Thursday, January 28, 2016

WEEK 12: Ummmmmm I don't know what to put here because it was such a great week!

Hola! P-day is tuesday this week because we had transfers this week. It's so crazy how fast six weeks can go by! But we had sooooooo many great lessons!

So Monday was really great! A lot of seeing the lords timing. We were supposed to have a lesson at the visitors center with the Pineda family and watch "Meet the Mormons" but they didn't show up, and they weren't answering their phones, so we decided to go visit them at their house, and it turns out they just weren't able to make it. But that was okay because we got to teach their 7 year old son Aher, the Restoration, because he has a baptism date! His parents aren't members so we still have to teach him all the lessons. Which is kind of tricky because he's a lot younger than most of the people we teach, but it's kind of fun because you get to find out fun ways to teach them so they understand really simply. So we also had a lesson with our investigator Eric on Monday! And wow he is so prepared for the gospel. We had Hermano Guatemala with us for teaching the Restoration. And it was so powerful. Eric asked a lot of questions and is really interested. The lesson actually ended up being about an hour and half long, and we got to our apartment a little late. But it's actually a miracle that the Pineda family couldn't go to the visitors center to watch the movie, because then we would've been late to our lesson with Eric and wouldn't have been able to answer all his questions and get through everything we needed to.

On Tuesday we had a lesson with Socorro and it was amazing! So we've extended the invitation to be baptized twice before now, and she keeps saying she wants to know more. But we had Hermana Castillo with us and she used to be a very strong Catholic before the missionaries found her. So we ended up reading in 2 Nephi 31 and Hermana shared her conversion story and it helped so much! It's great to have members at the lessons because almost all of them are converts so it's easier for them to relate to the investigator. But Socorro had a lot of questions which was great and We were able to settle some of her concerns and doubts about baptism. So at the end of the lesson we extended the invitation to be baptized, and she didn't give us a solid yes, but she said she probably has the desire to be but still wants to know more. So she doesn't have a set date yet, but I'm positive were going to set one soon! Ahhhhh so exciting! So then we had a lesson at the visitors center with Luis, I don't remember if I told you about him, but he's a 16 year old recent convert, and the only member in his family. He is so great. But we decided we wanted to talk to him about missionary work, so we watched one of the 8 stories videos about missionaries. And he told us he was getting some inspired feeling awhile watching the video, and he didn't really know what it was, but he said he just kind of wanted to think about it. So my thinking is he is getting the feeling or at least a thought of a mission. So that was a really powerful lesson.

On Wednesday we had an awesome broadcast from the missionary department for the church! And every mission would be watching it that day. And it was soooooo good. The theme was "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts" and really focusing on teaching the doctrine of Christ ( faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and endure to the end). So we got to hear from elder Anderson and elder oaks, and then there were discussions led by elder bednar, sister oscarson, elder Clayton, and a few others. It was so amazing and just makes me want to improve and become a better missionary. So that day we had a lesson with Nadia Pineda which was really interesting. After we said the prayer she told us she had some questions. And she started asking us these kind of crazy questions about polygamy, Christ, and just really weird things. We weren't exactly sure how to respond to all of them, but we didn't really know where she got all these questions from! So I think the most important thing that she needs to here was that she needs to pray and find out these answers for herself and just trust in God that he has a plan and a way for all of us. And we don't know everything and why it happens, but God does so put your trust in him.

On Thursday we had a lesson with a really less active recent convert named Dulce, and we read in the Book of Mormon with her, which was really good! Also her daughter taught us how to make balloon dogs! Not sure if I have that picture but if I do I will send it! Most of ours didn't turn out to look like dogs much, mine kind of looked like a dinosaur, but it was really fun! We had a really powerful lesson with Osmond too about the priesthood. We had a member with us, Hermano Garcia, and he bore his testimony about the priesthood and it was so powerful! Osmond has grown so much and is so ready for baptism. We just have to get permission from his mom. I really hope that happens soon, because he really wants to be baptized, and he really wants to pass the sacrament. We also had a short lesson with Eric at the visitors center with Jose. And we just watched the christus statue, but the spirit was so strong. He told us before  he came he was feeling a little sad and tired but after he lesson he felt really peaceful and happy! It's really cool to see your investigators grow and progress. It really helps my testimony grow seeing others have a desire to learn more and become more like Christ.

On Friday we met this referral from Christmas lights named Julia. And we didn't have time to have a lesson but she has the most amazing kids! She has twins, a boy and a girl, and they are both have disabilities. Im not exactly what they have, but they are the happiest people I've ever seen. It really softened my heart and made me feel happy throughout the day.

On Saturday we had the most amazing mission meeting with Elder Anderson from the quorum of the twelve, and Elder l. Whitney Clayton, who is presiding over the seventy! It was such a cool experience! Right when they walked in the room you could feel a difference, and the mood changed so much, I couldn't help but smile. But we all got to shake all of their hands. Then we heard a few stories from sister Anderson. Then we had a discussion about the broadcast from Wednesday and it was really good to go over the things we learned, and also learn what others got out of it too. But my favorite part was at he end when they bore their testimonies. Especially elder Anderson. It is
so powerful to hear one of the twelve apostles bear testimony and witness of Christ. One of my favorite quotes from elder Anderson was, " you can count the seeds in the apple, but you can't count the apples in a seed." Which is cool to hear as missionaries, but also it can apply to all of you. You never know the difference you make, you just have to plant the seed first.

On Sunday church was so great! Osmond, Socorro, and Eric came! Osmond was going to go shopping, but we sent him a little text about how important it is and the blessings you receive, and then he changed his mind! Which I'm so glad he did. We had a mission farewell for Hermana gonzalazs son Joseph who is going to Argentina Buenos Aires! Which was super great, and also Eric asked us a ton of questions about missions. And I guess I don't realize that the concept of missions is a little weird to people who didn't grow up in the church. So he was really wowed that we pay to come here and that we come here by choice. I love telling people that because then they really know we're there because we care about them. So that night we had a super powerful lesson with Eric in the visitors center again with Hermano Guatemala. We have the lessons in the VC with him because he lives with his uncle who doesn't really like missionaries. But it's actually really good because then we need to get a member to give him a ride there! So we started teaching the Plan of Salvation, but he asks a lot of questions, which is really good! But the. He started telling us about why he came to the Arizona, and stories about his family. And it sounded like he's had it pretty rough recently as well as when he was growing up. But he told us that he
wants to become closer to Christ. So then we talked a little bit about that, and then extended the invitation to be baptized, and he didn't give a direct yes, but he does want to learn more. But based on how the lessons are going right now, I think he'll have a baptism date soon too! So the spirit was very strong, and he is very prepared. So Monday(yesterday) we had some great lessons with our ward mission leader Hermano Beltran. We met with Hermano Estrada, who I told you is going through kind of a rough time right now. But Beltran shared his conversion and baptism story and it was so powerful. Hermano Estrada, I knew he was feeling the spirit because he started crying and telling us that he doesn't feel like God is answering his prayers. So we really tried to let him know that our Heavenly Father does love him and has a plan for him, we just have to take the first step and take his hand, and he will help us. Ahhhh I just love all of our members. They're so strong I. Their testimonies, and the best missionaries ever.

Soooooooo we got transfer news this week and I'm staying in my area with Hermana Judy to finish my last six weeks of training! But unfortunately Hermana Conway is leaving so I'll no longer be in a trio. It was really hard for her to leave because she's been in this area and companions with Hna Judy for 6 months! So this morning we spent the morning helping her move. It's going to be interesting because she was really strong in Spanish but I guess that just gives us a challenge to learn and grown more.

But it was absolutely an amazing week, and what I told you was probably only the half of it. I love all of you, as always, but I hope the best for you all!

Hermana Brown

Our district after ward correlation!

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