Well yes sorry for not telling you last week but we have transfers this week so P.day is on Tuesday:) so right now. We have 8 missionaries leaving this week and we are getting 32 new ones.... It’s crazy how quickly the mission is growing! I am so excited to see the work progressing! I am still in my same area with the same companion:) I am glad I get to stay with Sister Stevens and serve in San Vicente. I love my area and I am only beginning to love these people. Our area is however being split and I am praying we don’t have to give up the people I have fallen in love with.
This last week was very long, but a great one. One of my favorite things we did was Temple Cleaning! The temple is closed for cleaning and as missionaries we get to go in and clean Gods House how neat is that?? We had the opportunity of cleaning one of the Sealing rooms! We took apart the whole room and moved everything out, dusted it, vacuumed, and even took apart the chandeliers and cleaned each piece of crystal by hand and then hung it all back up and put the room together. While the rooms are not that dirty I can imagine letting Gods house become dirty. The amount of Symbolism and relation the Temple holds to our own bodies is incredible. I kept thinking about how God doesn’t want us to be "dirty" in a sense and that we too have to go through a cleaning process. It was an incredible experience to clean the temple and to be able to serve God in that way. I am so grateful for his sacred and holy house and the opportunity we have to go into it. It is truly the greatest place on earth! I am very excited to be able to do a session in two weeks!
I am loving serving in the VC. We had a women come in who was recently divorced. As we showed her some paintings we began asking her some questions and she opened her heart and cried to us. She told us of the heartache and worries she has been having. We showed her "Advice by Elder Bushce" (if you haven’t seen it get on Youtube now and watch it:) ) and shared some scriptures and let the spirit be the true teacher. I truly believe she left having been comforted, uplifted, and brought closer to Christ. I wonder if she knew that day that on her trip to LA (she was from Utah) she would have such a spiritual experience, maybe even a life changing one.. you never know. I have only barely begun to see the miracles that can happen to her in the VC.
I also have loved getting to know the other sisters in the VC. We truly have friendship that is strengthened through the Gospel, service, music, and fun- what could be greater?
This week we met with the Jaen sisters who have been going through a very hard time with a brother who is an alcoholic. It broke my heart to see how the decisions of one can tear apart a family and bring so much unhappiness. While we couldn’t really do much I could feel the spirit uplifting them. On Sunday one of the sisters bore her testimony and shared something we had taught her. While I don’t feel I had done much it was incredible how the Gospel can comfort someone and help them in truly afflicting times.
I went to my first YSA ward correlation. The YSA ward here is incredible and is an active role in missionary work. The Bishop gave an incredible thought on the need for every member to be a missionary. It is true without the members we would have little to no success in finding and teaching and baptizing others. It is through the members that missionary work is done. I have truly begun to recognize that Gods work is the most important thing we can be doing and that we all should be more actively engaged in God’s work and less preoccupied with the things in life that don’t really matter. I have seen the amazing Olivares family who are recent converts where both parents work two jobs and are an active role in their child’s life be always willing to feed us and come to lessons with us. They truly are an example of putting God as a priority in their home. I hope that we can all do that - Make Christ and His Gospel our priority and have the courage to share it!
So as you may know this last week was my birthday- I am officially 21:) (familia I did not get your package in time.... But I will for sure have it for next week... I guess mail has to be here by Wednesday for me to get it:( ... ) I had an incredible day with back to back tours in the VC, serving my fellow visitor center sisters, knocking doors, laughing with sister Stevens, and teaching Efrain a lesson. Even president Baker wished me a Happy Birthday! We had a lesson with Efrain at Francisca’s house- She remembered it was my birthday and made me a .. cake? I’m not sure it looked like a cake, but it was not a typical cake... anyway I loved it! And Efrain prayed for the first time. It is incredible to hear someone praying to our Heavenly Father out loud and feeling the spirit so strongly. I am so grateful for the gift of prayer we have. Oh and I learned something knew... "praying with real intent" which means we are committed to act on the answer that we receive. I never fully understood that phrase apparently.
And the best gift of all was seeing Juan receive the Holy Ghost and the Priesthood on Sunday! I sat next to his wife and saw tears of joy run down her face. She thanked us for all we had done, but I know the true miracle of his conversion was not by us but by the spirit. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Well My time is running by but I wanted to thank Melanie Day and Linda Brunisholtz for their packages! I am so excited to use the scripture marking ideas and study helps! It was also great to have an update form the other missionaries in the ward :) and Linda you found my weakness... sweet tooth fairy cake bites! They are delicious! I am so grateful for our ward family and the amount of love and support I have received.
Oh and I want to wish Caitlin Ingrim a HAPPY BIRTHDAY tomorrow :) seeing how I don’t have her address to write her a letter and tell her I hope she sees it on here. Love you Cait!
And Meg I finally got your letter! And no I never saw any of the pictures yet.... from Caits wedding.
Well I love you all! And can’t wait to open my birthday package next week! I love you familia- take care and know you are in my prayers. Mom I am proud of you and your missionary efforts. You are a great example to me. We can all do a little better, to be a little better!