First off, some exciting news is that we had a baptism!! Crystal and Damon Apachito. Crystal is Damon's mom. Damon is 11 and asked for me to baptize and confirm him; it was a huge, humble blessing to be able to do that. Crystal after her baptism literally cried in her hands for like 2 hours because she felt the Spirit so strong. She said she felt her mom's presence there and felt how proud God is of her. After her conformation she began to be emotional saying she can't explain how she feels, and can't put it into words.
Things have been crazy here. It's been raining A TON here and there's been like flooding on the roads but I love it because basically all the roads here are on dirt so I get to drive the truck in the mud! ha
Last Friday we had district meeting and I taught a few things but something I talked about was called Demand and Resources. We wrote down stress, time and so forth. Then we wrote the Resources we have like prayer, leaders, scriptures, companions, etc. The thing is this ... every time there are more resources than demands. I told them that our Heavenly Father will demand something of us but then attached to that there are two or more blessings ... that is how He works. We get more help IF we trust in Him and use the resources given. I would challenge you all the make a Demand column and then a Resource one and come up with ways to use those resources. The problem we all have is this... are we really using our resources? 'Cause if we are then those demands won't even feel like demands. I'm guilty because I need to use them better and to humble myself. The Lord has given us SO many tools; we need to use them to help us overcome the demands in our life, and we need to let the Savior lighten the load on our shoulders.
The culture with the Navajo Indians is a lot different than what I'm used to. It is honestly hard to see at times; there isn't a lot of structure in homes or good morals. There is this less active guy who's used meth since age 13, until like last year, and he's in his 30's now and his brain is fried. We'll see babies with Coke in a sippy cup, 5 year olds watching Chain Saw Massacre movies, and girls pregnant at age 14. It's honestly hard to see this. We even help bring people water in jugs because they wont survive any other way and then they don't even say "thank you" or seem grateful for it. Sorry if this sounds depressing but I'm trying to just keep it real. I'm not beating around the bush about it .. that's just how I am for those who know me. Not only am I teaching these people the Gospel of Jesus Christ , but I'm also having to teach them manners, respect, nutrition and how to be smart with money. Living in a broken down trailer or hut with a flat screen TV and no running water isn't the best option in my opinion! At times it's overwhelming and hard to know even where to start but then I feel such a love for these people and their well being that it's all worth it.
A lady named Savanah Ganadanegro told me that every single night she sleeps with the Book of Mormon under her pillow. She said it helps her sleep and protects her from bad dreams. There are great things to come here on the Alamo Reservation... I can feel it, but then comes great oposition. There has been more deaths here and crazy things, but luckily, with God, we overcome it all and we win everytime.
I've now had Navajo noodles, and Navajo tea (that isn't against the Word of Wisdom... it's basically this grass thing that grows here), and Navajo cake (which is cooked under the ground for like a full day and is kind of wrapped like a tamale). My companion and I make food for ourselves like every meal because no one feeds us here. I've never been fed the whole time I've been here but Sunday we should be... so it's been mac and cheese and Top Raman every meal! ;) ha
We are teaching a lady named Cathy who used to be super addicted to drugs and has now stopped. She weaves things, sews and beads to help her avoid the temptation of using again. She's very creative and makes beautiful designs. She loves us coming over because we are her only friends. She's gone through a lot and today I felt that we should talk about the Atonement, and wow, was it special! She understood the purpose of it and said that when I gave the closing prayer all she could hear is the word atonement and how important it is that we remember what Christ did for us. My testimony was strengthened hearing that, and to know how someone who's faced so much has finally known all that Christ has done and to use it to help her life.
Miracle stories... there are TWO and they happened yesterday.
We taught 8 lessons in one day which is AWESOME! There;s a guy named Shannon who we've set a ton of appointments with and finally it worked out. I shared about the vision Joseph Smith had and the falling away of Christ's church before that. Afterwards I asked what he though the story of the vision and Shannon was like, "Well, the world isn't going to good so I'm guessing God did that so he could call a prophet (just like the other ones you talked about) to help lead up and then bring Christ's church back." HOLY cow... I told him that's the best answer I've ever heard. He came up with that by putting everything together. It was so awesome.
Next miracle story was with Alice Apachito who is a super nice older lady who's been seing the missionaries for a while... since missionaries first came to the Res. But she hasn't been keeping commitments or progressing in the Gospel. We didn't know if we should still see her or not. We were reading out of the book of mormon with her and then in a few verses she started coughing a lot (like, i mean bad), and we kept reading but I could see the cough had been bothering her all day and especially right then. SO I just stop and tell her out of no where about the priesthood and how we have authority to give blessings, and she accepted it. I felt so strongly to ask her and I was wrestling about it for a little bit but then I gave into the Spirit and followed my heart. Well, it was a true prompting. I blessed her that right away her body would be healed and her throat be healed and gave some other council. From the moment I placed my hands on her head and when we said goodbye about 15 minutes later I never heard one cough from her. She was in tears and felt so much peace and felt the Spirit. Then she said "thank you." I said, "No, thank God," and she knew then that it wasn't my words at all and that I couldn't have known what to say. I PLEADED with the Lord for the blessing to help her feel the Spirit and the truthfulness of this Gospel and we know she felt it tonight so we will see what happens.
EVERYONE we teach prays in Navajo here... it's awesome! ha No one has any idea what they say but it's so cool... even in church they do it.
Thank you so much for all the support and love. I hope these long letters aren't too much.
So this was at Family Home Evening with the branch on the 9th!
Flora is the older lady. She said that she had bad health but once she was baptized her heath has gotten better EVERYDAY, and before her hair was sticky always and now her hair is super smooth again! She is like my hero ... has so much faith!
Thanks for the support and all the letters... it's helped me a ton. I've got like 30 people to reply to so sorry if it takes a while to hear back! haha
Having to go on the fun dirt roads for appointments... always fun ;)
Driving into Alamo... was so pumped! Now I'm on the Navajo Indian reservation
District meeting last Friday... the other two were taking the pic!
BAPTISM!! Crystal and Damon Apachito.
First Navajo baptism... I totally forgot my white tie though.