NEWS (INVESTIGATOR'S NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO MAINTAIN ANONYMITY)
FEBRUARY 18, 2013
Hello my wonderful family and friends
I finally received your letters!! My first letters in the mission field:) Please tell the ward thank you for all the support, prayers, and love! I loved the Valentines from the relief society! and the sweet letters from the Driscolls plus their treat:) I loved hearing from home and I love hand written letters! Papi can you please send me your full conversion story?? I would love to have that and I would love to know it:) I also would like to know about what part of Santander Ati lives in... Ive had people ask and I really couldn’t remember... Embarrassing hah. So every Monday in the morning we get to open letters and if we work in the VC in the Morning that’s when we check our email and then after 3pm is our P.day so I time to write letters etc. But when we work in the VC in the Afternoon I have to write all my letters in the morning and don’t get to check my email till the afternoon and then can’t write any letters later that night so I have to respond to any letters via email the following Monday. I love getting hand written letters, but they do take a while to get here. I just got the packages and letters that I think papi wrote on feb. 6th and its now feb 18th... So I will leave it up to you :) Hopefully that made sense.....
This week has been a crazy and great week! We had Zone Conference which was full of information and inspiration! We learned a lot about finding people! There are people ready to hear the Gospel and who are being prepared to receive it, but the trick is to find them. Because we are preparing our investigator for baptism it has been difficult to have more lessons with many others and let alone tracting time because we are only in our area for half the day and we generally have a dinner appointment from the ward every day. We are definitely blessed! But the other day we did have the opportunity to knock some doors and one opened! He was from India and had an awesome accent! but... he definitely was not interested. He told he knew everything and had read it all and that he did not believe man could be trusted. He prays to God and believes in God but he does not believe in organized religion. The best was when we asked him if he read the Book of Mormon he said I skimmed here and there and later in the conversation he said I read it all and I know its false.... Two very opposite things... And if he truly read it there is no way he could deny the Hand of God in it- I love the Book of Mormon! Anyway he told us to use our heads and that we were too young to be caught up in this... I always think it is interesting when people say that as if we are doing something bad like doing drugs or something that would ruin our lives... but he is very wrong the Gospel is the best thing that anyone could be a part of! And the thing is I am using my head, but one important thing he is missing is using his heart and listening to the spirit. I think when you think you know everything it is hard to listen to God when he is trying to teach you. He also mocked us for our age... He didn’t believe that a 20 year old could know anything! But I testified to him of the Truth and I know its true! All we can do is keep trying and trying everyone has their own Agency and we can’t force anyone to make decisions that they aren’t willing to do.
Because this week was Valentines day we delivered a lot of Valentines to our Investigators, less actives, and recent converts. I love hearing from around the corner the Delgado's little girls be so excited to receive treats at their front door. I love teaching little children! We were teaching Kristi who is almost 9 and little Susie who is 5 about Jesus Christ. They were pointing out all the pictures of Christ in their home and little Susie says "Hes like part of the Family!" Their tender little comments always touch my heart. Jesus Christ should be part of our families and at the center of it. God gave us our families to bless us and help us learn and grow and learn of him. Every family is different and none are perfect. Kristi´s parents are recent converts with such strong testimonies. I believe I talked about how her dad completely turned his life around and how different their lives are and how much happy they are now. They want to make sure Kristi understands the important promise she is making with God so we are teaching her the lessons:) I can’t wait to one day teach my own children! I believe everyone should read Preach My Gospel and teach their family from it. The basic Doctrine of Christ is something we all should know and review often. The teachings of Christ are basic and simple and they bring the greatest rewards when we learn them and follow them. Really the Gospel is simple! Pray, read your scriptures and learn all you can, go to church, and follow Gods Commandments and he will bless and guide you! the key is being willing and courageous enough to open the door and begin. I love the quote about being willing to sacrifice the things we think we want now for the blessings of Eternity by Elder Busche. "The pain of sacrifice lasts only one moment. It is the fear of the pain of sacrifice that makes you hesitate to do it."We fear how hard it will be to change, but it’s those changes that make all the difference and help us find real happiness.. I see this every day!
So our main investigator had is baptismal interview this week! We reviewed the interview questions over and over again- he has such a strong testimony and love for the Gospel, but he often gets all the principles confused and doesn’t always understand our questions... He knows what a prophet is, but somehow when asked what a prophet is he responded "I only have one wife! God gave me one wife and I will only ever have one wife!" Maybe we weren’t clear when we asked the question... haha But he passed the Interview on Sunday and will be baptized on February 24th! I am so excited for him and his wife! In a year they will be able to enter the Temple and be sealed to each other) And I feel so blessed that I will still be here in LA so that I can attend that sealing. There is no greater place to be then in the Temple!
On Saturday we had a YW group come in who we gave a Temple Ground tour to. I love the YW!! They are truly incredible and have such strong testimonies! I am so grateful for the YW program and all that it teaches! We were able to bare testimony of the blessings of the temple and share our own testimonies with them and hear theirs as well. We had them face the street and see the valley below and all the rush and hustle and bustle of the world and then we turned around and saw the magnificent temple and the peace it truly brings. The difference was our perspective! When we focus on the temple we find that in our lives- true peace and happiness... when we focus on the things of the world there is chaos. I am so grateful for the temple and all that it represents!
I finally was able to attend the La Ciénaga ward (the Spanish ward) I love the people there so much! They are so welcoming and loving. I hope that we can be more like that- our wards should truly be a place of safety and love. Our wards should be one great loving family.
So I had three great visitors this week!! First I saw 3TREES from Oakcrest! She was on vacation with her family and they wanted to see where she will be serving. I can’t wait for her to be here every day and serving in this incredible place :) The Henricksens also came to visit and brought me a delicious treat:) I am so grateful for all the support!
Life as a missionary keeps me busy, but it keeps me happy doing the Lord's work. I am learning so much and I love the opportunity to serve others and help them find the same happiness that I have found in coming to know my savior. I get to bare my testimony every day of his love for his children! we met a women on the street who was smoking and as we spoke to her I felt this immense love for her that I knew was only a small portion of the Love God felt for her. I was able to tell her that and bare testimony to her that She is his daughter. God has a plan for each of us and he knows us and loves us and truly desires what is best for us and wants us to return home to him having become like him having shown our love to him by our actions. God is in everyone’s life the key is to find where they have let him in! And to allow him into our own lives.
Well my time is running, but I love you all and hope to hear from those of you who I haven’t... cough cough you know who you are!
I love you!
P.S. I met Elder Low! whose family feeds Elder Harris in South Carolina! Small world!