Monday, March 14, 2011

Sorry for all the "poop" I gave you Mom

Hola Familia!

Wow, what a busy and successful week!  As I related in my last letter I received a kid this last week.  I could not have asked for a better missionary to train.  He is really smart, but super humble, something that takes an average missionary a while to learn.  Elder Diaz is his name and he is from Tampico, Tamaulipas, the Rock and Roll center of Mexico.  I have really grown to like his fun sense of humor and contagious excitement to work and work harder.  He was rather shocked by some of the cold shoulders we sometimes get as missionaries but resiliently he went back up to his high level of excitement.  In our training that we had on Monday, the President informed us that he put each trainer with a new missionary for us to learn from one another.  I am really excited to learn from my "verde" (greenie).  He constantly asks me "how did I do".  I think that I might start asking him the same the question because I am by far not done learning.

So, Mom I thought I would tell you something that might make you somewhat pleased in spite of all the poop I gave you about piano lessons all those years.  One of the members has a piano in their home and while she was making last minute preparations of the food, her kids asked me to play Moonlight Sonata on their piano.  She heard me play, told the other sisters in the ward, and now I play the hymns in sacrament meeting.  Almost every member has told me how thankful they are to finally have someone use the piano and how much they enjoy the piano compared to the CDs that they use here.  Despite my mistakes and awkward rhythms at times the ward members seem so pleased.  I know that the Lord is making me better at playing the hymns than I really could otherwise because sometimes I am asked to play hymns that I have never played before.  I am grateful for the help from the Lord because I wouldn't be able to play the songs the director asks me to play otherwise.  The Lord´s hand really is in every aspect of missionary work!

So a little update on Beto.  He has gone a week and half with out a sip of alcohol or smoking!!  We had a neat experience where Elder Diaz and I gave him a priesthood blessing which I know has helped him make it this far.  He was so excited for the blessing and is getting more and more excited for his baptism.  We had him planned for baptism but he failed his baptismal interview.  He has a girlfriend that he never told us about that he will have to either marry or separate from her.  He also has decided that he can't give up his Santos (Saints) seeing as they were given to him by his mother.  So basically we have a lot of work cut out for us with him but I know he can do it.  He has changed tremendously and all aspects of his life are improving.  The light that Christ emanates is definitely evident in Beto and I hope he does what he needs to in order to keep this progress and be baptized.

I read Elder Janis' (Damon) letter home and wanted to also convey my love for missionary work as second witness to what he said.  To all those that are preparing or planning to serve a mission let me tell you that will never EVER regret the decision.  I have had moments in my mission that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and cherish.  I love sharing the Gospel with people and that has brought me priceless peace and purpose seeing these feelings brighten the lives of those we are teaching. The joy and pleasure the Book of Mormon prophets describe to us is real and I testify to how I have never felt happier.

I know that we have a living prophet and that the power of God is on the Earth today. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and a palpable evidence to the love of Christ and the truthfulness of the Restoration.  I know that Christ died for us but now lives to make us free from sin and sadness.  Look to Him who did it all for us so that we would not have to suffer.  I love the Savior and I love the work He has called me to do!

Elder Janis