Monday, August 15, 2016

Final post. Everyone was home! Farewell Nampa, my heart is with you always! See you tomorrow Mom & Dad

Hola familia!
This week was the greatest! Definitely the best way to end my mission was to work hard to the finish! This week we finally caught more people at home, but for the most part summers are super busy for our investigators. This is the only time where they have to work their hardest and earn as much money as they can.

Monday was Hermana Nichols’ birthday, and we celebrated it by going to dinner since we didn't have anybody signed up. Almost every time that happens somebody always catches us and asks to pay for our meal. I am going to miss that benefit for sure. hahaha! The Lord takes care of his servants, especially when they are hungry!

Tuesday we had dinner with the Palominos family, yum! I am really going to miss that family, I have been through so much with them. But the most surprising part was that no tears were shed!! And actually I didn't cry this whole week when I was saying goodbye to people!! Weird, right? I am usually such a crybaby!  I am exercising my faith that I will be seeing them when I come back for Thanksgiving so much so that I won’t have to feel the pain of saying goodbye to them, it just hurts too much!!

Wednesday was my last district meeting! Elder Elliott, our district leader, gave me some time to share my last thoughts on what I learned from my mission, and that was my tear-fest for the whole week. Then we went to Tango’s afterwards, one of my favorite places to eat.  Then we had an amazing lesson with Jorge, Candi’s husband. He is a good guy, but he struggles to make decisions conducive to getting baptized. He even told us that he wants to be baptized, but he fears that he will go back to his old ways once the temptations come, and he was worried about some other things too. But we talked with him about goal making and the first steps to bring him closer to his Savior, so hopefully he will put that into practice. Then we had dinner with the Websters at Applebees, and Tata came too even though he was in bad shape!! I really love them, and they have also played a big role in helping me during some hard times back in Ontario. The whole faith thing that I will see them again doesn't even come into question because I WILL see them again! hahaha no doubts there.

Thursday was my last day to do weekly planning. I am not sure I will miss that haha! I like the paper work but using the power of discernment to know what to teach somebody next when it comes to their salvation is really difficult and stressful. Then we went out and taught some new investigators, Leo and Leslie, that we found tracting a couple weeks ago. I can see them taking the lessons and living the gospel to the fullest, they are super cool! Afterwards we had cena with the Fishers from Caldwell at Burnt Lemon. Unfortunately, only Sister Fisher and Annabelle could make it, but it turned out great because she gave me some great advise and counsel to ease my mind when I go home and get released. I don't know what sort of gift God gave her, but she has the ability to just see right through me and tell me the exact things that I needed to hear, plus she cracks me up!!
Friday was the best day by far because I got special permission, aka my dying wish, to go to Caldwell and see Juan and Nora get married!!!!! Nancy showed up with Gideon too!! That day was really special for me. I was very blessed to have the chance to see some of my favorite people that day look forward to the eternities as they were married civilly. This time next year, they will be going through the temple to get sealed, and that makes me so happy for them!!

Saturday we had a set appointment in the evening, so we took the opportunity to see everyone from the area book that Smith and Nichols hadn't met yet, and thankfully most of them were home!. I have confidence that they will take good care of the area and more importantly the people in it, they are great missionaries!! That night we had an amazing lesson with Christina and taught her the plan of salvation, and she is also progressing very well. She had her own little miracle this week and was gifted a car by some people she knew from the homeless shelter. I love her so much and I hope she will continue to feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost and desire to be baptized by the right priesthood authority. That was my last full lesson of my whole mission, and it was spent so well:) Sunday after church we went by the Fishers so I could say goodbye to Bro Fisher, because he was jealous that he didn’t get to see me when this week haha. Then we had a posole dinner with the Paniaguas, my last dinner in my mission, also spent well haha:) The Paniaguas are such a wonderful family, and I just connected with them so well, they have a special place in my heart!

Well.. I guess this is the part where I share my share my testimony, huh? Where do I even begin? How did I even start to share the most wonderful experience of my entire life? How do I even explain to y'all how much this has meant to me? How do I even express my gratitude to my Savior who has spent everyday with me shoulder to shoulder during the hardest yet most rewarding times I've ever had? I can't and I think that is the whole point. My mission has been the greatest opportunity to grow in the gospel and learn at the feet of my Redeemer. I have never felt Him so close and at the same time so far away. Every trial and miracle that I have seen has strengthened me and I can attribute it all to Him! The message that I carry has not just enriched the lives of the people that I have met and taught, but it has done the same and maybe even more for me. The gospel has been restored by a true prophet who was called of God to carry out this sacred work, and this same prophet, Joseph Smith, was the one who translated a record of scripture that I hold very close to my heart, the Book of Mormon. This book alone has allowed me to feel the spirit of God and has changed me from the inside out, I have been converted to this gospel and will continue to have experiences that will testify of its divinity. I have had a lot of time to ponder and ask my Heavenly Father in prayer if my mission was acceptable in His eyes, and he has given me the answer YES! He loves me and cherishes me, my work here on my mission was directed by Him the whole time and He has lead me to chose righteously through my agency. One of my greatest moments was willingly giving myself to Him so that He could use me to touch the lives of His children one by one, I am forever indebted to Him.  It has been and honor to represent Jesus Christ for the last 18 months, but this does not mean that I will take this badge from my heart. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I will be for the rest of my eternity. I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior, my friend, and my hero, Amen. 

Welp familia, I can say so much more, but mere written words won't do it justice. I will see you tomorrow, but never forget- there is an herman a misionera praying for y'all from the sacred mission field of Nampa, Idaho. 

Con mucho amor, Hermana Chelsea Moss:)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Week 76 August 8, 2016 Justice & Mercy, Valaria’s Baptism, the goat in the cul de sac, more weeds, Exit meeting with President Sorenson, The Temple & more freinds

Hola familia!!

I wanted to start my email off this week with something I learned in my personal study from Alma 42 about mercy and justice.

13 Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.
14 And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.
15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.

As I read all of this, I thought about how the whole plan of salvation works and how integral it was for Adam and Eve to experience the Fall. If they did not eat of the fruit, we wouldn't have been able to come to this earth. If God didn't mercifully send His only Begotten Son to atone for the sins of the world, then there would be no purpose to our existence. And so as we come to understand our objective in this probationary state, logically speaking, every minute that we do not lean on or depend upon the Savior’s Atonement is spiritually wasted!

18 Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.
20 And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.
21 And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature?
22 But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.

And what do we all receive when we come to this earth? The light of Christ, and by this gift we are able to discern right from wrong. Therefore when we sin, or do any wrong we feel guilty about it! But how are we born knowing that some of the things we do are wrong or not? Where do we learn this instinct? From the beginning, even before we came to Earth, we learned it all in the Pre-Earth life in the presence of Heavenly Father. It was there that he taught us all about the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, etc. It all comes together, and I hope y’all see the connection in my meager explanation.  I am so grateful for the sacrifice of our God and the willingness of our Savior to atone for our sins.  This is everything to me.

Monday we had cena with the Paniagua family. They took us to Golden Corral, and asked the staff to sing happy birthday to Hermana Nichols because her birthday was coming up soon. We had a lot of fun with them. They are the family in this ward that is cool with all of the missionaries.
Tuesday we spent a lot of time doing weekly planning, updating records, and making goals for the area. Somehow, it has taken us longer and longer each time we do it this transfer haha! And then the only set appointment we had that day got canceled, and it was disappointing because we were so ready to rock that lesson:(

Wednesday I completed my last MyPlan session. And then we tried to see people afterwards but NO ONE was home!! It was frustrating, but then we found Star at home and we got to sit down and watch a church-related movie with her:)

Thursday was the best day of the whole week!!! I started off having my departing interview with President Sorensen. It was different because it wasn't with President Cannon, but he gave me a little advise that was definitely inspired. He encouraged me not necessarily to get married, but to date when I get home. (Not to difficult right? We will see haha.) He also told me to keep in touch with my converts and the people I worked with. I wish I was able to remember more of what he said, but I can't remember right now..
After a few hours, I went back to the mission office to go to the temple!!!! The whole way I was somewhat anxious because I had invited people to come with me and I wanted them to all be able to show up in time for the session. Thankfully, they all did! I had Nana Webster from Ontario, Nora Gonzales from Caldwell, Brother Andrew from Caldwell and Candy from Nampa come with me. It was such a wonderful experience for me to be surrounded by the very people I have grown close to dressed in white with me. This temple trip though, I didn't come with a question, more I came with a prayer in my heart that Heavenly Father will continue to give me missionary opportunities and accompany me the rest of my life. My prayer was answered as I could feel my fear literally dissipate in the Celestial Room. That was the answer I needed, not to give me the courage to go home, but to ease my worries of not being able to feel the Holy Ghost as strong as I do while in the missionary field. Then we came back to the mission home and had dinner and a testimony meeting. All the departing missionaries sat in a round circle and shared their beautiful testimonies. As it turned out, I was the very last one to share mine. I started in English but then it turned to Spanish, because that was the language Heavenly Father assigned me to speak and every spiritually-growing experience I had on my mission was in Spanish. I felt the Spirit flow from me, and although there were very few people that could understand me, they could tell that I bore a strong testimony.

Friday was my last zone meeting, and as usual, it was freezing cold in that relief society room!! Afterwards, we tried to go see people that weren't home, but then we went to see our Spanish bishop's new baby! She was so adorable, and precious! Then I got to see an elder that I knew from in the CCM (Mission Training Center - Mexico). He came home early due to health issues, but it was soo good to see him! Then we had dinner with the Navarro family, the same family that Hermana Vujich ate the balut with! They are super awesome and I was glad I got to see them before I go home. Then we saw Kali Webster from Ontario and Carlos Marin and Erik from Caldwell.

Saturday morning was the baptism of Valeria Corona! She glowed as her dad had the opportunity to baptize her. It was also special because a bunch of Caldwell Spanish members also came to support Valeria. What I didn't know was that the Corona's used to attend the Caldwell ward before they moved to Nampa! I saw the Marin's, the Cardenas', and the Rodriguez's!!
After more failed attempts at visiting people, we went back to our car to drive around and see if we would have more success with another family, we saw a random goat in the middle of the Cul de Sac! We would've left it if it was a dog or cat, but it was a baby goat and we had compassion for it. Smith picked it up and we went to the houses in the neighborhood and no one knew whose goat it was. Eventually we figured it out and were covered in sweat and goat hair!! It was by far the weirdest tracting approach I have ever had, only in Idaho though!!
We went to help Jeanet pull weeds in her backyard, can anyone ever have so many weeds at one time?

Sunday we had testimony meeting in church and I got up there to bear my very own testimony. It brought me back to my farewell talk because I started crying even before I stood up to the podium! I think I only got 15 words out, but it was all I needed to say and that was all she wrote! After church we had a special lunch/dinner with the Narvais family. Their son Franky joined us. He is normally quiet and stays in his room when we come around, but we got him talking about the scary yet pivotal lessons he learned in prison. Franky surprised us with a chocolate cake that said CTR and LDS on it, it warmed my heart because on the inside of that hardened exterior he has a soft side!!  UGH!! I am going to miss my mission families, I almost don't want to say goodbye to them because that would hurt too much!! It doesn’t feel like I am leaving, it feels like I am going to get on a plane and head right back to the MTC again.

Welp familia! I love y'all and remember there is an hermana misionera praying for you!

Hermana Moss:)

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1, 2016 Week 75 Miracles by the dozen, District Meeting, Best Tortillas ever!

Hola familia!!

This week was awesome and packed with miracles and tender mercies! We taught a lot of people and visited members so Smith and Nichols, my new companions could meet them. I have truly grown to love this area, even though it’s not the same as Ontario or Caldwell. 

Tuesday we went back to the computers so I could do MyPlan. This week had me focusing on marriage and dating, and yes it had me feeling super awkward. After that we called the elders to ask them about the address for a referral they had given us, but they couldn’t help us so we were on our own.  Then the miracle of the week happened!  We drove to the general area where we felt the house was supposed to be and then boom we found the place!! It was kind of like that scene in the Princess Bride where Inigo was in the forest looking for Wesley and he is kneeling with his sword and asking God to show him the way and as he gets up he kind of sways from side to side a couple times and just as he is about to give up, he finds the secret button!!!! Hahaha my experience was almost exactly like that but better:)

Wednesday we spent all day running around trying to find people at home. It wasn't until the end of the day that we had a solid visit with Candy. She is a member who is having some troubles in her family. But we were able to spent time with her talking about her struggles and we planned to return on Tuesday! We are really excited to meet with her again and to get her on the path to full activity with her family. 

Thursday was long for us because we spent several hours doing weekly planning. To explain everything I pulled out a white board and drew out all the families and their situations. It was cute to see Smith and Nichols take notes haha!

Friday we had a district meeting, but it was weird because normally MLC and zone meeting come first before we have DM’s in the first week of the transfer. Anyway it was a great DM, we focused on how to better teach the 1st lesson. I love it when meetings are productive because it takes an awfully good meeting to beat no meeting at all. Later that evening we had an appointment to see Irma and teach her the 3rd lesson, but she got distracted halfway through and completely destroyed the Spirit during the lesson with this super crazy story. Haha, she will be put back in the oven to bake a little bit more. But hopefully in the future she will be more prepared to take the lessons again:)

Saturday we went tracting and had a lot of success! We found 3 new families to teach!!! We are pumped to see miracles with each of them:) After that, we helped out Jeanet in her yard by pulling weeds. I am going to miss her so much!! Afterwards we saw another miracle and reconnected with Veronica! We had been teaching her with Vujich but her job has made it hard for her to meet with us. It was so good to see her after so long! Then we had an appointment to meet Christina, the investigator that showed up to church last week with Jeanet and Star, and we are going to start teaching her the lessons! Saturday was basically the best day ever!

Sunday after church we went to see the Narvais family and had lunch with them. She taught me how to make the best tortillas ever and so delicious!!! I am really going to miss them and their sweet Spirit.

Welp familia! I love y'all and don't forget there is and hermana misionera praying for you!

Con mucho amor, Hermana Moss:))

Sorry no pictures this week.