Monday, October 27, 2014

Exactly How We Are!!!!!

October 27, 2015
Hola mi querida familia!!

I feel really content right now as I write you guys. I´m so glad you guys had a great weekend in Phoenix! Sydney´s going to be a killer missionary! South America better watch our for the Hermana Evans´haha. 
Anyway my week was super amazing! On Tuesday I finished the Libro de Mormón completely for the second time on my mission!!! We read it together as a mission and our president gives us themes to highlight throughout the book. This time we highlighted whenever it talked about heart, might, mind, and strength. It's interesting though because the translation to Spanish is: heart, SOUL, mind and strength. And then we could choose whatever theme we wanted for the last one so I chose 'testimony', but more especifically whenever someone said "I know"... Almost all the pages are entirely colored in my book!!! I loved really searching out these themes. I learned that we need all of these to really serve the Lord. I found the most about the heart. I also learned that it's through these things that not only the spirit works in us, but also the adversary. We really have to be careful of what we let in our heart and mind... How we use our strength and where is our might.  Another theme that stuck out really strongly to me was how much love God and Christ have for us. Like a thousand times it says, "except you shall repent". In the Book of Mormon we always have extremes right?? The best of the best and the absolutely worst of the worst. And God is always there with his arm of mercy extended to the people if they will just repent!  He is SO DARN willing to forgive and erase. We just have to humble ourselves and go to him. It's SO EASY and yet it's amazing at how hard it is for people to do that. And the thing that I can't even understand is that God is so willing to forgive and then bless and, in the next life give  kingdoms and principalities and all things glorious if we will just repent of our sins and come to Him. It seriously amazes me at how simple of a request it is that he asks of us. I was reading a conference talk by Tad R. Callister the other day and he was talking about the Book of Mormon and he said this about the book that I just loved because it is SO true: Would you like to have emblazoned on your soul an undeniable witness that the Savior descended beneath your sins and that there is no sin, no mortal plight outside the merciful reach of His Atonement -that for each of your struggles He has a remedy of superior healing power? Then read the Book of Mormon. So simple. So straightforward. So true. Read the Book Mormon. Just do it. 
We had two baptisms Saturday!!! Barbara. The girl with the cutest little baby that I told you guys about, that we just found on the street contacting got baptized!!! I can´t tell you how happy I was! Also Diego, this little boy who is 9 got baptized too! It was a beautiful day of white! I was thinking a lot about baptism and what it means. It's a big promise. We promise to always keep the commandments for all of our lives and to always remember God and Jesus Christ. But also God is making a promise with us. He promises to wash us clean and that we will always have His spirit to be with us to comfort us, to guide us, to protect us. I've also always found it interesting that for such a big promise, or covenant, the ordinance is so simple. The people dress in plain white clothes and they enter in the water. They say the short prayer and then they are submerged in the water and come out. For such a great eternal promise it takes like 2 seconds. I was thinking why isn't the ordinance more, I don't know, elaborate and glorious? But I realized that in the simplicity we can simply be focused on this promise. On ourselves and the Savior. There is nothing to distract from it. How wonderful is that?? Also I was thinking back to my baptism. I remember before people always telling me that I was going to feel so clean and good and wonderful after! So I had in my mind I was going to feel something really special and amazing as I came out of the water. But for me, I felt exactly the same. Maybe it was because at 8 years old I probably didn't understand the great importance of the baptism very well. I knew I loved Jesus and I wanted to follow Him. And maybe some people do feel the spirit really strongly during their baptism but I think that for many they feel like I felt, the same. And I remember thinking afterward, dang it. I didn´t feel anything good (I didn't feel anything bad either). And I was thinking  this yesterday too and I realized that that's another thing so great about baptism. We can receive this forgiveness of our sins in how we are now! I remember an Audrey Hepburn quote that said ¨Success is like reaching a really important birthday and realizing you're exactly the same¨ The beauty in baptism is that we are the same. That Christ accepts us right now. Exactly how we are. He isn't waiting for us to gain more knowledge, more experience, to be richer, or 3 sizes thinner. He wants us now. We can receive forgiveness now. We don´t need to change. He will help us with that in time. We just need to be willing. We need to be humble. We just need to come to him with a broken heart, contrite spirit. If we just go to Him and ask for forgiveness, He gives it. No hesitation. And He continues to be the same even years after our baptism. As we just repent and take the Sacrament to renew this promise, he continuously washes us clean, he continuously forgives us, he continuously strengthens us, and we can continuously grow. It´s never too late.  Baptism is so simple because really the gospel is simple. There are no distractions. There are no, like Pres. Uchtdorf said, "you must be this tall, or this righteous to enter signs."  IT¨S MARAVILLOSO!!!!! With every baptism I feel my heart growing and stretching with love for the people here and for this gospel. I know that there is no other way we can be saved and no other way we can be truly happy. It's just all good stuff. 
I love you guys so much and wish you another great week!!
Con todo el amor en mi corazón,
Hermana Evans
The English class I'm teaching

The most beautiful roses I've ever seen!

Guillermo, the most amazing gardener!

Our kitchen

The living room where we study

The bano

Where we sleep

Baptism of Diego! He's super crazy!

Me, Diego, my companion

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