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.

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