vuelve a casa

Dear Family,
This week of Moments in Mulsay:
I have now officially learned the phrase for "look out," maybe because my companion and strangers on the street say this to me a little too often, every single day. I guess my street smarts still haven't really kicked in yet ...
Hermana Martinez and I bought a new house on Wednesday — yes, we bought a house. Apparently our current living situations are less than subpar (even though it hadn't really phased me, even when a colony of ants was carrying a dead fly up the wall of our shower). Since they didn't teach us vocabulary relating to real estate in the MTC, I didn't understand a thing for the whole two hours and just signed a few papers. Our new house is quite beautiful and I am excited to move (today)!
Hermana Martinez made me THE BEST food last night. Since we only eat two meals a day here (breakfast in our casa and a big lunch with members every day), we sometimes have midnight snacks after planning each night — and by midnight I mean 10. Thirty-second Food Network interlude: fry a plantain in a pan, drizzle some cream over it and dip them in refried beans. It is seriously heaven in a few bites.
Dogs and cats run wild here. It might be my favorite thing/also a problem because I want to name them and take them home with me. However, for now they simply remind me of Truly, and that makes me happy every day.
We contacted two new families this week and have seven new baptismal dates. This week was in fact a week of miracles, as we are seeing the hand of the Lord every single day. One family (a mom and two sons), are possibly the most story-book family I've ever encountered. The oldest son is twelve years old but has the intelligence of a twenty year old — we left them with a pamphlet about the Restoration after our first visit to prep them for our next, and by the time we returned, he had read all of it and knew it like the back of his hand. He is truly golden, and sometimes during the lesson he gives me a handheld fan because he thinks I'm over-heating. They came to church this Sunday (yay), and said they think they will come every Sunday now (double yay). During these miracles of finding families and investigators accepting baptismal dates, we also encountered four intoxicated men, all within two hours (disclaimer: the fact that I've learned the word for "look out," and met drunken men this week in no way implies that it is unsafe here, lest mi papa y mi mama start to worry — I am quite safe). Anyways, these encounters ended up being one of my most spiritual experiences of the week. We ended up sharing a hymn and a prayer with a man who some missionaries had contacted before, but who has a serious problem with drinking. During our hymn about light and Christ, this man started to cry and talk about the pains of his heart and his life. We listened and the Spirit testified to me so strongly in that moment that this man before me was a child of God; that God remembers Him, that God loves Him, and that God is not disappointed in him because of his weaknesses or his pains — God just wants him to return home. When the Spirit touched my soul like that, it was not hard for me to love this man in a wrinkly white shirt and tears in his eyes, because I knew that God loved him and that I should love him, too.

 It is becoming more and more apparent to me that this life is all about the home — not only this earthly home of ours and our family home, but also the home of God. At times people feel that they do not belong or that they do not even belong to themselves because of their weaknesses or faults that take them away from who they really are and who they were before with God. How grateful I am for the knowledge that we all have a heavenly home prepared for us and waiting for us always, because God is our home and God is always there. I know that by sharing this good Gospel of Christ with these people in Mexico is in a way calling people home — to a place that they may not be familiar with, but a place that is always theirs to claim.
Thank you for being my home, here and in the eternities. I love you each with all my heart.
mucho amor,


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