The weather has been BEAUTIFUL the past few days but this morning was so cold :( well, california cold of course haha. Thank you for the letters/packages I received this week!: Grant (thanks! :) ), Elder Vance, mommy (love you! thanks!), Sister Crossley, Elder Gilray, and haha okay, I got the lightest package of my life last week and it's this adorable cupcake pillow but I have no idea who it's from!!! So...whoever sent it to me...let me know :) Haha I loved it! Oh maymer, could you try and find a cd from Vocal Point that has church hymns on it? One of the sisters have it and it's sooo good! It's all acapella which is my fav. You can probably find it on deseret? I don't know. Or BYU bookstore since they are a BYU boy acapella group. Thanks! :) Also, HILARY HANSEN AND MADZ VANCE GO TO THE MTC THIS WEEK! Bahhh!!! Crazy! You sisters are going to be so great and I am so proud of your decision to serve! The Lord needs more sisters and it has been amazing to hear about all of my friends and young women from my stake all deciding to serve missions. You can't go wrong with serving a mission, that's for sure! Also, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY ABBY!! I love you lots scott ;) haha! And yes...it's killer that you are literally minutes away from me at this very moment but hey...we'll be united before you know it! Tell Burke I hope he gets better! :)
We had to take our car to Pep Boys (literally like the 4th time I've been stuck to take in a car to pep boys) and while we were waiting at the red light, the cross walk light goes on and this guy just runs to the other side. He was dressed up in black slacks and then a white shirt with a tie. One of the sisters assumed and felt like he was a Mormon. I started to roll down my window because I wanted to yell, "ARE YOU MORMON!?" but then I felt like that wouldn't be me fulfilling my calling/I don't want others to think missionaries are crazy lol. As I start to roll up my window, we noticed that the guy totally pulls out a cigarette and starts smoking haha! Yeah...we were wrong. We were all laughing and I was so glad that I didn't yell at him because it would of been super awkward.
Today is Sister Merciales's birthday!! I actually got to see her yesterday for the first time since Christmas and ahhh I miss her so much! I gave her the biggest hug and we just chatted and talked about all the success we've been having in our areas. She is doing so great! She has had two baptisms in her area and is having another one at the end of this transfer! She is killing it! I really do love her, even if we did bump heads a few times. I didn't realize how much I loved her until I saw her again last night. I even forgot the sound of her voice, it was soooo weird! But I hope she comes back the VC soon...I miss my little one.
This week was good but, we didn't teach a lot of people. Probably my favorite lesson we had was one with Sister Saravia. She's a part member family and she hasn't been to church in years. I started teaching her with Sister Merciales our...second transfer together? Maybe it was our first transfer together. Anywho, I invited her to say the closing prayer at the end of our lesson. Actually, let me rewind. We DID NOT plan on what we wanted to teach her for that lesson. Personally, I had no idea what to teach her next. The lesson we had before with just her, she had told us a concern she had with the church and I felt like that for this lesson we just needed to figure out her other concerns. Well, she wouldn't tell us her other concerns because she felt like there's nothing we can do to help her with them. At that point, I started to freak out because we had no back-up plan in case that was her response in us trying to discern her needs. However, we just asked questions and listened to her and then she started to talk about prayer. We focused our whole lesson to prayer because she started to cry to us on how she's been relying on prayer lately to help her go through the things she is dealing with. We shared personal experiences and scriptures with her and it was a great lesson. It was then that I invited her to say the closing prayer and as she started to pray, the thought of this being my last transfer here came to my mind. I thought about how on my last p-day in this area I wanted to make an effort to stop by and say goodbye to her. It started to bring tears to my eyes but I quickly wiped them away because I thought she was almost done praying and I didn't want her to see me cry. It was then that she had paused in her prayer and then expressed gratitude to our Heavenly Father on us coming to visit her and teach her and help her. She started to cry in the prayer which automatically made me start crying again. After she finished, we looked up at each other and just smiled. She told me that every time we tell her transfers are coming up she always knows I'm not leaving because she needs ME! She says that she always knows that my time here isn't done. She also said that whoever replaces me will have to work hard to gain her trust haha. I love Sister Saravia and her family so much. I want to see them go to the temple and to be sealed as an eternal family. I want them to receive the blessings that God is just waiting to give them.
We had Zone conference this week and it was all about FINDING! It truly was an answer to prayer because I've been a little down on myself this past week because I've been here for 5 transfers and I haven't had a baptism. However, I've been able to reflect on the importance of planting seeds and HELPING my investigators to receive the restored gospel. We were trained on different ways that we can try to find more people and I'm excited to put it all to the test! I just wan to try and find more people!! I've been able to actually find more people at the VC. I've set personal goals for myself on how many referrals I want to receive in the VC every week. Week 1 I received 16 which was a miracle because of how slow it's been here at the VC. Then I got 5 the week after and redeemed myself with 14 this last week. For this week, I want to get 16 or better and I am working on just asking EVERYONE for referrals. I've learned the truthfulness of how everyone knows at least ONE person who isn't a member that needs the gospel in their lives. Paul, the guy who always gives me referrals, came in with 3 of his friends yesterday! I felt bad because since we had our fireside, I couldn't devote all of my time to them but his friends gave us a total of 10 referrals! He said for me to call him this week and he would give me more :) I love working with members! They are such a huge tool in doing missionary work!
Yesterday during the sacrament I prayed and asked God to help us find more people. I only got 6 months left and I just want to find as many people as I can but it's so hard when 6 hours of your day is already taken by being here at the VC. I LOVE serving in the VC but, I just wish I had more time in my area too. Well, the person who gave the closing prayer in sacrament meeting prayed for the missionaries and asked God that He would help us in finding more people to teach. That in itself was such a comfort to hear. Never in my life will I be prayed for so much! Every day, us missionaries are being prayed for in the temple in every single session. Our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and his 12 Apostles pray in our behalf every single day. My family prays for me every single day. The people in my home ward, stake, friends, etc are praying for me and us missionaries every single day! Yesterday I was able to feel and appreciate the amount of prayers that are given in behalf of us missionaries. I truly feel so loved in doing His work. I think I mentioned it before but I've been reading through old journal entries again. It's unbelievable to see the amount of growth that has taken place in just a matter of months. My mission truly means everything to me. Everything! I can't imagine my life without it! Yesterday I talked to a guy on the phone named Erik. He's the one that I literally ran after a few weeks ago to ask him for a referral and he ended up referring himself because he isn't a member. I called him and he only had a minute and a half to talk because he was working. He kept asking me random questions and I finally just told him that "hey, now that I only have 60 seconds to talk to you, can I just share a quick message to you?" I shared my testimony to him how God is our loving Heavenly Father. That he is literally a son of God and He loves him so much. That he has a purpose here in this life and that God wants to see him again. He told me that I could call him back again this week but I just want to take every second I can get to share my testimony to anyone I know. They need to know this message. They need to know this truth! Better yet, they need to be reminded of all of it because they have been taught these essential principles. They know of these truths...they just need help remembering. I love you all so much! I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you were able to hand out that Book of Mormon. I want to invite each of you to make a Mormon.org profile this week! Then, write your URL address on the back of a mormon.org card (ask the missionaries in your ward for some!) and give it away to one person! Tell them that you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saint and invite them to visit your profile. I promise that as you do so that you will receive confidence! That you will be able to naturally start a conversation with anyone about the gospel. Remember, you can always relate the gospel in any conversation you have! The church is true!
1. all of us sisters in our zone from last transfer! we have two new sisters in our zone!
2. my Zone leaders brought sister set and i krispy kreeme donuts for v-day because we gave them some free doughnut coupons!! :)
3. making cookies to deliver to debra's nonmember friends!
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