Sunday, January 5, 2014

Teaching About Jesus Christ at Christmas

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Ano Nuevo!   (From email of12-29-13)

Hi Family and friends! Ahhhh it was SO great seeing you all and talking with you all on Christmas. What a blessing! I miss you all so much and it was so great to hear your voices and see your cute faces. Christmas already seems like a lifetime ago. So crazy. But thanks so much for all the gifts that you all gave me! I feel so spoiled! My teeth are already looking whiter Ben haha.
Christmas in the mission field!

Okay we had some great miracles this week! The Familia Uribe finally came to church on Sunday! YAY!!!! I love that family so much! They have 5 girls and 1 boy. The 2 youngest absolutely love and adore us. It is the cutest thing ever. They are always giving us toys and presents and cookies. We hadn't been able to have a lesson with them for a while, but we did on Friday night. We taught the Plan of Salvation and we did a little puzzle of it with them. The kids loved it. They have 3 girls that are Young Women’s age and the YW leaders are trying to reach out to them now too. (For some reason the girls’ records aren't in this branch so they didn't know about them). They invited us over tomorrow to celebrate the New Years with them, so we are really excited for that. Seriously though, this is the sweetest little family you would ever meet. It is great. They only came for Sacrament meeting, but that was a huge blessing! (The dad had to work, so they had to go pick him up after sacrament meeting.) 2 of the kids would be convert baptisms, so we hope to be able to set baptismal dates up with them soon! I want to help this family get sealed so badly. The Gilbert temple open house is opening in a few weeks, so we are hoping to be able to get their family to that! 

We also had another great miracle! The English elders gave us this investigator to work with that they had been teaching who had a baptismal date. His name is Steve. They gave him us because his mom, Marina, only speaks Spanish and seemed really interested in learning more. So we went over there, and it turns out Mrina is a less active member who we had been trying to find! (The elders had NO idea she was baptized! Haha, they were like "that's what you get for not knowing spanish!"). She is the SWEETEST little viejita abuelita you will ever meet. I absolutely adore her. She has gotten pretty sick, she has to do dialysis 3 times a week and it’s pretty hard for her. Steve just lost his job too, so things  are a bit hard for them right now. Marina wants to come back to church so badly though, and is so happy that her son is joining her! (She just got baptized a year ago and is the only member in her family). Steve really likes the gospel, and agreed to be baptized on the 25th of January! They both came to our cute little Spanish branch yesterday!

OH I FORGOT TRANSFER NEWS!!!!!! I AM STAYING HERE ANOTHER TRANSFER WITH HERMANA GROLL! YAY! I am sooooooo happy! That is 5 transfers here (maybe more?? :)) Seriously, I adore this place. We have SO much potential for the month of January, and it will be so great because Christmas lights are ending so we will have more time in the area. 
Yay!  I get to stay with Hna Groll for another transfer!

On Monday we made tamales and tortillas with the Familia Rojas (Lupe’s family). It was super fun. That family is always so crazy and it is a blast. I love it. Everyone makes tamales for Christmas, so people have been giving us some and they are super yummy! I just can't even express how much I love my mission and how much I love these people. They are so so great. We have been trying to teach a lot of people, continue working with the less active members and recent converts, and just trying to talk and share with EVERYONE. This area has soooo much potential! 
Making tamales for Christmas
Rollin out the toritillas!

This next week will be a great one. We have a New Year’s party on Wednesday! Just like how we had a Christmas one. We are having a New Years one for the whole mission! Okay, I know this is super annoying, but could someone get me a blue tooth keyboard thing that I could use for my ipad? They are so great. That way I can use my email time more effectively, and put my journal on the ipad. I went to target today to get one and it was $80, so I was like no way. But if you could find one cheaper online, I would so appreciate it and pay you back.  (Editor’s note, Rachelle sent one to her. :o)  )

Yesterday at the Christmas lights, this 14 year old girl gave us cookies haha because a few weeks ago she had us try these cumquats that grew on the temple grounds and they were disgusting. It was soo sweet of her to remember us and look for us. She brought her whole family to meet us too. We meet so many cool people at the Christmas lights, it is so fun. People are FASCINATING. Everyone has a different story and a different cool background. I learn so much from all of them and they help me shape my life and figure out who I want to be.

A lady who told us on her mission she never felt like she was fulfilling all that she could.

One of my favorite things to do is to ask the elderly people or the return missionaries for advice. They always have the greatest things to say. One sweet tender mercy was a lady who told us on her mission she never felt like she was fulfilling all that she could or that she was good enough, but she prayed about it and God told her one word, "enough". It really brought tears to my eyes. She just told us how she knew God thought our sacrifices and our efforts were enough, that He was pleased with us. That is really all that I want to do is to please Heavenly Father. I just want to serve Him and serve His children.

Also, a week or so ago we were walking in these apts and this man, Manolo, stopped us. He had gotten baptized in a different branch 6 months ago and just moved to our area. He was SO happy to see us! He recited all these scriptures that he had memorized, and finally came to our branch because he knew someone now! God is always placing people on our path. He knows EXACTLY where His children are.

Well, that is pretty much how the week went. Just keeping busy and trying to do my best. Learning more and more every day. I am just trying to cherish every single minute of this. I feel so blessed and privileged to be able to serve a mission. It is such a sacred opportunity. I know that this is the Lord's work and that sharing the gospel is the most important thing we could ever do! I love you all so much!

Con amor,
Hermana Haynes

A little more Christmas fun!

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