Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Atonement

Hi everyone!

So, have I mentioned the rain yet?

We have hit the rainy season here in Mexico. Back home in Ohio, it rains at random all the time. Here the rain is really bizarrely predictable. It rains every night, starting at about 6 or 7 o´clock. But when it´s not raining, the sun is burning. So every morning I put on a ton of sun screen and pack my umbrella.

Well, other than that things are going pretty well here in la Aurora. We had a couple of miracles this week. We helped a woman in the street carry all her bags home this week. Her name is Alejandra, and she is super sweet, always smiling. She is very poor. Her house is a shack, and I honestly don´t think it´s been fairing very well in all this rain. She lives there with some of her sons and daughters-in-law, some of her grandchildren, and about 3 cats, 10 chickens, 3 pigeons, and probably 20 dogs. But I loved visiting her. We helped her with the dishes and comida, and then we talked a little and invited her to church. And she came! She and one of her grandsons came!

We also miraculously found a less active family. And they also came to church yesterday! I honestly couldn´t believe it. They told us that it was unlikely because the mother works, and the nephew didn´t seem all that excited about the church. But they all came!

Ok, I promised that I would tell you all about Angie this week. I´m a little late, she is from my old area, but she has really been sticking in my mind a lot lately. She is another amazing example of a miracle.

So Angie is the friend of one of our investigators in Mira Azul, Paty. One day Hermana Gonzalez and I stopped by Paty´s boutique, and Angie was there. We invited her to sit in the lesson, and she did, largely thanks to Paty, who bore her testimony right then and there about what she was learning from us. That day we were reading together in the Book of Mormon, from 2 Nephi 31, which is a chapter all missionaries are very familiar with. We finished the lesson, and Angie hadn´t said a word yet. But before we left, she told us that earlier that week she had seen or heard something, I think it was on Facebook, that said that there was a book waiting for her, with a message just for her. And as we were reading, she felt very strongly that the Book of Mormon was that book. Well, of course it is! We had literally just given away our only spare book of Mormon, but we promised to deliver her one soon.

Well, weeks, months went by and we didn´t see Angie again. She has a very very busy work schedule, and we could never  find her home or set up an appointment to meet with her. I had almost forgotten about her. Then my last day in Mira Azul, three weeks ago, we stopped by Paty one more time so that I could say good bye, and Angie was there again! Well, we shared a quick thought, I said goodbye to Paty, and we were just about to leave when I remembered Angie´s Book of Mormon. I reached into my bag and pulled out a Book of Mormon and gave it to her. And Angie started to cry. She hugged me and told me that even though we had hardly seen her, we had no idea the influence we had had in her life. And she told me that she would read it. 

And then I left. I haven´t heard anything, I have no idea if the sisters in Mira Azul have been able to teach Angie more. I don´t know if she has read at all in the Book of Mormon. But I sincerely hope and pray so.

It is truly amazing to me, the way Heavenly Father is working behind the signs with all of these people, preparing them, teaching them, guiding them. We missionaries don´t actually do any of the actual work. 

Well, sorry this is so long this week. I just want to close with one last thing. Saturday, we took one of our investigators to a piano recital in the stake center. There was actually a really good turnout. Half way through, we had a little missionary moment, and my zone leader asked me to bear my testimony on the atonement of Jesus Christ. And I want to tell you all what I tried to tell the people there.

I don´t understand the atonement. I´ve learned about it my whole life, I study about it for an hour every day here. I teach everyone I can about it. And I don´t understand it. I don´t understand how it was possible. I don´t understand, not even close, what our Savior suffered. And I don´t understand how He could love me and you enough to be willing to pay the price that He paid. But I do know one thing. It´s true. Jesus Christ loves us enough to have suffered for every one of our pains, sins, and struggles. He understands us, He loves us, and because of Him, we can be made clean and return to live with our Father in Heaven. I don´t understand it, but I know it.  

And because I didn´t start with a fun culture fact, I´ll add this. The most important Spanish word that they never taught me in high school: la Expiación, or the atonement. 

Have a wonderful week. I love and miss you all!

Hermana Herron

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