Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

Hello Family!

Wow we had such an amazing week! Where to start? First of all we finally moved into our new piso which is wonderful! The old one was awful. The new one is a little smaller, but it´s clean! I´m happy. The moving and cleaning and everything took up some time which is too bad, but on Wednesday I had one of the coolest experiences in my mission. 

In our ward we have quite a few Filipino families. On Wednesday they had a big picnic in Retiro Park and invited us, saying that they were going to invite investigators as well. So we went, we ate a bunch of Filipino food, and we met the coolest family ever! We met Merci and her husband and their son and a cousin, Emily, who also lives with them. They are so prepared for the gospel! We talked with Merci and Emily for awhile after eating, and Merci talked about how she is looking for a church to help her sons grow up to be good people (she has 3 others in the Philippines still) and that as far as she can tell this is the right one. Wow. When everyone was finished eating we shared a short message. We read the first 11 verses of 3 Nephi 11, in English (Nearly all of them speak English better than Spanish), the part where Christ appears to the Nephites and they all see and feel the marks in His hands and side. It was such an amazing experience. We were sitting there on the grass with about 30 people in a circle in front of us. After reading we bore testimony and asked if anyone there would like to share as well. One by one about 5 or 6 members all bore their testimonies of the gospel, in Tagalog. I didn´t understand what they were saying, but the Spirit was so strong. Even Merci the investigator spoke for a minute, and her friend that brought her was one of those that bore testimony. It was such an incredible experience! We met with this family one other time this week and yesterday all four of them came to church for almost the entire 3 hours. They are so golden! Oh, and they are married. Friday was their 22 anniversary. We are so blessed! 

We are also teaching another family, Juan Carlos and his wife. They are from Bolivia and, sadly, not married, but we´ll get to that. We have taught Juan Carlos more than his wife, and he is super good. We taught the Restoration and he understands perfectly about authority and how important it is. He even said that if the Pope doesn´t have that authority, why is he in that position. He said he thinks that the Pope is chosen by men, not God. So he is very interested in the idea that we have a prophet called of God. 

We are also teaching a lady from Syria. She is a troubled woman. She believes in God, but expects more of Him. She can´t see His hand in her life, with good reason. Her country is torn apart by war, her family is in constant danger, and she can´t return to them or help them out. She tells us horrible stories about the way people are killed everyday there. Meanwhile she lives here alone, working constantly. She says she needs relief, but her faith has been diminished by all that has happened to her. Its hard to teach her, but I think little by little we will be able to help her find hope again. I honestly don´t know if I would be able to keep my faith in such a situation. How do you hold on to hope? To a belief in a God who loves us and promises to bless us? It´s really opened my eyes talking with her. It´s hard. I really hope she accepts our invitations and begins to grow that faith again. More than anyone I´ve taught, I think she needs it. 

Beto has been gone on vacation so we haven´t taught him, but Bastilio is doing well. The trouble is his work. We can only meet once a week, but he is doing great. He understands the lessons so well and has faith like a child. He believes everything we tell him and says that it feels right. He says he´s not totally sure yet, but he wants to know. I´m really excited for him.

Madrid has 3 stakes in it. We do go to stake conference as well, like regular church. People are finally starting to get back from vacations, our attendance went up this week, but it´s still rough. 

Well, I think that´s all for this week. I want you all to know how much I love you. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I know that none of the miracles we are seeing here are because of me. I´m grateful for everything you do for me. Thank you!

Take care! Love,

Elder Cousins

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