"Wherefore, whithersoever they shall send you, go ye, and I will be with you; and in whatsoever place ye shall
proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word."
- Doctrine & Covenants 112:19

Thursday, March 27, 2014

April Showers

Well I hope April Showers bring May flowers because it's been sunny all week then gloomy today! 

This week flew by. Transfer Conference will be on Monday, that is so weird!
I got to see a bunch of family on Sunday, it was wonderful to see them!

Tim was baptized! And confirmed! He says that he feels relieved now, and comfortable with the Spirit.
The night of his baptism, when he got home, he went to go on Dialysis, and his machine broke! For the rest of the night, he had to dialysize manually....with a pump! So he had to manually pump for 2 hours, then go sleep for one hour, pump for two, sleep for one, the whole night. But he was so determined to go to church the next morning so he could be confirmed, even though he was nervous to be in front of everyone, so he did it! He said that nothing would keep him from going to church that morning. I thought that was way cool! Man the things that Satan will do...

I attached a picture of him in white with his Elders and another of wearing the tie and tie clip I sent him :)

I had a pretty cool experience this week, so we were covering a desk assignment for some sisters. So this man walked in the door and walked past me, and I started talking to him. His name is Adan. He didn't understand much English, and just walked away. But he came back some time later, and lingered. So I tried talking with him more. He is from Las Vegas (originally from Mexico) and had to come to Salt Lake because he was in an accident and needed some sort of treatment here. He was told to come to Temple Square, so he just came to see what it was like. Well come to find out, he's divorced, and his son was hit by a car and died. There is a cool painting by that desk that depicts an eternal family, so I used Spanglish and he used Spanglish and we talked about Eternal Families. He is Catholic, though, and believes that all families are Eternal. I showed him a Book of Mormon and told him that Eternal Life with our families is precious, and it isn't just granted, but we have to earn it in order to obtain it, and we are shown what we need to do in the Book of Mormon to obtain it. I told him i Spanish that I know the church is true. Then I had some Sisters contact him in Spanish, and they talked for a while but he said that he would come back tomorrow and that he didn't want to take the Book. I was so sad because I felt so strongly that he needed the Gospel, right now in his life. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to be able to see him again. The next day, we looked for him on the Square, but didn't see him. We even went to West Gate to see if there were any 1 Spanish tours taken, but there were none. So the next day, we were on the Square, following our plan we had planned, and we were going to our next location when all of a sudden, we ran right into Adan, he came out of nowhere! We started talking to him and he told us that he had been praying the night before, and he had realized that he wants to walk a straight life now, and be a good example to his grandkids (he has a son who is still alive). We asked if he thought that Heavenly Father led him here for that reason, and he said yes. I told him that I had something for him, something that he left last time (BOM), and he said no, I want to go see the statue of Christ, and then I will come get one. I knew that he was just making an excuse so I said, no. You are getting one now, come on. So he did, and we gave him a Living Christ, Family Proc, Joseph Smith pamphlet, and Book of Mormon, all in Spanish. Then we took him to the Christus and played it in Spanish for him. Then, he talked for about 10 minutes, only in Spanish. I couldn't tell you now what he said, but it was cool because I understood most of it in the moment. We were able to testify, and tell him that this Gospel can bless him and that he can see his son again. I told him that I wanted a friend of mine (another sister) to call him in Spanish to teach him more, and he referred! So I need to pray to know which Spanish sister to give his information to. It was way cool to see an answer to prayer, Heavenly Father brought him here for a reason, and answered my prayer so that we could teach him more.

So unfortunately....I think Robert is not real...I have always had that feeling of insincerity in my gut since he called into Guest Services, but I have tried to just give him the benefit of the doubt and trust him, but some things have happened this week that really make me doubt that he is sincere! I am pretty sure he is either Less-active, or a Return Missionary. I am doing some investigating this week, talking with the Bishop, and hopefully local missionaries to find out for sure. I will feel really bad if he is sincere, but I just have this feeling that he isn't. That is really sad, and what a stupid way to waste your time by being a fake investigator!

We have some new investigators that we are looking forward to be teaching if we stay together. This week, our online teaching center system broke, so we have had to use a different one, and it is not as good! They don't filter the chats, so we get a lot of people wasting out time. I've screenshotted some pretty funny ones though! But we have had some miracles. There was this young man who came on, asking about our beliefs regarding homosexuality and i just felt God's love for him. He referred and said we could call him and share more. I think he just wants peace knowing that God loves him and he doesn't want to feel guilty.

Last night, we were assigned to the Assembly Hall (That building is my favorite, all my miracles have happened there!) when this guy walked in and sat down and just started asking us some questions. He told us all about his life, and how it wasn't until recent that he started to believe in God. He got into some pretty deep things wit the law, but luckily was never caught. He was able to get out, and kinda start a new life. He turned his life around. He wanted to know more about the church, because he had moved here to Utah and heard about it. He had questions about the commandments, and we were able to explain why we have them, and why we need them, and what the benefits are. He said that it made sense. It was really cool because we just talked with him, just shared what we know, and testified of personal experiences, and the spirit was so strong, I didn't have to worry what I would say, or how he would receive it. It was awesome. He said that we answered all his questions, and that he felt really good about the church. He said that he had taken a tour the day before and that those sisters were going to teach him now. I am so sad that it can't be me, because I felt so connected and we were instant friends, but hey, as long as he is being taught, that is all that matters. And maybe I could be present for some of his lessons on Temple Square.

Sandy went to church! But she kinda temporarily dropped us, she hasn't been feeling well lately, and she said she feels pressured by the local missionaries, so she said she wants to take a break from "this religion stuff." But she still wants us to send her daily scriptures, so hopefully those will help.

I am not sure if I told you, but Vas, the one from India, actually went to Weber State and lived in Ogden! That was cool to find out. We have some common ground that we can talk about. I am exited to hear about his progress.

Okay, a funny story for the week....remember when I told you about Aaron and how I couldn't tell if it was a male or female? I had asked if it were female and Aaron said yes, so this whole time I have thought it was. Well...after all these lessons where we pray for them in the lesson, using she, and her, nothing was said until this week! After the prayer Aaron goes are you callin me a her? And we were like...what? Aaron repeated. we were like no....maybe you just heard us wrong? We probably should have been honest but I knew that was going to happen! This whole time I was worried that would happen and it did haha. Now it is so weird to talk about her, I mean him. But he went to church. I think he is just lazy, but he knows it's true.

Well we are looking forward to the General Women's Meeting, we get to go, yippee! We are excited.

I think that is about it, we are gearing up for next transfer. I can't believe how fast the time has flown. It's nuts. Well I love you all, and hope you have a great week. Mormon 9:21

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Week Six?

We just weekly planned for next week, Week 6....What? This transfer has flown!

Today, the Missionary Department came and talked to us about helping members do missionary work, it was way sweet!

So Tim is getting baptized on Saturday! It is going to be great. They finally got the step-by-step so it is for sure. He is so prepared, and so excited. It is really cool to see. Last week we taught him about looking forward, and pressing forward with faith by sharing the story of Lot's wife, and then 2 Ne 31:20, how he can be changed and never look back in his heart. He is already doing that, he doesn't even need us haha.

Robert finally called us back! (He is the Guest Services miracle) We had been trying to call him for weeks, and finally he returned our calls. We started talking with him, seeing how he is doing, and he told us that he was confused about baptism and wanted to know more about it. So we taught and testified abot it, and he said, wow that is so cool, I would love to be able to do that! THEN he said, do you think I would be able to come to Temple Square and get baptized? We were like did he really just say that? Speechless haha. So we invited him to pray for a baptismal date, and we will follow up with that when we teach him on Saturday.

Not sure if you remember Sandy, or Sandra, the one from chat with Bipolar Disorders, Depression, and she is suicidal. Well, we call her on Mondays. We called her, and she was doing pretty good. She has been reading and praying, but still did not go to church. She also said she thinks she & her husband will get separated. Well, she ended up having to go because her husband was home, but told us to call her back that night. This was divine inspiration because before we called her back, the local missionaries had randomly stopped by. Instead of teaching, they listened with love, and invited her to church again, but this time helping her see why, and telling her about Relief Society, and how great it would be for her. Well when invited to church, she usually says, well I'll try, but I have a lot going on, and I don't know if I will be feeling up to it. Well this time when they asked, she said, I will! She committed finally. I am so excited to see how she likes it, I know it will be really good for her to have that support system and to partake of the sacrament. I hope the members fellowship her well!

I am not sure if I have mentioned Aaron before. So she was an inbound call, she wanted a Finding Faith in Christ DVD. She is from New Mexico. And she is extremely hard to understand on the phone. Like when I talked with her, we have to input their name, age, gender, and address...Well, it took 5 minutes to figure out her name, and her voice is so deep I was so nervous to ask her gender. I was like, so Aaron....uh so you're um female? right? And she said uh YEAH. I felt so bad! But we've been calling her ever since. She goes to the First Assembly of God church. She reads the Book of Mormon. Well you can imagine how hard it is to teach her when you can't understand what she says. I try asking her to take her phone off speakerphone but it doesn't really do anything. Each time we call her, it is really hard because we just teach, and when we ask questions, we can't understand the response, so we just say, yeah definitely! and try to follow the spirit. So this week on Sunday, we called her, and I again asked for her to take her phone off speaker, and by the grace of God I could understand her! She said that she reads the Book of Mormon, and that she loves it! She has been meeting with the missionaries. She said well, i might go to church with them today. So we said MIGHT? We told her about church and how awesome it is, and invited her to try it out. She said that she would call the missionaries right then and ask for a ride. I think it was too late, I think the missionaries had already left for church, but we don't know for sure. We have tried calling her a couple times this week but she hasn't picked up. I am excited to see if she went, and how it was. Maybe she will go this Sunday if she didn't go last. She is one of those people that are hard to love, but once you love them, you really love them!

So the way it works with tours is that there are sisters that are at each desk at the entrances of the buildings. Those sisters contact people, and when the people say they want a tour, the sisters call the West Gate Booth, which has one companionship that deals with all the tours, and they text the tour out to all the sisters who have square time. Yesterday we were on square, and we got a text for 1 English. That means there is one person that speaks English. We responded, and went over to the location it was at. His name is Norbert, and he is about 29. The sister on desk introduced us and said that he served in Birmingham but has since got a little lost and is working on finding his way back. So, obviously, he is inactive. Well we start the tour, we wanted to start at the Assembly Hall, so we could talk about the reasons we go to church, and the sacrifice of the pioneers in that building, and how it applies to him. Well, we asked where the disconnect happened from the mission to now, and he started to tell us his story. I won't go into details, but he was excommunicated two years ago. He said he has never felt worse in his life, than in that moment when he lost his membership. He said right then, he noticed the light went out. He didn't know what he had until it was gone. On the duration of the tour, he shared more with us. He is going through some hard things, but is a really awesome guy! During the tour, I just had this thought/impression/picture (does that even make sense?) of just how he was one of Christ's lambs, and Heavenly Father was trusting us with one of His little lambs. I just felt so much love for Norbert. He has righteous desires, but I am not quite sure he understands how to accomplish those right desires. But we are going to call him every once in a while to see how he is doing. I felt so loved that Heavenly Father would trust us with him.

This week we have had a lot of people drop us, or we had to drop them. I was surprised that I wasn't that discouraged. I know that even though they may choose not to be ready at this time, or they really aren't ready, that God never drops them, and He will always provide other opportunities for them to learn of the Gospel, and choose to accept it.

We got to go to Music & The Spoken Word last Sunday, it was so great! It was based off one of my favorite songs, Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy. I am sure I will butcher this, but Lloyd Newel (of course haha...what are they going to do when he dies?) narrated about a story that a preacher had told of a ship trying to find the harbor, and a lighthouse who's light had already gone out for the night, how they crashed an died because they couldn't find their way among the rocks. Then he related it to how we are the light. God puts us on the earth, but only we can shine the light to help people know where to go! It is up to us on the Earth to show people where to go to find safety and happiness and truth. We have to be missionaries as members, or else the light to everyone's lighthouse will be out. It was so good!

Well I think that is about it, we are getting really excited for General Conference! It is going to be insane. We are excited for all the many opportunities and miracles that we will see.

Help someone feel the love that the Savior has for them today. It is a wonderful time to be a missionary :)

Love you!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"If ye love me, keep my commandments."

Happy P-day :)

So this morning in Relief Society, Carol M. Stevens from the RS General Board came and spoke to us! She is so great. She spoke about being a disciple of Jesus Christ and how we can be spiritually prepared. She told a cute story of when she had her 3 year old granddaughter for the day. When she picked her up, they got in the car and she put her in her car seat and buckled her in. Well, she starts driving down the road, and pretty soon the girl had unbuckled herself and was standing behind her talking to her. So she had to pull over and buckle her in again. So she starts driving, and it happens again. So this time, she pulls over, gets out,and puts her in again. Now she starts to promise her things. If she stays buckled, when they get to Gramma's house, they will play with the new play dough Gramma bought her, or make bread like she loves, or even stop on the way for a treat. Well, each time she unbuckled herself (I would have gone crazy at this point haha). So she gets out, and this time the spirit whispers to her, 'teach her.' So she shows her her own seatbelt, how she wears it, how it keeps her safe if a car were to hit her. She explained about the little girl's carseat and how if she unbuckles herself from it, she is not going to be safe, and she wants her to be safe. So the little 3 year old says, Gramma, I get it. You want me to stay buckled because you love me. Well, at this point Sister Stevens starts crying because f the way children can teach us. Again the Spirit whispered to her, this time a scripture. John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments." So she told her that she was right, and that she loved her and wanted her to be safe, and that's why she needed to be in her carseat. She then buckled her, and told her they could still do all those fun things when they got to Gramma's house. Well this time, she stayed buckled the whole time. I loved that story. Heavenly Father's commandments keep us safe on the way back home to Him. We just need to buckle ourselves in!

So some slightly sad news...Tim wasn't able to be baptized last Saturday :( So we called him that morning, and we said, how do you feel, today is the day! And he said he was feeling disappointed. We asked why, and he said the Elders had called him and told him the baptism wasn't going to happen. They were given the solution of proxy by the Brethren, but not the step-by-step of how to do it, so without that, they could not do it, because it needs to be done properly. So he won't be baptized this Saturday either, because he has treatment all day, so it will most likely be next week, the 22nd. He doesn't want to do it another day of the week, he wants Saturday. But something cool, we found out that his grandson comes to church with him every week! And he has invited everyone to his baptism. I thought that was so cool! He is already a missionary. We had a great lesson with him last week too, it is one of my favorites that we have ever taught. We taught from Mosiah 18 (Waters of Mormon) and applied it to him. How all these desires he has to be baptized, and now he is able to, and how he can clap his hands for joy, and how sweet is the place where he came to the knowledge of his Redeemer! It was so great. He is so prepared, he doesn't even need us haha.

We had a great week with tons of tours! It is starting to get really busy. Today we took a slightly anti tour. 10 students of a bible college back east. They came for Spring Break. They had lots of questions, and we think they are anti's in-training. They major in the Bible, with focuses (like minors) of how to be a Missionary, Pastor, etc. We would be testifying of something, and they would pick out something small we said to question. Like we testified of who Christ is to us, and they tried to get us by saying, well you never said who you believe Jesus Christ is.So we said, well just like we just said, He is the Son of God, our Savior, and Redeemer. So one asked us, what do you mean by Redeemer, what do you think it means to redeem? So we just testified, invited them, and left. It was a good teaching practice, but that college has had groups all week, they are anti's in training. Sad!

Hey I need to share my P-day miracle from last week!

So we were in Walmart, in the checkout line, and I was a little peeved because the Walmart in the middle of SLC only had one check out line so we had to wait forever. Well, we got up to the cashier, and she was really nice. She asked how long we waited, then apologized and said how she was trying to find another cashier to open a line. Well we just started talking to her, asking her about her day. She looks at out tags and asks, where do you work? So we say, oh actually we are missionaries, we serve over on Temple Square. Have you ever been there? She looked kind of confused and said no. So we asked, have you ever heard much about the church? And she said no. So we said would you like to? And she said yes! I was speechless haha we taught someone a lesson and got a New Investigator in the checkout line at Walmart! We asked for her phone number and she said that she didn't know it and that she couldn't pull her phone out at work. But then she just broke the rule and pulled it out and gave it to us! It was so awesome! I felt bad for being annoyed that I had to wait so long, and that Heavenly Father blessed us with a miracle when we didn't exactly deserve it! That's how life is though, Heavenly Father sure loves us.

We had a chat with a girl named Erika yesterday. She is Pagan, but is interested in the church after Missionaries came by. She is really awesome and we can't wait to start teaching her!

The Japanese boy we are teaching, Seiya, had a miracle! He has been wanting to be baptized, but his parents wouldn't allow it. Well we called him this week and he said his parents allowed it! So he is getting baptized April 26.

Vas, from India, didn't get to go to church last week because the missionaries said they would pick him up, but never came. So he is going to go on his own this Sunday, he is awesome, and has great faith!
Well I think this letter is long enough, there is a lot of other great things that happened, but I don't have the time and you probably don't have the patience to sit here and read it haha thanks for all the support and examples, love you!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

God will always provide a way.

Holly and her new companion, Sister Chayama 
Well, it's been another great week here on Temple Square!

In the mornings, we have been approved to run on a High School track nearby, so I get to start my day by running 3 miles while I watch the sun rise behind the Temple! It is the best! I have never really been a fan of running, but I have discovered that is is a way to push myself to do things I don't think I can do, just like how it is with missionary work sometimes. Plus, it's a lot easier when I have fresh air, rather than running in a garage with a dumpster haha.

So I have the coolest news........it's about Tim!

He heard back from president Monson, and President Monson found a solution so he can be baptized! On Saturday, the 8th, He will be baptized by PROXY! So He will stand off to the side, while someone goes into the font and is baptized for him in his place, just like baptisms for the dead, but he's ALIVE! Then he gets to be confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost like normal. Oh man, when I heard that I was speechless! I had never heard of that before. The last couple weeks, we had been teaching him about faith, and how we can rely on the Lord to provide a way to keep His commandments, so that we can receive a witness to the trial of our faith. So it was way awesome to see that witness! How cool is it to think that President Monson prayed about Tim, and then received revelation for him! It really strengthened my testimony of Prophets. Tim is doing so great, he is so excited to be baptized. He said that he has not been this happy in a very long time, and that he feels like he is on cloud nine. The members have reached out to him so well! He has made so many new friends, and on Sunday, he texted us and said: "it was amazing today all the people that are there for me and how much they make you feel like family and all the warmth that I felt today." Good job ward members! Then he told us how happy he is to be baptized, that he is like a little kid in a candy store, he just wants it to be his day already. Man, we are way excited. It has been way awesome to see him change through the Atonement.

So if you remember Sandra, the bipolar, depression, suicidal lady, we were able to teach her this week. She is doing well, she has seen a difference in herself and her life since she has been learning about the Church, and the missionaries have been able to come and teach her. She is going to try to go to church on Sunday. We gave her the talks Like a Broken Vessel, and I Will Not Fail Thee, and she said she would watch them and pray about them. They are so perfect for her! She is a little unstable, but we hope that she will be able to gain stability as she grows stronger in her faith and relationship with Heavenly Father.

We met a man on chat from India (too bad I am not with Sister Doraiswamy still) who had studied here in Utah, but had since returned to India. Well he now wants to join the church! He accepted a baptismal invitation and will go to church on Sunday. So we were able to send local missionaries to him, and we are going to call him this week.

Robert has not returned our phone call yet, but we will call him tomorrow, hopefully he picks up!

Also, we teach a 19 year old Japanese boy Seiya, who is a foreign exchange student here. He really wants to be baptized badly but his parents do not approve. He is of age, but doesn't want to break family relationships, so we are praying for their hearts to be softened and for a way for him to be baptized.

We took an awesome tour this week, the spirit was totally present! I was on exchange with my DL [District Leader] and we went to contact a man in the Assembly Hall, when another man walked up and said he wanted a tour, so we took both of them around. One, Jason, was here for a job interview with Skywest as a Pilot, he is from AZ, so we were automatic kindred souls haha just kidding but really, I felt more connected with him. The other man was here for a costume convention or something weird like that, and was completely closed off, he is Baptist, and only wanted to learn history. We took them around, and testified a lot. Jason said that he grew up religious, but had a lot of questions, didn't know if God existed. We testified about the Book of Mormon and how he will be able to know that God exists through the Book of Mormon, and all of his questions can be answered through it. He seemed pretty intrigued. Well after the tour, he took a Book of Mormon, but didn't refer. I know he will be able to accept the Gospel one day though, and that his questions will be answered through the Gospel. I really wish I would have marked Alma 18 for him though, it is perfect for him! He'll read it eventually though. It doesn't matter who it is that teaches a person, as long as they are being taught.

Well tomorrow we have Zone Conferences with the Mission President, it should be fun! From 10-5 it will be either a really long day or fun day haha just kidding. It will be great!

I think that is about it, I think I left out a lot, but Tim's news was the biggest this week, and it makes up for the forgotten stuff!

Temple Square is the best, have a great week, love you!