Monday, April 25, 2016

WEEK 24: Me encanta ver el templo 🎶

What a good week! So many miracles continue to happen. It's a seven week transfer so we have one week left until transfer news come out again! So that means next week p day will be on Tuesday and not Monday. Just so you know. But I have no idea what's going to happen! It will be good though, the Lord knows where we need to be.

But on Monday we were supposed to have a noche de hogar with Brent and his family, and the familia Cervantes, but unfortunately they both canceled. Which kind of turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we were a little stressed about both those lessons. But we did have a great lesson with Osman about prayer. It's interesting our lessons with Osman lately because it seems like we have certain plans going into the lesson with him but it always turns into something different when we start teaching, but it turns out to be just what he needs.

On Tuesday we had a great lesson with Socorro. She hasn't been reading in the Book of Mormon lately so we explained the importance of that and that it's the keystone of our religion. She didn't really have a reason of why she wasn't reading it, so she said she's going to start again. And we know that it's going to be the thing that keeps her as a strong faithful member that she wants to be. It will be so good for her, and she's so willing to accept anything. If you've ever seen the district 2, we realized she's kind of like German one of the investigators, and she knows it's true so she will do everything she can to live righteously. We also taught a new investigator named Claudia and she's a single mom with five kids! We taught the restoration and said she'll come to church the next Sunday! Hna Judy and Hna Conway taught her a little while ago, but we think that now she's ready.

On Wednesday morning we met with Socorro again because she only can on Monday through Wednesday. So we're trying to come back more to prepare for her baptism. But we read in the BofM with her in 2 Nephi 9 and she's amazing! While she reads she applies and comments on everything without us having to ask her. Usually we have to really pry somethings out of people but she has no problems with it. After that we had ZTM and it was really good! We did some role playing with converts of the church and teaching them, and then they gave us feedback on things we did well or things we could have done better. It kind of reminded me of the MTC! It was really good and I always feel the Spirit so strong in our meetings. We also had a lesson with Andrea on receiving your own answers, like Joseph Smith, through prayer. She is so willing to learn. We think her baptism is going to be either the 30th of April or possibly the 14th of May. We want to make sure she's really prepared for baptism so the whole family can become stronger.

On Thursday we had temple trips! We got to go at 7:30 for a session and it was so great! The temple always gives you the thing that you need to get going, or the answer you haven't been able to find during your studies. You always find it in the temple. We also went to the doctor that day. I've still been having headaches and back pain from the accident so we went and I have some medication that's been helping. So hopefully in a few weeks I'll be pain free! We met the son of Daisy on Thursday as well and he is super prepared. He said he's really confused right now and he was planning on going to the VC with us but couldn't because he had work. But he really wants
to know what the right thing is so we're going to start teaching him too! We also had a lesson with the familia Ruelas at the VC and watched God's plans for his family.and it was super great. They are such a cute family and they're moving to Apache junction soon so they won't be in our ward anymore.

On Friday morning we had a lesson with this new lady named Rosalia. We had a quick lesson because she said she was going to leave, but she read the pamphlet we gave her and liked what we said and wants us to come back! We also had a lesson with Osman about dating and chastity and stuff. He has a girlfriend and he's only 13 so we read in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and it was really good! I think he's realizing what he needs to do even though it may be hard. We also gave him the speech of deciding now who you want to be because then people know who you are and you can work towards it.

On Saturday we had a lesson with Andrea and Gabby on the Ten Commandments. They had a lot of questions about those but we eventually finished. And Hermano Estrada helped us out too, and I can tell his testimony had grown so much lately. He really wants this for his girls. Also gabby pulled out her tooth while we were there, so that was exciting! Maybe I'll attach the video :)

On Sunday we met some new people before church. We were visiting a guy named Armando but he wasn't home, but all the people he lives with were! So we talked to them and they said they would come to church next Sunday and we're also going to have a lesson with them. They are super prepared and ready. So then at church Socorro, Andrea, and Gabby were there. Osman has this weird rule where he can't leave the house if his parents aren't home so he unfortunately couldn't come. Then that night we had a Charla Foganera! Socorro was going to come and then she canceled on us at the last minute, so that was really sad because we really wanted her to meet president. But we (the missionaries) sang and it was really great. I love how songs automatically bring the Spirit. We didn't get to stay after that because we didn't have  investigators there, so we went to go see the Andujo family. They have two boys who are about 14 and 16 who aren't baptized so we're working with them and rather whole family to help them come back. Julian said the closing prayer and it was really beautiful! They are so prepared to become members of the church.

So yeah! It turned out to be a really great week! And I have one more left as of now in this area. But I love you all so much! Keep studying those conference talks, and reading in the BofM! They'll be so great and help you.

Hermana Brown

Spanish missionary fun after singing practice!

We all got "thumbs up" at ZMT

Found this in front of an investigators house. Fun fact: a mop, or toys lying around outside a house is a good indication of Spanish speakers. Also loud playing Mexican music :)

Selfie at Hermana Ledezma house when she wasn't home.

At the doctors

Us with the familia Ruelas! If you look closely at the girl in the stroller, you can kind of see that she sucks her fingers just like Gracie did when she was younger. Right when I saw that it reminded me of her and it was so weird because I've never seen anyone else do that before!

Haha Sister Gutierrez fell asleep while studying.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

WEEK 23: Happy Happy Bappy :)

Oh my goodness! It was such a great week!!! Lots of miracles and great hints happening in the ward.

So last Monday we had an FHE with Jonathan (the recent return missionary) and his family. So when he left on his mission his family kind of went inactive and he's working on bringing them back, which they are. But turns out that he has an 11 year old brother that hasn't been baptized yet! So we taught him for the first time that day and it was a little rough. Teaching kids is a little hard because we are sooooo used to teaching adults so it was a little rough. We had a hard time relating to them and having them be really open around us. It's gotten better with teaching Andrea, but Brent's a boy and he acts a little different, so if anyone has ANY suggestions please tell me! So after that we went to go visit a referral we got, and we've tried contacting her so many times and her son told her to come back that night. So it was us and we had Spencer with us the other recent return missionary. And she has this weird gate thing surrounding her door so you can't knock on the door or ring her doorbell so it makes no sense, but we usually knock on the gate, but we aren't sure if that was working. So we tried throwing little rocks at the door but we didn't want to damage the paint. So then Spencer noticed a rake behind the gate, he reached through the gate to grab it and handed it to me, and then we rang the doorbell and knocked on the door with that, but unfortunately she wasn't home. Soooooo haha that was quite the adventure!

On Tuesday we had a really great lesson with Socorro in the Visitors center! We were able to teach her about eternal families and temples, and it was just the coolest thing. We were sitting there in the VC looking at the Mesa temple and I just felt the Spirit sooo strong. Because if my grandparents hadn't found the church and got sealed in the temple, I would not be here right now in Mesa teaching people about the power of temples and eternal families. Socorro really wants her family to accept the gospel and really wants the work done for her dad in the temple. So it was a little hard for her to hear but she does like it and knows she will achieve it someday.

On Wednesday we met with the familia Cervantes, and it had been a while. And since Jonathan lives in the same apartment complex we brought him with us and it was soooooo great! We talked about prophets and general conference, and Jonathan offered to give them a ride to church. Which was really good.

On Thursday we met with Luciana, Osman's mom! We talked a lot about some things we believe, how church is, and just answered a lot of the questions she had. She also told us a lot about her concerns of Osman. She sees a difference in him and she doesn't mind us teaching him, but she doesn't like how he's on his phone a lot, and hat he has a girlfriend and thinks he's going to marry her (he's only 13). So we are working on him with that. I fact now at church he doesn't use his phone for scriptures anymore! He brings a paper Book of Mormon. We're not exactly what we're going to do about his girlfriend because that really is his choice, but he's doing really well and his mom can definitely see it! I think once we resolve those to issues she's having she will say yes to baptism.

On Friday we went to go teach Idania and her kids. Jesus wasn't there so we really tried to get control of the boys she has. They are the cutest little boys but they have sooo much energy and she doesn't discipline them a lot besides hitting them. So we sang a lot of songs and Junior, the four year old said the prayer! So we're going to keep trying to get their family back on track with things.

On Saturday we helped the familia Perez clean there yard. When it rained a lot a few months ago, their roof got really ruined so the had a bunch of shingles all over their yard and we helped clean it all up. It was really great! Then we were finally able to have a lesson with the Estrada girls. They've been gone almost every time we came over this week so we're probably going to have to push her baptism date back, but it will happen for sure! But we taught them about scriptures and gave them one of those big Book of Mormon stories book with the pictures in it.

So then on Sunday Socorro, and Osman came and... THE FAMILIA CERVANTES CAME TO CHURCH!!! It's been over ten years since they've been, and they came for sacrament meeting! Big thanks to Jonathan he really helped welcome them and get them there. But once they were there, everything was good! And at the end everyone was talking to them and we're so happy to see them there. It was so good to see them there and see them partake of the sacrament. So all we have to do now is keep them coming and help them to continue to progress. It's cool to see your investigators come to church, but it's even cooler to see these people make a change after all those years of not going.

So as you can tell the week ended on a really great high. It's been amazing the experiences and things I've been witnessing while in the mission. I'm so blessed to be out here inviting others to change and come unto Christ. I love you all so much!

Hermana Brown
Sis Judy and I decided to be adventurous and get ice cream from this
creepy green ice cream truck. But it was sooooo good!

We went to this place where you make your won ice cream cookie sandwich. so cute!

Sometimes to get Idania's kids to calm down I let them play on the photo booth on my iPad. Here's some good ones :)

Us with the familia Perez after service!

Most of the Spanish missionaries at soccer this morning!

We had a picnic in the park the other day with the Liahona 4
missionaries :) and also Liahona 3 was there too soooo yeah.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

WEEK 22: General Conference EH?

Oh my goodness what a good week! Especially ending with general conference and hearing he wonderful words of the prophets.

Last Monday we had a lesson with a less active member who just moved her records to the Liahona first ward and is now attending their ward because she is more comfortable there. But we talked about repentance with her and her three little girls. We did the activity of making the water dirty but then you put bleach in it and it's clean! While we were explaining it that we all sin I asked " how can we become clean again?" And one of the girls answered, "well we can take a shower." Haha it was pretty funny, but good.

On Tuesday we had zone conference! It was sooooooo good! We talked a lot about the Idaho initiative which is something they started in Idaho and baptisms in their mission doubled! So we are starting to work it into our mission as well, and we're slowly getting our ward excited about it. It's an initiative focusing on members and missionaries working together to help reactivate less actives and baptizing kids who are over the age of 9, get prospective elders the priesthood, and part member families. It's going to make a huge difference I think! One of the families were really focusing on is the Estrada family. Both parents are members but the dad doesn't have the priesthood. And their two girls Andrea (10) and gabby (8) have not been baptized but we were already working with them. So we want to work with Hno. Estrada to be worthy to hold the priesthood for their baptisms. And We set Andrea on date for April 23! They don't think Gabby is ready for baptism so we have to respect the parents decision but it will be good for Gabby to see Andreas baptism. So we're going to really have to work hard and get the members to come out with us for it to be fully effective, but I think we can do it!

We had a lesson with Socorro and she is going to be such a solid member! She hasn't been reading in the Book of Mormon so we read Jacob 6 with her and talked about general conference even though she wasn't able to make it. But we also told her not to get offended if someone says something about her or someone else because so many people fall away because of that. But she completely understands the fact that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. The church is perfect but the people are not.

On Thursday, we had a lesson with Hector and Carmen and it was sooooooo good! Hno. and Hna. Juarez came too! We taught them the restoration and it started out a little bit rough for some reason but as we went along the Spirit was so strong and we all felt it. But at the end we were going to invite them to read the Book of Mormon but we didn't even have to.  They just told us, "we're going to read!" So we're working on having that same spirit in all our lessons.

On Friday, we tried to contact this referral named Jose and we called him to set up lots of appointments but he was never home. So that night at 8:50 ten minutes before we had to go home, we knocked on his door and asked for Jose. But Jose didn't live there, Jorge did! So we set up a return appointment with him and he wants to learn more. So now we have to try to find where Jose really lives and then we'll have another new person to teach!

Saturday and Sunday was General Conference! Best weekend ever. I think my favorite talk was Elder Hollands, but I love how the theme of the conference seemed to be around temples and being a child of God. Because it really is so important that we all remember our worth. We mean so much to our Heavenly Father and he wants us to come closer to him more than we can comprehend. Lately I've been thinking that as a missionary you get an idea of what Heavenly Father feels when people don't choose follow him, or we get to feel the love that grows when you see them make those correct choices. Socorro's change is one that has been truly amazing to see. On my second day in the field we taught her the restoration and I invited her to be baptized. She told us no because she's already been baptized. And now she's preparing to be baptized on May 7 because she knows it's true.

Well it was quite an amazing week and I'm going to invite you all to do something that President Jenkins invited us to do. Keep studying the April 2016 General Conference talks everyday if you can. And keep receiving the words of the prophet and apostles. I love you all so so so much! Thanks for all your love!

Hermana Brown

A brinca brinca in our investigators front yard that we were about to go teach.

A little boy outside of our investigators house had a little bunny and was shwing us, so I asked if I could hold it and it's soooo cute!

My companion and I!

We sat with Sister Judys trainer at Easter Pageant and it's three generations!

Zone Conference