Sunday, March 6, 2016

WEEK 17: That makes A LOT of sense

Hola familia y amigos! No hike his week so I definitely have time to write a good full length email. :)

So last Monday we had a SUPER great lesson with our investigator Eric. So when we got there he had just gotten back from the store with his uncle and aunt and had this huge cup of Mountain Dew. And he told us that usually he would get a beer when going to the store, but he wants to become closer to God so he felt like he should get a Mountain Dew instead. We haven't even taught the word of wisdom yet! But we talked about the Book of Mormon with him again because he had heard a lot of people telling him that they received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true, and he didn't know how to receive his own an answer. So we talked a lot about that with him and that it's important to read in the Book of Mormon to know its true. He's been reading in the bible and told us about what he read in John 4 with the woman at the well, and he LOVED that story, so now we're trying to get him to read the Book of Mormon.

On Tuesday we had a great experience with Socorro at the visitors center! So we've been trying to go with her to the VC about three or four times now but she kept canceling or we could find a ride for her. But we finally got to go and watch Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration and she absolutely loved it! I don't think she was expecting it to be that sad, but she did really liked it and told us she knows Joseph smith was a prophet if God! Her testimony is so strong, and even though she's not comfortable right now getting baptized, I know she will be a baptized convert one day.

On Wednesday we had exchanges again, but his time I went to Hermana Gonzalezs area. I LOVE exchanges because you get to know so much from other people just from one day. She covers an English and a Spanish ward so we did a few lessons in English, which was kind of nice because I got to express myself more easily than I do in Spanish. But we taught this one guy named Freddy and he just got confirmed a member of the church last Sunday. We taught him parts of the restoration and he has a beautiful strong testimony. He told me that he'd been meeting with missionaries for a few years, but the sisters who are teaching him now are the first ones that gave him a goal (to be baptized), and he was so happy that he completed his first goal. I just love that. Goals are so important if we want to improve.

On Thursday we had a great district meeting. We talked about a lot of good things and me and my companion did a 10 percent (something that doesn't have to be mission training) on drawing your companion, which you'll see pictures in the next email. It was soooooooo funny! And everyone had a good time. We also had a great lesson with Socorro! We talked with her about the movie and what she thought, and again, she told us she loved it. We brought a member with us and she asked Socorro if she's thought about baptism, and we found out that it's still her mom holding her back. Her mom really is not happy with her switching religions and so she doesn't want to disappoint her mom. But she did tell us that she's prayed and has received an answer that his is the true church! I know one day she will just decide and know that this is what she needs to do.

So for Christmas president Jenkins gave us a book/study guide on the atonement, and on Friday we got to start it and it goes until Easter! Wow it is so amazing! Just reading Matthew 26-28 was so powerful, and the rest of the accounts of the Lords sacrifice in the bible. It also reminded me of Savior of the World, and how the spirit and my testimony of the atonement grew so much during that experience. But I'm so grateful to be able to study it and I really would like to ask you all to join me and study the atonement, because our love for the gospel truly grows when we do. But that day we met with someone named Daisy who we recently met, and most of her family is Mormon and she was baptized when she was little, but her mom fell away and so she just followed. She is going through a lot of hard things right now with her sons and she just wants them to have a good example to follow, so she's trying her hardest with that. But the spirit was so strong and we were really able to testify of the Savior's love for her and that she's not alone.

On Saturday morning we got to be volunteers for the Phoenix marathon! And we got a free shirt. But we helped hand out water and Gatorade at the 19 mile mark and it got pretty crazy at times but it was super funny and some people would pass by and say, "MISSIONARIES!!!!" So that was fun, haha. We had a great lesson with Osman that too! He finally read in the Book of Mormon on his own! He didn't understand a lot so we read with him to help him out but he did try! We're going to go back to the basics on him because he has very little religion background and we want to make sure he understands things properly. We also met with a lady in the ward who has cancer named Elena Gonzalez. She served her mission with president Jenkins in Spain! I'll show you pictures of that too. But she is such a trooper, and it was good to get to know her a little bit better.

Sunday was super great! Especially sacrament meeting. A return missionary who got back from Brazil a few months ago spoke and it was so great. His testimony was so powerful and I think everyone felt the spirit soooooo strong. And Socorro was there and she felt the spirit too and she felt like she needed to tell the missionary that he did a good job. She also told a member that she thinks this is her church now! All she needs now is the encouragement from her mom or just the courage and trust to follow the Lord.

Such great things this week! I love being able to share and watch others testimonies grow as they learn to accept the gospel. It's truly beautiful and nothing like it.

Just so you all know, next week is transfers so you probably won't get an email until Tuesday. But you will get one! Love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Hermana Brown

The Phoenix Marathon

Our caricatures from the training at district meeting! It was super hilarious!

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