this week, we taught a lesson to a recent convert named celina. she's been going through a lot of trials since her baptism a few months ago, and yesterday she shared with us her thoughts. she believes "satan is giving her these trials." i immediately felt prompted to share a scripture from the doctrine & covenants about how the lord allows us to have trials so that we may become sanctified. in d&c 101: 2-5 it says:
"2 I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions;
"3 Yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels.
"4 Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son.
"5 For all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified."
i testified to celina that our loving heavenly father wants us to be HAPPY and endure our trials well, so that we can be SANCTIFIED through them. that's one thing i have come to learn here. i am convinced the Lord doesn't allow us to have trials that we can't be happy in - and i mean, "smiling from ear to ear" happy! the lord can lighten our burdens so that we don't feel them, which helps us to truly have joy at all times. even in the midst of trials, when it's hard to smile from ear to ear, the gospel and the promise of eternal life gives us HOPE that leads to pure joy. i know that god wants what's best for us! even though we think we know best, he knows better!! trust him, and you will find happiness.
in other happy news, we found a family to teach this week!!! interesting story: they were driving around one sunday, and the mom wanted the family to start going to a church, but she didn't know which church they should attend. they passed a mormon chapel, and their 17-year-old-son said "hey! that one looks good!!" so, they went to an lds ward - and stayed for all three hours!! it was a different ward [than ours], but the elders referred them to us because the family lives in our area. we gave them a BOM after teaching the restoration, and we couldn't be more excited!! we also have a part-member family we're teaching. the lord is blessing us with miracles, and i know he heard our prayers that we would find people to teach!! YES! :) love you all!
service project - we cleared away this wood to make a wooden road :)
More from this week's message to Hermana Wood's dad:
hey, daddy!! no one knows about the olympics here - in fact, i only knew because you told me!! so there's that. the peruvians don't care much about it, haha.
also, at night here, the stars are INCREDIBLE. like you see the galaxy, and it's gorgeous. every night the moon is beautiful, too - sometimes it's yellow. and, i'm looking at all this sky through palm trees and over metal roof tops while frogs croak next to me. this happens every day, and every time it happens, i think just how lucky i am to be here. even though it's hard, and not a day passes without a struggle, at the end it's worth it. #moments
i love you, mom!