Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Feliz Navidad!!

Hello my dear family!
This is going to be a really short email, so I will apologize in advance.  What a crazy week though:)  Every time I go to a new area, it is always a bit crazy.  But I came to this area and we have one investigator.  So we are both pretty much whitewashing!  I LOVE my new companion soooo much! She is so good with obedience and just wanting to work. We are like the same person.  She is from Orem, and still new to the area, and our area is huge!  You are right though, Hermosa Liahona is a very nice area.  I am still getting used to it -- I'm not in Hollywood anymore.  There are a lot of white people.  I feel lost like all the time, but it's okay!  We have some really wonderful members here.  It is a great ward, it's really small.  So I am still working on adjusting here. 
Hermana Shepherd and Hermana Warner at the Mission Christmas Devotional
We had a really amazing Christmas Devotional.  I was so overcome, I feel like I just broke down during it.  I have never in my whole life understood and felt Christmas the way that I have on my mission.  I just get it.  If you listen to the Christmas songs in the hymns, then we are really able to feel it.  So I guess that is what I will focus today on.  I hope that you all take that time to sit down and feel what Christmas means.  There is obviously a special meaning to it when it has that sacred name in it, Christ.  I don't think I will ever see Christmas the same after this.  Presents are wonderful, but they don't matter.  It is the ability to share your love with others, that matters.  To help others to see the blessings they receive through using the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  It is remembering His sacred birth, and all of the many things we have through that simple birth.  I have shared a lot about how I have learned to use the Atonement on my mission.  It is so special and I hope we can all strive to use it better.  It brings so much peace into our lives.  We taught our investigator J. this week (she is getting baptized next Sunday!) about how the Atonement isn't only for sins.  That we are able to feel the peace and joy that He has so willingly given us.  It was so cool to see her face and to see her realize that she can use the Atonement to find happiness in her life.  All in all, I hope that you take time during this busy season, sit down with Bry and Rachelle and Dad, and read about the birth of Jesus Christ.  Obviously this invitation is not just for you, but for anyone that might read this email.  As you do so, I promise you will feel the amazing spirit of Christmas and what it really means.  I know that I have been able to!  Holidays on a mission are a million times better than they are at home (no offense). 
Michelle with President and Sister Weidman, her wonderful Mission Presidents
I love Christmas here.  It is so special to be here and learn and understand the why's on this special day. I am going to talk to you on Wednesday, so I will save it until then!  I am so excited for you to meet my new companion and the sweet family that we'll be with (start busting out your Spanish, momma!)  I love you so very much, my dear:)  Love, Hermana Warner
P.S.  This is short, sorry.  But I am so happy here.  I never, ever thought I would love my mission the way I do. I have to go, but I'll see you on Wednesday!  I love you so very much :)
Hna Wright, Michelle's old companion, reunited again at the Christmas Devotional!  She loves her so!
Michelle's old district in West Hollywood, one week before her transfer

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lessons......

Good morning, family!

I never know what the time difference is, so I think it's morning.  Anyway, we had a great week here! Seriously one of the best weeks I have had in a long time. It was good and I saw a lot of sweet tender mercies in my days. My birthday was so special. I will never have a birthday like the one I had here. I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude.  There were many that remembered me and I received so many kind words. The temple was amazing! I had one of the most spiritual temple visits I have had in my whole life. It made me so grateful to know of the perfect plan that our Father in Heaven has for every single one of us.  We are so important in His eyes. And then yes, we went to Cafe Rio!! :)  I don't know if President has ever seen me so happy before. We went and visited some people and had dinner with a really great family. They got me a little present and a big birthday cake! They are less active and it was so nice to be with them, they have such a special spirit about them.  

I feel like we saw so many sweet tender mercies this week it was so awesome. There were multiple times this week that we visited someone and they told us how they had been praying to know that Heavenly Father was aware of them, or that they had felt sad. And we were able to be there and give them that moment and help them to understand that their Heavenly Father really does love them so much. As well as we had so many people at church on Sunday!  It was just a good week. 



I just wanted to reflect a little bit on the last transfer. It has been one of the hardest transfers that I have had on my mission. I have never even thought about learning the things that I have learned this transfer. Something that I have focused on lately is just accepting what Heavenly Father has put in my path and what He wants me to learn from it. It has been really hard to understand that and even more so, to apply it - but it has been truly amazing. I know that through all the things I have received lately, I am truly becoming what I need to be. I have learned so much patience and just love. I think that is the biggest thing, just to be able to love people. And not love just the people that you get along with. But sincerely love those that would be hard to love. I have learned so much about the Atonement and how it is something that we must, not should, but must use in our lives every single day. I love my mission and all that I am learning.  Through the ups and the downs, every second is worth it. 

A. got baptized!!! It was so awesome!  She is 84 years old.  


It is Christmas next week....I don't know how that happened! I will figure out details when I get to my new area. I am going to an area called Hermosa Liahona (in South Torrance) and I am finishing a sister's training so it will be good! I am sad to be leaving my area...but I know that I have done what I could here. This area has grown so much and I have seen the most incredible miracles. I love you so so very much! I hope you have a wonderful week! Love, Hermana Michelle


ONLY in LA!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Happy 20th Birthday!

Hello Family!
This week was really cool.  It was seriously just a week of constant learning.  So I will start with this.  Let's be real, we all know that this has been a hard transfer for Sister Warner.  But -- my whole mission, I have always remembered what Bryan said to me at my setting apart.  He told me that no matter what was going on, to wake up every morning with a good attitude.  I have referred to this about ten times through emails, because it keeps biting me right in the toosh.  So I realized that perhaps my attitude was what was holding me back from certain things.  So I made a goal with myself this week to work on my attitude.  I don't care what is happening or if I am frustrated, it's not worth the bad attitude!  So, I will just tell you that this week was really good.  I saw so many different things that I wish I would have been looking at earlier.  But I am so grateful for this because I know that these are lessons that I am going to be using for the rest of my life.
Half way through the mission!
We have had some really good lessons this week.  But something I have been thinking about a lot, is one that we had last night with a girl in our ward.  She has been struggling a lot and has been needing the Atonement.  We had a training the other day about the Plan of Salvation.  And in this training, the Elders talked about how to help others really feel their importance in this life.  It was amazing because I was able to use the training in this time.  I haven't felt the Spirit that strong in a long time.  Something that I absolutely love about my mission, is the ability that I have to feel the love of our Heavenly Father for His sweet children.  We all know that Sister Warner doesn't always love everyone immediately... and the same goes here.  But I do have an ability to see others for their potential.  It is something that I love, to know that our Father in Heavenly sees us as our potential, not as who we are right now.  So I want you to think this week about others that need to feel this.  That really need to feel their importance in this earth, because it is huge.  We don't understand how big the love is that Heavenly Father has for us.  And we don't understand how big our responsibility is to share that love with others.  I know that there are others waiting for this feeling of belonging.  
This sweet sister will be baptized on Saturday!  84 years old.  Los Angeles Temple Visitors Center.
I am writing a letter today and I don't have much more time.  But thank you for your sweet words mama :)  I am so excited that I will be able to be in the temple tomorrow for my birthday!  I also am going to Cafe Rio!! This will be the best birthday that I will have, because it will be focused on everyone else.  And that is the best gift that I could have!  I love my mission and I know that I will have it with my in my heart forever.  I hope you enjoy your week, don't stress yourself out with Christmas --- presents aren't important!  Just remember the whys of this beautiful season.  I love you so much!! Thank you for the packages --I LOVE THE CHRISTMAS GARLAND!!!  You are so awesome!  I am so excited for tomorrow --- mostly to go to the temple!  It is so special to me.  Thank you for everything my sweetheart!  Bry sent me pics and I loved them :)  I am so genuinely happy for them.  It's a good feeling to have.  I love you so much my dear!
Love, Hermana Warner
Michelle and her companion, Hermana Garcia, in the LA Temple Visitors Center
Michelle and her old trainer, Hermana Moeller



Monday, December 2, 2013

Blessings....

Hi my dear family!
   I cannot believe it is P-day again, I don't know how this happens!  So yeah!  I have seen a lot of miracles this week.  I told my mission President that this has been really hard, but never in my mission have I seen miracles the way that I have, this transfer.  Our area is growing so much, it is amazing.  I hope that I am still here for Christmas - we are having transfers a week early this transfer, because transfers would have fallen on Christmas day.
   We've received a lot of referrals lately.  We received one for a man that has lost contact from the church.  We went over and he was so excited to go to church again.  Unfortunately he is going to El Salvador for a month and so we have to wait until he comes back.  But, we had another cool referral.  We contacted this referral, and her husband answered the door.  We talked to him for a minute and he just kept staring at our tags.  When finally, he told us that he had been baptized in El Salvador (everyone here is either from El Salvador or Guatemala) but he hadn't gone to church in about 13 years.  We taught them the Restoration last night, and it was so cool to watch him as he was beginning to remember things that he was taught when he was little.  We have an appointment at the Visitor Center planned with them tomorrow!  
   Literally everything about last transfer, has prepared me for this transfer!  Selflessness, patience, charity, love, obedience with exactness.  One of the biggest things I have worked on was diligence and exact obedience.  I have seen miracles daily from this!!  I have the strongest testimony of it.  It is crazy to me how tough a mission can be at times, but how ncredibly rewarding it is.  I love everything about being a missionary and even in Hollywood.  I love how quickly I grow as a missionary.  The progress I have made, even this last transfer, is crazy.  I understand the 'whys' of life so much better.  Everything I do from now on, will always have something to do with my Father in Heaven.
    A while back, I asked my Mission President how I could become a better missionary.  It wasn't that I was a bad missionary, just felt ordinary. So he started working with me, and I changed.  I changed everything I do with missionary work.  So, while we were talking recently, I was telling him how this change is what is making it possible for me to do this task I have received.  As I was talking about this, I looked at him and he had tears in his eyes.  He has watched me change and grow through every step.  He expressed his love and trust towards me.  I've worked hard for it.  So, even though my tasks have been hard, I am thankful.
   My heart is in my mission.  I've never felt so much joy.  I've never seen so many blessings and miracles.  I've never loved my family more than I do right now.  Our message blesses others.  It gives them literal light.  I've never felt so tired.  I've never felt so frustrated.  Sometimes, I feel like I have nowhere to go.  And because of those feelings, I've never felt so, so close to my Heavenly Father.
   Yes, this week was really hard, but I saw countless tender mercies knowing that the Lord is aware of me. One day was super hard for some reason.  I had to take a minute before we went out.  I knelt down and just prayed.  I did it until I felt good enough to try and help someone else.  I called my Zone Leaders to ask if they could come and give a Hermana a blessing.  Before I asked, the Zone Leader asked if I would like one, too.  I didn't think I needed it, but afterwards I felt so much love and peace in my heart.  We got to the church and he asked me if there was anything specific going on because he wanted it to be a specific blessing.  I looked at him, and said, "I'm just tired."  He gave me an incredible blessing.  He mentioned something that really hit me.  He said, "The better you develop Christ-like attributes, the more challenges come your way."  That Heavenly Father give us, ever so lovingly, weaknesses to make us humble. It was as if my Heavenly Father had his arms around me.  I have an immense testimony of humility.  It is the only way we can live - humbly.  I am learning through many experiences.   It spoke of the Atonement.  I have learned and applied this beautiful gift to my daily life. Jesus Christ wants us to use his sacrifice for everything - sins, physical pain, weakness, trials, etc.  I have learned so much about the Priesthood on my mission and how incredible it is.  I am so grateful that we have the gift of the Priesthood and for those who keep themselves worthy to be able to use it.  My testimony is growing so much.  I am so grateful for the blessings that it gives to our family and to others here.  Things are good and happy!
   We had thanksgiving dinner with la familia Castro, a sweet young couple in the ward.  It was a good day!  I didn't really realize it was Thanksgiving - and it doesn't feel like Christmas is close.  Good news: Our zone is going to the temple on my birthday, Dec. 10th !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I LOVE my life! 
   Yes, I am excited.  We missionaries, are all reading the BOM in the mission, before Christmas.  I started 3rd Nephi the other day.  I LOVE the Book of Mormon.  It is so amazing to see how much it applies to my purpose.  You better be reading the BOM every day.  Yes, I hit my 9 month, half-way mark this week... gross.
    Mom, this work is amazing.  I know I have guidance and help from my Heavenly Father and from loved ones on the other side.  Michael is always with me.  He loves you, mom.  As do I.  Never forget that.  I hope you get to feel Heavenly Father's arms around you, always.  You are so precious to Him.  I love you with all my heart.  
Love,
Michelle

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gratitude

Hello my dear family!
I loved seeing pictures from the wedding, they look so happy.  What a special day for everyone.  You were in my thoughts a lot that day!  It was a special day for me.  I felt a lot of comfort and peace that day, so it was good.  

Our week was great!  Our area is seriously booming.  I cannot even tell you the blessings and miracles that we are able to see everyday. But it really was a week full of blessings for me. This transfer is really hard. But my testimony has grown so, so much.  I know that there is a huge reason that I have been given harder assignments.  I took a step back to focus on the progress I have been able to make within the last few weeks.  Something that I have noticed in myself is how my relationship with my Father in Heaven has developed and grown so strong.  I have always prayed and always had faith, of course....but never like this.  I have never prayed like this.  And coming with those prayers is the love and blessings the He has in store for me.  I have literally felt Him by my side every day.  I think that is why I was supposed to come on a mission.  Because I was supposed to learn how to rely on Him in my times of need.  The testimony that has grown in me is unparallelled.  I can look at people here and really tell them with my heart that I know these things. 

Biggest tender mercy of the week, J. went to the temple :)  And he loved it!  And he passed the Sacrament yesterday!!!  I felt like a proud mother watching him.  I was so worried he would have gone the wrong way, or forgotten someone, but he did soooo good!  It brought such an immense joy to my heart.  I can't even explain the feeling!  I loved it. 
I know this email is a bit short, my thoughts are everywhere.  I love it here.  I am grateful for the challenges that make me grow!  I am grateful that I am learning how to love others.  I am grateful for the miracles.  I am grateful for this perfect Gospel.  I am grateful for my amazing, amazing family!  And most of all I am grateful for my Father in Heaven that guides me every day and has a way of showing his immense love.  I love this work and all the comes with it!  I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Make sure that you look for someone else in need this week, they're always there.  I love you so much :)
Love, Hermana Michelle
Our 84 year-old investigator, who is getting baptized on Dec. 8th!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A missionary's letter to her older brother on his wedding day, Nov. 21st


(Bryan's best man, Sawyer Hemsley, read this as a surprise during the wedding dinner)
Dear Bryan,
When I think of my childhood, I think of you.  

I think of us playing ice hockey on the canal, circus peanuts on the railroad tracks, lacrosse tournaments in the backyard, lots of pushing me out the door the first time it snowed, lots of slaps, and a few hugs.  

I think of the times that you listened to my boy drama, and let me cry until I felt better.  I think of how you changed on your mission.  How you gave me this example to grow from.  I love all the times we had as children as we both had our own trials.  Those were the times that we grew the most, was through those trials.  

I am here on my mission because of you.  Because of who you have become.  I love my mission and I love that I get to share it with you as you did with me.  

And now you are getting married.  My heart wants to be there, but it is planted here in my mission.  Thank you for changing my life.  For the advice you have given me.  You are truly my best friend.  You have supported me in everything.  You have laughed with me and cried with me.  

I am so grateful that you and Rachelle are getting married, and that you are making these sweet covenants in the Temple.  Your Heavenly Father is watching you two, full of joy.  He loves you so much.  

Welcome to the family Rachelle, I love you!  Continue doing all you can to come closer together to your Heavenly Father.  Good luck with everything and know you are in my thoughts and prayers.  Love, Your baby sister, (Mitchy)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Training again!


Hello my dear momma!
Well I'll just start with saying that my week was crazy.  I wrote you a long letter to explain everything.  This email might be a little scattered.  Well, here I am again in the same position of last transfer.  I'm just a lot better at it, haha.  I didn't say I was great, just better! I was thinking that I might get a little "break" this transfer.... I guess thinking that doesn't always work! My new companion is from Wisconsin, but born in Mexico!  So we have a car now!  Which actually makes it really nice to squeeze in more appointments.  But I never realized how terrible traffic is!  It takes so long to get places sometimes.  


Michelle and her MTC companion, Hermana Blair, who is currently in the same district with her.
You talked a little bit about change.  That has been something really amazing that I have seen lately.  I think I told you about some sisters who had told me that they felt like they hadn't really changed on their missions.  It made me so grateful that I have the ability to see the change and progress that I have made.  I still think about the circumstances that led me here, how everything worked out and I thought it wasn't supposed to be here.  I cannot imagine my life without my mission.  I have gained such a deep love for everything about it.  I love the people, the ward, missionaries, but mostly I have learned how to love the Gospel and my Heavenly Father.  I have learned how to put it above everything else.  And that when times are hard (because they are.....) I get to remember that I love Him.  And that I am doing His work.  This is not about me.  Okay, I think I am just talking to myself now.  I just hope that everyone is able to do this as well.  That once we truly become converted, we love our Heavenly Father more than anyone else.  I loved the article you sent me about some missionaries who come on their mission because it is their duty.  But they leave loving the Lord.  It is a process, and it is so worth it.  I love who I have become and every day am becoming.  My testimony has increased so much these last two transfers.  I get to see miracles everyday!  
Michelle and her new companion, Hermana Acosta
This email is short, I am feeling overwhelmed and a little melancholy with Bryan getting married this week.  But I love it here.  I love the ups and the downs that each day brings.  I love my Mission President.  I love the work.  And I love my Heavenly Father.  I love you as well and my sweet family.  I am so happy that you all get to be together this week!  I hope the wedding goes well.  You're in my thoughts and prayers.  I love you so much :) Hermana Michelle

Monday, November 11, 2013

Humility

Momma,
Good morning my dear :)  Your email really brought so much comfort to my heart.  I loved what you said you are grateful for.  You have so many blessings and I am so grateful that you have the ability to see those blessings. This week was awesome!  I had some really amazing things happen this week.  First, I am glad you got my letter :) I wanted you to have a little taste of what I do every day.  And that is really how everyday goes!  I want to do that more, just write a little summary of my day for you.  I am grateful that I feel comfortable with sharing the hard times, because there are plenty.  But that I get to share the most joyful of moments with you, as well.  This transfer has been anything but easy.  This has been one of my hardest transfers!  I thought I did a lot of growing last transfer... and then felt I took a step back on this one. But...there were lessons that I learned that I know I will take for the rest of my life.  One of the biggest is how to be selfless.  You know how I am... I can be a selfish person ;-)  But I couldn't be this transfer.  I literally could not be, even if I wanted to.  I had something in my path that was much more important than me.  I have learned a lot in this companionship.  I hope that I am always able to put others before me.  As a missionary, I am here to invite others to Christ.  That doesn't just mean my investigators, it means members, missionaries, and companions.  I talked to President the other day and he thanked me for what I have done this transfer.  He told me that it was a lot harder than I had imagined and even that he imagined. He thought it was hard!  But he told me he was proud of the things that I had done.  So onto another transfer... not sure how the time went so fast.  I am about to start my 6th transfer!  And with that I will be training again!  What!? I didn't expect it either!  I will be staying here in Hollywood, training.  Obviously, I need to be super humbled or something. 
That's another thing I have learned immensly this transfer, humility.  I had never in my whole life relied on my Heavenly Father as much as I did this transfer!  I have see the blessings of turning it over to the Lord.  I wanted to share something that I saw yesterday in Relief Society. There was a Hermana who was going through a trial (I'm not exactly sure what happened).  So on Sunday, they presented her in RS and gave her a simple card and a bag of chocolates.  When she went up to get it, she just began to cry.  Over this gift that was sooo incredibly simple.  A gift that if someone had received it, they would have usually just said 'thank you' with a hug.  But this Hermana was so thankful.  She was so humble.  And it made me see that the small things are so incredibly important.  That we must see and recognize what others do for us, and how we can help others.  People are always in need, and always in much more need than us.  I love doing that as a missionary.  Seeing these people who are holding on so tight to what they have, and we get to give them this blessing that fills their lives with complete light.  I love my job.  The things that I have learned this transfer are countless.  I will never be able to explain them through a simple letter.  But I hope that you can see them and feel them.  I know that I am not the same Sister Warner that left the MTC!  It is amazing.

I thought about you a lot on Saturday, as it was Michael's birthday.  Time really doesn't seem to heal that.  But I had an amazing experience.  It was in the morning, and I had a minute to be alone.  I reminded myself that it was his birthday.  I felt something that I have never felt in my whole life.  My heart literally felt full.  I felt like he was hugging me and he was right by my side.  I wish I could explain this better, but it was amazing.  I knew that he was there with me.  And that he is with me preparing the hearts of these people.  He is so proud of each and every one of us!  I know that.

I got Bryan's beautiful wedding invite on Friday.  I will be honest and tell you I went in the bathroom and gave myself some time to just cry.  And I did for a while.  I'm so sad to miss this but know I am where I need to be...

Well my dear, I love this email.  I hope all is well in happyville :)  Thank you for your sweet prayers, I feel them so much!  I love the work.  More than ever.  I love seeing the sweet miracles every day.  I hope you get to see them as well in your life.  I love you so much momma! Love, Michelle

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Trials of Faith

Hello momma dear!
Wow, crazy week!  I feel like this week has been and up and down emotional roller coaster.  I am tired...We didn't see much happen this week, but we contacted a LOT.  This next week is going to be really awesome because we have set a lot of return appointments. This week was hard.  You told me to tell you the hard things, too.  And let me tell ya, it's was hard.  I am just really tired.  Being on a mission, I feel like we don't take a break. But it is something that I am learning, is to take breaks.  I feel like this week was filled with little miracles.  We saw some really cool things.  I also feel like this week really tested my faith...I had a lot of encounters that were hard for me. But I also saw that if it weren't for my mission, my testimony wouldn't be where it is right now. That is something that I have noticed alot and that I am so incredibly thankful for.  Before I left, I questioned going on a mission alot.  I didn't know why I needed to go and wasn't really sure that I wanted to.  But I have grown in ways unimaginable.  I know that I wouldn't have been able to develop the beautiful testimony of the Gospel I have, if it weren't for my mission.
Hna Hart and Hna Warner
She's got a little skirt problem here!
This week I have been thinking a lot about how it is Michael's birthday.  I'm not sure why but I feel like a mission magnifies these kind of occasions.  Usually for things with Michael, we do it as a family.  It is another part of my mission that I have learned, you have to rely on Heavenly Father.  I don't have any other source.  I miss him a lot.  I think as well, of where he would be in his life right now.  That he would have a little family of his own and that I would have one more person to email on Mondays!  Just the little silly things.  But one thing that I have no doubt about, is that he is here with me.  That he is guiding and protecting me.  Sister Wright told me during Joseph's baptism that Michael must be having a huge party in heaven right then.  I laughed but then realized how true it is.  I have been thinking about the Cox family a lot today.  Today is 4 years since Neil passed away.  This morning I read the scripture D&C 84:88 - my mission scripture.  I thought about how blessed we are to have the knowledge of angels that our lifting us up.  I need that this week!  I will be thinking about you a lot, mom, on Saturday. 
Loving doing the Lord's work!

Missions are a challenge.  And probably the hardest thing a person can do.  But we can do it, and somehow I have found an immense love for it.  I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I see miracles every single day and that is what makes me grow. I have never felt a spirit as I have here on my mission.  Heavenly Father is preparing people. He is preparing people in your life, specifically. Take advantage of that. Sometimes when I get scared to knock a door, I picture the worst possible situation. Then when I picture someone screaming at us, I feel fine. Because it's a message that everyone deserves.  And no one has ever screamed at me on their door step! There's my two cents for today!  Please send me letters!  I need some very badly.  They mean a lot.  You are the best, my dear! I love you so much!
Love, Hermana Michelle
P.S. I really am so happy!  I love you both so much!  I am thinking about you a lot this week, Michael is with us. Love you so much :)

Hola papa!
Espero que tu semana estuviera muy bien.  Como esta todo?  Esta semana paso muy rapido.  I am super tired.  It was an interesting week.  I wrote mom a really long letter telling her about my days so you will have to read that too.  This week was a week that really tried my faith.  I feel like I am constantly needed to do better and try harder in everything.  I just want to be the best that I can.  All in all everything is so good.  I hope that in 30 years I am able to see one of my converts strong in the church.  I hope that Jose and Joseph serve missions.  Jose has been thinking about it a lot.  I am working on exact obedience and it has been really good.  I love you more than words can tell!  Have a great week :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Life is Good

Good morning!!! This week was so good!  Literally full of miracles out the ying yang.  But let me start with two points of business.  (1) I live in California and I am so cold all the time.  I am going to fall off my bike because I am always tucking my hands in my armpits.  (2) It is official, I fell off my bike.  On Saturday.  We were going to turn right and the curb just ran away from me... and so when my foot went down it went down to nothing.  So I literally fell straight on my side on the cement.  And my bike fell on top of me.  And the four men standing there just stared at me. It was probably one of the funniest and most humiliating things of my mission.  I get a gold star for that.
This week was awesome!  I feel like I learned a lot about myself as a missionary.  My area has been frustrating lately.  We literally had no investigators.  We got dropped - or in one case, he found out we couldn't date and go out, so we never saw him after that.  Even though it has been pretty hard lately, I have still been able to find the tender mercies and little joys.  We have contacted - a lot!  But I really believe that that is what has made me more bold lately!  Just to be so direct with people about our message and how it will help them.  We saw a lot of miracles from the English class.  We have been working really hard with advertising it and five people from our area came to class this week!!!  And they all said 'yes' to missionaries! We gave a Book of Mormon to a woman named Paula who had marked 'no' to meeting with the missionaries.  She has been going to the class for a couple weeks.  She asked us how to pray and so we wrote in the back how to do so, and gave it to her.  She thanked us so much!  She told us she had never gotten a gift before and that she was so happy.  It was so cool! 
We had one of the coolest miracles ever this week.  Our Bishop had asked us to visit a few people in the ward that he didn't know.  So we went to visit one and couldn't get in, but we tried a few days later.  We sat outside the apartment building until someone opened the door and then went up.  We said we were looking for Wendy and he told us that she had moved.  His name is Alejandro.  So we invited him to English class and he told us he already knew where the church building was.  I asked how, and he said that he was baptized about six years ago, but works on Sundays and hasn't been able to go.  He saw us riding our bikes the other day and waved, but we didn't see him.  He told us he thought to himself, "I think those missionaries are going to come visit me", but he said he wasn't sure why he thought that.  And there we were!  He said that he wants to go back to church and that he is going to do everything he can to get off work on Sunday.  We are going over this week to see him :) 
Jackie and Joseph are doing great, of course!  I love them so much.  Things are really starting to pick up here.  I have really focused lately on putting all of my effort into the work, and the blessings from it has been amazing.  It has made my desire to serve so much greater as well!  This work truly is hastening.  Something I liked from this week, is to choose a friend that you are kind of close with but not super close, and start calling them.  Build up your friendship and invite them to something at the church.  And most importantly share your testimony.  I promise, you all have friends to share this with.  Be bold!  It's hard I know, but you will see blessings.  Pray about it and a name with come to your mind.  Well, that's my shpeel for the week!  I love it here!  I LOVE my Mission President!  He is like my best friend.  He has helped me in so many ways.  I have had some amazing experiences with him that I will write you about.  His wife is so cute.  I'm so blessed. He told me we have one of the hardest assignments for a sister in the mission right now.  I have whitewashed and trained once!  I love it, though.  It could not get any better here!  I am so grateful for this time, and I am definitely taking advantage of it.  I love you so much momma! :)  Hermana Michelle  
P.S. I love you so much, my dear!  Sorry about no pics,  but the computer is too old to send them.  I love you!

Daddy!  I am happy here.  I like how you said you can't imagine me not being here.  I think of that everyday!  I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn't followed the soft promptings of the spirit.  I remember I doubted my answer so much, but I know that it was so true.  My heart is here in missionary work.  It is so hard dad, but somehow I wouldn't have it any other way.  I have seen so many tender mercies through the hard times, and it helps you appreciate when things are good. My heart is full of gratitude.  I have been getting better at contacting everyone!  I love talking to people and being bold with them. I am happy :) I hope you thought about me as your rode your bike this week!  I have thought a lot lately about how we are going to be biking buddies when I come home; I have found my new love! I get to beam with pride when members and others ask about my family, I'd say I get to brag a lot.  I love how close we have been through my life.  I really couldn't have asked for a better family! I miss the temple soooo much!  I miss going every week.  Thanks for setting that example of going so that I could be able to do it, too.  My companion is doing well!  I really do love her. Always remember to be happy!!!  Life is so good and my mission is amazing.  Thank you for all you do, my sweet daddio. XOXO 

Happy day for Michelle's high school friend, Elder Chriss, who has been serving in Los Angeles while awaiting his visa to Argentina. It finally arrived 8 months after his mission began! This was taken shortly before he left.



Monday, October 21, 2013

Baptism!

Hello my dear family!
I feel like I have so much to tell you!  I tried writing things down so I could remember what I needed to tell you.  
I suppose I will start off with Joseph!  Joseph got baptized on Saturday!!  It was amazing.  I have been to a lot of baptismal services in my life, but this one was so special. There was such a special spirit about everything, I was so happy.  Baptisms are amazing, but they are stressful to plan.  I was so stressed trying to get everything together and even more so, right before the program.  But it was amazing to watch how everything just fell into place. Everything just worked.  He was so ready and he was just happy. We were able to sing a musical number for his baptism, which was really cool. I have some of it recorded so I am going to put it on a flash drive and send it to you. His family was there and everyone was super happy!  I sent you my journal page of it :)
He was confirmed yesterday as well. We sat by them during church and afterward, he came and sat down. I asked how he felt and he said, so happy.  Then a few minutes later he turned to me and said, "I almost cried when I was up there".  I asked him if it was because he felt the spirit and he said, yes.  He told me that he felt differently when they gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It was awesome!
When Michelle left on her mission, her brother, Bryan, gave her his missionary tag.  Looks pretty good on this young man!
I feel like our area has been pretty hard lately, actually.  A lot of our investigators have gone MIA so we have been working really hard with street contacting and stuff like that.  Street contacting has been one of my weakest areas on my mission.  I had such a hard time stopping people that have somewhere that they are going and talking to them about something that I didn't think they would want to hear.  But I have felt so, so blessed lately as I have been able to talk with everyone!  I was reading this morning and there is a scripture in Mosiah 18:35.  If you look it up it talks about souls.  These are souls that we are working with, not just people.  I have been able to look at these people differently as I see their potential and the love that Heavenly Father has for them.

I have a lot of things to share, but no time!  Things are going so well, I am so happy. I am just enjoying what I do get to do here.  I am going to try really hard to write a letter to you.  But just know I am doing well with everything :)  I am happy!  I am stressed but hey, I am happy!  I love my calling as a missionary.  It is so sacred and I receive so many blessings from it.  I hope you are able to enjoy the happiness that comes from it, as well!  I love you so much!
Love,  Hna Michelle
JOY and happiness!
Hna Wright, Joseph, and Hna Warner

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Walking...walking...

Hello my dear mom!
Welcome back to the USA!  It looks like your trip was amazing!!!  I want to feel bad for you for being tired... but I don't, haha.  So cool!  I love the picture you sent of the sister missionaries right in the middle of Florence, Italy!  There was a mom here the other week that took a picture with me, because her daughter is in France right now, it totally reminded me of you.  I don't have a ton of time to email, but I will try and give you a good update of this week.  So I am a trainer!  Sister Hart is so sweet.  Bottom line to training ... it is super hard.  It is way harder than I thought it would be, that's for sure.  I want others to be able to look at their missions the way I do.  I can't even express how much love I have for my mission, but I remember how it was at the beginning.  Everything is so new for her, especially here in Hollywood!  She isn't too fond of her bike yet, but I just keep telling her to go.  I think one of the stresses of training is that it's true, you will never ever forget your trainer.  I still remember things that my trainer did with me.  I want to give her that love and joy that is found in a mission.  
Hna Warner and her new companion, Hna Hart

This week was one of the longest weeks I have had in a while!!  I was just exhausted in every way, shape and form.  Emotionally, mentally, and physically.  I have felt a bit overwhelmed, feeling like I have the area on my shoulders.  Friday was especially hard.  I just felt done for the day!  But at the end of the day, I asked my district leader for a blessing.  I have been with my district leader (Elder Roberts) my whole mission, every single transfer!  So he knows me really well.  I received one of the most beautiful blessings I have ever gotten from him.  He said every single thing I needed to hear.  That Heavenly Father knows I am doing what I can, but I need to continually pray!  (which is all I ever do on my bike, pray!)  I literally felt His love for me and His arms just wrapped around me. I knew He was there and that he wanted me to be happy. Later that night we got a call from President Weidman. He told us that he had been thinking about us a lot that day and that he felt like he needed to call us.  He told us how what we are doing is a task that is particularly hard! Wow, all I needed to hear! But that we were doing well.  I cannot tell you how full my heart was this night.  One of the hardest days I had had in a long time, turned to me one of the most spiritual experiences ever. I felt so much love from my Father and knew that He had answered my prayers.  I have the greatest testimony of prayer because of my mission, it is so powerful. (if you read my Patriarchal blessing, it talks about prayer).

We did a lot of walking this week!  Like hours on hours of walking.  We don't have a lot of people to teach right now, so we are working really hard to find more.  I received a lot of answers through General Conference of what I need to do to find more people.  I have been praying so hard about it.  But we had a really cool experience last night.  I am not a huge fan on street contacting... it's just awkward, but hey, you gotta do it in missionary work!  We contacted this couple last night and then this man came up to us and told us about how he used to go to our church for a period of time.  It really was a tender blessing and we saw the Lord work through us.
  
We literally walked soooo much!  But I am so happy!  I love being here more than anything.  It is so interesting to see people's perspectives on their missions.  Brooke was telling me about some missionaries from her ward. But all in all, this is just a hoot and a holler here!  I am going to print off your email because I didn't read it all.  So happy everything is going well at home!  I love you more than anything in the world!!
Love,
Michelle

Daddy, 
Thank you for your sweet email :)  I like what you said about the spirit.  It is something that I have been working really hard on the past few weeks, to really be able to rely on those sweet promptings of them.  To be able to stop for a second and let the spirit work through these people.  We have been focusing on teaching simply.  That through teaching the very simple doctrines of the gospel, the spirit will always be present.  I am so happy!  Honestly it has been a hard week.  Training is taking everything out of me that I have.  I am so exhausted, but I am trying my hardest. I am working so hard to give her opportunities to work.  She isn't my trainee, she is my companion :) 
I love you more than words can express...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Trainer!

HELLO!!! 
Greetings to Italy (or wherever you are right now...)  This week was crazy!!!  I say this every week, but I literally can't remember all that happened.  There were a lot of meetings, that's what I do remember!  I got my new companion on Wednesday and she is so cute!  Her name is Sister Hart and she is supposed to go to Brazil, so she is just here until she gets her visa.  She reminds me a lot of how I was when I got out here, so hopefully with all my wise experience I can make a difference (I hope you understand sarcasm, via email).  We had a few meetings for her as a new missionary, which where just great. 

I hope that everyone had the chance to watch conference... and if you didn't, watch it.  I hope you took notes and are able to look for ways to apply it.  I looked through a lot of my notes this morning and have started making some goals with them.  Pretty much it was the best conference I have ever seen.  Jackie and Joseph came with us, and she just ate it up. She is so sweet.  All in all, it was a weekend overloaded with the spirit... I loved it so much.  My companion is so sweet and I know that she wouldn't be able to be doing the things that she is right now without the help of the Lord. Please keep us in your prayers :)
I'm not sure if it is just because I am a missionary, or not.  I went into conference with three specific questions and every single one of those questions got answered specifically.  
This is short!  I love you more than words can tell :)  Be safe!!!  Have a wonderful week!!
Love, Hermana Michelle

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Transfer Week!

From left, President and Sister Weidman,
Sister Marsha Richards, and
Elder Kent F. Richards of the
Second Quorum of the Seventy.
Good morning! Thank you for spending a few dollars just to email me!  Mom, I can't believe you are in Rome right now like it's no big deal.  Can we go when I get home? ;)  This week... wowzers!  It has been filled to the max.  With just about every emotion lagging behind it.  We had a lot of random things happen.  We had a lot of meetings!  But there was a lot of bike riding involved... aka sweating! Yay!  We had an awesome opportunity to have a Zone Conference with Elder Richards of the Seventy.  I think he is the one that covers our mission.  Every time I leave meetings I just feel so pumped to go out and work.... I'm such a missionary.  I love it.  But he talked to us a lot about faith.  I left my journal at home, but he had some really awesome points to it.  I have been working a lot on faith in missionary work.  Sometimes it is so hard to contact people on the street without judging what they are going to say.  But it all goes back to remembering my purpose.  That as a missionary I have been set apart to talk to these people who are put in my path.  But I have seen miracles when I am able to act in faith in this work. Pretty much I have the coolest job in the world.  He also talked to us about teaching simply.  Some missionaries complicate teaching so much.  But he explained to us how the spirit comes stronger in lessons when we teach the doctrine straight and to the point.  I love it.

So transfers... the last few days have been a bit frazzling to be honest.  I got a text on Saturday from President Weidman that said to call him.  I looked at my companion and was like, oh no, did I do something wrong??  So I called him back and he said to me, "Sister Warner I am about to give you one of the hardest things you will do on your mission thus far, are you ready?"  Pretty much my stomach dropped.  He told me that I will be training this next transfer, but it is a little different.  She is a visa waiter and she is coming here.  But she was called to speak Portuguese, so that is what she learned in the MTC. But I am going to be teaching and training her in Spanish! She is coming to my area in Spanish and Sister Wright is leaving.  I think the hardest part about it is Sister Wright leaving.  I always heard that people meet their best friends on the mission, but I didn't think much of it.  She has done so much for me and has seriously changed my mission, so I am sad to be being separated.  But transfers are inspired!!!  I am going to grow so much this next transfer.




Gonna miss this girl!
I wish that I could put into words of all the things that I have learned this transfer.  It has been amazing.  I read through some old journal entries the other night and thought about ripping them out, I was so embarrassed, haha.  I have changed so much.  Especially this transfer.  I have always enjoyed my mission, but I found out how to find joy in my mission.  I love being here.  I can't believe how fast time is going and I just want it to slow down!  I found a love for the little things that I did not enjoy!  I learned how to have a positive attitude in hard situations.  All in all, the transfer has completely changed my mission and I love it.


Please pray for me this week!  I am a little nervous about everything that is going to happen, talk about being humbled!  But I know that Heavenly Father is going to give me everything that I need to do it.  It sounds like the family is great, that makes me so happy!  Keep doing good things!  And read your scriptures everyday.  It brings so much happiness.  The church is true!  I love you so much!  Be safe!!

Love,

Hermana Michelle