Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015 Week 21

July 20, 2015

Hola familia!

This week lots of things happened. I have especially grown and matured in knowledge and compassion in a few specific ways. For example: We cover Caldwell 1st, 5th, 7th, 12th, 15th and the YSA ward, each of these wards sign-up to feed us dinner. We had dinner this week with a part member family. The mom was a member and is married to a catholic, and together they have twin teenage girls. They have been together for a long time and each spouse supports the other in going to church and taking the kids to church as well.  Hermana Hernandez and I were super curious as to how that relationship functions as they are happily living in a dual-religion home. They told us that it has its ups and downs and that communication is key.  For the spiritual thought, normally we would normally share a scripture, but Hermana Hernandez wanted to watch a special movie clip from the Meet the Mormons video. It was an exact duplication of their situation.  The couple in the video was Mormon and Muslim I think, anyway they had it all worked out and they were happy too.  As Hermana Hernandez and I were leaving, I asked the mother what she thought about the video. We both agreed that although they might be happy and their home is filled with love, that mother and those kids are lacking the blessings of having a worthy priesthood-holding father in their home, and lacking the blessings of a temple marriage. In Ontario, I saw many examples in homes where they had part member families that didn't have the Spirit in their home.  Where one of the parents were not supportive at all. This home was different, it had a supportive father who loved his family. It was missing a key ingredient though...This was more than just a wake-up call for me, it made me realize how very important it is to have both parents sealed in the temple and remain worthy of celestial blessings. 

This Tuesday was a difficult one... not many things worked out that day, including Hern and I. It started off with us getting up super late, then we were late to the Spanish ward’s missionary correlation meeting. We spent too much time at a member's house and missed a teaching appointment with an investigator, then Hern wanted to send a package to her mom for her birthday, but she forgot her wallet in the car after waiting in line for 25 minutes.. Later on,   more people canceled appointments, and nobody we visited was home. We were also late to the stake correlation meeting because Hern forgot the location. We also got a call from a girl I had set an appointment with for Friday, but the phone kept loosing signal and I had to call her back like 5 times. Later, she called back and thought I was Hern, and she said that I was rude on the phone with her earlier... I had to tell her that it was still me and it got really awkward... Anyways, nothing turned out the way it was supposed to.  At the end of the day, I was majorly frustrated with Hern- just the fact that she always get up late, our studies aren't always organized, we are late everywhere, and our car is always a mess.... For anyone who knows me, I am borderline OCD organized, so all of this hit the fan today and I wanted to flop into bed and scream. But my heart softened as an answer to my prayers and I was able to feel sorry for not treating Hern like I should have.  I apologized to her and it was better. Whew... talk about growing and maturing quickly.

We ran into some Jehovah's witnesses again this week and it was fun talking to them. We teach a woman named Maria, and her sister is a Jehovah's witness! So when we went to go visit Maria, she wasn't home, so we got a chance to talk to Blanca, her JW sister. She is a wonderful woman!  I love how exuberant she is and how she runs her home, plus her kids are so polite!  We talked to her for an hour about all sorts of things in the Bible. On a different note, we attended a fiesta on Saturday for a girl whose family is Pentecostal.  It’s funny because they were trying to convert us while we were trying to convert them.  The fiesta was super fun and we just talked to all the people at the party and tried to fellowship everyone.

This week we received a referral for this woman named Rebecca. When we went to go visit her, we were there for 3 hours. She is a widow for the past 4 years because her husband suffered a brain aneurysm and passed away within a short span of hours. Before that, he was healthy.  They have 3 kids who are super awesome and they spend time with each other as much as they can. The home is filled with so much love it was hard to go home afterwards as I was missing my home and family.  Rebecca has had major connections with the church from her best friends, and when her husband passed away, people in the church helped her.  Within 10 minutes of being there, she expressed her desire to do whatever it takes to be sealed to her family in the temple. As she said that, my eyes immediately got misty and I received prompting from the spirit that this woman has been prepared to hear the gospel and make sacred covenants with Heavenly Father.  It was marvelous. I absolutely love this woman and her kids. Isn't it funny how a little time spent with someone can make you love them.  Rebecca has earned a place in my heart forever! 

Welp familia! Les quiero muchisimo y que tengan una buena semana!

Hermana Moss

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 13, 2015 Week 20

July 13, 2015

Hola Familia,

After the craziness of this past week, it has finally slowed down a bit. I love my new comp Sister Hernandez. She's from Mexico City and we get along really well, although she's super different from Sister Hawn and Guti- I love her just as much! I also love Caldwell! It is certainly nothing like Ontario, and you know what? I think I could actually live here because it is  so beautiful!. The work is slow, and we contact a lot. Sister Hern tells me that this is the slowest she's seen it throughout her whole mission! 

We live in a house with an older woman named Sister Waite, whose husband died not too long ago. She's the nicest person, she reminds me so much of Grandma Diane- I could just sit with her for hours listening to all of her stories. She has such strong faith, and I am so grateful for her example and all the things she has taught me thus far. One morning this week we had some Jehovah's witnesses come and knock on our door. We of course told them that we were missionaries, and we kept them on our doorstep for a while asking them questions about what they believe. They sure do know their scriptures! We could totally tell that we made them a little uncomfortable. Just speaking with them made me uneasy too.  Their spirits were in the right place, but it was just palpable that they didn't believe in the full truth as we do. The whole encounter reminded me of that experience I had in Ontario with that man who wanted to Bible bash us, haha y'all remember when I wrote and said that my testimony was shaken a little bit because he was so smart? Anyway, we talked some more with Sister Waite afterward and she complimented us for our patience in talking with the JW and for having an open mind, then she expressed her faith about the Plan of Salvation. I just love her so much! All the previous uneasiness I felt dissipated within minutes after talking with Sister Waite, and she makes Sister Hern and I feel like we are Heaven- sent Angels that walk the halls of her home. Y'all have to meet her one day!! You know what else I realized? Even if someone were to leave the church, it would be hard to join any other church because they only learn partial truths and they wouldn’t have the Spirit all the time.  I love living by the church's morals and standards.  It makes for a good God-fearing family. I feel blessed to be true blue, died in the wool Mormon.  The Church is true. I know it with all of my heart!

This Friday, we got a ride to Ontario for Sister Meza's, Juanito's and Patricia's baptism!! It was interesting because earlier that morning we almost weren't able to go. We had secured a ride with a recent convert named Juan, and since it’s against the rules for sisters to ride with any members of the opposite sex without another responsible woman present, Juan had asked his niece to come along too. Well an hour before it was time to go, we found out that she was working and wouldn't be able to come! So we started calling all the woman we knew and asked them to come, with no luck. I was so worried and disappointed, how could we have worked so hard on getting there and not been able to see the fruits of our labor in Ontario?  But, I knew that it was more important to follow the rules than to break them just to go to a baptism, and I had faith that the Lord will help us find a way to get there because of our willingness to follow the rules. Just about 20 minutes before we had planned to leave, we got a call from one of the other sisters who told us that she got special permission for all 4 of us to go with Juan! It was my tender mercy of the week. I know the Lord rewards those who are obedient, no matter the situation. The baptism was beautiful and I counted all my blessings the whole way there as I was sitting squished up against the side of the back of Juan's super slick mustang!! haha It was a great day!!

This Sunday, I was asked to give a talk in the YSA ward about the Constitution. Oh mom, you would've been so proud of me haha! I prepared for this talk for days, so when I got up there and I spoke with all of the conviction of my heart and the best Texan accent I could pull off. It was a great talk, it was based off of Ezra Taft Benson's 'The Constitution: a Glorious Standard' and I highly recommend everyone reading it for themselves. One of the things I made clear was that our nation has been preserved for the coming of the restoration and that the scriptures mention several times that we can only stay here if we are obedient and diligent in keeping the laws of the land. I felt very patriotic afterwards!  I love giving talks, even though I may not be very good at it. But I know that it helps me grow and excel in my speaking abilities. 

I love y'all and hope you have a blessed week! (insert Texan accent here)

Hermana Moss :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 6, 2015 Week 18

Hola Familia!

This week literally everything happened... I don't even know where to begin because it went by so fast that my brain is still spinning. So I'll just spearhead this email by saying that on Tuesday we got a call from Eva requesting that she be baptized the next day!!! We all gasped with excitement that she received a prompting to be baptized.  So we organized a super small baptism for Wednesday, and she was baptized by one of the newer elders, Elder Bauro.  The service itself was so full of the Spirit and we were  so happy for her.  She was confirmed with the Holy Ghost yesterday at church and I was beaming with joy for her.  She is a great example of a woman who recognizes the spirits’ prompting and follows it.  I love Eva!

We had lunch with the Pofelski family from Texas!  Them got to meet my companions! They took us to Denny's and we had such a great time talking and reminiscing about good ol' Sienna Plantation. I really appreciated their visit.  It is nice knowing that we aren't forgotten and people still remember us back home. 

Friday night was Patricia and Alfredo's wedding!  We spent all week planning for the food and shopping for decorations and calling the relief societies to borrow their decorations. It was a massive undertaking, but we were more than willing to plan it for them.  I had so much fun decorating the church gym and coordinating like a real wedding planner!  I think I may have found a new talent of mine- I love planning weddings! haha!  Anyway, the actual wedding was so fun! Most of their immediate family was there and some members came too!  It was a success!  They were a happy couple and are now looking forward to their future and work toward their goal of being sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. They make me so happy!  I can't wait to see their progression and witness their lives change for the bette. 

On Saturday we had transfer calls. Sister Hawn, Sister Guti, and I all thought we would be staying together because the Spanish sisters in the mission are only about 12 strong right now and more than half of them are in the middle of their training.  When you are training, you normally train for twelve weeks with your trainer.  Plus the work in Ontario is so busy- we have about 8 or 9 baptisms for the month of July. So naturally, we thought that we would be staying together, so when we got the call, we were surprised to learn that Sister Guti was being transferred to Nyssa and I was being transferred to Caldwell!  We immediately started bawling, because I am going to miss my comps so much!  When you spend 24/7 with them, you get to know them really well and you get really attached.  I have only spent 2 transfers in Ontario, which is about 3 months, and it’s not enough time to get close to the members or our investigators. It was especially upsetting to say goodbye to everyone on Saturday and Sunday, I was sad to realize that the people I think about constantly and try my hardest to share my heart with don’t even know my name.  I feel like I haven't impacted anyone because I haven't been there long enough. I know the Lord knows best and does things for a reason. I may not have impacted as many people as I wanted to in Ontario, maybe I was there to be impacted by them and that's why I was there. I hope I will get another opportunity to serve again in Ontario because I left a big piece of my heart with the people there.

On the 4th of July, we were asked to be home by 6:30 p.m. because of the dangerous aspects of the holiday where people will be messing around with fireworks and driving unsafely.  So we came home after visiting people and started packing for our transfers.

In my study of the BOM this week I was particularly focused on how we are saved by grace through the atonement of Jesus Christ. And after talking with my companions and eventually asking Brother Mills about it, I learned that the atonement serves two purposes: to save us from sin and help us to become more Christlike.  It is an equation, we have to submit our will and try to be like Him AND keep our covenants and endure to the end so that we can live with our Heavenly Father. Grace is so important for us, we must realize that it fulfills the payment that Heavenly Father required and we must exercise our agency and allow ourselves to be changed by it, and when we do, we leave behind our faults and shortcomings and fulfill God's commandment too, 'Be ye therefore perfect, as your father in heaven who is perfect'.  It makes more sense in my head and in my notebook where I have all my things written down. Haha!  so sorry because that was half explained.

I am running out of time, but I hope everyone is doing well!  No pictures again.  Next week I promise!

I love y'all!

Hermana Moss

June 29, 2015 Week 17

Hola Familia!

This week, went by really fast.  It included some craziness with planning baptisms for our next transfer. (Side Note: We have the opportunity to go to the temple halfway and at the very end of our mission service. Tuesday morning we got a call from the mission office to inform us that it was sister Guti's turn to go to the temple for her halfway mark on Thursday and on Friday she needed to travel all the way to Logan, Utah to renew her license. Translation: 2 WHOLE days without Guti to translate for us..It was like exchanges last week all over again!) So this Friday, we had two scheduled baptism interviews for (Kimberly's mom) Sister Meza and her son, Juanito.  When we got there, we started prepping her about what our district leader was going to ask her. She and Juanito are quick learners and they both passed their interviews with flying colors. While Juanito was in his interview, Sister Hawn and I were talking to Sister Meza about which day was best for her to be baptized with her son. We realized that Saturday was the best day to do it.  That was the the next day! As soon as we got the green light from Sister Meza, Hawn and I started making calls and arrangements for her.  Everything seemed to fall into place and it looked like it was meant to be..  By the time we got home, all the calls were made, the font was reserved, the people were invited, then we got a call from Sister Meza telling us that her other son, Santiago, wouldn't be able to make it because he had a major part in a quincenera that night. GAHHH! Needless to say, it was a hard day for Hawn and I.. lots of mixed feeling and roller coaster-like emotions. Yay!..

This week we visited Patricia. She and her boyfriend, Alfredo, surprised us by telling us that they want our Branch President to marry them next week!  We have been working with Patricia ever since I got to Ontario, and she is just awesome. She made us so happy by her desire to be baptized and the only way she could, was to get married to her boyfriend since they live together. So again, we started making plans and arrangements and I realized I created a new interest.  I love planning weddings! Everything about it is fun! She made us even more happy when she told us that she wants to get sealed in the temple with Alfredo one day!  We also had a really good lesson with her and answered her questions about her recent reading of el Libro de Mormon. We could visually see and spiritually feel the prompting of the Holy Ghost as we invited her to be baptised a week after her marriage! 

So update on Cristina… We visited her on Tuesday and taught her about the plan of salvation. Normally when we go to see her, the apartment is a mess and the kids are screaming, but when we got there, she had three chairs set up in the living room all ready for us!  Oh what a sight it was to see!  We hadn't even taught her a lesson yet and she was ready to listen with her heart!! So when we finished our lesson, I invited her to be baptized next month, and she accepted!  She is so happy and excited to finally have something good happen in her life, I can't wait to see more miracles with her. 

This Sunday in Relief Society, Hawn and Guti and I were asked to teach from a talk given by Dieter F Utchdorf about the four most important relationships we must develop in this life, namely: with our Heavenly Father, with our family, with ourselves, and with our fellow man. Anyway, I was asked to talk and share my thoughts on how we can build our relationship with Heavenly Father. And I came up with an object lesson: I had a mason jar that I labeled "Our life on Earth"; I had rice that symbolized all the things that we have to do like educating ourselves, having families, etc.; and I had 4 granola bars that I labeled praying, reading scriptures, going to the temple and to church. I took the jar and filled it with the rice first and tried to shove the bars in and it didn't fit, meaning that when we focus on ourselves first and forget God we will go back to heaven having failed to strengthen our relationship with Heavenly Father. But when I put the granola bars in first and then filled the rest of it with the rice it all fit, meaning that our lives should be lived to the fullest by having strengthened our relationship with God first and accomplishing everything in priority!  Hopefully the sisters enjoyed it and will continue to develop their relationships with Heavenly Father, families, with ourselves, and with our fellow man. 

I love you family! Hope all is well! 

Hermana Moss :)

No pictures this week.  Sorry! :)