Saturday, March 1, 2014

Searching For People To Share The Good News About Jesus Christ With

Hi Family!!!!!        (From email of 2-17-14) 

Ahhhhhhhhhh! What a week it has been haha. I love it. It's been an adventure. So Arboleda ward. It's awesome! It is so different from Liahona 3rd. There is so much more organization and leadership, so that's awesome. It's like more city/less neighborhoods. There's not as many Mexicans and it’s not the ghetto... So I feel really out weird haha. I really fell in love with that ghetto. Now we have to search more for the Spanish-speaking people but that's okay. We live in these nice apartments, and there's a gym! Yay! And I have a brand new jeep so that is fun too! Hmmm... Where do I start?? I guess at the beginning?

So Monday and Tuesday (seems like a lifetime ago!) we went around visiting our appointments and saying goodbye to everyone. Man, it was hard saying goodbye. Super hard. Especially saying bye to Manuel and his family! I just fell so in love with that branch. They were so sweet to me too. I can't wait to take you all back to meet them one day!

I also didn't realize how much I missed Hna Groll until we ran into her today at the car wash and I almost started crying haha. Such a cheeseball. But she is super great though and I miss her constant happiness! It is weird how you are literally with someone 24/7 for 3 months straight and then one day not! But she is taking great care of that area!

Then Wednesday! Transfer day! My new companion is so great. She is super cute! She is from New Zealand, and yes she has an awesome accent. And she is Mauri so she is teaching me so much cool stuff. But sometimes I can't understand her haha. (one example: she was saying "I need to learn better prayers" but what I heard was "bitter press" and I was so confused!) We have a lot of fun together though. I make fun of her accent and she makes fun of my dumb American ways (like when I ask her if they take a boat to go visit Australia). I really like her a lot! She likes to giggle and have fun. I told her that I am going to come and live with her for a year because it sounds so great.
My new companion, Hna. Brons.  She's from New Zealand!

 After transfer meeting, we just went around and got moved in and grocery shopping, etc. We had no idea where our area was, didn't have any maps, Spanish supplies, or anything. I felt like I was just running around like a crazy person haha, but it was a lot of fun. It took us 30 mins to find our dinner appointment that was only like 5 minutes away. But luckily we got an iphone again a few days later so now we have GPS again! And I am learning our way around really fast, so that's good.

Our area is really not that big though. That first night we were able to meet with the bishop of the ward. His name is Obispo Hidalgo, and he is super great. We had dinner with his wife yesterday and she is adorable. They have 4 young kids and are from la Ciudad de Mexico. It was crazy, in our meeting with him he told us all about the vision for the ward/ward mission plan type thing, and gave us a list of people he wanted to visit. I was shocked by how organized and prepared he was haha. He really wants us to focus on helping the members become strong and have spiritual experiences within their homes to become truly converted. He also has a big focus on the youth and helping the priests prepare for missions. 

Since then, we have been going around trying to meet the members and the investigators that we have. Most of the members live in the north area, and we work in the south. There's this one trailer park that a huge part of the ward lives in up in the north part. We have one apartment complex called Valencia Crossing that so far we have spent most of our time in. We have already made friends with this guy named Mark who is always outside smoking. I think he thinks we are crazy because I say hi to him everyday multiple times a day haha. It's awesome.

We don't have a super big teaching pool right now, but we definitely have some people with great potential! Unfortunately, we haven't been able to make contact with our investigator that is closest to baptism yet, Katharine. We did briefly meet her son Juan though. Our first lesson that we taught in the area was with Maria (we are teaching like 5 marias right now soooo...). It's kind of hard teaching because we have no idea how much people actually understand and who they are, what they are like, etc so it's been a little rough start teaching-wise. We haven't really had that great of lessons so far, but I know it will get better this week. It's also hard because Hna Brons doesn't really know much Spanish so she has no idea what is going on, so it is hard for her. But it is always like that at the beginning with greenies. It always takes them a couple weeks to feel comfortable teaching.

We have another investigator who doesn't really understand the message yet, but she came to church yesterday! She is going through a rough time economically, but she seems receptive to the message. We will teach her again tonight. Last night, we also had a "lesson" with our investigator, Gracie (she's 9) and her mom, Anna. We thought that her mom wasn't that interested, but yesterday when we talked with her she said she knows Joseph Smith is a prophet. We invited her to be baptized and she said yes! It is hard for me to tell sometimes though how much people actually understand the message though and the significance of it. I don't know if she just said that because she has heard missionaries say that to her several times, or if she has actually had a spiritual confirmation telling her the truth. I am excited to see where progress goes with that though. Gracie is adorable and really loves coming to church. 

We decided we really want to increase our teaching pool, so we went through our potential investigator list and decided on some we wanted to contact. Most of them were in those apartments, and we spent a few hours knocking doors. Most people weren't home or had moved. But we went to a different neighborhood and contacted one, and such a big miracle happened! This 17 year old boy came out, Roger. He said that he hasn't felt the same peace in his life since when he talked with the missionaries before. He said he is about to enter manhood and is looking for a foundation to build the rest of his life on. He said he really wants to know what is the truth and is looking to do what is right for him spiritually. His mom is a strong catholic and is not excited that he is interested in learning, but he said that he needs to do what he knows is right for himself. There are tons of members here, so he has a bunch of Mormon friends and his cousins are LDS too. He said he was planning on going to mutual this Wednesday! And we set up an appointment with him for tomorrow! Ah we were soooo happy! It was such a miracle! He seems super prepared and we are so excited to teach him.

Also that night, we had only 10 more minutes til we had to be home, so we decided to contact this random name I found in the former's list. She had moved, but the guy that lived there said he has family in Mexico that are LDS and that he would want to come to church with us sometime! He even asked for the building's address and said he would probably be able to come next week. We have an appointment with him tomorrow too! 

I really feel like I don't know what I am doing, but it has been really fun. I probably sounded a bit dramatic last week, haha, but I was a bit nervous. It is going well! Definitely ups and downs, but I am enjoying it. It is nice to have something brand new and to try new things and meet new people. I am really happy to be working in this area. I really hope I can help Hna Brons learn and grow and become a powerful missionary too. 

This week I have been thinking a lot about faith and the power that having faith is in our lives. When we truly have that trust in God and firmly believe in Him, we see so many miracles. We just cannot doubt Him, and we need to do all that we can to serve Him. Luckily He is patient and merciful with our mistakes and our shortcomings, and still blesses us despite how our best efforts still aren't enough. I know I am weak and that I am making a lot of mistakes, but I just want to do my best to serve Him. I just want to help bring precious souls unto Him. I know that there is nothing more important than this work. It's the work of salvation!

Well, I think that's about all for this week! Hope you all had a great Valentine's day! I love you all so much! Thanks for the extra prayers this week! Keep them coming please! :) 

Con amor,

Hermana Haynes

We got to go to the open house again because president took all the new missionaries to go see it!

My lovely companion and roomies!

Practicing our pukana faces. Enjoying mauri culture

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