Sunday, December 15, 2013

How Faith In Jesus Christ Works

Hi Family!                     (From email of 12-2-13)

It is so nice to hear from you! Thanks for all being so good about writing me! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It sounds like you all had a great time. I can't help to but to miss you a little bit more during the holiday season because the best part of the holidays is family. (especially because I have the best one). But I will be home for next Christmas! Want to know something really weird?? I actually go home a year from today...... I don't know how to feel about that... Just be sure to really enjoy the holidays for me this season!

We had a great Thanksgiving though! We actually had 2 dinners. We were invited over for the first dinner at 3, but it didn't really start until 4:30 actually because everyone got there late. So we helped get things ready and just kind of awkwardly stood around haha... And then we ran over to the other dinner at 5. We were STUFFED. The food was actually traditional American food. They did add sopa fria which is pasta salad with bananas and raisins and then a salsa. Nnot really sure what the salsa was for though. It was very fun though!
Elder Larson broke the spatula serving the pie. I don't remember why, but it was super funny in the moment!

Elers Larson and Elder Celis-Gomez, our district leader
 We weren't allowed to do anything on Thanksgiving unless we were invited to, so we had some extra studying hours that day. We also helped Sna. Silva do some more quincinera prep that morning and she made us breakfast. Haha she is such a firecracker it is awesome. She always has all sorts of crazy stories to tell us. Lupes's quincinera is going to be HUGE. I really want to go! 

 Family Night With the Silva Family
We seemed to have a lot of our teaching appointments cancel on us this week. It was also hard to find people home, which made for a bit of a slow week. But I guess that's what to expect during a holiday week. Last Monday we had another Noche de Hogar with the Silva family. It is really a miracle to be able to get the whole family to gather and learn about the gospel together so I am really happy that could happen. I just wish you could meet this family. They would make you laugh. Hno Silva is such a little smart alec haha. Whenever I ask him a question about the gospel he goes sorry I am busy right now, I can't hear you, etc. And he likes to sing and dance to the Beatles. He is like this 70 year old man and it is awesome. I love them.

A New Investigator
Oh we got this awesome new investigator this week! Her name is Helena. The elders said they stopped by once before and she seemed to have good potential, so we stopped by and started teaching her. She has a husband, and 2 kids but we haven't met her husband yet. She is really sweet, but a bit quiet. To be honest, I am not really sure why she let us start teaching her or why she is listening to the lessons, but she is and she is reading the Book of Mormon too! We taught the Restoration to her and she accepted it really well and then kept her commitment to read the introduction. She seems really open to the restored gospel too so I am really excited to see where this will go! I have a good feeling about it :) It just might be hard to get them to church because Sunday is the only day they both have off so they do all the errands that day. 

A Miracle for Marcus
On Saturday we had another miracle! Do you remember Marcus? The 10 year old boy we taught with Miguel? His mom, Angela is a member that is coming back to church. She didn't want him to get baptized until he was older, but she has changed her mind and decided to allow him. So we were able to set a baptismal date with him on Saturday! We set it for December 21st. So it is going to be such a great Christmas present. We asked him what it meant to him to be baptized and he said that it was a way to get closer to God and to be cleansed from all the bad things that we do. His mom was so impressed by his answer. It really meant a lot to her and showed her that he really did understand this decision that he was making to be baptized. I also gave him the kids version of the Book of Mormon on Saturday, and at church yesterday he told me he had already read 13 chapters! He is such a great kid. Him and Miguel are best friends now and Karen and Angela have become really good friends too. 
Getting ready for the lights to turn on!

Talking to Visitors at the Temple Christmas Lights
Christmas lights started on Friday and it has been such a great experience. We get to talk to soo many people every day! I think my favorite experience so far was yesterday we met a bunch of people from China. There was one couple who was there with their member friend. The member had moved from China a few years ago and had found the gospel, and really wanted us to share with them. She pulled us over and asked us to give them a little tour and teach them a little bit. So we got to take them around and teach them about the Christmas story and about why Christ is so important to us. It was such a neat experience. They were such nice, happy, friendly people. I had never taught anyone that doesn't know about Christ and it just made me so happy that I could teach these people something of such great importance. It just breaks my heart that they don't have the gospel in their lives! I hope that somehow they will be able to accept the gospel.

All the Spanish People Are So Friendly!
I also have been realizing just how much I love the Spanish people. They are so great. I think speaking Spanish is the absolute best. At Christmas lights, (almost) all the Spanish speakers are so friendly and are happy to talk to us. We have met people from all around the world - Guatemala (this awesome guy who actually agreed to have the missionaries call him!), Russia, China, Mexico, Venezuela, France (this probably 60 year old lady that wants Ben to write her in French hahaha She is a member). But yes, it is just a really great experience. It has been hard to find the balance between not being a pushy missionary versus just being a host/tour guide. We don't want to make people feel uncomfortable, but we want to fulfill our purpose also. So hopefully we will get better at that! But it was a great week! I can't believe how fast time is going! It is almost Christmas! Fun! 

How Faith In Christ Works
This week I have been thinking a lot about faith. Every time before Christ healed someone, he always asked them if they had faith to be healed. I am not sure why but that has been really interesting to me. How we have to believe that He can heal us or cleanse us. We have to show that to Him and be firm in our beliefs. I read this great talk today called, "Wilt Thou Be Healed" (Pres Jenkins has invited us to read a conference talk every day this transfer). I just love how much Christ has done for us and how he has no greater desire than to help us. This morning, as I was reading in Alma 31 I was really impressed by Alma's prayer of faith to help his brethren who were lost. He prayed with such faith and sincerity that it all came to pass. It made me realize how great of a power there is in a prayer of faith. How we really can bring miracles about with our faith. Faith truly is a power in our lives that we can use to bring about the will of God. It really made me want to grow my faith and especially be more sincere and diligent in supplicating to my Heavenly Father in faith.

I love you all so much and truly feel SO blessed to have you as my family! I wish you could all understand how much I love you! I hope you have a wonderful week! Know that you are always in my prayers! Stay safe, healthy, and happy! Also please keep me in your prayers.. I got a lovely cold and so pray for me to get healthy quick :) Gotta love being congeste, and my voice is dying. I think Hna Groll is scared that my voice will go out and she will have to teach all the lessons on her own haha. Also, I LOVE Hermana Groll. We get along so well, and we have very similar personality types. It is so fun working with her!
Hna. Groll and me waiting for  Temple Christmas Lights to come on!

Con amor,

Hermana Haynes

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