Saturday, February 8, 2014

Letter 11

This past week I have been talking a lot about eternal families (figures, I have a new little sister and I'm showing her off). We have met 3 new families this week, and we are eager to continue teaching them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how they can grow to be a happy and eternal family. 

The first family is the Ramirez Family. The family is made up of Mario (dad), Daisy (mom), and their 2 little children: Adeli (5) and a baby Eddy. The way we met this family is very interesting. They were a reference from a little boy named Jonathan. Jonathan is 11 years old and his birth-dad is Mario. He doesn't live with Mario, and his situation is a little complicated. When we got the reference, I felt Jonathan's eagerness and love towards his birth-dad. Jonathan wants to be a missionary and wants his whole family to know about the Gospel. When we went and visited the Ramirez family, we were kindly received by Daisy (the mom). She sat us down and talked to us about how she's always wanted to go to church that focuses on the family. As we sat and talked to her about the Church, her husband came down and the first thing he said was, "We are a Catholic family." Daisy stared at him funny and told him to sit down and listen. We taught that the family is the most important social group in this life and the next, and how they can become eternal through God's plan for us. Daisy and her little girl were very excited and wanted to come to church. Mario was still a little stubborn, but after we ended the lesson in prayer, his heart was softened. We asked him to give the final prayer, and as he prayed, the Spirit worked inside of him. At the end of the prayer he asked us to stay a little longer because he had a lot of questions. He offered us a cup of coffee (of course) and when we kindly refused, the questions came pouring in! We told them to ponder about the lesson, and that we would gladly answer all their questions...the next visit (mwahaha). We were so glad that Mario had finally sparked some interest in what we were teaching, that we decided to leave him hooked for the next visit.

The next family we met was the Nancy Olivas family. Nancy is a recently divorced woman and a new single mom. Nancy works all week at a nearby Applebees, and she is currently raising 3 little kids. Her life is a hectic one, but she wants to grow closer to God. Her brother and sister are members, and she has seen that their families are different than all the other families. She wants her children to grow up in a religious ambient, and wants them to start going to church. She is doing all she can to provide for her kids, and I have a huge amount of love and respect for her and her little ones.

The final family we met this week was the Ariza family. The Ariza family is made up of Fermin (dad), Sarah Ariza (mom), Diana (15), and Eduardo (11). Hermano Ariza is a recent convert to the church, but comes to church every once in a while because of his job. His wife issuper catholic (she doesn't leave home without her Virgin Maria hanging around her neck) and his 2 kids love to hear our about the Gospel. Hermano Ariza has a strong testimony of the church, and although he can't go every Sunday, he is constant in his scripture study and prayer. When we met with his family, he expressed how much he loved them all and how he wanted an eternal family. His daughter, Diana, was super interested and even went to church and a church fireside this last week. The mom isn't too happy that we visit them, and she's very firm in her beliefs. We assigned a family to go and visit them and help them feel more comfortable in the church. 

I know I'm starting to sound a little cliche when I say that the weeks have been flying by, but that is what is going on. I wake up and get ready, and the next thing I know, I'm at home puttin' on my pijamas and chugging down a ramen before bed. I thank you all for your letters and for your love.

Elder Velazquez

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