Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fantastic Week!

This past week was fantastic!  Our area is really taking off.  We are really close to hitting the Standard of Excellence which is the weekly mission goal for all areas.  We have been having amazing success and we have been so blessed this transfer.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Another Birthday Posting!

Happy Birthday to all the July Birthdays this week! (Grandpa, Uncle Roger, Uncle Mark, and Lance)  Hope you all had a great day!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Baptism Invitation!

We are going to invite a family to be baptized!  We found them last week.  They let us in and we taught a little about the Book of Mormon.  We're going back and we're going to teach the Doctrine of Christ using 3 Nephi 27.  They're a cute family and when we taught them last, they really felt the Spirit.  We hope and pray for the best.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Teaching and Being Taught!

My companion keeps telling me this has been the longest week of her entire life!  For me, it's just another busy week on the mission.  However, training my new companion is going great! She is teaching me more than I am teaching her.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blessed With Success!

Transfers were crazy this last week!  We usually find out what's going down the Friday before, but this time, we didn't get the transfer call until Monday.  So we were up late getting my "old" companion all packed up, then we had to be at the mission office at 9 AM to pick up our new companions.  I met my new companion, we went home, immediately started studies (we didn't even have time to get her settled in), then went shopping, and got to work.  We were blessed with success. We had a wonderful week and found four new investigators.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Companion!

This last week was fantastic!  On Tuesday, I met my new companion, and she is wonderful!  I could not have asked for better!  She is strong and not afraid to get into the work.  She is teachable --- which is what every trainer hopes for in a greenie.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Feliz Cumpleanos Hermanito!

A shout out to Brian who is turning 17 today!  Feliz cumpleaños hermanito!  Hope your day is fantastic!

Me and Brian at BYU (February 2012)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weeks Are Running Together!

Let's see...what else happened this week?  I really can't remember much because the weeks run together a lot.  I saw Sister Dudding this week.  She came to do a training I had to go to since I will be training.  It was great to see her.  She used to work in my area so we had fun catching up.  Some bad news she told me was that an investigator I was working with in my previous area did not end up getting baptized.  However, the individual, who was the first baptism I had, is doing great and is preparing to get his Patriarchal Blessing!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Book of Mormon is a Conversion Tool!

This week was great!  We found a new investigator.  We met a member of his family outside one day as he was leaving for work.  He told us we could come back so we did and we started talking to a young man around our age.  He didn't seem interested at first.  However, we somehow (completely led by the Spirit) ended up on the topic of the Book of Mormon.  He was really interested in that.  By the time we left, we gave him a Book of Mormon, committed him to read the Introduction, invited him to be baptized, and set a return appointment.  We came back a couple days later and he had read the Intro, the testimonies, and was into First Nephi.  He was super excited about the brass plates and Joseph Smith.  We had planned to invite him to church, but he pretty much invited himself!  He still doesn't have a Baptismal Date.  Only time will tell!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sad, But Excitedly Nervous!

It's going to be sad to see my "former" companion go.  She is a great companion.  She is a very hard worker and has really made this area great.  I'm excited though, to train.  I'm also really nervous.  I heard training is super hard.  I don't know ANYTHING about my new companion - not even her name.  I find all that out during transfers.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Transfer Time! I'm Going To Be a Trainer!

So, we just barely got the transfer call today.  We usually find out Friday, so this weekend has been the longest one EVER!  I am staying in this area and I am going to be a mother!!!! (Which means I'm training a little greenie).  I don't have any other information about my new comp than that. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

"Disfruten Su Misión, No La Sufran"

President Maluenda also told us: "Disfruten su misión, no la sufran."  I think the same could be applied in everyday life.  We need to enjoy life, and not suffer through it.  Another thing that I have learned out here is that happiness is a CHOICE --- and perhaps also an act of faith.

2 Nephi 2:25 teaches us that "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." 

The Fall of Adam created mortality which in turn created pain and suffering.  However, the reason for the Fall was so we could have joy.  In mortality, despite all the hardships we may go through, we are told that our purpose here is to have joy.  It's going to take faith sometimes to look at your life with all its hardships and injustices and LEARN to find happiness, but it is possible.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Recent Pictures!

Photos courtesy of President and Sister Trayner
(Outgoing mission president and his wife)
Edinburg Zone

Zone Conference
Find this scripture...
...Ready, Set, GO!!

We love Zone Conference!

Greeting the "New" Mission President!

Greeting the "New" Mission Mom!

"Changing of the Guard!"

Faith Without Works is Dead!

We had a surprise zone conference and President Maluenda gave a wonderful talk about what it means to have faith.  He told us how faith is an action word --- something I have come to really understand here in South Texas.

We have often been told that "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20) .  I had heard that all growing up, but it was not until I was with Sister Dudding that it really became clear what that meant.  And its significance is soooooo simple!  All it takes is common sense!

The example President Maluenda used:

If I want to lose weight, I might exercise faith by praying to God for help losing it.  If I pray, but just continue to sit around eating cake and ice cream every meal, am I going to lose any weight?  No, of course not! But if I pray for help, and I exercise every day and watch what I eat, I'm going to lose weight.  God will help me perhaps have the willpower to do it, but it's up to me to take the first steps.

So, in the mission field: if we pray to find investigators, but we don't open our mouths on the street, we won't find them!

For all you regular members: if you pray to have a stronger testimony, but you don't read the scriptures, pray every day, and go to church, you're not going to get a stronger testimony.  You may have a strong belief and even knowledge that prayer works, and yes, prayer is an act of faith.  But after that prayer, it is up to us to take the next step.  We can't just wait around for things to happen.

It sounds simple and like common sense, right?  But if you really try to apply this concept in any and EVERY aspect of your life, you will see that acting on faith really IS an act of faith.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fourth of July!

This is the - can you believe it - LAST week of the transfer!  Talk about time flying!  It feels like I just barely got to my second area.  It's true what they say: on the mission, days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days.

This week, on none other than the Fourth of July, I got to meet President Maluenda and his wife.  They are fantastic!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ask the Missionaries!

This is an email I sent on July 1st, but it came back as undelivered.  So, I sent it again on July 8th.
(July 1 - 7) Well, June just flew by!  I have now been out here - wait for it - five months!  That's crazy! 

This last week was really difficult, but I made it through!  We said good-bye to the Trayners and President and Sister Maluenda have arrived, but we have yet to meet them.  This week we had a Family History night that we arranged to be put on by some members.  We had a smaller turnout than anticipated, but it was still great!  The member who was teaching gave a presentation, and we enjoyed Church's Chicken and Little Caesar's Pizza.  Despite the initial stress we felt, it turned out to be a great, low-key night.

Yesterday, we had a little miracle.  We planned to go visit a family who we hadn't visited in awhile.  We don't quite remember the reasons we put them in our plans because we didn't have a set appointment.  We had planned on visiting them an hour earlier, but we were busy talking to people on the streets the hour we had blocked out for them.  Usually, in a scenario like this, we would just head to whatever we had planned for the hour we were on and skip any previous plans we'd missed altogether, but we decided the best thing to do would be to visit them.  We parked our car and headed over.  While all this was happening, this family had been at home discussing a lesson at church.  The dad had a lot of questions that his wife couldn't answer.  Finally, she just said, "Well, why don't you call the missionaries and ask them?"  Right after she said that, guess who knocked at their door?  Yep, us!  We went in and had a great lesson with them.

 As small and insignificant as that little happenstance was, it just reminded us that God is very aware of everyone in our little area.  It made us happy that we had followed the Spirit when planning the night before.  After a week like last, it was great just to have just that one perfect instance when everything seemed to work just perfectly.