the family have the opportunity to watch Womens Conference this Saturday and I would love to hear what yall learn from it or the things that you liked or that stood out to you. I can always use some extra revelation. I hope this week we can all see the small miracles that happen in our everyday lives. I cant wait to talk to yall again next week! I love you so much!

Love, Hermana Eardley

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