Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 24, 2015 Week 26

Hola Familia!

I've got a lot to say and not a lot of time to say it, like always! This week was another one of those highs and lows.. In particular we had to drop one of our investigators named Dalia. She was really open to the gospel but hasn't been progressing much because she wants her husband to be baptized along with her, except her husband is a brick wall and isn't very interested in religion period.  When I was in Ontario, we had fiery debates about when to drop someone, but in this case, Hern and I agreed unanimously, for her own good. We drop people for 2 reasons: 1.  They tell us to stop coming and 2.  They aren't progressing.  The more we teach them the more responsible they are for the knowledge they gain in the courts of heaven, so we don't want to condemn them with knowledge when they aren't progressing. It was hard to tell her that we can't come over anymore because she is a wonderful woman!  Gahh!  It killed me. 
This week my comp, Hern, and I have been struggling to get to places on time. Normally we joke around with people and tell everybody that we are always going to be late for 4 huge reasons: Mormon. Mexican. Missionary. Mujer (woman). Sometimes we even tell people that we were busy saving squirrels that were dying on the road to get to our destination.. It doesn't usually convince them.  Anyway I think it was Wednesday where it kinda just hit the fan for me. We were an hour late to this service project that was supposed to start around 9, but as we were on our way, the other sisters who were in charge of the service activity told us that it had actually started at 8 and that they were almost done!  Since we were super late, Hern hadn't had time to put on her makeup before we had to scurry out of the house.  She was still putting on her makeup while the service project was about to finish and it made me so upset. We had a long discussion afterward and we are ok now.  I am grateful for my experiences on my mission as they are surely going to make me a better person.  I love Hern!

It's time to focus on the positives now... For Carlos' baptism his Aunt, Lina, had come all the way from Mexico to see him and his family and visit for a while. She was previously investigating the church down in Guadalajara and was excited to meet us. I think it was Thursday that we came to her sister's house where she is staying and gave her the first lesson on the Restoration. Hern and I switched off and when it came time to talk about Joseph Smith and the First Vision, it was as if Joseph Smith was there himself speaking through me and testifying of when he saw the Father and Jesus Christ, it was beautiful!  I had no idea I could speak like that in SPANISH, and bring that immediate spirit to the lesson. It was not me, and ya' know what?  I think I saw Hern cry a little bit from the corner of my eyes. When we wrapped up the lesson, we invited her to baptism and she accepted a date for September 19th! I love Lina so much and I know that she has been prepared for us to teach her here in Idaho. I can't wait to plan another baptism!!! :)

On Sunday, Hern and I were asked to speak in one of the English wards we cover because the other speakers backed out last minute. My talk was about forgiveness, but I also tied it to repentance. I loved preparing for this talk because I got to learn more about the Savior and his earthly ministry.  I shared the story of when the Pharisees brought the adulteress before Christ and they asked him to decide what should be done. Back then, when someone was caught in adultery the person would be stoned according to the law of Moses. The Pharisees knowing this, wanted to trick Christ if he picked one of 2 options: stone her and show no mercy, or show mercy and disobey the law of Moses.  But Christ discerned their thoughts and gave the most perfect answer, he told them that he who is without sin let them cast the 1st stone.  Then after everyone dispersed, Christ picked up this woman and told her that he wasn't going to condemn her and let her go and sin no more. Lots of people misunderstand that Christ didn't let her get off scot-free.  He knew that she hadn't had time to repent yet and as far as we know she may have had a long repentance process.  The second he COMMANDED her to go and sin no more, it was over.  It wasn't just a piece of good advice that he thought of last second. He knew she was remorseful and he gave her a 2nd chance.

Oh familia, I miss you all bunches! This week Merriam sent me a card with 2 wedding invitations of friends I made back at the Y... it near scared me half to death. I want to remind everyone that they are not allowed to get married before I get home!!!!!

Welp, I love you all and hope you have a blessed semana!

Hermana Moss

Thursday, August 20, 2015

August 17, 2015 Week 25

Hola Familia,

 "I don't have much to say.. But if you vote for me, all your wildest dreams will come true." Haha this week I decided to open my weekly letter with a quote from Napoleon Dynamite to add some friendly humor to my proselyting, no-Disney movie watching life. But hopefully I was able to make some people smile when they read this. This week was super busy and we weren't able to visit many people because different things popped up out of nowhere! First of which was an unexpected temple trip for Sister Hernandez. Lucky duck, one of her converts just got her temple recommend and that means that Hernandez, being her missionary, was be able to go with her and be her escort. I was super jealous :)  I hope I will have the same experience sometime on my mission.  I will work hard toward that end.  Anyway, while she was at the temple, I was on temporary exchanges with the Nampa Spanish sisters, Bertolino and Carrasco. Sister Bertolino is a convert and her conversion story is amazing!  She also has one of the biggest testimonies I have encountered thus far on the mish. I love her! 

Hern and I had dinner with Colton and Michelle's family.  Thank you so much!  It was super cool! They live about 3 minutes away from where we live.. Haha, so if I need anything, I know where to go!  I love family!

This Saturday we had Carlitos' Baptism!! Hern and I have been planning this baptism for a couple weeks now, and have been stressing ourselves out so much with all the preparations. It was a huge success!!! I would say that 60% of all the people we invited came through to support Carlitos! He asked me to talk about baptism and Hern to talk about the Holy Ghost. Since we were super busy this week, I had procrastinated writing my talk until the morning of, and by the time we got the building, I still hadn't found time to practice my talk! I was super nervous to speak in spanish, so I  asked Heavenly Father to help me at least get my message across. I mainly spoke about why Christ was baptized and what the atonement means to us, and I kind of felt bad for reading it, but I was pressed for time and there was a huge crowd that I didn't want to mess up in front of. I skidded through it, but it got better at the end. When I finished reading, I put my papers down and did a little experiment off script! I brought with me bleach, food coloring, and 3 measuring cups. In one of the cups I put several drops of coloring in water to represent sin, in another cup, I put plain water to represent our lives, and in the last cup was bleach to represent the Atonement. I then proceeded to put the dark colored water into the cup that represented our lives. Just like in real life, when we sin we are no longer clean and are not worthy to come back into the presence of God. But, Heavenly Father knew we would become susceptible to sin as we progress and make mistakes, and to counter this, he sent us His son to atone for our sins and to help make up clean again. I then put some bleach into the cup of water that represented our life, and everyone quickly saw that the darkness dissipated. This object lesson worked just as I hoped it would and the spirit was present as I prayed it to be. Hern's talk was really good. I am so glad that Carlitos has made the brave decision to use the cleansing power of the Atonement in his life, and stand as a witness for Him just as we all do. His confidence is admirable and I am so proud to have been a part of his conversion process.  As for the actual celebration part, we had the Relief Society bring pollo, arroz y frijoles, salsa, and since he just had a birthday, it was sort of a birthday party as well.  One of the hermanas brought a decorated cake. If I could count on something for the ward to not be flakey on- it's a party. It was an awesome fiesta, with music and celebrations all around! By far, one of the best baptisms I've ever been to. 

This past week was the last of the transfer and Hern and I patiently waited for the call that was supposed to let us know if we are going to stay together or not.  Good news! Hern and Moss are back in business for another go round in Caldwell!  I am so happy and excited to stay here as long as I can! 

Have a blessed week familia! Les amo muchisimo!

Hermana Moss

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 10, 2015 Week 24

Hola familia!

This week went super fast, and it was full of activities.  Sorry for my brevity this week as it is getting harder and harder to write long letters.  Last Monday we dropped off a get well basket for a woman in our ward who just had surgery. She was really appreciative and It felt so good to care for her. Any little thing I can do to lift someone's spirits is my priority and will always be. I am so grateful for the capacity to love everyone that I serve. 

This Wednesday we went on exchanges. I got to spend the day with my "grandma", Hermana Carrasco! She trained Sister Guti.  She is reserved and really caring.  I love the her atmosphere and although I do not serve alongside her in Nampa, she is an obedient and hard working missionary and I love her!  Hopefully, I will get to work around her more often.

We visited Emily this week and invited her to baptism, which she accepted!  I am excited for her and her choice to come unto Christ and be perfected in him. As soon as we left the appointment, I wonder if Emily understands what she is getting into. As far as she knows, she accepted baptism, but she doesn't realize that she said yes to a whole new life! A wonderful life!  Hern is a convert herself and having some background of her own, she reassured me that as long as she sticks with it, and as long as we do our very best at fellow shipping her and teaching her, she will catch on. It is going to be a long road to her full conversion. There is an old Chinese proverb that says the journey of a thousand miles begins with one footstep. Our Prophets call it line upon line, precept upon precept.  I marvel at the fact that people convert everyday, and that long road starts with a single step, being baptism. Oh what a fabulous journey is in store for her. 

Thursday, we did some yard work/service for Lupita. Afterwards, she bought pizza for us all! My taste buds have changed-- it is now weird for me not to eat pizza with hot sauce. ha ha! Lupita is Carlos' mom, and although she can't get baptized, she does a spectacular job supporting her son in his steps to baptism. Normally for an investigator to get baptized, they have to come to church at least twice, so when Carlos didn't come to church yesterday, we started to panic. We made several calls up the chain of command to ask president Cannon if we should proceed with his baptism, and he gave us the green light!  WHEW!  After church, we went to four different dinners.. We eat good!  

This is the last week of the transfer.. where did it go? It went by way too fast. I hope I can stay and do some good in Caldwell with Hermana Hernandez for a couple more transfers. :) 

Welp! Have a blessed week familia! I love y'all.

Hermana Moss

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Week 23 August 3, 2015

Hola Familia!

This week was full of different things that happened, and there never seems to be enough time to do anything.

Every Tuesday, we meet with our Spanish Ward Bishop and he tells us about the news and how the church is responding. He told us this past week about the Boy Scouts of America news.  Lots of decisions for the church.  I hope we will always have Philmont. I have gone to Philmont 2 times and had dreams of returning and working for them as a ranger.

Well one of our investigators dropped us week. We have been meeting with an older woman for the past 4 weeks.  She is a sweet woman who has a lot of struggles and suffers with depression. So when we came to see her this Tuesday, she told us that it was okay to come back the next day with the elders and give her a blessing. But when we came back on Wednesday, we were met outside by her daughter and her husband instead. They told us that we weren't welcome to back and started saying that our church wasn't true and how we supposedly believe in a different Jesus Christ. It got really hostile really fast, and none of us including the elders said anything yet.  Just as I was about to break down and call them out, Elder Muniz stepped up and calmed everything down. He spoke with such power and authority and it was really cool. Kudos to Elder Muniz!  Whew!  That was a close one!

We met with the Benitez family who is less active. We talked with one of the older girls for 2 hours! She is super nice and is very open to telling us why she doesn't want to be in the church anymore. She had a really rough childhood doubts God was ever a part in her life. But we listened to her and heard her out. I think the most difficult part of sitting down with her and trying to empathize is the fact that when we try to be open minded, we let our defenses down a little bit. But you know what? Just because she found fault in the church, doesn't mean that it isn't true. The church is for everyone, people just need to learn how to accept it when they are ready, and when they are ready the missionaries will be there!

I don't feel like continuing with anymore bad news, so here comes the good news: We met with a woman named Arcelia. She is a less active and has some of the most friendly kids I have ever met! Oh I just love them so much, especially little Lalo, who is the cutest little 3 year old boy ever. I also enjoy the spirit that is in her home, it is full of love. This Saturday morning we got up early and went over to Juan's house to help him make tamales! Oh my goodness, it reminded me so much of Christmas back home.  Ahh the memories:)  We probably made 300 tamales, and we didn't even finish when we had to leave! Juan is known in Caldwell Spanish Ward for making the spiciest salsa, which was evident in the tamales! I wish mom could taste them, maybe I can send some in dry ice? haha!

This Sunday we taught the YW in the Caldwell 15th ward about the importance of families, we also talked to them about coming out with us on visits. We prepared for the past 2 weeks for this lesson, we even pitched it to the YW President beforehand! It went really well, the spirit was strong and of course, there were tears shed. You can't have an effective lesson with the YW without having someone cry - which was me mostly..haha!

This morning in my personal study of El Libro de Mormon was powerful. I was focusing on 2Nephi 26:23-33. Then I asked myself a lot of questions like: How could Christ love everyone all at once? How can he love someone who doesn't love him back? But the biggest question I asked was how can I develop this love? This reminded me of a talk given by Elder Neilson in the last April conference called 'Waiting for the Prodigal Son'. I love that talk! I especially loved the last 3 paragraphs when he realized he was the prodigal son instead of the unrighteous son that didn’t obey his father.  We are all on the same path back to Heavenly Father. I can compare myself all day long to others who don't have the gospel and how I think that I am easier to love, but it simply isn't true. I am not of more worth or loved more than anybody else. In my own way, I am a prodigal daughter in need of His divine help. I will never understand the love that the Savior and Heavenly Father has for me, but my goal in this life is to learn to love as best as I can.

That's all for now folks! Have a blessed week!

Hermana Moss

Sunday, August 2, 2015

July 27, 2015 Week 22

Hola familia!!

This week was better. I don't have too many days where I feel totally out of whack, but when they do happen, I figure I should tell y'all about them to make sure everybody understands that missionaries, although they seem perfect, we struggle.  I am learning about my flaws and praying hard to become what the Lord wants me to be.  I can say that I love the people I serve and I love my companion!!!! :)))

I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to learn more about myself and how I can improve as I put the Lord first. I have noticed that my storytelling skills have definitely improved. This week we had two appointments with two different families. These families both had a couple kids around 14-18.  As we were with them, I took out the scriptures and tried to explain the meaning through a story.  It was as if the Spirit was right there sitting with us, because at the end, they were all leaning forward in their seats; and when we asked them when we could come back they all said as soon as we had time in our schedule for next week!  This made me so grateful for the blessings of the Spirit which I pray for each day.  In the past, I remember times where I couldn't tell a story to save my life.  I would screw up the punch line and tell things out of order.  It is frustrating to have so many weaknesses!  Anyway, the blessings never cease and I find myself continually learning how much I depend on the Lord for guidance and the very words to say. I am learning that it is not about me.  

This week we saw a girl named Emily. She has been through and has seen lots of things in her life that would make the you weep. Hern and her other comps had previously knocked on her door and were able to share a short and sweet message of the gospel, but had never been invited in her home. This time was different, she not only invited us in, but she poured her heart out to us. She is such a sweet girl and I feel a special connection to her since she is only 17.  We were able to teach her about repentance and the miracle of being able to forgive others. I hope whatever we said resonated with her and that we will be able to meet with her next week and teach a legit lesson. 

This Friday, Hern and I got to go back to Ontario and see Bryan get baptized!! The service itself was great and I loved catching up with my old comps and with the members who came to see and support Bryan.  On the ride back home, I reminded myself how impossible it is to teach people about the gospel if the church weren't true.  I am more convinced each day that the church is led by Christ himself!  Oh how I love the perfectness of this Gospel.

Yesterday was Sunday, as soon as sacrament meeting was over, I looked behind me and what did I find? Lo and behold, a white boy that seemed very out of place, the one and the only Colton Cubbedge! (my cousin) I ran up to him with excitement, then forgot I couldn't hug him.  We exchanged numbers and we will be having dinner with Michelle's family in Caldwell East stake very soon! 

In my study of el Libro de Mormon, I was reading the Isaiah chapters which Nephi quotes, but I didn't have the diligence to translate and attempt to comprehend what I can't even understand in English. So, I skipped Isaiah and went straight into 2 Nephi 25. I love that chapter!!! It gives us so much revelation about these latter days. I can spend forever pondering and talking about it.  I love the Book of Mormon!  Isaiah is hard!

Anyway familia! I love y'all and hope you have a blessed week!

Hermana Moss