increase of joy

dear family,

The bishop in our ward continues to remind me of how Papa probably was (i.e. doing things in his own way because it is most always better, without really bending the rules, but kind of sort of). We went to visit a less-active member with him on Saturday to share a short message. In the car ride over he informed us that we would be watching a twelve minute film entitled, "Man's Search for Happiness," a short video that he had used on his mission (how he found it and translated it into Spanish, we do not know). We were thinking we would show the movie on the portable DVD player that we have, but as we were pilling out of the car, he was searching for his bright pink laptop and large, white projector. It turned out being like a drive-in movie and it was hilarious. 

This week was full of fun and new adventures: we did a conference with the new missionaries and their trainers, went to the airport to pick up a new missionary that came in late (that awkward moment when you are waiting for an Hermana Oaxoca to arrive, but an Hermana Salazar comes instead — "Um, are you sure you are in the right mission?" Turns out her last name is Oaxoca Salazar...), celebrating Hermana Canseco's seventeen months on the mission with pizza and spaghetti (the pizza here always comes with spaghetti?), giving the spaghetti to our neighbor's dog, Sasha, who slips between our fence and barks at us because she doesn't like us. We think we won her confidence with the food. 

We contacted a lot of references this week, which meant a lot of walking. Despite the extra exercise, we were guided by the Spirit without even knowing it. While looking for a reference, we ended up finding two less active families that had just moved to the area — a 21 year old student from Campeche and a family of four from Kanasin. We found them without searching for them, and I knew in that moment that God knows each of His children and what they need in order to be happy. We visited hermanita Rebeca a lot this week and she accepted a baptismal date (yay) despite her fears in the beginning. We think that it was love that changed her — we told her that we loved her one day and everything changed. She gives us wild flowers and fake jewels and sits by us at church every week. When you give love, they love back. There was one night when she and her mom and her brother took the bus to the church with us. She and Jonathan sat in between me by the window and I taught them buenas noches in English and before I knew it they were opening the bus window and were waving and saying "good night" to everyone that we passed. It was one of those eternally happy moments when one feels an increase of joy — not a greater or fuller kind, just an increase within one's soul. 

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light, they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation and increased the joy -- they joy before thee according to the joy in the harvest..." (2 Nefi 19:2-3)

Wishing you a week with an increase of joy. Love you and can't wait to see you for Christmas (yes, we are already listening to Christmas music).

love always,

Hermana Rhondeau

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