May 15, 2013
Hola Familia y Amigos! WWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW
This is my last P Day. Well kind of. Once my family gets here every day will be P Day ha-ha. Wow I can't believe it. This week was awesome. We worked super hard. We went out and visited a bunch of recent converts from about two years ago. We got a lot of new people out to church and to reactivate. It was really exciting. I just kept forgetting. We would make appointments and I would just full on forget that I won't be here for them.
Sunday it hit me. That was really embarrassing. We were sitting in Sacrament meeting and a less active family came in. We have been visiting them for a while and to see them all walk through the door made me SO HAPPY!! I started thinking about what we would share with them on Saturday and then I realized I won't be here Saturday. I just started crying and I couldn't stop. Seriously all throughout the santa cena I was just bawling. So embarrassing. Our mission president just happened to be visiting our Branch. He probably thinks I'm nuts ha-ha. I was able to pull it together and share my testimony, crying, but at least I was somewhat under control.
I'm going to miss this a lot. I love seeing people change. I love the happiness that the gospel brings.
This week we had an AMAZING experience with Berta. So Berta has been having a really tough time since her baptism. Which happens to a lot of recent converts. Every time we would go visit her she was so angry with her ex husband, the anger was just eating her up inside. She said that she was praying and praying and didn't feel like God was listening to her and she doubted that God even loved her or cared. Obviously I was concerned so we visited a lot these past weeks. We would come, listen and share a message, but nothing was helping.
So Tuesday we were on our way to visit Berta. To get to her house you have to pass through a really poor part of town. The houses are literally shacks, with dirt floors and plastic or tin roofs. In this neighborhood there is a member. Her name is Gaudencia. She is 70 years old and got baptized a little less than two years ago. She is in a wheel chair and lives by herself. We decided to stop by and visit her. As we visited with her I was SO IMPRESSED. If someone has reasons to be depressed its Hermana Gaudencia. She can't walk. She lives by herself. Sometimes her family comes to visit her and sometimes they don't. She goes days without having food. Her circumstances are just heart breaking. But her audited is AMAZING! She has the most amazing smile. She talks about when the Elders built her roof for her, she talks about all the blessing she has. She loves the lord and the gospel. When Gaudencia first got baptized the members were really great about coming, visiting and taking her to church, but about six months after her baptism she got really sick and had to move to Lima. When she moved back 6 months later it seems the branch just kind of forgot about her. No one comes to pick her up for church. As I listened to her talk about how much she wanted to take the sacrament my heart broke. But you know why it broke, because she was so positive. She didn't complain, she didn't curse the members for not coming, for not caring. She just humbly said that they all must be very busy. I couldn't hide my tears. I thanked her for her example and promised that we would bring her to church on Sunday. After that amazing visit we went over to Berta's house.
There was Berta again. Cursing out her ex-husband her situation and even God. I prayed. What can we do to help her. Then it came to me. Let's go. I want to take you somewhere. We took her to visit Gaudnecia and than Hermana Arora who both live in very hand circumstances, have terrible health, but amazing testimonies. I unofficially assigned Berta to visit these two sisters twice a week. This week when we came to visit her it was just to pick her up and take her to visit someone else. Sunday we also had her take Hermana Gaudencia back home after church. Sunday night when we went to visit Berta we found a completely different person. She was all smiles and didn't have a single negative thing to say. She said that taking her mind off of her own problems, visiting someone and taking from their good examples has helped her realize that she has many things to be thankful for. She told us how excited she was to visit these Hermanas and she also told us that she had a new goal of waking up early on Sundays so she would have time to bring Hermana Gaudencia to church. She finally got it. The joy that comes from living the gospel and DOING the things that Christ would do.
That's what it all comes down to. I mean she was reading, praying and coming to church but wasn't happy. Why? Because it's not enough to know how the Saviors stories. You have to live them. You have to do as he would do. That's when you really feel the joy that the gospel brings.
I don't worry about Berta going inactive. Not now. Now she gets it. I know if she keeps service as a part of her life, she will never lose her way. We taught her about temple work Sunday night and she is really excited. After the lesson she told me that if just helping Hermana Gaudencia take the sacrament one time made her happy, she could only imagine how happy she would feel to help people receive saving ordinances like baptism. At the end of the month she is going to go to the temple with the Branch. Alfunso will as well.
This time here in Chancay has been such a blessing. Not just here in Chancay but here in Peru. There is a joy in the gospel that you don't find in anything else, and if you are reading this thinking that you don't feel a joy in the gospel then I can say without doubt that you are not fully living it. Like Berta you may be going through the motions, but when you really take the time to do as the Savior would do. You can't help but feel happy.
I know that God lives, The Jesus Christ is his son. I have never seen them, but I feel it. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's restored Church on the earth. I know that if someone follows the teachings found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon that they will find a joy beyond words. I testify that Families can be forever. I know it. I love it.
I'm sad that this part of my life is coming to an end. I will miss being a missionary. More than I thought I would. But I know that ending my mission doesn't mean I have to stop doing what Christ would do.
I love you all! It breaks my heart to know that soon I will be leaving Peru. But I am extremely excited to see you all again.
Thanks again to Bradi for posting all my letters and pictures on my blog. You are the best!
I love you!
Hermana Sadie Jean Taggart