Sunday, March 2, 2014

Praying And Fasting To Find People To Teach About Christ And Then Seeing Small Miracles

Hi Family and Friends!                     (from email of 2-24-14)

It is so great to hear from you! Thanks for all the valentine's packages/letters/goodies that have come! It is so nice to get special surprises like that! I loved it so much! You are all the best! 

Ok this week... Let's see! This area is super, super different from what I am used to. I am still trying to figure out the best way to do it, but we are figuring it out! We were able to have a few more lessons with some of our investigators, and they went much much better this week! Our investigators that are progressing the most as of yet are Carmen and Juana. They are both super sweet, and I love working with them. Anna has a hard time understanding the message, but she really wants it to be true. She is going through some trials right now, but is hoping that this is the answer she is looking for. Unfortunately her work schedule changed and she couldn't come to church this week, but hopefully we will meet with her today. Juana is a sweetheart too. She has lived with members for 20 years, and has a very strong Christian background. She loves learning more about Christ and the gospel. Sometimes it is hard for her to understand/accept the differences in the religions, but she has sincere desires to do what is right. And she came to church this week! We were really happy and surprised about that. 
This is a REALLY big cactus!  I think cactus are so cool!
We spent a lot of time this week contacting people because we really need to grow our teaching pool. We went through our potential and former investigators lists and have been trying our best to contact those who appear to have some good potential. A lot of them had moved or weren't home, or the kids were home alone, but we still have some potential there!

We did have one really big miracle there though. It was awesome. There was one former investigator, Monica, that we had a subtle feeling that needed to visit, but we could not find the apartment complex anywhere. We assumed that it was a bad address or the complex had been torn down. We were driving around though trying to contact someone else, and I looked up, and the apartment complex was right there in front of us randomly, like God had just put it right there in front of us. We found the apartment we were looking for, and got out. There was a mom and her kid standing outside of it. We went up and said hi, and she did not seem surprised to see us at all, and she invited us in! We were a little confused, but happy, and we just went with it. She went on to tell us that she has been reading the Book of Mormon, and pulls out some pamphlets she's been studying, and we were even more shocked! I guess she has some good friends that are members in the next-door Spanish ward. She had been attending that ward for 3 weeks, and the sisters there had started teaching her! Super random, huh? We just fell in love with her right away and had a really spiritual experience meeting with her.

She is going through some really hard trials right now, especially her divorce, and she told us how increasing her faith has helped her so much. We talked with the sisters in the Valencia ward, and they said they weren't quite sure what to do about her because she doesn't live in their area, but has been attending that ward. They felt like our happening to run into her was a way God played out His plan and that He wanted her to go to the ward she is lives in. We are going to try and set up a kind of a transition-type appointment with her, and then we are going to start teaching her! She has 2 teenage daughters, and at least 1 of them is really interested too. Sounds like their goal is to be baptized in March! Yay! It was such a miracle. I am so excited. She is a really special person!

We really need to find people to teach. We are praying and fasting, and just trying to keep our faith high and strong. I know God is preparing His children here, but we just need to find them! There are a lot more English speakers here, so it is harder to find the Spanish people to work with, though we are finding some people that seem to have some good potential. (Oh and about Roger, unfortunately the English sisters called and I guess they had already set up an appointment to teach him, so they are going to continue with him. Oh well. As long as he learns, that's all that matters!) Haha we even tried tracting for a little bit this week... It was weird... and not very successful. We did meet this non-member family though who has a daughter out serving a mission in Ecuador right now! But unfortunately they weren't interested. Not by tracting we found another lady who loves the missionaries and who has been meeting with them for 12 years. She has one daughter that is a member and just got home from her mission. She believes EVERYTHING too, but just has some real reservations about being baptized. We are hoping we can work more with her and help her overcome those fears. She is a super great person.

These past few days, we decided we really needed to get to know the members better, so that has kind of been our focus. We have been so impressed with all of the members that we have met so far! They are so wonderful here! Of course there are some who are going through hard trials and are struggling, but they are so strong and loving. They just accept us right away as part of the family! I love them so much already. Yesterday we met with the Familia Reyna, and Hno Reyna is the high councilman in charge of the missionary work in the Arboleda ward. He said that we arrived in the ward in a time of change, and that this week they are going to launch a new ward mission plan more focused on helping us with our work. They want to get the members and auxiliaries more involved in the progress of the people that we are visiting, whether they be investigators, part member families, less active members, etc. I am so excited for that. He and his family have an awesome story and are really passionate about missionary work. I am really excited to work with them! I always thought I was really good at remembering names and faces, but yesterday at church I could not recognize anyone's faces! It was so weird! Haha it is coming though! A lot of people we have to meet! 

Training is going well! It always takes some time to figure out how your companion is and what makes them tick, but I really like Hna Brons. She is a really fun girl. I just hope I can help her in all the transitions going on in her life right now, and help her feel confident in her skills as a missionary. I need to get better about speaking Spanish more with my companions. I have always kind of slacked on that, but I need to get better at it. My roommates are trying to help me remember to speak it more, so that helps. 

Oh I remember something else we did this week! Someone in our district's investigator needed help with yard work, so the whole district got together and did yard work for her! It was so fun! It was so nice to get outside and do something active all together. Her next door neighbor had a giant turkey in his backyard too. It was crazy. And then she made us waffles haha. And then she got baptized on Saturday! And Thursday night we got to play volleyball with some of the youth and their nonmember friends in the ward. It was really fun! I guess the missionaries would put it on every week before. It was really fun, but we will see if it will be a productive use of time for us. I would feel bad if we had to stop going because they need us for the key to the building... We will see. 
We loved getting to work outside, even if it was doing yard work. 
Time is going so fast and I can't believe it. This week just flew by! I just want to do all that I can to serve the Lord. I know that I fail in a lot of ways, but I am trying to improve. I really appreciate all of your love, support, and prayers though. I love knowing that I have all my family and friends cheering me on! You really are the best! Hope you all have a great week this week! 

Con amor,

Hermana Haynes

The kids here are so sweet!  Being with them always makes me happy!

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