Monday, July 27, 2015

A week of learning

 I cannot believe that yet another week has passed. It feels like I was just emailing yesterday. It is crazy to me that this transfer is almost over. It doesn't even feel real! This week has been interesting to say the least. Honestly, we have had little success. It has left me emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually drained. At points, I felt like nothing I was doing was making any difference. But, I have learned a lot of important lessons from my Heavenly Father this week. Maybe not the easiest, but definitely needed :) 

Three generations of trainers
Thursday we received a text from our investigator saying that he was not going to be baptized. We went over to his house as fast as we could to see if there was something we could do. We just didn't understand what could have changed within 24 hours (we meet with him daily). Turns out that he felt pressured by different family members, and it was just too much. We decided to fast right then and there to know what Heavenly Father's desire was for him. I really felt like he was still going to get baptized on Saturday, but when we talked to him on Friday, he had decided to wait. One lesson I learned--we have to look at things from the Lord's perspective. I was going with my plan for Omar, and it wasn't what the Lord had planned for him. He still has a strong desire to be baptized, so he is planning for Aug 8. If it is the Lord's will for him to wait, everything will work out. 

I finally saw the sign!
Another lesson I learned! The invitation is the success. I had been thinking that baptisms were the success. But that is so not true! As long as I am inviting people to listen to the gospel, I have succeeded in the Lord's eyes. Sometimes I will be planting seeds. At other times, I will be able to harvest seeds. Both are so important to the work! Everyone has their agency to decide whether or not the gospel is for them. I cannot take that away (no matter how much I want to at points ;)). Sometimes the Lord is preparing people for a later time, and I am coming in at the beginning of that process. Also, obedience does not correlate with success....haha. I have felt more obedient than ever, and I didn't understand why nothing had been working out for us! But my President taught me something very important--just because we are super obedient doesn't mean we get the key to the gold door, and then less obedient people get the key to the silver door, etc. The Lord expects us to work hard and be obedient always! Then the blessings will come :)

Even though it was a not so great week, I did have 3 pretty amazing experiences. 1--We went to Tacos El Gordo, and basically everyone was speaking Spanish. This guy came up behind me and asked how the lines worked. I turned around and responded in Spanish. His eyes got so big, it was pretty hilarious. Him and his wife both complimented me on it! 
2--We were able to take lunch to an older single woman in our ward. She has been having a hard week as well, and she really appreciated us taking the time to stop by and have lunch with her. It was a very sweet experience, and I felt so good afterwards for the service we gave. 
Lunch with our mini's
3--Our mini-missionary asked me yesterday if I would go to the temple with her. She is a recent convert of 8 months, and will be going through the temple for the first time this December. I feel so honored that she asked me--I almost started to cry! :) 

 Thank you for all of your prayers, support, and love. It means the world to me. I am ready to have an amazing week! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times......

It has been one heck of a week. Probably one of the craziest I have had so far. It was a great week numbers wise--tons of lessons, 8 new investigators, etc. But every single day something went totally wrong. Satan is working on us hard because we are working hard! There have been so many blessings this week though, that all of the hard times just make me laugh. Let me explain :) 

Our investigator....passed his baptismal interview with flying colors! He was supposed to get baptized on the 18th, but forgot that he had that baptismal date. He was a little unsure at the beginning of the week if he still wanted to be baptized or not. His doubts were stemming from the decision to serve a mission. I know that sounds weird--his aunt kept telling him how wonderful of a missionary he would be after his baptism. I think it freaked him out a little bit! But, we told him to forget about serving a mission, and just to pray about baptism. We had a lesson with him Friday, but he wasn't there so his aunt called him for us. She put him on speaker and he said "me voy a bautizar" which means "I'm going to be baptized!" We all started to scream we were so excited! Our district leader said that his interview was the smoothest one he has ever done. Hehas no doubts about anything. It is amazing to see someone so prepared by the Lord for baptism! 

On Monday we met an amazing new family. They just moved here from Cuba--they have been living in the US for about 3 months. They decided to move here for the future of their child, but it has been a difficult move. They had to leave everything behind, and start all over again. We got the referral from a doctor of the family. It was a very powerful lesson. They have very little knowledge of religion--they secretly taught each other what they knew about the Catholic religion, since Cuba outlawed religion. They were amazed to here all of the things we taught them. I started to cry during the lesson because it was so sad to me that they haven't had the freedom I have had. This gospel is everything to me--it is where all of my happiness has come from, and I can't imagine not being able to practice it. I cannot wait to teach this family again! 

One of our investigators is finally progressing. She wasn't reading her scriptures or praying, so we thought we were going to have to stop teaching her. I am not sure what changed, but now she reads the scriptures and prays every day! She says that every day she prays that her dad will let her be baptized. I love teaching her because we have to teach everything so simply. It is amazing to me how mature she is. I definitely was not reading the BOM at age 10. We aren't sure when she will be able to be baptized, but we have decided to continue teaching her. 

Some of the crazy things that happened this week--my companion rolled her ankle while trying to street contact someone. We were biking at that point, so our car was a few blocks away. That was fun getting back to the car. Also, we tried biking to church, but her dress got caught in the gears and ripped. Maybe we should stop biking? But we love it too much not to! Also, she has been asked to be a Sister Trainer Leader. We will probably be together for only this transfer.....I am so sad!!!! She is helping me become a way better misionera. 

 Well, even though it was absolutely insane this week, the Lord showered blessings on us. It made it all worth it. I am loving the work down here and I love being the a small part of the Lord's work! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Start of Transfer 4

This week has been awesome, but insanely crazy at points. We had transfers on Tuesday, which took all day long. I don't know how many times I had to help unpack a car that arms were killing me by the end of it all. It was bittersweet leaving Sister Allen--I was really sad to see her go, but excited to meet Sister Cordova. Sis Cordova is amazing! She has been out for 13 months and is from Texas. She did not know any Spanish before she came out on her mission, but her Spanish is amazing now! I am having so much fun with her. She really has pushed me this week to become better and to work harder. Especially in street contacting! Haha :)
We have been teaching one investigator all of this week. He is so prepared for the gospel. When we were teaching him about the Plan of Salvation, he said that there was no way it couldn't be true, or all of this life would be a joke. Wow! He was supposed to get baptized on the 18th, but when we brought it up to him two lessons ago, he did not remember that we had committed him to baptism. Neither Sis Cordova or I were there for that lesson, so it was super awkward that he forgot! But, he will be getting baptized on the 25th. I am so excited for his baptism!
Last night I had a super amazing experience with listening to he promptings of the Holy Ghost. We had met a lady on Saturday, that I felt really prompted we should go back and visit her yesterday. When we had met her the first time, her daughter opened the door. When she came to the door to see who it was, she said that her daughter never answers the door, that she is too afraid to do so. That was a really big testimony to me that Heavenly Father wanted us to teach her! But, she couldn't set up a return appointment with us because of work. Sunday night, I could not get her out of my head, and I felt like we should change our plans to go see her. When we got there, she was home, and we were able to talk to her!!!! We have an appointment with her for this Friday--I am so excited!
We are still teaching the 10-year-old from Virgina. Sad news is that her dad still has not given permission for her to be baptized. We aren't quite sure what to do yet. Her baptism is set for the 25th, but without permission, we can't go forward. It makes me really sad because I know she has such a big desire to be baptized! I was definitely not at that place when I was 10. It is crazy to me that she chose to meet with the missionaries on her own. We are praying so hard that her dad will give her permission so that she can have the happiness we have!
This has been such a fun crazy week, and I am excited for the next five with Sister Cordova! Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I know I say it each week, but I am truly grateful for each of you. I am more than surviving here--I am loving it!!