Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Beautiful Baptism!

Hi Family & Friends!                                                                       (From email of 10/28/13)

A beautiful baptism.
Oh man... I really can't remember what we did this past week. It’s still been a process of trying to figure out how to balance the two areas and everything, but we are learning! Our investigators have been really hard to find/get a hold of this week, so progress was a little slow, but we did have a beautiful baptism! We really focused on Lupe this week, and helping her get really prepared for her baptism. We met with her everyday and just really tried to keep her strong. On Wednesday, for Young Women's meeting, we went to the YW leader's house, and we taught a lesson on the law of chastity. It was really powerful. The three of us just all have really strong testimonies of how much keeping the law of chastity blesses your life, and how painful it will be if you don't keep it. We really just wanted to have a nice, safe environment to teach that to Lupe in, and thought it would be very helpful for all the other girls too if we could make things clear. Also, coming from people only a few years older than them (or for me - only one year older than some of them!), it would help them see how it is relevant in their lives. It went really well. Lupe's MiaMaids leader, Sister Reed, has been such a help in her conversion process. She has been there supporting Lupe through thick and thin. She is always there to give Lupe a ride, and she helped us out with so much! It is so nice to know that although Lupe doesn't have a family that is going to help her be strong in the gospel, at least she has great leaders that will really help her and love her.
Hna. Maughan, Lupe, Hna. Demille and me.
She already has her temple recommend!
The baptism went really well. We seemed to have a little bit of miscommunication with the branch leadership, so the three of us got there 45 minutes before it started, and the font was empty and nobody was there.... We were a little worried, but everything came together just fine, even though it felt a little rushed! :) Now, she has already gotten her temple recommend and the youth in the branch are going to do baptisms for the dead on Wednesday! She is so excited! Her less active family came to the baptism, and I think it really touched their hearts! I love her family sooo so much. You never really know what to expect from her family, but you know you are in for a good time!
Lupe's baptism

Some progress, some setbacks.
We weren't able to find either Arturo1 or Arturo2 home all week long, but we stopped by and had some really, really good conversations with their families, and hopefully planted some good seeds. Malia, Miguel’s aunt, dropped us this week too we think... She hasn't been answering the phone, and someone that lives with her always says she's not home when we stop by. But Juan and Anna really have some promising potential! They are super interested in the message and really want to learn more.

Also, someone we thought had dropped us, called us back and said he wanted to learn still! His name is Pablo. He is 19 and his girlfriend, Emilia has been taking the lessons and she wants to get baptized. He wants to learn because he knows it is so important to her and he wants to have an eternal family with her. It is the sweetest thing. We are excited to work more with him!

Focusing on strengthening this branch to support new members.
I know last week it sounded like we had a billion investigators, but this week, it seems to be winding down to fewer haha. But yesterday during Sacrament meeting, we just all had a strong impression that we really need to be focusing more on the less active members and recent converts. We need to make this branch strong, and that's the way to start. We are here right now to prepare this branch to be better prepared to bring in and retain the investigators and new converts. This past month, we have seen some recent converts starting to lose faith, or at least lose the action part of their faith. I don't want that to ever happen to anyone that I teach. It breaks my heart! I know that they still believe, we just need to work with them more – make sure they are included and taught, have opportunities to serve, etc. So, I think we are going to focus our efforts on working more with the members who need help, because there are a LOT of them. We have seen huge changes in this branch in the past couple of months, and they are just going to keep on progressing!

The branch president, Pres. Lopez is great. He has 6 kids. He has been a member for 25 years. His wife introduced him to the gospel in Mexico. President Lopez is so dedicated to his calling. He really loves the individual and goes out of his way to serve everyone that he can. I think from the moment he gets off of work until the moment he goes to bed, he is working on his calling (I wouldn't be surprised if he does it even when he is at work!) I don't think his family sees much of him. It is probably hard for them, but they will be so blessed. Hna. Santos is the Relief Society President. She just moved into the branch 1.5 years ago. She has 3 kids, and she is great too. This branch really needs people as dedicated as they are!

Training and clothing swap!
This week, we had a special training for all the sisters in the mission! It was so great! Sister Jenkins shared a great message with us, and then we were taught about nutrition, exercise, and how to properly dress. Haha so cliché but it was fun! And then we brought all the clothes that we didn't want anymore and had a giant grab bag (clothing exchange). We also had interviews with President Jenkins this week. I can't tell you how much I absolutely love and admire President and Sister Jenkins. They are so great. They really love and care for us, and I know that they are so dedicated to the Lord. I feel it is such a privilege to serve in the mission they preside over! President Jenkins is such an inspired man. He always says exactly what I need to hear. And Sister Jenkins just is full of love for everyone. I hope you get the opportunity to meet them at some point. 

How the  branch works and the Trunk or Treat.
On Saturday, we had the ward trunk or treat! It was combined with the English ward that we meet with, the Olive ward. The youth program (Primary & YM/YW) meet with the English ward for the 2nd and 3rd hour of church. The branch isn't strong enough yet to support their own youth program, but they are trying to get some members of the branch into the youth programs to train them. But only the people that speak English can serve in there. It was super fun! They don't really have a carnival or games or anything like back home though. They had a chili cook-off (which the Latinos have no idea what chili is, so they just ate :)) and then the trunk or treat. It was fun!
Natalie and her companions with a couple of recently baptized sisters at the ward Trunk or Treat.

The three Hermanas with Sis. Stewart.  They live right behind Sis. Stewart's house.

Well, that pretty much sums the week up! I absolutely love being in a trio. It is so fun. It is like I am always with two of my best friends! They are both so great, dedicated, and hard working. We are still learning the balance of teaching with 3 people, but it will come with time! I learn so much from my companions and I really love them. 

My testimony of daily scripture study, and how I have changed because of it.
I just want to share with you today my testimony of daily scripture study. There is a quote from President Packer that says a daily study of the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes every day will bring a great spiritual power into your life. I started doing that a year ago, and I can't tell you how true that is. I feel like looking back at myself and who I was in high school, I am a completely different person - for the better. And I know that I was able to learn so much and change so much because of the time that I dedicated to receiving revelation from the Book of Mormon. I know that this book has been given to us as a personal guide for our lives. Study it, Love it, Apply it. Just eat it up! I know that God wants to talk with us and give us revelation for our lives, and the Book of Mormon is how He can. The Bible is so great too. I have started reading the 4 Gospels this week and I love it! It is so great to learn more about the earthly life of Christ. President Jenkins has challenged us all to read all of Preach My Gospel by the end of the transfer. We read 5 pages a day. Today we are on page 100! That book is so inspired. I learn so much from it each day. I would encourage all of you to do this along with us! 5 pages everyday until you finish! Also - STUDY JOURNAL. Just do it. You will thank me later :) 
Studying the scriptures daily has changed my life.

Very special baptism!
Okay! Well, I still love you all! You are the best! OH I just remembered! We don't teach Karen anymore (the elders do), but we had dinner with her this week! She is getting baptized November 2nd! Ahhhhh that family is so special to me. It just filled my heart to be back in their home. Seriously, some of the most special people to me. It is so good to see that they are still doing well! 

Love and miss you all! You are the greatest!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Haynes

No comments:

Post a Comment