Sunday, March 16, 2014

Learning To Trust In Heavenly Father More Each Day

Hi family and Friends!!   (Email of 3-10-14)

It’s so good to hear from you all! Sounds like things are going great for all of you and that you are having a great week! We are too! Each week the work is picking up more and more and we feel like the pace is picking up! I am so grateful for that. It hasn't been perfect getting started in this new area, but it is definitely moving more and more in the right direction every week, and that's really all we can ask for. I feel very blessed. But this week was really great!

So Monday we started off with a noche de hogar with Paula! Man, I just love her and her kids so much. They are super prepared. We went with our ward mission leader's family because they live right across the street and have kids about the same age. We taught the 10 commandments and played a fun charade game with it, and the kids really liked it. They seemed to hit it off really well. Haha funniest thing, when we were introducing ourselves we all had to say what we like to do, and Manuelito, (her 5yr old son) said, "me gusta buscar vacas". We were like uhhhh okay. hahaha I guess he likes to look for cows in his spare time? His family in Mexico lives on a farm. (Now that I think about it I don't think I have seen a cow since I have been here... weird. I did see a turkey though the other day!)

We had a bunch of meetings this week. Tuesday we had district meeting and a 3 week technology training when Sis Brons got her ipad! Then that night we went and taught Carmen About faith and what it means to have faith - how we can show it. She just has a hard time grasping what we are saying, so it's hard to figure out how to help her. Then we went and taught Lisa afterwards. Lisa has a son that's a member. Her son is the only member in his family and just got back from his mission. She already believes everything and loves the church, but has a lot of fears that are holding her back from being baptized. There's another woman we are working with, Victoria who has a 18 year old son who is the only member in his family too that we've been trying to work with. I don't know why but I really have such a strong desire to help these two women accept the gospel. I want so badly for these kids just about my age to have their family united in the gospel, to have their family have these blessings in their lives. I just can't imagine how much these people are dying for their mothers to accept the gospel. It really makes me want to help them! I am just praying that they will be more receptive to it. They are both really nice and always let us in, haha but a lot of times they like to just talk and not listen. But we are working on that! We have been trying to share the family proclamation with both of them to help them understand how the gospel can bless their family.

Anyway, we were going over the Family Proc with Lisa and just as we were finishing up some missionaries from another religion showed up haha. They came in and looked pretty uncomfortable that we were there, but we just asked if we could end in a prayer with them. They didn't really want too... I just prayed that they would enjoy reading the Bible and would learn together. haha it was a bit of a funny/awkward experience.

Wednesday we got to go to the temple, and I was so grateful for that. The Spirit in the temple is incomparable to anything else. I love it so much. Sometimes I start to get overwhelmed/hard on myself/stressed, but the temple just fills you with peace. It's so wonderful. I left the temple with so much hope for this area! And the rest of that day was full of miracles!
So last week our key indicators were absolutely horrible and I felt pretty bad about that. We were able to improve SO much this week! On Wednesday alone, we got 2 member presents, set a baptismal date, and found a new investigator! A day full of blessings! We were finally able to contact Rosa and that went really well. She already has a strong testimony of everything, she just works 13 hour days so it is really, really hard to find her. We went over the restoration with her, and were able to set a baptismal date with her for April 5th! This is like her 3rd date though, and she has work every other Sunday, so it is going to take a lot of work and faith to help her to reach that goal. I really hope everything can come together for her.

We were then able to contact this referral we got for a 16 year old boy named Jorge. He really has no religious background at all - doesn't even know who God is. He is really open to learning though. We will just have to teach him slowly to help him understand. His younger siblings like to come out and talk with us too! We are hoping to meet his mom soon, but she stays in the house mostly.

That night we had another lesson with Paula and a sister from the ward came. Her older daughter who is a little bit more reserved is really starting to warm up to us. Paula came to church yesterday to Arboleda ward for the first time, and it was such an answer to prayers. I was worried about the switch for her into this ward, but the members did such a great job fellowshipping her. They just took her right in! We have another lesson with them tonight and are going to extend them a baptismal date for April 12th. I really hope it goes well! This family is just so special to us, and they are so prepared! They are going through a lot of hard things right now, but are finding comfort through their faith.

Friday we had a week 3 training meeting with Pres Jenkins and it was so good. I always learn so much from him! I really learned a lot about forgetting myself and going to work. I realized that I have been really selfish lately - focusing on my own needs and wants and concerns, looking for faults in others instead of their good qualities, etc. President said the sooner we learn that our missions are not about ourselves, the better our missions will be. That whoever loses himself in The Lords work ends up finding himself. I just realized that I needed to be more charitable. I needed to love more and sacrifice more of myself in order to bless others lives more. It's funny because nobody ever wants to sacrifice anything. It sounds so painful and unenjoyable, but really it is the sacrifice that makes us happy. It makes us more dedicated to the gospel and makes us grow more in love for others and for God. As we sacrifice with a willing heart, we really don't feel the pain, we just see the blessings. 

On Saturday we had exchanges! We did them one on one this transfer, so Hna Brons stayed here with our sister training leader Sis. Ricks and I went to her area with her companion Hna. Luna. It was so much fun! I loved it! We got to do a lot of fun things like clean this sweet old lady's house, help her investigator set up for her son’s birthday party etc. I learned a lot from Hna Luna. She's a great example. I really like how simply she can teach and the way she powerfully talks with everyone she sees, centered on her purpose. She has a strong testimony.

On Sunday we went to ward council and it was great. The ward mission leader and the stake high council man Hno Reyna presented the new ward mission plan! Almost the entire ward council was based on missionary work! Hno Reyna has such a passion for missionary work and is really looking to revolutionize how the work is done in this ward. He has great leadership skills and a lot of faith. Right now we are preparing ideas and seeking revelation to know how we can excite and encourage the members to sacrifice their comfort to get involved in the work of The Lord. There is nothing more important than the work of salvation! We are having a meeting Thursday to discuss ideas. 

That was pretty much my week! It was wonderful! Today we had a fun pday! We went to Winco and Five Guys with some English sisters. Winco is officially the most amazing grocery store in the entire world. I am obsessed. You must all go. Especially you, Rachelle, because you will die of happiness. It's like a Mormon mom’s dream. 

The mission is full of challenges every day, but I am learning to overcome them. I am learning what it really means to have faith. I am learning to do hard things and to trust more in my Heavenly Father. His plan is perfect and He always knows what He is doing. I just want to be the best servant I can be! I love you and miss you all so much! Thanks for everything!

Con amor,
Hermana Haynes
District tradition of backyard tacos! 
Rescue visit with some ward missionaries!
Awkward moment when you can't get into your car...
Another selfie with Hna. Brons!

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