Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
So first things first, starting on June 13th, our mission will be changing our mail system. Instead of sending mail to the mission office (which is the address that anyone who has sent mail has used), it will be sent directly to our apartments or houses where we live. So, in the week before June 13th, it would probably be a good idea to just not send any mail and wait until I can send out the update of my new address.
And on the topic of mail, thank you Johns Creek Ward (aka...my church congregation back home in
) for the package with all sorts of goodies and letters. The candies are a nice treat for us and for the people we're teaching. But mostly thanks for the letters. It's always nice to know that people back home support us even they we can't communicate back too much. Georgia
And on the topic of thanking people, thank you everyone who sent magic tricks. We've already blown the minds of some of the little kids in the area. They were all tired of my tie magic trick (sorry dad...it's only fun for them 15 or so times before they want something new) and now I have a half dozen tricks to show them.
Today, we're going to start something new. Each week, I'll explain a problem or experience that we had in the preceding week. And then the important part...I'm going to ask for people to include help for those problems in their prayers. If you don't like to pray, continue reading this and hopefully you'll understand why prayer is so important.
God is our Father in Heaven. He loves us and wants nothing more than for us to be happy. So picture your own dad (unless you had a bad dad who doesn't bring up good memories, then picture your grandpa or someone who served as a father-figure). Now picture your dad or father figure having an absolute and complete knowledge of everything you've ever gone though. A lot of dads think they know everything about us, but they don't (hopefully I'm not crushing the hopes of any Dad thinking he actually knows his teeenage daughters feelings). He knows how you felt when your boyfriend broke up with you. He knows how you felt when your dog died. He knows how you felt when you lost you job. Get the picture? He knows you and knows how you feel. Next, think about how happy your dad/father-figure is when you talk with him. When you're happy and you give him a call, he feels happy for you and thus, you normally end up feeling happier than when you started off. When you're sad or mad and you give him a call, he knows how to help you out. And thankfully Heavenly Father is perfect, so we don't need to worry about Him making a situation worse. And that is where prayer comes in. When we pray, we show Heavenly Father that we love Him and want to talk with him. We show him that we're remembering Him. And like the perfect Father that He is, He will answer our prayers as long as we pray with a sincerity and work as hard as we can to accomplish the things we pray for.
Story time: last night at 8:00, Elder Moczygemba and I met with a married couple. They have two kids, a 19 year old daughter and an 18 year old son. The daughter had a baby with her boyfriend when she was 17 (they're married now). The son had a baby with his girlfriend last year. Long story short, the mom and dad's worlds were rocked. The couple needed help and needed to know that Heavenly Father is there for them. In a forty-five minute conversation with them, their entire outlooks changed, not because of us, but because they felt God's love for them. After we left, Elder Moczygemba and I said a prayer of gratitude. Right afterwards, we felt like we should pray again and ask Heavenly Father to guide us to where ever there is another family in our area who needs help and is ready to hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I said the prayer. During the prayer, I felt like I should ask Heavenly Father to guide us to the family of four people that he wants us to speak with. As missionaries, we are required to be home at 9:00 (with very, very few exceptions). So we had one hour to find this family of four which we knew were waiting for us. So we starting walking. And we found them at 8:50. A mom, dad, and two sons. Tomorrow we're going to their home to meet them a little better and begin working with them. That is the power of prayer. Try it. Try kneeling down in your room alone and praying aloud. If you do it sincerely and specifically, like you're talking to your dad or father-figure, you'll know that God is listening to you.
And when you offer that prayer, also ask Heavenly Father to help this family. Ask him to bless the Sanchez Family with the strength they need. Ask Him to give us the guidance we need to help them. Prayer is real.