Monday, May 18, 2015

Dear Family,

First, I realized why we are only 1 hour different now! Yall are in daylight savings time and that doesnt exist in Panama... mystery solved.

This week was a little weird. The rain has started in Panama which means I am going to be wet for the next couple months... Its like buckets everyday. Its pretty great, except my feet... I am not a fan of walking around in wet shoes. 

I am not sure if I have told you, but the beach is part of our area so we go there every wednesday to contact people. We have found 2 families down there! Its really a different world and everyone is related... so people see us and know that we dont belong there. At least it makes it easier to contact people because they always ask us what we are doing there. 

The last week we contacted someone who seemed super positive and wanted to know what happens after this life. We put an appointment with him for this last Thursday. When we got there he was super happy to see us but his "wife" didnt want to come talk to us. He actually made her come out and talk with us. So we started talking about the "after-life" and the plan of Salvation. He was absorbing everything we said, but she looked really skeptical and had a lot of opinions. We taught, but afterwards we testified of what we had said and the Plan of Redemption that God had created for us and afterwards the "wife" (Kelly) turned to her "husband" (Felix) and said, "What they said is true, its all true" It was such a powerful moment and we could all feel the spirit in that moment. It just filled the room. I could see their faces change and I could feel the spirit testifying to them of the things that we had said. It was really a wonderful moment.

We have been teaching a girl named Janette who is dating a less active member. I dont know why, but I have felt such a strong need to work with the less actives this transfer. Anyways, we have been talking to him a lot and this week he told us why he wasnt going to church aside from the fact that he works.. I felt so relieved that he knew he could confide in us and now we can start working with him and helping him. 

We had a sister move into the branch this last week so we went with the branch President to visit her. She was thrilled and told us that she had been feeling really alone and lost. When we invited her to visit with us she started to cry. She is such a strong member, but it made me reflect on what would have happened if no one had visited her or helped her know where the church was? It is so important that we support one another, because we never know what would have happened if we hadnt done our part. When I was reflecting on that, it reminded me of you, Grandma Eardley, and that story you told me of your visiting teacher and how one visit made a huge difference in your life, then I may have gotten teary thinking what might have happened if that lady had never stopped by. We need to support one another. 

Yesterday we saw a couple in the chapel that we hadnt seen before, so obviously we started talking to them and the woman is a member and the man is not. We set an appointment with them for that afternoon and stopped by. She is pregnant and they arent married, but their goal is to be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. They both work in Panama City so the only day we can visit them is Sunday, but we are super excited to start teaching them (especially the man (Edwardo)) and to help them reach their goal of having an eternal family.

There have been a couple deaths in the families here and its sad when we visit them and listen to their stories of their family members and how much they miss them, but I have found that one scripture seems to help them more then the rest. Alma 40:11-12, (11) Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection -- Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home the that God who gave them life. (12) And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are recieved into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.  
I think that there is a lot of peace to be found in the Book of Mormon. God can more easily touch our hearts and our spirits when we read it. I am grateful for all of the peace that the Book of Mormon has given me, and all of the counsel God has given me through it.

We are starting to see a lot of seeds being planted and are hoping that we will be here to see them grow in the truth of the gospel. I am so grateful for all that the Lord has done for me and is doing for me. Thank you so much for your support and your prayers. I love yall so much.

Love, Hermana Eardley

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