Sunday, July 6, 2014

As We Take Steps Of Faith, God Will Lead Us

Hi family!           (6-23-14)

Holy cow. What a week this has been. Can I just say that I am in love? This new area is amazing, and I feel so blessed to be here! I love, love, love it. The ward is pretty strong (for a Spanish ward). The bishop is really put together and super funny. And there are pretty much pure Spanish speakers. Like it is hard to find the white people.

Seriously, we saw so many miracles every single day this week. I just come home every night and ask myself if all these miracles are possible! (I was asked how this area is different from my last – my last area was in one of the wealthiest parts of our entire mission, so a big majority of it was big houses full of English speakers, so it was much harder to find people to teach simply because there was not a whole lot of Spanish speakers. Also our last area was very large – for this mission - and this one is tiny again. It's just on the other side of the street from L3, so it is very similar to my first area).

So my new place is a duplex and we live next to this cute elderly couple called the Curtis's. Our place is awesome haha it reminds me of great grandma Carlson’s - definitely rocking the 80s (pretty sure some things in those cupboards are from the 80s as well haha. Trying to throw things away gradually and hoping that nobody cares.) So when we first got there, we did some major cleaning and organizing, but now it's feeling pretty good. Besides the fact that I have been taking sponge baths in the kitchen sink for the past 4 days but hopefully that should all be fixed up today haha.

So I can't even remember what we did on Monday and Tuesday, pretty much just taught and said goodbye to people. It's always sad to say goodbye. Lupita started crying because she thought we were leaving because we were mad at her. Broke my heart. I love that little family. I feel so blessed to have been able to serve in Arboleda - to have been able to love and serve those people and learn so many lessons while serving there.

So on Wednesday we got to our new area, and got to work. The
investigator list was fairly small, so we set out to meet them. There is one man, Manolo, who is supposed to get baptized on Saturday that we met with. He seemed pretty solid to us the one time that we met with him, and every has told us he is good to go. So we set up the time and announced it in church and everything. But he didn't come to church and the bishop says that he has done that repeatedly in the past, so hopefully we can talk to him more this week and really figure out what's going on.

Then there is the Familia Ramirez. They are so sweet. 2 teenage
daughters and an 8 year old boy. I already know that this family is one of the reasons I am here. They started going to Arboleda my first week there because some English members invited them there. They came for several weeks, but recently had stopped coming. The sisters here tried to invite them to L1 for the past 3 transfers with no success. So I had already met them several times. So we met them and they said they got embarrassed to go to Arboleda because they don't live in the boundaries, but were too nervous to go to L1. But since they already knew us, and were reassured that it was our first Sunday in the ward and we would be just as lost as they, they decided to come this week!
And they did! Such a huge miracle! It is so interesting to see how God has a perfect plan for everything. He always knows where He needs us. This family is so sweet and is sincerely looking.

Our district leader set up a challenge to see who could contact the most people, so that started off to be a big motivator to us. So we have been trying extra hard to contact every single person that we see. And we have seen so many miracles! We were able to teach several first lessons this week set up even more return appointments, and find a good amount of new investigators. Some of them seem to have real potential as well. I wish I could describe all the miracles that we saw, but I just can't. It humbles me so much. I do not deserve these blessings, but I am so grateful for them. I am trying so hard to put myself out there for God and for these people. I want so badly to be a
tool in Heavenly Father's hands and help Him to do His work. There is no greater feeling than to be used by Heavenly Father - I want Him to know He can depend on me.

Hna Hurd and I have been working hard as well to evaluate our teaching and improve it. We decided on 5 things we want to work on while we teach. We call it our 5 S's: simple, short, sincere, Spirit, and silent (moments of silence to feel the spirit and ponder). Our focus right now is simple, so we have been practicing that in our studies.

Ok I will tell two little examples of the miracles we saw and then I should probably wrap it up: 1. Jime. We walked into this apartment complex looking to meet some members and Jime was the first person we saw sitting outside so we talked to him. He invited us to sit down and we got right into the Restoration. He loved it, and asked US when we would come back to share more. We also invited him to church, and he said he would love to come! (He didn't come, but next week!) It was just a really cool experience. 2. Miguel. We knocked on his door looking for a different family. He opened the door and said he was in a meeting and asked if we could come back later. We told him we were just looking for a family, he once again told us they didn't live here, but said he really wanted us to come back later. So we went back last night, and it turns out he has a bunch of family that are members and investigated for 6 months in Pheonix. They were studying D&C that time and didn't like that it was all Joseph Smith and not the bible. He got really excited when we told him we were studying the Old Testament at
church right now, and he said he was going to come to church nextweek, wants to start meeting with us, and share it with his new wife and her children (he said her children used to go to this church and would definitely come back if their parents did).

God is so great. It amazes me every single day. He tries us, and it is hard. But He fulfills every single promise that He makes and blesses us with so much more than what our hardships are. The times of trial are so essential for our growth and learning. I know He sees our potential and has a plan to help us reach it. As we take steps of faith, He will lead us and guide us. Never doubt Him or His love for you!

I love you all so much and am so grateful for everything!

Con amor,
Hermana Haynes
I'm happy!

Nothing better than handmade tortillas!

Map of our area.

Our new place.

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