On the LDS missionaries Facebook page they posted this beautiful picture of the Washington DC temple. Seeing this temple just brought me so much peace and I felt such comfort in knowing that Mariah is serving the people out in DC so that they will ultimately receive the blessings that are found by attending the temple some day. It just made me feel a little closer to Mariah even though she is far away. What a tender mercy! I am so grateful for those little tender mercies that we can feel each day.
This week has been such a busy crazy week so I will just share a few things with you from Mariah's recent letters to us and then attach her group letter. Hopefully I'll be more on the ball next week to share more.
Mariah says that her Spanish is coming along well and that she can carry out a pretty meaningful conversation. She said that her companion had never taken Spanish in school so that is why her and Mariah were at pretty much the same level of speaking when Mariah got there. Mariah's companion has been out 3 months longer than her. She mentioned that they usually train the new missionaries for 12 weeks but says that she thinks hers will be 13 weeks because this 1st transfer period will be 7 weeks instead of 6.
We received more detail about those that she has on date for baptism and for others that she is teaching. We would love it if you would join us in praying for her and her investigators. We know without a doubt that prayer works and that we can offer her that help from back here at home. She said that both of her baptisms that were scheduled on the 13th didn't go through. One was the investigator that she talked about last week. (See last weeks blog post) The other was just re-scheduled because they need to teach her a little more.
The next baptism that is scheduled is on the 27th of December and I believe it is a 16 year old girl. Mariah describes her as the CUTEST, soft spoken girl who prays and reads all the time and is super content with her baptism date. She is not the one that was re-scheduled. I'm not going to to put names on here for privacy reasons because Mariah will be a Facebook missionary in a few weeks and she will be able to "friend" her investigators and they may have access to see the blog. We'll have to figure all of that out when it comes. I might have to make the blog private..ahhh..we'll see. Anyway, she has another 15 year boy on date for baptism and says he is a super cool kid, and that he wants to serve a mission and everything. They are also teaching his sister and she hasn't accepted baptism yet but she takes all of the lessons with him.
She had another little girl who is 9 on date for baptism and said that she is just SOLID! She said that she understands everything and that when they teach her something new she can just spout off why it is important. For example, this is what Mariah shared about her, in her words..."The other day we taught her about tithing and I shared with her the impact that it has had on my family. She was like 'AHH I need to do that!' Without us even needing to extend an invite, haha she's cute." Mariah said that she is not on date for baptism anymore because her mom wants her to learn the Catholic religion first and then make a decision. She doesn't even think that her mom is Catholic but I guess she just wants her to learn about another religion. The little girl told Mariah that she doesn't want to learn about the Catholic religion and Riah said that she is just super anxious to be baptized. Mariah mentioned that the girl is really good friends with a family in her ward and is always at their house. Member missionary work at it's finest:) So..for right now, they are just waiting for her to learn about the Catholic religion too. Meanwhile, I think they are still teaching her.
Mariah gets fed by members each day which is great! This is what she said about the food though.."The food is better than the MTC but- we get fed SO MUCH MEAT! I have never eaten so much meat in my life, it makes me feel heavy and sick. Ha, so at home all I eat is like chocolate milk and fruit, and little snacks." Even though she is in the US, she gets fed food from so many different cultures because she is among Spanish speaking people who are from all over the world.
Here is Mariah's most recent group email..
Ok so I'm sitting on the metro right now writing this to y'all headed to downtown DC!! There's no wifi though so this'll send when my iPad connects ha.
Ok so funny story that happened on Saturday. I have never been so astonished to see a library in my life.. So we had just gotten finished with teaching an investigator and we needed to find a library in Fairfax to send our weekly report.. Our gps was finding like all these libraries outside our area or areas that were too far to drive (we can only go a certain amount of miles each month), also that is the pain of not having Google on the mission but oh well.. Anyways, we were like I guess we should just pull over some where real quick and look on the gps for somewhere we can go like fast food to connect to wifi to sync our iPads.. So my companion Hermana McMillan just makes a random turn into this place down the road behind all these trees and we are driving up the side of this big building. All of the sudden, she's like.. "Is this a LIBRARY?!" It was. Chantilly regional library. Our gps did not have that on there. So yep, I was laughing my head off as you can imagine because I apparently think everything is funny that really isn't, and so we go in and get our report done and leave. Ahh man, the Lord works in mysterious ways.. Ha it was funny because she just turned the car on a whim and we end up at this library!! Anyways, that story was probably a "had to be there" moment but I thought it was cool.
|Picture at the "Miracle Library"as Mariah calls it|
Ok so I just wrote this first paragraph before DC, but we're headed back now so I'll finish up this email! Man the benefits of having an iPad. I thank the Lord for it every day! It makes things so much easier!! But yeah, DC was super awesome, we went to the Washington monument today and the Lincoln memorial. We were going to go to the museum of natural history (you know,the one from nights at the museum:)) but it was SO NICE outside today!! Haha we met up with my MTC companion, which ha funny, her companion was my companion's MTC companion!! Hope that makes sense, but yeah so we decided to do the monuments today because the next opportunity we have to go to DC will probably be cold outside!!
Well, the work is hastening, I can attest to that. We went to our mission Christmas conference last Friday as well, and President Stephen Stutter talked to us, he is a man very high up in the political world.. He was one of the top 5 men under President Bush, super cool!! He was a mission president in one of the California missions, and he is the "go to man" for the prophet when he needs visas or anything that has to do with the government.. He told us some pretty cool stories that'll have to wait till I return home from my mission but yeah. Basically the gist of his message was to not have fear as a missionary, because the moment you have fear, you are not called to the work. Faith and fear cannot reside in the same heart. He shared a story about some missionaries that just kept getting thrown out ((like LITERALLY thrown)) off this guy's porch, and how the mission president wanted them to go back even though the guy said he would kill them if they came back. Their president told them, "what better place to die than on your mission?"..so they went back and moral of the story the way he heard the story was at this guy's baptism. Wow.
This gospel is amazing, and I see little miracles every day that strengthen my testimony that I KNOW this is the true and correct way God has created for us to follow on this earth. I KNOW that this gospel can touch a person's life in a way that no other "worldly thing" could possibly bring. I am so grateful for this opportunity to dedicate my time to the Lord in this moment by serving those that I come in contact with.
Thank you all so much for your love and support, I can't express how much I appreciate it! Remember the true meaning of Christmas, and remember to #sharethegift, for HE IS THE GIFT.
¡Feliz Navidad! ¡Les amo muchísimo!
Here are a few more pics that she sent to us this week. The group picture is all of the Hermanas who serve in the DC South Mission. I am sure that she will be able to be companions with many of these sisters. I am so grateful for technology and the ability that we have to hear and "see" each week what she is doing. Enjoy!