Sunday, August 10, 2014

God Sees The Big Picture

Buenas tardes familia! (7-21-14 Email)

Seriously, another great week. I am just so happy, and loving every minute. Sometimes it's like I am living a dream haha. We stayed busy this week; teaching lots of people and trying to find even more. Just really trying to help people progress!
On Tuesday we had interviews with Pres & Sis Jenkins. That's always a great experience. They are so good about sharing their love and confidence in you. I feel so blessed to have them here! Sis Jenkins told me that I am a good "foot soldier" for The Lord. Besides that, it was a pretty normal week. Just kept busy! Sooo I will just give you a little update on some investigators then.

Vanessa: She is AMAZING. Really, I wish you could all be there to teach her. She just soaks it in. I have never taught someone so prepared before. She is reading the Book Of Mormon and loving it, she is trying to pray every day. And her testimony in Christ and in the gospel is really growing. She has kept every commitment that we've given her so far and read every chapter that we've asked. The last lesson we taught about how praying every morning and night and reading the scriptures daily are commandments, and she said she would do it, and in her closing prayer asked to remember it. And when we asked her how reading the scriptures everyday would bless her life, she said that it already is because she feels so much more connected to God and is finding answers.

We invited her to be baptized in August, and she is praying about it. We haven't taught her Word of Wisdom yet, but she told us that she stopped drinking since the first day we met her, and that we showed up the exact day that she started really doubting her beliefs. Isn't it crazy how God works? The only hard part is she works at a shoe store and it's really crazy right now with the back to school sales, so she hasn't been able to come to church for the past two weeks, but she's already trying to get it off I think, and tonight we are teaching the 10 commandments/Sabbath day observance, so hopefully that helps. Please pray for her! Her mom Gina is there for all the lessons as well, and is reading the Book or Mormon, but actively goes to the catholic church so is having a hard time seeing why she needs this church instead. She doesn't quite understand the magnitude of the restoration. So please pray for her as well. This week, Vanessa’s dad came out for the first time, and so we met him and he told us back in 2000 they went to church for about a year. He said that year he changed completely and came really close to being baptized, but got offended so stopped going. But he said he would think about it again.

Then there's the good old Ramirez family. I love them. But I'm not quite sure what to do to help them progress. They all have different work schedules and seem to think that they all need to progress together, do it altogether. Which of course would be ideal, but someone needs to commit a little more and be brave enough to do it on their own, to be the example to everyone else. They haven't been coming to church lately and don't really have any good excuses, even though they texted us an hour before yesterday and said they would be there. But we had a couple lessons with them this week, and they went really well. The spirit is always there and you can tell that they are learning. I feel like they are part of my family though, and I want them to have these blessings so badly. We are just trying to figure out how to best help them. I think they are going through some trials right now, but are pretty private about it. Please pray for them too :)

Then we taught Anna this week, and she accepted right away the baptismal date of August 16th. The poor lady is a single mother of 9 and seems to really have her hands full and is just barely getting by. She really wants the best for her children though and can recognize that there is something different about this church, and that it will teach her children how to take the right roads in life. She is a sweetheart.

We are teaching some other great people as well, but those are probably who we are focusing on most right now. Hopefully some others will start progressing more and some of these potential investigators will have good interests.

Hmmm what else this week... We are teaching a few less actives members pretty consistently, and one of them invited us to her baby shower on Saturday, so that was fun. Then, on Saturday we also cleaned the chapel. And did secret service as a district pulling weeds for this awesome family in our ward, the Islas, at 8pm in the dark haha. They were supposed to be camping, but had come home early and unfortunately they caught us and came out and helped us. It was fun though.  No one really came to church again out of our investigators... But next week they will all be there!

I have been thinking a lot lately about my teaching skills and have been trying to really understand what makes a good teacher and what best helps the people we are teaching, and have been trying to develop those more. I just feel like God has given us great people to teach right now and I want to do absolutely all that I can on my part to help them. Hna Hurd and I are a great team together. We honestly work well together in every aspect. I feel really blessed. She's a great companion.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the importance of having the Spirit with us. The goal is to have Him be the real teacher, and not us. I am noticing that He guides us and leads us and helps us way more than I realized. God always knows where we are needed and what we need to say, and as we have the faith to follow Him, and the desire to serve Him, He will help us. Things might not make sense to us, but God sees the big picture and has a plan. From our little efforts, He can bring great miracles!

I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Con amor,

Hermana Haynes
Sometimes AZ is amazing.

Hanging out with Obipo Quinteros.  He used to live in Seattle so he was showing me pictures of the city.

Baby shower for an hermana who is due the day before Alycia!

Hno. Moreno mad us salmon this week and..... I LOVED it!  What's happening to me?

Sonoran hotdogs with Hno Cardenas.

Our ward loves us!
Me and Hna Hurd working.
This little guy is everywhere., and this  is what the ground looks like everywhere, haha, so brown!

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