Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mormon Helping Hands Day in Southern California !

Hello sweet mother!!

So in my area I have literally yet to see one white person.  That is not a joke.  It looks like it is Mexico! So awesome! I need to take pictures of my area and send them.  I forgot to take a picture of my apt but just imagine a tiny apartment with one bedroom and three girls.  Oh, showering in the morning is always an adventure...!  So we taught Jose on Monday and he accepted our baptismal invite.  And then, of course we ran into a problem. Jose is Hispanic and he is going to a Samoan ward.  So, we aren't allowed to teach him anymore because he needs to go to an English ward.  Talk about my heart breaking.  But I really hope that he will go through with everything still and go to an English ward because he doesn't speak Samoan.  But he is great and he is ready for the Gospel in his life.  We don't have many progressing investigators right now, but we are trying really hard to find them.  But we do have one whole family that is progressing! Seriously, I love them more than anything. They are amazing.  The parents are Antonio and Daisy and they have three kids. They are one of the closest families that I have ever met.  They do everything together, no matter what it is.  We taught them on Tuesday and it went awesome.  The spirit was there and it was such a peaceful feeling.  The parents told us that there was something different about us.  They have had Jehovah's Witnesses teach them and some others, but they feel different with us.  They said that they liked how we listened to their needs and how we don't force the doctrine on them.  That is the main point of being a missionary - listen to people and remind them that they have their own free agency to choose to accept our message or not.  They also said that they love the time that we are over there, because it is a time that they get to be together as a family. There is no TV on and no children yelling, it is a time that they get to focus on the Lord and be together as a family.  And we are lucky enough to bring that into their home.  They were going to come to church on Sunday but Daisy was feeling sick and so they couldn't.  They have a 10 year old girl named Vivian and she is amazing.  She loves learning about the Gospel and was able to explain to us about Joseph Smith and the First Vision.  They are an incredible family full of love.  They have so much potential.
A tender mercy that I had this week was at a family's house named the Reynas.  They fed us dinner this last week and they are a recent convert family of two years.  They went through the temple about six months ago and were sealed.  They told us how they were stubborn when the missionaries asked them to be baptized and how grateful they were for their persistence.  They said to us, be determined because in the end it is worth it.  They expressed to us how grateful they were for the missionaries and everything that they do.  Sometimes I feel like no one will talk to us, and hearing that from them made it all worth it.  It was a feeling of remembering why my Heavenly Father sent me to do this, because He knew I could.  We also met a man on the street the other day named Francisco. His wife died 3 years ago and he is old and alone at his home.  We are going to teach him, but when we were talking to him I was overcome with the presence of his wife there, but also strangely Michael as well.  My eyes welded with tears as my heart ached for this man. 
I can't remember all of your questions and I have to hurry, so sorry if I don't answer them!!  I have a goal of taking more pictures this week!!  I am going to do that, because I don't take enough.  I am trying to remember the most challenging thing that happened this week, but truly I cannot.  There were a lot of times that I felt tired or frustrated, but I don't know why.  What a blessing that is to me right now.  I can only remember the good parts of the week. So this week we went to Compton, hahahahaha!  Compton, mother.  It was to teach Jose. But I just thought I would share that with you.  A little scary. As missionaries, we have to do this thing called backing, where you back up someone who is driving.  So Hma. Zollinger was backing in Compton and the whole time she was like, I'm going to get shot!  It was quite the experience. I LOVE it here.  I cannot imagine myself anywhere else.
Street Light in Compton

I have been so spiritually uplifted, and I love it. I know, not only through my feelings, but knowledge that this is the true church on the earth. There is only one God, one church, and one baptism. And this is it. I know that without a doubt in my mind and am so thankful for that!  I am doing well here and am loving the people, the culture, and learning more about the Gospel and my loving Heavenly Father.  You are in my thoughts always momma.  I love you so much!  xoxo
Love, Hermana Warner

Mormon Helping Hands Day in Southern California!  This is an annual event, where over 40,000 church members combine with community leaders and citizens in giving service to the California community.  So happy Michelle was able to be part of this!

Hello, sweet dad. Here I am in Los Angeles with all of my sweet little Latina women.  It is amazing.  Seriously amazing. I think of you so much as I go throughout my day and wonder how you are. The spirit is wonderful here and I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to share it with others. We had a lesson with a less active this week and her whole family was around as we read a scripture to her.  We didn't get much of a chance to speak because I felt that her family was doing all of the talking.  But when we left, my companion said, "I know we didn't say much, but I know since we were there, that the spirit was able to be more present than it would have been without us."  It is so crazy here.  There are so many people, which means that there are so many people without the Gospel.  I have always known that the church is true but it truly is so logical.  Learning about the apostasy and why the church had to be restored makes so much sense.  I love meeting new people out here, even if it is me just saying, "nos gustaria un tarjeta con usted, tenga un buen dia".  People are awesome. The members are incredible and love us so much. I wrote you a letter that I am sending today with some stories in it!!  I love your story about the inactive and non-member.  Embrace those people, seriously.  Find people for the missionaries, and take every chance you can get to share the Gospel.  It is amazing. Thank you for teaching me about the Spirit.  I have learned more from you than you will ever, ever know.  I love you more than words can say!! xoxox  Michelle

Mormon Helping Hands Day in Los Angeles!

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