Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Highlights August 29, 2012

Hello, family! 

How was everyone's week this week?  Sounds like a lot of things are changing or coming up soon.  Good times, good times.  Well, it is Wednesday.  Long unnecessary story short, we were not able to write on Monday, so we're writing today.  Also, next week being that it is a holiday, will also not come with an email on Monday.  But we get to go to the temple next week which would make our pday on Wednesday so you'll get to hear from me anyway. :)  Just FYI.

Well here are some of the highlights from the last week and a half.
-As I mentioned last week, we're WAY low on miles which is okay.  We've just been doing a little more walking to and from the library and talking to anyone that comes in our path.  We have met a lot of very interesting people.  Some of them were lost members, which was cool to point them in the right direction again.  Some of them were interested, but hispanic so we gave the referrals to the spanish missionaries.  We met one family who MAY be interested.  A few homeless people-some very still there in the head and some not.  One guy named Anthony passed us on his bike while we were talking to someone and asked for directions to a store and then he left.  Then a mile up the road we saw him again and he came over to us and asked what church we're from and then said he wants to go there because we seem as committed to following Christ as he is.  So hopefully we'll see him there this Sunday.  It has actually been a very good use of time to walk to the library and we're going to continue to do that even though our miles will be reset. 
-Angela is on track for being baptized!  She is so excited and her family is very excited for her even though they're not members. But her example has been making so many people around her ask questions and want to make changes in their own lives.  She's so awesome!  And she just loves talking about the gospel with everyone.  She's being such a good missionary!  We're so excited for her to be baptized this weekend.
-We had a really good zone conference on Thursday about inviting people to be baptized no later than the second lesson, then they challenged us to double our baptism dates by the beginning of next week.  We've been working really hard to do that!  A lot of our appointments have started falling through all the sudden.  Surprise surprise.  I think someone out there does not want us to invite people to be baptized.  The few we have been able to talk to that about surprised me by how open they were at the idea.  They made it clear they weren't ready right then, but they want to be one day.  And they were more willing to do the things it will take for them to progress to that point.  So it's been very intimidating, but a very good experience. 

There are so many great things happening in this area.  The Lord is blessing us so much. 

Anyway, that's it from me for this week.  Hope all of you have a great week!  Enjoy the holiday!

-Sister Stacey

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pictures Finally! 8/20/2012

Dear Family,

   Hello!  How was every one's week? Ours was way busy! 

   Starting on Monday we were able to FINALLY have a lesson with Chris with his family there.  Since he is nine, it is hard for him to be able to go to church without their help, so it was good to finally start seeing some support from his family.  They were not at church, though.  We're going to have to push his baptism back because of that since he has to go three times.  Oh well.  Hopefully when we talk to them tonight they will understand that.

   We had a great lesson with Angela (actually a few great lessons with Angela) this week.  She already has such a strong testimony and so much faith in Jesus Christ and His power to change us.  We had a lesson completely devoted to helping her quit smoking because she said the cravings were getting really bad.  She had a question that I'm sure we all have with our weaknesses 'why won't He just take it away?'  That would be easy, but I suppose we wouldn't learn anything or become stronger from it.  It's hard in the meantime to have patience with it or see the end that WILL come if we remain strong and endure.  But we CAN if we allow the Savior to help us by keeping our faith in him and doing what we can.  Doesn't mean it will be easy.  But we have so much faith in Angela and so does Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.  She's doing so good.

   We  finally had a lesson at the Baptists with Kent there.  He was a Mennonite and did a lot of missionary work for them.  I'm not sure if he is still practicing or not.  But we had a good conversation about families and how God sees families and asked if he would like to have the lessons and he said he would, so that was exciting. 

   One morning last week we decided to use the Book of Mormon more while we tracted that day.  The street we picked was full of people who were 'not home' until the very last house.  A man named Freddy (different one) answered the door so we shared the Book of Mormon with him and he invited us to come back with a specific teaching appointment for this week.  Woohoo!  I've never had someone do that while we were tracting.  They tell us we can come back 'sometime', but never a specific time. So we're excited to meet with him this week. 

   We're starting to run low on miles for the month, so we'll be doing a lot of walking this week.  It's HOT.  But that's okay.  We'll stay hydrated and whatnot.  Yes mom and dad and sunscreened.  It'll be fun though.  Finally see what it's like to be an elder.  I wonder if people will throw things at us as they drive by, too.  (apparently they do that to the elders) 

   We're excited for this week!  We've been working really hard and we have a lot of good stuff happening.  I hope everyone has a great week wherever you are at as well.  Love you all!

Sis. Mills and Me!

-Sister  Stacey

Crazy Week 8/13/2012

Dear Family,

WOAH what a crazy week!  And a HOT week.  Every day was 110ish.  Too hot!  Some days it was still 105 at 7pm.  Not so awesome.  SO MUCH has happened this week.  A lot of good stuff.   So I'm just going to get right into that.

-Chris Carillo.  FINALLY had a lesson with him.  We have found an arrangement where we'll be able to be consistent in teaching him.  We set up a baptism date with him for Sept. 8.  We're so excited that we were able to meet with him!  He is excited to be baptized and he enjoys learning.  The only thing that would hold him back is his family.  They are less active, as I mentioned before I think, but we're putting a lot more effort into getting them involved so that he can have the support at home and hopefully the whole family will come closer to Christ.

-On Tuesday we got a media referral for a woman named Angela and who said 'I am interested in joining the church, but I'm not really sure how to get started.  Your help would really be appreciated.'  :D  We got way excited about that.  We met with her the next day because she was busy on Tuesday.  We had a great lesson about the doctrine of Christ and invited her to be baptized on Sept. 1.  She's so excited.  She's quitting smoking and doing so well at it!  She had a priesthood blessing for help, and she has a lot of faith.  She was so prepared and ready for this.

-I shared the experience I was having last week with Danny Kagle because he is also having a hard time, and I think that was good because now he trusts us more and is more open with us.  He seems more excited to learn about this message and to build a relationship with Jesus Christ.

-I don't remember if I mentioned Kent Baptist last week or not, but we were not able to meet with him last week.  We were also going to see him again last night, but he was gone.  Sister Baptist is way excited for us to be able to teach him.  He's been going to church with her lately, and he really likes the church, especially the focus on families.  Hopefully this sunday we'll be able to see him and start teaching him more.

-On Saturday we went out tracting and met a man named Freddie who looked really excited about our message and invited us to come back and teach him more.  We're looking forward to meeting him this week.

There were many other miracles this last week and tender mercies.  It was a hard week.  Really hard week.  But we worked as hard as we could and we were definitely blessed for that.  I learned that Heavenly Father is always aware of our trials, and if we put our faith in Him and do what we can on our part, He will bless us.  Always.  

Sidenote: I hit my year mark on Friday.  I can't believe I've been out for a year!  I only have four and a half transfers left.  That's super weird to think about.  But I love being a missionary, and there are great things happening here.  I have a renewed desire to work hard and assist Heavenly Father in His work and His glory. 

I hope you all have a great week!  Love you all!

-Sister Stacey

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Companion 8/06/2012

Hey, everyone!

   How was the week? 
   Ours was busy!  On wednesday I picked up my new companion.  Her name is Sister Mills.  She's from Washington, but grew up in Riverside.  She's a way hard worker!

   We spent a lot of our last week trying to find people to teach.  We did a lot of tracting and contacting former investigators.  We had a lesson set up with a man who has 10 kids.  We called him and he spent 20 minutes talking about trials he's having so we were really excited to go meet with him.  So we go to his house and he says that there was a misunderstanding about what church we were from and he didn't want us to come by.  Lame! 

   Yesterday at church there was a sister there with her non-member husband and we invited him to take the lessons and he said he wanted to, so we'll be meeting with him this week as well. 

   And tonight, we may finally have a lesson with the nine year old, Chris Carillo!  We've been trying to meet with him for weeks because he wants to be baptized.  His family is less active and they don't bring him to church regularly, unfortunately.  Hopefully by teaching Chris it will inspire the family to be active.

   Anyway, that's about it from me for this week.  Sorry it's so short!  I'm sure there will be much more to update next week!
  Love you all!

-Sister Stacey