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

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