Tuesday, May 28, 2013

First Transfer!

Hello family!
Well your email was long and so I wasn't able to read all of it, I'm sorry!  I am going to try and print it out but I am at a new place for today so I don't know how.  Anyway let me give you a little update.  So tomorrow is transfer day!  I made it alive a whole transfer!  I don't know if I ever thought the day would come. But we got a call from our Zone Leader last night about transfers and I answered.  He asked me what I thought was happening to me, and so I said, I think I am going to stay in Cudahy (with both of my companions of course).  And he answered and said, "Yes, Sister Warner, you are staying in Cudahy, and you are the only one staying in Cudahy!  I think I asked him about ten times if he was joking and that this was the worst joke I have ever heard. Nonetheless, he wasn't joking.  As much as I wished he was.  So here I am...staying in Cudahy by myself.  Without my mom (Hma Moeller) and sister (Hma Zollinger).  With people's salvation in my hands.  If you are starting to feel sick right now, I know how you feel.  Let's just say that I spent a large amount of my time crying last night.  We have a lot of set appointments this week and I am in charge of them.  Oh yeah, and my new companion came out on the same transfer as I did!  Pretty much I have never been so nervous in my life.  I have a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and I am the one who knows the investigators and the members... But I also know that this could be what I need.  I feel like I am already being humbled and it hasn't even started.  There is going to be a lot of praying and pleading this transfer, but that is what a mission is.  I know that somehow I will be able to communicate with these sweet people that I am teaching, and I will know how to teach them as well.  So there is the life of Hermana Warner... feel free to pray for me, all hours of the day. 
Threesome companionship!  Michelle, (center), her companion Sister Zollinger (L) and her trainer, Sister Moeller (R). She'll miss these two wonderful companions very much!
Michelle's District
Hma Zollinger and Hma Warner!
But, with that being said, it was a wonderful week!  I learned a lot and I really pushed myself. I don't remember if I told you about Benito, but he is one of our new investigators.  He met the missionaries in Mexico and he is the sweetest man ever.  He has a family with two kids and is the sweetest dad.  We gave him a restoration pamphlet and he loved it.  He loved that the focus of the church was on families.  He is Catholic and told us that there were a lot of things that he didn't agree with.  He really enjoyed learning from us and I know the more he learns, the more he will love it.  We set a baptismal date with him for the 30th... yet again, that's in my hands. But it's amazing!  Also I realized that I haven't told you much about Jose!  He is the coolest person in the world, seriously!  He's this 18 year old boy with a big old fro and tattoos up his arm, and he is so cool.  He is progressing really well and I think he is going to be ready by the 9th!  I can see a change in him and I know he is going to start seeing us more and more.  This week we had a lesson with him and we invited one of the members to join us. Her name is Sister Seuili.  She is a convert and loves the church so much.  She bore a beautiful testimony during our lesson and at the end she said to him, "Let me know when you enter the waters of baptism".  I think that I am still crying from that!  She is so cool! 
Michelle's apartment 
So this week I lost my CTR ring.  Okay, dummest thing in the world to worry about - I know.  I took it off and forgot it on my lap in the car, before a Samoan dinner.  So it fell out of the car.  I was so bummed because even though it is a little ring, it means a lot to me.  I got it that day that Bryan went to the MTC and it has always reminded me of what a great example he has been.  His mission was something that's really helped me.  So I was so, so sad when I lost it.  I prayed that I would find it, as silly as that sounds when I have a million other more important things to pray for.  But we were in the area one day and we stopped by just to check and see if it was there.  The street sweepers were supposed to be there at 12 noon and it was 2 p.m.  The car stopped and I opened my door to get out, and there it was.  Right on the ground outside of the car, I didn't even need to unbuckle my seatbelt.  As silly as it is, it showed me that Heavenly Father really does care about the little things.
Okay I have no time, I'm sorry, I got a lot of emails today!  Thank you for your sweet, sweet letter!  I am thankful that someone was able to explain to you how hard this really is.  I can say it's hard, but you will never really know how hard it is, mom. All is well here, and it's going to be a crazy week! PRAY for me that I am still alive at the end of the week ;)  I love you so much!!
Love, Hermana Michelle
Dear Dad,
Sorry I didn't email yesterday!  It's transfer week and so we email tuesdays.  Things are going well.  I am pretty darn nervous for the next few weeks!  Actually that is an incredible understatement.  I don't have a lot of time to email today.  The work is moving.  We met some really awesome people this week.  I am sad my sweet companions are leaving because I really grew to love them.  I am nervous to take over the area and to be expected to know what to do!  But keep the winds blowing because I am going to grow more than ever!  You are in ever single thought and prayer of mind daddy.  I love you so very much!  Hermana Warner

Monday, May 20, 2013

With Faith comes Miracles.....

Hola Momma!!
First off, HI you are amazing!!  I cannot believe that you pushed through all of that!   You can do hard things, and now your race in the summer will be even better!!  Woohoo!  How are you sweetheart?  I love that you always send me little quotes, you are the cutest thing ever.  Also that package, oh my goodness!!  My companions loved it so much and were so thankful for them.  And it is Hermana Zollinger's birthday today and her package didn't get to her by Friday so it was so nice for her to be able to receive that!  You seriously are so thoughtful of everyone, I love it.  I am so thankful for your packages, you have no idea how much they mean to me.  I know I say that about a million times to you!

So I'll start off by telling you that I saw and shook the hand of Elder Quentin Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve, on Saturday!  It was the most awesome thing ever.  He came to our mission and talked to us for a while.  The spirit was so strong and it was incredible being with all the missionaries in the mission listening to an Apostle of God.  But it was mostly about how our Heavenly Father is preparing people for us right now in.  We just need to have the faith to find them.  When we have faith, we see so many miracles.  He also told us about the death of our sweet Prophet's wife.  It really hit me.  My heart aches for him as he faces this challenge.  But I know he is able to feel the prayers of people around the world.

Michelle's mission was fortunate to have a visit from Elder Quentin Cook and his wife Mary.  
They had a devotional for all missionaries at 7:30 am on Saturday. 
Yesterday was the best day.  So we go to church at our Spanish ward and two of our investigators are there!  And they were the two that we weren't even planning on.  One of them came up to us and he told us how he hasn't been to church for a few weeks and he didn't feel happy, but since he was at church that day he felt content and he knew it was where he was supposed to be.  And then he said, "yo quiero ser baptizarme".  Aka, he wants to be baptized!  Okay, we can help you there I guess..!  He is a great guy, his name is Jorge (yes Brooke, Jorge).  He has such a desire and asked us if we could help him prepare for baptism.  The other one was Norma.  The mother of that family I was telling you about.  She is really going through some hard times right now and needs the Gospel in her life more than ever.  Well, Norma came to church and we weren't there at first because we were in our other ward.  She went to church for 3 hours by herself!  It was the coolest thing ever when we saw her there.  We went and sat down by her in the chapel and I wish that I could describe her face when she saw us!  It lit up!  She is so sweet and I know that she is ready.  We have a lesson with her tonight!  Our family isn't progressing very much right now, but it will come with time.  We have a few other investigators and as well some really great potentials!  If anything happens with them this week I will let you know.  

One story I really would like to share is about a part member family in our ward.  The mom is a member but is inactive and the dad isn't a member.  We went and visited them one night because all of our appointments had fallen through.  When we went, we heard from the dad that his brother had died just a few days ago.  I sat there and didn't quite catch that he had said that he passed away but felt something there.  My heart ached for their family and I could see the sadness in their eyes.  We asked if we could come in and say a prayer with them.  As we knelt on the floor I felt something that I had been longing for, for a while.  I felt my sweet brother in the room.  It was the strongest I think I have ever felt him there.  I don't know if I will be able to help this family, but I know that I have been sent here to do something for them.  I am so thankful for this gift that I have been given, mom.  I am so thankful that I have my brother that is constantly at my side and protecting me.

I don't have much else for today.  But I want you to know that I am happy.   This week was good and I have felt your prayers so much.  I know that the Lord is helping me through anything that has been put in my path.  This Gospel is amazing and blesses so many lives.  I don't know where I would be without it, truly.  I am thankful that I get to share it with others.  Yesterday was amazing, and as I sat in church and tried my best to focus on everything that was said in Spanish, I understood it!  I knew what they were saying!  Finally!  Of course not everything, but I know that I am having an immense amount of help with that.  Anyway, I hope all is well at home!  You are in my prayers always.  I love you!  

Hermana Michelle
View from the front of their apartment
Hello sweet dad,
How are you??  I love your emails every week, they make me so happy.  Mom is such a rock star!  You rode too?  She is so awesome.  How was your week?!   Things are so awesome here.  I am learning so much about how to do this and why I am doing this. One of the Elders in our ward had a baptism yesterday of this awesome man named Victor.  He stood up in our Gospel Principles class and said, "there are three people that have changed my life forever".  He named the two Elders and another man.  I sat there and thought about how one day, I am going to have someone like that.  I am going to change someone's life forever.  And that is why this is worth it.  It gave me a sense of peace because Heavenly Father is preparing many people to be put in my path.  I love the honey bee story.  Mom sent me that book and sent me a few little things that had to do with bees.  I am the tiniest portion to missionary work, but I am making my contribution.  I am seeing changes in myself and in others.  I am doing well, I am learning Spanish, I am having patience with myself.  I am so happy!  I hope your week is as wonderful as you!  I love you daddy!! xoxox
Beach Day!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Beach Day in LA!

Hi momma!
Well, thank you for your sweet email, I loved it.  After talking to everyone, I felt reenergized.  I am sad that I got a short, short 40 minutes to talk, but I am happy I got to hear how everyone is doing!  It seems like life is going great in good old Salt Lake.  I feel like I don't have a ton to share with you right now because we were able to talk yesterday!  But I do have a few things.  So, the other day I seriously just felt spent.  My body and my heart were tired.  I prayed all day for help and felt nothing.  I was frustrated.  But I felt the need to turn to the hymn, "Nearer, my God to Thee," and look at the scripture. Genesis 28 . But verse 15 is what got me.  "And behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."  It was my Heavenly Father answering my long and heavy hearted prayers. It says that He will be with me until the work that he wants me to do is done. I know that He will be with me always.  It brought more comfort to my heart than I could explain in the moment.  I just cried as I felt the love from my Heavenly Father directly towards me.  As well as that, a few days after, I asked some of the Elders if they could give me a blessing.  I was worried because I didn't know the Elder that was giving it.  But, the Lord knows what He is doing. It was one of the most comforting blessings I think I have ever received. It was in a time of deep need and everything that he said was what I needed. I wrote some of it down so I will try and send it to you in a letter.  But all I know right now is that Heavenly Father is mindful of me.  He knows what I am going through and that is why we have Jesus Christ.  He is able to lift those pains and burdens off of our shoulders.  I will be forever grateful for that.  

So craziest story ever.  We had a former contact that we decided to go visit about two weeks ago.  I told dad about her, she's read the Book of Mormon but she is in another christian church that believes in it.  She gave us two referrals of people that might be interested in our message without us even asking. Coolest person ever.  So we went to one of them and they were a part member family. What!  The two children were baptized about 5 years ago but are inactive.  We had a lesson with them on Thursday, and it was amazing.  It began with the Mom and the son, Isaac.  Isaac is 13 and is a rebellious teenager who said his favorite thing to do was party and that he didn't believe in God anymore.  By the end of the lesson, he was on his knees praying.  As we talked to the mom and son, the daughter walked in.  I thought to myself, she does not look like she is happy that we are here.  She ended up talking to us about how their family hasn't talked about going to church in years but over the last couple months, they have said how they should start going to church.  She kept saying how crazy it was that we were there and how it was time for her to start going back to church.  When we ended and asked if there was anything that we could do to help them, she just said, "Please, just keep coming back".  Okay coolest miracle ever.  The work really is thriving here!  I can see that it is going to begin.  We have met some amazing people contacting and have return appointments with a lot of them for this week.  It's pretty awesome here, besides the fact that it is 100 degrees outside and probably 90 where I am sitting right now.

We had beach P-day today! It was so nice to be able to sit there and just be able to relax!  I took a lot of pictures but I don't know  if I will be able to send them, but I will try.  Things are going great and I can feel that this week is going to be a lot better!  I feel your prayers, I truly do.  Thank you for your love for me and for all of the things that you do for me!  I love you more than anything, sweet momma! 
xoxox Michelle

Hello sweet dad,
Thank you for your email, it means a lot to me.   This work isn't easy!! I felt a lot better too after talking to you yesterday.  It gave me a second wind!  I am feeling good.  I know that as I put myself into the work, that the Lord is going to show me miracles.  But, it doesn't happen over night as well.  I am learning how to be patient with myself and with our area.  I have felt and seen my testimony over the last four weeks here, and it is amazing.  I know without a doubt that this church is true.  I love when we are teaching and we get to see that change in someone's eyes through a mere 45 minute lessons.  People need the Gospel, so many people!  And I get to share it with them.  There is so much work to be done here.  I am literally tired all the time.  But it's so amazing. What I am doing right now is the most beautiful thing in the world.  It's not going to be easy, but I see myself grow with it more and more everyday.   Have a wonderful week, I am thinking about you always.  

I love you, daddy :)

Hermana Warner

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hi Family! How are you doing?  How was your week? It was good here!  I am not sure about what time we will skype next week so I am sorry about that!  At least after 2:00 p.m. because that is when church gets out.  Oh P.S., I have church from 9-2, and half of it I don't even understand, but I will!  It sounds like everyone is doing great at home!  How are things?  Brooke sent me the cutest pictures from Chad's graduation.  I miss everyone!I don't have a lot of time but I will share with you my favorite parts of the week.  So there is a man that we are teaching named Timeoteo.  We met him tracting the first week that we were here.  Of course I was timid and didn't want to say anything, so I said hola and slowly kept walking.  My trainer stopped and talked to him and got to know him a little bit better.  We gave him a foueto about the Restoration and set a return appt.  We came back and he hadn't read the pamphlet so we gave him a Book of Mormon to read.  We called him later and asked how he liked it, and he said that he really enjoyed it!  How it was similar to the Bible and such.  We had a lesson with him on Saturday and it was awesome.  I am pretty sure I didn't understand half of it because he speaks Spanish and talks with his mouth closed.  But most of it, I understood.  Everything we taught him he agreed to and understood.  Then came time to ask him to be baptized.  Pretty much my heart was beating up my throat when my comp looked at me.  But I looked at him and asked him to follow the example of Jesus Christ, and after he looks at me without hestitation and says, pues claro!  Aka Yes!  I sat there and was like wait really, are you serious?  He is going through a really hard time right now and the Gospel is exactly what he needs, it's amazing.  He is going to be baptized June 2nd so please continue to pray for him and that he will go through with his date.  
Another is we are teaching a less active in our Samoan ward.  This is a simple story but her family has been a tender mercy for me.  We have gone over a few times to teach her and her family is so welcoming to me.  They feed us (literally the most incredible food in the world - you would agree) and they love us there.  I feel like they are my family here and love how welcomed I feel with them.
Thank you thank you for your package!  It was what I needed today and I am so thankful for you and the things that you do for me.  I will try really hard to get a letter written today but I usually don't have time.  We are doing beach P-day next week so I will let you know how it goes!  I am sorry I don't have more time to write, but I am doing well!  The church is incredible and I love my area and my companions!  I have learned so much about myself and the Lord.  Thank you for your support.  I love you more than words can say! xoxox  Hermana Warner