This is from Carmen:
First off, congratulations to my friend Audrey Ellis, who is celebrating the second anniversary of her baptism this week! Additionally, happy birthday to my aunt Tara, and happy day for Vincent, who just turned 3 months old!
This week has been a good one! I hardly know where to start! Here's a quote I loved from a few weeks ago that's not yet made it into the email:
"“The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.” —Julie B. Beck, former Relief Society general president
This is the beauty of missionary work. As we qualify for, receive and act on personal revelation, we teach others to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation. In just a few words, we practice what we preach simultaneously! It's glorious! I am in agreement with Sister Beck. Not only is it a great skill for any accomplishment we may pursue, it also brings great joy and love into our lives. The Holy Ghost often prompts us to build relationships with others and with God. So my invitation to each of you is to ponder what you can do to practice this skill, and then, do what comes to mind! Your guides are the Holy Ghost, the Word of God, and your priesthood leaders.
I bet you want to hear about Beverly, because I want to talk about her! We taught Beverly 3 times with 3 different members and she came to church last week! It was amazing. We came to teach the Word of Wisdom, and she told us that she was already down from 6-8 cigarettes a day to less than 1, and she committed that she would never smoke again. We came to teach tithes and fasting, and she already knew the doctrine and had the verses highlighted in her Bible! She wasn't even concerned about how the church spends the money. She said that her mother taught her to pay what she owed to God, and if the clergy squander it, the judgement be upon their heads. Miracles and miracles. She's on track to be baptized on the 22nd. I love Beverly! Every morning we text her, and she texts us back and calls us her loving pet name, "angeles gigantes" or "ninas gigantes".(My apologies I don't have time to figure out how to switch to a Spanish keyboard.) We're taking her to the visitor's center, so you'll probably get to see pictures next week! Her son, Randall, is 18, and he's such a gentleman! He's in school to be a Mechanical Engineer, and he came to play soccer with us last Friday. We haven't taught him yet, but I hope he'll choose to be a worthy priesthood holder in the near future. He's most of the way there.
I don't think I've told you about the family we teach from the Dominican Republic. Their names are Jhoanny and Leonel, and their 3 boys' first names are all variations of putting the 2 names together. It's very beautiful. Sister Whittingham and I love them so much! Jhoanny mainly listens to our message, but Leonel is the one who initially let us into the house, so hopefully he'll be more intent very soon. We have high hopes that they'll be able to be sealed as a family someday. They are so kind, so friendly, and so happy! I fall behind on their Spanish quite a bit though. If there's food to be had, we have to stay and try it after the lesson. Ensalada Mescla from the DR is excellent, as is everything else they've let me try. Also, she invented a juice made of carrot juice, lemon juice, and oatmeal if my Spanish serves correctly, and it is delicious!
I love you all! Thank you for your notes and prayers!