Sunday, December 1, 2013

Strengthening Testimonies of Jesus Christ

Hi Family!!!       (From email of 11-18-13)

Another week done. Time just flies by and it breaks my heart! I can't believe this transfer is already ending. So... Transfer news!!! I am.... being switched to English work! Just kidding... I am staying in Liahona 3rd branch! YAY!!! Seriously I never want to leave this branch. Ever. It has been progressing so well lately. The members are making so many improvements and it’s so great to see. And guess what! I am training again! I am super excited! I am sad to have to leave Hna. Demille though. She will be serving in the Liahona 1st branch. I've lived with her my whole mission and she has grown to be one of my best friends so I am super sad for her to leave. I am super excited though. I love this area so much and I am really excited to train. It's always so fun to work with new missionaries because they are so excited to be out in the field and have such great enthusiasm for the work!

Lots of miracles!
So this week, we spent a lot of time passing out invitations to the turkey dinner and meeting with all of the less active members in the branch. We had a lot of miracles! I can't even tell you! I think I officially know probably about 90% of the people in the branch now. It feels so good to really know and love the members that I work with. They are the greatest people. I feel so blessed to be serving here. We found a lot of potentials while visiting the less active members because they almost all have part member families. Yesterday we went and met a less active sister for the first time (Carmen). Her husband(?) Tito sat in on the lesson and had lots of questions and wants to learn more! We set up a return appointment with them on Wednesday. I really just have such a passion for working with these less active members. I'm not sure why. It just feels really good to help those people who have already made covenants with the Lord. It feels really good to strengthen the branch in the way that it really needs strengthening right now. And when they have nonmember family living with them, it is killing 2 birds with one stone! Reactivating and teaching investigators! I just think of John and Karen and how well that worked out for them! The Uribe family has been a little harder to get a hold of, but we had 2 lessons with them this week. 

Softening hears and preparing for a quincinera.
Monday was a really, really great day. We had a noche de hogar with Lupe’s! It was a miracle! They all gathered together and listened to our lesson. Seriously, it is so hard to get them all in the same room, let alone to listen to us. But they did and there was a great spirit there. Lupe's mom, heart has really been softening lately. She has been very less active for a very long time and has not had much desire to go back. We have been going over a lot doing service with her to get things ready for Lupe's huge quincinera in March and ever since Lupe's baptism she has been starting to be a little more receptive to our messages. I know it will take lots of time and work, but I know that she will find her place again. She has such a good heart and the only thing she wants to do is be a good mom. She has just gotten a little lost along the way. She is hilarious though. She loves to make fun of our accents and imitate us haha.

 We sang together
After that, we went and visited the Uribe family and it went really well. Then after, we went to a member's house across the street that we thought were less active, but they aren't. The cute little grandma let us in with a big hug and immediately went to the kitchen and made yummy Mexican hot chocolate and cookies for us. The member we visited is the branch organist and he LOVES music. We told him we could sing, so we sang a song with them while he played the piano and he was so happy. His parents live with him and they are the cutest little mexican grandparents in the entire world. (Me: Soy soprano! Hna Maughan: Soy alto! Cute Grandpa: Soy David!) I just really liked that night so I thought I would tell you about it haha.

Fellow shipping and turkey dinner.
The Turkey Dinner went SOOO well! We had so many miracles! This cute little less active sister we invited showed up. She was so nervous because she didn't know anyone, so she waited for us to get there in the car, and when she walked in a sister in the branch welcomed her right away and fellowshipped her so well. We had a really good number of less active members and nonmembers there. Especially people that had hadn't come in a long time. It was great.

Afterwards, we packed up all the leftovers and delivered them to all of the members that didn't come. It was a really fun experience. One of the members of our branch presidency (Hno. Tolman) is so passionate about helping these less active members. He really ran the show and, unfortunately, was left with a big responsibility of handing out most of the dinners. I am so grateful for his dedicated service though. 

 Recognizing a dream and having a change of heart
Juan and Ana are doing SO well. I can't even tell you. Their whole family is progressing wonderfully. Even their kids are really interested. I was a bit worried for Ana because she hadn't been as into it as Juan, and she didn't really feel like she was getting answers to her prayers. But on Friday we had such a big miracle. We took them to the visitor's center, and there is just such a great Spirit at that place. We took them through a great exhibit about God's plan for families, took them to a little corner about prophets and listened to President Monson's testimony, then we ended at the Christus statue. When we sat down at the Christus, Adriana's face just changed. She told us that she had seen something that looked so much like the Christus with the background of the stars behind it in a dream that she remembers so clearly. When we listened to the presentation, you could just see on her face how strongly she was feeling the Spirit. Afterwards, when we talked about it, she wept and felt like she received an answer to her prayers. It was such a beautiful experience. The Spirit was so strong. They have already come to church for 4 weeks. We need to talk to them about marriage still, but I think they will accept it easily. We are trying to get them to agree to a baptismal date, but they think that they don't know enough. I know they will though, in the Lord's time. They are such a great family!

Another miracle!
Also on Friday we had another miracle! We have this investigator named Manolo who loves learning but always randomly goes to Mexico for long periods of time and we never know when he is coming back. He called us and said he and his girlfriend (Emilia) wanted to meet with us! Emilia and her family have been taking the lessons in Mexico and have a baptismal date set for December. Manolo just loves Emilia so much and is so excited to learn and get baptized because he wants to marry her in the temple for eternity! He said this would be the last weekend in Mexico, but if it is not, we will be able to teach him via Skype. I just hope that he really gains a testimony of the gospel, though, instead of rushing it for his girlfriend. We will make sure he is really keeping his commitments and truly developing a testimony.

They are changing the area boundaries again because we will only have 2 sets of missionaries in the branch again. I will be covering the north area and the elders the south, so I might lose both Ana & Juan's family and Manolo. I really don't know yet. I will get the map on Wednesday. It is a bit annoying transferring all these people back and forth all the time. I will probably be getting a lot of people back that I gave to the Elders last transfer. 

The Lord has everything planned to give us true and lasting happiness and joy.
I just want you to know how much I love the Lord. I have really been impressed lately with how perfect His plan is. He is so aware of every single one of His children, and has a plan for each one of our lives. If we trust Him, everything will work out. He is in the very little details of our lives. He has everything planned to give us true, lasting happiness and joy. I have been studying lately the missions of Alma and the sons of Mosiah in the Book of Alma, and I am just so impressed by them. All the success that they had was because of their dedication to the Lord. They trusted Him perfectly and worked so diligently. All that they ever wanted to do was to follow the guidance of the Spirit and serve and love the people around them. People were touched by their examples of sincere love and charity. I know that as we learn to love others like that, and as we learn to completely trust the Lord, He will direct our paths and make sure that all things work together for our good.

I love you all so much and feel so blessed to have such a supportive family as all of you! You are always in my prayers!


Hermana Haynes

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