Sunday, January 5, 2014

Marcos' Baptism.

¡Buenas tardes mi familia! (Email 12-23-13)

¿Están listos para la Navidad? Estoy muy animada para verles! Es muy pronto! Espero que todos tengan una hermosa Navidad!

This was a fun week! I can't remember too well what we did, but it was really good! Can you believe Christmas is just 2 days away? And then it's 2014? Man time flies by so fast. This week was a busy one as usual, but it was great! Marcos got baptized on Saturday and that was a great experience. He is such a sweetie. They invited a lot of their non member friends and family too, so that was great. We always teach the Restoration while they are changing, and some of them seemed pretty receptive! I just love the spirit that is always there at a baptism. You can just feel how happy Heavenly Father is with the decision that person is making. It really is the gateway to the path to eternal life! 

The Spirit was very sweet at Marcos' baptism


On Friday night we had the branch Christmas party and that was so fun. Mexicans have the yummiest Christmas drinks. Ponche y champurrado son muy ricos. It's like Mexican Apple cider and hot chocolate and it is way better than the American stuff. I love it though because even the church parties are Mexican style. They last til like midnight and they have piña tad and the Mexican music blasting and tamales and all the good stuff. It's so fun, they had  pisoli  and menudo which are there 2 favorite soups. I stay away from the menudo though because it has cow stomach in it and most people don't like it haha. But the party was so fun! The familia Uribe came so that was super good! And this less active Kim came too! We have been working a lot with them so we e super happy that they came! Kim's husband isn't a member, but we are trying to start teaching him. Kim asked if we could have a noche de hogar  on the plan of salvation so we are doing that tonight with presidente López's family. We are really happy about this opportunity.

We also had zone conference on Friday and that was really great. It was a very spiritual experience. The assistants gave this training on how to work better with the members (which is especially hard in Spanish work because the members just really don't have the same strength or numbers). The goal of the whole mission is to have a member out with is every single hour that we are out proselyting, even if we don't have appointments scheduled. We sent around a little signup sheet in relief society and told them about our goal and they seemed pretty excited about it , for the first week they actually signed up for every hour! So that was such a blessing! The assistants also showed us a good way to train our members that go out with us - like helping them know exactly what principles to share their testimonies about, teaching them to invite the investigators to church and offering them a ride, and praying for our investigators by name in their personal and family prayers. We also hope to be able to help the members reach out to our investigators and less active members on their own, without us there. Like stop by with cookies, invite them over for dinner, etc. if we can get to the point where we are able to successfully and consistently work with the members like this, we are going to see so many miracles! President talked about how Nephi built a boat and how he had to rely on The Lord to build it in exactly in the Lords way. The Lord knew exactly how it should turn out, what tools to use, what steps to take. President Jenkins said we are building a ship in our areas right now. It's not going to start out as a cruise ship, but we build it up piece by piece on the Lords way. We also got trained on a presentation that we will show the members friends before they take them through the Gilbert temple open house that is opening in a few weeks! President Jenkins is trying to work out a way for us to all be able to go over and check it out!

We have been receiving a lot of referrals from the Christmas lights so we have been trying to contact them all. It's a bit hard though to find them home, or they give us fake addresses. The elders in the English ward gave us one of their investigators this week that has a baptismal date. His name is mike and they gave him to us because his mom only speaks Spanish and was really interested in our message. Turns out his mom is actually a less active member from our branch that no one has been able to find because her address was wrong on the records. They are a great family so we are really excited to work with them. Their names are Steve and Marina. Marina is the sweetest old lady and it's really sad because she has to do dialysis 3 times a week and it's pretty hard on her. We also have been teaching Tina, and she is really great. She is a former and her boyfriend is a recent convert/less active. I really like her though and hope so badly to see them get married, baptized, and sealed. We actually have a pretty large teaching pool, but it's a bit hard because no one is really progressing right now. We are having a hard time getting our investigators to church, and it's hard to consistently have lessons with people because of the holiday schedules and our Christmas lights schedules. So this week we have a few people that we are going to try to focus on and really focus on helping them to keep the commitment to attend church this Sunday. January will be such a great month with all of these potential people to teach, more time in the area, and the craziness of the holiday season died down. (I really hope I am still here for January! Transfers are on New Year's Day so I will find out on Saturday !)
Hnas. Groll and Haynes near Temple Lights

Well, I am truly just loving every minute of my mission. I was talking with Sister Groll today about how people thank us for our service, and tell us that this is such hard work, etc. but really to me this is just pure joy. It doesn't even feel like work or a sacrifice at all because I enjoy it so much and feel so blessed. I wouldn't trade this opportunity for the world. I know I have such a long ways to go to become the person and missionary I want to be and The Lord wants me to be, but imam consistently making changes and striving to improve. I think that's one of the thongs that hit me the hardest at zone conference - the reality of change. I feel like that is something I have seen so much in myself and in others on my mission: change. I have changed in ways that I didn't even realize that I needed to before. The gospel has become so much more of a reality to me and I have been able to really root myself to it. These people that I meet, I just see their potential. We really are children of God and have infinite divine potential. Every single one of us can reach it, can change our nature, can receive forgiveness for our sins, can overcome our flaws, temptations, and weaknesses. And all of that is possible because of the love of our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. Christ loved us so much that He was willing to come to this fallen world as a little baby, so humble. He came for us to allow us to overcome all. And that is what Christmas is all about! I am so grateful for that kind of love and hope that is in our lives!

I love you all so much and hope you have a great Christmas! 

Con amor,
Hermana Haynes
 I love my wonderful district! We do weekly planning together and just make the gym our living room. It spices the missionary life up a little bit.

Skype details: here is my plan

Skype at dads: 12 pm; skype at moms: 12:25 
Let me know ASAP if that does or doesn't work. And of someone could look up my skype username ASAP too that would be awesome.

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