So, I don't remember what I have actually shared with you about the people here in Mariano... But, today my thoughts and heart are focused on one person in particular, Mirtha! She is one of our investigators... She is 29 and lives by herself. She took the missionary lessons a long time ago because the guy she was dating was LDS, but soon after they broke up, she broke up with the missionaries too (saying that she only took the lessons because of her boyfriend and had no desire to continue without him). After time had passed, about 6 months... she called US and told us that she wanted us to come back - and that this time she wanted to know for herself!! :) She was the first lesson that I had when I came here to Mariano (I may have told you about the time we 'heart attacked' her door for her birthday)!! Anyway, she has progressed soooo much in this short time!! :) She is so beautiful and lovely in every way! She has had all the lessons, she has a testimony that is SO strong, and she is SO ready to take this next step and be baptized... the only reason she hasn't yet is because she wants to take a trip to her parents house so she can share with them her decision and invite them to be there on her special day!! She also hopes to slowly, but surely invite them to feel The Spirit and the happiness that comes from the gospel! So hopefully it won't be long before I have more news to share about the lovely Mirtha!! :)
One more thing about a conversation we had with Mirtha the other day... She said something I loved so much! :) We were all talking about the commandments... what they are, why we have them, and how it benefits us to keep them. We were trying to help her understand the blessings that come from personally living the commandments. And instead of us helping her understand, she gave us a teaching moment :) She said "I know that I need to keep all of these commandments, I know it because I know that my Heavenly Father has given them to me to keep me on His path and to keep me happy. I know they aren't to punish me, rather to bless me and help me get closer and closer to Him and His plan".... She's brilliant... it's SO simple, but SO true! :)
Now, since that lesson, I haven't been able to get commandments out of my head. I love the commandments!! :) Haha!! They are such a blessing, and they are NOT restrictions.... the truth is, they are just the opposite. They help free us from worldly ties and vices that would take away our freedom and our agency. They come from a Heavenly Father who loves us! The Lord has marked the path and showed it to us and He wants us to stay on that path... because if we stay on it we will find the sweetest joy, the most genuine happiness, and the most rewarding prize.... Eternal Life with our Heavenly Father and our families!! :) He wants us to be on that path because He wants to pour out His blessings upon us and He can without reproach if we will only be obedient and keep his commandments! :) Really, that is all that Heavenly Father asks of us.... "Keep my commandments"
I love the commandments AND I love you guys!! :)
Keep on praying and pressing forward! You guys are the best! :)
Hermana Lauren Fardos
PS. This week we had a really fun service project helping a MiaMaid with her personal progress!! :) We got to paint the Eiffel Tower! So fun!! :) XOXOX