Wednesday, April 30, 2014

(390) "may CHRIST lift thee up"

                                 28 Apr 2014

we had a baptism last saturday! We have been teaching Hannah for a little while, her mom is returning to church, but was attending another ward. She was so much fun to teach, and she was so excited for her baptism! Besides the normal 150 things that go wrong, we had a great service, and the water was warm! (and we didn't even have to boil any water, flashback to our last baptism in fremont) Since that is the only thing most kids remember about their baptisms, I think it was a success.

Other than that we had a pretty normal week; Wednesday was another day of miracles! Exchange days always end up at one extreme or another, but I had an amazing day with Sister Smith. We found four new investigators, three of which were the family of a boy we had been teaching. He wasn't home for our appointment, but his sister let us in and we had an amazing lesson with their family. THis week I've really been praying to recognize the Spirit, and I've felt the difference when those we are teaching are really feeling the Spirit as well. The girl we were teaching was listening so intently, and when we invited her to be baptized, she had the most sincere "yes." There are so many people just waiting for us, they don't even know where to find what they are looking for!

I've been reading a lot of past conference talks, and one I am reading in 2010 is all about the family, and teaching children specifically. It's neat to see through the scriptures fulfilled prophecies, but it is even cooler for me to see the preparation that even in the last 5-10 years the prophets have been teaching us. They and the Lord knew that there were going to be more missionaries than ever, and that we needed to decide where we stood back as teenagers. The prophets' counsel can bless absolutely everyone, regardless of where they stand towards the church. It's such a blessing.

We are in for a fun week, we have meetings and exchanges all lined up for the next few weeks, so hopefully we stay afloat!

PS dad I found a new chocolate bar at world market, ginger wasabi. It's crazy. also, trader joe's jelly beans are fantastic, try them. (I promise we are eating mostly healthy)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

(383) for he is risen

                                              20 Apr 2014
so first for the news, my new companion:


seriously. She had just come to the beach last Monday with her zone and said that she had gotten a leadership call, so we joked that we might be companions again...yep. You think out of 120 sisters you wouldn't end up with the same companion twice, but nope! So funny! President just looked at us, shook his head, and said, "have fun." So this is probably my last transfer in Marina, but we will see how it goes.

So we are back to work again in Marina! We had a great week, the Bishop referred us to a girl who has been coming to church for the past six months ever since she moved from Palau, and she is totally ready to get baptized, so that was really exciting. We also made all of the arrangements for a baptism this week, so that will be happening as well, despite the craziness that it took to get it all arranged. We ended up having to call about 15 people to get the other building in Salinas reserved, since it has taken two weeks to get in touch with the people hosting an event in our building...but it finally worked out. (we love playing phone tag) This transfer should be really amazing!

We had a tougher time getting appointments this week, but we have been contacting a lot of people that had previously said they were interested, but we hadn't gotten around to calling them lately, so we set up a lot of appointments for this week and we've already gotten a few new investigators from that! We had a great Easter, we had dinner at a family's home that is a home for adults with special needs, so that was so much fun. I got to use my sign language a bit and made a new friend! We also probably had twice as many people as we usually do at church on Sunday, they ran out of the sacrament and people had to squeeze into the benches to fit everyone, it was a miracle. (It did help that half of the island of Fiji was there to visit a couple of members) We had a lot of less actives come to church, and a few investigators!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter, it's great to see a holiday that is still centered around Christ. Don't ever forget how much the Savior has gone through to know you personally. He loves each of us so much, it is such a blessing to testify of that every day!

"he is not here; for HE IS RISEN"

matthew 28:6

(376) highway 68

                          14 Apr 2014

It's official, Sister Monson's 7.5 month tenure is coming to an end, so I am getting a new companion tomorrow! It should be a normal week aside from that, so it will be a nice transition. This week was definitely a transition, we stopped visiting a lot of people and are moving a few investigators officially to other missionaries, but we also got a lot of appointments this week with potential investigators so we have a lot of potential this transfer!

We did have a lot of fun this week, we had two zone training meetings and an exchange with the Santa Cruz sisters, so, once again, didn't get much time in our own area, but everything has staying surprisingly afloat. We had a great ZTM with Monterey, and got to take the really long way home along the highway and got a grand tour of Salinas (thank you GPS). We had to rearrange a lot of service to we ended up picking up trash on Thursday morning, and we finally reached all of the cute Korean old ladies who don't speak english, they saw us and were so excited and bowed and said all of these korean things that I'm sure were really great. So that was good.

We tried all week to get a ride so I could go up to a baptism in Fremont; it was one of those childlike prayers where we just asked if we could get a ride, and just when we lost all hope and gave up, we asked a member if she could come with us to an appointment, but she said sorry, I'll be at a meeting in Fremont! So it ended up working out perfectly that we could go up and see Shirley get baptized! She is the most amazing person, and it was so great to teach her family, some of the most amazing moments on my mission were teaching her. She has such a strong testimony, so that was a miracle that we could go!

Sorry I am out of time today so I can't write much more, but hey, at least I remembered my camera this week.

Have a good week, love you!

Monday, April 7, 2014

(370) everlasting beginnings

                                           7 Apr 2014

Okay this week was officially the busiest week of my mission, but we did incredibly well concerning the time that we actually had to do missionary work!Monday all of our appointments cancelled...including dinner...and it was pouring so that wasn't super effective, but we found an awesome new investigatoron Tuesday and got to work with the Salinas sisters. One family in our ward has been awesome about missionary work, so we got to have dinner with them and a family from Egypt, and we gave them a Book of Mormon, so that was really exciting! Wednesday we had to car share, so that meant a lot of shuttling back and forth, but we did okay.

We got to go to the temple on Thursday! SO amazing! It is incredible the spirit that you can recognize there-- there is a huge difference when you go to the temple. I always learn so much and it puts the gospel and our roles in such an amazing perspective. It definitely took two and a half hours to get there, so it took the whole day, but it was so worth it.

We had mission leadership council on Friday, which was really great, we talked a lot about consecration, and how you can go on a mission and come back the same, or you can truly allow yourself to be changed by the work you are doing. Also, embarrassing moment: we had these giant stacks of stuff to get from the mission office for the other sisters, so we are going out the side door of the chapel and Sister Monson's bag gets stuck on the door, so of course I start laughing...and the dvd's that were precariously stacked on top of the box all come cascading down across the whole sidewalk and I just drop everything. In front of all of the zone leaders. it was so. funny. But then we didn't get home until dinner, again, so that was hard.

Saturday conference was AMAZING! I loved the themes from the Living Christ, especially Joseph Smith's testimony, "that he lives." One of our investigators came to the afternoon session, which was so much fun, she loved it! We also had an incredible lesson with our other investigator that is a very strong Christian already, and we asked him how his life would change if the Book of Mormon was true, so we challenged him to watch conference as well. It was a fantastic lesson that really made him think, we focused on Hebrews 5 and the restoration of the priesthood. I'm so glad that I gained a strong testimony of the Bible first, it has helped me so much with the specific people we are teaching now. Sunday was absolutely PERFECT for him and for his questions. I loved Elder Bednar's talk, and the analogy of how our burdens are what help us, in turn, come back home.

Well this is week 6, and sister monson is definitely getting transferred, so we are in for another busy week, and then we'll see who my new companion is next week! exciting stuff!