NEWS (INVESTIGATOR'S NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO MAINTAIN ANONYMITY)
MAY 13, 2013 - "BACHATA"
Hola mi familia!!! I LOVED talking to you all yesterday! And for Christmas I will be skyping you all:) Mckay I'm wondering if we can save some time and call each other? At the VC I can call anywhere in the world for free.. just a though:) So I titled my email Bachanga.. The Latino sisters and my companion are determined to get me to speak like a Mexican .. Maybe some Spanish pride runs through my veins. Anyway Bachanga means party or fiesta and we certainly had one in La Cienega this week! They know how to party! I wish I could send videos so you could hear the mariachi band and see everyone getting up to dance! It was a lot of fun even if I couldn't dance:( obedience brings blessings right? :) We did have some one pull us into the what I called a "parade" we just walked and clapped- we didn't want to hurt the cute girls feelings... she was getting baptized the next day- so yesterday:) That's actually a pretty neat story! So she (Maritza) is our Zone Leaders investigator in our ward. She and her mom had baptismal dates for yesterday may 12th. She wasn't sure if she was ready to be baptized so about two weeks ago they brought her in to the VC and sister Stevens and I gave them a tour. We ended the tour by having her watch the full length restoration (so good!) at the end she was crying and they had her offer the closing prayer and the poor thing cried and couldn't get through it. That was her moment that she gained a testimony of the restoration and of Joseph Smith. The VC and the movie might have been part of it, but I think it was the tender prayer she offered. I cant quite explain what its like to be apart of those what I think are very personal moments where the spirit is testifying to someone through their prayers that this church is true. It was truly humbling to be apart of and I am so happy that both her and her mother were baptized yesterday!
This week we also had Zone Conference! the theme was "C the Change" it was amazing! it was all about repentance and made me ponder not only on my own dedication as a missionary and repentance process but on how to teach Our investigators about repentance. President Baker asked us to share with him an experience with repentance, i could think of many, but for me repentance is a continual process. Although its much easier to avoid sin, I am not perfect and more than not make mistakes. I am continually humbled at the Love the Savior has for me. He accepts my weaknesses and imperfections and forgives me and then carries me forward. As it says in Moroni 6:8 "But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven." I know this is true. I have seen it countless times through out my life. No matter what I do he loves me and is waiting for me to come to him and seek that forgiveness and every time I do he offers it. I am incredibly humbled and grateful for the Love our Savior has for us and his infinite Atonement and the power of Healing and forgiveness he has to offer. Through Him I am continually made whole. It was a truly spirituality uplifting and I am grateful for President and all he does for us as missionaries.
So this week I had a teaching Center Miracle!!! so we everyday for two hours while in the VC make phone calls and teach over the phone. I think possibly one of my most challenging things I have to do. Ask mom... I always handed her the phone when I had to talk to someone haha. But I think a few weeks ago I wrote about this girl (Vanessa) that came in with her boyfriends dad... sort of Awkward, but it was a great experience! Anyway I called her this last week to follow up with her if she was able to receive the missionaries! and guess what!? She is getting baptized on June 1st!! She sounded so different and truly happy! I worried that she might be looking into the church for the wrong reasons (if you know what I mean) but I had no doubt when I was talking to her on the phone- I knew she had gained a testimony that this is Christs restored church on the earth and the only way to true happiness! She was so cute when I asked if I could call in a few weeks she asked for my number so she could call me and talk to me. I was so extremely happy for her. I never thought I could love people I hardly know! Its strange how I really would call her my friend and have no doubt I will continue to talk to her:)
So some updates on our investigators... So for a while we had many investigators and many appointments and somehow they all fell through and disappeared Even my sweet EPY who was completely ready for baptism disappeared .. We haven't been 'able to get a hold of her for a month... which has been hard :( I know she will find the church again whether its through sister Stevens and I or through someone else. The lord knows where we are and is continually mindful foR each of us. Kelly the 9 year old is ready to be baptized, but we are waiting to see if her dad can receive the Melchizedek priesthood so he can confirm her ( he is a recent convert) We do have however two great progressing investigators! Daniel is the "esposo" (so aka living with but not married to) one of our members. They are planning a wedding, a baptism, and had an eternal perspective and want to be sealed in the next year! They are great! and our other one id Delfino whose family is very unsupportive and he seems to be be raising his 8 month year old son by himself, but he has immense faith and is continuing forward. We also have an appointment with Gudelia who we contacted 2 weeks ago and her husband and her 5 children! Hopefully they will have baptismal dates this week! The work is ever moving forward even if we cant always see it. God is in the details of our lives! These last weeks haven't been easy in our area, but I have seen Gods tender mercies as we work hard and are obedient!
I love you all! Thank you for all the support and love!!!