Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 4th

So due to transfers and Sister Biancardi headed north, we're trying to cram a lot into a little amount of time.  So the email might be shorter this week, but with lots of pictures :).

Tuesday
For p-day we met up with the sister training leaders and we decided to go to a little museum.  There we met a Mammoth and took a picture 

 Later, we handed out invitations for the ward party and then we met with the new bishopric and talked about the activity for Saturday and they gave us the go, and so planning and implementing the plan went into full action. Then we had an awesome lesson with the S family about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and why we need baptism, and why baptism comes later in life because of agency and the need to be coherent of our choices.  

Wednesday
We had an awesome lesson with the C Family about the Restoration of the Church.  Wednesday we also had flash flood warnings, but we were fine, just had a lot of rain dumped on us.  We taught the S family again, this time finishing the lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and talking about temples and their purpose.  The Spirit was really strong and amazing!  And then that night, I got a call from President Miller calling me to be a trainer.... eek :).  That means that my  new companion, who I'll meet tomorrow, is a brand new missionary!  I'm excited, humbled, nervous and everything all at the same time.

Thursday
We were going around inviting members and investigators and everyone to the activity on Saturday and we swung by the G family because they hadn't been at church.  Well they referred us to their family members the R Family.  Well we had swung by their house a ton the last couple of weeks, but no one was ever home.  And then later that evening we got a call from Hermano G who works in Odessa referring us to the R family.  So with 2 referrals for the same family, from the same family, we decided it was important to contact them.  And they were home!  They're a really cute family.  Just moved from Juarez and not all active, but the girls came to church last Sunday and they loved it!
Friday
So we started the day off with district meeting.  Here's our district picture from this transfer 

 Then I had training meeting on the other side of El Paso.  The children's hospital was on the way home so we stopped and visited with the Ca family because little Leonardo got an infection and ended up in the NICU.  Then we got lost getting out of downtown, but we made it back safely.  And had an awesome dinner with a member and her friend at Chili's.
Saturday
We woke up to Northwest weather, it was beautiful! We had our awesome ward party on Saturday.  It was all about the temple and how we prepare and why we want to go to the temple.  And there was a part of the tour that looked liked the Celestial Room of the temple and was really Spiritual.  Not very many people came to the activity but it was a success because a lot of members felt the Spirit!
Sunday
S is an awesome YSA and she's leaving on her mission in a couple weeks to the LA mission!  She came out with us and taught.  And then we taught some other families too:)  so a regular Sunday :)

July 22nd and 29th

July 22nd:
 here are the high lights and the lowish lights of the week.
-our pregnant investigator is still pregnant.  Yesterday was her due day and Sunday when we had dinner with her, she thought she was going to end up giving labor later that night, but as far as we've heard, she's still pregnant.  Luckily, there is an incredible young woman in the ward who is staying with her, and who can drive her to the hospital when she indeed really does go into labor.  This young woman gets along really well with the teenage daughter too so it's just the best thing to see them all together!
-we've had several  cooler days these past couple of and some really amazing lightening storms.  I am so grateful for the car we drive and for the chance we have to watch the lightening storm from the car, and not from bikes.  It's just stunning to watch the sky light up.  Apparently the heat is going to pick up again soon, but that's alright too :)
-The incredible family we were teaching (the C family) decided to quit having lessons with us.  We had a lesson on Thursday with the mom and kids and she told us then that she wasn't really interested, but that we could talk to her husband.  And then we met with him on Saturday and had an incredible lesson with him, but received a call from him Sunday saying that he talked with his wife and they decided that the two religions could confuse the children, so they decided to take a break.
-L came to church on sunday!  Our amazing member Sister S picked her up and is really the perfect example and friend for L.  We had a couple of lessons with L and it's kinda sad because her family is very anti.  She's trying to figure out what's right and wrong, and just figure out life in general and she's getting a lot of mixed messages and a lot of opposition.
-We had incredible experiences meeting people just as we street contacted this week.  We met a less active member of the Church who has incredible family history, and shared with us his whole collection/books.  And then we met an amazing couple who have grounded their faith and their marriage in God.  It was just incredible to listen to them talk, and very uplifting.  So often we are surrounded by the negative and the disappointments, but to be around E and D was just incredible. 

-The M family is incredible.  Less active husband who was kinda anti missionary before.  Well, since we started eating with them, the spirit has touched his heart and the Spirit has strengthened their marriage and their home and family.  It's just so amazing to see how people can change, and become more receptive to the Spirit, and just how the Gospel really does bless families.  

-It was difficult this week too because sometime we feel like as missionaries we're doing so much to help these people and they just don't progress.  And then we wonder if we're worthy enough, if we're doing enough and why things aren't happening.  We worked all week with A's daughter so that he could come to church and then comes Sunday and she stopped responding.  No one really came to church (except L who is amazing, and some incredible less actives) and really no one is progressing.  But the work continues, and as we feel down, we are soon brought back up through the love of the Lord and his servants. 
As I sit here and ponder on the week, and what I can remember, it makes me think about how important we all are.  As missionaries and members and just children of God in general, we all have such important roles.  This week we had the experience of working with the members and teaching 15 lessons with members there, helping build that friendship between people.  And it's just amazing to see how the members can build us up in hard time, but we can be there for them too.  I love how God's plan is just so perfect.  He gave us exactly who we need to help us, and he puts us in situations where we can help exactly how we need too.  I love being a missionary, but I love being a daughter of God more, and being given this responsibility to help always.
I love you all so much and I hope you all realize that :)  I love everyone here too, some people more than others, but I am working on developing that Christ like love of Charity.  You all are amazing and have an awesome week at camp, home, biking and just wherever like takes you!
PS.
This week we had MENUDO for dinner.  If you don't know what it is you should look it up.  Apparently it's something every missionary has to try and since neither of us had tried it, our member was kind enough to make it for us.  Luckily... well, i don't think there's anything lucky about it.  expect i hopefully won't have to eat it again...

July 29th:
So highlights of my week:
-The S family!  They're incredible.  They were a referral from a members and are just so prepared to hear about the Gospel.  The husband keeps telling us that he knows our message is true because of the fruits we bear and because since the first time we taught, he's felt something in his heart!  We taught them on Tuesday and he had downloaded a Book of Mormon onto his phone and had already read through 2 Nefi 2!  How incredible and prepared!
-A.  We had some amazing lessons with him this past week.  We had dinner with him Saturday with Hermana Ad and we watched the video about Stephanie Nielson 

  and talked about how we can endure through hard trials, and how this sister would have endured through her trial.  And yesterday, we taught A about family history and talked about different stories of his family and life.  And while he was telling us his story we wrote down his family tree and gave it to him and he was so happy to see his tree!  

-One day we were going to a lesson with one investigator, when her neighbor, another investigator came home.  Which was a miracle because she has been in Juarez all summer!  So we got to see M and talk to her, and she still wants to keep learning, she's just been on vacation.  Yay!
-Hna C, finally had her baby!  We haven't met him yet, but mom, baby and older sister are all doing good!
-We started teaching a new investigator this week.  His name is J and he's cuban.  Which means he talks really really fast, and doesn't always make sense.  My respect for missionaries serving in cities with a wide range of dialects has increased.  He's also blind, but still pretty dependent, and came to church on sunday!
-Yesterday we started teaching the Co family and they're incredible too!  We met the seven year old outside one night as we were contacting and we got a call from her the next day which said "call me.  call me back soon."  And so we called back, set up a return appointment, and it fell through.  So we set up another appointment and no one was home.  So yesterday, we had extra time, and we swung by the house and they were home and we had a great first lesson!  We talked about the temple and church in generally and they're so eager to learn more!
-and Sunday we had a change in the bishopric.  Our bishop was released and a new one was called.  It's just incredible to see how Church leadership works and just how everything is inspired of God.  In talked to an investigator yesterday about how he thinks leaving the old bishop in the congregation will just lead to problems (his exact words were una guerra- or a war.)  But that just doesn't happen in LDS congregations.  Callings come and change but the Gospel is true.  It doesn't matter who the leaders are as long as they lead righteously and have the Authority of God to lead.