Monday, September 3, 2012

Another Earthquake

Hey everyone!! :)
Okay, so I might just spent like, 10 minutes organizing my mailbox and creating folders haha soooo...I don't have as much time as usual :) But! I'll do my best! Thank you for the letters/packages this week: Elder Baeza (WEIRD! Haha but I loved it! And you left today?! THAT'S EVEN MORE WEIRD!), Elder Spencer Vance, and the Johansen's (loved the package! thank you!! love you all!)! Nothing too funny happened this week...but the little earthquake last night was pretty cool. It's my second one I've felt since I've been here! And you want to know the weird thing? Both earthquakes happened at the same time!...weird.

This week has been tough but nonetheless still great! We didn't get to teach all the people we wanted because they cancelled on us either the day of or the day before. We used our mobile area book A LOT this week which then made us realize...there is a lot that needs to be done to it to organize it more! A mobile area book is a book (lol, okay, binder) that tells you the members in your area, the name of potential investigators, former investigators, and has the map of your area. That is one of our goals for this transfer: to clean the area book and get to know the area more! This week I was able to gain a stronger testimony of the importance of having a mobile area book and actually be acquainted with what's in it. I'm still trying to get familiar with the area but I am just horrible at directions :) I did get to an investigators house all by myself without asking for directions so that made me happy! I want to actually be familiar with the area this transfer because although I was in Washington for two whole transfers...I never payed much attention to the streets. I spent most of the time singing to whatever EFY song was playing and people watching. Oh how much I've grown... ;)

We were able to have two lessons with our new investigators this week. McCall is 21 years old and she lives directly across from the temple. She first came to the VC last transfer and met Sister Davis and Sister Hara. They totally hit it off and became really good friends. Now that they are both out of the VC, Sister Davis gave me her referral to call her in the teaching center. However, it turned out that she lived in our area so we could go teach her! We have been trying to set appointments with her and nothing has worked out until this past Saturday. We struggled with setting expectations with her because she kind of expected her trip to the VC that day to be a "hang out" but, after the lesson was over I'm almost positive that she knows what to expect when we ask her to meet with us at the VC. She has a really busy schedule so we're not sure the next time we'll teach her but hopefully it'll be soon! We also taught Joan last night who is a referral we got from headquarters. The Salt Lake City sisters met her at Temple Square and got her information. They then sent her to our YSA ward and she just showed up last week (or was it two weeks ago?...I forget)! We got her information and it has been hard to get a lesson with her too. She cancelled on us twice this week and was 30 minutes late to our lesson last night and we only had about 15 minutes to teach her because we had a tour coming that we were assigned to give. She at least has an understanding that there is a God and she knows who Jesus Christ is and so we were able to get a feel of her religious background last night. She too has a very busy schedule and told us how she doesn't know how often she can meet with us but...we won't give up! :)

I got to talk to a lady in Spanish this week! Another one! She was just walking around and saw the temple and wanted to know what it was. CRAZY HOW THAT REALLY DOES HAPPEN HERE! So, I was the only one near the front who spoke Spanish (of course that would be me) and so I gave her a tour...and I ACTUALLY talked to her haha! She was asking me questions and I was answering SPANISH! Of course there were words I didn't know so we played a little bit of charades haha but it was really cool. I felt the spirit working through me and there was a moment where I was talking but in my mind I was thinking "this is so crazy!" Goodness...the church is true people!

Other then that...I don't really have much to talk about that happened this week. It was incredibly hot and it made me grateful to serve 6 hours everyday in the VC. People weren't home. People didn't want to listen. And we didn't really get to teach that much. It's hard! You can't help but wonder, "Am I being disobedient? Is that why we don't have any progressing investigators?" But's all about patience :) As long as I keep doing MY best then the Lord will lead people in our direction, or more like he will lead US in their direction. A quote that was shared yesterday during Relief Society was, "When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves" (Julie Beck). The Lord always knows whats ahead of us, whether we see it or not. I just need to have more faith! It's just hard because Sister Merciales has been here for...well, this is her 3rd transfer here and she hasn't ever really had a progressing investigator. I can feel that she is a little down on herself so this week I'm going to try and find some ways to serve her. Whenever an appointment falls through or the person isn't home, I always try to find the positive of that experience and she says it helps. It's all about being positive!

One thing that I learned this week was the importance of how you bear your testimony. When we give a tour or, when we give a lesson we can get used to just saying, "I know this church is true" or "I know the Book of Mormon is true" or "I know that families can be together forever". But what's more powerful? Saying, "I know the Book of Mormon is true" or saying, "I know the Book of Mormon is true because it has changed my life. I have been able to find my purpose in this life and the potential that my Heavenly Father has in me." We need to share experiences when we bear testimony because THAT'S when it becomes more meaningful. People can tell if your sincere or not. But, if you bear a sincere testimony, nobody can deny it.

I am grateful every day to be here! It's one of those experiences where this is something I have always wanted to do, even before I was a member! And now...I'm actually do it! A quote that Spencer sent me was, "You only have 18 months to serve your have the rest of your life to think about it." I LOVE that quote! I just need to be more focused and realize that yeah, time is seriously flying by and before I know it, it'll be done! I can't believe it's already September! I am just grateful to know that God has a plan for me. I'm grateful to know that he loves me enough to make sure he puts the right people in my life that will only help me progress and to ultimately return back home to him again. I'm grateful for the priesthood. We had a lesson about it yesterday and I shared the experience when daddy gave me a you remember that daddy? When I was really upset and I wouldn't tell you why but asked if you could give me blessing? How you sent Chris upstairs because you were nervous and made sure to do it quick before mommy came home? It was your very first time giving a blessing...and it was an experience I will never forget. Without the priesthood, sacred ordinances cannot be performed. There wouldn't be a way to return back to Heavenly Father. Families wouldn't be able to be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. Thank you daddy for giving me a blessing that day, it really was an answer to my prayers. I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love this gospel with ALL of my heart! I miss you mommy! and daddy! and Elder Baeza! and Christopher!!!!

Hermana Baeza

1. and 2. - just being goofy :)
3. this proves that we are companions! our little name cards
4. she likes taking pictures of me
5. she cracks me up!
6. i get to drive home to this every day...i love my mission.

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