Sunday, November 9, 2014

Seeing Everyone's Worth As A Child of God

 Hi family and friends!! (Email 11-3-14

So good to hear from all of you! I am glad you all enjoyed Your Halloween! We had a great week over here, pretty normal, but I am happy. Life is great. The people here are so wonderful. I really love them. I am in a great area. 

Today Hna Brons and I went walking down main street to the little shops (but most of them were closed haha) and it was really fun. The weather is finally normal again, but since we are so used to the heat, it is feeling rather cold to us haha. It's like 65-75 the past few days.

This week I didn't have much time in my area because I had two exchanges. I went to Valencia with Hna Embley for one night, and that exchange went well. Then I had one with Hna Greene but it was kind of funny since we are roommates and work in the same ward, it didn't really feel too different. I am so blessed that I have a great companion though because whenever I go on exchanges she covers the area really well. She had some great lessons with Linda, Marcos, and Ricardo while I was gone and I was really excited to hear about them. We just are trying to meet with them more often. Especially Linda, and Marcos can be kind of hard to set return appointments with. Ricardo is slowly starting to understand the restoration better and opening up a little more to it.
Me and Hna. Greene
President felt inspired this week to let all of the missionaries go to the phoenix temple open house as many times as they could before it ended with their investigators, so we were finally able to go to the temple with the Valdezes! It was SUCH  a great experience. It was so sweet. On the car ride down (about an hour drive) we sang hymns and primary songs with the kids and they just loved it. They all just fell in love with the temple and loved what they saw and what they felt. Ellen and Jose were both really excited about the sealing room. And on the way home, Ellen told us how blessed she has felt and how happy she has been since learning about the gospel. She is so ready to be baptized. And we found out super exciting news! It is very possible that they can get married sooner than we thought!! We have been praying hard for a miracle everyday that Ellen will be able to reach her goal of getting baptized on November 29th. We are thinking of fasting with them next week for it. We just have to figure out the legal things, and have a lot of faith. We have seen so many changes in her, and she is just so much happier. You can tell God is working in her heart. She is openly talking and working with her boss to make sure she will not be working on Sundays during church, and she is trying really hard to keep her commitments. And so are Jose and the kids. Such a sweet family. Poor little Jenny got lice so badly that she had to shave her head.... Broke my heart for her. But good thing she looks so cute in little hats. Ahhh that little girl just melts my heart haha. 
Phoenix Temple
So the temple open house took all Wednesday night, so that was another day not really in the area, and then Halloween we couldn't go out either, so it was a bit of a weird week. 

Halloween was good though! We had a normal weekly planning session during the day, then we went to Hna Gonzalez's for dinner, and it was so fun. She made pozole and sonoran hot dogs, and then Hna Escobar made all these cute little Halloween treats like apples and marshmallows to make teeth and oranges and celery to make pumpkins. Cute things like that. 

Halloween treats!
Then President gave us permission to do a session in the temple if we didn't have any neighborhood or ward parties, so we got to do a session. There was a pretty good bunch of missionaries there, and President and Sister Jenkins ended up coming too. I got to sit by Sis Jenkins during the session.

While I was in there I was just thinking about how cool it was how so many of us 18-25 year olds were choosing to spend our Halloween night vs how so many ways the world would tell people our age to spend it. Just that right there is a little testimony that this gospel is true!

Saturday night and Sunday morning was stake conference. We had a state-wide one broadcasted from Salt Lake. It was really good. Elder Christofferson and President Uchtdorf spoke, and their messages were exactly what I needed. It was so special to hear President Uchtdorf speak about his days in Arizona when he was doing his fighter pilot training and how he would always go to the Mesa temple and how much he loved that temple. And Sis McConkie talked about how she met her husband at ASU and got sealed in Mesa and they lived in a little apartment right by the temple so the temple light would light there house at night. It reminded me of my days in L3 when we literally lived right there at the temple. 

Mesa is such a special place. Such a rich church history here. I never knew that before my mission. This place is always going to hold a special place in my heart. I know that my call here was so inspired. God knows His children so well. I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be pure in heart and having good desires of heart. Pres Uchtdorf said that being pure in heart means to see and treat people for who they really are - like seeing everyone with their true worth as a child of God. Christ was always concerned about the individual. He could see past the skin and saw who they truly were and what they truly needed from Him to be strengthened. I want to be better at that. I want to feel sincere compassion and understanding for every person that I encounter. To look more outside myself and have a pure heart and pure desires to do good and serve and love my brothers and sisters. I know the gospel is what each of us need. It has all the answers to any question or problem we may have. I feel so blessed to have this in my life.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week! Thanks for all of your love and prayers.

Con amor,
Hermana Haynes

Playing with Halloween treats from home!

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