I hope everyone had a fantastic week and that everything is going great! Things here in the DR have been rather slow again this past week, but I feel like big changes are on the horizon!
The family of Bienvenido is progressing slowly, but a little at a time. The mother, Elba, is starting to sneak in and participate in prayers, and she seems relatively happy to see us show up at their house. We decided as missionaries and branch leaders that the best thing to help her grow is by being patient and supporting her family. Of course we're always praying for her, and it seems that the lord is hearing our prayers! I don't think I'll see it happen, but I hope and believe that one day that family will be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. But I do enjoy seeing the small little changes in the family. You can definitely feel a different spirit there now!
Things continue to push forward in Gurabo. Next week, we'll have our first meeting in the new building the church is renting. I hope this will increase attendance and help some less-actives come back to church. Guess we'll see! I hope that within no time, this branch will be a force for good in Gurabo with activities, leadership, attendance, and so forth.
So yesterday we had a Zone Meeting and President Douglas and his wife showed up. Sister Douglas did something quite ingenious, but at the same time we all felt terrible. She asked us to stand up and then keep standing if we had got up everyday at 6:30 am last month. All but 4 missionaries sat down. Then she said to stand back up if we only missed one day, then two, etc. Slowly, missionaries started standing up, but the majority was sitting down. I hate to admit it, but I was one of them sitting. It's weird how the majority of us are up around 6:30, but not at 6:30. How many of us in our lives live the gospel this way? Do we sort of study the scriptures, say our prayers, participate in church, or live our gospel standards? It's one thing to be up around 6:30 in our gospel living, but its entirely different to be up by 6:30. I testify that we will feel happier and find more peace in our lives if we strive to "wake up" on time! We will feel God's love for us and a sense of security that God is pleased with our efforts. As we do this, I know also that our testimonies will be strengthened and we will come to know that this gospel is true! I challenge each of you to get up on time and find out the few minutes you've been missing. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.