Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Love Companionship Inventory

Hello family!

Another busy week that passed by really fast.  I´m a little stressed out with the ten thousand things on my to-do list, so I´m not sure that this email will be worth reading..

Anyway, lesson learned on judging this week- don´t do it.  I always think I´ve improved so much on this point until I realize I haven´t.  This week I got to do a split with the Providência sisters.  I had done one the week before and heard one companion´s point of view, so I went in with this whole idea of what was going on and what needed to be fixed.  I was completely wrong.  We had a great day, and that sister is so great.  And it´s funny because from her perspective, everything that´s wrong is with her companion.  And that´s why I love companionship inventory.  Mom and Dad may either think I´m a hypocrit or fall on their knees thanking the heavens, but I have a huge testimony of communication now.  75% of the problems with sisters is just communication.  It´s a life skill.

Probably the most spiritual part of this week was our lesson with Claudio and his family- the family we´re preparing to be baptized at the family history fair.  After going to General Conference, they were all super excited to continue learning about the restored gospel, but at the same time, very reserved.  In their younger years, Claudio and Lene were active workers in the church ´´Universal´´, waking up at 3 am to respond to the pastor´s prayer call, making money cards until the early hours of the morning, and a whole bunch of other ridiculous things until finally, after seeing many bad examples and being stretched to the limit, they decided that, that wasn´t what they wanted for their family and left the church, feeling greatly deceived.  After having wasted so many years in a church that´s only out to get your money, Caudio and Lene really want to find the right and true church in which to raise their four daughters (sounds familiar), but have many inhibitions too.  From talking with Claudio and his family, it´s so amazing how Heavenly Father prepares people from the beginning to accept the gospel.  When we first contacted Claudio, he said that he´d been praying the night before to be more useful to God, not in a self serving way, but to just thank Heavenly Father more for the blessings he has.  Claudio and Lene told us this week that if we´d tried talking to them 10 years ago when they were workers in the Universal church, they would have laughed in our faces.  I had to cry a little when, at the end of our lesson on Wednesday, Claudio told us about the various experiences he´d had with members of the church.  One day, after a ´´workers´ meeting´´, some man tried stealing Claudio´s bike.  The robber rode away, waving at Claudio, thinking he was getting away, but Claudio went out running after him.  Finally, Claudio caught up, tackeled the robber to the ground and started beating him (this is something really common with criminals here.  Many times they don´t even make it to jail because they citizens kill them before they have a chance).  Claudio said that he was ready to kill the theif when some guy from the street stepped in, pulled him back, and yelling in his face told him to stop, that he didn´t want to do this.  The theif ran away, and after calming down, Claudio realized how awful it would have been if he´d killed the man, how he would have offended God.  He felt awful and thanked the man for helping him stop.  That man was a member of the church.  Claudio felt awful in that moment for almost killing a man, but when he was telling this story, I couldn´t imagine how awful he would be feeling if he really had killed him, and because of that, couldn´t be baptized.  It is really hard to be baptized after committing murder.  Heavenly Father knew that one day Claudio would accept the gospel and that if he´d commited that sin, it would be so much more difficult, so he sent one of his servants in to intervene.  Heavenly Father´s hand really is in our lives whether we see it in that moment or not.  I am so grateful to have the opportunity to teach this family.  They are progressing so much in their knowledge and testimony, and I love seeing the changes in their family and their personal lives.

The gospel is so true.  I know Heavenly Father is aware of us always, we just need to look for Him and to Him.

Happy Birthday to the best mom in the world!
and Happy birthday to Kelsey too! (I don´t have favorite sisters)

Much love,
Sister Barkdull

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