Dearest Family and Friends,
I heard an EFY song for the first time this week that says the following:
"I will never be the same, I have felt his love and there's no looking back.
There's a fire that will remain, it's written in my soul, is a witness of my own
My faith is taking root and I've tasted the truth. I am forever changed,
And I will never Be the Same."
This song explains exactly what I feel in the mission field. I love the Savior. I have tasted of his love, and it is sweeter than I ever imagined! And I will never be the same. I've got to keep strong and keep on in my faith and Testimony. I know that reading the scriptures and prayer and continual discipleship MUST be part of me forever!
Some wonderful letters from home this week. Thank you to all who support me and love me and write me your miracles and adventures from home. The Thackers, Sister Ashley Brown, Sister & Brother Holiday, The Gurney Family, and my Family--I love you! Also, Mia Sandberg, I got your letter a few weeks back and I am sure excited to meet you too! Thank you for thinking of me, my sweet new neighbor!
Argentine moments: Yogurt comes in a liquid form here. Almost as liquidy as milk. When it spills you feel you've just had a Klingon war and when you drink it in a mug it looks like you're going to majorly overdose on PeptoBismol. But it's delicious, and is my typical breakfast. Hermana Diorio has had some Kidney problems lately and to help her feel better the Doctor recommended that she eat flour and sugar sparingly. I have been trying to be the supportive companion and accompany her in avoiding anything with gluten or sugar, and have lost 8 pounds during my time in Paraná. WOOHOO!
It has been a rewarding week. Gabriel has done a complete 180 degree turn. This week we were on a street corner at night trying to call down a taxi after a Family Home Evening with the Coria family, and when we couldn't get a ride, he began walking taxi to taxi in the pouring rain at the stop light, asking if they were free, and when the cars were rushing by he was whistling and trying to call them down and saying he would accompany us home if we couldn't get a taxi. Hermana Diorio and I just kept looking at each other like "Is this really Gabriel?" He has become a gentleman all at once. This week he came to church for the first time in a white shirt and tie and we were absolutely delighted. He is making leaps and bounds of changes. I so hope he can make it to the temple trip they're doing this month in April so he can be baptized for his deceased father. It's quite a pretty penny and so I hope he can make it to Buenos Aires with the ward. Take advantage of having temples so close to home! I am jealous, I wish we had one close in Argentina!
We have had quite a miracle in Eric Martinez as well. I wrote in my journal March 9, 2014 "Today Eric Martinez entered the waters of Baptism. He is such a miracle. We met Him 3 weeks ago today, when Tatiana first brought him with her. Tatiana Coria is a young lady of 17 years in our ward, the reserved and lovely daughter of the Coria Family. She is 30th of my 33 redhead count. Eric is her 23 year old boyfriend. In our 2nd lesson he interrupted when Hermana Diorio began to invite Tati to pray, and said that he wanted to say the prayer. It was startling because He is such a quiet guy. But he offered a beautiful prayer, thanking father in Heaven for the oportunity he has to be baptized. It was one of those moments when the spirit REIGNS. Strong and present. The same lesson he explained he was reading in 1 Nephi 17, and during the week he had been confused in one of the chapters he read. he sent Tatiana a text and she invited Him to say a prayer asking for more understanding. He read the next chapter and it cleared up all of His questions. He explained that He felt that was a definite answer to His prayer. Oh, it was an incredible moment. The Book of Mormon is True!" Eric was Baptized this past Sunday and will be confirmed this coming Sunday. We have people coming out of the woodwork wanting to be baptized. Have I mentioned how much I love Paraná!?
Hermana Diorio and I are RE FELIZ because we will be staying together another transfer. I don't know what I'll do when I'm without her. Throughout the mission It is just depressing to have to say goodbye to a companion you have grown to love (I have been lucky to have loved all my companions by the end of our time together) and each time it becomes harder to change companions. It makes me relieved that someday when I get married I can just keep the same eternal Husband companion forever and not have to change for any transfer :) We are staying here in Paraná!
I am short on time so I will save my preach my gospel study for the next week. know that I love you and pray for each of you. I'm going to have an E.T. moment here, BE GOOD! Do the righteous things and keep loving the Lord, and you will do as the People of Nephi and "Live after the manner of Happiness."
Much, much, much love,