Bueno. I didn't ever think this time would come. Where this life is coming to an end and a new unknown life is not so far in the future. Waking up every morning at 6:30 running around to try and wake myself up and clear my head...preparing myself for another day of the unexpected. (PS literally every morning!) I only have one more week of that but Hermana Holland doesn't really believe that haha! Yesterday was my last testimony meeting and it opened my eyes to the reality of what is happening and the family I have developed here.
As I bore my testimony for the last time I was looking out and felt so at home...like these people mean the world to me. Serving people really does make you Love them. I feel more than blessed...Heavenly Father has been so good to me. Yesterday, one of the Hermanas who was baptized in December got up and bore her testimony for the first time. (The Mexican version of Mom :)) Her Sister shared her testimony as well and how grateful she is that her Sister is now here with her at church and soon...there families will be there with them.
Another one of the woman baptized in December also shared her testimony for the first time. I remember when we sat on her couch the first time she had been to church and seen a testimony meeting, she told us...how do these people know these things? How do they sometimes cry? "I just can't see myself ever doing that." As she bore her testimony yesterday, with a tear rolling down her cheek, she said, " I know that this church is true. I can feel it in my heart." That is what this is all about. The Atonement of Jesus Christ changes people. It has changed me even though I sometimes have a hard time seeing that. I know that I trust Him more than I ever did before. I know how important it is to listen to what the spirit is telling you to do...the gut feeling...what you just know you have to do.
A little boy who was baptized last summer with all his brothers was at church and passed the sacrament!
I have worked my heart out these last 9 months here in El Paso, and the Lord has made things happen in ways I never thought possible. The English ward we are working for along with the Spanish is now getting its own set of missionaries due to the success they have had and the increased member involvement. It is an incredible thing!
After church I received a call from a man I hardly know. He seemed quiet and emotional and I couldn't figure out why he was calling. He just wanted to say goodbye and thank me for the work I had done in the ward. Moments like that make me realize this is what it is all about. Service. Service brings the greatest joy anyone could ever ask for. Something a lot of these Mexicanos have figured out. The coolest family ever I have just fallen in love with...we stopped in on them as they were frying fish. Like the whole fish eyeballs included. After sharing our message they invited us to join them. They threw the whole thing on the plate and some tortillas on the table and there we went enjoying some of the best fish and bones I ever had....this family has practically nothing. Most of the family just came from Juarez. They cook and heat their home with a wood burning stove and have no sink. They all sleep in one room and their kitchen is in the other. That night they weren't expecting us so they had to go run out for some more fish for the rest of the family. But they wanted to show their love and trust by feeding us. We must of really showed how much we loved it because they got together with their neighbors to do another fish fry off outside on Sat and invited us to come. haha...and sent us home with chile rellenos to top it off. These people with practically nothing just love to give. And now I know why. Because it brings the Spirit of Christ into their home and family...and it makes them happy. The father told us about how this last week he came home with an agua in hand instead of a beer. Little Karina came with us across town to a baptism. She wants to be baptized! All in the Lord's time. There is an incredible work happening here and I know it is all in the hands of the Lord.
I can't thank you all enough for your love and support. It means the world to me. I don't know how I got so lucky to have such incredible family and friends and to have opportunity in my life. Mom and Dad more than anything I thank you for teaching me the simple principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ since I was little. It has made all the difference. I know the Savior lives. I know that even though I am not perfect He still loves me. And I know that our family will be together forever. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the gift that keeps giving and I can't wait to discover its healing power more in my life. I struggle every day and will continue to struggle every day, but I don't doubt that the Lord is right there with me through it all because in reality He is. He knows how it feels and He loves me. I know Jesus Christ has and is healing the hearts of the few I've had the opportunity to know and grown to love like hermanas y hermanos. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Church of Jesus Christ. He is at the head. His Priesthood was restored to the earth by a Prophet. I know that.
The way is simple. It is Jesus Christ.
Los quiero mucho. Se que esta obra es real y se que ha cambiado mi vida y las suyas también. Se que el señor nos puede sanar. No hay otro camino que conduce a la vida eterna. Y la meta mía...es la vida eterna con mi familia. Se que por vivir los principios sencillos del evangelio de Jesucristo lo podemos lograr.
Seguire adelante...y perserverare hasta el fin.
Con mucho amor la ultima vez de Horizon City, TX~
La Hermana Rachael Holland
Attached is Rosy and her daughter (the one who bore her testimony yesterday for the 1st time) that was after a day of El Paso dust storms which our out of control...try it in a skirt. Hilarious! So looking a little dirty but thats ok.
And the beautiful El Paso sunsets.