Monday, November 26, 2012

Four Thanksgiving Dinners 11/26/2012

Dear Family,

Hello everyone!  How was Thanksgiving?  We had four dinners that day.  I tried to eat as little as possible while still being polite, but got way too full at every one's dinners.  They were all just so good!  And....ididntgetanypicturessorrymom.

BUT it was a great week.  We had a lesson with a man we tracted into a few weeks ago named Miguel.  We've been trying to meet up with him for a very long time.  We read through the doctrine of Christ with him and halfway through he asked if it would be okay for him to be baptized if he was already baptized into another church.  We were so surprised!  But also way excited!  He is going to be baptized on December 22.  He was really excited.  He's had some problems in his growing up years but now he's completely turned his life around and wants to get closer to God, but wants to do it the right way.  He's so awesome!  He realized a couple weeks ago (before we'd even taught him a lesson) that he knows he needs to go to church on Sundays so he quit his job.  He wasn't able to be there this Sunday because he had to take his dad back to Mexico.  At his lesson, we brought a girl in the ward who has been undecided about if she wants to go on a mission when she turns 19.  She had so much fun and now she's really thinking she wants to go!  It was fun to help her out as well.

We also taught Angela.  Finally.  She's been having a lot of doubts lately.  There have been a lot of things happen to her in the past and she's having a really hard time dealing with them right now.  She started smoking again, which is too bad, but she can still overcome that.  She hasn't read in a while, but she read after we saw her last night and read again this morning and she said she's feeling a little better.  I think there are three things that really help us to feel the spirit and to stay in tune.  Those things are reading the scriptures, saying our prayers, and being obedient to all the commandments of God.  That's something that I've noticed.  If people start to struggle spiritually, they're not doing at least one of those three things as well as they ought to.  Especially with being obedient, if they're not going to church.  I've realized that our spirits are like muscles and if we don't keep exercising them by church, prayer, and reading, they're going to become weaker.  So we talked to her about getting back into those good habits and how doing those things will help her through all the hard times that lay ahead.  She's a strong person and I think she'll be able to overcome all of her doubts and worries.

We had dinner with the Hernandez's on Thanksgiving.  They won't be getting married any time soon, unfortunately.  They COULD, but there are a lot of reasons why they are going to wait.  Until April-ish.  :(  That's so far away!  We're going to keep working with them, though and see if we can help them to move that up a little sooner.

Anyway, not much else to report on for this week.  We have transfers coming up this weekend.  I'm sure things will be changing up a little bit, so I'll let you know all about that on next Monday. 

Love you all!  Hope you enjoy being in cooler weather while it's still 80s-90s here!  Happy almost December!

-Sister Stacey

Monday, November 19, 2012

Baptisms and First Lessons 11/19/2012

Dear Family,

Hello everyone!  I'm sure you all noticed that I did not email last week.  There is an explanation.  You see, libraries were closed on Monday and plus also it was sisters exchanges again.  There was no time!  And we were man busy the rest of the week. :(  So now you get an update on two weeks.  Lots of stuff happened, but I shall not bore you with all of it.  Just the good parts.

And I also forgot my planner, which my life revolves around if I want to remember anything, so you may not get as much as I thought.

People who will hopefully be getting baptized:
Lupe:  We found out last week that there is something that may or may not prevent her from being baptized on the first, which made her way sad!  She started crying and we talked to Manny about it for a while.  We'll find out on Wednesday whether or not she will be able to be baptized on Dec. 1.  She is so prepared and really wants this.  She knows it's important for her to be ready for this and she understands that it is a commitment we make with the Lord.  She is definitely ready.  We're praying so hard that she'll be able to be baptized on the first!

Owens children:  We've got their last couple of lessons this week!  They'll be getting baptized on Saturday.  They learn way fast and they seem to have had fun.  We've been trying to get the family a little more involved, since this is something that could definitely benefit all of them, but they are usually busy doing something else every time we go to have a lesson.  We told them tonight's would be more of a family home evening, so hopefully they'll all be there.

Veronica:  I don't remember if I mentioned that we set a baptism date with her, mostly because I don't remember what week that happened.  Either way we set a date with her!   She was so excited we asked her and she started crying a little.  And now we can't get in touch with her.  We had an appointment set up with her last week, but she called us an hour before and left a message saying that she needed to reschedule because she was having a hard day.  And then she wasn't at church yesterday either. :(  We're persistent though, and we won't get up!  We'll get in touch with her one of these days. 

Esai:  Okay I know you don't know about him.  After we were done emailing last week, as we were leaving the library he stopped us to ask a question because he thought we worked there.  Then when he found out that we were missionaries he got really excited and said that he talked with a couple elders once and liked the things they talked about.  So we shared the restoration with him and he really felt the spirit!  We set up a time to go and teach him more and invited him in that first lesson to be baptized.  He really wants to!  Or I guess I should say wanted to.  Oh man.  Last week we taught him the restoration more thoroughly and he didn't like the quorum of the 12 or the first presidency because they look like republicans (what?)  So we told him to watch the prophet on and stuff.  He enjoyed it, but is still unsure about there being a prophet on the earth today.  Yesterday at church he came to give us back the Book of Mormon we gave him, but we told him to keep it.  And he kept looking in the sacrament meeting room like he wanted to go in, so we invited him to stay.  He stayed for all three hours.  And really felt the spirit again.  He still wants to learn and we think he believes it's true. We're not sure what the real concern is.  Hopefully we'll find out soon.  It's been an adventure.

We also had lots of first lessons with people and got a few new investigators, so we're excited to see what happens with them over the next couple weeks.  I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving!  This month has gone by crazy fast.  It's been so good though!  We've been working way hard and finding lots of people.  Missionary work can be so much fun.  Especially as you just lose yourself in the work.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week!  Love you all! Happy Thanksgiving! 

-Sister Stacey

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Highlights 11/05/2012

Dear Family,

Hello, everyone!  I'm glad to hear that my east coast family is all safe and didn't experience any damages.  But while you've been having crazy weather, it is still hot here.  Which is okay I suppose.  It's A LITTLE cooler. 

This week was crazy!  Highlights:

-We had a lesson with a girl named Wisdom who set a baptism date for the 24th!  It was our first time meeting with her, and she seems very excited about it!  Problem:  she moves.  A lot.  In fact she may or may not have just moved to Chino.  She doesn't really have a place of her own, so she lives with various friends.  We were explaining to her that she's going to have to be taught by missionaries wherever she is at, and she seemed a little sad about that.  We're still confused about the whole situation, but hopefully we'll get it sorted out soon.

-Halloween was fun!  We went tracting earlier in the day and met a few people who seem really interested!  We'll go see a few of them this week.  We did set up a return appointment with one of them for later in the week which has almost never happened for me.  So we were excited!  Except for when we got there, all he wanted to do was bash. -_-  He asked us what we wanted to talk to him about, and literally after 8 words, he interrupted and started telling us we were wrong.  And then wouldn't stop talking for the next 75 minutes.  I don't love it when that happens.  When he paused I just briefly shared my testimony of the Book of Mormon and how I came to know it was true and that started him off again.  But we FINALLY got out of there.  I am sad for those people.  I don't like how the spirit just completely leaves during those conversations because they drive it away.  But I also knew that I would have the spirit back once we left his house.  I'm thankful for my testimony.  I'm thankful that I know what it feels like to feel the spirit.  I liked in conference when someone said that a witness from the Holy Ghost is more powerful than even seeing a heavenly being.  It made me think of Laman and Lemuel.  They saw an angel, and still weren't converted.  Having a witness from the Spirit that something is true is something I just can't deny.  Hopefully he'll understand what that feels like one day.  He prayed for us to stop being 'gullible'.  We may not know everything, but we know our message is true. 

-We also are teaching a family that has two children who aren't baptized yet.  Nosa and Tyler.  They're good kids and it's been fun teaching them.  They also have a baptism date on the 24th.  Yesterday their dad asked what he needed to do to become and elder, and also when the temple prep classes will start up so they can go to the temple.  YEY!  It's awesome when people decide to devote themselves more to the Lord.

-We also set a baptism date with Lupe Hernandez.  She will be baptized on Dec. 1.  We were very excited about that.  She is so sweet and she was able to get sundays off! 

-We had a lesson with a woman named Veronica who lost her daughter about three years ago and was filled with so much sadness all this time.  She asked people questions all the time about what was happening with her daughter and whether she would see her again, and everyone gave her different answers and none of them seemed right to her.  We taught her the plan of salvation, and she said for the first time in a long time, she felt happy.  She felt so much peace and said she knew what we were saying was true.  It's so wonderful to see people feel the spirit and experience the peace and joy that comes with that.

-And besides all that, we have so many people we met last week who set appointments with us for this week that seem very excited to learn.  Can't wait to let you know about them. 

Well I hope you all have a great week!  I love you all!

-Sister Stacey