Sunday, January 26, 2014

She Decided To Pray and Ask If The Book Of Mormon Was True.

Hola familia and friends! (1-20-14)

We had another great week here! Seriously time goes so fast I can't even remember what happens. Some days it feels like we are on the top of the world and nothing can bring us down, and then the next day it feels like we will need all sorts of miracles to have the success haha but that is mission life. Gotta love it! But no, this was a really great week and we have a lot of progressing investigators. I don't think I have ever taught so many prepared people at once. This area is booming! It's sad to think that I most likely only have a few weeks left here. I have become so attached to all these people and this little branch! 
Our branch president's little daughter. So cute!

How our investigators are doing
Okay so I am thinking maybe I will just give a little run down of how our investigators are doing? Maybe. Marni and Luis are doing well. We watched The Joseph smith movie with them at the Visitor’s CEnter and they really liked it. Then we taught them about the Atonement. We invited her to talk to her boss and change her work schedule, and she tried! He said no, but she already has another job lined up so she can not work Sundays! Such a miracle! So probably in about 2 weeks she will start coming to church and then probably 3 weeks after they can get baptized! In her prayer once she said, "we WILL become Mormon" haha it was so awesome. It's like she wanted to get baptized before she even talked to us.

Was Steve concerned about already having been baptized?
Steve is still doing super awesome. Seriously, the people we are working with are SO prepared! We were a bit worried because he seemed to be having issues with the Godhead and getting baptized again, so we fasted for him and we prepared a lesson to confront his doubts. When we taught the lesson, it was like he hadn't ever even worried about it at all. He accepted it all so easily. And we committed him to officially be baptized on the first of February! Then we realized that that's stake conference, so we aren't sure what to do about that... But he is getting baptized! Soon!

A Double Serving
His little mom, Marina is the greatest. She made us ceviche and oh man, that was so hard for me.... It is shrimp and octopus in tomato juice with a mix of vegetables.... I tried so hard to eat it but really couldn't. And I had already eaten and we needed to get home. So I told her that I loved it but was very full and could I please take it home and eat it tomorrow. And of course because I loved it so much she gave me more! It was really kind of her. Dad you will be so proud of me though, I did try a little bite of the octopus! It really didn't taste like too much actually.

He really wanted to be good, but didn’t know how
We are teaching this other guy named Rono and he is super great. His whole life he was pretty much a gangster and really into drugs and stuff. He was in jail for 6 years and just got out a few weeks ago. He wants to change SO So badly. He told us that he wants to be good so badly, he just doesn't know how. I told him about how we went on a hike and he was like - you see I have never even been hiking. I don't know how to do good things like that. But he is trying so hard to avoid those bad things. It is so cool when we teach him. The Spirit is always there so strong. I can just feel how much god loves him and wants him to have the gospel in his life. It really just strengthens my testimony that there's really nothing that we cannot overcome with the Atonement. Christ wants every single one of us to be able to be clean and free from the burden of sin. I know that Christ is our Savior and that we can be cleansed through Him. It feels so good to be able to testify of that to Rono. He really doesn't know anything about God or religion so we have to go slow. But he speaks English and I can't tell you how awesome it is to teach in English! Man that I can actually express myself and explain myself in an understandable way? Haha it's amazing.

Going to the temple open house
We got to go to the temple this week! It was awesome! It's really great. I love the strength and the eternal perspective that comes from going to the temple. I feel so blessed that we get to attend. At the same time it is hard living right next door and not being able to go more often! Oh we found out we are going to the Gilbert temple open house! We are going with the Silva family (like Lupe's family). Super excited! They are always such a riot so we will see how it goes!
I love the temple!

Manuel and work for the dead
We also talked with Manuel this week about family history work and he is so excited to get started and do baptisms for the dead! I can't wait for him. He didn't realize he could do it already, so he was pretty excited to find out. He has also decided that everyone time we come over he needs to make us a meal, which he is a really good cook but man once we already ate dinner and he had these plates prepared with so much food! We are trying to get a family from the branch to invite him and Lupita to the open house.

We had exchanges this week and that was a really great experience. Our leader this time was Hna Gastelum and she is actually from Mesa. It's always fun having a little variety like that and we get to learn more.

She prayed about the Book of Mormon
Marta is doing really great too! She said that after we left one day, she had friends call her and start saying bad things about her boyfriend. She was wondering why after she felt so happy after our lesson, why people were trying to make her upset. So she decided to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon is true. She said that she started reading it and just felt so peaceful. She got her answer and is so excited to learn more! She is always so happy when we come over!

What we struggle with
So, the thing we are struggling with is getting our investigators to church.  We are really working with so many great people that I really do believe will get baptized, but they can't until they come to church. We have been praying and fasting for it, talking about it in every lesson, explaining how church is, talking about the blessings of church, inviting them to sacrifice to attend church. We were hoping that we would have a good amount this week, but only Steve came. And he had to leave for Sacrament meeting. It was a bit of a bummer for me because now I probably won't be here to see these people get baptized. (All that matters is that they do get baptized though!) And it's a bummer that they aren't making that step. But I know this week will get better! Please pray that our investigators will attend church this week!  I love these people so much. 
Sunsets here are GORGEOUS!

How about rejection?
Ti asked to hear about the people who reject us. Haha we do get rejected, but not a ton. The thing is that we don't really do any tracting. We pretty much just work with investigators and less active members. Also, Mexicans absolutely hate to disappoint people to their face. That's a big part of their culture. Hardly anybody will say no to you (only very strong Catholics or JWs) but they won't commit to a return appointment. Or if they do, they don't answer the door. It's really funny. You will go there and knock and sometimes even wave to them through the window, and they will just pretend like they don't see you. Luckily people let us down politely most of the time.

Well, I am doing really well! I love the mission so much. I can't imagine what my life would be like without it. It's hard, but so so rewarding. I am learning so much and just trying to learn and better myself. I just want to be the most effective servant of The Lord that I can be. I love and miss you all so much. I am so grateful for your support and love. It really keeps me going!

Con amor,
Hermana Haynes
I still love pickles!
Every meeting that we have 10% of it is dedicated to after mission preparation. Sister Orr was teaching us tornado survival haha

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