Sunday, March 23, 2014

I Know That God Tests And Tries Us In The Ways That Help Us Grow

Hi family and friends!! (Email 3-17-14)

Do you know what's crazy? This is the last week of the transfer already. It's transfer planning this week. I feel like I JUST got to Arboleda! I don't know how that happened! Well, we had a really great week this week. It's awesome, each week we are getting better and better and our area is progressing more and more. It was hard the first couple of weeks, but I know that God tests and tries us in the ways we need to best grow. We still have a lot more progress to make, but I am so happy with the direction things are going! We were able to find 10 new investigators this week! Isn't that awesome? And we found some promising potential investigators! Our teaching pool is really starting to grow! Yay! Now we need to focus on helping this investigators that we do have to start progressing towards baptism. 

On Monday night, we went to Paula's house and were able to set a baptismal date for her and one of her old daughters! It is going to be on April 12th. They are so, so excited for it. It was funny we were talking at the beginning of the lesson (already planning on extending a date) and she starts telling us who she is going to have baptize her, etc. We were like, ok she is definitely ready. She came to church again this week and really enjoyed it. We are hoping to get her older daughter on board too, but she is pretty confused about what to do. She did go to mutual this week though! We also taught Paula the word of wisdom on this weekend. Seriously I have never met someone with so much faith before! She accepted it so well. She does drink a cup of coffee every morning though because she has to wake up at 4am for work, but she committed to live The Word of Wisdon, and is going to try as hard as she can to let go of coffee. She was so positive about it too! She was like, well at least I will save $12 more a month! I offered that we would do something hard with her too so that she doesn't have to feel like she is doing it alone. So Hna Brons and I are waking up at 6 every morning and are running 15 minutes at least. I have just fallen in love with this family. Paula is going through some really tough trials and she is so strong, faithful, and positive. Just really trying to provide her children with the best that she can. She is an awesome cook too, haha she doesn't let us leave her apartment empty handed.
Hna. Brons and me.

I went on exchanges this week with Hna Ricks and that was super fun. She is such an awesome missionary. She is such a great example of talking with everyone. She literally talks with every single person that she sees. Even if we are driving she rolls down the window and starts talking to them. And she does it in such a natural, welcoming way. We found a new person who seems to have a lot of potential that way! He was standing in his driveway and she was like, pull over and roll down the window. I got this one. We totally taught him and he said a prayer with us not even getting out of the car.

Got locked out after exchanges so of course we had to take pictures while we waited.
 We went and did service for an Hermana in our ward and it was so fun! We picked her fruit trees for her! And then she gave us the fruit... So she somehow changed it to be her doing service for us! She has been really stressed out though lately so I am glad we could help relieve some stress.

Totally climbed up into all those trees.  We have so many grapefruit in our house!
We had a lesson with a new investigator Esteban, and it went really well. Hna Brons and Ricks found him when they were on exchanges. He seemed to sincerely ponder everything and the spirit was there strong. He had to reschedule the return appt but hopefully we can see him soon. We also were able to teach Carmen’s teenage daughter for the first time this week, and it went really well. She is so sweet and really timid. Then she came and played volleyball with us and some members a few days later! We are thinking that Carmen's faith and desire might grow as she can see the gospel bless and strengthen her daughter’s life. 

We were also able to find this awesome new family! We were trying to contact some former investigators, but theses people live there now. And you will never guess what! The mom is the sister to one of the members from Liahona third Branch! When I went over to this member’s house for thanksgiving dinner I met this family! Isn't that so crazy! She was talking about how she has some family that are members and I asked what their names are and we just put the pieces together! I just adore that family so I am really excited to be able to teach their sister’s family now.

On Friday we had zone conference and it was good. We talked about a bunch of different topics, a lot about going back to the basics and teaching pure doctrine. Also about how we can help increase people’s faith and help them to repent to lead them to take the step of baptism. Hermana Brons and I gave a training in receiving revelation through prayer. President Jenkins said the Spanish zones are the cream of the crop in the mission!

Last night we had a member missionary fireside where recent converts, the mission president, the bishop, and the stake president spoke in the Arboleda ward. Not too many people came, but it was still a good experience. I organized a musical number and my district sang the EFY medley in Spanish. It was really cool! And guess who showed up!!! Manuel and his kids! And presidente Lopez and Hno Lagunas all from L3! Ahhhh I was sooo so happy! It was so good to see them all again. They sound like the branch is doing really well and growing! Averaging 90-100 people at sacrament now because of people moving in and less active members coming back. It made me so happy to hear! 

Well, that was my week! It was really good! We are just really going to work on helping our investigators start progressing and really become converted this week. We really want them to have spiritual experiences on their own. There is a good chance they are going to close the other sisters’ area in the north next transfer and we will be covering the whole ward by ourselves, but we will find out on Saturday. 

Something I have been thinking a lot about lately is faith. I think so often we under use the power of faith in our lives. I always think that I have faith because I don't doubt any principles of the gospel, but faith is expressed in many other ways as well. I need to have faith that God is preparing and involved in the life of every person that I see. Faith to overcome our weaknesses and faults. Faith to love and give of myself. Faith to accomplish anything through Christ! Something else that I read this morning that I really liked was "perfect love casteth out all fear."

I love and miss you all so much! Happy St Patrick’s day! You are the best!

Con amor,
Hermana Haynes 
My package from New Zealand finally came! (Ok I wish it was mine).
Spaghetti on toast. A New Zealand Classic of course.
Gypsy the dog doing service with the district again.
Our winco adventure! That's a lot of candy!

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