Hi ya'll!This is gonna be short because I can only type with one hand right now. I'm sure you all know by now through Facebook that I was attacked by a pitbull on Friday. I got 32 stitches and I'm okay. A little shooken up, but it'll be okay. The ward down here is amazing and all these woman are like my mom.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Monday, April 13, 2015
This week has been pretty crazy. Yesterday we finally got to see the ward members at church! It was good to put faces with names. This ward is so good to their missionaries. The meal calender is full and we've been getting fed every night! Sometimes twice a day. And the Relief Society passed around a sign up sheet for members to come out with us for a few hours. So at least twice a week we have members coming with us to appointments and visiting less actives for about 3 or 4 hours. It is really cool.
Spring is in the air! Literally. It rains pollen over here. Everything is caked in green. After it rains it looks like there is yellow chalk everywhere but it's just pollen. On Thursday we had a crazy thunder and lightning storm! In the ten seconds it took us to run to our car our hair was dripping wet and our clothes were soaked. It was kind of exciting though.
It is so fun being the first Sister Missionaries in this ward! We get to surprise the less actives and the young women and the relief society sisters are really excited to be able to come out with us. On Wednesday we had an experience with a family who just wanted to degrade our beliefs. We were responding to a referral we had received and decided to take one of the YW with us because the referral said it was a male. When we got there it turned out to be a teenager who had been requested by one of his friends as a joke. They let us in though and the grandpa shot down everything we taught as we talked about the Restoration. He wanted to know where the proof was. I was getting so frustrated that my hands started to shake. We kept our cool though and at the end I just bore testimony to them that I know what I am teaching is true and I the reason I am on a mission. As I bore testimony to them the Spirit testified to me. And although they couldn't see it my faith was strengthened because it was challenged. It reminded me of one of Elder Holland's talk where he said defend your beliefs with kindness and compassion, but defend them. Never be afraid to bear your testimony, especially to those who are critical. I know this gospel is true and I am so grateful to be out here on my mission.
I love you all!
Monday, April 6, 2015
Well, I'm in North Carolina now and their thick Southern accents are getting to me. It's so hard to say yall! So we are focusing on the English work down here for now because there is a lot to do. We are the only missionaries in our ward and they have never had Sister missionaries before so they are all freaking out. We've gotten questions like "SO what are the rules with Sister Missionaries?" Well, pretty much the same as the Elders. We don't understand what the big deal is, but even the bishop told my mission president he doesn't know what to do with us. So we have a mix of emotions from the ward members with us being here, but for the most part they are excited to finally have sister missionaries. These members have been so kind. Every time we call them to ask a question or to check up they ask us is we have dinner that night. We are getting fed every. night!
So we are focusing on the English work for now and boy, is it difficult. Teaching in English is not the same as teaching in Spanish. It's a different culture and different religious background. We are putting all of our in trust in the Lord because we have no clue how to talk to these people. Hopefully we'll be able to teach a few Hispanics as well, but we don't know where to find them here.
My new address is:
1002 Amelia Station Way #202
Clayton, NC 27520
General Conference was great! I hope you all had a chance to watch it. And I hope you had a great Easter. I am so grateful for my Savior and for His Atonement and His example. The words that come to my mind are from the hymn I Know That My Redeemer Lives.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"
I love my Savior and I know that he is there for us every step our mortal journey. If you haven't seen the website or the video because of him you should look it up. It's on HeLives.mormon.org
I love you all!
Monday, March 30, 2015
Hi Family and Friends!
Wow! What a week! Okay first off. I got a transfer call on Saturday and I'm going down to Clayton, North Carolina to open an area! Right now there are only Spanish Elders down there so Hermana Phillipy and I are going to be the first Hermanas down there. So it will be English and Spanish. As my mission president said it will be an adventure and we will have to find the Hispanics but we can do it. I am really excited to have this opportunity, but I'm a little nervous. It will be different being in an English ward and teaching English people and Spanish. Now I'm REALLY going to get a southern accent. My new companion will be Hermana Phillipy who is one of the other Hermanas in the branch so I know her pretty well already. She is from Washington and knows a lot of Spanish. She started her mission in Peru and came home after about 6 months for health reasons, then served in Washington for a few months and then got called to the Virginia Chesapeake Mission. So she has been a missionary for almost two years. She goes home in August. I'm really excited to be her companion! There's a lot that I can learn from her. On Wednesday we'll be heading down to NC together to embark on our new adventure.
On Wednesday I went on an exchange and this time I stayed in my area and my companion left. So I had to make all the decisions and talk to the people by myself. The Sister Trainer Leader knew a little bit of Spanish, but I was mostly teaching the lessons. It was good for me to realize how far I have come with Spanish, with teaching, and with talking to people and knocking on doors. I just finished my 12 week training so I am officially not a "greenie" anymore. I am, as my mission president called us, seasoned. After the day of exchanges was over I realized that Heavenly Father had answered my prayers as I had been praying to be able to understand and teach clearly by myself. That day He only allowed me to teach the investigators that I can understand the best. There are some where I have to still guess what they're saying and some talk way too fast for me. But the two lessons we taught were with people that talked slower and clearer than most of my other investigators. Heavenly Father was watching over me.
On Saturday my companion and I had a really cool experience as we were knocking doors. One of the doors we knocked a girl who looked like she was about 23 or 24 answered the door. In kind of an annoyed tone she asked who we were. We explained we are missionaries and she told us she is an atheist. We paused for a minute kind of taken back by her response because we had never talked with an atheist before. Then my companion started talking about the prophet and General Conference and how we were inviting people to watch. We were both thinking this is probably not going to go anywhere, but then she asked where the church was and if we believe in baptism. She said her boyfriend is religious and their are going to have a baby soon and he wants the baby to be baptized and to have a religion. I started to talking to her about baptism and how children aren't baptized until the age of eight so that they have the ability to choose. She said that makes sense. So we just had a great conversation and just as she was about to close the door to say goodbye she said, "That's crazy. I was just talking about this the other day how I need to find a church and then you guys show up on my doorstep." So cool! The Lord is definitely preparing people to hear the gospel. Never be afraid to talk people about what we believe, even if they are Atheist.
Sunday was really sad as it was my last time in the branch. These people have a piece of my heart. Hopefully, I will be able to serve here again later in my mission. A little tender mercy from the Lord though was that the last hour of church was combined with everyone so we were all in the same room together and I could say goodbye and take pictures.
The Church is true. The more I study it the more it makes sense. We have it all. The Gospel is one of the greatest parts of Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness. If we abide by the Lord's teachings and the instruction of His prophets we will be so much happier in this life and life hereafter. I hope you all will watch General Conference this weekend and ponder on the revelations these great men and women have received to help instruct us. Ponder the impressions that come to your mind as you listen. I love when Conference is on Easter Sunday. The Church just put out a video on helives.mormon.org. You all should go check it out. Christ lives! And loves us! And I love you all! Happy Easter!
Monday, March 23, 2015
Well, we didn't teach a lot of lessons this week, but the ones we did teach we really great. It's all about quality, not quantity. The beginning of our week was great. On Tuesday we had a full day. Right after our studies we helped some ladies in our branch move apartments and clean their old apartment. It was really good to finally be able to do some service. I love service! After that we ate lunch on our way to our appointment because we didn't have time to take a lunch that day. We had three appointments back to back which was awesome. Tuesday was a busy, full day but those days are the best. I love when you can get lost in the work.
We taught Edith on Wednesday the Law of Chastity and it ended up being a great lesson. She has a baptismal date for April 18 but we're probably going to have to change it because she's living with a guy and their not married and they have two little kids together. So we are hoping and praying that they can work things out so that she can be baptized. Every time we go over there we ask her how she's feeling about her baptismal date and usually she says good, but this time she said she had doubts. After talking with her for a little while we asked her why she wants to get baptized in this church and her answer was interesting. She said because every time she has a question about something we can answer it with something that makes sense. We explained to her that by the Spirit we are able to know what to say and how we understand her questions.
On Thursday we had a great lesson with a family that we haven't been able to meet with for about a month. We retaught the Restoration to them and this time it went really well. As it was getting towards the end of the lesson I kept getting a really strong prompting to ask them to be baptized. So I with the Spirit as my guide I invited them to be baptized and they all said YES! I am so grateful for the Spirit and that I am able recognize and act on His promptings. Never be afraid to act on a prompting from the Holy Ghost. He will always lead you in the right direction.
I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Monday, March 16, 2015
On Friday we went to the Raleigh, NC temple and it was fantastic! It was a little bit of a sacrifice because we had to wake up a 5 am and drive 4 hours down there, but it was worth it! We didn't get home until 10:15 which was just in time for our bedtime. We were very tired the next day, pero asi es la vida de una misionera. You are always tired on your mission. On the way down to the temple I was in the car that arrived last. We got there at 10:55 for the 11 session so we ran inside and changed in 60 seconds. As I walked into the Endowment room it was one of the coolest sights to see a room filled with missionaries all dressed in white. That was an experience that I will never forget.
The Raleigh temple is TINY. You San Diegans are some lucky ducks. Take advantage of the San Diego temple! I would say it's my favorite temple just because it's the first one I went through, but now that I've been to a few other temples the San Diego is definitely the biggest and prettiest one yet.
The reason we went to the temple was for our zone conference which was centered on family history, temples, and eternal marriage. We're working on getting people interested in the gospel through family history work. Familysearch.org is awesome and it's a great tool to find the work that needs to be done for your ancestors. You all should try it out if you haven't already.
Our week was a little slow, but that just gave us more time to knock on doors and meet some more people. My Spanish is improving so my trainer makes me talk to people now which is good because the only way I'm gonna learn is if I do it. On Saturday it was pouring down rain as we knocked on doors. There was one door we knocked on where the guy was outside so we stood in the rain and talked to him for about five minutes. He seemed like a really nice guy. Hopefully, we'll have a chance to teach him this week.
I love being a missionary and I keep having dreams that I'm going home. So I think that means I need to take advantage of my time because it really is not very long. I am learning a lot and my testimony is definitely growing. Thank you for all of the support and the love.
I hope you all have a great week!
P.S. My mission president and his wife are the greatest people I have ever met.
Monday, March 9, 2015
This week went by really fast! But it was a great one. I had some amazing experiences this week with following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit is really such a great gift that Heavenly Father has given to us. It is an amazing feeling to know that I am being led by the Spirit as I do the Lord's work.
One of the experiences I had was with one of our new investigators. We found her as we were knocking doors a week or two ago. When we went to teach her, one of her friends that lives with her and her husband was there. So we invited him to join us and he said sure. He did not look interested at all though. He did not want to participate and he looked like he wasn't really listening or paying attention. BUT, at the end of the lesson we asked if one of them would like to say the closing prayer. Delmy said no so we asked her friend and of course he said no, but we really felt like he needed to say the prayer. So my companion explained to him how simple prayer was and showed him the page in the pamphlet that has the steps. He still kept saying no. So my companion said that I can say a pray first to demonstrate and then he can do it. So I said a short prayer and STILL he refused. I kept feeling like I needed to say something but I didn't know what to say, but I knew that I would have help. So as I opened my mouth words came out (in Spanish) and what the Holy Ghost put into my mouth was just what Francisco needed to hear and HE PRAYED! After the prayer he had a change of disposition and he started asking where the church was and when we met. It was a cool experience.
I am really loving to being a missionary. I don't remember if I have told you all about the new goal my mission president has for us. They are called I.O's (invite others). It has been the best thing for me because it is helping me learn to talk to everyone. An I.O. is when you invite a non member to do something that was outside of a lesson. So pass along cards, pamphlets, coming to church all count as I.O's. And with these I.O's miracles have been happening. Missionaries are finding investigators, investigators are keeping commitments, our mission is thriving. The Lords is blesses us for our efforts to share the gospel with everyone.
I love you all! I hope you have a great week!
Monday, March 2, 2015
What a week! Great things are happening in my area and I'm so excited! It has taken me three months but now I really feel like I know what my purpose is and I LOVE being a missionary! So my companion and I have been working on asking inspired questions during our lessons and not just going through the same routine lessons because we teach the Restoration several times a week. And since the beginning of my mission I have been taught that if you ask inspired questions you will receive inspired answers. I never really understood what that meant until this week.
Monday night we met with some investigators who have been taking lessons from missionaries since July and they still aren't baptized, but they still want to be taught. So my companion and I taught them the Plan of Salvation, well we reviewed it because they've already had all of the lessons once. As my companion and I taught we really were trying to focus on the promptings of the Spirit to know what questions to ask. As we asked inspired questions, indeed we did receive inspired answers and they finally told us what has been holding them back from getting baptized. We finally felt like we were getting somewhere and we knew how we could help them progress.
Wednesday was a great day. Every week we eat at a member's house for lunch. We call her Abuelita because she's this super cute, little, old lady in her 70's. She is hilarious though. I love her. The thing about eating over there though is that she feeds us so much. She starts with an oatmeal based drink, then we have a huge bowl of soup, then we have a plate full of beans, rice, and chicken. We usually bring little tupperwares in our bag to put some of our food into when we get full. After we ate at Abuelita's we had an appointment with our investigator named Lizbeth. She's from Puerto Rico so she speaks Spanish but she prefers to speak in English. So we teach her in English which I love because it's a different experience than teaching in Spanish. Lizbeth is so ready for the gospel. The Hermanas before me and my companion taught her for about a month or two and she wasn't really progressing well. She never came to church because she was in the army and so she has a little bit of PTSD and being around a lot of people makes her anxious. Anyway, at the end of our lesson on Tuesday she was telling us about something that was going on in her life and I felt prompted to talk about the gift of the Holy Ghost and how after we are baptized we get the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide us in our life. She said "yeah the other Hermanas kept trying to get me to get baptized but I don't like going to church." So..we asked her if we could give her a church tour on Saturday so she can be familiar with the building before there were a lot of people in it on Sunday and she said yes! And the church tour went great and she accepted a baptismal date!! She's set for April 11th!
Wenesday night it started snowing again so we went home around 7pm because the roads were slippery. Wednesday was another snow day because we got like 9 inches! I finally learned how to build a snowman and apparently all Virginians build snowmen. I have never seen so many snowmen in my life!
This week we had to knock doors and most missionaries grown when they have to tract but I kind of like it. You get to meet new people and invite them to learn about the gospel. We had knocked a few buildings in an apartment complex and my companion was done and ready to get in the car because we didn't find any Hispanics and I said let's do one more. And we found a Hispanic! A super cute girl who let us right in and was ready for us to teach her. Unfortunatley we didn't have time, but we're gonna go back and teach her.
I don't have a lot of time left so here are some other great things that happened this week.
- We set Edith with a baptismal date too so now we have two!
- We learned how to make papousas and they are delicious.
- Our less actives are coming back to church!
I love you all!! Have a great week!
Monday, February 23, 2015
Wow! I can't believe I'm already done with 1/6 of my mission! I just need to soak up every minute because time flies when you're on the Lord's errand.
So this week we got a snow day! Which isn't as fun for missionaries because the only thing to do inside your apartment is read the Ensign, or study some more, or watch the Restoration video. Actually we were able to watch 17 Miracles because our mission president approved it so that was cool. On Monday afternoon a big snow storm started so Monday night we weren't allowed to go out, well we couldn't drive. On Tuesday we couldn't go anywhere all day. After we did our four hours of studies we went walking down the street trying to find service opportunities, but nobody wanted help. So then we just made cookies and tortillas and playing some games. It was a good little break but we were ready to get back to work on Wednesday.
Although it only snowed that one day it has been freezing cold. The high for the next couple days after the snow storm were 22 degrees. 22 degrees! So the snow turned into ice. Thankfully, they had plowed the roads, but neighborhoods and parking lots were like sheets of ice. I fell right on my rear end walking from the car to a member's home. It was the worst. But luckily I had leggings on and no one was around so no one saw. Actually, that's a lie. When we went to one of our less active's house she asked which one of us had fallen. She said that her friend who lives over where we were saw me from her window slip and fall. I guess there's always someone watching you.
On Friday after District Meeting we got a message from the two people that we had appointments with that day and they both cancelled. We were bummed because one of them was Priscila and the other one is an investigator who we only see once a week and we had a great lesson plan for her. Also, we teach her in English because she prefers speaking English so I love teaching her. Anyway, we had to use our backup plans which was a lady named Yvette. She had been on our backups for a few weeks now and we had never had the opportunity to teach her yet. So we taught her the Restoration and that was the most amazing lesson I have ever taught. The Spirit was so strong, I was able to explain the Restoration in a way that she understood. As I stated the First Vision and bore testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon the Spirit was so strong and I started to cry. I asked her what she thought about the Restoration after I finished teaching it and she said she knows this is the true church and she knows it's going to take a lot of changing in her life. She understood that she was going to have to act and do some things that may be different for her. She is definitely ready for the gospel. Hopefully, we can set her up with a baptismal date next time we teach her.
My mission president announced on Saturday that we're gonna have a one time opportunity while on our missions to go to the temple and do an Endowment session! He got permission for us to got to the Raleigh temple and then do our zone conference up there in a stake center next to the temple after our session. I'm so excited! I love the temple! I miss being able to go twice a week.
I just finished reading the Book of Mormon today! That book is so good! Really. I'm excited to start reading it again. Actually, I've also started reading the Bible all the way through. I just love reading the scriptures now. They're so interesting to me. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that it contains the fullness of the gospel. The only way you can know it's true is if you read it!
Another thing I want to bear testimony of that I learned this week is that God is always listening when we pray. If you just kneel down and tell Him all of your frustrations and what you're thinking and feeling He will listen. And ask you humbly as for His help His love will fill your heart and He will give you answers if you are sincerely listening.
Well, I love you all soo much! Have a great week!
Monday, February 16, 2015
I made it through my first transfer. I'm finishing my training in the same area, but one of the other Hermanas that came in with me is changing from an English area and will be in a trio with the other Hermanas. So we'll have FIVE Hermanas and two Elders in our Branch. The missionaries will make up half of the congregation! Just kidding. Actually, our branch is growing. We had another baptism in the branch on Friday. So that's four in the past month or so which is awesome! Hopefully, it will continue to grow.It snowed this week! Actually it's snowing right now. Our mission president postponed transfers until Thursday instead of Wednesday because there is supposed to be a big storm coming tonight. If it gets bad tomorrow then we'll have to stay inside.
Monday, February 9, 2015
Hola,I can't believe the ward boundaries changed in the Poway Stake!! I hope ya'll are adjusting okay to that. So this week was another great week. Priscila got baptized on Friday!! It was a great service and she is so amazing. One of the last things we taught her before her baptism is that as a member of the church we have to responsibility to share the gospel with others and be a member missionary. And then on Sunday she brought a friend to church! And now her friend wants us to teach her! She's going to be the next Relief Society President. She's great.
Monday, February 2, 2015
This has been the best week yet! We got SIX new investigators! Usually we only get maybe one or two, but this week we got six! Also we taught a ton of lessons this week. A lot of times our appointments get cancelled so we only end up teaching maybe half of the appointments we originally planned, but none of them got cancelled this week. We needed to learn patience I guess and how to work hard. The past couple of weeks we've had to do a lot of contacting and we only taught maybe six lessons a week, but this week we taught 11. It was awesome. So let me tell you about these awesome people that I'm teaching.
First, Priscila is getting baptized on Friday!! We are all excited. She is so cute. She is inviting everyone she sees to come to her baptism. She's gonna be baptized on my one month mark in the mission field and my companion's one year mark. Crazy! So this week we're gonna be teaching her everyday so that we can make sure she is taught all the lessons before her baptism. Anyway, that's where we're at with Priscila. I just love her!
So on my very first day in Newport News we taught a girl named Edith and her "husband" Jose. Jose wasn't really interested, but Edith had a lot of questions. We never had been able to get in contact with them again since then. Every time we call or text they never respond and whenever we go over there they are never home. So it had been three weeks and I thought we were just gonna stop trying because obviously it just wasn't happening. On Wednesday we went up to Williamsburg because we were going to check on one of our investigators who lives in the same apartment complex. We had planned to stop off at Edith but we were running behind schedule and my companion asked me if we should go see Edith first or Jenny. Edith kept coming to my mind and I thought well we'll just make sure she's not home so I don't feel bad and then we can go to Jenny's. But Edith was home! And she had been reading the Book of Mormon! And she had awesome questions for us! It was a miracle. So we taught her the Restoration and were able to explain the Book of Mormon some more and answer her questions. She has a sincere desire to learn. The hard part though will be when she wants to be baptized and Jose doesn't. In order to be baptized they would have to get married or they would have to not live together anymore. But they have two little kids...but we'll figure that out when we get to that point.
Every Sunday we teach this cute, little, shy man with a member in the branch, Sister Self. Her and her husband aren't Hispanic, but they both went on Spanish speaking missions. So they help out the branch a lot. They are the cutest family. Anyway, they come with us to teach Adolfo. Yesterday, I invited him to be baptized! He got really nervous and said he would have to think about it. So we told him to pray about it and we'll talk more about it next Sunday. He is also very interested and open and receptive to the gospel. I hope things work out with him.
Miguel and Anna. I love them, but, man, do they love to talk! We only made it through a third of the Restoration because they have so much to say. It's good though. They are definitely ready to hear the gospel, but they need to stop talking so that we can teach them! Hopefully we can finish the Restoration with them tomorrow and invite them to be baptized.
We had exchanges with the Sister Trainer Leaders on Saturday so I got to teach in English which was weird. I learned though that I was supposed to be working with the Hispanic people and now I appreciate my companion more. I felt like I teach more in Spanish lessons then I did in the English ones. I just have never taught lessons in English. We always practiced in Spanish in the MTC. So that was a different experience.
I found something cool during my studies this morning! A lot of investigators ask why the Book of Mormon is called that and who is Mormon and why are we called Mormons? I think I knew this before but I was reminded that Mormon was the one who compiled all of the plates and made an abridgement. And in 3 Nephi 5:12 it says "And behold, I am called Mormon, being called after the land of Mormon, the land in which Alma did establish the church among the people, yea, the first church which was established among them after their transgression." So Mormon comes from the place that the church was first established by Alma. I thought that was cool little fun fact.
Well, I love you all! I hope you have a great week!
Monday, January 26, 2015
Virginia is so beautiful! On Monday we sat on the beach and wrote letters. It was a little bit chilly, but it was pretty. Also, I love the people here. The Branch is so awesome and it's growing! So there are three sets of missionaries in the branch and we all cover different areas. It's cool though because we get to know each others investigators because they all come to the same branch. I love Sundays because I love seeing everyone and meeting all the people that the other missionaries are teaching. And Hispanics are so friendly which I love. Something that I realized as we were contacting this week is that Hispanics are so trusting of people. They let anyone in their house. All we had to say was Hola, como esta? and they tell us to come in. Hispanics are great.
We didn't have very many lessons again this week. People kept cancelling. We're kind of in a rut right now looking for new investigators. Por favor, pray that we can find new people. We've found some people that have some potential if we could just find a time to teach them. But we did get to teach Priscila! She is so dang awesome. We taught her about the Word of Wisdom and she has been drinking coffee since she was a little kid. She's from El Salvador and drinking coffee is like a social think. They just all do it. She told us that will be hard for her but it's a commandment from God so she is going to do her best to keep it. She told us she would just throw away her coffee maker so that she isn't tempted. We told we could bring her hot chocolate to help her out. When we came back later to give her the hot chocolate she told us mission completed. She is so cute. Her baptism is coming up! We weren't able to teach her on Friday or Saturday because there was something wrong with her washing machine and the water pipe broke and flooded her apartment. So that was crazy and she had family coming into town this weekend. She still came to church though! She had breakfast with her family and then told them she had to go to church so she just left them there. She is seriously so great.
On Sunday we taught Adolfo who is the roommate of Miguel. Miguel wasn't there which was good so we were able to teach the Restoration. Adolfo is so funny. He knows that I'm learning Spanish and so that's why I usually don't talk very much. I'll usually just teach one part of the lesson and then my companion and the member we have with us will talk the rest of the time. So whenever I talk his eyes get really big and he has this big smile on his face like he's saying in his head, yay! she's talking! So I taught the part about Joseph Smith and the First Vision. The Spirit was strong and he was listening intently. When I finished he said, Wow, me gusta eso. A few minutes later some of his friends walked in and his attitude changed. He became closed off which was a bummer so we didn't invite him to be baptized, but we're hoping next time we can commit him to baptism.
Speaking of baptisms we had one on Friday! Edwin and Miriam are actually in our area, but the Elders were the ones that started teaching them a year ago so they just kept passing them down to the Elders. We still visit them every once in a while though. So they have been taking the lessons for almost a year and the reason they hadn't gotten baptized is because they needed to get married first. So in December they were married and finally, on Friday they were baptized. It was a good night. We're gonna see if we can start teaching them now. We have to talk with the Elders about it. Miriam told us on Friday when we went over there to see how they were feeling about there baptism that she actually had wanted the Hermanas to teach her, but she didn't want to offend the Elders. So we'll see if we can make that switch.
Well, I love you all! I'll talk to you next week!
Monday, January 19, 2015
Hola!This week has been slow and fast at the same time. On the mission your day feels like a week and your week feels like a day. I've lost all concept of time here. So being Spanish speaking in Virginia is weird because we're teaching and talking to people in Spanish and then when we get into the real world and go to the store or something these people have thick southern accents! I never realized before that Virginia is part of the South. So if I can't get my Spanish accent then I'll at least come home with a Southern one!
I have been fed three times now by members and Hispanics feed missionaries a lot differently than Americans. Hispanics fill your plates with mass amounts of food and then either watch you eat or sometimes they go do something else. They never sit down and eat with you. But they serve your food and you have to eat all of it. It's like Thanksgiving. I have to fast during the day so that I have room for all of the food they feed me. They food has been good though, thankfully. Each time we get fed I ask my companion if we'll have to eat something gross. Sometimes it's a hit and miss with some people. But for now it's been great!
This week was a little rough. Most of our appointments got cancelled so we only taught a few lessons this week. So we went contacting for my first time! That was a different experience. Most Hispanics here live in trailer parks so we knock in trailer parks. When we get Americans we ask them if they know of any Hispanics in the area. Our numbers for lessons may have been low but we had high numbers for referrals and contacted this week.
I think this week was a trial, but with patience, the Lord brings blessings. Yesterday we went to an investigator's home and we were going to drop him because he just wasn't progressing at all. But his roommate was there and he was super interested and wanted to learn more. So it would have been awkward to tell Miguel that we were dropping him but coming back to teach his roommate Adolfo. So we didn't tell him, but in reality he's dropped and Adolfo is our new investigator. And then this morning we got a call from a guy named Daniel who is the other roommate. My companion taught him when she was last in the area and he was actually gonna get baptized but things feel through. So he called us and asked us to come and teach him too! Crazy! Another little miracle that happened today...Tomorrow we're doing exchanges with the Sister Trainer Leaders so I won't be able to go to the lessons with my companion because I'll be in the STL's area. So I'll miss the lesson with Miguel and Anna that I have been waiting for all week! But we called them this morning to confirm the appointment for tomorrow and they switched it to Wednesday! God is good. He answers prayers. He loves His children.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Monday, January 12, 2015
I made it! I'm finally in the mission field! It has been a crazy, rough couple of weeks. Saying goodbye to everyone at the CCM and especially my district was awful. Luckily, though, I got to fly most of the way with my district and then in Atlanta the Elders and Hermanas parted ways. The hardest part though was saying goodbye to my companion at the transfer meeting. So only two our of the five Hermanas were assigned to a Spanish speaking area. And...I'm one of them! The other ones have an English speaking ward and area but they still have to do their language study everyday. That would be so hard. Well, Spanish speaking is hard, but it will be a blessing. I was assigned to the Newport News North and Williamsburg area.
My first day we had two appointments that we went to that night. I didn't say anything except read a scripture from the Book of Mormon. The next couple of days were rough because I wanted to talk and say something, but my companion is so good at Spanish already I was afraid that I would look dumb because I didn't completely understand what they were talking about sometimes. Speaking of my companion...Her name is Hermana Camps which is funny because my last companion's name was Hermana Fields and campos means fields in Spanish. Anyway, she's from Moab, Utah and she just hit her 11 month mark in the mission field.
So Spanish has been getting me down these past couple of days, but yesterday was amazing. I had been praying so hard for the strength and confidence to open my mouth and just speak. Yesterday my prayers were answered. I got called up to bear my testimony in the Branch yesterday and I was able to say the things I wanted to say. And then during our lesson that night I taught almost all of the lesson on the Restoration. We taught this super nice couple named Jenny and Elizar. That was our first time teaching them and they seemed really interested. Elizar kept saying they want to come to church on Sunday so we'll see if they come. At the end of the lesson she fed us papousa which was really nice. So they're our new investigators!
Last night our district leader called and told us that our district has the highest numbers in the zone. So our district has two Elders and four Hermanas and we all are in the same Spanish branch. We cover different areas though of Newport News.
On Saturday we're moving apartments because our lease is about to end. So we're moving into the Elders apartment which is in the same apartment complex we're at now and the Elders are moving into a different apartment complex. I feel like it'll be a lot of confusion and chaos on Saturday with all the ward members and everyone trying to help, but I'm used to confusion and chaos. So my new address will be:
708 Bellows Way #204
Newport News, VA 23602
And now I can get letters! Well, I love you all. Thanks for your prayers and support. Por favor, pray for me to have the gift of tongues. Have a great week!
There's a picture of my district with one of our teachers. A picture with me and my other teacher. She's so cute. I love her. I found Melissa! I mean Hermana Christensen!
Sunday, January 4, 2015
I hope you all had a great Christmas! On the 23rd it rained! It hadn't rained the whole time I've been here so the rain was fun. We got to get out our umbrellas!! I'm still a child still so when we had our service on Christmas Eve we got to wear jeans and tennis shoes. On our way back home I jumped in a puddle because I just couldn´t resist. Another Hermana joined in the fun after awhile. I love the rain! Christmas morning though it was cold and dreary and I just wanted more than anything for the sun to come out. We went to an MTC devotional broadcast and when I walked outside it was sunny and beautiful!! It was my Christmas present from God.
So for Christmas we basically just watched devotionals all day. They were really good devotionals! But i thought would would have done something else. The best part about Christmas though was at night. We got to watch Meet the Mormons! I had never seen it before so I was really excited that I finally got to watch it. After the movie we went back to our classrooms and our district had a little Feliz Navidad fiesta. My companion's mom sent her sparkling cider so we popped it open and took pictures. Our Christmas presents were letters that we had written to each other. Our teacher told us to write about the Christ like attributes that we all have. When it was time to go home we took our letters and read them before bed. They were so sweet. Such good Christmas presents.
This is my last week in the CCM! It's crazy! I fly out at 7:30 Tuesday morning which means we are leaving the CCM at 4 am!
Sorry this email is short this week. My spiritual thought is on prayer. We heard a lot about prayer this week and heard some cool stories. Elder Richard G. Scott was the speaker that we heard on Sunday for our weekly devotionals. He explained how God is waiting to hear from us. He will answer our prayers in the manner that will be best for our growth and development. When you have no desire to pray, pray. When you are feeling confused, alone, or in need of comfort, find a quiet place and pour out your heart to the Lord. He is there and He is listening. I want to testify that God hears our prayers. He answers them. I am gaining a bigger and bigger testimony on prayer each day on my mission. I have to rely on the Lord and I have faith that He will help me with all the things that I need to do. One day I was having terrible pains in class (they were cramps. Sorry for that little detail boys.) I couldn't concentrate on anything being said. We were about to start practice teaching and I had to teach a lesson. There was no way I would be able to think of words in Spanish let alone how to teach a lesson. Before I started I said a quick prayer and asked Heavenly Father to make this pain go away or at least make it not hurt as bad so that I can teach and focus on the lesson. As I was praying the pain instantly subsided. I'm starting to have more and more experiences of the Lord answering my prayers when I need them answered. God is good. He loves you all. I challenge you when you are feeling down, or frustrated, or stressed, or anxious, or lonely, or afraid, or in need of comfort, to pray to our Heavenly Father. I know that He will hear your prayers and answer them in a way that will best benefit you.
I love you all! Have a Happy New Year!