Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 26, 2015 Week 35

Hola familia!

This week went well, and super fast because we've been busy with lots of different things. I don't have much to say, so this email may be kinda short.

On Monday afternoon, I went on an exchange with Sister Jarrett in her area. We had a busy schedule on Monday after pray, including going to the YSA FHE where they played temple trivia!  Guess what? I sucked at that game!! I now realize how little I actually know about temples other than what goes on inside of them, haha! 

Most of our week was spent in preparation for the Spanish Ward Halloween activity. For some reason this Holiday wasn't covered in the Relief Society budget and we didn't have extra money or time to plan it. So we ended up working with the RS president and planned a decent party on our own. We also spent time going to visit people and tell them about the party, but sadly, not too many people showed up. Nevertheless, it was still lots of fun. The missionaries were asked to man the booths for the fiesta and I was in charge of the bobbing for apples booth.  It was cute watching them get all wet :)

We are teaching an investigator named Jovany, and I am sure I have mentioned him in the last email. Anyway, thank you so much for all your prayers on his behalf. We just met with him yesterday and reminded him of his baptismal date in 2 weeks. We've only taught him 2 lessons so far, and it was a surprise that we were the ones who were kind of nervous with how close his date is.  He was the one who wanted to continue to push for that date!  He has come to every sacrament meeting, every sports night, every activity, keeps all of his commitments, reads the scriptures that we assign him, and never reschedules with us. I can hardly believe how fast he is progressing and how the Spirit works so diligently with him.  This is a miracle in itself for me to see the Atonement in action. What if he decides to go on a mission, or one day is called to be a General Authority or a Mission President? Ahhh, the potential!

Yesterday morning I was reading Bruce R McConkie's 1987 talk called 'The Caravan Moves On'. Wow! I was amazed how the words seemed to jump off the page and hit me to the core. It was a humbling experience too, to come to the realization that although the world seems to falter, the Church and it's righteous disciples will continue to go forward and we will either be in the caravan or be left behind. 

Welp familia! I love you all!   Please continue to pray for Jovany.  Stay safe and enjoy Halloween!!

Hermana Moss :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 34 October 19, 2015

Hola familia!

I hope this email finds y'all in good health and spirit! This week has been full of little miracles! It made me really think of how much Heavenly Father really appreciates me and the work that is here for me to accomplish through him. The week started off by getting those packages that you sent mom! That was so thoughtful of you to label everything like that. It totes made my night! I was so excited to open them that I accidentally sliced my finger with the little pocket knife I had used to get it open. Oops! :) It's all good.  

Then on Tuesday, we had a lesson with a young man named Jovany. We had originally tracted his dad and hadn't visited him since. But when we came back to visit his dad and his wife, Guille, whom we had met on another occasion, we found Jovany instead! He is so cool, he has been coming to every sports night and he came and watched general conference with us.  He has been coming to the YSA ward with us, and we hadn't even taught him any of the lessons yet! So this week we taught him the first lesson. It went so well, and at the end he accepted a baptismal date for November 7th!  Then on Saturday we had another appointment with him to watch the restoration movie. When it ended, he shared with us how he had read the chapter in the Book of Mormon that I gave him as homework, and he told us that he couldn't stop reading because it made him feel so good inside! It made me cry a little bit, because I knew that he was "getting it"!  He is progressing at a rate I didn't think was possible. He surprises us every time we see hime with how much he understands and accepts. Please pray for Jovany that he may be able to receive his own personal testimony. This is it. This is why we are sent out into the field, to recover lost sheep one by one.  What joy it brings to my soul.

On Friday we had exchanges with the other Spanish hermanas in the zone. I spent the day with Hermana Vuijch in her area and Hawn went with Hern in our area. It was kind of scary for me because Hern had asked me to help her in her STL responsibilities, so of course I said I would. I spent most of the day teaching and training Vujich about how to organize and fill out paperwork in the area book. Normally, her trainer would have taught her how to do it, but her trainer chose not to train her and never let her learn or help with this. (I am a firm believer in companion-exchanges, it gives one the chance to have a fresh perspective and the ability to say the things that their investigators/less actives need to hear without being nervous.)  Afterward we visited an older woman who just lost her son in a car accident. We stayed there a long time listening to her and trying to console her about how her son is learning about the gospel in heaven and we told her that things are going to turn out alright. I then shared a scripture that hopefully made her think about how it is never too late to learn the gospel and that she should look forward to seeing him again. We eventually left and finished the rest of the day's schedule until 7:00, we even made it to sports night.  It turned out to be a really good day. 

Another miracle that we saw was on Sunday.  We had so many less actives and investigators attend sacrament meeting, including Jovany! It made me smile from ear to ear like that Beyonce song haha!  I also gave a talk in one of the English wards which we cover. It was last minute assignment, so we didn't have a lot of time to prepare. I finally decided it was time for me to stop reading my talks word for word.  I only wrote down bullet points so that I would be guided in my thinking process. I also prayed that I would be guided to say the things the ward members needed to hear- and it went well! I have a lot of faith that the Spirit gives me the words to say that are not my own, I am grateful for this opportunity to be his spokesperson. That same day, we were asked to teach the Sunday School class for the YM and YW of the Spanish ward.  We also taught that class by the Spirit and it went well. We are learning to teach and talk with little preparation time, maybe we are being taught to be ready at all times and in all places.

On Sunday night we had FHE with a woman in the ward named Hermana Nora, she is so adorable and I love her to pieces! She told us that she would be inviting another woman whom she works with who happens to be Anti-mormon.  So when got there, we were cautious. She treated us like we were regular people, which is awesome. Then we taught a quick lesson about the parable of the 10 virgins, which she approved of haha. Then we played the frog game, and we had everybody laughing and happy when we left. Hermana Nora reported to us how much her friend loved our company and how she wants to be invited to all the other FHE's at her house in the future. Good impression accomplished! 

Welp! I hope y'all have a week full of little miracles! 

Hermana Moss :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 33 October 12, 2015

Hola familia!!

This week has been generally slow, although we put in a lot of work. I can't believe It's already October.. in just a few short weeks it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas!!! AHHH!!! 

On Wednesday we had quarterly interviews with President Cannon. Hern advised me that I should come with questions for him so that I can get quick answers instead of going through the whole chain of command. So, I did.  I wrote down some questions that I had been pondering for some time now and asked President Cannon during my interview. I love my mission president! He is an honest, good man and I know that he is inspired to help us out everyday and help lead the work forward. He had a direct answer to every single one of my questions, and eased my mind about the little worries that I have been having. Before the interview, he asked us to fill out a paper where it asked us how obedient we are to the rules. I was completely honest on that paper and when he brought it out and looked it over, I wanted to crawl under a rock and die! I want President to think I am a good missionary, but with all of my faults out on the table I felt less that worthy. I now know exactly what it will be like when we reach the judgement bar unrepentantly.  And like Alma the Younger- unworthy before the judgement seat and helplessly inadequate. Just as Christ does, President Cannon loves each of us so much! He looked past my flaws and was able to look me in the eye and tell me that I was doing great! Haha!  I was thinking that he must not know that I am not exactly obedient, but it's a part of the learning process for me. Resolved to do better, I walked out of there confident, feeling that President was pleased with me and that I can conquer the world now. 

Wednesday night we had dinner with a family from the Caldwell 1st ward. They are a huge family!! They have 9 children, with ages ranging from infant to 15!! It was so fun to be with them and have dinner, it reminded me of being at grandma Diane's house when dad's brothers and sisters are all together. I love the feeling of it all, but it was extremely hard to keep track of what everybody was saying all at once. I want a big family myself, but maybe I'll just keep it to a nice number like 4 or 6, I am a strong believer in the buddy system!

On Thursday, Hern had a special training meeting to help her figure out her new responsibilities as STL. So, I went on exchanges with Hermana Carrasco and Sister Ealeson in Nampa!  It was a lot of fun, I especially love being with Hermana Carrasco- she is my trainer's trainer- or what we like to call grandma in missionary terms. :) We spent most of the day trying to contact referrals, but NONE of them were home!  It kind of soothed me a little bit to know that it isn't just me, when magically nobody is home when we door knock.  After knocking about 10 referral's doors, we gave up and got lunch at Wendy's. Then Gma C took us to this cool duck park where went on a 20 minute walk. It looked so much like Houston I couldn't believe it, so I took a whole bunch of photos for proof. 

Earlier this week we had to come and see how Lupita and Carlos were doing because it has literally been 3 weeks since we've seen them.. It was slightly awkward because of some things that went down 3 weeks ago. Long story short, their aunt was really mean to us and told us that Lupita never wanted to see us again. But we knew that wasn't true because Lupita has a good head on her shoulders- she is great at seeing both sides to a story before she comes to any conclusions. The aunt, although she is a member, she is inactive and has caused a lot of contention with us and her family. So we decided it was best to give it some time to settle down. On Friday we had breakfast with Lupita! She made us crazy amazing sandwiches that I have tried to replicate, but fail each time. Anyways, we had a very lovely time together and taught her about how to read and ponder the scriptures. I lover her and can't wait to see her next week :) 

This week I have been reading the book, "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" by Clayton M Christensen. It is sooo good! I strongly recommend it to every member of the church, every ward mission leader, and every pre- missionary/return missionary.  It puts into perspective how simple and glorious the work of salvation is. I will try this week to implement at least one of the ideas that I found in my reading and will report next week my results :) 

Welp! I love y'all!

Hermana Moss :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 32 October 5, 2015 Hern's Birthday

Hola familia!

SOOO many things happened this week. I don't even know where to start, so please excuse my brevity because I lack the time to express everything that happened with as much detail as I would prefer.  First, I hope that everyone had a wonderful and inspiring General Conference!  I know I did :)

On Tuesday we got a call from the housing coordinators to tell us that they were moving us out of Sister Waite's home the next day!  We weren't taken too much by surprise, we thought this would eventually happen in the near future, just not this soon. We spent all night Tuesday packing until 2 am when we eventually crashed. Then Wednesday morning, we had to get up early and get ready for a meeting that Hern now has to go to since she's been made STL.  It was a 6 hour meeting and during that time, I went on exchanges with another sister, which made me the senior companion for the day and the only Spanish speaker.  Interestingly enough, no one was  home.  Haha!  We must've tried visiting 10 different homes.  Although it wasn't very productive, I really enjoyed spending time with Sister Eliason.  She is a sweetheart and I hope I get the chance to work with her in the future. Later that night we loaded all of our stuff into Juan's truck. It was a big load, yeah for Juan!  Then we said goodbye to Sister Waite and took some pictures.  It was a happy/sad goodbye. I will miss living with her. :) 

On Friday we had a zone meeting!  The meeting itself consisted mostly the ZL's trying to help motivate us to continue baptizing all of Caldwell. Haha! They have a lot of faith in us. :)  I know that as a missionary our purpose is to baptize, but during the meeting my mind was drawn instead to a few of my recent converts, now less active. How can the Lord ask me to keep baptizing when they don't stay strong on their own?  I couldn't help the feeling of sadness that I have knowing that Eva, Isabel, Carlos and many others do not come to church and feel no desire to be a part of such a wonderful organization. I reserved my thoughts and feelings until after the meeting so I can think about it some more. Then, during one of the sessions of General Conference, I remembered something very important, my job is to baptize them and help them in their journey, not to baby them every step of the way. In the scriptures it literally says that no one can come into the presence of the Father without the ordinance of baptism, and that is what I am trying to accomplish on my mission. I can spend all day with converts reading the scriptures, teaching them how to pray, and sitting with them at church, but the fact is that they can't always rely on me because I physically won't be there 100% of the time.  At some point, I have to let them go and spread their wings, so they can gain their own testimony. They have to want it for themselves.

Thursday was Hern's birthday! She's one of the oldest sisters in the mission, being 26 now.  I remember it was rainy, and cold outside and we didn't do much because Thursday is normally when we do our weekly plan. But to celebrate, we invited all the Spanish missionaries serving in Caldwell to go to lunch at a restaurant called the Burnt Lemon. It was a lot of fun, then afterwards we invited the Hermanas to do their weekly planning at our house since we now have so much more room now at our new location!  Towards the evening, we attended a Relief Society activity where we tied blankets for the homeless. Good times!

General Conference was so amazing! We invited everyone to come and watch it with us, and we even got a few turnouts! There are heaps of things I can say about each one of the speakers and their talks, but I think I will just mention Russell M. Nelson's talk for now. It absolutely brought me to tears to think that women of this generation have been spoken of since Adam and Eve and that they have a divine purpose and have been saved for these latter days. He described us to be strong, valiant, courageous, wise, kind, and many other attributes. But what I will never forget is that he said we don't see ourselves the way we really are. With angels on each side, we hold the responsibility to usher in the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. How important we must be and how ready we need to be for difficult challenges ahead. 

I know that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet who leads us and loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and he is at the helm of His Church.  I know that His gospel has been restored through Joseph Smith, and through the power of the Holy Ghost he was able to translate the most treasured book that I hold so dear to my heart. I know my family has been sealed together in the Temple for time and all eternity, and I will do everything I can to be worthy of that blessing as well.  I also look forward to the blessing of being a mother when the time comes. 

Have a good one! Love y'all!

Hermana Moss :)