Sunday, January 12, 2014

More Joy Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Hi Family & Friends! (From Email of 1-6-14)

We had such a great week! It was so fun! The week goes by so fast, but then thinking back, it feels like those things happened so long ago. First of all, thanks Rachelle for the keyboard! I love it!

Temple Open House Guides
So Christmas lights finished up this week. (I can't believe that that was just this week!) It was a bitter sweet experience. It was so fun to work there, but so nice to have time in our area again. We have gotten some really good referrals from the lights too, so it is awesome. We just found out, though, that we are going to be able to work at the Gilbert Temple Open House! How awesome is that??? Before we were told, that if anything, we might go over there as a mission. But now, we get to work two 5-hour shifts. Oh man I am so, so excited. What a special opportunity that is! And on Saturday, apostle Jeffrey R. Holland is coming! I swear, it is always one thing after another. Seriously, I got sent to the best mission in the entire world. I don't know how I ever got so blessed. I have had so many special, once in a life time opportunities here. I love, love, love it. 

New Year’s Eve
So New Year's Eve was super fun. The Uribe family invited us over for a big dinner with them. That family just melts my heart. Love them. We ate a ton of food... Gorditas, tamales, pastel, champurrado, brownies. Had to end the year with a bang, right?? Then, we went and had our last shift at the lights! Hermana Maughan actually came back and saw the lights, so it was really fun to see her again. She seems to be doing really well. This man came and talked to us about how we are really preparing now for the Second Coming and how we are fighting the last fight. It has just really been hitting me lately how we are really in the last days. It is crazy to me that God chose us to be here at this important time. 
Hna. Groll and me at Temple Lights.  The stickers on our name tags that says Espanol are so that people will know we can speak with them in Spanish if they want.

Mission New Year’s Party
On Wednesday, we had a Mission New Year’s party! It was SO fun! Believe it or not, but the weather is absolutely perfect right now. We went outside and played kickball, human foosball, do you love your neighbor, sand volleyball, all sorts of fun stuff. It was so fun. And then each zone got assigned a scripture story and we had skits. And they gave us lunch and dinner. Haha President's challenge for the transfer is for our mission to lose 1,000 pounds because we are all getting fat. They had scales out where we weighed ourselves, and the next time we have zone conferences they are going to bring them out. Our goal is to lose 5 pounds by then. (soooo don't send me any food or anything please! unless its healthy!) That was on transfer day, so a bunch of missionaries had a party for their first day. Isn't that funny?

Prompted by the spirit
We weren't really supposed to go out and proselyte New Years Eve just because there were so many parties/drunk drivers out. We didn't know that though, and we had an appt. But when we got to the apartment buildings, we just both had a feeling that we shouldn't go out that night. It was weird. We prayed about it, and just felt like we needed to go back home. So we did. Don't know why, but you never doubt the Spirit, right? :) (don't worry, I am completely fine and safe haha!) But it was nice, we had some extra time to study and ponder and prayerfully set goals for the new year. 

How he felt when he prayed for the first time
We went out on Thursday and tried to contact the appt we missed on Wednesday (with Steve), but he wasn't home, so we went to a referral that lived right above him, Roberto. The referral said to visit him on Wednesdays, but we thought we would give it a try anyways. So it went awesome. Roberto was super interested in learning more. He speaks English well. We kind of briefly went over the Restoration with him, and he kept saying, "wow, that is so awesome." It turns out he works from 9-9 every day except Wednesdays, but he happened to get off early that day and was home. He even took that as a sign from God. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon, and he told us how he was really looking for more direction in his life right now and was hoping to find it in that book. We invited him to pray, but he didn't know how, so we taught him. He wasn't scared to try at all. After he prayed, we asked him how he felt. He said, (ok not exact quote, but close enough) "wow that was so cool. I feel lighter. I feel something really special. I don't know how to describe it. It's like I really just connected with God." Guys, it was SO great! And he wants to go to the open house! Just wish he had more time in his schedule! (he works at a Vietnamese restaurant Ti! He offered us free food haha)

Invitations to be baptized
On Friday, we had another lesson with the Uribe family. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then we invited the two kids, Malia and Donato, to be baptized. We gave them Book of Mormons probably about a month ago, and Malia is already almost done with Alma. She's only 10 years old. Can you even believe that? I don't really think anyone else in her family is even reading much. When we invited her to be baptized, she was SO excited and said yes right away. We set her up with a date for the 24th! Donato, who is 9, said he wants to learn more (like about the Book of Mormon, and when Jesus was born, etc hahahaha that kid cracks me up). His family told us though that really it’s because he is scared of water. We tried telling him that we can make the font less deep for him, etc but he didn't want to commit to anything. Pray for him that he can overcome that fear and understand how important it is! And pray for us so that we can know how to help him! They all came to church on Sunday (well except the dad and one girl), but with the time switch at church we now start with Sunday school, and they had to go pick their dad up from work in an hour or so, so they left. I was super bummed about that. But hopefully they will stay for all 3 hours next time. At least for Sacrament meeting.
Singing in front of the statue of the Christus at the Visitors Center.  I'm in the front on the right.

Please pray for our investigators
We decided that this transfer we really want to focus on Steve and on the Familia Uribe because they are so close! We weren't able to see Steve as much as we liked, but we had a lesson with him Saturday about the Restoration, and he came to church on Sunday. He is super prepared. He has a strong belief in God and already could recognize the Spirit in his life. The only thing that might hold him back is feeling like he doesn't know enough. So please keep him and the Familia Uribe in your prayers. We have a noche de hogar with the Familia Uribe and Presidente Lopez's family tonight, and a lesson with Steve, so we are super excited.

More miracles
We have contacted some referrals that seem pretty promising, so we are excited about that. This area has SO much potential. Seriously, we see miracles every single day. Yes, we do spend a lot of our time knocking doors that don't open, or that do open and aren't really interested in talking to us. But yes, we do get to help so many people and touch so many lives. There is so much good to be done! We had an awesome miracle yesterday! The husband of one of our new members has not been open to learning about the gospel. But yesterday we went over to visit them, and only found the husband, sitting in his truck. He said he just got off the phone with Mexico and was sad because he missed them.  He ended up really opening up to us. He told us about how he knows there is just something different about us. How we are so sure of ourselves and always do good things. He said when he goes to our church he really feels something different inside. He said he has been praying to know if it’s true, but just hasn't gotten an answer. We were able to really bare our testimonies to him about how this gospel was something for him. He is scared to leave behind the family tradition of his current church, but we told him that God just has more blessings that He wants to give him. We told him how the Spirit touches our hearts and how to recognize it. We invited him to read more from the Book of Mormon and to pray with a specific question. He told us that we could come back to share more of our message with him, and that he would allow his son to be baptized! It was so great. We will see how it goes!

One more picture at Temple Lights!  I loved serving here SO much!

The work is going great. There is so much to do! I know that The Lord is preparing people. He loves every single one of His children and wants them all to have it. That is something that I love about the gospel. It doesn't matter who we are, what our backgrounds are, or what we have been through - the gospel is literally for every single one of us. There's not a single person that we walk by on the street that doesn't need the gospel. One of my goals is to be bolder in sharing it, to really fulfill the magnitude of my responsibilities and calling as a representative of Jesus Christ. I know that we can work miracles with our faith. Part of our mission statement is that "we expect and facilitate daily miracles." The Lord will provide the way!

I love you all so much and miss you tons! Hope all is well with you! You are always in my prayers!

Con amor,

Hermana Haynes


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