NEWS (INVESTIGATOR'S NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO MAINTAIN ANONYMITY)
December 9, 2013 Public Events Affair, a Baptism and Good News!!
Hola Familia! Holy Smokes Mick!!! That's amazing!!! Isn't mission Stress the best and most stressful? You sound like you are going to have an amazing transfers! Welcome to the best language in the world haha ;) I am glad you wont be losing it! Although I feel like I am now slightly since I am only using it a few times a day now.. Pray I go back Spanish when I go full field! Dont get me wrong though I love the Mar Vista Ward! The leadership is incredible and the Ward Members are fantastic! This last Sunday we had a powerful Sacrament meeting on missionary work- The ward is super awesome with looking for missionary opportunities and taking them! This last Sunday there were 9 non members in our sacrament meeting. They all have a different scenario and aren't all currently being taught, but it is still wonderful to see! Our investigator Darla was at church on Sunday she is amazing! We had our first real lesson this week with her and she really is prayerfully yet cautiously moving forward! She is still hesitant about setting a date for baptism, but I know through prayer and faith she will have that desire to be baptized. Especially as she starts reading in the Book of Mormon! That has been something awesome to witness is how the Book of Mormon changes and molds peoples lives!~ There is real power in reading Gods words and seeking his help!
This week was honestly really long, but that was because it was jam pack full of events! On Tuesday night we had this big Public Affairs events with inter faith leaders, government leaders, and consulate dignitaries. When I heard this I immediately knew I was going to meet someone that Papi knew! I asked around for the Spanish Consulate, but he unfortunately didn't RSVP. I ran into the former member of the 70 Elder Cordova who I had previously translated for and talked with him, but I was bummed as the end of the night was coming and I still had not found someone who knew papi. Until one of the sisters Grabbed me and said somebody wants to take a picture with you they know your dad! I laughed! to my surprise though it wasn't a consulate but someone who had stayed with papi;s friends in Spain. Small world though right? Anyway it was a great experience and Sister Ellis played the harp beautifully for the big event! So thats why in those pics you got I was all dolled up. They wanted us to look our best. And yes mom my hair has gotten so long! I am hoping to have it to the small of my back by June!
So this week I was honestly struggling a bit and I felt un-happy and I could not pinpoint why.. until we went to a dinner appointment with some members in our ward. It was an awesome dinner appointment and one of the most spirit filled ones I have been to. As I walked out with tears in my eyes I realized what was different. I missed feeling the spirit as I testified and taught. After that appointment we went to see Liza. She was having some fears about baptism and we were able to teach her about the principle of enduring to the end and the power of the Atonement as we repent. She is incredible! As we drove home I recognized that I had not had a spiritual teaching experience in over a week! Because if we work in the morning in the VC it is honestly dead.. and at night it is jammed pack full that you don't get to have quite the same experience as you normally would to stay with a group and teach to their needs. We also have been having a hard time finding new investigators. Tracting in Mar Vista is honestly not very effective.. especially in English. As the week progressed we met with Darla and our investigator David and had some great experiences and ended the week with Liza's baptism!
It was one of the most spirit filled baptisms I have ever attended! Before she was baptized she bore her testimony. I wish you could all hear her experience from her and feel the love and strength in the Gospel that she has. She has been a gift to the missionaries and to the Mar Vista ward. She is an extraordinary person! The stake president even asked her to share her experience in Stake Conference! I just feel so honored that I got to be apart of her experience and witness the incredible amount of faith she has. In the 2 times I was able to teach her I learned so much from her.
Oh and good news!! Susanna and Narciso are going to get married on the 21st and Baptized on the 22nd!!! I get to go for the baptism and play my violin for them!! My heart has ached to not be able to continue to be apart of the process, but I am overjoyed to know they are going to be baptized!! I am so Happy and excited for them!
I know this life is often not what we expect, but I know as we hold on in faith in Christ peace is found and clarity is brought. I know that true happiness only comes through bringing others happiness. And true Joy is only felt through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his atonement. I love you all so much and am so grateful for your love, support and prayers! I can not wait to Skype with you all in a few weeks!! I love you!!!