Sunday, October 5, 2014

Praying Was Helping Her A Lot

Hi family & friends!!!  (9-22-14 Eamil)

How are you? Can you believe another week has gone by... A bunch of us went on a big hike this morning, and that was really fun! I hadn't been hiking in a long time. It was a good work out with a beautiful view! Lots of cactus haha. Gotta love Arizona. 

We had a good week this week. Trying to build the area little by little. This area has baptized a lot, but now all the investigators are baptized, so we have a lot of Recent converts to work with, but few investigators. So our focuses right now are retention and finding. We are helping  work on their family history work because on Thursday we are all going to the family History Center and on Saturday all the recent converts are going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead! They are excited and it is fun to help them prepare for that.

Speaking of baptisms... I had two this week!!! First, on Friday, one of our investigators, Jenny got baptized. She is the sweetest little 8 year old girl. Her mom is not a member yet, but wants to get baptized and her two older brothers got baptized a few weeks ago before she turned 8. We didn't think it was going to be a convert baptism, but as we were filling out the baptismal record we found out that her less active father is actually her stepfather, so neither of her parents are members. It was a nice little surprise! She is seriously the cutest little thing. Her mom, Ellen, just needs to get divorced and then married, and then she will be ready! She has a few things she is working through, but seems to really take hold  of the gospel.

The other baptism was Andre in Liahona 1! He got baptized last night! He was SOOO happy. His dream finally coming true. I was so happy to witness that and be a little part of it. It is the most rewarding, enriching experience, helping people receive the light of the gospel. I was really happy to be able to go, especially because I almost couldn't. Since it's not my ward, we needed an investigator to be able to go, but we didn't have anyone that could. We were praying that we would be able to find someone that could come. At church, we received a referral from a 15 year old girl who got baptized a few months ago. One of her friends, Marta, has been going through a rough time and she has been teaching her to pray. So after church we met her and shared a little message with her and she received it really well. She actually seems really prepared. God is really important to her and she says praying has helped her a lot. She loves going to church, but her ex-boyfriend goes to the same one as her, so she hasn't been going lately. But we invited her to the baptismal service for that night, and she came! Both while we were with her and at the baptismal service, she kept saying "I feel so relieved". I tried to help her recognize that that was the spirit giving her peace. She even cried a little  bit at the service. I am so excited to work with her more! Her family seems like they might have potential as well! (also, do you remember the english lady at taught at L3 who was really struggling with alcoholism? She got baptized on saturday too!!)

Well, I know that that is already a pretty good week and I should probably just end right there. But something else great happened too. I met Elder Russell M Nelson!!! I got to shake his hand. If I could say anything about him, I would say he is the most loving man I have ever met. I am not sure what it is about him but I think all 500 of us missionaries were able to feel personally loved and connected to him. His eyes just showed it so clearly. He came and two members of the 70 came for a mission conference combined with the Scottsdale mission. He is 90 years old but would never guess it. So full of energy and strong  and cracking jokes and very down to earth and sincere with us. He did a little Q&A session and talked about several important things. I will have to show you my notes one day. It was just amazing. 

I had a really enjoyable time leading up to it as I read a bunch of his talks and looked for some of his favorite key principles and also as I heard him talk about those as well. He told us what he "saw" in us as a prophet, seer, and revelator and helped us understand the potential we have and the plans that God has for us, especially the importance of our families in God's plan. And he left us with an apostolic blessing. It was such a special, sacred experience. 

I know God hears and answers my prayers. I know He gives us trials for a reason. Everything hard we have to go through is Him shaping us into the people we need to be. I am trying really hard to focus on loving people more and loving people better. I want to be able to love each person the way that Christ does. And I am so grateful for what Christ did for us and what he offers us because of His love. I would be nowhere without it!

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for your love and support! It means the world! Have a great week!

Con amor,
Hermana Haynes
My new district with our Young Mens Leader.  It was his birthday so we made him a cake!

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