Wednesday, September 19, 2012

6 Months!!!!

Subject: 6 months ALREADY!?

My dearest family members and friends,
I only have 30 minutes. Sounds like a lot in normal life but in mission life, that's like equivalent to 5 minutes. So, my fingers are going to be KILLING me after this email! Thank you for the letters I got this week: Mommy (I got all 3 letters, loved the picture of Richie!!), Bishop Johansen (it made me cry. Good work!!! :) ), Parker Williams (wrote you back today!!) and Elder Petersen! Letters are seriously THE best! And yes, I have the most amazing people in my life because ever since I've been out in the field I have gotten at least 1 letter a week! Yeah!! You all are seriously amazing. Love you all.

Okay, the random things of the week:
1.There was a helicopter last night that had the super bright lights on in our area as we were street contacting...haha I kind of wanted the bad guy to be near us but at the same time...I didn't. It was a cool experience though! Gotta love LA.
2. Sister Merciales surprisingly knows a lot of songs from the US. She reminds me a lot of Richie when she quotes lyrics to song in normal conversation. For example, I was stressing about something (the usual) and she was like, "Sister Baeza! It'll be okay...what doesn't kill you make you stronger!" Hahaha yes, my companion quoted Kelly Clarkson. And it made my day.
3. Umm...the cutest moments in the VC are when young fathers bring in their baby girls to just walk around and play in the kid section! Imagine a bunch of Sisters in a VC witnessing was slightly pathetic because of the "awwwww's" but...lets be honest. How could we not!
4. Sister Merciales and I gave a tour in the beginning of our transfer to a lady named Sister Andersen, her son and her grandson who just got home from his mission a few days prior. It was a pretty good tour...kind of awkward because she kept taking random pictures of us when we were near her son haha but, nonetheless, still a good tour! Well, she randomly came in last week and asked for us and she had a pan full of BROWNIES for us! WHAT!?!? She said how she loved our tour and how it really helped out with things with her boys and it was the nicest thing any stranger has done for me since I've been here. So...tip of the day: give good tours = get free food. :)

We had our temple p-day today and got to go to the TEMPLE!!! YEAH! We only stare at it haha so we got to go inside of it today :) It was such a good session. I had such a spiritual experience when I was there and learned some really cool things. Man, I just love the temple :) Go often!! It's the best!

This week was a very spiritual week in the VC. A lot of people that we gave tours to were hurt, very hurt. We had a bishop from a local ward come completely unshaven, in his sweats, just having a horrible day. He opened up to us and we were able to spiritually help him. It's funny, he said that the questions we asked him are questions that he asks other people in his ward. Believe it or not, sometimes Bishops in the church have life problems too! We were able to give him comfort and a sense of clarity on what he should do. I have never had a grown man cry to, CRY! But, the spirit worked through the both of us and it was such a wonderful experience. I hope he comes and visits...I'll never forget his name. Then we had a less active from our YSA ward come and she too was struggling. She has depression, very low self-esteem, and blames others for a lot of things in her life. It was just the saddest thing ever to hear her say how she feels like she'll never get married, go through the temple, have children, etc. God has SO much potential for her and she just needs to recognize it and actually believe it. I hope she keeps visiting with us...because the gospel and a relationship with God is what will truly heal her. There were other people that came this week that we just felt were prepared for the gospel! One named Marina. She was brought to a VC by a member in our ward (Yeah! Go member!). She is this super cute young mom who has this yearning for family history. In Preach My Gospel it talks about the spirit of Elijah, the prophet, and how Gods children feel the need to know their ancestors during their life here on Earth. The spirit of Elijah is REAL! And I totally witnessed it with Marina! She has just always felt it in her heart that she needs to know her ancestors. We met a girl from France and a girl from Germany today who are starting their first semester at UCLA and one of them always had this desire to start family history. Man, it's experiences like these that just keep me going throughout the week!

So...remember Anthony? The legit family who the father is worried about his 2 month old daughter and who she's going to marry? Remember me talking about a Chinese family (okay...i may of forgotten to talk about this one lol) who came in who lived RIGHT next to the VC (like Anthony) and had this great desire to learn more!?....Welp...turns out they are not in our ward boundaries. I know. BUMMER! So we had a lesson with Anthony during the week and had the sisters who WOULD teach him come and we transitioned him and his family to them. He still has this great yearning to learn about the church...he is so ready! I was bummed because I felt like I had this real strong connection with him but, it's all the same work, right? Whether its us or the other sisters, our purpose is to invite others unto Christ and that purpose will still be done!

EMILIO GOT BAPTIZED!!!! Remember him? The golden investigator from my old area? Sister Cole and I taught him all the lessons but the commandments and then I left and her and Sister Lopez-Pech finished off the rest of the lessons. His baptism was on Sunday and it was soooooo great. I cried haha because I was so happy! When he went into the water and came back up, I truly felt in my heart how pleased God was with him. It was such a cool experience. He is just so awesome! I'm so happy that he still committed to baptism and he'll receive the Holy Ghost and be confirmed a member on Sunday! I won't be there because it's not my ward but at least I got permission from President to go to the baptism. YEAH! Baptisms are the best! Emilio is the best!

This week a half was hard. There was one night when all I wanted to do was sing. So I grabbed a hymnbook, went to the Christus room (because there is an echo) and just sung hymns. When I was finished and I put the book back on its shelf...I started to cry! I was alone (I know...weird but it's sort of different when you're in the VC. It's okay to not follow your companion everywhere) and just sat in a chair and cried. I was so exhausted, I was stressed out because I felt like I was stressing my companion out with trying to be obedient to everything and it was just hard. I had a talk with a sister that serves here, Sister Saiz and she shared some comforting words to me. She just encouraged me to keep going and that things will get better. She then said, "I bet your missionaries are SO proud of you! They must be so proud of all the things you have done since you have been baptized and now you are on a mission!" I thought about Leo and how proud I would be for him going on a mission. I would be SO proud of him. In the Book of Mormon there is a verse that I really like. It's in the book of Second Nephi, chapter 31 verse 20 and it says,

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a asteadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of bhope, and a clove of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and dendure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eeternal life."

I shared this verse to a less active we are working with for our family ward last night. As I invited her to read the verse out loud, the word 'steadfastness' stuck out. I looked at the footnotes for it and these words showed: commitment, dedication, perseverance, walking with God...If I press forward with a commitment in Christ, with the dedication to follow Christ...having a PERFECT brightness of hope...feasting upon the word of Christ and most importantly, ENDURE to the end...I shall have eternal life. Enduring to the end is at the end for a reason. May we continue to push through the hard times in life. May we continue to lean to God rather then to think or believe that we can do everything on our own because unfortunately we can't. We do need Him. And with God, anything is possible. I love the Book of Mormon. I know it to be the word of God. I know that it can bring one closer to God and closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that the words written in the Book of Mormon are for our time. They are for our strength. They are there so that we can know what WE need to do in this life to return back to God. I know that temples are the house of God. I know that when one enters you CAN feel the spirit. I know that the temple is the only place where we can escape from the outside world. We can leave our worries and our troubles behind and put our focus on God and His will. I know that Patriarchal Blessings are from God. I am grateful for mine. I read it often. I ponder on the words on that sheet of paper and think of all the blessings God is willing to give me IF I am worthy and obedient to obtain them. Daddy and Chris, I have been thinking about this ever since I've started and someone gave a talk during sacrament meeting about Patriarchal blessings but if you feel the desire to receive one, please talk to Bishop McFadden! I know that they can give us direction in our lives and answer questions that we may have! Please consider it? :) I know this work is true! I love my calling! Have a great week!!

Hermana Baeza
1591 E Temple Way
Los Angeles, Ca 90024

1. Emilio!!!!!
2. an audio!! its one of our ward mission leaders singing....haha its great! gotta love correlation meetings!

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