Week 5 in the new Utah Orem Mission

Preparing our lesson reports while we wait for a ride.

Preparing our lesson reports while we wait for a ride.

One principle I have been learning from our trio missionary companionship (Hermana Inman, Hermana Bonilla, and me) is the importance of communication. Our communication isn’t just between the two of us who are both serving in Spanish — it is also with another sister who has her own responsibilities and English-speaking appointments and needs as well. I am also learning about the power of sacrifice. I keep realizing I have so much of the natural man to overcome. However, this last week I was studying the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and these two paragraphs impressed me:

“By following the gospel path, we can draw closer to God, conquer temptation and sin, and enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost more abundantly. As we patiently, faithfully, and consistently follow this path throughout our lives, we will qualify for eternal life.

“Faith in Christ; repentance; making, renewing, and keeping covenants; and being cleansed by the Spirit become a pattern of living. Our actions in daily life are shaped and governed by these principles. Peace and joy come by following this way, and we gradually grow in Christlike attributes. Eventually, as we follow this way and “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ … and endure to the end,” we are promised, “Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20)” (page 66).

Our trio companionship: Sister Inman, Hermana Bonilla, and Hermana Billings

Our trio companionship: Sister Inman, Hermana Bonilla, and Hermana Billings

This is a lifestyle. Every day we are continuing to be refined. I am experiencing this on my mission here, and I can see the atonement working in the lives of these families here. What a joy it is to be in the service of the Lord and His children, helping them accept and live the path that leads to eternal happiness and growth.

This week we have seen more miracles.

Tuesday night we visited two families: the Garcia’s and Mirta and Daniel. After washing their dishes (hehe, we are so sneaky), we shared the Bible Video “Él es el Mesías” and testified of Christ’s divinity and role in God’s plan for our eternal happiness — that He is the Way. Hermano and Hermana Munoz testified of the importance to protect our families and fortify ourselves spiritually against the temptations and attacks of Satan. Hermano Adrian shared how joining the gospel has changed his life. Hermana Rosario expressed her concerns, and we invited them to pray and read from the scriptures as a couple. Service really works a charm and opens people up. Service truly is an expression of God’s love.

We're making alfajores with Johana (from Uruguay)--little like sugar cookies with caramel and coconut.

We’re making alfajores with Johana (from Uruguay)–little like sugar cookies with caramel and coconut.

Later that night we visited Mirta and Daniel and shared part of the Plan of Salvation. We read Jeremiah 1:5 and testified of the premarital life. We then read 2 Nefi 2:18-25 and discussed the fall of Adam and Eve. We then asked them what they understood from these verses about the Fall of Adam and Eve. Hermana Mirta said that a God had allowed this to happen. Hermana Cano and Hermana and Hermano Munoz added their testimonies on how the Fall of Adam and Eve was for our benefit — so we could grow from affliction and so we could be born. We then testified of the role of JC — that God knew this would happen, and He had already prepared/planned for it through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We invited them to read Alma 12:31-44 in preparation for our next visit. Hermano Daniel and Hermana Mirta thanked us for the understanding we are helping them achieve in the gospel.

Thursday night we visited Alma and her sons. We started by singing Keep the Commandments. After the prayer, we asked them if they remembered the 10 commandments. They have a great memory! We received the hand signals and they caught on fast (that’s the reason I know them in order now). We then read D&C 130:20-21 and testified that blessings come as we obey God’s commandments. We watched “Within Bounds,” (one the Mormon messages for youth). Afterwards they told us that they learned that the bounds set are for our protection. We testified that the Lord gives us commandments for our protection and happiness and invited them to continue living them! But the best part: after the lesson, Alma (and Hector, her older son) told us that they are preparing to go to the temple soon!

My companion, Hermana Bonilla.

My companion, Hermana Bonilla.

Saturday morning Hermana Bonilla woke up feeling ill. After receiving a priesthood blessing that afternoon, she rested as I made sure she had everything she needed. Later that evening, we found out about a miracle: Juana and Valentin found an apartment within our ward boundaries that is perfect! We shared shouts of joy. Ever since I have arrived here, I have seen a difference in them. Their faith has grown. A light has sparked. They are happier. They still have a ways to go, but they are moving along the path. 🙂

Those are some miracles I have seen this last week. I’ve seen also how the Lord always answers our prayers, but sometimes He does it in a way we don’t expect. That is how I felt on Sunday with my fast. At first, it seemed like He didn’t answer my prayer, but then later in the day I realized why it was better that certain things didn’t happen in the way I wished, and that in fact He did answer my prayer.

Keep sharing and living your testimony! The power of everyday missionaries is great!

¡Cristo vive! Lo sé y lo testifico ¡con todo mi corazón!

Hermana Billings

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