Hola, Familia! Que tal?
So apparently y'all are in YELLOWSTONE?? How awesome! I hope its a grand old time and that your Trek experience was fantastic as well. Anxiously awaiting a full report from all of you about both adventures!
Happy father's day yesterday, Dad! And to Grandpa Phil, and all my sweet uncles. Happy Father's day :) Much love from Mickey-Moo face. Here's a scripture that I feel describes how I feel about fathers, especially mine--Enos 1:1. "Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man--for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord--and blessed be the name of my God for it." Yes, blessed be the name of my God for the Fathers in my life!
Game of Sims--this is what Sister Young calls missionary work/our life on earth sometimes. She's fearless, and i'm a little more timid when it comes to tracting. She inquired as to why, one day. I explained that I feel I'm invading someone's space, someone's territory (which is true. This is their property). But she's helped me out with a funny analogy--think of it all as a game of sims when it comes to tracting. There's these people, some are doctors and some are bus drivers and some are painters and some are writers. They live in these houses on these streets in Gig Harbor, Washington. Here's the fire station, the coffee shop, the library. Just like in Sims, right? Well, they are also all Children of God. And as missionaries, it's important for us to tell them! It's a funny analogy, but it makes us laugh and helps us carry on.
Sister Young says a lot of funny things--she uses 'spiritual trail of breadcrumbs' too. We'll feel inspired to be someplace, and it's only after talking to ten or eleven people or knocking several doors that we finally meet the person who has been hungering for this knowledge. Also of her, "I feel like if it's not chocolate, it's just not worth putting in my body." Some of these you just have to be there for. But she makes me laugh and keeps it real.
So . . . Saturday was Darren's miracle baptism! I shared the story of planning with you last week. Well, June 15th at 2:30 pm, the Baptismal service began. I have never seen someone more excited for Baptism, and this is my first time seeing a grown-up enter the waters. What a precious experience it was, indeed. Sister Young offered a talk on Baptism, I sang "When I am Baptized" (just like at my own baptism nearly 13 years ago). Then Darren entered the waters, Bishop Kasteler baptized him per Darren's request. After coming out of the water, he gave Bishop a huge, wet hug! We played the restoration video (the short missionary version) while they changed, and Darren's extended family was glued to the story. There might yet be baptisms in the future with this group! Sister Brown was able to come to the baptism from her new area, she gave a talk on the Holy Ghost.
After the Baptism, Darren kept shaking our hands and saying how much he loved what we shared and sang. See the pictures: his smile says it all.
As for other folks we're teaching right now--our teaching pool is exploding. We have had a marvelous lesson with Michelle this week--she told us she wants very much to dedicate herself to this spiritual journey, and wants to find out for herself if this church is true and if she should be baptized. I feel a deep connection with her, every time I see her she gives me a hug and there's a mutual feeling of trust. I'm not sure why. One neat thing--her name is Michelle, and her only daughter is Layla Renee. Hmm . . . my Mom's middle name is Michelle, and my name is Mikayla Renee . . . it's a neat coincidence, perhaps. But I also know Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. I'm excited for her and have high hopes.
Another new wonderful woman is Kathy. I might have mentioned her before, but on one particular day I felt prompted to pull off onto this dead-end street. I parked next to one particular house. After we knocked, this woman told us she has been recently divorced after 22 years. She feels God guides her to the truth and help she needs, and She explained that maybe this church and the Book of Mormon is what she needs at this time. We had a fantastic lesson with her, teaching the Restoration, and have a follow up appointment this week with a Church Tour.
Asan is progressing in baby steps. We have started teaching a young girl named Ashley, age 11. Her father left the church at 15 but is interested in coming back. We have several part member families we're teaching as often as we can. We're busy, and loving it.
This Wednesday, Elder Piper of the Seventy is coming for a mission tour. Pretty much, it's general conference in person, and just for missionaries. He's coming to see how the work is progressing in the WA-TAC. Kind of a big deal . . . :) And then this Sunday is the broadcast with President Monson. AAAAAAHHHHHH! I'm pretty excited for that one as well!
To any of you who aren't sure about your testimony, or aren't sure about what's truth and what is myth--keep searching. Hold fast to what you DO know. The Gospel--it makes sense. The hardest time of day for me is the morning, as I wake up and get ready for the day, Satan tries to slam all kinds of doubts and fears in my face. But I'm learning to fight back! In the scriptures, there's an analogy of the armor of God. Shield of Faith, Breastplate of Righteousness, etc. The only offensive part of the armor is the Sword of the Spirit. I get stronger and I oppose Satan by strengthening that sword. I study my scriptures for an hour each morning personally, and then have nearly 2 hours to study with my companion. There is truth to be found in the Scriptures. This week I was pondering languages, and my new found love for the diverse languages in the world. And lo and behold, I read Mosiah 1:2 as part of my personal study. I'll leave you to look it up, but as I read, I read amidst laughter and joy. God is so aware of us and our interests and concerns. Answers are found in the scriptures.
"There is a green hill far away, without a city wall. Where the dear lord was crucified who died to save us all. Oh dearly, dearly has he loved--and we must love him too. And trust in his redeeming love and try his works to do." I know the beautiful words of this hymn are true, and sacred. There is a man who lived 2000 years ago. His name is Jesus Christ! He lives, he lives! All glory to his name. He lives, he lives! My Savior, still the same.
Ustedes estan en mis oraciones!
Con amor y amistad,