Sunday, September 29, 2013

We Told Him We Have A Prophet On The Earth Today.

It's been another great week! Can you believe I have already been about for almost 4 months? That is so crazy to me... Time is just flying by so fast. 

Miguel and Karen are progressing sooo well! It is so exciting to see that. Miguel is FOR SURE getting baptized on Saturday! He is so excited he can hardly stand it. He was saying the sweetest prayers, asking God if he was ready and if it was what he should do, and he says he feels really good about it. He loves going to Cub Scouts (his leader is actually going to baptize him). We are still getting him to be excited about Primary because he has only gone since they've been preparing for the Primary Program so he hasn't gotten to meet his class yet.
Hna. Maughan, Miguel and me.

John’s heart is really softening as he sees the example of his son.
On Friday, we went to their house and planned out the program for his baptism. John and Karen were both there, and you could just see the pride in their eyes. They are so proud of Miguel.  John’s heart is really softening as he sees the example of his son.  John has committed to living the Word of Wisdom, and said he would come back to church! John said the closing prayer at the end of the planning session, and cried while saying it. Then that night they went to their uncle's house to practice how the baptism goes in their pool. On Saturday, Miguel had his interview, and he rocked it! (Not that it's hard, but he was really nervous for it. He kept thinking it was like a test, even though we kept reassuring him it wasn't). Karen and John both came to it, and then right afterwards they went shopping to buy Miguel a suit to wear to his baptism and to buy Karen a skirt! They are trying really hard to keep the Sabbath day Holy, giving up their Arizona Iced Tea to live the Word of Wisdom.  Just truly trying to live the gospel. Karen also asked the missionaries to visit her sons in Texas! I just can't tell you how great it has been to see this family change. When we first met Karen, she was heartbroken, barely holding herself together. Now this family is so happy. Just glowing. They are strong. They are united together in Christ. It is so great to see the Spirit working in their lives. Jesus Christ and his gospel can truly heal everything if we let it. 
Miguel' Baptismal Interview.  

And guess what?? Manuel is also getting baptized on Saturday!
Although we aren't working with Manuel anymore, we still get to see him sometimes because he attends the same branch still, or we see him leaving the Visitor's Center, etc. And guess what??! He is getting baptized on Saturday too! For sure this time! Already had his interview, stake center is scheduled, program is planned. Yessss! He says he has accepted Jesus Christ into his life and is ready to really make the commitment to follow Him. I am so excited for Saturday. It has been such a privilege to be a part of these conversion processes! My testimony grows so much as I see these people growing their testimonies. As I see the gospel enter their lives, heal them, give them hope and give them more happiness. It just makes my commitment to the gospel that much stronger.

They told her that children were damned if they weren't baptized before they died.
We haven't been able to meet much with Marcos this week, but we have met with his Mom, Angela, and his aunt, Juana. I don't really know what Angela's story is about how she found the gospel, but she never was able to learn very much. Some people from the Catholic church came to her house and confused her a lot. They told her that children were damned if they weren't baptized before they died, that if you make mistakes you can never repent, etc. She just got really confused and didn't know what was true or not. So we were able to use the Book of Mormon to resolve some of her concerns. We have also been going over the Restoration a lot with them to help them understand how this church is different than all the others, but exactly the same as how Jesus Christ set up his church.
We have been having a hard time trying to figure out how to help some of the other investigators progress. It seems like they are rather stuck because they don't want to keep commitments, but they believe it all. It is actually really hard to teach Lupe, (a teenage investigator), because there are so many people in her house that are always coming and going.  They all love to talk to us so we get interrupted a lot by random stories, etc. Lupe also  has a hard time focusing . Her great grandma passed away last week, and it was really hard on the whole family. But Lupe's grandma's testimony of the Book of Mormon and prayer has been renewed because that has been how she's found her peace through this situation. It seems like now she just wants to get everyone to read the scriptures! It's great!
One more picture from last week's ward party.

 We could see people watching TV sitting on the couches.
We have been trying to work with the less active members as well. Most of them, we have to start with building a relationship of trust with them. Showing them we are their friends and that we really do love them. They start of pretty hesitant to talk to us. Actually, okay, most of them don't open the door for us. But we try! Haha. The other day we went to a less active member’s house and they had a big glass window in their front door. We could see people watching TV sitting on the couches. Then after we knocked, they saw who it was. They slowly turned off all the lights, and the TV and just pretended like they weren't home. Then they looked at us as we walked away... Then a 10 year old boy hit on us. It was really, really weird.  I just think it's so funny how people do that all the time. Like obviously make eye contact with us, and just pretend like it never happened. I don't really understand it, but it makes me laugh. Just hope that they will warm up to us, because we really just want to help them! Just let them know that we love and miss them!

See, our car really is brand new!

She was like, “Mormons are great”!
We have also been stopping by Jorge’s house a lot. They always have people outside and just random people over.. We have made really good friends with the little kids that live their - Paul and Lisa. They love it when we come over. Their mom likes us a lot too, Linda. The kids love praying with us. It's been hard to have a real lesson with them because there is always so much going on there, but we are working on it! Yesterday Jorge was outside with his sister, Carmen. His sister is awesome though, let me tell you. She just went on and on about how Catholics never actually live their religion, how they worship idols which is against the 10 commandments, how Jorge doesn't actually believe in Catholicism but was just raised that way. She was like, “ Mormons are great”! They are so united, they help people, they really live their religion. Basically whenever Jorge would raise something up, she would shoot him down and tell him how this is the right religion. It was so random, but super awesome. No idea where she came from, or why she thinks these things. As far as I know, she doesn't have any history with the church.

Jorge told us that he has some habits he really wants to stop, but doesn't think he can. He wants to change so badly, but is so scared to do it. We just tried to talk to him about how God loves him so much. How with the strength of Jesus Christ, he can overcome all things. You can just feel he is so broken and just needs help, but doesn't know where to go. We haven't taught him any of the lessons yet, but he says that our message affects him so much already. He says he's been talking to his wife about us (his family lives in Mexico), and she wants him to listen to us and to start changing his life. He tried to get me to talk to her on the phone last night, but it was busy. I really just want to help him. Help him heal through the Atonement of Christ and find peace in His life.

He was so surprised!
We also talked to Enrique this week too. We told him about how we have a prophet on the earth, how Jesus Christ came to the Americas. He was so surprised! It was just a short little talk with him, but the Spirit was so strong. He had never heard of these things, but seemed to be really curious to know. We gave him a book of Mormon and a pamphlet on the Restoration, and I know he read the pamphlet, hopefully he will read the Book of Mormon! He is a fun guy. Has a crazy work schedule though, so it’s hard to find him home.
We get to go to the temple tomorrow! I am so excited! And we have Zone Conference on Wednesday! So it will be an awesome week!

Oh and Ti asked what I do on P-Days. Really, nothing exciting, but it's great because we do nothing. And it's the only day that we do nothing! We do personal & companionship study, write email, get a car wash, go grocery shopping, clean the house, do laundry, and then just relax! Write letters, write in our journal, take a nap. Then at 6pm, back to work! Normally we do FHEs on Mondays.
But really, thanks so much for all that you do for me! I love you all tons! Miss you bunches!

Con amor,

Hermana Haynes  
(From email dated 9-26-13)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

He Sincerely Wants To Get Baptized!

We just do it anyways, and the words always come! 
This week we kept ourselves really busy. We tried to visit a lot of people. We talked with everyone. EVERYONE. Lots of street contacting. You would think that you would get used to that, but nope it’s always a little bit awkward. Well not really, but I always just wonder how to go up and start talking to people. But we just do it anyways, and the words always come! Pretty much everyone is nice, most aren't interested, but you can find a couple of people who do want to know! We always just say that we are planting seeds. We spend lots of time planting seeds. As they get more experience, and as the words we tell them start to grow in their hearts, one day other missionaries or members will be able to harvest them! 

He has learned for himself that it was really true.
So miracles with our investigator! A little while back we had a pretty serious lesson with him about how important it is to read the Book of Mormon, pray about it and find your answers through the guidance of the Holy Ghost. We bore our testimonies on how important it is to us! And a few days later, he told us that he has been reading a lot, and just loving it. He said that he has learned for himself that it was really true, and that he sincerely wants to get baptized! You can just feel such a difference with it this time! But with all this, we just felt prompted that it’s time to officially hand him over to Hnas Demille and Mayorca. (We've kind of been double teaming with them.  We had found out a while ago that this investigator is actually in their area). We just know God is a God of order, and that he is in their area for a reason. It will be much better for them to be taught altogether as a family because his wife is really starting to become more interested. Of course we will really miss working with him, but it feels very right, so I'm not sad about it. We will still see him lots at church and everything! I just hope he understands and takes it well. I just don't want him to think that we are dropping him or anything. He's so great and I can't wait for (and hopefully attend!) his baptism!

He is so excited to get baptized and thinks it is the coolest thing ever that he can get the priesthood when he is 12.
Nancy and Miguel are really progressing as well! Karen accepts everything that we say with faith. She reads the Book of Mormon diligently and loves it. She is truly converted. And Miguel is really progressing too! He went to Cub Scouts for the first time this week and LOVED it! He has been praying and reading a little bit. We have started boy’s nights with him (and sometimes Marcos) and he is loving it. He is so excited to get baptized and thinks it is the coolest thing ever that he can get the priesthood when he is 12. He went to church this week too, and I felt bad because they were practicing for the Primary Program, so it was really boring for him. But he should be all set to be baptized on the 28th! (not going to say for sure, we all know that these things can fall through! :) ) We are really hoping Karen will be ready by then too, but Carlos is taking more time to warm up. They are so great! We are just praying that he has a change of heart. We are starting to see changes with him too, little by little! They are so fun though. Miguel forced his mom to go to the activity on Friday (she was really tired) because he wanted to go so badly. He didn't know anybody, but just ran right up to the kids and started playing with them. Which is so funny because Karen is super shy and doesn't talk much to anyone except for us. But we are just so happy with them and their progress!

We started giving out family mission plans for the families in our branch, so hopefully they start getting more excited about missionary work! We really need the members help in this, they are SO key. It's been a bit hard to get them motivated, but we keep working on it. We are really trying to reach out to the less active members and we are really trying to help them. It's just hard to find them. A lot of them have moved or won't answer the doors for us. But we are really trying!

The fiesta on Friday was fun! We had a LOT of good Mexican food! It was super yummy. A lot of members came too, so that was super good! And Manuel and his family, and Karen and Miguel came, so overall we had a good amount! There was lots of Mexican music, lots of food, and lots of crazy kids running around.
Branch fiesta on Friday.  So much fun!
Eating taquitos and horchata. I LOVE HORCHATA.
A little bit of everything.
They have this guy living in their house.
We went to another party too! Well, not on purpose. It was at Jorge's house. They are always having a party though. So he lives with this other family, and we go over there a lot, and can never find him, but the other family (Linda and Mario are the parents, Paul and Lisa are the kids) are always outside talking with random neighbors, family members friends. (One thing about people here: you think you know everyone that is in the house, and then throughout the hour, more and more people start coming out of nowhere. They randomly have so many people living in one little house. There's this one less active family that we're working with - that has a few older kids that aren't baptized! But anyways, they have this guy living in their house, David. Whenever David's there, the rest of the family isn't, and vice versa. Everybody says they don't know who David is! The other day we went over and they were there with David, and they still said they don't know who he is. So confusing....)

 They really wanted to know all about what we believe.
Anyways, we have made really good friends with that other family! We go over all the time and talk to them because Jorge is never home. The other day they were having a fiesta, and Jorge was there and he sat down and listened to us for a while, but then left  with the other men. However, we had Linda, Raul, Lisa, and a bunch of random kids surrounding us asking us so many questions. It was so cool! They really wanted to know all about what we believe. Paul said he saw the Testaments at the VC and cried at the end. We taught them how to pray and about what the Book of Mormon is, and they were so excited to pray and all asked for their own copy of the Book of Mormon. It was really fun. Kids are so great. They had a few friends though who started laughing while we were praying and then started trying to like randomly Bible bash with us. It was kind of weird... But Paul, Lisa, and their cousin, and Linda seem pretty interested. They all said they would pray and read! I love teaching kids because the Spirit can work with them so much more easily because they are so innocent and pure. The world hasn't corrupted them too much yet. Teaching kids really gave Helaman a different meaning.

I play the piano! always an adventure!
So a couple of you have asked about what we do on Sundays. We normally do go to Ward Council. The leaders are trying their best to figure out how to run a branch, but they have lots of hard challenges to face, and not much experience. We spend some time calling people and inviting them to church, then get their at least half an hour early to  welcome people. By the time church is supposed to start, we have about 20 people maybe, so we always start a few minutes late. (This week we had like nobody at church. There was this huge boxing match that all the Spanish people were super excited about, and I think it went late, so they didn't come.) We go to Sacrament, and try to sit with investigators or less actives. Then we go to Principles of Gospel, and sometimes we teach it. Then Relief Society (where I play the piano! always an adventure! I pretty much have to play the piano at every meeting - district meeting, baptisms, zone meetings, RS. and sightreading songs I have never heard of or that have just been changed a little, doesn't always go so well haha). But it's pretty much just normal church! It's good. 
Goofing off during companion scripture study. (Just a little bit!)

I was focusing so much on the things they weren't doing and on their weaknesses, that I was forgetting to look for their strengths
I have realized that I have been getting frustrated with the members and the people in this area.  I had a really eye-opening, humbling experience (lots of humbling experiences this week. Who knew I am so prideful???)  I was reading in my setting apart blessing something that just hit me, - that I really needed to change my mind set about everything. It says, "We bless you in the love of the people that you serve, that those whom you work with in the wards and branches throughout the area will be people you see as children of God who are striving each day to be better, and that you will be able to compliment them and help them to see their potential through the good works and the good words that you share with them about the things that you notice." That just hit me so hard. I’ve been thinking about everything the wrong way. I was focusing so much on the things they weren't doing and on their weaknesses, that I was forgetting to look for their strengths. I was forgetting to understand their backgrounds and that they are truly children of God who are trying their best. Their best is just different from what I am used to, but it is really their best. I need to look at all people as Children of God who really have divine potential, and I need to help people see that potential. As they understand their potential and their identity, they will want to do more to reach their potential. They will feel more confidence and more love. And I will feel more love. There is no better motivator than love. In Mosiah 18:21-22, it says, "And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another. And thus he commanded them to preach. And thus they became the children of God."

I just love that. We are all one in purpose here, we all have the same beliefs. So we need to work on becoming unified and having strong love between us. As we do this, we automatically will go out and preach because we love the people around us and we want to share the blessings that we have with all of our brother and sisters. This love, unity, and sharing of the gospel is what really helps us to know who we are and helps us to become children of God. (And don't get me wrong, I realllly, really, really love all the people in this area. They are so great. Sometimes I just need to be a little more patient and understanding :) ). 

Well, that's what I have for you this week! Thanks for all the love and support! I love you all SOOO much! and miss you so much too!

Con amor,

Hermana Haynes
From 9-16-13 email.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

We Don't Need To Be Scared Because We Know The God We Worship.

Another great week here in Mesa, Arizona! It's raining today, like a Seattle rain. I love it! Wherever I am in the world, if it rains, I feel at home! Hermana Maughan wanted to bring an umbrella, but I wouldn't let her because umbrellas are only for tourists haha. I think it’s the first day since I've been here where we won't sweat. It’s crazy how cool 75* feels now., but yes this has been a beautiful, rainy week!

Where to start... Monday we had an FHE with Maria and Carlos.  I guess we were supposed to invite a bunch of people to it, and we didn't realize that so Maria was kind of upset. We spent an hour calling like everyone in our phone book and we got three people to show up haha? It was okay, she had just cooked a lot of food. I felt pretty bad about it, but we apologized and she got over it. She cooked arroz con leche! Mhmmmm sooo yummy! It was awkward. I've never had an investigator get mad at me before. She wasn't that mad, but you know how I hate confrontation haha.

We just felt somebody needed us.
This week we had lots of little miracles.  I think it was Thursday, something really cool happened. We just felt all day long that somebody needed us, however,  we just knew it was somebody we didn't know yet, but that we needed to find. We just went about the day following our normal schedule, but at about 7 pm, we felt like we really needed to go find someone. So we just parked the car, got out, and started walking, street contacting which I haven't really done at all. We just started walking, talking to whoever we saw on the street, and knocked on one door. People weren't super nice or receptive, but we finally got to this one house that had a bunch of people outside. We talked to one man who was kind of off to the side, and he was really friendly, but not interested. He said that he felt he was good with God right now and didn't need any help or anything. So we kept walking, and just waved to his friends and said bye. However, one of his friends stopped us and started talking to us. He started talking to us about how he is so confused because he is not a very good man, but his 14 year old daughter who is so good had cancer. He told us he didn't know what to believe because there were so many different beliefs out there, and that sometimes he had a hard time believing in God at all. He said he didn't know if he should thank God or science that his daughter was healed. We told him that God loved him and God has a plan for him, and he invited us to come back on Saturday. Man it was soo cool! Right after that, we knew that's who God wanted us to find. It was just the greatest experience being able to feel the Holy Ghost direct us so clearly. He led us to a specific place, specific person, at a specific time. To someone who really needs our message. It just makes me feel really good that I am really learning how to discern the promptings of the Spirit. There is nothing I want more than to always be guided by the Holy Ghost.

It was like the whole world stopped.
Well we went back on Saturday, and accidentally crashed a huge Mexican fiesta. Haha it was awesome. We found these teenage girls and asked them if Jorge was there, and they said yeah he's out back. So they lead us through the house and into the backyard. As soon as we walk out the back door, we just walk into this huge Mexican baby shower. It was like the whole world stopped. These two white girls in skirts just walk right in, and everyone just stops and stares at us - so confused why we were there. It was awesome. We just walked over to the other side of the house where the men were singing, drinking, playing the guitar. We couldn't even remember what Jorge looked like, so we just kind of waited for someone to stand up. And then Jorge came up to us, and he felt sooo bad! He forgot that this would be going on when he invited us over the next time. He apologized like 20 times. He stepped out and just told us how he really, really wants to change his life. He invited us to stay and enjoy the party (tempting). But we just said we would come another time. We have texted him, and he just sounds so weighed down by life. He just wants to find peace so badly, and he isn't sure if he can change. He doesn't know if it's possible to find peace. I am so excited to teach and help him. I just hope that he doesn't get scared and not let us come over. But it was just really cool to realize exactly how aware Heavenly Father is of every single one of His children. He loves us all so much and tries to help us all the time.
Arizona has amazing sunset every night!

We had 4 investigators at church this week!
It was so great! Manuel, Karen, Carmen (a teenage girl), and Pablo (the 10 year old son of a less active member we have started teaching). Still praying for the miracle of 5 baptisms this month. It's going to take a HUGE miracle. We will see what God wants us to do :)

She asked about what she would have to do about her situation.
Oh but something super cool!  We were teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to one of our investigators the other day, and she asked about what she would have to do about her situation before she gets baptized because she is living with her fiancĂ©e. We explained that she would either have to get married, or be separated for at least 2 weeks before her baptism. She told us that she will follow God regardless of the cost. She said she now sleeps in another room because she knows that the law of chastity is something serious. She also told us that she hasn't drunk at all since she started taking the lessons because she just doesn't want that in her life anymore. UMM WE HAVEN'T EVEN TAUGHT HER THE LAW OF CHASTITY OR THE WORD OF WISDOM YET. What???? She is so prepared.

They don't understand the importance of knowing that this is God's ONLY church on the earth.
We taught another investigating couple a few times this week. It’s so confusing to me because they are living all the commandments and willing to make all those sacrifices, but they still don't know that the Church is true. They know it’s good, but they don't understand the importance of knowing that this is God's ONLY church on the earth that has the fullness of the gospel and the priesthood power. So we have really been trying to hit home on that. Last night we had a pretty powerful lesson and Hna. Maughan and I just bore testimony of how important this church is to us and how it really changes our lives, and on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. We explained that if they wanted to know, they needed to have the desire first, and then act on that desire.

Hna Demille and Maughan were sick one day, so Hna Mayorca and I got to go out together. That was fun. A little switcharoo for a day. We have so much fun with those girls! Our lives would be so boring without roommates.
Exchanges with Hna. Myorca.
He couldn't get out of his head something that he said about how now more than ever the world needs a prophet.
So sometimes at about 8:30pm, we get kind of lost about what to do if we don't have a firm appt set because we don't really live in a place where you can just go to people's houses when its dark out if you don't know them. People don't really answer the door, and you never really know who exactly lives where…..  so we always have a hard time figuring out what to do. Well, one day, we just decided to walk and talk to people we see on the streets andl something super cool happened! This man drove up to us and was like hey! Do you guys have one of those books? We were like a Book of Mormon? Yes we dooo! He told us that a missionary stopped him in his neighborhood a few days ago, and he couldn't get out of his head something that he said about how now more than ever the world needs a prophet. He said he was praying about that and he felt good about it. Then he saw two sets of missionaries in a row, and said he got the hint. Unfortunately, we only had Spanish Book of Mormons on us, and he didn't live in our area.  We told him where the Visitor's Center was and told him he could go there whenever. We were really dumb and forgot to ask for his address though

We all have hard trials, we all have scary things God asks us to do. But we don't need to be scared because we know the God we worship.
This week I was asked to give a 10 minute talk about faith in District Meeting. I want to share a little bit about what I re-learned about faith. Faith is sooo so important. It is having confidence in God because we know who He is. We know He is perfect, and that He is worthy of our trust. It is trusting Him enough that we are willing to follow Him - to go into the dark and do what He asks us to do, because we trust Him. We trust that He has a plan, and that He knows better than us. We trust that all He does is for our own benefit. Fear and doubt are the opposite of faith. I absolutely love D&C 6: 34 - 36. "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." If we are really doing good and becoming good people, earth and hell WILL combine against us because Satan is going to try SOO hard to get us to fail. We should expect it to be really hard. But we have that faith and that promise that, when we are built upon Christ's rock, earth and hell CANNOT prevail. So "perform with soberness the work which God has commanded you... Doubt not, fear not." We all have hard trials, we all have scary things God asks us to do. But we don't need to be scared because we know the God we worship. We know Jesus Christ who we follow. 2 Nephi 26:24 - "He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation."

I just want you all to know that this truly is the Lord's Church. Sometimes I just wish I could shake people and make them understand how important this is. There is nothing more important in life than this gospel. This is eternity. There is a plan. There is a way. God is there to help and support us, but we must come to Him. He can and will provide peace. We can progress. We can change. But it all depends on us and what we want. 

I love you all SO much! Thanks for all that you do for me! 

Con amor,

Hermana Haynes (From 9-9-13 email)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Faith Means Following The Lord - Not Just Believing In Him

Buenos Dias Familia!!!!

Como estan?? What a good week it has been! Lots of changes, but it’s been going great! So my new companion is named Hermana Maughan (like man, but with a Jamaican accent haha). She is awesome! She is 22, from Highland, UT, and just got here from the Mexico MTC! She didn't know any Spanish before that, but she is doing great. She is super happy and has a bubbly personality. She really wants to work too, which is so great! She helps keep us organized and focused! The Lord has blessed me so much to get me ready to train. Like... what. I can speak Spanish? Okay. That's fine with me. Haha I don't know, but I can speak and I can understand, and they can understand me. I have truly been blessed with the gift of tongues. I'm definitely far from being fluent, but I feel so blessed with where I am at. There's definitely some stuff that I don't quite get, so I just nod my head and guess how to respond, but for the most part, I can do it! I love it! I can always say what I need to say, but I need to try to start incorporating different tenses and new words so I can keep progressing with my language skills. With Hermana Leon, I was TERRIFIED of talking to the phone on people in Spanish, but now that I have to, it’s not a problem at all! Ahhh I feel so blessed! (Editor's note: Spanish sounds great, but what about the English? :o)  )
This is hermana Maughan! Her first day here was her birthday!
Me and my new companion!

Cute Girls!

This transfer, I have been trying to make some changes, and really do ALL that we can to help these people. Oh man, I have had to say some pretty bold things this week. It has been a little scary, but knowing who I am as a representative of Jesus Christ gives me no other option but to tell these people the truth, with love of course.

One of our investigator families has always been under the impression that they would be fine to just start living the commandments after their baptism. We had to make it very clear to them yesterday that God wants them to be obedient now, that they won't receive the blessings and help from God if they aren't working for it, and that faith means trusting the Lord enough to do the things that He asks you too. We promised them that obedience truly does bring blessings, and faith truly means following the Lord - not just believing in Him. We have had to explain to many people this week - faith doesn't mean doing things that are easy, but it means doing hard things because you trust in God. It has been an eye opener for a lot of people. I just love this little family so much, and I want to see them have the blessings that God has in store for them in their life. It gets really hard when these people need help SO badly, but they are denying themselves the blessings that they need. But we are going to try to explain the blessings of obedience more, and help them to have faith to do all that is necessary to prepare for the baptism.

Another investigator is doing well, but I don't know. We have his baptism scheduled for Saturday, but I'm not 100% confident that it will happen. He is ready in every single way, except for that he has never prayed to find out for himself yet, which is extremely vital. We have explained the importance of that from day 1, but he would always say something like, "oh, I already know it. I already know it’s true, so I don't need to pray about it." But now that it's getting closer to his baptism, he is starting to get a little nervous. We promised him that if he sincerely prayed and asked, that God would answer him. We told him that God would take away his nerves, and instead give him peace and happiness about this decision. He said he would pray, so we are just really hoping that he was sincere about it this time. We know that God will answer his prayer, and that he can be ready for this Saturday, but he has to put his faith into action first. We are praying really hard for him though. I just want him to have this happiness in his life soo badly! And he is SOOO close to it! Haha people... sometimes you just wanna slap them and tell them to stop being dumb. 

Karen... she is SO great! Seriously. we give her chapters from the Book of Mormon to read, and she reads them and takes so many notes. The next time we meet with her, she reads us all that she has learned. She is learning so much, and is really applying it to her life.
Her little boy, Miguel, who is 8 has been sitting in on our lessons a little bit. At first he wasn't interested at all. But he has been spending more and more time sitting in and listening. We asked him to pray for us once, but he absolutely refused. The next time we came back, he said he had been praying a lot and was so excited to say the opening prayer! It was sooo exciting! I feel bad because we have been focusing on his mom a lot more than him (it’s hard because we have to teach them in 2 different languages), but even though it’s super boring for him, he can feel the truthfulness of it. We are going to start teaching him with these other little boys around his age that we've been teaching. He is super excited! And super excited about going to boy scouts and meeting kids at the church! We invited both of them to be baptized on September 28th. It actually turns out to be Karen's birthday! She already sees so many changes within herself. And to go along with her new life, she needed a change of scenery too, so they painted all the walls in their house :) I just LOVVVVE these people! Seriously. All of them.

Oh and yes we got to keep the car! Thank goodness - we have SO many people to see!

We also had a referral for a less active, sister, Angela. She lives with her sister Juana. Angela’s ex husband wouldn't let her go to church. But now they aren't together anymore. So we taught them both, and Angela’s 9 year old son, Antonio, (who we will be teaching with Miguel) the Restoration. At least Angela seemed super excited about it. I think Stefan was too, but he speaks English better. He got out his little picture book Bible to show us though. The only question Angela had though at the end was how she can go through the temple! What a good question right??? Super happy! We told her that there are certain standards of worthiness, and that she can meet with the Branch President and he can help her prepare to be worthy for that! She said she would set up a meeting with him next Sunday!
This week we have seen a lot of miracles. We have found 5 new investigators (we started kind of teaching some of Arturo’s family, but I don't know if any of them are really that interested, but we will see with more time). We set 4 more (tentative) baptismal dates. We visited a lot of less active members. Nobody came to church this week... but that's okay, it will work out. We have A LOT of work to do, but I know it will be done. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed with the circumstances of the area, but I read Mosiah 7:18-19  that has given me a lot of hope. There is going to be "an effectual struggle", but the time is coming where we will overcome. We just need to trust in God. Give this to Him. Do all that we can, pray with all our might, and be really guided by the Spirit. 

We have a goal this month for 5 baptisms. I have no idea how it will happen. We are going to need a TON of miracles - a lot. But I know it can happen. Hermana Maughan and I came up with a motto for this month: "Faith for Five". We are trying to exercise and grow our faith in every opportunity. We are doing things, even though they are hard and scary. We are trying to expect and facilitate daily miracles. (That is part of our mission statement). We are really trying to work with the members in EVERY way that we can think of. We know that it will work out. We know God will bless this area with the strength that they need.
Lenny's, a favorite eating place.

Lenny's with Hna. Leon.  I miss her!
Well, I think that's all I got for you. Please pray for us and for this area. We could use all the faithful prayers that we could get! Thanks for ALL of your support, love, prayers, letters, and thoughts. I really appreciate it all! I love and miss you SO much!

Con amor,
Hermana Haynes