Monday, May 26, 2014

Working HARD!

Hey hey!
Alright,..... so Elder Ballard is coming next week!  He is going to speak to the missionaries and is also doing a special Stake Conference for OUR STAKE!  I think I will be seated at the church at 7 a.m... I am so excited.  We have been preparing so much as a mission to receive his counsel.  
Funny moment ... I'm not really sure.  Everything about a mission is funny - you either laugh or you cry, your choice! Best thing - we visited a less-active, and his girlfriend who is a non-member, was home. She ended up having a few questions and is curious about the church.  He is really excited for her, it's cool!  Hardest this week - we had some pretty rough lashes, but that's not important.  Tender mercy - The Lord is showing us how to WORK in our area. Through that, we are finding! We have just been planning more effectively, and praying and fasting A LOT! Our last Zone Conference was about setting and accomplishing goals. We really just reviewed how the mission has changed and what we can do to continue changing with it. You asked if we get fed every day - we usually get fed every night. Last night we went and ate at a park because we had a lunch with a member and our plans were on the other side of town from where we live. We got a lot of funny looks. Our apt is really nice, we live in a super safe area. 
A lot of miracles have been coming forth here. I am so grateful for the things that I am learning here. I know that the Lord is preparing many people! We had a cool experience happen this past week. We were following our plans and we had a few potentials to visit. We were praying and when we got out of the car we saw a woman across the street with her little girl. We crossed the street and went and talked to her and she asked us where we were from and expressed to us that she had been looking for a church. She really wants her daughter to grow up with the knowledge of God. We were so grateful to see that even though the person we were looking for wasn't home, we were able to talk to this woman.  We have an investigator named Teresa.  She was at church yesterday and asked us when she could get baptized!  She has a date for the 8th so hopefully it all goes through.  We have an incredible less-active family that we're working with.  They have just softened so much, it has been so cool to see the changes in them.  Everything is moving forward!  I love being a missionary. 
"Everyone points out these signs to us when we knock their door - okay, not everyone, but I've had a few!"

I love the Savior.  I love what He is doing for me.  I feel the power and strength of the Atonement.  Use it for everything.  In Preach My Gospel, it says that as we understand more about the Atonement, we have deeper desires to share the Gospel.  It is not hard to open your mouth - just do it!  If you have faith, you will do it.  I have to remind myself many times throughout the day to stay strong to the faith that I do have.  I constantly remind myself that I am a representative of Jesus Christ, I am doing this to bring other to HIS church.  I invite you to do the same :)  Just love other people, they need it more than we know.  I LOVE the Gospel and the joy we have in it.  Enjoy your week and good luck on your test!  Don't stress about it, you'll do great!  I love you! Hermana M

Hi Daddy!!
We had a really great week.  President Weidman asked us to train some missionaries on how we have helped our area to grow and progress!!  We got together missionaries that are serving in wealthy areas.  President wants them to try it out over the next transfer and see how it goes. Then, if that goes well, he is going to have us train a majority of the mission of it. Crazy!!  Yes, I gave a training in front of my Mission President and yes, it was scary! Just kidding, I love him a lot.  He told us what a great job we did with it afterward, too.  The work really is going forward.  Our investigator yesterday at church asked us when she can be baptized.  She is 24 so we might be transferring her to YSA, but we'll see how it all works out. Seriously, awesome things happening!  I have never worked this HARD in my mission!
If I had worked like this in other areas, I would have had so much success! But, it is all a learning process. I am so grateful to be here, it really gives me so much joy. I love my comp, she's doing great. I am jealous I don't get to be there to fellowship that girl - tell her to wait a few months for me!  And then we can work on the grandparents.  AH, I love missionary work!!!!  I love you so much!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Share it!

Hi, mother dearest,
It was good to hear from you this week! It looks and sounds like you had a blast with the kiddos!!  Thank you for sharing those fun details with me about what you did with them.  Cute little Brady!  I am excited to play with him one day.
Yay!  We got to Skype her for Mother's Day!!
This area is teaching me a lot!  Well, the Lord is teaching me a lot.  I am really learning to do work more effectively.  Of course, with some bumps along the way, but I have been putting every effort that I can!  We have been seeing miracles. We have focused ourselves a great deal, on how to be able to recognize the Spirit. The other night we were driving to go see a potential investigator. We just didn't feel right about visiting them, so we stopped to listen to the Spirit, to know where to go. We turned to another street and got out and started walking. We made a few turns. It was 8:50 p.m., and no one was outside. But we walked a little more. We ran into this man who was outside. He was taking in a sign for cars to slow down for children, so we talked to him about his family. Turns out his wife just had a baby. He looked so happy to tell us about his new baby girl. We were able to testify to him about how the Gospel blesses families. The Spirit was strong and he felt something. We set a return appointment for tomorrow. It was a blessing to see that when we involve the Lord in the work, He guides us. 
I have had some silly little worries lately.  Not worries, just thoughts.  Sometimes my mission feels like a dream, like I can't remember anything that has happened this past year!  I sometimes have the thought in the back of my head, that I could have worked harder in certain areas that I've had.  So it's a long story, and hard to explain, haha.  But, we were having dinner with some members last night.  He used to be a Mission President and is so awesome!  As we talked, I mentioned that of all the things I have learned, the most valuable one was how to use, and what the Atonement means to me.  He said if I leave my mission with just that testimony, then I have succeeded.  It was an answer to a simple prayer.  I am filled with JOY to know what I have learned of the Atonement, and have used it.  I have felt so strongly the power of the Atonement in my life lately.  I have tried to use it through fervent prayer and scripture study.  And It has given me an immense amount of strength.  Strength that I wouldn't have had, otherwise.  It's so cool!  Read in the bible dictionary where it speaks of "grace".  Study it, don't just read it.  It will help you understand the Atonement much better.  It is for everyone, not just members of the church.  So it is a great thing to be able to share with others, who are struggling.
I am so happy!  It's all good, and I know that the Lord really is blessing me.  Seriously, like pouring blessings!  Hard work and consecration made it worth it. I know that this is His work adn that this is Christ's church.  Share it!  Follow the counsels of the Prophets and Apostles.  What a blessing it is to have them in our times.  I love you so very much :) Hermana Michelle

Hey daddio!

I had a really good week.  It is amazing how well the Lord will work with one as they try to fully submit themselves to His will.  That is what I have been fighting to do.  IT WAS SOOO HOT!  I have never felt LA so hot!  My goodness.  But we just kept goin!  I'm like the energizer bunny.... I just keep hittin my drums.  We saw ALOT of miracles.  We took a lot of time to focus on the Spirit, to know exactly where we needed to be at certain times, and it was great!  I sometimes wonder if I would have worked this incredibly hard my whole mission, if I could seen a lot more success in the areas I was in.  I've worked my hardest. But hopefully I will be able to use what I am learning, wherever I go next.  Or who knows, maybe I'll finish my mission in this area....
The work I get to do is AMAZING, it is so good!  Between all the 'no's' I'm still just filled with a joy I have never felt.  I never want this to end!  It's all good in the hood (except there aren't any hoods here)  I love you daddy!!

Excerpts from letter home this week:
Dear family,
It was great talking to you yesterday.  It was so surreal, sometimes.  I forget you guys are real and still have your own lives!  It made me realize that my time here isn't exactly as long as I thought it was.  So, it must makes me want to work every harder, not waste a single second.  That, I need to have my whole self here in Torrance, California.  So it was a good thing for me.  This work is so important!  Where would I be if I hadn't gone on a mission?  I would have been pretty lame....
After we skyped, we went to work!  We met this guy and taught the Restoration at his door.  By the end, he said he'd be willing to meet again with us this weekend.  We looked for some potential investigators.  Many had moved so it gave us the opportunity to try and share with them.  Many of them said no, but it helped because we were looking for someone and not just tracting.  We don't knock doors here.  People are usually turned off to it in this area.  President said to usually only do it here, if we feel prompted to do so.  We contacted a referral and I was explaining how we have the Book of Mormon.  I finished, and she just looked at us and staredshutting her door.  It was really awkward.  Then, she called us about five minutes later, and thanked us for coming over! 
I'm doing amazing.  I'm loving my work and just constantly loving it more and more. It is helping me return to who I was when I was with my Heavenly Father, and then growing stronger.  I have no doubt this is Christ's church.  It is guided by the Prophet.  It tell people almost daily, about Prophets - you live in the midst of one! Never take advantage of such a sacred opportunity!  I know with a surety that through Joseph Smith, the Church was restored and through the Priesthood, the Book of Mormon was translated.  It's all real.  It's beautiful and comforting.  I love my Savior and I KNOW Him! I love my Heavenly Father.  I know He is always there for us.  What a blessing.  Share this with everyone!  Member or nonmember!  Love the Gospel, I do!  I love you with all of my heart!  Hermana Warner
A member took this and sent it to us!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Lord loves us....!

Buenos dias!
It was really great talking to you all yesterday for Mothers Day!  It was a great comfort to my heart just to be able to see all of you!  It seems like everyone is doing great. We had a lot of miracles this week. 
Nothing too big or grand happened, but just so many tender mercies from the Lord.  He is so aware of us in His work and desires that we succeed.  I think that sometimes as missionaries we say to ourselves in harder areas "I must be here just to learn patience."  Well, that right there is false.  The Lord does not put us in an area, just so we can only learn patience or humility.  Yes, it is often a big factor.  I know that I have had many areas/transfers were I needed to learn certain Christlike attributes.  But I have to remind myself this, "The Lord has put me in an area to work- not just to learn patience"!  He puts us places so that we may succeed and find those who are ready!  This week we prayed a lot, and really worked on having more faith and just working super hard.  The area is slower for now, but we know that through figuring out 
how to work here, we will see miracles.  We were walking down the street to dinner and there was a woman walking her dogs.  Yeah, she looked really not interested.  I was shakin in my boots, just kidding we talk to a lot of people.  I just assumed she was going to say, "No, I have my own church, or, "No, I'm busy walking my dogs".  But I prayed really hard to have those thoughts taken away and to look at her as a daughter of her Heavenly Father.  Soo, I was able to do that.  She looked up as she was about to walk away and said, "Wait -- are you from a church?  I've been looking for a church to go to!  A nice one where people actually wear skirts, not shorts.  And where people don't yell." The skirt thing- it's just a little detail.  But when Jackie was looking for a church, she was looking for one that had a basketball court in it, so Joe could play ball.  It's real, haha.  We got her info.  She couldn't come yesterday because of Mothers day, but we will have another appt with her.  The Lord loves us!

Another one, we had FIVE investigators at church yesterday! One Asian couple came to church. I was really confused as to who they were, and because I saw them pull up on their bikes. I thought they were lost, to be honest.  So we talked to them. The guy said that his girlfriend had been thinking about going to another church, but he had been to the SLC Visitors Center and said that our church was a much better choice. They could only stay an hour, but said they would be back next week.  And again, the Lord loves us.  Just little things that are happening.  The hearts are beginning to be softened and the Lord really is doing His work through us here.
I have been working and thinking so much about how I can be better as a missionary.  I have a lot of weaknesses.  I want to put every effort that I have into His work.  I have made goals so that I can do so.  I want to be able to look at my Father in Heaven one day and say that I truly did all I could to help others know His Son.  So, that is what I will do.  Missionary work is beautiful.  If you have fear to do it, then you don't have enough faith.  You must desire this for others.  There is no other joy that they will be able to feel such as this.  Open your mouth.  Study Preach My Gospel, so you know how to open your mouth!  But, it is worth it.  A large amount of the people we talk to say no, but we don't stop.  Just remember that as you share!  I love my Heavenly Father so much.  I love you too!  Have a good week!  Hermana Warner