Monday, January 27, 2014

Very brief preview of my week-
We had an investigator call us last night.  He is from a part member family - the family is amazing!  Anyway he called us and said he wants to receive the lessons so that we can get baptized as soon as possible.  We taught him one other lesson and then he moved for a bit.  He has been to church various times.  He is the sweetest, his name is F.  He's so prepared.
We went to the visitors center with M., our investigator.  He felt the spirit really strong!  Good stuff. 
I am learning like crazyyyyyyyyyyy.  Like things I never thought I would develop.  I am developing so much patience and love.  It amazes me that I am doing that.  I love this work so much.  This is what truly brings me joy and the happiness that I need and want in my life.  I hope everyone's Gospel sharing is going great.  I love you so very much!  Michelle

Monday, January 20, 2014

Gospel Conversations...

Hola hola!
Well, this is really going to be a short email. I've been busy, I am so sorry that I have become so bad at emailing details of my life!!  I am going to be better.  I'll start with this, I think I met some of the most hardhearted people this week!  This area is soo stinkin' hard.  We taught a less active that we recently found, we invited her to come to church on Sunday.  She looked at us and said, "Thanks, but no".  Both of us were kind of just in shock.  I awkwardly tried to figured out what to say back to that comment.  So, we just invited her again and finished up the lesson.  BUT on a good note!  We have had some great miracles.  We had a lesson with a less active last night and talked to her about the Atonement in her life and how she can use it.  She opened up a lot of why she hasn't gone to church and what has been stopping her.  She asked us when church started - that was a big step for her.  We had a great lesson with R. and the kids!  We taught the Plan of Salvation.  It was all super new to them, but they accepted it.  She still loved church and things are so good!

We have been talking a lot about member missionary work, well - for like the last year and a half.  So, why don't we do it?  Why do we get scared to talk to our friends?  We ate with a member last night and talked her about the blessings of the Gospel.  If we really understand and see the blessings of the gospel, then we will share it.  There is a line in PMG that says, 'the better we understand the Atonement, the more desirous we will be to share the gospel'.  So I am inviting you to have at least three Gospel conversations a day.  We, as missionaries have a goal of at least twenty conversations a day, so I know you can do this.  Tie in the Gospel to your conversations!  You don't need to teach them everything you can think of on the back of your hand, but just share your testimony.  And invite them to do something.  Sometimes people won't accept what you say.  But, we always get the blessings from it.  Not everyone we talk to loves us - what?!  But we try anyway.
Busy scripture study session!
A little bit of family found at Stake Conference in Hermosa Beach!  (Nicole is a niece of Michelle's Aunt Kris).
Well, that is my two cents for this week.  Again, this is sooo short, I am sorry!  I love you so, so very much!  I hope you have a wonderful week!
Hermana Michelle

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another week.....

Hola mama and papa!

Well, just telling me about the clip from Elder Holland and the Atonement brought tears to my eyes.  This mission does help us understand a small, tiny part of what the Atonement was like.  But it helps us understand more than I ever would at home.


It sounds super silly, but my lack of sleep has really been hard on me.  As a missionary you want to do all you can to push forward the work.  And that is how I feel, I want to put everything I can into it.  It's so hard lately, because I am tired.   But hey - I know it will get better!
On that downer note, it really was a good week!  We saw some great miracles. Let me add a side note in here.  This is one of the hardest areas I have served in because many people are so prideful, because they have more money.  Some people are so unhappy! But everything that happens really is a miracle.  And we really do see the Lord's hand in our work.  The other week we received a referral for a woman named R.  We had a great lesson with her and she was super receptive.  She has two kids and they are the cutest!  And thennnnn.... she came to church yesterday, with her kids!  Yay!!  Church is one of the most important things for an investigator to do.  She was a little confused; the first time is always a little scary.  She had some great fellowshipping in the ward and there is an Hermana in the ward that she actually works with!  I know that Heavenly Father is consecrating our efforts, it's amazing.
Toilets everywhere in LA!
Sister Shepherd burned the popcorn, not just brown but on fire!  Our apt still smells, ha ha
It was a bit of an up and down week!  We did a lot of contacting and got alot of "what are you doings?" But it is all worth it :) I think this area is making my skin even thicker! I am learning a lot here. Mostly charity, which we all know is Sister Warner's weak point. Just kidding, but I have learned a lot about it. I read a scripture this morning about what charity means to our Heavenly Father. If you read 1 Corinthians 13, we really understand.  As well as 2 Nephi 26 (I think) there was a great scripture there.  I am doing so great!  So sad to hear about the house, mom.... talked to dad about it a bit.  Just remember that we are all going to have really terrible, tiring, frustrating, bad days. Haha, I have had many similar experiences, quite a few on my mission. But those times are what shape us to be better.  So take it with open arms.  Understand. And not just in this situation, but in everything. I am soo proud of you for reading!  Make sure you make it an everyday habit. I am going to be the coolest member when I get home.  Never forget that over everything we do, our Heavenly Father is the first one in our lives.  You are in my thoughts and prayers this week a lot!  I love you so much!  Love, Hermana Michelle
P.S. I am going to get your pkg right now, I am at the mission office.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Buenos dias mama!
How was your New Years?!  To answer your question, I don't think I could stay up until midnight even if I wanted to!  Pretty much by the time 10:30 hits, I'm out for good.   We went out on the 1st, in the morning to run and I could barely see the houses across the street.  It just smelled like one big pile of smoke!  It is one of the few things that I dislike about living in L.A... there is always inversion.  And it makes me feel like I am dying. But Happy New Year!!  There are going to be a lot of crazy things happening this year! 
We really had a great week!  The Lord makes up for everything that I might not be able to do.  Being a missionary at times, makes you feel inadequate....but then you see how Heavenly Father helps you in the things that you may lack.  But this week we set two baptismal dates.  Now setting a date doesn't mean you have a baptism, but it does mean that you get to help someone to prepare for baptism, if they really are ready for it.  We visited a man named M. and he told us to come back.  We have had a few lessons with him this week and have been able to get memebers involved as soon as possible.  He lost his son in the war a few years ago and he is really looking for something.  It was amazing to me just to see the small changes he has made the last week.  One of the not-small changes is that he has quit drinking.  He has been an alcoholic for a few years, to be able to numb all of his pain.  We went over on Saturday and he expressed to us how he has been feeling really sick, because he hadn't drank in 5 days.  We had the Bishop with us and he was able to testify to him that it was because he felt the Spirit, and the Spirit was telling him to change.  He has expressed how he wants to become a better person and to really change his life.  He is super receptive. 
We had a really cool experience yesterday with a less active.  We went to go visit her and her daughter was there.  Her whole family is super against the church and so it scared us a little when we saw her daughter.  She was a bit cold to us at first, but as we talked to her more and more, she expressed to us how she wants to go back to church.  How right now in her life, she is trying to make a lot of changes in order to do so.  She was about to leave when we got there.  It was so amazing for us to see the Lord really guiding us to where He wants us to be.  I have learned a lot about following the promptings of the Spirit, and they are always there if we try to listen!
I'm so so happy for Madie!  I hope she loved the temple.  Could I get her address so that I can send her a letter about things she can do to prepare for her mission?  Okay, I have to go and I didn't take pictures this week... sorry!  I love you so much!!!
Hermana Michelle

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

Hola mama!
Beautiful Los Angeles Temple during the Christmas season
To start out I loved seeing you on Wednesday!  I forgot that I missed you all, but I was still okay after :)  You asked about the time limit on calls?  We have something called the white handbook that has all the mission rules it in, and in the white handbook it says you are allowed to called home twice a year and the calls should be from 30 to 40 minutes.  So we were just following what the world wide missionary rules say!  Everybody loves the rules!  But it was soooo good to be able to talk with you all a little bit!  Everyone looks really happy and pretty much the same.  Except for Bryan, ha - he's all married and stuff.  He made for some great entertainment for me!  It was so good to talk to Rachelle. We have been laughing the last few days about the things he was doing and saying.   Everyone is still the same and my family is still weird :-) Christmas was really great here!  It didn't feel like Christmas very much because I am used to snow, but it was a special day.  It was just different this year. I didn't think about what I was going to buy everyone, or what I could ask for. But I got to focus on others. I got to see their needs and think of the things that I could do to help those needs.  We mostly visited members and less actives that day.  I was able to share those beautiful CD's that Julie [Ethington] sent me with a lot of special people.  I really think having Christmas on my mission will change the way I see it from now on.  It is such a special time to remember our Savior.

Our area is a little slow right now, but it is going to pick up soon.  Yes there are a lot of white people. But we are serving in Spanish! We have seen some of the craziest miracles ever.  On Saturday, we were riding our bikes and someone yelled and asked if we were Mormons.  We stopped and talked to him for a second.  He told us that he has wanted to go to our church but he never knew when the services were.  We gave him the information along with ours, and he came to church yesterday!  Sadly, he lives about one street out of our area, but he loved church and we will be able to assign him to the right missionaries.  He really loved the services as well.  He said that he had contact with a missionary that formerly served in this area but lost his contact information.  But he had been praying because he watned to go to church again.  This has happened a few times a week here!  We run into people that have formerly investigated the church, and it's awesome!
I got your camera and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like it is super nice!  I am going to send home my camera card; it's got a lot on it so you can't lose it.  
It's a New Year this week!  New Years resolutions are great, but we should be making goals every week, not every year!  Just remember that.  I hope everyone has great goals though!  I know I have a lot of goals.  I can't believe it's already here, I feel like I have been here for like two months.  I love being a missionary.  It's the craziest roller coaster ever, but I love the blessings that come with it!  I hope you get to enjoy yourself and relax a little this week.  Sorry my email is a little lame, I have to go.  I love you so much!!  Hermana Warner
Hello daddy!
I was so good to see you on Christmas!  It was so good to see everyone and be with you for a minute!  I loved being here for Christmas, it was so special for me.  I am sorry I didn't send you guys anything. I have other things going on!  We had an amazing Sacrament meeting yesterday. Well, all of church.  We talked about all how members must help us as missionaries.  As a missionary, I see that members do not do enough to help us!  There are a select few that do.  It is so hard!  I think we need to remember that as long as we try, we will receive blessings.  Because granted, not every person we share the Gospel with is going to get baptized.  Point is, I'm going to be the best member when I get home!  There is a lot of English here in this area, not sure I like it. I love being here though.  I know our area is going to grow so much with times.  I love you so much and I hope you are able to feel of that!  Hope you enjoy your week! 

Love, Michelle