Monday, July 28, 2014

We built a fort to sleep in one night.

This is what happens when you leave
scripture crayons in the car.

There are either crazy storms here or weak trees.

Ana's baptism

How we get to one of our investigator's trailer.

Our favorite wall in the city.

July 28 - Email

   I was studying earlier today about obedience. In John 14:15, 21 it talks about how if we love God, we will keep His commandments. That was the driving force for me to go on a mission. I love that scripture! This week, nothing too new happened. We went on exchanges with two of the sisters that are struggling. It was really fun. We just focused on happiness. I really enjoyed it and I think they did, too.
   This was super funny! My companion she never ever gets mad in her life, like really she told me that she has only gotten mad at her brothers and then also when she has road rage. haha So, we were stopped before turning out of an apartment complex and we were having a good conversation. She couldn't turn out yet, because there was a car passing. The guy behind us honked, she was in the middle of a sentence and she just turns around and yells at the guy "I can't freaking go!!!" Oh man, I just started laughing and laughing, it was so so funny because she never yells or gets mad. Then, she starts driving really slow because the guy was tailing us, and after she prayed for the guy to have patience. It was so funny, I was dying of laughter. It was funny because the day before she was telling me how she never gets mad. haha
   In the picture of the baptism, Hermana Segura and I were teaching this family (the Venezualian Family) and they were coming along slowly. But, Ana was the one that was totally crazy and against what we were teaching. When we were teaching her though we saw her heart soften and soften each time. Well, now she was the one that got baptized when the whole time we thought it would be Maili her daughter! When the other sisters moved in to this area, this family was given to them and they were able to continue the lessons and so it was amazing to see her be baptized. When she was bearing her testimony she just looked so humble and like a child, it was amazing to see the change. Sister Segura and her companion Sister Sullivan got to come for the baptism, as well. It was on Friday. It was sad because, I truly have been so blessed through out my mission in seeing so many of the people that I have taught be baptized, but Sister Savage who is seriously an amazing amazing missionary has hardly seen any. She started crying at the baptism because she knows how baptism is a mandatory step for people, and she just was so sad to see that not many of her investigators have taken this step, she said "I want to see them in Heaven." I love her so much, she is so Christ-like.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Email - July 21

   My companion and I  have had calls and crying from almost all the sisters in our zone. It is so hard because we try to help, but really there is nothing we can do. All three of the sister companionships, in our zone, live together and then we are 9 miles away in another house. President has tried not putting six sisters in a house together ,but they had to for this one. He doesn't think it will last long, though. It is just too much drama with even sister missionaries. One companionship has complete different personalities and they don't get along. There are 3 strong personalities in that house. A lot of the sisters in the house are just struggling with the decision to be out on a mission. I wish they could see the whole picture, I would do anything to be only 3 or 4 months out in the mission again, it is amazing and I don't think they understand how much it can bless their lives.  Last Wednesday, we went to the Sisters' home in the morning for studies and we tried to help them gain self confidence and see the good in each other. We felt like it went really well and that we brought the spirit to their home. Then we got a call from Sister Toone on Saturday, she told us to go have a sit  down talk with the companionship that just has completely different personalities on the next day (Sunday). But then, the sisters called us that night at 9 pm (we just got home) and told us to come over. We went over and were over there until 10:45, got home at 11 pm, got ready for bed and prayed. We woke up at 4:45 am for a meeting that we had at the Stake Center at 6:30 am. Remember the Stake Centers here are not as close as the ones in Utah, it is about 20 min from our home. We did a role play in the meeting, in front of all the ward mission leaders. We then had a meeting with our amazing Stake President, President Palmer. The wards are splitting soon so we need to make changes to our missionaries. So you can say that I was so dead yesterday, holy moly! Both Sister Savage and I are so chill, and never stressed, but it frustrates us when we can't help people when we want too, and are trying too.
   Well, I will let you know a funny story :) So we had a different meeting this week with our zone leaders and the stake mission leader. After the meeting we said to Elder Rackham and Anderle that we have brownie cookies for them. They like to speak Spanish even though they aren't Spanish missionaries. Elder Rackham is pretty good, probably better than me in grammar, but I know more words. So Elder Anderle said "Why are you giving us brownies?" and Elder Rackham said "Porque son nice..(because their nice), how do you say nice?" I reply "linda" he says "Porque son lindas" Sister Savage and I just start busting out laughing because "linda" really means cute. I said back to him as we were cracking up laughing "what you said was cute." He was all confused because he thought that I was calling him cute because he said that, when I meant the word he said was cute. It was so funny. Elder Anderle understood what I meant and was laughing. Later on Elder Rackham had to ask Elder Anderle what was going on, he was so confused. I didn't know he thought I was saying "what you said was cute" until he told me the next day. It was really funny.
   Today is the first day of school here, finally everyone in church is back from their vacations, hallelujah!
On Thursday we had interviews with President Toone. It was really awesome. We got to train again, so this time we did a kind of jeopardy game to mix things up. We also made chicken salad sandwiches, fruit and stuff for a lunch for President and Sister Toone because their stomachs are always grumbling. They have to stay so long at interviews with no food. They appreciated it a lot, but another Elder, I served with him in Yuma also, bought a footlong as well because he didn't know we made them lunch. We have had quite a few miscommunications with Elder Hiatt, it has been funny. He also stole our popsicles out of the freezer, but he brought us more on Friday, because we gave him a hard time.
   On Friday, we put a huge Santa in the Elder's car, it was funny. We are always doing random pranks to keep the work fun and enjoyable. Harmless pranks, don't worry.
   Lala and Paco are still so amazing!! We had a lesson with them about the Book of Mormon, I seriously don't know if I have taught anyone that is as interested as they are in the church. They ask so many questions and want to know so much. We hope a miracle can come with this family.
   My companion keeps on hurting herself every Monday... not yet today, but we still have a fresh day ahead of us. A couple weeks ago she slammed her finger in the car door. I help her laugh at her mistakes, haha. Last week it was a pretty cloudy day, so she thought she could walk outside to get the mail without shoes on, ya, she burnt her feet and couldn't walk on them the rest of the day, it was so funny, she was like waddling.

   We are still having some amazing teaching opportunities in this area, it is kind of blowing up with people to teach, it is really a blessing. We even got some members out with us this week to go to lessons, so that was cool. Claudia and Fernando spoke in church yesterday, they did really well for being brand new. Claudia was super nervous. 
   In interviews with President and me, I told him I am scared to go home. He said do everything I can to prepare to go home, so I won't have as much fear. He talked so much about marriage with me, as well, like a lot. I thought maybe it was a main theme in all the interviews, but I asked my companion and she said that he didn't in her interview. He said some very wisdomy stuff, though. I also asked him about how I don't feel my prayers are answered, he said he has struggled with the same question through out his whole life. He doesn't feel his prayers are answered either, but he has realized that the Lord must trust him to make decisions. He said he got powerful answers to the most important things like marriage. President and Sister Toone are so amazing, I love them so much!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Playing in the rain

Email - July 14

   This week, not much went on. We had a crazy rain storm last night (we may have went out and played in the rain :)) When we were driving today, to the library, there were tons of trees, like entire trees, knocked down! We went to a funeral this past Saturday. It was sad of course, but she is in more peace. We saw her two Wednesdays ago and then she passed away last Monday. Her name is Hermana Mejia. She has been sick for awhile, has had really bad chest pains and was on dialysis. I remember whenever we would go over there she would say that she just wants to be well enough again to go to the temple. That is all she wanted to do, to go feel the peace in the temple. I have been visiting her once a week for about 2 months. Her husband confessed to us last week how he has had suicidal issues in the past, so we are really watching and praying for him. He is a sweet guy and at the funeral we talked to him and he said "she left me here alone." It was so sad, I just wanted to give him a hug. This funeral wasn't as Catholic as the last one, it was like Mormon and Catholic mixed. When we went to the grave sight, the family did the Catholic stuff a little.
   Sunday was the World Cup final, so there was maybe 20 people at church and that is it. More showed up for Sacrament because it was after the final ended.
   I said something really funny this week, we try to do two days a week where we only speak Spanish, on Wednesday and Saturday. So to switch to English is kind of hard, when you are speaking in Spanish through out the day. We went to a door to contact a less active. A guy answered the door and was speaking English to us, he told us that Petra wasn't there and so I wanted to say that we will come back later. But I couldn't think of the words "come back" I was only thinking of it in Spanish, and it mixed me up. so I said. "We will... We will return." He was kind of confused but just said okay thanks and closed the door. After my companion and I just started busting up laughing. How creepy does that sound.. "we will return" haha who am I...?
   We had district meeting this Tuesday and some priests from California were on a camping trip or something and came to our district meeting. It was cool. Also, we have a new district leader, Elder Mabey. He is really quiet until you get to know him, then he is pretty cool. He was so nervous to begin with and then he found out that the group of priests were coming. It was his first district meeting ever, but he did really great!

Haboob (sandstorms)

Gilbert Temple

With zone leaders

Companions, me and Sister Savage

Sister Berbert and Sullivan from Alta High School

Good friends, at transfer meeting

Email - July 7

   On Tuesday, we had Zone Meeting, it was really really awesome. When Sister Savage and I were thinking about what our zone needs, we received some amazing revelation. Our zone is kind of struggling, our stats are the worst in the mission, and this area probably has the most members. So we should work with our members more right...? Well, the hope and faith of our zone is struggling, especially in the summer months. So, we pondered and prayed and we compiled our thoughts together with the Zone Leaders (Elder's Rackham (my second district leader in Yuma) and Elder Anderle). They loved our idea, but were kind of doubting it logically, but excitement and faith can convince anyone :) We based our training on what we talked about at MLC last week, but did it in a different way. The Zone Leaders talked about faith/miracles/gratitude, also diligence, and inviting others to come to Christ. We tried to make our's super spiritual. We had everyone follow us into the chapel, quietly and reverently. Before we entered we had them all imagine a specific investigator, that we explained was someone that feels lost and hopeless. We then had them act like this investigator as they enter the chapel. The spirit was so strong, so much peace is in that room. We had one of the sisters, Sister Haar, sing "I Stand All Amazed" as Elder Keene played the piano. We had everyone open up to the hymn and read along, as they continued to act like the investigator. After we asked specific people how they felt and if they truly catch the vision of why it is important to invite others to come to church. The stories and feelings they shared were remarkable, a few shed some tears. 
   We then had everyone come to the baptismal font that was open. We had everyone shut their eyes, as they imagined one of their investigators enter into the waters of baptism, Sister Savage explained this part so well. We had them do a role play, right then to invite their investigator to be baptized as they are catching the full potential. We really wanted everyone to catch the vision and potential their investigators have and truly have the desire to invite them. It was really spiritual and motivating. The grand finale, our stake center is a mile or less away from the Gilbert Temple and on the same road. Our Mission President gave us permission to go to the grounds at the end for about 20 minutes to catch the full vision of our investigators. He said "absolutely!" The only issue is that the road has been under construction for the past two months and we would have to take about a 3-4 mile detour to get to the temple. The morning when we were driving to the Stake Center, it was still under construction. When we came out with our whole zone and started driving, the road was clear and we could drive straight down the road to the temple. How amazing, what a miracle!! At the temple we sat, pondered, and set goals of how to be more diligent. We asked if seeing this vision of their investigators truly makes them want to be more obedient, more diligent, invite people to church, and to be baptized. Catching this vision was incredible. "It is good to have a meeting that inspires them, but it is better to have one that changes them" -Hermana Savage.
   We also had transfer meeting this week. Of course, we were not transferred but we still got to go because President Toone had to announce a few things to our whole mission. Last transfer we had 116 baptisms, this is almost twice the baptisms we have per transfer. We have 111 companionships in our mission, how amazing is that! This transfer we can not let it go down. President Toone is nothing about numbers, but he does want to show how when we exercise our faith, we can accomplish goals that seem impossible. I love President Toone, he is amazing!! Also, I got to see all my best friends :) haha at transfer meeting, well almost all of them. I still wish Hermana Pinnock was here :( And Jessie Sullivan, I danced with her at Tree House, she is a grade younger than me at Alta. Well, she came into the mission and Hermana Segura is training her, so that is really cool!! 
   The weather here has been kind of insane! We had a haboob (crazy sand storms) and we have had a little bit of rain, especially on 4th of July. I love August and September here, with the monsoons, I can't wait!!!!
We found a few new investigators this week!! Yay!! I have always been dying to go to the Escobar family since I have been here because I saw on the records that one of them is named, Kayla. They are a less active family. We finally were by the area, a couple weeks ago, and stopped by. We knocked, their was rustles in the house. We knocked again, more noise, lights going on and off. We knocked again and they closed the curtain, haha oh man. We are persistent and we tried again this past week :) They answered!! The dad said "come on in" before we even said anything... hardly ever happens. He said that he was just talking with a relative that is a member and they said they are going to give the family's information to the missionaries because they need to come back to church. Well, no one informed us, but the spirit did! He has been talking to his family, how they need to go back to church. He said they initially stopped going because he has a job where he has to work on Sunday, but now he is going to put it where he works every other Sunday. He then told us that his daughter Kamiel is 9 and has not been baptized! What the miracle! Yeah, they will be seeing us a whole lot more! Everything just happens in the correct timing, isn't it amazing!!
Claudia and Fernando, the last couple that were baptized, shared their testimonies in Sacrament, it was so powerful, the spirit was so strong wholly moly!
   On the 4th, we went in at 5:00 pm and I wrote letters to Recent Converts in Yuma. Then we turned out all the lights and played fighting with glow sticks... we are still young, and we were bored from staying in all day!! haha I did a cannonball on my bed and the bed cracked... yep.