Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 7th 2012


Ohhh I miss you all so much! Know that you are all in my prayers constantly and I hope that everyone is doing AMAZING! We've gone to...what, 3-4 member meals since I've been here? Oh my gosh...I literally have to eat light meals throughout the day because the members stuff us with food! At one dinner appointment, the member gets offended when we don't eat everything haha AH! It's the worst. I had like, 7 plus tortillas that day and like, an apple for dinner lol it was just too much food. But, I'm proud to say that I haven't gained weight yet :) Actually, that's a lie I haven't weighed myself but I'm pretty positive I haven't.
June 1st was my 4 year mark of being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! WOO! I cannot believe it has already been 4 years...where has time gone!? I truly am so grateful to have the gospel in my life and now I get to go out and teach it to others and help THEM come unto Christ and be baptized! I thought a lot that day about my baptism and the people who made it so special for me. Parker Williams, Ariel Thexton, Alex Theobald, Paul O'Neill, Janelle Larson (now JENKINS :) I think that's how you spell it), Brandon Larson, and so on and so forth. It truly was the most perfect day of my life and I will never forget it.

Well, this week has been so much better then the previous one. I had my "breakdown" moment on my week mark in the field. It was doing companionship study and haha well, I was being a little stubborn and Hermana Cole was asking all of the right questions (which was bugging me lol she's good at asking questions) and then I finally just lost it. I cried about not knowing Spanish, how I feel bad because she expects a lot from me and I don't achieve it, how I haven't had a legitimate study time since I've been here, blah blah blah. I was a mess haha but it was SO GOOD! She understood finally where I was coming from and we both knew that we both needed to do a little refinement in who we are and what we need to do to be better. It's hard because she knew Spanish before coming here so she was only in the MTC for 4 weeks. She even told me that she doesn't know how it feels to learn a language in the mission so that was comforting to know that she was finally able to understand me. Plus, it probably helped that since that breakdown moment I've been opening up more and more to her so our companionship has been so much better. I've been learning the hard way that you cannot be independent on your mission. We are called to serve two by two for a reason and welp, that means I have to open up to her in order for her to know what she needs to do to help me. It's been a great learning experience!

The VC is great! It's hard because last week it was completely dead :( NO ONE CAME! It's funny, people would always tell me at the MTC "you are so spoiled to be going to a VC because people come to YOU!"....well, clearly that isn't always the case. It's hard to be focused and to feel...useful because all I do is sit and read from The Book of Mormon which isn't a BAD thing BUT...I want to go out and find and teach people! Apparently it's normal for it to be slow at the VC but summer time it typically picks up and then the holidays are when it is super busy! Too bad that's months away :( But, I do love it here! There have been so many mini miracles I've personally experienced here at the VC that helps me KNOW I'm suppose to be here at this exact time in my life. One miracle that happened was in the call center. So...I had a love/hate relationship with the call center because well, calling people you don't know is kind of awkward. Especially when you are trying to ask them to have the missionaries come over and you've never met them and well, can't see their face and how they are reacting. Well, a family came in last week and the parents were inactive and came back to the church and were going to the temple with their two sons to do baptisms for her dad and other relatives. They had such a tender story! Well, we gave them a referral card and asked if they would like us to call someone they know and share our message to them. The mom wanted to write down her mom's name but was feeling discouraged. Then, her youngest son said, "Mom! Just DO it!" So...she did it :) Well, I had the privilege of calling her mom and I was so nervous! I just wanted so badly for her mom to accept our message and want the missionaries. I called her mom and we had a wonderful 15-20 minute conversation on the phone. We laughed, told stories, and I really tried my hardest to get to know her and make her feel comfortable so when I did bring up the invitation she would say yes. Well, she ended up saying no but I shared our message to her anyways and bore testimony and overall it was a great conversation. I then call the sister that gave me her moms number and told her about the experience and what happened. Well, it was either on Sunday or Monday the parents came in (the inactive ones that came back to church) and Hermana Cole and I were at the front and immediately greeted them. The mom then asks, "Now...which one of you called my mom?"....uhhhh talk about your heart dropping to the very bottom of your stomach in a matter of 2 seconds. I was SCARED! So...nervously I said, "well...I did?". She then came up to me, put her hand on my arm and said, "My mom thinks you are absolutely ADORABLE! She LOVED talking to you on the phone and taught you were just the sweetest thing!" PHEW! I instantly went from scared to full of joy. But, the best part was what she told me after. She said in tears, "My mom called me right after you got off the phone with her and we had a 4 hour long conversation...we don't even talk on the phone for that long in a span of a year! It was a miracle that we talked for that long and she was asking questions about the church and I got to teach her a little and it was just such a wonderful experience." My heart was immediately full and we embraced with a hug. When she left the VC...I turned around and smiled and it was in that moment that I finally gained a testimony of the Call Center. Yeah, it can be awkward to call people you don't know but these souls are PRECIOUS! People are trusting US to share this message to them because either they are too nervous to do it themselves or they feel like we would do a better job at it. We need to talk each referral card seriously because they too are children of God.

This week has been so great! It's nice that I've been able to go to both of the wards we serve in (YSA- english and Home ward - spanish) and try to get the know the people. The members are amazing in both wards so I look forward to working with them :) Now, the investigators :) We have one named Yadira (spanish). She is in her late 30's I think with a daughter and a husband (not sure if they are actually married). She is really sweet and apparently has been taught by other sister missionaries in the past but kind of got offended and didn't want to be taught anymore. Hermana Cole and her previous companion I think re-visited her and so now we are teaching her! She believes The Book of Mormon is true but doesn't think Joseph Smith is a prophet. It's hard because she has read the introduction of The Book of Mormon already but...I can't seem to figure out what the real, deep issue is. Maybe it is Joseph Smith and we need to teach it better but there could be something else that's bothering her. Hopefully we can figure it out soon! She has been coming to church but didn't go this past Sunday :( We won't give up on her! Then we have a man by the name of Edvin (spanish). I don't think he's married (I think he lives with his girlfriend? Still trying to remember who all of these people are and their background!) but he is so close to being baptized! I invited him to be baptized...last week? He said he wants to but doesn't want to set a date. UGH! So, I shared my testimony to him how he needs to trust the Lord and how grateful I was that I made a date to be baptized when I was an investigator because it made me work harder in finding and receiving my answers. It gave me motivation! I hope it helped him. We are planning on finding a time to teach him this week so hopefully we can meet with him. He has been attending church and reading The Book of Mormon and he seriously is so close!

Yesterday was probably the best day of my mission thus far. We finally taught Abel (spanish, but likes to speak english too) and he is officially another one of our investigators! We found him on my third day out here and he seemed interested. Then we made an appointment with him but he wasn't home for it. Bummer. Then we tried stopping by again and some lady opened the door and said "not interested" and closed it...bummer again! BUT! The miracle of it all was a few days ago HE called US! Crazy right??? He wanted us to come over and teach him! So yesterday we taught him and his friend Hugo (I think that's how you spell it) was there too and we invited him to stay but he said he would have to leave 10 minutes in...too bad he ended up staying the whole time :) We also had a member attend from the YSA ward, Jasmine, come and teach with us! She leaves for her mission in about 8 weeks so this was a neat experience for her and she did SO GOOD! At one point in the lesson I felt prompted to ask her to share an experience on how prayer is important to her and my goodness, the spirit was so strong! She was perfect for this lesson. We made another appointment to meet with him on...Friday so I'm excited to see how it turns out. Then, we were going to go find one of the less actives in the ward and for some reason we thought they lived pretty close to where we parked but...we were so wrong! We ended up walking a few blocks but were determined to get to this house. Well, on the way we met a man named Robel and he was sitting under this tree in front of his house. We talked to him and he seemed pretty receptive to us coming over. When we asked him if we can stop by and teach him he said,"Cuando?" (when) and we just smiled and gave him a day. Then he asked, "A que hora?" (what time) and we smiled again and gave him a time! He was really nice so hopefully he is home when we stop by! After we met him we realized that we had no time to see if the less active member was home and so we booked it back to our car!...until we saw two guys around our ages walking our way. Hermana Cole looked at me and said, "it's alllll you!" and it went great! Their names are Jabin and Parker and they are roommates. They live in our area so they can easily go to the YSA ward. Jabin has been taught before by some missionaries a little about the church so he was really receptive. We have a teaching appointment with them on Saturday! Things are going so smoothly left and right and it was just an overall amazing day.

We've been trying to visit our less active members as best as we can but they are never home! It's sad because our numbers don't show our efforts in that day but we really do try but we just never get them at the right time. We taught Kara who is a less active in the YSA ward last week and that was a really good lesson. She swore a few times in the lesson and Hermana Cole tried to bring it up casually but ended up making Kara super confused so she moved on from it. But, I felt like we still needed to address it so when I started to talk about the next point, I told her how we wanted to clear something up with her before we moved on. She was really nice about it and totally understood where we were coming from and told us she would be more cautious with her words. D&C121 - know how to teach in RIGHTEOUS dominion :) Haha gotta love leadership training at the MTC ;)

Oh I wish I could go on and on but my time is up. I want everyone to know that I love my mission! It's been incredibly hard and challenging but it's worth it. It truly is. I know that I'm suppose to be here. I know that I am suppose to be a missionary! I know that God loves us. He loves us SO much! He wants ALL of us to return with him and that is only possible through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Families truly can be together forever. My heart has been so full these past few days and I hope by this email you all can understand why. This work is great. I am so lucky to have the chance to be here and to be serving the Lord. Today we went and did a session at the temple and I hope to one day see all of my investigators get there one day. I love this Gospel! The church is TRUE! Love you all! Talk to ya on Monday!

Hermana Baeza

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