First off, Happy Easter to everyone!! I hope and pray that it was a beautiful, reverent Easter for all involved :) Sometimes, on holidays such as these, I have a hope that there will be a music number or choir involved since the music brings such a spirit to the hymns, but no such luck. Then again, that might be better off since there are very few people here in Argentina who have the ability to actually sing in key, haha :) At the beginning of my mission, I started giggling during Sacrament meeting many times because of the 200 part harmony going on, total accidental :) I`ve gotten a little better and now manage to hold the giggles to a minimum... Most of the time :)
This past week was a wonderful one here on my side of the country! Couple fun facts?
1) We were walking through a poorer area of Alberdi this last week, when I noticed a really strange, ugly looking animal on the side of the road. We got a little closer and I realized it was a huge, really dirty, slightly scary looking.. sheep. Haha :) I have no idea whose it is, but I asked a member, and they told me that one of their neighbors has it has a pet, and it just runs wild through the neighborhood. I thought about trying to take a picture to show you all, it was so hilarious to me, but decided it probably wouldn't be too good to bring a camera through that part of town. So, you`ll just have to use your imagination :)
2) Hna Courtney Smith, this ones for you! this last week, I was in a lesson when a song came on in the other room - 'time to say goodbye`!! I had flashbacks of Winchester, smiled and thought of you :)
3) We also ate with our neighbors this last week, the wife is from Brazil! for Brayden, Mason, Jacob and the other 20 friend of mine who have all served in Brazil (no, but seriously, that's the place to be) and Taylor who is there right now, you might recognize the food. We had fejuada con farina as well? Basically, a rice and black beans with a whole lot of (mystery) meat, and some farina on top - it looked like corn meal? It was pretty good, though I was a little wary of the meat, haha :)
4) We are moving this week! Seems that even from USA, my family is contagious :) We will be moving to a bigger apartment so that we have room to live with the two new hermanas who will live with us, but work in a different area - La Florida We are excited! Mainly because a new apartment means new things! And all I know, is that if I cook another day in this frying pan that we have, I`ll probably be eating more metal than food with all that flakes off while you are cooking, haha :) I`ll send fotos next week!
I have been learning so much this last transfer about my Savior. Especially about the power of prayer! That is a byproduct of feeling the Spirit - we are touched by the presence of our Father, and something within us yearns to further that relationship. I have been studying much about prayer, and specifically thinking about the power of asking in prayer. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and others blessings that God is already willing to grant by that are made conditional upon our asking for it. (BD) Many times, I think I use prayer as a laundry list of things that I would like to have, without really deeply preparing and realizing that I am talking with the same Being who created the world in which I reside and the body with which I am speaking. When we really begin to understand the nature of God, we begin to understand our own nature as His children. He wishes to grant us blessings and to help us, but many times, withholds these blessings simply because we do not ask for them, with the sincerity and faith necessary for them to be granted. There are numerous scriptures in which He commands us to ask Him, yet again showing His disposition to grant these blessings if we but ask. Even repentance and forgiveness is dependent upon our own asking for it. Matthew 7:7-8, Matt 7:11, James 1:5-6, Mosiah 4:10. All scriptures that speak of this principle of `prayer`. One of my favorites is 1 Ne 15:8-9,11, where we see the example and difference of a family conversation with 3 different brothers. Two of whom- Laman and Lemuel - lacked this faith, and didn't even have the belief to ask. This is paralleled with Nephi, and the bounteous blessings and revelations that he received simply because he asked.
Also, I am attaching a talk that I read this last week that really helped me learn and apply this principle - of how to better my communication with Him.
I love you all! I love hearing from you, even though I know you are all passing through difficult moments right now. We are all called to pass through difficulties, even though they may be different from one another. trials of faith, of obedience, of health? All things that I know each one of us are called to pass through in some moments. However, just as surely as I know that this gospel is true, I know that if we turn to Him, he will help us. He has promised his angels to lift us up, and He always keeps his word.
I love you, I pray for you, and I know that through our earnest and sincere prayer, we can receive the help we need to move forward, and to move forward with increased faith :)
love, love love!
Hna Hillbill :)