Monday, March 4, 2013

Keep the Sabbath Day Holy People!!

Well well well... It`s Monday again!!! The time just goes by way way way too fast!!!! Because next week I complete 13 months in the mission... I honestly can`t believe how long I have been gone away from home.  I am kind of nervous about the way I look... I have little wrinkles at the corners of my eyes because we can`t use sunglasses and the sun just makes me feel like my eyes are burning out of their sockets so I squint a lot.  The back of my neck is a nice crispy burnt color and my hair is so long and scraggly that I look like.... I don`t know... I just look scary!  

Today I finally mustered up the courage to cut my hair... I have wanted to cut my hair for a while now.  And I have been scouting out all the hole in the wall barber shops here, and I finally found a decent looking salon and the lady there seems like she kind of knows how to cut hair. (The problem is that there are always cross dressers and I want a woman to cut my hair...) Well we went today and they were closed... My companion then said, "Maybe this is a sign that you shouldn`t cut your hair..."  That then freaked me out... I found myself asking, "Where is your cousin when you need her?" So Tiffanie, you are missed!!! 

Well this week we had wonderful news... Beatriz had her baptismal interview and she said that she wants to be baptized!  I think I need to show a little more faith in the whole conversion process... Sometimes I don`t believe that others want to live the gospel or I show a little bit of surprise when people actually accept what we are teaching.  But if everything goes according to plan we will have a baptism this Friday.  I am just so in awe... We found her tracting about a month and a half ago and the initial contact wasn`t that great. She didn`t want to let us inside but I was looking through my old planner trying to see if I missed going back to visit some of the contacts that we had and I don`t know why but we went to the house of Beatriz.  So I am so glad that the Lord always is willing to help us remember the people we have to go back and visit.

We have only been teaching her for two and a half weeks and she is ready and has read quite a bit of the Book of Mormon.  She had quite a few doubts about Joseph Smith and we just told her to keep reading after we had taught her the restoration again.  And now she has a testimony of not only Joseph Smith but of Thomas S. Monson as well.  In church this Sunday she stayed for the classes after Sacrament Meeting and she said that she felt really good in all of the meetings.  Basically it`s a miracle!  Haha 

But Sunday was kind of a hard day for me yesterday.  Well I have seven new members in this ward that I helped baptize and only three of the seven showed up... So after church we went to look for them... The Quintanilla family woke up late and decided not to come.  When we talked to them a little bit more about the importance of the Sabbath Day Carolina looked like she was about to cry.  It is so weird... but people don`t realize how much Sunday effects the whole week.  When we were with the Quintanilla family they were so sad!!! I was just so shocked at how obvious it was!  Go to church.... 

But I was even more sad when we went to the Guatapi`s house.  THEY HAD THEIR BAKERY OPEN!!! My heart jumped to my throat and I felt that tears were on the verge of spilling over.  I said a quick prayer PLEADING with the Lord that he would help me know what to say.  I just was so sad that they had opened up their Bakery... But as we walked closer to the bakery I felt something whisper... this isn`t your job... I then looked at my companion and asked her what should we do... She told me, "We should ask the Bishop what to do... Because this isn`t our responsibility anymore."  So we went and talked to the Bishop and he said he would talk to them.  

I am just really really surprised at how Satan works on all of us.  People know what is good and they know what is bad.   "And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil.  And the law is given unto men." But somehow Satan always gets us to justify what is right and wrong. It just makes me pretty sad that people fall and don`t trust the Lord enough to wait for his blessings... Keeping the Sabbath Day holy isn`t that hard.  But Satan gets us to justify the little things... Because even he knows that "by small means are great things brought to pass."  

The way we keep the Sabbath day holy shows how deep our conversion really is. "The importance of a sacred day for man to rest from his temporal labors, contemplate the word of the Lord, and assemble for public worship is a major item in a person’s spiritual development. Furthermore, a decay in the national religious life always follows any tendency toward carelessness in the matter of Sabbath observance. The existence of a weekly holy day is a most important safeguard; it leaves a constant reminder to the individual of his need for spiritual sustenance and his duty before God, and serves as a witness to the world that there is such a thing as revealed religion."

Soooo... Long story short... keep the Sabbath Day Holy.  I don`t have any more time but I just want to say that I know that this church is true and I am learning more and more everyday.  I am learning more from looking at the lives of others and seeing how the gospel is changing their lives because it is pretty hard to see the changes in ourselves.  I am happy to be here in Ecuador and I know that there are many more who are waiting for the gospel... So take a chance and open your mouth and share your testimony... and "You shall not be confounded before men" I know this to be true!!! I love this gospel. 

Love Hermana Welch (Jess) 

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