Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 25, 2016 Week 61 The Mills move and Miriam is on hold. More tender mercies.

Hola familia!

This week was really tough.  I am experiencing some of the hardest life lessons a person can go through, but I am strong and will pull through it.  

Monday we had Lesson 2 with Enimia and her family.  Webb and I didn't eat anything all day, so by the time we finished with Enimia, we were really hungry. As we said the closing prayer and got up to leave, Enimia stopped us and asked if we wanted to eat anything. That was kind of cool. I have been feeling lately that we need to get closer to this family, so we stayed. It was nice to slow down and eat her amazing Mexican food:)

Tuesday we had an exchange with the Parma sisters, I stayed in Ontario with Sister Robinson and Webb went to Parma with Smith! We had the opportunity to teach both Miriam and Eva Lesson 3. They are progressing well and we are so excited to see them get baptized. There was also a really cool miracle in Parma, so this was a successful exchange. 

Wednesday we exchanged back because we needed to get things prepared for Miriam's baptism on Saturday.  We got the invitations made, the programs all printed out, contacted all the missionaries involved in teaching her, got the font scheduled, we had an extra hard time contacting the building coordinator to get the building reserved but we finally got that locked down.  It seemed like it was just too good to be true, when we got a text from Miriam's mom asking us to hold off on the invitations because she wanted  to speak with us more. Well, this got us super nervous, because it was already Wednesday and the baptism is on Saturday and we need to get people informed in the branch if we want anybody to come. Her mom then told us that she won't be able to meet with us until Friday.  We kept imagining all of our hard work crushed!  We were mostly frustrated that Satan is always present before all of our baptisms!  Anyway, Friday came and we went over to talk to Yuriana, Miriam's mom. We said a special prayer earlier for the Lord to give us the strength and the courage to say what needed to be said and if it isn't the right time, then we would understand and keep working toward that end. We had a nice talk, but like I said earlier, it was too good to be true. We are going to keep visiting with Miriam and teaching her until Yuriana feels like she is ready. The baptism isn't officially called off (thank goodness) it is just postponed for now. As I hugged Yuriana goodbye, she quietly whispered, thank you for understanding. All is well, it is not the end of the world, even though is sure felt like it. 

Thursday we had weekly planning after a couple of service hours at the Mills.  Webb and I ended up talking about our leadership roles. Being an STL really stresses me out because a lot of the time I don't feel like the leader I should be. Inadequacy gets to me hard core. In this position, I am learning that not everybody is going to like me especially when I have sisters with personalities that are complete opposite of mine...It's like high school all over again!!  I really appreciate Webb and her ability to not pre-judge people and give unbiased counsel. I decided to take a shower after our long discussion and this is where I just broke down and had a long crying session as I wrestled with the Lord.  I asked questions like 'Why am I not the leader I want to be?' 'Why can't they just accept me as their STL?' And then came the tender mercy I needed to hear: It was a gentle reminder from the Lord: "I didn't call you to fail, I called you because you would try. Don't you think that Adam, Abraham, Moses, etc felt inadequate? These men became great leaders through their complete and utter humility."  This sweet and tender moment brought me to my knees.  I have no idea why I was asked to serve in this position, but I can tell y'all that I have never seen my faults so clear, so clear that it hurts to look in the mirror.  But yet, I have never seen so many miracles come from a change in my personality. Earlier in my mission, my dependency on the Lord was all about Spanish, now I see how He is changing my character. I have never felt this much capacity to love others- I have it because as their leader I have to love them through their faults; not just working alongside as a regular missionary. Then I thought about something I had never thought before: Before the Atonement, Christ was willing to sacrifice because he first loved us. He learned what it was really like to feel pain & sorrow because of his love for us during the grueling hours of his Atonement. Just like Christ, we learn to really come to love those we serve during our greatest trials. This being said, I am going to try my absolute best to be the leader that He needs me to be, even if it means being utterly humble- and losing myself, they are worth my love. With His help, anything is possible.

Friday we had a branch activity at President Montgomery's ranch. It was super cold and not many people showed up because it had rained earlier. It was still a lot of fun. Saturday we helped the Mills move, I am going to miss them!! 

Welp familia, I love y'all!!
And don't forget, there is a sister missionary in Ontario that is praying for you!

Hermana Moss:)

We worked hard!

So tired!

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016 Week 60 A Miracle in Ontario.

Hola familia!

This week has been a good one. Not too busy, not too easy, just normal for once! I'm grateful though because you know what they say about idle hands- they are the devil's workshop! Haha:)

Monday we had another appointment to see our new investigator, Enimia and her family to teach them about the Restoration. It's cute because each time we come over, she ralleys them all together on the couch to listen to us. We have their full attention, which never happens to us.  We committed them all to a baptismal date for the first week in May.  We need prayers so that everything goes well!

Wednesday, we had exchanges with the Nyssa sisters. So I stayed in Ontario with Hermana Bertolino's greenie, Hermana Mackenzie.  She is a peach and I love her. :)  I found out that we both went to BYU for our first semester in the Fall 2014 and that she knows Denton!! Coincidences like this happen all the time. Did I mention that there is an elder from the Katy Stake that just got here and I knew him from going to the Stake youth dances?  Anyway, we had a great time on exchanges. I really appreciate those experiences when I learn from greenies and how they can see things so clearly. I would like to be a trainer, but He knew that I needed to be a STL with Hermana Webb. 

Wednesday night we saw Eva, our 12 year old investigator, and taught her about the Plan of Salvation.  She seemed to enjoy it.  Hermana Mackenzie did a great job explaining, testifying, and adding to the lesson.  She has a wonderful trainer of course, but she is a perfect example of a person who was prepared to be a missionary before she ever reported to the MTC. We need more missionaries like her. I hope that Elijah and Liam are reading their scriptures, not just because they have to, but because they want to.  I cannot tell you how many missionaries come on their missions having never read the Book of Mormon all the way through.. How are you supposed to testify to someone about it's truthfulness if you haven't read it all the way through much less have a testimony of it!? Makes no sense to me.

Thursday morning Hermana Webb had an appointment all the way in Meridian!! Since it is out of the mission, we had to ask a member family to take us.  I'll tell y'all what, I was squished in the back of a Buick for 3 hours listening to Country Christian music..the classic twangy type hahaha!! It made me laugh, because I have learned grown to love this type of music. For sure, I am gonna come home a country lovin' girl!!  It must've been written in the stars or something, because I honestly believe I was born to be a country girl, not a California native. Anyway, at the doctor's office we met a couple elders from the Boise mission. I sat with them talking about the differences of both of our missions, which were a lot. It was cool to get to talk to them.  When we got back to Ontario, we had interviews with President Cannon.  Just like last time, I came prepared with a few questions. Some of them were personal questions, and others had to do with scriptures that I wanted extra insight on, but for some reason I decided to start the interview talking about my departure date...That was a total rookie move...He was so gentle and sweet about it, but I immediately started bawling and couldn't keep my composure. I'm sure he sees this all the time, so it wasn't that embarrassing;/ It's just that I love my mission so much and I don't ever want it to end. So to listen to him say that the work I am doing right now is not nearly as important as the work I will do in the future was hard to hear.  I kid you not, I closed my eyes and covered my ears when he said it hahaha.. But he is right, I have just been putting off thinking about it for now so I guess this was the first step in the realization that my mission will end sooner than I would like.  

Friday after district meeting, we went to the Webster's house to decorate the door to Sophie's room to welcome her home. Sophie is Seth's 5 year old daughter, and because he is divorced he picks her up from Idaho Falls to spend the weekend with her every month.  I met her when Ekonomo was here and she is the cutest little redhead I have ever seen! We finished decorating the door and came back that night so Webb could meet her.  Seth is Bro & Sister Webster's son.  The next day we spent some time with her, Seth, Nana and Tata Webster. I know this family so well that I gave them all new names haha! Seth is a mechanic and on top of that he is a redhead so I call him Lightning McQueen; and I call Sister and Brother Webster Nana and Tata. They are just as much family to me as the real deal, so why not?  I love them.  

Sunday was Stake Conference and the translating responsibility was mine.  Whenever there is a woman speaking, I get to translate.  I haven't really needed to translate because there is a young woman in the branch with that calling.  I haven't translated since Caldwell, so I was a little rusty!  I got better as the meeting went on though, thankfully.  

Sunday evening we had a cool miracle. After dinner, we went to see Chayo, an eterni-gator.  As we were talking with her, we asked where her husband was and she told us that he was outside drinking with a neighbor.  From previous experiences, we know that he can be temper-mental when he drinks and in the past Chayo has asked us to come again later. But this time, Elias came inside and talked to us and asked us MANY questions about what we believe and to see if we could give him answers to his questions about why bad things have been happening to him lately.  I have met him before and he is nice to us, it's just that I have never heard him say more than a few words to us. They weren't easy questions either and in a normal situation, I wouldn't have had the answer. Not only was I given the power to answer his questions, but I was able to tell him in Spanish. In those few hours, I felt God give me the strength I needed to help one of his children who was lost and suffering. After all the questions, and discussion he told us he wanted to come to church and he even offered to give the closing prayer!!! It was amazing!! We both walked out of there looking at each other like "What just happened?" Not only that, but I was completely drained, kind of like how after having a very powerful spiritual experience you just loose all your energy... that was me. That was the coolest miracle of the week! I am grateful that Heavenly Father is in the details and that he was there to give us the very words that need to be spoken.

Welp familia, I love y'all!!
And don't forget, there is a sister missionary in Ontario that is praying for you!

Hermana Moss :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April 11, 2016 Week 59 Brother Webster! The Best & the Worst!

Hola familia!

This week was the most stressful yet! But we also had a lot of miracles. 

Monday we were to meet with Veronica to have FHE with her and her family and also to meet with Jerson, our future missionary from the branch.  When we got there, I was happily surprised to see Eva.  Back when I was in Ontario the first time, the English elders were teaching her, but for some reason she never got baptized. She would come to sports night and I got to form a nice friendship with her. So when I saw her at Veronica's, I was so excited.  She told me how much she missed me and wanted us to start teaching her again. We set up an appointment for later in the week and continued with our FHE. We watched the Testaments, and of course, the last part always makes me cry.  3 Nephi 11 is one of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon. Then we did some role playing with Jerson.  He needs a bit of preparation, but he will be a great missionary one day.

Tuesday we had an appointment to help the Mills pack up stuff in their house. We were there about an hour before the other English sisters showed up. They immediately asked us if we knew about papa, and we were super confused because we thought they were talking about papa mills who was snoozing on the couch upstairs. They were talking about Brother Webster across who was admitted to the hospital earlier that morning.  As soon as we heard it this news, my heart sunk. The rest of our service seemed to preoccupy my thoughts of Brother Webster.  I have grown so close to this family and this news sunk deep in my heart. When we finished helping the Mills, we headed over to the hospital to see Brother and Sister Webster, as well as the other family members who were in the critical care unit waiting room. Webb and I walked in and somehow knew exactly where we should go.  We waited for a good 5 minutes before Sister Webster came out of the CCU to meet us because they didn't allow visitors to come through. We had a good long crying session.  Several minutes later, a nurse came and took him to get some tests done, so that meant I got to see him being wheeled out into the hall. I watched from the window and cried some more and as soon as the nurse brought him out to the hall.  Later when they wheeled him back in, Sister Webster asked the nurses if we could come in to say goodbye, which they allowed me and Webb to do!  This made us feel super special. Bro and Sis Webster told us that we are now a part of their family.  I love this family so much.  Please pray for Brother Webster.

Wednesday we went back to the Mills to do some more packing. When I got done, Kali showed up to say hi to the Mills since she is in town.  She is the Websters' granddaughter who is my age, and she is in town because her college semester just ended.  It was no coincidence that she happened to show up just at the right time to see the Mills and that her appointments fell through, I asked her to join us to visit a few people.  Afterwards we went to the hospital to check on Bro Webster. We also just happened to be there at the right time for the doctor to come in and tell him that all his tests came back negative for anything wrong and he could go home! We all went back to their house for a chicken noodle soup dinner.  It wasn't long before Webb started to have another episode. This time it was the worst I had ever seen. We stayed there for a while because Sis Webster called her home teachers to come and give Webb a blessing. It was a well needed one for her.  These last few weeks weren't hard for me because I am not sick, but it feels as if I am sick too.  I want so much for Webb to get better from whatever she has, but I don't know what to do and that is the most frustrating part. We went home and were able to make it through the night, big accomplishment!  I love her.

Friday started out great, then awful, and then it ended beautifully. We had district meeting that morning but what made it special was having Jerson there to get a sense of the meetings he will be a part when he goes on his mission.  It was a normal meeting, and at the end the floor was open to the missionaries to give him advise on how he can better prepare himself. One of the things that was repeated frequently was that most of what we hear from return missionaries are their highlights, not their bad experiences. I would even say that 40% are the miracles and amazing things we learn, but the other 60% are the trials and disappointments. On the mission, I have definitely had my moments of despair and anguish, I have never shed more tears, nor have I ever felt more pressure and stress; but I have never felt such deep love for people.  I would never change it for the world. Serving a mission has been the best decision I have ever made and I have never felt closer to my Savior.  I signed up to be shoulder to shoulder with Him. That means that I need to go through hard times as well as the happy times.  I promised God that if He would help me fulfill my mission, then I would never give up, and so far He has held up his side of the deal flawlessly.  It is most certainly worth every tear and heartache for those few tender mercies.

After district meeting, we went to see some people. Most of them were not home, and then we got word that our only set appointment for the day canceled.  Finally we found a family with a car in the driveway, but when we walked up to the house we could hear 2 people screaming at each other. We saw the little brother of the bickering couple outside who was shooting a bb gun with his friends. We did not stay long because the profanity was so bad that we would not be able to share a scripture with the brother and feel the spirit.  I cannot explain how palpable it was to feel my spirit leave me as we listened to that conversation. The appointment that canceled earlier opened back up with Eva.  We went to Veronica's house and taught her the Restoration and also set a baptismal date for the last Saturday of April!  I am so excited for her because I know that she is finally ready after a whole year. Later on that night, we visited Miriam, our 11 year old self-progressing investigator.  Last I heard from her, she told me that she had the green light from her mom to get baptized and she finally felt ready.  That night we taught her the Plan of Salvation and set a baptismal date for the third week of April!  Indeed, our day started out right, then got crappy, then ended with some sweet miracles!

On Saturday, Webb had an appointment to meet with President Cannon about her illness. He asked her about her companionship, the language struggles, the area, and her family.  All to which she told him were completely normal. I am so grateful for PCannon.  Webb is an answer to my prayers and one of the best companions I have had.  I love Webb!  Anyway, after her interview she got a blessing and we headed for a district leadership council meeting. Then we went to Parma to grab some lunch. We mentioned to the zone leaders that branch president Montgomery interviewed 2 eight year old boys that would be getting baptized at 5 o'clock that day and told us that 1 of the boys just turned 9, meaning that the boy wasn't under Montgomery's jurisdiction but the missionary's. I swear, they couldn't have had worse timing because we have been working on this baptism for a week and we have already invited all the missionaries to come and watch the baptism that will be taking place in just a few hours!!!!  We booked it over to President Montgomery's auto shop to break the news to him and to try to work out details, while the ZL's got a hold of a district leader to interview the 9 year old to make sure he knew enough to get baptized as a convert.  We had to stop a baptism! Strangest feeling ever! We got to the shop to find that he wasn't there!!  So we went over to his house to find that he was on his tractor in the middle of his field which was blocked by an electric fence.. so we tried to drive around it and honk the car's horn hoping he would hear it so he would stop and talk to us. Haha, turns out we honked at the wrong farmer.  But President finally answered his phone and we talked to him about he situation. We got it figured out and the district leader deemed the 9 year old ready for baptizism.  Whew!  All this within 20 minutes before the baptism!!  The baptism went well and I was happy to see all the missionaries show up, it was a great reunion. 

On Sunday, we had the greatest miracle. Sandra, the self-progressing investigator that brings her entire family to church, helped us by referring us to her extended family.  We tried getting there previously in the week but got lost from the directions she gave us. When we finally found the house and started talking about our purpose being able to teach them the gospel so that they will eventually get baptized. They all started crying and immediately accepted the baptismal invitation!!  I have never had investigators that were more prepared to hear the gospel and so willing to accept the message. The best part was that we didn't even have to find them, they came to us!! They were fellow shipped by Juan Meza, who is an investigator himself, and all because he had the courage to open his mouth and invite them to church! This is how missionary work should be done.  I am thrilled to start teaching them because I know they will grasp the precious doctrine and it will work miracles in their lives.  They are ready.  They have even expressed that their ultimate destination isn't just baptism, but the temple too!!  Not sure if y'all heard it or not, but my jaw hit the floor that Sunday evening and probably caused an earthquake in the middle of the ocean somewhere. 

All in all, the best and worst week ever!! I love y'all!

Hermana Moss:)


Guti & Hawn

I'm watching you!

Me & Webb

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Week 58 April 4, 2016 An Awesome Week

Hola familia!
We had a awesome week, I feel like so much has happened that I don't know where to start, nor will I be able to write about everything. I especially loved watching conference, all of the questions I had were answered. Can y'all believe that there are over 15 million people watching this live and they all have different questions that are so unique, and they were all answered through revelation. So grateful for inspired messages from our prophet and apostles!
On Monday we started giving mission prep lessons to a young man in the branch named Jerson. He is currently living with the Branch President because his family situation wasn't helping him stay active in the church or keep up with school.  He is a great kid and we enjoy teaching him. We role played about the Plan of Salvation and gave him homework to read from PMG.  Today we will go over and have him pretend to be a missionary.  I can say this a million times and it will still be true, I love the Plan of Salvation!  Every time I teach it, I can always feel the Spirit as I testify of its truthfulness.  How anyone can deny such a beautiful message I will never be able to understand. In fact this week went around to see the members and remind them of General Conference and I felt like we needed to stop and talk to this one guy who was outside working on his car. He was very nice to us and explained that he has been to our church before and listened to the missionaries.  He is now a member of a difference church and likes where he is. We tried to share a message about the church, but as soon as I pulled out my scriptures he refused to listen to us. Webb even offered to share a song from the hymn book with him but he still refused. My feelings weren't hurt because that happens and I am used to it. My, how I have grown!
Tuesday, Webb had to go to a new leadership meeting in Nampa, so that meant I need to go on splits with Guti!! I can't seem to get enough of that Guti goodness haha! This is her last transfer and I can't believe she is almost ready to leave the mission and me.  As my mission mom, she has taught me through her wise and powerful example and I am SOOOO grateful to have been able to hear and feel her strong testimony as she teaches. We were only together for a couple hours, but in that time we witnesses a miracle!  She and her comp had received a referral and for a long time, they haven't been able to find this person because the address was incorrect and their GPS was not able to find it either.  While we drove around and looked for it, we still couldn't find it. We even tried knocking on doors to see if anyone knew who this person was.  Nobody answered. But then, as we were driving away, I looked over and spotted the house we were looking for.  Moss-1; Satan-0!  We knocked at the door and we were able to meet this nice woman who was bedridden after she had a traumatic experience. Those little miracles happen all the time and I love them! :)

Thursday we got paid since it was the beginning of the month, and the first thing Webb did was get permission to buy a humidifier to help her sinuses at night. Right after that, we went to Parma to visit and brighten the spirit of Sister Robinson who has been super sick for the last couple of days. Just before we were about to head back to Ontario, Webb decided to leave her new humidifier and some oils with Sis Robinson since she needed it more. This is one of the many Christ-like characteristics of Webb that I adore.  Once again, I love Webb!!! That night we went to sports night and I had the best time playing volley ball ever! Overall we had a great day.
On Friday we had a district meeting and I was asked to give the spiritual thought. I came prepared with a box of sea shells that I got from helping the Mills clean out their house. I shared a scripture from Matt 4:18-20 and talked about how we are called to be fishers of men, not rulers or kings, but humble fishermen. And then I let them all pick out a shell to remind them of that sacred calling. 
Sunday was extra special because in between the conferences, another miracle happened. Our branch got together to have a brunch but not many people showed up, probably because it wasn't well announced the Sunday before.  Our recent convert, Gabriela Meza's, nonmember husband who is very active and dedicated to the church, invited one of his coworkers to come to church. She came to the brunch activity!! Webb and I got to talk to her and got her address and the address of two other families that she is bringing to church!!  She has been coming to church for the past few weeks, but somehow she always leaves before we get the chance to talk to her or her family members. We are super excited to teach them.
This transfer, our Mission President extended a challenge to us over the next two transfers, to read the BOM from start to finish. I have been listening to it in Spanish and following along in English. It has been so great to read it all over again because I get to hear all the wonderful and prophetic accounts that Nephi teaches me. He is my favorite scripture hero, he is so logical and spiritually persuasive.  And even though he thinks that he is not that great in writing as he is in speech, I beg to differ! If I had the chance to meet anyone that has ever lived, other than Christ, it would be Nephi. Hands down, no competition. 
Welp familia, it looks like I wrote a lot but not really in comparison to all that has happened this week. I love this work and I am proud to wear the badge.
I love y'all!!
Hermana Moss :)
Brother & Sister Boman

Me & Webb