Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Love Being a Missionary

September 20th 2010

SO the exciting news for the week is we got transfer calls last night!! Ok, ya'll may not be as excited as us missionaries get in waiting anxiously for the good word, but here is the final verdict. Unfortunately, Sis. Perez is leaving me. She is going to be transfered to serve in Othello and will be in a threesome, working both Spanish and English. We both knew that it was coming and the chances of us still being together were slim, so we had kind've already accepted it. She is sad, but knows that she will love the people there just as much as she has grown to love the people here. I, on the other hand, am staying here in Wenatchee!! Yay! I'm so incredibly excited about that, and this is an answer in itself that there is still someone here who I am meant to find who I have not yet. This last transfer was hard, as far as finding new people to teach is considered, but I'm hoping all that will change in this coming transfer. So guess who is going to be my new companion!! Sister Olsen, who came out the same time as Sister Perez did. She is the one who Sis. Naylor trained right after me. SO we are "sisters" in missionary terms, and we both just knew at some point we would be serving together. I knew it from the moment I met her that last day I was in the MTC. There's something special about her and I think we are going to make a great team! We are both very excited to be serving together and a little surprised that we will be serving together this soon on the mission. Where there's room for growth and miracles to occur, well we both are not fluent in the language. SO the gift of tongues is going to have to come in big measures these coming weeks, because I'm willing to bet our Spanish is about the same level right now. She was in intermediate level at the MTC, and I've been out a transfer longer, so we shall see where the two meet up. It shall be interesting and is going to take a ton of faith on both our parts, but she is optimistic and enthusiastic about the work so we are going to see so much these coming weeks, I just know it! I sent a pic home not too long ago of the 4 of us sisters in the "fam", Me, Sis. Naylor, Perez, and Olsen. So, you should be able to get a nice visual. Who'd thought my first 3 comps in the mission would be all in that pic right!! Craziness, the Lord does indeed have a plan :) I'm very excited!

The latest with the work, lets see. Well, no new investigators this week, but we did invite one of our investigators, Dennis to be baptized. Who accepted, but we have not set a date yet. It may take some time with him, but he seems to really be trying to change his life. A little more about him on the tape, but really I dunno what is up with me teaching all these single guys, both old and young. Haha starting to notice a trend here...kind've interesting. We are working with a couple families, and trying really hard with the Mendoza sisters, Jessica and Maritza. I'm starting to lose patience, but praying to know the Lord's will for them and what part we play in bringing them unto Him at this time. They haven't been reading (again!) and haven't come to church yet, which is discouraging. There's no doubts that at some point they will enter on this path, but right now...we are trying to figure out if we should continue teaching them. If they don't start keeping commitments again, and progressing, unfortunately we are going to have to temporarily drop them, which will prob be the saddest day EVER! So this week, we are hoping to have a pretty straight forward conversation about the responsibility they have and the importance of reading and coming to church. Please keep them in your prayers, as I know you have. They need them and I need them. I love this family so much, which has been such a driving force for us not giving up but they have to do their part and have to be progressing in order for us to continue teaching them.

In other exciting news, one of the less actives we visit every week has now come to church 2 weeks in a row. She wants to work toward the temple, and we've been working with her since I first got to the Mission Ridge ward 3 months ago. She hadn't been to church in 10+ years. So this is HUGE! Although she isn't an investigator, I almost feel that she is...because we are teaching her basic gospel principles and she is progressing so well. Her name is Maggie, if I hadn't mentioned her on tapes before. We are teaching so many people both members and non members alike, so sometimes I only mention the main players we are working with at the time. But I am loving the people! I love the area! I love the ward! And I love being a missionary!

I have learned a lot since coming out here on the mission! My testimony has grown in leaps and bounds. I have been blessed with spiritual wisdom and maturity beyond my own, just as my setting apart blessing promised. I have seen miracles and seen both good times and bad. I am not a perfect missionary, but I do sincerely try my best and rely on my Savior's Atonement for the areas in which I lack. I feel so much love and gratitude for the people in whom I am serving. I am learning a lot from them. I have turned the corner and am now past my 6 months. The time is going by fast! Every day, I wake up and get on my knees and thank Heavenly Father for blessing me to have one more day out here on the mission! I love this work! And it is truly to work of the Lord! More news next week! Pray for me and the language...please please. I have faith the Lord will continue to perform miracles in and through me. The good word is true! If you haven't done your personal study yet today, I invite you to take 10 min and open the good book and read the words of the Lord. I love you all! Miss you every day :)

6 Months This Week!

September 13th 2010

Buenos Dias! Today is a good day :) This weekend was amazing! And overall things are going good. Mom, Dad, and to all my four beautiful younger sisters- thank you so much for sending me that recording of you guys! I loved it! It wouldn't work at first, but where there is a will, there is a way, so I found out the only way it would play would be on a computer. SO the Burnett's, being as kind as they are, let me listen to it on their computer. I loved the talks Mom and Dad, and you made me sound better than I am. But it was tender to hear from you that you are proud of me and the changes you've seen over the last 6 months. I feel so incredibly different than I was when I first entered the MTC. Through every experience, both good and bad, I have learned and grown so much. I hardly even recognize myself anymore :)

I started feeling a unique sense of spiritual maturity these last couple weeks. I have noticed these leaps in seeing myself mature more spiritually at different turning points throughout my mission thus far. But this feeling I've had these last couple weeks, stems from I think the mere-fact that I am coming up on my 6 month mark this Friday! Can you believe I have been out here for that long? Well, I can't. And for these last couple weeks, I've been really beginning to feel like an "experienced" missionary. Now, I know that I'm no where near perfect as a missionary, but I've really begun to feel like reaching this land mark of 6 months is a huge stepping stone. Of course, my goals as far as hoping to be fluent in the language by this point on my mission might have been a little incredulous, but the language has been coming little by little, day by day. And with transfers coming up this next week, I can't help but also feel that the Lord has been preparing me for another opportunity to be stretched and to grow, as well as maybe another opportunity to lead as it was stated in my setting apart blessing. Whether that means I will be leaving the area, or that I will be training again, or what...I do not know. But I do feel that there is definitely something significant in the works that will be coming my way in the near future. Maybe not this transfer, but I'm leaning toward it happening sooner than later. Sister Perez and I have now been serving together for almost 2 full transfers (that's 3 months) which is a long chunk of time in the real world. We have become very close and work well together as a team, which leaves reason to believe that now after serving this long together, it is time for us to grow a little more and share our experiences with a new companion. SO sadly, yes, more than likely Sister Perez and I could be separated..but we both have accepted the fact and will do whatever it is that the Lord asks of us. Our prayers have been with President Palmer a lot these last few weeks. If there's one thing I do know about him, is that he is truly an inspired man and that He will do what the Lord asks of him to do. So, you will all hear the verdict of what will be happening next transfer next week! Be excited! Because in the life of a missionary, these are the types of things missionaries get kind of "hyped" up about lol.

Well let's see, well now for one of the bigger highlights of the week. Yesterday, Neftali was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood in the office of Priest. Wow was this such a powerful experience to be apart of. I have never before sat in on a blessing where someone received the Priesthood. I already have a significantly strong testimony of the Priesthood, but being able to sit in when Neftali was ordained was just amazing! Brother King ordained him and the blessing that proceeded was truly inspired. Oh how amazing is it to be able to witness the gospel of Jesus Christ truly take hold on someone and change their life! I feel so incredibly blessed to have been a small part in teaching and bringing him unto Christ. Also, Koty gave his conversion story in Sacrament meeting yesterday. It was interesting to hear everything from his perspective and how he shared the different significant events that happened while we were teaching him. While he was speaking, the spirit washed over me like a warm blanket and my heart was truly touched by the power of the spirit. My entire being it seemed was full of so much joy, and it made me think of the scripture that says something along the lines of, "how great shall be your joy if you shall bring one soul into the gospel, and how much greater will be your joy save you shall bring many souls." Being able to witness the miracle of conversion take place within these two fine young men. They are going to change lives and will be the legacy who brought their future posterity into the true gospel that is here upon the earth today!

Well, once again I'm out of time. I hope you enjoyed my last 2 tapes. I miss you all so very much! Thank you for all you love, support and prayers. They are needed daily.

I know this work is truly the Lord's work. I know that this church is true and that we do have a living prophet on the earth today. Conference will be coming up in just a few weeks, so I hope you all can take some time aside to help prepare yourselves spiritually to receive divine guidance and answers to your own personal questions and concerns. I know that Heavenly Father does hear and answer prayers and that He loves each and everyone of us beyond compare. One more year family, and I will be on a plane coming home. I pray that this next year, you each will be able to discover more profoundly the beauitiful blessings that this gospel brings to us in our lives. As we are faithful and obedient, the Lord will watch over us and help us to become the men and women in whom we were foreordained and destined to become. I know this to be true! I love you!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Miracle of Conversion

September 7th 2010

It's P-Day yet again! Already, the day is flying by. This morning, our entire district went hiking up Saddlerock! It was so much fun and I really enjoyed the time we had to better get to know all the Elders in our district. My email time is short today, due to a much longer detailed email to President I gave this week, but I will try to type fast and include all the fun details of the previous week!

Now for the highlights:

1) On Saturday, us sister missionaries out here in Wenatchee had our first 24 hr companion exchange! President Palmer wanted to do a "trial run" for us sisters, and so we had special permission to organize the exchange; meaning the junior comps switched and went with the other senior comps. SO, Sis. UImer (who has only been out 4 wks) came over to this part of the Lord's vineyard. It was overall a great experience. Different not being with my lovely daughter, Sister Perez, but still good. We witnessed many miracles on this day. One of which being that I had to be the one to speak Spanish more, because I've been out much longer (trust me, that was interesting lol) But the Lord was on our side, as he always is. And we had an AMAZING lesson with Jessica Mendoza. We took her on a church tour, and the spirit was so strong that it truly took over and we were able to witness the miracle of conversion begin to take place. Many more details on the tape, but basically as we let the spirit guide us, Jessica was very touched by the spirit and told us she had never felt anything like it before. She told us that she felt like she had finally found a place where she belonged and felt she had gotten her answer. We extended the baptismal invitation, and she wasn't sure because she had already been baptized before. So we worked to resolve her concern, with the guidance of the spirit, and before leaving she accepted the soft baptismal invitation, saying she would pray about it. We helped her to recognize the influence of the Holy Ghost, and told her of all the blessings that come from having the gift of the Holy Ghost. This was a miracle in and of itself, and Jessica is progressing nicely. We are going to continue working with her and her family, as there are many more conflicting details....but in the Lord's due time, we know she will be ready to enter on the path that leads to the Celestial Kingdom. Oh what a blessing it was to be able to be apart of this. The Spirit truly is the miracle worker in conversion to the Lord.

2) We had a great day yesterday, starting out the week to a good start. We found 3 new investigators! Interestingly enough, my Spanish got better almost over night! Last night, I believe it came out better than it has my entire mission. We taught quite a bit in Spanish, but also found a new English investigator. Her name is Marcia, and she is just great! She is probably one of the most interesting people I have met on my mission. She may be a little "out there" in the stories she told us yesterday, but we are giving her the benefit of the doubt. HAHA. She brought a smile to my face, and I may have had to keep myself from busting up and laughing at some of the funny things she said, maybe more than a few times. Oh Marcia (pronounced Marsha). She is about 67, single, and lives alone. More funny stories to come, I'm sure. We also found another investigator who lives at the hospitality house (this will be our 5th one). So....I guess we are just going to convert the entire hospitality house. Eh, why not right? lol.

3) In other news, Neftali is going to be ordained to the priesthood this coming week! Yay! Exciting! Koty has been doing great, he is a rock in his testimony. Let's see...we haven't been able to find Rafael yet, unfortunately rumor has it that he started investigating other churches. We're afraid he might have gotten anti-ed or something. SO please keep him in your prayers. We really felt he was sincere in learning about the gospel and about wanting to get baptized. He was so great in our lessons and just the cutest older man I've met, but the adversary was really beginning to work on him. We haven't been able to find him or contact him for over a wk and a half now. So please pray.

Anyway, I'm out of time. Yikes! I better send this soon! Um, family thank you so much for writing! It was greatly appreciated! I will be writing back and sending a package today. Know you have been in my thoughts and prayers a lot this week! Grandma, thanks for writing too! Mel, thanks for the email. I've really missed hearing from you two so its good to hear you are doing good. Megs, thanks for the letter too! And Dana, thank you for always sharing your spiritual experiences with me and for writing me too! Love you all! Have a fantastic week! I miss you.

Weeks feel like days

August 30th 2010

Well, yet again, another week has come and gone within a blink of an eye! Time is really funny how it works out here on the mission. Days feel like weeks, and weeks feel like days. I try to keep up on everything that happens daily, whether by my journal or talking on those tapes I send home, but it seems to be an impossible task. From the morning that the alarm goes off at 6:30 am to the time we lay our heads to rest at 10:30pm, it is work, work, work, and Life as a missionary is hard and it is exhausting, but it is worth every minute because we are saving souls out here! Literally, I cannot adequately describe my feelings in reguards to how I feel about my mission, but I love it. Even though some days are hard, and it literally takes all the strength I have in me to press forward, serving a mission has been and will continue to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my lifetime!

My faith has really been tested this past week. Through many different experiences, it has been harder to endure through the trials that have come. But I have not given up, and that is what is most important. My companion and I have been experiencing similar battles against the advesary and so we have been helping one another through. We have been blessed enough to be able to recognize when the advesary is working on us and trying to bring us down. We have spent many hours in prayer and have received strength from the Lord. It has been a good learning and growing experience. And despite how difficult trials can be at times, especially when you are in the furnace of the fire, I know that there are blessings just waiting around the corner. We are working hard to continue to have faith in every footstep, and to more fully rely on the Lord in this great cause of saving souls.

Unfortunately I do not have much to write today, but I wanted to let each of you know I love you and I miss you. Some days I miss home, but I have really begun to establish a home away from home out here in the beautiful valley of Wenatchee, which has been such a blessing. The members of the Mission Ridge ward are just amazing, and I honestly feel that a big reason why I am serving in this ward is to be able to lift and strengthen them. Of course there are some amazing people we are teaching too, but we are called to serve and love all of those within the realm of our influence. I especially look forward to the day that I will be able to come back and visit the people here. I truly have grown to love them in ways I'd never quite experienced before.

We are now officially half way through the transfer! Crazy! Like I said, time is flying by. The latest updates with investigators, Rafael will not be getting baptized this coming Friday because he wasn't there in church on Sunday. So we are going to work with him and hopefully set another date in the near future. Please keep him in your prayers; he is an amazing guy but last time we met with him he mentioned to us that he could feel Satan was working on him and trying to discourage him from getting baptized. So hopefully he is ok. He is very difficult to get ahold of so we are hoping he will be there at his appointment tmrw in the park. Other than that, we are trying hard to find new people to teach. We are pressing forward in faith, that the Lord will place those whom He has prepared in our paths. We are anxiously engaged in the great cause, and so I know that in the Lord's due time He will pour out His blessings upon us. Please keep us in your prayers. They are greatly needed and appreciated. Thanks.