Monday, December 24, 2012

Cristmas Eve 12/24/2012

Okay, so, this week has been absolutely CRAZY! First off, thank you sooo much for the letters I received!: Carie Clark (LOVED the package! I'm wearing the scarf write now. And I forgive you ;) Yeah right! No need to say sorry!! I love you! oh and your christmas card is adorableeee!), Elder Vance, Mitchell family, Emily Hansen (okay...still not used to the last name. Not going to lie, I thought it was my middle school principle Mr. Hansen who wrote me hahaha), Bishop family, Tukuafu family, the HARDY'S!, Hermana Marroquin (hey! i met your old companions sister at the VC! the one you just killed lol), Elder Baeza, Jan Steed, Elder Petersen, the Stellman's, and mommy :) Another thing, MCKAY!! Thank you for remembering my favorite medicine candy ;) Haha I miss you SO MUCH! I love you and can't wait to baby-sit you AGAIN! :) Also, thank you Anthony for taking home my stuff! I'm pretty positive I'll never serve in Bel Air because I know you haha but I feel like I'm going to die in Westwood so hey, I'll still see you every Sunday!

Well, transfers happened and I am STAYING in Westwood! I'm back at the VC and loving it. Sister Merciales went to Harbor City where she will continue being a full-field missionary! She is with Sister Snyder now and Sister Set (who was with Sister Snyder the past two transfers) is back to the VC and is with ME!!! I was the lucky one to get Sister Set haha because EVERYONE loves her! She is from Cambodia and is learning English and is just the most adorable missionary ever. She is very obedient and is completely self-less. She serves me ALL the time haha it's a weird feeling. Like, I'm pretty sure she has cooked me meals for the past 2 days just because. She is awesome. I love her to death! She struggles a lot with her English so I promised her that I was going to help her! She reads to me every day and loves it when I correct her. Haha she is like the easiest companion ever! She has taught me sooo much and we haven't even been together for a week! I truly am grateful to have her as my new companion. I am PUMPED! Plus, she is hilarious! Maybe because she's learning English and doesn't understand me half the time haha but yesterday night I needed to tell Sister Jones something but I had to make it look like I wasn't talking to her. Sister Set was standing in front of me and I told her, "Okay, I'm going to be looking at you but I'm really going to be talking to Sister Jones." I started talking and Sister Set looked SO confused! Once I'm done "talking" to Sister Jones she goes, "OHHHHHHHHH!!! YOU TALKING TO SEESTER JONES NOT ME!" Hahaha oh man, I love her! I love her English it's so cute! Oh and guess who has a baptismal date? ERNIE!!! We set one for January 20th, keep him in your prayers! He has actually gone a few days without coffee because he KNOWS it's a commandment from God! He went to church yesterday without drinking coffee! Sure, he may of totally passed out during Sacrament meeting haha but hey, I'll take it! We are so excited and are hoping that he continues to progress. We worked every...single...night this week. Well, besides one night. I have worked 7 nights in a ROW! I am going crazy haha I have never been so tired in my life but I love it!

There’s this story out of this month’s Ensign (I Hope Someone Will Love Her) that Sister Set shared to me. It’s about a mother who told her children to start thinking about which toys they would like to give away, wanting them to have the experience of choosing what to give. She went to see which toy her four year old daughter was going to give and the scene she witnessed brought tears to her eyes. Mikelle was holding her favorite doll, Mella, dressed in her best doll clothing, and she was singing to her. Then she tucked a small blanket into the bottom of the gift bag. She smiled at the doll, hugged and kissed her, and lovingly placed her in the bag. She looked at her mom and said, “Mella’s all ready, Mom. I hope someone will love her.” The mother knew that this was her favorite doll and even wanted to tell her that she didn’t have to give up her favorite doll. She realized what her daughter was teaching her, “She understands giving…she is giving her very best gift.” Suddenly she recognized that part of her was willing to give and share but not at too great a personal sacrifice. She had placed limits on her charity, and she knew she needed to change. She thought of how Heavenly Father gave up His only perfect Son and allowed Him to suffer and die for her. She pictured a loving Father in Heaven kissing His beloved Son and sending Him to earth as a baby, hoping that we would love and follow Him. The Savior Himself held nothing back and gave everything he had to give.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s the best gift I can give to my Heavenly Father. What IS the best gift we can give Him? I’m sure that there are lots of gifts but for me…I want to be a better friend to His beloved son, Jesus Christ. I know that there is a Savior, I testify of Him every day. However, I feel like I could be doing a lot better in my relationship with him. Sometimes I forget that He's a huge part of why I've been able to have success on my mission. I couldn't do this without Him. Yet, sometimes I think I can. I just simply forget that this is His work and I am His instrument. This year I want to have more faith in Him. This year I want to be more hopeful. This year I want to apply His atonement more into my life. I really want to understand the atonement at a new level. Yesterday at church I was thinking about my mission. I was thinking about how much I've learned so far. I thought about how different my life would be if I didn't choose to serve a mission. Where would I have ever found the time to really ponder about the gospel? The mission has given me that time and that opportunity and I am so grateful for it.

Last week I wrote an Elder who was one of my favorite Elders that taught me when I was investigating the church. I found his little missionary card in my scriptures and decided to write him a thank you letter. I really hope he gets it...him and a few other missionaries truly changed my life. They encouraged me and helped me to receive the restored gospel. Like, what if I didn't join the church? Haha where would I be right now? What would I be doing? It's a weird thought to think about but the gospel really did save me. I wasn't doing anything bad when I was 13-14 years old paved a foundation for me at a very young age of what I wanted most in life. I wanted an eternal family, whether it was with my current family or my future family. I wanted my children to be raised in the gospel because it's something I wish I could of had. Reading through old journal entries before my mission made me realize that I was eventually going to be led into the wrong direction if the gospel hadn't found me when it did. I'm sure I would of turned out okay but I wouldn't be as happy as I am at this very second. God lives. He has a plan for each of us. He really does know what's best for us even when we think we know better. He wants us to be so happy in this life and it's only through living his commandments and the gospel! Life won't be perfect, but we'll have an understanding of why bad things happen to good people. We'll have a better understanding of why we need to face certain trials in our life. It's been hard to get to this point where I am right now...but I wouldn't trade any trail I have experienced because it's those trials that has brought me to be here in Los Angeles, California serving as a full time missionary. Isn't it funny where life takes you? More then often where you least expect? That's why it's soo important to enjoy life! It's not a race, it's a time to prepare. God knows the intentions of our hearts. Live every moment to it's fullest and ENJOY life!! I want to invite you to set a goal to make a diary of some sort for this upcoming year. Whether you are still in high school, college, mission, married, have a young family, an old married couple, whatever the case may be! Keep a journal. Whether it be your children of your future generations...they will want to know who you are. They will want to know your life and what you went through. They will want to know your testimony. I love this gospel. People! It's so true!! Have a wonderful Merry Christmas!! Till next week :)

Hermana Baeza

1. purposely being awkward. my district leader leaves friday to go home! he's done!
2. the Olivares family came to the VC yesterday and gave EACH of us a christmas present. I cried because I was so grateful for them and their love for missionaries. They are the ones who bring us food all the time. They gave me a watch :) and that's Emilio in the back! He's preparing for a mission!!!!
3. my new companion! and sister merciales in the back :)

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