Raini was taken care of with lots of love on her big 2-0 b-day! I'm so happy for that!
Here's her letter this week and some pics.
Wow. This has been SUCH A GOOD WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
Okay. Lets start from the beginning or else I am going to be all over the place lol. :)
SO. We set up an appointment with ___ and ___ for Tuesday but we called and asked them if we could do it at the church because we really wanted to do a church tour so that they could feel the spirit there and want to come to church even more... and to see the baptismal font and everything.. But ___ said that only she would be able to go, not ___. But we decided that was okay. So we went to the church and got everything set up and prepared ourselves and prayed... and the spirit was UNREAL in the church when we were just there by ourselves. But when they got there-- because __ did end up coming with her kids!!! They walked into the church and you could just tell they felt the Spirit, too!! :) We talked and walked around.. showed them the different rooms and talked about some of the different paintings in the halls. The baptismal font was really powerful.
And then we went into the chapel. We told them they could just sit and ponder and try and feel God giving them their answer if this is where they need to be.. so they sat down, but ___'s baby kept crying and being kinda distracting. We were just sitting there, and I just kept being prompted to go and play the piano.. I really didn't want to haha...only because I am really rusty... but I did it. and wow.. it completely changed the feel of the room. The baby fell asleep and it made the room fill with the Spirit of the Lord.. (even though I wasn't playing super good). We went back into the hallway after like 10 mins in the chapel, then ___ said that she really enjoyed that.. she started crying and said that she really felt the Spirit when I started playing the piano.. (Thank you mom for making me do piano for those 5 years.. now is when I regret quitting). But after that lesson with them, we knew we needed to have another lesson this week if at all possible because we needed to know what they have been thinking.. we have literally had THE BEST lessons I have ever had with those two women.
The spirit is so tangible every time.. how are they not committed to baptism still? So we were able to see them again Friday (my birthday). We just talked for the first while.. and they shared about how they have all the sudden kinda realized that they have changed a lot since we started meeting with them, and they know that only good things come from God, and everything we have taught them has been good..
We brought up the Book of Mormon and they said they get it.. at first they had felt like they couldn't accept more scripture than the Bible, but now they see how really they just work together!!!!! :) They are going to read and pray about the BOM this week and next week I can feel it.. they are going to have a baptismal date :) please pray for them and put their names on the temple rolls if you can! They are so close, they just need help being able to get to church because of complications with work. :)
Okay. next BEST NEWS EVER. We went and taught ___ (__'s daughter, the lady who we found that was away from the church for so long) for the first time on Tuesday. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and literally best moment ever.. we explained baptism and how it makes us perfectly clean of our sins and the daughter said "AWH, I WANNA DO THAT!!!!" So we left her that night with the homework to pray and decide about what day she wants/God wants her to be baptized. WE had set the goal earlier that week of November 29th, but we didn't want her to feel rushed if she wasn't ready. We want her to have a good testimony before being baptized. So we went back last night and had a lesson with her. She said "I did my homework!" we said okay yay! She said "the 29th!" and we about jumped up for joy hahahaha. :D that is true inspiration right there. We hadn't even said a date to her!!!! She is super prepared.. she is honestly just such a smart little girl and so ready to learn everything! WOOOHOOOO! we are so excited for her :))
It's especially exciting because yesterday was also the young women's program (its like the sacrament primary program where they sing and then some of them gave talks about personal progress and stuff.. it was neat!) and ___ (the mom) had a moment where she really realized why it is so great and so important for her daughter to get to now grow up in primary and young women's :)) literally.. they have an amazing future ahead of them. Such a miracle that we were able to find them. The Lord is so good. He really does answer prayers! And he really loves his children who are lost, wondering in the wilderness. We are so blessed to be able to help them back home.
Okay, so my birthday was just so much fun! We went to serve at the food bank! And then ____ (the new convert teenage girl we love) gave me my present :) She is so sweet!! Then we ate a ton of deliciousness at the ___'s.. (flan, cake, chicken, Dominican rice, fried yuca root, quiche) and then __ and ___'s house...they remembered it was my birthday, too some how!! :) They got me a cake! :)) and then went to dinner.. ate enchiladas haha and then went to ___'s and she made me banana pudding. So needless to say I was absolutely STUFFED haha! so great though. I felt so loved! :)
Well.. I am loving every day out here. Honestly.. It is truly the best year of my life up to this point. I am SO happy I came on a mission. So SO SO happy :) I have changed so much.
love you all so so so so much. have a great day :)