Sunday, September 21, 2014

We Told Him To Pray and Look in the Book Of Mormon For Guidance

Hola familia! (Email of 9-8-14)

This has been one of the best weeks ever. It was so great. I just feel so humbled and blessed to be able to see God working so clearly in these people's lives and to be able to be a part of that is absolutely amazing. Thanks for all of your prayers, they are paying off!

So we have been worried about Vanessa and Gina's progress lately, so last Sunday we fasted that they would be able to come to church and start progressing. Then on Monday we had a lesson about having faith to be obedient and were pretty bold about the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy and figuring out a way to do that. We extended them the date of Oct 11th and asked them to exercise their faith to be able to meet that goal. We prayed hard for that, and when we came back on Friday, Vanessa told us that she talked more with her boss and officially has the 21st and the 28th off of work and they are going to see about the possibility of giving her more! It was such a miracle, and one of the most obvious results of a fast that I have seen in my life. It was such a great testimony builder. We reviewed the Restoration, and Gloria really seemed to understand it better and the importance of it, especially the restoration of the Priesthood. I love them both so much and just want the very best for them.

Andre is absolutely amazing. I wish I could describe him in words, but I can't. The most prepared person I have ever met. We met with him almost everyday this week. On Wednesday, he was very upset about some family/financial problems he was facing and he couldn't even focus because he was so worried about it. We told him to pray sincerely and to look in the Book of Mormon The Book of Mormon for guidance, that God would speak to him through the book. When we met with him again on Friday,  he was bursting with joy and couldn't wait to get started so that he could show us the answers he found through the Book of Mormon. The verses were perfect and exactly what he needed to keep going. And his prayers were answered and everything with his family was resolved. I never have met someone who is so devoted and motivated by his family before. Everything that he does is for them. It is so hard for him to be away from them right now, but they are his motivation right now. He had us talk to his 7 year old son on the phone yesterday and it was the sweetest thing ever. His little son was telling me all about how he is already a missionary, asked to share his testimony with me (where he basically taught me the Plan of Salvation The Plan Of Salvation) and thanked me for supporting his family. I told Andre that I am going to Mexico when their family gets sealed, so can we please make that happen? Andre is so excited to get baptized and wants to do it ASAP. The only thing really holding us back is that we have to get through all of the lessons haha. But he said he is going to do absolutely everything to meet with us, and he is keeping that true.

On Saturday he was a few minutes late to our lesson, and he came in a few minutes late and introduced us to his 12 year old daughter (his only child that he has here, from a previous marriage). We thought, no big deal, but he felt really bad about coming late (and he was late because he was at an elder's quorum activity). The next day at church he just casually mentions to us that yesterday was the first time he had seen his daughter in 3 years and that his ex never lets him see her. I was shocked! I was like, you know that would have been a perfectly reasonable excuse to cancel the lesson! But he wants to keep every single commitment, and really wants to share the gospel with his daughter as well. He is sooo amazing!

We met with Anna pretty often this week too. She is actually progressing now! She read every little assignment we gave her in the Book of Mormon this week, and actually learned from them! And she came to sacrament meeting yesterday. She will probably be getting baptized on the 20th with Andre! Ahhhh I am just so blessed. I literally have the world's best investigators.

And then the Perez family, Gregorio and Mandi. We found the perfect member fellowshipper for them, who is doing a great job explaining things to them about her conversion, and being a friend to them. They are just the cutest little family. 

At the beginning of the week, they didn't want to come to church because they already have their own church. But as we reviewed the restoration again, they understood the difference better. But what really got them was the Plan of Salvation. They absolutely loved it. It was a very special lesson and you could tell that those eternal doctrines were ringing true to them, coming back to their remembrance. At the end of the lesson, we invited them to church again, and Gregario said that he wants to come and check it out, because he felt like he has never learned or understood anything about religion in any other place, but that he feels like he is learning so much with us. Mandi wants to come too, but has work. They didn't end up coming this week, but I think next week they will. They are just the sweetest family.

On Saturday we got transfer news! You are neverrr going to expect what happened! I was so surprised. I got transferred! And the Brons is back! Haha we are companions again! AND we are with Hermana Taboada too! TRIOOO. We will be serving in the Liahona 4th ward (so now I will officially have been in all the Liahona wards in the mission). The Liahona 4th ward is a great ward, I have heard so many good things about it and have had 2 exchanges there already. They are both already serving in that ward, Hna Brons will just be switching to a different area within the same ward (right now she is with Hna Leon in a different part of L4). But Hna Leon and her new companion, Hna Greene, are going to be our roommates, so that will be really fun. It will be 3 generations in one apartment! My mama, my baby, and me! I am super excited and think it will be a great transfer. Oh, and I am still Sister Training Leader, just one of my companionships that I am over got switched. With that though, I am completely heartbroken to be leaving the Liahona 1st ward. It is always such a bittersweet thing. This ward has captured my heart and everyday here has felt so special. The members and the investigators are absolutely amazing. But instead of feeling sad, I am just trying to stay grateful that I have had the opportunity to serve in this area and meet such wonderful people and to be the witness to so many miracles. It has been some of the greatest transfers of my mission here in this area. I feel like I have grown so much as a missionary, especially as a teacher here. I have learned so much and it has been so great seeing the fruits of our labors. I know Hna Hurd and her new companion, Hna Ricks, are going to do so great here. And I cannot wait to get invited to the baptisms they will have!

I know that God is my Heavenly Father and that He has a plan for my life, that I can't see completely and don't understand all the way. But I know that His plan is perfect. So as I learn to truly trust Him and just take those steps forward in faith. It always works out. He always has a perfect plan of love. I know He hears and answers our prayers and blesses us with the things that we need. Never forget that!

I love you all so much!

Con amor,
Hermana Haynes
Just hanging out on a couch in Mesa!
Ate something with a face this week.  That was a first!

Actually tasted pretty good!

Me and Hna. Hurd with our bishop.  He's the best ever!

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