Sunday, November 15, 2009

Puerto Rico Day 4-- Sunday

* The pictures aren't loading, so I will keep working on that, but will at least get this up here!

We had another tremendous Sunday experience while traveling! I am so glad I followed the prompting to call here and see what we could do to help the members out.  It turned out to be a great blessing.  Young Women’s was first, so we went in.  There were a bunch of us there—Darla Silcox, another gal that I didn’t get her name, Sheri Dalton, Elaine Dalton, and Joni and I.  There was only one young woman there (Rosalin).  Two more had been baptized a week or two ago, but they were headed to the states, so weren’t in attendance. Neysha Lespin had come to YW, too.  She was the sweet gal I had been making the arrangements with.  I'll tell you, this is one SHARP gal!  She has a powerful spirit!!  She came in to help us translate. The sweet gal teaching the lesson (Ana) was nervous, but did a great job.  She talked about how the scriptures are important part of our lives.  She said that she used to be Pentecostal, and she KNEW the Bible, but she felt that she was lacking answers.  When the missionaries started teaching her, she found the answers in the Book of Mormon and in the Gospel.  She asked us all to describe the scriptures in one word—that was a toughie!  Here were some of the answers:
1.       Energy of Heart/love
2.       Hope
3.       Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ
4.       Light
5.       Hope
6.       Indescribable joy
7.       Peace
8.       Answers
9.       Strength
Ana, the teacher, said that she had gotten married, then baptized the next day with her son and husband.  She hasn’t even been a member one year.  We were all so surprised!

She told of having confusion in reading the Bible—why would God give us the commandment to not kill, then tell them to kill all the other people around them.  When the missionaries explained about Nephi and Laban—better that one man should perish, than a nation dwindle in unbelief, it gave her such great understanding and she apologized to God for questioning Him. ;o)

She then told us that with the economy the way it is that her husband is working two jobs and she has had to work, too.    She told her husband that they just need to keep paying their tithing and focusing on the Lord and reading the scriptures.

This sweet little thing had such a powerful testimony and you would never believe that she was a new member.  Her teaching techniques seemed as if she were taking them straight from “Teaching, No Greater Call.”  She was delightful and really brought a great spirit.

Then Sis. Dalton stood up.  She said that it seemed that no matter where she went “the same picture pops up everywhere she goes and it was right there (pointing to the picture in the corner that I hadn’t even noticed .)  It was a picture of Esther.  She said that her message was that “You HAVE come to the kingdom for a time such as this.”

She told them that they were special spirits and they were strong.  Satan would try to tempt them, but they were strong and beautiful. She said it was not by chance that we were there and that the tender feelings we were having were because we knew each other before and this was a reminder of our meeting in Heaven.
She said that their lights just shine.  They shine so bright that everyone on the streets of Puerto Rico must think they are movie stars.  She thanked them for being pure and virtuous.

She told of a YW who lived in the states in difficult circumstances just like they were living in.  She asked this young woman what she did to remain virtuous & pure.  The YW told her that she wore her Young Womanhood Medallion around her neck and that if she were having bad thoughts, she would touch her medallion to remind her.  So she told her/them to get their medallions and to wear them.
She told them that they were not alone and that angels were with them.

The Prophet knows she is here and she will report back to him of the good here.

After we closed the meeting, I gave them their bookmarks.  Then I gave them the bracelets and told the story of David and Goliath and how these stones were like their values and shared my talk with them in the short version.  I then gave them the touch gold sign and told a little about that.  They were excited.  Sis. Dalton is really excited about it, too.  She said that she thinks the whole world should touch gold!  I’m pretty excited about it.  I knew she would love it.  It really has brought me comfort because I have been searching for a way to teach and help my sons with virtue and especially avoiding pornography.  Since they understand the power in touching gold, I knew this would help them.

It’s been a pretty fun day!  I love it when the spirit is strong!

We also brought dresses, baby clothes and the new Spanish bibles to them. A lady who was with us told me that on the way home, the gentleman with them just kept looking in his book and touching the pages and reading.  She said they were so thrilled with the new bibles.  I guess they’ve been working on the Spanish one since 1979, so they are elated to finally have a copy!

The sweetest thing was that they had refreshments for us after church.  Not only were they GOOD, they were so refreshing.  It was fun!

There was this one sweet sister who greeted us when we came, and then was helping with the food after.  When she greeted us, I was at first a little judgemental.  This sweet lady had the most crooked nasty teeth.  Some on the bottom were missing.  But there was this spirit about her.  As quick as the first thought came, another came that she was his daughter and was here doing good work.  Oddly enough, Suzanne Francom told me that in RS they told her story.  She’s only been back in PR for a few  months, but she lives in the Ghetto.  She plays her church music really loud during the day and reads her scriptures.  All the people in her neighborhood (including drug dealers and gang leaders)  asked her what the music was and why she was doing what she was doing.  She’s told them that it was because of her religion and told them about the church and these characters have great respect for her and take care of her and protect her.  However, it really isn’t safe for anyone to come and visit her, so when her visiting teachers are coming, she gets a hold of these ruffians and tells them to leave so they can visit her.  And they DO!!  Quite a cool story!

Another story I was told later was that Lilliana, the Branch President’s wife and Neysha’s mom, drove them home and told them the story of their recent marriage and sealing.  She said that they were both divorced and were attending the singles ward.  Lilliana knew the first time she met him that this was to be her eternal companion—her prince.  But he never got it.  She said they would talk and talk for hours at each activity.  He would tell her there is no such thing as eternal love.  Evidently he was still so hurt by his first marriage.  Then one day, he showed up at her door and told her they needed to get married.  She said it blew her away because there had been no discussion.  She was so happy and so was he.  They had been to SLC during the April Conference and were sealed.  The irony of this is that during sacrament meeting, Lilliana was the closing speaker.  She had taken her little girl up on the stand with her and handed her off to him, the Branch Pres.  I happened to see the cutest interchange between him and the little girl.  He was playing with her with his tie—having her blow on it and it shrinking.  She kept wanting him to play and he was just grinning.  I found out later that it wasn’t even his daughter.  But was a tender moment for me to see, then hear the rest of the story.
Lilliana kept telling these people how grateful she was that we came and was in tears the whole way home and didn’t want us to leave.  She said that they look up to the people in Utah so much and they were so grateful that there were people here that were showing them that couples can be happy in marriage.  I was so surprised and so grateful that we were there and could lift them unbeknowingly.  She also expressed gratitude that they could serve us.  Isn’t it interesting how these small acts can mean so much?

Another amazing day in the Lord’s kingdom!

I will say this—every time I travel, I become more and more grateful for the country and especially the place I live in.  I think the Lord has put me in the choicest spot of the vineyard!  I am very blessed!

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