Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hermana Baeza 3/13/2013 I hugged you goodbye a year ago today...crazy!

hello family and friends :) so, our mission changed rules about email (and probs others too because lol elder vance wrote me and it literally FREAKED me out!) so we can email friends and relatives and what not now! Yeah! BUT!...I still love getting mail so please, I would rather get mail then emails because we only get an hour to write home and I get easily distracted :) Thank you mommy and Sister Hansen for the letters I got this week (got the CD's maymer!)!!! My mom gave me an update on whose going on missions/leaving in our stake and it makes me PUMPED! We need more missionaries, more then ever! This work is so great and seriously life changing. I can't imagine my life without it. Ahhh I just love it! Today we went to the temple and it was seriously the most amazing experience of my life. When I was sitting in the celestial room I had a question and asked one of the temple workers for the answer. She didn't know and before I knew it, she said we could all go downstairs and talk to one of the members of the temple presidency and get the answer straight from him! If there is one thing that I've learned on my own in the temple is to just: ASK! Ask and ye shall receive, right? :)

So, it's been a full week with my new companion! Her name is Sister Morgan and she's from Pleasant View, Utah! She's in her 5th transfer and is a great missionary! We've had some struggles here and there's just a matter of getting to know each other more and re-evaluating how each of us looks at the rules of the mission (aka I'm still trying to figure out how to be as exactly obedient as I can without my companion thinking she isn't being obedient. Story of my mission haha). She has NEVER gone tracting before..................I know. I was SHOCKED! She's a full field sister and has never gone tracting haha so weird. But, I took her out on her first day tracting and it was AMAZING! I think he handed out 6 Books of Mormon that day, contacted 11 people, found a new investigator and set a baptismal date with her. Monday we contacted 16 people and handed out 6 Books of Mormon! We've been working out in our area trying to find new investigators because when I got here, we found out that our area was getting split and that all of our investigators were now in a new area. The first day we spent a lot of time inside organizing our areabook and being nice enough to make an areabook for the elders who were stealing all of our teaching pool away haha. They truly were grateful for it since Elder Hill is training, still a zone leader, sharing a small apartment with his old companion and his trainee who is also the other zone leader, and they are on bikes. So, it was the least we could do.

So my new area is SO different then my old one. The people, the cars, the homes, etc. It makes me happy to be in the real center of LA and to just be immersed in diversity. However, everyone drinks SODA! So I had my first soda last week...and it was Cactus Cooler (Bowman...I totally thought of you haha!). I'm still going to try and not drink soda but...a went over a year without it so that was cool. Do you remember Aaron, the little boy we gave a tour to a few weeks ago who I compared to Joseph Smith on how he was Aaron's age when he prayed to God to know what church was true? Well, anywho, he's in the ward I'm serving in and I saw him pass the sacrament for the first time! It was soooo cute haha! He came by me and had this huge grin on this face because he recognized me. I love that little boy! My last tour I gave at the VC was for Dyan (non-member) and Andrew (member). It was soooo good! It was weird because I've never really seen the people I call to on the phone when I'm in the teaching center and haha Dyan looked nothing like what I expected! It was such a powerful tour and it was a great way to end my time in the VC.

Speaking of my time in the VC (haha...great transition...), we had interviews with President yesterday. I love interviews with him! They weren't the best in the beginning because I had a lot of growing to do but this was my fourth with him and it was so great. I gave council on how to help the ward get their members back to activation and I told him my thoughts about being full-field. I told him, at the very end of our interview, that if I had to stay in the field and end my mission away from the VC that I would willingly do it. I started to cry when I told him how much I love the VC and how it's my home but I told him that if he, the new mission president coming in June, and God needs me out...I'll stay out. He was smiling the entire time and reminded me that they do try to get VC sisters back to the VC so they can end their missions there but it's not completely unheard of that they can end in the field. I have no idea what's going to happen to me's kind of fun literally not having a single clue if I'll ever got back or not. I've seriously been having sooo much fun out in the field, it's so great! I walked into the VC before we came to email and it felt weird to walk back in!!! It was weird. I love being out! Haha I really can't get over it... :)

Yesterday we had 15 minutes before our dinner appointment so we decided to knock some doors. We were knocking on a door but no one was answering. Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone and told Sister Morgan "hey, we're crossing the street!" We crossed and right as we area about to cross paths with this guy, I quickly said hi and asked if we could give him something. I handed him a Book of Mormon and he told us he had one! He had one of the pocket size ones! I asked him how he got it and he said that missionaries used to teach him and his family but then he felt like it wasn't for him anymore. I then testified to him that while I was investigating the church, there was a year where I was on and off with all of it and didn't know if it was what I wanted anymore. I then told him how when I met with missionaries again, the feelings came back and it was then that I truly did feel ready to accept the gospel into my life. He gave us his information and I told him I would send missionaries in his area to go back and teach him! It was sooooo cool! I have his information and I want to give him a call after my mission haha! I want to see if missionaries ever taught him or if he ever got baptized.

OH MY GOSH! ERNIE IS GETTING BAPTIZED! LIKE, FOR REALS! March 24th! They pushed the date back and he had his interview with President White and it's practically a go! He hasn't had coffee in over 9 days! I saw Sister Set today and when she told me, I almost cried! I AM SO EXCITED! He better go through with it haha or I will cry. I love him so much and I want more then anything to just see him dressed in white. He is sooo ready for the gospel to completely be in his life. Really quick on our new investigator Danielle. She's 28 years old with three boys. She was a referral from a few transfers ago and Sister Morgan felt prompted that we go visit her since we were in the area. We get to the apartment building and there is a gate closing the entry way so you can't get it. Apparently it is never closed. Usually when I see closed gates, I just immediately walk away but this time, I decided to knock on the gate to get these kids attention. One of them came to us and I asked if he knew where Danielle lived and he said, "hey! that's my mom!" He opens the gate and lets us in. We taught his mom about the Book of Mormon and I felt strongly prompted to invite her to be baptized because she had said how she hasn't been baptized. I invited her and she said yes for April 14th!! We taught her again yesterday and have another lesson with her tomorrow. No joke, the Lord keeps his promises when we are obedient. Sister Morgan is awesome in trying to be even more obedient then she already is and we can SEE and FEEL the blessings/miracles that are occurring.

It's crazy to think that a year ago I said goodbye to my mommy, daddy, and Christopher. Wow, so much has happened in that year! So many blessings have happened in our family. I know, with all of my heart that God blesses families when someone from that family is out on the mission. I've mentioned it before but I left home a bit scarred, wondering if my family really was going to be active in the church. When I got a scanned picture of my mommy's, my daddy's and Richie's temple recommend and a drawn one said that "Christopher" underneath that saying "PENDING"...I truly knew how the Lord really does keep his promises. A year ago I said goodbye to you and as sad as it was, that was the best goodbye ever because of all that has come from it. I would do it again and again for my family, for the knowledge I have received thus far, and for the blessings that it will bring to my future. I LOVE THIS WORK! I love being a missionary! I cannot imagine my life without it. I just can't! I'm grateful that the Lord wants me out in the field again. He's given me a second chance and that's pretty rare for a VC sister! I just hope I do everything to make Him proud. I love being obedient. People say you need to have fun on your mission which, is SO true! But for me, I'm having the most fun when I'm being obedient. I love you all! Have a wonderful week! The church is true!

Sister Baeza camera  isn't working...dang it. hopefully it works next week! love you!

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