Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 15th

Crazy to think we're already half way through the transfer.... wow..
 
So this past week was kinda a blur!  Lots of things happened!
 
Martes-  This was so long ago.  Had a couple awesome lessons with awesome members!  The members here are amazing!  Always so willing to help with the work of Salvation!
 
Miercoles- Crazy day had a couple lessons.  One of our investigators is an older man, and we taught him about fasting.  And then we followed up and made sure he ate dinner... because he hadn't eaten anything all day (he said none of his food worked...).  So when our dinner appointment cancelled, we quickly made food and took some over to him.  And we met up for exchanges.  What a view! 
 
Jueves- We had exchanges and so I stayed in the area and Sister Pipkin from the other side of the mountain joined me.  We had an awesome time and saw lots of miracles.  One of the miracles we saw were D and A!  We met them contacting and talked about how D is trying to find the right path to be on.  They were so cool and we set up a return appointment with them.
 
Viernes- We had district meeting in the morning and then brought a member with us to meet with Au and we had dinner.  The first member who was going to come with us had to cancel, but she still was a sweetheart and made all the food.  The member who came with us, lives outside of our area, so we drove a lot on Friday, but we saw some pretty cool houses ... and it was nice to drive in a different area for a little bit.


 
Sabado- We had our lesson with D and A and they are INCREDIBLE!  The husband is so prepared for the Gospel and is so eager to put everything we say to the test.  We met with the parents and the 4 kids and they are just so cute!  We taught about the restoration and invited the whole family to pray about whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet.  As we were leaving, D made a comment about how he'll tell us about his answer when we go back Thursday!  He has so much faith and is just so eager to learn!
 
Domingo-  We had dinner with an awesome member family and there friends!  It was such an awesome opportunity because it was a more causal setting and we were able to get to know both families and talking about what we do as missionaries.  And also how family is important and central to the Church.  We taught about prophets and how they teach principles and guidance before the problems come, which is why the Family Proclamation came out 20ish years ago and how it addresses problems now.
 
Lunes- Language study with a member again!  It went really well.  We had lessons and awesome lessons.  One was with a Mom and her daughter, but her daughter lives in Juarez so we can't really teach her, but hopefully she meets with missionaries in Mexico because she was really eager to learn more. And then we had a crazy night.  Dinner with a member and investigator family.
  And then appointments at 7 and 8 that cancelled.  But our 7 moved to 8, we contacted and awesome referral at 7:30 and at 8:30 we had a lesson with L again!!!!!!  She's home again!!!!! YAY! And she's excited to keep meeting and learning more! But yes, last night was a really good night. 
 
We're teaching amazing people and it's such an incredible blessing to be a missionary!  I hope that everyone is having their own missionary experiences and that you all get to feel the joy through missionary work!  One thing I've been studying this week is discipleship and how we can be better disciples of Christ!  It's incredible to study the four Gospels and just focus on what Jesus did and how I can better emulate that in my life!

July 8th

 
It was a great week missionary wise.  And really just a wonderful week down here in El Paso.  We had a lot of rain (well... Southwest style rain) and so the temperatures stayed a little lower.  We had a couple days of really high mileage on the car, so we've also been trying to budget the rest of our miles so we don't run out this month.
 
Martes:  It rained :)   Our appointments all cancelled, but we were able to contact a referral, and then the family of a potential.  Both were busy but we were able to schedule a better time to come by.  And we took flowers to one of our investigators to help her feel better.
 
Miercoles: We had an awesome day of OYMing.  And we had some great lessons.  We met with one of the recent converts and then ending up teaching the grandson about the Book of Mormon.  He was really interested and said he wants to learn more.  And then we had some pretty good lessons later on.  One of them was with 2 teenage girls, who really didn't want to be there, but their parents told us to teach them.  So we talked about God and how he's our Loving Heavenly Father and how that makes us his children.  We're all children of God.  As we talked the Spirit touched their hearts and we were able to set a return appointment (but they preferred English... so we set the return appointment with the English sisters).
 
Jueves: Lessons all day.  We were able to met a couple new investigators, pass off a couple investigators to the English sisters and just teach!  We had some pretty awesome members helping us. 
 
Viernes:  Serving in the morning helping one of our members move and then zone training and then our plans for the day fell apart.  People had plans for the 4th of July so members were cancelling, lessons were cancelling and we were just trying to think so hard about who was most "Mexican" and would not be celebrating.  But everybody loves celebrating anything, so really that strategy didn't work.  We swung by our 14 year old investigator, K, who just got out of the hospital from back surgery and she was doing well.  She's up and walking and on the mend, but still in a lot of pain.  And then we had a miracle.  Ka, our 16 yearold member preparing to be a missionary, came out with us to visit a couple people.  And most of them weren't home, or were busy.  We swung by G's house and met her outside and she tells us that she has to go.  But that we can have 5 minutes.  Well after 5 minutes (we have been practicing 5 minute lessons and how to teach simply so it was perfect.  We taught about the Book of Mormon), she invited us in for first 5 more minutes and then 10.  And as we started teaching about the prophets and how they teach us the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the commandments and she started asking us about reglas or rules for the Church.  So it was a really good discussion, it was longer than 10 minutes, but she was really engaged and I'm really excited to go teach her again.  And honestly it was an amazing miracle.  And then we ate dinner with Ka and her mom.  We helped make enchiladas- Mexican style :).  We spent the rest of the night, walking around talking to different people.
 
Sabado: A member agreed to help us out during the morning and basically stayed with us for 6 hours!  She was having a hard day and the spirit of missionary work really touched her and she just didn't want to finish.  We taught a couple of amazing lessons and she even took us out to lunch/dinner.  We were going to visit some less actives and she wanted to get them a melon, so we swung by the store and then she bought us burritos. 
 
domingo: Awesome lessons with A, J &D and the L family!  We were able to talk about baptism and invite in all 3 lessons.  And A and J both accepted the baptismal date of August 2!  SO we're working with them to help them prepare and receive their answers.  And the L's are just incredible!  Hermano wants to come back to church and he's slowly understanding and implementing what he needs to do.  We invited his wife to be baptized and him to baptize her and they both said yes, but Hna Luna wanted more time, she wanted to receive more of an answer before saying yes.
 
Lunes: Started off with service helping the R family weed their side porch.  There was a miscommunication in time, but it worked out well.  And we got breakfast and learned how to make tortillas de Maseca and gorditas.  And watching 3 generations of Mexican women work together was just an amazing experience.  Then we had 3 amazing lessons all with members!  Interviews with President Miller (he's INCREDIBLE!), and helped Hna S move her bed into her new apartment (she serves us so much!  It's always a blessing to help serve her)  So basically, yesterday was amazing.  :)
 
Or basically, this past whole week was amazing.  Hope you all are happy and healthy and just loving life!  I love you so much and I love this gospel so much too!  It's brought me so much happiness and I am so blessed for this opportunity that I have to share it with others! 
 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

apologies

Sorry, the next few posts are a little out of order! That's what happens when little sister gets so behind :)

June 10th

Hey family!  Guess what I did all week!  MISSIONARY WORK!  Isn't it exciting?!?  You should all be exciting.  And you should all be motivated to do missionary work too, because it's SO MUCH FUN!
 
Everyone keeps commenting on the weather in El Paso.  Guess what, it's amazing!  I love it here, but sometimes it's so hot.  In Zone Conference last Monday, President Miller shared a story about his kids growing up and how they would always try to be the first on Hyrum Dam/Lake after the ice was gone.  Their goal was to "break the glass" and it was always so cold.  So they'd be out in the middle of the lake and someone would have to get out of the boat.  But once they got out of the boat, into the cold water, and then up on the skis everything was great.  President made the analogy to us, that sometimes we just need to get out of the boat and get to work/whatever we need to do.  Well, we decided this week that we didn't need to get out of the boat, we need to get out of the car, cause sometimes it's just so hot, and the air-conditioning is just so nice.  But that's okay, we had some amazing experiences as we "got out of the car" this week.
 
Tuesday:  Well... since it was p-day we decided to do something fun, besides just emailing, shopping and laundry.  And so we went to Goodwill and got searched for lightweight shirts and clothing to help us brave the heat.  I think we were successful :).  And then we had a lesson with M later.  We taught her lesson two, about the plan of salvation and it was incredible.  When we talked about how in the Celestial Kingdom we can live with our families again, she didn't think about her current family (husband, kids, etc.) no she thought about her father, her grandmother, family members she can't be with right now, because they've passed away.  And then she told us this dream she had as a 10 year old.  It was incredible, it basically was about how Satan tempts people. and how through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our sins can be atoned.  We left her with 1 Nefi 8 to read (about Lehi's dream) and we're going to talk more about either that chapter tonight, family history work, or the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Maybe all three.
 
Wednesday: We had some awesome lessons throughout the day with J and D and with the V family (their 2 year old prayed!  It was so cute!).  And then our 8 appointment cancelled (he thought we were coming Thursday not Wednesday) and we decided to use the time to go finding.  And so we walked around a couple streets, dropped a note off at an investigators that we hadn't seen in a while, and met this awesome girl named L.  She was walking down the street holding a couple puppies and we stopped to talk to her and she set up a return appointment!
 
Thursday:  We started the day out with language practice with a member of the ward, Hna P (the one we helped with the cakes).  So, hopefully my accent will be more authentic by the time I get home :).... though it might sound like i'm from Zacatecas.  Then we had amazing lessons through the day, and amazing food.  One of the lessons we had was with the C family.  We met them last week, had a short lesson and set a return appointment.  And then we came back, taught lesson 1 about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Spirit was so strong and they (the mom and daughter) both committed to a baptism date of June 12.  We have another lesson with them today so we'll see how things go.
 
Friday: Due to zone conference on Monday, we didn't not have district meeting.  So we meet Hermano V for lunch and followed him to meet his burrito truck friend who is also a potential investigator.  Well, burrito man was on a construction site... and so that's where we had lunch.  It was kinda weird, and we're not quite sure if we were supposed to be there, but the food is really really good.  And then sometimes things don't work out the way they're supposed to.  We had an appointment with A at 1 and our members didn't show up.  One of them doesn't drive and so we called him, and he said the other one never picked him up.  And so we're waiting outside of A's house and we finally have to go in and tell him we can't teach him.  Our other member that was going to help, went to Juarez... but sometimes, things do work our the way the Lord wants them too, because we were able to have a lesson with A later.  Oh and because we didn't have a lesson, we were able to stop by a member's house and talk to their granddaughter.  We had burned a couple of efy cds for her because she was having a hard time, and so we dropped them off and talked to her about how one day she'll be a great missionary.



 And then finally, we had our lesson with L.  She is INCREDIBLE.  We taught her and her sister Friday night, and we just taught the 10 commandments to them.  And she said she wanted to come to church, so we scheduled an appointment for Saturday so that she could meet her ride ahead of time.
 
Saturday: We're jumping to L's story.  So we get to our appointment and she's read!  And while we wait for our member, we go over the reading with her.  And then we have the member and we teach the first vision and the rest of lesson one.  And the spirit was incredible!  And we asked L to be baptized and she said yes.  And when we asked why, she kept telling us how she needs it so much.  She wants the Holy Ghost in her life.  It was an incredible lesson and she's such and amazing girl.  She's only 14, but you can see how much she wants to do what's right.  She had a couple friends that were bad influences and she told  us Saturday, that she was trying to avoid them, because she didn't want to be influenced by them any more.   Now, to backtrack.  We started Saturday off by helping set up a banquet for the Centauros Motorcycle Club fundraiser.  A  member of the club is a less active we've been teaching (the L Family) and the club was having a fundraiser to help the Reynolds house, or a home for battered women and children.  We volunteered to help set up, and it was fun!  We thought it was going to be inside but it actually was all set up outside, but turned out really nice.  We had a darling less active member drive us and help set up too!


 
Sunday: We had a missionary meeting.  So all 4 missionaries spoke in sacrament meeting and then we sang called to serve, with the congregation joining in on the 4th verse.  It was very powerful spiritually, and hopefully it will motivate the members to do more missionary work (they're already doing great though!).  Then we had studies, appointment, dinner, Spanish stake choir practice and then we went contacting. We drove by L's to just check in on how she's doing, and we saw an investigator we hadn't seen in a while.  So we stopped by and she told us that she wasn't really interested in us coming back.  We're gratefully for her honesty :)
 
Monday:  Planning, and then a couple lessons.  We had a lesson with the N's and E told us that she wants to wait to get baptized until after her trip.  The problem is we don't know when the trip is.  And then Ef showed up to the lesson, and the O family and we talked more about receiving answers and reading the scriptures.  Ef said he would try focus more on prayer this week to receive his answer.  And then we had an awesome dinner with a part active family.  The mom is active, but her husband isn't.  And it just really became clear throughout dinner, that he joined the church to make her and her family happy, he never gained a testimony.  So we invited him to start investigating the church, even through he's already a member, to start and grow his testimony.  And he said he'd do it!  So we're excited to go back again!
 

July 1st

Hey ya'll!  Guess what, it's July!  The year is half over..... hijole.... where does the time go?
Hmm what do I say about last week.... it was long, fast, hot, crazy and a lot of fun.  Full of disappointments, but full of miracles... where do I start?
Monday- We dropped off our car at the dealership for a recall order, and then we were planning on taking it to the bodyshop to get the dents fixed and the recall took until 5:30ish and we were like "perfect!  we can then take it straight over to the body shop".  But then as they were pulling our car around we we found out the body shop closed at 5:30.... BUT then a miracle happened.  We started talking to a couple guys from the body shop and one said that since we were missionaries he'd take the car and get it started.  So that was a miracle and we had a great opportunity to talk to him about what we do as missionaries.  And we found out that his brother had committed suicide a couple weeks ago and so the whole family is going through that right now.  So we talked about how families can be together again and he told us to send missionaries in a couple weeks.  Then we made it home in time to head to our last presurgery lesson with the C family.  We talked about the Atonement and gratitude and being grateful in all circumstances.  And then we had a lesson with L... and she told us that she was leaving to Armadillo Tx to be with her dad for the summer.  So that was a heartbreaking experience.  We talked about being daughters of God and how he is always there for us, and we told her we loved her and took a picture.  We've been trying all week to get an address for her cause she wants to missionaries to visit, but to no avail... one day though. 

Tuesday-
Since we didn't have a car, we spent a lot of time walking and we met some amazing people.  Lots of referrals for other missionaries... yay! We also had a lesson with the V family, and hermano is still doing amazing on not smoking!  And then the  rest of the family (mom and kids) left for a week(s) in Mexico... and they're planning on moving in August... but want to be baptized here... We're not sure quite how it's going to happen, but just have to trust in the Lord's plan.
Wednesday- So our member who was going to help us flaked out last minute, so we ended up walking in the afternoon.  We had a great lesson with A and the Hondo Pass sisters.  They were so sweet all week!  Rescuing us and dropping us off at appointments.  They sat in on A's lesson and we taught about the law of Chasity and it was a great lesson!  He understood it.  To check that he understood, we ask him what would happen if Hna Biancardi got a boyfriend and he responded with "casarse!" (get married!)  And then when we ended the lesson we asked if he had any questions and he asked us when we were going to bring his girlfriend to a lesson... haha so funny!
Thursday- We had a lesson with the N family and it was disheartening.  They had already cancelled an appointment earlier that week and hadn't come to church so we were really worried about the lesson.  Well, we walk in and the first thing we see are 2 articles about the feminist who was excommunicated from the Church.  We had a lesson on the priesthood and how while women may not hold the priesthood, that doesn't mean the priesthood is just for the men.  The organizations in the church are all organized under the priesthood, or the power of God.  I just love Elder Andersen's quote from General Conference "A man may open the drapes so the warm sunlight comes into the room,but the man does not own the sun or the light or the warmth it brings. The blessings of the priesthood are infinitely greater than the one who is asked to administer the gift."  But yes, we were teaching the N and E said that they had made a decision to stop meeting with us.  And then Ef said that his wife's health wasn't good, and they felt that we had put too much pressure on them and it was making her health decline.  But they would still come to church, but maybe not have so many lessons.  So that was a really discouraging lesson to come out of, but we had a good lesson with the L family afterwards.  We had another lesson fall through and we went and visited A again.  And he was so funny.  Remembered everything from the ley de castidad lesson and then in the end, he was asking our member if she was married (she's the bishop's wife).  She said yes, and then we talked about how Hna Biancardi and I are not married.  But then Aurelio informed us that Sister B had a boyfriend and was getting married... in a month.... crazy huh... She's still be a missionary too ;)
Friday-We got our car back and were able to visit our investigator who is in the hospital.  Poor K she was so miserable and in so much pain.  It was really sad to see her like that.  But hopefully she's out of the hospital now.  

Saturday- Saturday was our day of Ms.  We contacted a former investigator and started teaching him again.  And then we had a lesson with a teenager investigator, named M,  and the Hondo Pass sisters so that they could begin visiting him (so that he'd go to English instead of Spanish).  We also contacted referrals all day and saw a pinata strung between two houses.
Sunday- Church.  The L's came!  And Ef N came!  And the Ad family came!  So we had a couple investigators, a couple former investigators who want to come to church but not have lessons, and a couple less actives!  It was a great day at church.  We heart attacked the Carrillo's door because they were coming home from the hospital.  Then we had a lesson with the L's later and our plan was a movie night, but the dvd player didn't work, so we talked about the Book of Mormon instead.
Monday- Planning.  Then lessons.  Our dinner canceled last minute and so we went to contact a referral who also worked at a burrito shop.  Boy was the food good... You all should try chile relleno burritos.  And then we had another lesson with the L family, this time the dvd player worked and we watched the Restoration DVD.  It was a great lesson.  

June 23rd

So transfer calls came Saturday night and we got the welcome news that we're staying together and we're staying in the Northeast!  Yay!  Another 6 weeks of crazy fun, wonderful miracles and just roasting in the El Paso sun!  I'm really liking the sister missionary tan right now :)
 
So last week.... we just had an awesome week.
 
L, our 14 year old investigator, is doing amazing!  We had several lessons with her last week and she's growing a little in her confidence.  She's read a little in the Book of Mormon and is understanding it.  She didn't get to come to church on Sunday because her dad came into town and took her to Juarez, but we're going to see her tomorrow and keep teaching her to help her progress for her baptism date of July 5th!
 
The V family!  They are just incredible.  We had a quit smoking lesson on Wednesday to help the dad quit, so that he can prepare to baptize his boys.  And it went really well.  The kids were really excited to help and put signs up all around the house and truck that say things like "Even once will hurt," "I'm no longer a smoker!" etc. 
 
We started teaching the son of one of our recent converts and he was incredible too!  M is just awesome... just one problem.  He speaks and understands ZERO Spanish.  So we shouldn't keep teaching him.  We set up an appointment for him to meet the English sisters,  but it fell through.  So we'll keep trying to set that up.  But we woke up the other day to a text from him telling us he had finished the reading and he wanted to know what else he should read!  So how awesome is that?!?
 
And then Saturday happened.  We had a great day lined up with 7 lessons planed for sure and then we planned on teaching a couple smaller lessons to new people we met.  Well, 6 of those 7 lessons cancelled, and 4 of the 4 members we had cancelled.  And with that last lesson we had to have a member because he was a single man.  And so the member who cancelled was sick and her husband said he could come and would call to find someone else come too.  Well the lesson was at 6:00 and at 5:45 we got a call saying that he couldn't find anyone.  So we called someone, who said he would come and then scheduled it out between the 2 of them.  At 6:15 the first member called to ask for directions to the other members house.  Then at 6:30 he called for directions to the investigator's house.  And then they finally showed up at 7.  Luckily for us, all our other appointments had cancelled so we didn't have to rush anywhere at 7.  We taught a short lesson and then left all the hermanos there to talk, while we went finding. 
 
Sunday we had a good afternoon too.  Our lesson cancelled because of the World Cup.  And just incase you're curious, it's really hard to find people outside during the World Cup.   I can't imagine having to be a missionary in Brazil right now... or Mexico either.... or any country that really really likes soccer. 
 
So yep, that's my week. In a nut shell.... or in a missionary email :)  This week will be an adventure because our car is in the shop again!  But this time for 3+ days.... so like a week!  So it will be an awesome time to 1) darken my sister missionary tan, 2) meet crazy people who are outside during the heat 3) excited the members in the Work of salvation!  4) get lots of exercise and drink lots of water!  And it's a great week to start off the transfer!


June 17th

We had a cooler week this past week, it mostly stayed in the high 90's :).
 
So I don't really know what to write about, so I'll just highlight some awesome things that happened.
 
L- Our 14 year old investigator is just amazing!  We're practically seen her everyday and she's progressing.  She's come to church a couple times (and stake conference!) and she's currently on date for July 5th.  When we talked about that date with her yesterday, she seemed really uncertain, and nervous (she really wants to be baptized, but she doesn't want anyone there) but we told her that we'd keep teaching her and helping her prepare and that she doesn't have to be nervous about anything!  She even came to a baptism on Saturday and was super cute!  I spent some time trying to get her to sing, but she wouldn't, until I got up to lead the music and she started singing :).  And she said that seeing the baptism made her want to go swimming.... and get baptized :)
 
The C Family- they're doing amazing too!  Since K had already had most of the missionary lessons in Mexico, we were just reviewing everything and trying to prepare them to be baptized before K went into surgery, which is next week, so that baptism would have to be Saturday.  But they kept cancelling appointments so it looks like we won't be as rushed in the lessons and that we'll be planning a baptism after back surgery and after the baby is born.
 
The N Family- They were also able to make it to stake conference!  E told us this week that she wants to be baptized after her trip... which is sometime.  Apparently she's going on 2 trips the second being in September or sometime....  Ef said he'd focus more on praying for an answer this week.  His work scheduled picked up a ton once school got out and so it's been a little harder scheduling lessons with them, but they're still reading and progressing!
 
The R family- they were a referral from the English Sisters and are  INCREDIBLE!  The husband speaks English, but the wife prefers Spanish which is why we're teaching them. They have a little boy who's a year in a half and a little girl is on the way!  And they're both so eager to learn!  We have another lesson this week and are super excited to teach them. 
 
AM- She was another referral from the English Sisters.  We had met her once before and then decided to stop by her house to try and set up a lesson.  Well, she first told us how we are human-beings and not just humans because human-beings are part angels and they do all good stuff, while the humans, are the ones who are killing everyone.  Then she led us into her backyard (which was incredible!) and we sat and talked.  She basically told us that she doesn't need to learn any more because God just reveals it all to her.  That she hasn't read the bible because she dreams of the Psalms and therefore she doesn't need more scriptures.  She set a return appointment (which we had to change because of scheduling conflicts) but at the same time, told us that she wasn't going to learn from us, she was the teacher.  We don't quite know where it's going to go... but we'll see. :)
 
And just so you don't think missionary work is always easy, we had our downs this week too.  Lot's of cancelations, lots of people not progressing.  We have a couple people on baptismal dates who have dropped off the face of the earth.  And we have members who cancel, last minute, making it impossible to teach.  But the ups always outweigh the downs.  The positives always shine brighter than the negatives.  And that's life for you :)  How blessed are we to have the "opposition in all things" so that we can focus on and appreciate the positive and the wonderful things of life?  To me, that's part of true Christianity or true discipleship too.  We need to take those negative things in life and use them as an opportunity to do good, to see good or to make it all good.  And I love this video on true Christianity too :)