Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today is my one year anniversary in Puerto Rico

Hey Everyone, hope you are having a great week.

I'm sure you are you are all finishing up with school and about to enjoy a long weekend. We still don't know what our plans are for Thanksgiving; we've had several people invite us but we have some appointments too so we don't know where we will end up eating some turkey and pasteles for a little while. I'll be missing Thanksgiving at home, especially Mom's pies and yams with marshmallows and rolls. So enjoy for me! Happy Birthday Abby! Wow, tomorrow you are turning 19! I can't believe it. I hope you do something extremely fun. You'll have to tell me all about it. Tell everyone hi for me.

It's been a pretty good week. President has assigned a sister to be a lead trainer and she is visiting all the sisters in the mission and working with us. This last weekend she was here and we learned a ton. We found a few new families to teach. We are a little sad becuase Ana isn't going to be able to be baptized Saturday. We waited for her for over an hour last night to teach her the final lesson and go over the baptismal interview questions. She hasn't been answering her phone. She's been a little different lately and we can't figure out why. But we are praying hard that we are going to be able to get a hold of her. So we are praying hard that we can get a hold of her but even then we'll have to move her baptism date to another week because we feel like she's just not ready. But this sunday was really great. Jennifer our investigator that has been coming to church and had a baptism date has not been progressing much lately. Jennifer suffers from depression and with some situations that have been going on lately she has been so down she hasn't really been progressing. Well we offered a priesthood blessing and sunday after church the elder's quorum president and another member gave her a blessing. It was an amazing blessing. We went to her house the next day and she was so happy. I've never seen her so happy since we've been teaching her in the last month or so. She just couldn't stop smiling. Her whole countenance was different. She told us that she knows everything will be okay and it really helped her testimony. It was so great too to see her 11 year old daughter participate in the primary program. Even though she barely knew the songs she was up there. So we are really excited for them.

Other than that things here are pretty much the same. We are working hard finding people.

I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving. I arrived in Puerto Rico, one year ago today, nervous about what it was going to be like. Even though I am far away and I miss you all a ton I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve here in Puerto Rico. I learn things everyday and even though it is extremely hard and there are good days and rough days I know this is where I am supposed to be. Seeing as tomorrow is Thanksgiving here are a few things I am grateful for:

The restored gospel. My entire life I have taken for granted the amazing blessing it is to be a member of this church. Even though I have always been grateful until my mission I never really came to appreciate it is as much as I do now. I can't imagine what my life would be without it. I know who I am. I know that my Heavenly Father has prepared a plan for me and for my family so that we can be together forever.

My family. Mom, Dad, Erin, Rachel and Abby. Thank you so much for everything. I won't ever be able to express how much I love you all. I have been so blessed to have grown up in a home with two amazing parents that love us and would do anything (and really DO anything) for us. I'm grateful for my three sisters that are such a great example to me. I look up to all of you, whether you are older or younger. You truly are my best friends.

I see all around me every day so many families that are so unhappy that don't have love in their homes, with so many problems. I am so grateful to have a loving family. We have our trials and our difficulties but I will never be able to express how grateful I am that Heavenly Father allowed me to have the great family that I have and that we have been blessed to grow up with the gospel in our home. Thanks to grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles, cousins. I truly have been blessed to have a great family.

I'm grateful for my companion, Hermana Rodriguez. I learn from her every single day. She is such an example to me. She is the most humble person I know. I know that the reason we have been together for almost 6 months is because I have a lot of things to learn from her. She loves the people so much and has such a strong testimony of the gospel.

I'm grateful for the people here in Puerto Rico. Sure, you always run into people that just don't like you because you are a missionary and they want nothing to do with us. But for the most part the people here are so great. They'll do anything for you. I have met so many amazing people here that are such great examples to me. If I started to write about them I would never finish.

I am grateful for my health. Sure, I've had a few small problems here on the mission but I'm still able to get up in the morning and I'm grateful that I'm healthy and able to enjoy life.

I am extremely grateful that I have never really had to worry about temporal things such as food on the table or things to wear. I've been truly humbled to have several companions that have taught me to be grateful for that. I have had companions that live in one room homes with no running water and that have never even had a christmas present to open. They work hard in factories trying to make ends meet and are afraid to walk through the streets in their own neighborhood because of the violence. I am constantly amazed at how sheltered and blessed I have been to grow up where I have.

I am thankful for the priesthood. That through the priesthood we can receive the saving ordinances like baptism and temple ordinances to return and live with our families one day. Through the priesthood we can receive blessings of comfort and health. Through the priesthood our homes can be blessed immensely. I'm so grateful that I've grown up in a home with a father who is a worthy priesthood holder.

I could go on and on. I love you all a ton. I hope you all have a great week and a happy thanksgiving and a great birthday, Ab.

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