Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March Showers???

Sad news, our investigators are not doing so hot. We never saw Oscar again but there's still hope as Hermano José Abel is going to do what he can to get ahold of him and get us an appointment with him. Gotta love members with lots of excitment for missionary work! 

Fabiane and Andrea we think are slowly slipping away and we feel that part of it is because of their mother who has lied to us a few times to get us to not visit them. However, we're hoping to see them this week and to get them back on track.

We found out this week that Alejandro has a bit of a problem with drugs...great. His girlfriend told us. =) Seriously, sometimes I feel like a spy with investigators, trying to get information about them through their family and friends that we know. ;P The cool thing is that after our first lesson with him, my companion told me that she thought that he has problems with the Word of Wisdom, specifically drugs and it was confirmed by his girlfriend Fanny when we went to our appointment with him and she told us...afer a bit of prying but she told us. I've learned recently that if you want to know something about someone, the best way to find out is to ask directly without being embarrassed. It seems to work pretty well. =P 

I loved the conferences that we had this week, the zone conference and the stake conference. We talked about quite a few things in the zone conference but the part that I enjoyed the most what when we talked about anger...and I had a personal revelation while reading a talk from President Monson. I realized that I have been lying to myself for quite a while now because I always told myself that I don't ever get angry, I only get frustrated but then while reading I received the impression that although I don't get furious very often I still do get angry. Like President Christensen said (talking about when he gets angry) in the conference, "my blood boils a little and the Spirit leaves." I was also told that I needed to start admitting to myself when I get angry so that I can repent and begin to work on this little problem of anger that I have. Also, it was really interesting to see that after we talked about anger and how no one "makes us angry", we have to choose, we ended up talking about it almost every day with someone new, members and investigators. Funny how what we learn about the gospel comes in handy soon after we learn something new.

I also really liked a talk given by Elder Johnson in the Fuertes stake conference about being an example as parents. I loved his example that he gave in the beginning because when he began to give us intructions to clap when he had counted to 3, I knew there was a trick somewhere and that something smelled fishy. I told myself that I was going to do it exactly as he said and not waver. However, when he and everyone clapped on 2 so did I! I couldn't believe it. It's amazing how hard it can be sometimes to follow the instructions of someone you trust and they do something else. This not only applies to parents but also to missionaries. How can we invite people to come unto Christ if we're not doing the same? How can we teach them obedience to the commandments of the Lord if we're not doing everything possible to be obedient to not only the commandments of the Lord but also to each and every one of the mission rules. 

I can't lie, I'm a little nervous for transfers this week (they'll be letting us know at the earliest on wednesday) especially because I love my area so much and love working with Hermana Perez, but I am also learning to forget what I want and to let the Lord do all that He wishes to do with this year and a half that I promised to give Him. He's been teaching me alot about humility and dependence on Him. It's hard....really really hard...but I know that with time, I will be able to see and understand what He has in store for me and the person He is trying to mold me into, even if I'm really stubborn clay for molding. ;) 

Question for all of you:
If Christ was chosen as our Savior to save us from our sins, what was Satan going to save us from if he had been chosen as the Savior? o.O
(an ex-missionary asked us this yesterday and I studied it this morning. Hint: Liahona March 2015 Pg 25 excellent article and gives a great answer if you're looking for it =) ) 

Yes, the Easter package came in. I don't have it but it made it to the offices and I should have it on Wednesday...I hope. =)

Camille! Your hair is so freakin' long! Oh, and congrats on the YW Medallion! I'm so proud of you :D

Oh and no earthquake. We didn't feel anything. The only weird thing the earth has been doing out here is raining...a lot!!!

I'll tell you all about Easter here next week!...I think. I honestly have no idea how they celebrate it. All I know is that they have nothing to do with eggs and easter bunnies. =P

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 16, 2015

This week was an interesting one, we basically lost a day of work and didn't feel like we did much, although we had a wonderful finish. We lost two of our investigators for whom we had been planning to put baptismal dates. Although we were sad to watch them choose to not accept the gospel we were blessed with two new investigators that seem really interested...well I guess they all do in the beginning. However, we walked out of both of our lessons feeling that they were a blessing from the Lord. 

  One of them is named Oscar. He's an acquaintance of José Abel and we contacted him while he was talking to José. He accepted an appointment and when he came to the appointment, the Spirit became so strong. We had a wonderful lesson with him as we listened to his story of how he found God and found his way back after walking down a road of drug and alcohol addictions and the love that he had for God after receiving his second chance. He accepted the baptism invitation and asked if he could come to church with us next Sunday. We walked out of that lesson just feeling amazed and excited to begin working with him. His recent convert friend (Jose) is also really excited to see him begin to learn about the gospel.

The other new investigator is Alejandro. He's living with a less-active member and is really open to learning. We hope that his interest will really help him progress and that his girlfriend will be able to encourage him to read and pray. He has so much potential that I really really hope he makes it to the waters of baptism. =) 

Funny thing that happened when one of our investigators dropped us. We went into the lesson knowing that it would either be the first of a lot of good lessons or the very last that we would have with her. She was supposed to pray about Joseph Smith and if he was a prophet. Well, she did and she got an answer that all that we're teaching is true... but didn't want to accept it. We taught a little lesson to her and she agreed with everything that we said but thanks to her fear of being a traitor to her parents she decided that she didn't want to learn more. Okay, well there's not much that we can do about that, so when she told us we bore our testimonies to her that all that we had taught was true and that God had answered her prayers and that he would continue to help her and everything that she did. Then we wanted to close with a prayer (we had to go eat and had other appointments and couldn't spend any more time than was necessary on someone who didn't want to know more) but that was when she went off trying to justify why she didn't want to learn more, having already told us, and we kept saying that it was fine, we understand, we're sad that she doesn't want more but we're going to respect her decision, and so forth. After saying each of these things we tried to finish with a prayer but she wouldn't let us leave. For like an hour! Finally, I took the moment given to bare my testimony and offer to say the prayer. Finally, she let us leave. It was the weirdest thing, because generally when they say that they don't want more we're almost clinging to the door as they try to push us out but this time she was clinging to us saying that we had to go as we tried to get to the door. People are so funny sometimes. =P

This same day we went to a new part of our area and while walking along a lone dirt road we got hit by a wild hail storm. We were soaked in minutes and were being pelted by decent-sized hail. We ran under a little overhang and prayed for the Lord to help us make it to the chapel that wasn't too far away or for someone to find us and help us. The hail calmed down minutes after and we began to make our way to the chapel. On the way a less-active member that had avoided the missionaries before called us into their house and gave us shelter and coats. They then arranged for us to get a ride to our destination which was super nice. The best part is that they made us take their coats with us to keep us warm and gave us the best excuse ever to return and visit them this week. =) 

This week was ward conference and it's pretty cool here because they go ALL OUT for this kind of thing. They buy flowers and make invitations, boutiners, and the whole sha-bang. They take it very seriously and EVERYONE shows up. We had 10 less-active members and their families there and there were so many people that the majority of the classes had to be held outside of the chapel because we didn't all fit in our classrooms. *sigh* If only it were that way every Sunday. ;)

It has also been really interesting working with Hermana Pérez because sometimes I feel like I'm training again but because she's still learning a lot and sometimes I feel like she's training me from all that I've been learning from her. She's really great, even if we butt heads every now and then because of our stubborness or pride. I'm really enjoying my time with her and hope that we can get all the work done that we can in these last couple of weeks that we have. =)

I got the packages you sent, thank you mom! =) José Abel loved his scriptures and the candy that you sent with the bible was shared with my district (because we were in a district meeting), my zone leaders, and some members. The day can always be brightened with a little bit of sugar. =)

I hope you guys have a wonderful week! I love you all and don't forget that the Lord loves you and is always by your side. =)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Almost a Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well this has been an interesting week. I honestly don't remember most of what happened...it all just went by so fast. o.o However, I'll do my best. =)

To answer your question. My companion is awesome. She's from Mexico City. She speaks some English and tries really hard to practice. She loves working and gets frustrated when things don't work out but it learning patience. ;)

This Sunday, everyone forgot that they were going to give a talk and their subject on which they were supposed to talk...bummer. Good thing none of our investigators came to church yesterday. =P 

On Monday, we spent the day doing service....we later read in the our manual missional that we should try not to not plan activities on P-days (oops) however, it was a very fruitful project. We helped a less-active in the ward clean up his...well yard. 
We knew he had a lot to take care of in his life and wanted to help him, however, he refused to open up to us. We started out all casual-like talking to him and his family and about the things that he's done, where's he been, and such and then the Spirit guided us into a conversation about him talking to the bishop and getting his life back into order.  As most people who had a lot to clean up in their lives, he was not excited about the idea, knowing that it was what he was supposed to do. At the very least, we left him considering it.
Yesterday, we went back to visit him and to see how everything was going, we ended up talking about the moment when we had opened our mission calls (he's an ex-missionary). I, of course, had the most dramatic story. ;P It was cool to hear his story and to listen to him. Once again, the Spirit led us into a conversation about him making everything right. (I know it was the Spirit because I don't remember how we got onto the topic or how we led into it). It was a great lesson. 
We talked a lot about repentance and the progress required by the Lord to be made clean and it amazed us how familiar his situation seemed. I've never been where he is but I knew exactly how he felt and still feels. The compassion I felt for this man surprised me. I was able to testify of every step of the progress that we talked about, the power of the Lord to cleanse and make one clean, the strength that our Heavenly Father gives to His children to help them overcome temptations and the promised blessing that await him if he were to gather sufficient courage to talk with the bishop. 
Not only did it cause me to feel compassion for this brother but also gratitude for all that the Lord did for me and still does for me to make me clean and to help me become little by the little more like Him. The brother made the decision to talk to the bishop and we have a date to work with as a goal for him and he's agreed to let the elders give him a blessing to help him got there. He's absolutely terrified but well decided. 
I'm so grateful for the authority given to us as missionaries to call God's children to repentance and the power of the Holy Ghost to awake the desire within them to do so. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March? O.o

Well this week has been really exciting, what with the throwing of alcohol bottles through our windows and everything. However, I've also been able to see how the Lord has been answering my prayers. 
One experience was when we went to one of our little towns and I only had enough money to get us there and not nearly enough to get us back. As we left a lesson and started heading back to take the taxi in order to get home, I began wondering how I was going to pay for it. My companion didn't have any money and didn't know that I officially didn't have any. As I began to worry and try to make plans, a couple of members passed by us in their car and then gave us a ride back to Libres. They have no idea the great work they did for me in their little act of kindness towards the missionaries.

The next experience that I had was in the same little town. We had been running from Libres to get to an appointment in the little town over and I was a little worried to go into that part of our area because it was getting dark However, we had an important appointment there and so we went. I kept praying for the Lord to protect us. As we left the appointment, it was pretty dark and so I continued praying. Then when we asked some of the police for help they gave us a ride in a bike taxi (free) right up to the taxi that would take us home. They were so kind and were another answer to my prayers.

Today we got to do service for Hno Emilio and it was so much fun. We had been feeling recently that we needed to start visiting him although he always helps us out and we see him everywhere. It took some convincing but he allowed us to help him clean up his yard. We decided to do it today so that we could take all the time we needed. We had known a few things from his past and wanted the chance to talk about it but it turned out that a formal lesson setting wasn't best for him and we got the chance to talk alot while cleaning up his yard. We really hope that this chance and talk that we had with him will help him begin repenting and start moving forward. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week.!! I love you all!!