Monday, May 25, 2015

Week of May 25 2015: Faith

Hey friends and love ones, 

Well, my beautiful trio has come to an end. Hermana Recinos has officially reached 18 months, and is going home on Tuesday. We've been really anxious to know if we have changes, but they called us last night and said that Hermana Kimball and I are staying in Santa Caty!!!! But then I checked my email today and I had a letter from our mission president titled 'A Sacred Calling..' which means I will be TRAINING a new missionary. I'm going to be a mom! Everyone in the room with me when I read my email cheered for me. We'll see how it goes. 

Last week, I wrote about Qaini, and his miraculous baptism we were going to have. He was doing really well until Thursday, when he was supposed to have his baptismal interview, and he didn't come, and he didn't come, and he didn't come. We waited at the church and called him until 9, when we had to go home. We were'nt really sure what happened, but we talked to him later that night and he said he was 'confused.' We were all pretty discouraged, but we were trying to keep the faith. He surprised us by coming to church on Sunday, and when we talked to him after that, he told us he was ready to be baptized this coming Saturday. We'll see what happens, but we have faith in him. 

On Friday, we had the opportunity to take our recent converts to the temple. We've been working with them all month to help them prepare their family history so they could take their own names to the temple, and it was a very, very special experience. Astrid, my favorite convert ever, was feeling the Spirit SO strongly that she was sobbing the entire time. We're very lucky that we have the temple so close to us, and that it's in our mission. There are a lot of statistics that show that converts fall away from the church between baptism and going to the temple, and that if they get to go to the temple soon after being baptized, they are more likely to stay firm in the church. We are lucky to have converts in this area who are truly converted, and I think generally that's why this ward is so great. The members truly are converted and have the desire to help others. 

I was reading Alma 32 this week, and found a scripture I like that describes the conversion process as I've seen it in the mission: 

38 But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.
So if we only begin to build a testimony but stop nourishing it, we won't be able to hold on when the times become difficult. BUT in Alma 33, it says, 
 23 And now, my brethren, I desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become a tree,springing up in you unto everlasting life. And then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light,through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye will. Amen.

So keep that in mind this week. Never cease to nourish your faith. 

Hermana Campbell

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week of May 11 2015: Guatemalan Rain

As the days and weeks go by, and I realize that my mission is going faster than I thought it would, the things that stick out in my mind vary from events of huge spiritual significance to moments of pure, childish happiness. Such as:
1) We got caught in the Guatemalan rain, which eventually came up to our ankles and left us soaking wet, and completely alone in the street. 
2) We found three investigators who accepted a baptismal date in the same day. 
3) Our comedor gave us burritos for lunch! (well, 'burritos.' they tried.)
4) Carolina got baptized, and after coming out of the water, proceeded to weep, while the bishop held her and told her she was okay. 
5) My companion found 50 quetzales on the ground, and bought us all the Guatemalan snacks we desired (Mamuts, Pinguinos, Tortrix, Taqueritos, etc.).
6) I got to skype with my family (despite the unnecessary amount of background noise). 
7) A family in my first area sent me a jar of peanut butter, because they know how much I love it.
8) In a lesson I was testifying of the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit testified to me very strongly that it's true. 

It's hard not to think about time, especially because one of my companions, Hermana Recinos, finishes her mission in two weeks. She keeps telling us how fast time goes, and that we have to take advantage of every moment. I definitely feel the time moving, and we run out of hours every day and we run out of days every week. I feel as if I just entered the field, and I'm coming up on the 8th month mark of my mission. All I can say is that there's nothing in the world like being a missionary--it's completely insane, and awkward, and weird (street contacting, bugging members to come out with you, calling people on Sunday morning to wake them up to come to church), but at the same time, it's the happiest I've ever been. 

Life isn't easy, and more than any other time in my life, I've been exposed to people's problems and hardships and things I never even imagined anyone would have to deal with. At the same time, I know that if we keep our vision placed singly on the glory of God, all the rest doesn't matter. Nothing can take away from the divine truths taught to us by the Spirit, and I hope every one of you can remember that and act accordingly. 

I read all of King Benjamin's address this week, and I want to leave you with this (kind of overused, but a goody all the same):

Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you maybe brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power,and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen. (Mosiah 5:15)
Sister Campbell