Monday, June 30, 2014

Hello Hello!

Hello hello!
My brain is kind of everywhere, I am going to do my best with this email!  I loved hearing about all the family history you are doing in Canada, mom.  If you would have asked me about a year ago, I probably would have said that's great and not really understood the importance of it.  Family history is amazing!  I hope you continually are able to feel the presence of those dear family members that have passed on.  I love learning more about how our family came to know the church, so I am so excited to be able to do that as well, when I am home. 
Hermana Diaz and Hermana Warner, with the Los Angeles skyline in the background!
We had a lesson this week with a woman named Kristy, she is a member referral. We gave her a Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet in our first meeting, but didn't have time to explain them. When we came back for our second appointment, she told us that she had read in the pamphlet and felt something. She explained the feeling and said, "I don't know why, but I felt like I was going to cry. I felt something good inside me."! It was amazing. She is so very prepared and I am so happy that we have the opportunity to teach her. We have a lesson with her tomorrow.
Tender mercy:  There is a sister in our ward, Hermana Almeda.  She is probably in her late 70's or 80's and she comes out with us to lessons sometimes.  Sometimes, I think she is a better missionary than me!  We took her to a lesson and then she said she could come out with us to talk to some people and contact.  We talked to this man on the street and she gets out a bunch of pass-along cards and invited him to church!  Definitely a tender mercy, plus I have a very soft spot in my heart for elderly people :)
Best moment this week:  We did a huge activity as a ward.  We did an airplane simulation.  The airplane crashes and then we all die and we set up some rooms that represented the 3 kingdoms.  It'll take too much time to explain, but I imagine it's on the internet somewhere... it was super fun and Kristy came with her kids and really seemed to enjoy it!  Ah I love being here....! 
The ward is wonderful, I've already told you about them :)  Area - really getting there!  All it needs is a bit of love, we are trying some new things this week.  I am continually learning about faith and how important it is.  Companion - I love her.  We have our differences... but it always works out.  I have loved all my companions though.  Apartment - well, I find cockroaches daily.  Seriously, every day there are cockroaches crawling around.  It's pretty gross, actually.  I have gotten really good and killing them fast. 
I am grateful that I have this time to get to know and understand my Savior more.  I know that He lives and He did so much for us.  We are all important.  We all have our individual personalities and through that, we will be able to bless others lives with them.  I hope that you and others are able to love yourselves.  Through the good and bad.  We are precious children to our Heavenly Father.  I love you with all my heart, enjoy your week :)
Sister Warner

Monday, June 23, 2014

Helllloo to you!  Ok, I love this area! I am wonderful! It is so interesting to me because the last time I was here, I felt like it was a really hard area. But this area doesn't feel hard at all, you just have to really work here. We saw some really awesome miracles. First, is from a woman that we have been teaching named R. She has gone through so much in her life, her son was murdered in Guatemala less than a year ago. She hurts and feels the pain of it and has a really hard time letting go of the anger towards the man that killed her son. We found her through LA English. The sisters had been working with her a lot and were going to drop her, but then she started reading the Book of Mormon. She loves it and reads it daily. The last lessons we had had with her, she didn't seem to be progressing and always made excuses for church.  We thought about dropping her. We fasted together last week for her. Last Monday, we visited her and she told us that she was going to come to church!! When she says she will do something, she sticks to her word. So yesterday morning we went to her home before church and we all walked to church together! She looked so pretty and really had a light in her eye. Her son was a member. I know that there are angels watching over her so closely and are helping her to progress. She was really depressed when the sisters started visiting her. She still gets sad, but she has said multiple times in the last few weeks how much happier she is and how much she has changed. Another one is with a woman named C. Her son got baptized yesterday. They fight like cats and dogs! We had a lesson with them last week and they kept yelling at each other. We felt inspired to invite them to pray together every night. They did it!!! They have been praying together every night. We went over there yesterday and there was a different feeling in their home. It was amazing and such a testimony builder for me.
I thought about you a lot on Saturday.  I didn't even think about the day sequence.  We had a really busy day here, I was a little sad that I couldn't take more time to reflect on the day.  It was a really special day here, actually.  I felt Michael with me throughout the day.  We are so blessed to have our angels with us so close.  They are watching over us all the time! What a blessing it is to have the Gospel in our lives and know for sure that we will be with our families again one day.  I know that that is true and I have no doubt that we will live with those who have passed on.  I love sharing this message of eternal families with those around me.  The Gospel brings families so close together.  I am grateful that I have such a strong base for my future family.  Sorry, I didn't answer your questions but next week throughout the week I am going to answer them so that I have an answer for you next week :)  Things are going great here.  A lot of people are asking how I feel about coming home in a little.  I still have a bit of time!  I just don't think about it and work like usual.  Thank you for your support and prayers, I couldn't be doing this without them.  I love you more than words can say!!  Love, Sister Warner
P.S. Please don't rent the Cedar house before I get an opportunity to go down! Okay, I love you.  Also, I forgot my cord... I have pictures! Sorry 

Dear Dad,

It was a wonderful week here!  Lots of opportunities to find, we found new investigators and have a pool of people we are teaching.  One of our sweet investigators went to church yesterday.  We walked with her.  She is about 74 years old, I think.  She put her hair down and had a pretty dress on.  She was like a light in the church!  It brought so much joy to my heart.  Everything about this work brings me that joy.  I used to think this area was so hard, but it's not!  It just needs some love.  How was Saturday?  I thought about you a bit, but couldn't too much because we were soooo busy that day. I'm still trying to change and be better.  I talked to President this week. We had Zone interviews.  I had a little panic attack about coming home and asked him if I could stay longer.  He told me that my ticket was bought and I couldn't, so I'm just going to have to go home and do my best!  He said he wasn't worried about me at all.  Love you, dad.  Michelle 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Back to Hermosa Liahona!

Hola!! Wow, what a week!  Just really quick info, the AP's called me on Thursday, and said there were some changes going on in the mission and that I was leaving and transferring back to Hermosa Liahona, my previous area!!  It was so weird.  I have no idea what happened but I promise I didn't do anything, ha ha.  I am not sure why, but the Lord works in mysterious ways!  I love this ward though, I felt like I was at home again yesterday at church.  I loved my old area and I worked soooo hard there.  But it is nice to be back in Spanish, it feels like my mission (not that it didn't in my last area! It's just what I've been used to the last year). I don't have much to report on because everything has been crazy.  But we are working hard here.  My companion's name is Sister Diaz and she is Honduran.  She's 26 and is from New Jersey.  It's her 3rd transfer.  I LOVE my new companion.  Absolutely love her!  She is awesome!  I am really excited to be with her.
Sister Johnson, Kate, and Sister Warner before transfers
Eeek, you got my travel itinerary! I feel a bit bittersweet with emailing.  I can't believe you got my travel plans.  I know what you mean when you said you were happy, but then felt sad.  As a missionary, I am so tired!  Oh sometimes, what I would do to just be able to take a WHOLE day and sit and do absolutely nothing.  Just sit.  And sleep.  It sounds like heaven.  I am excited to have time to recuperate myself.  BUT.... now that I actually think about it, it really doesn't sound as heavenly. Reading what you wrote about the more bitter than sweet side is SO true.  I never thought I would love my mission the way I do right now.  Never! I have changed completely.  I am not who I was over a year ago.  I know I have said that a million times, but every time I say it, that I have changed even more!  I just feel different.  I feel calmer.  I think that is a good work to explain it.  I don't understand everything, but I understand much more.  I understand that I cannot do anything without the help of my Heavenly Father.  I have come to have a relationship with my Savior that I am not sure how I would have acquired at home.  I feel a joy that has only been able to come through serving others.  I have and still am learning to be selfless (trust me, I still have a looooong way on all of these).  Something incredibly important is how I am learning how to love.  To love others and do everything I can to see them as their Heavenly Father sees them.  It is so hard for us as human beings to not judge.  I have a hard time with it too!  But we must be so, so careful of how we see others and how we think of them.  They are just as special as we are.  And we must recognize that we have many weaknesses as well.  There is not one person on this earth that is perfect, except for Jesus Christ.  Anyway I'm sorry, I am just going on now.  All in all, I don't know where I would be without the guidance of my mission.  It has matured me more than anything ever could have at my age and point in life.  I am so grateful for it. 
I challenge you and whoever still reads these emails (if you still do, I am impressed!) to look at others with love.  Do not judge and do not talk down about anyone.  It is so hard, it's hard as a missionary.  But I promise you will feel the blessings of it afterward.  Look for others that need service and that pure love of Christ.  I know this is true.  I have come to that knowledge here, through all the struggles and pains.  It is the only thing that has gotten me through them.  I love you with all my heart. 
Love, Sister Warner
Wow daddy, thank you so much for this email.  I really, really needed it.  You are amazing.  I thought a lot yesterday [Fathers Day], about how grateful I am for you.  All the many, many things you have done for me.  You are such a selfless person.  Did you get my letter?
We had some crazy changes this week that I was involved in.  I got moved back to Hermosa Liahona!  Spanish!! I'm not sure what happened, but something. There were a lot of changes.... But it was a true answer to my prayers, I will explain more about it when I am home one day.
I have felt Michael sooo close this week.  I have pleaded in prayer this week, it was really hard for me.  I felt him right next to me.  I know that he is here with me.  I will be thinking about you alot this Saturday! Make it a good and happy day to remember Michael!  He is so sweet, he is always with me. I absolutely love everything about being here.  My heart just feels overwhelmed with gratitude.  I know with absolutely no doubt that I had to be here.  I love changing and growing.  I love you with all my heart daddio!  Thank you for everything  :)  
She's still our fun, crazy girl!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Baptism and staying in Torrance!

Hey cutie pie,
So you are correct, transfers are tomorrow! I'm staying, Sis. Johnson is leaving.  I am so sad because I really came to love her a lot.  I gained a testimony that if a companionship works together, they will have more unity.  I am going to miss her and the area is going to miss her.  I was hoping we would both stay together. But, His will is not mine.  
The girl Teresa, that I told you about a few weeks ago got baptized yesterday!  She is so sweet.  So I'll give you a run down.  She had a friend when she was 13 who was a member, but never went to church with her.  Her friend always talked to her about the church.  She went to church in Hawthorne a bit and then moved to Torrance. About 9 months later, she got on and called the sisters in Utah.  They sent her referral to us.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and she began reading it.  She called us after church one Sunday and asked when she could get baptized.  We taught her a few times and decided to transfer her to the YSA (she's 24).  She said that she prayed about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and she felt in her heart that it was true and that she knew this was the right church to be in.  She was really happy yesterday at her baptism.  Sister Johnson and I had prayed in the beginning of the transfer to have a baptism.  Although it wasn't in our area, I'm glad we got to be a small part in it. 
This week we felt like we were struggling a little bit.  We took a second to reevaluate and focus on having more faith.  We prayed really hard and then got out of the car.  We talked to this man and gave him a card, he wasn't really interested.  Then we started walking down the street and this woman stopped her car and yelled to us and asked if she could have a picture of Jesus, too!  We gave her a card and got her info as well.  It was really cool to see that immediately the Lord blessed us. 
I know that we are going to see a lot of miracles this next transfer!!  I am just going to push and work as hard as I can!!  Everything about missionary work is easier when you work hard.  I am  so grateful to be here.  Good job on your race momma!  I love you with all my heart!  Love, Sister Warner
Dear Dad,
Thank you for the suggestion of stopping to feel the Spirit, during the lesson.  I really like that and i am going to try and use it this week!  Oftentimes, the Spirit is there, but you're right, they don't understand it yet.  It was a good week!  I have been tired, but I figure I can rest when I get home.  Transfers are tomorrow.  I'm super sad because I'm staying and Sister Johnson is leaving.  I have really learned to love her a lot.  She is the sweetest girl and has such a pure heart.  She grew and changed so much.  I've been so blessed, my companions have all been amazing. My new companion is Tongan and I went on exchanges with her last transfer!  I love you more than you will ever understand, daddy!  Love, Michelle

Monday, June 2, 2014

Elder Ballard!

Hello, hello! So yes, Elder Ballard was here yesterday.  It was amazing!!!  Our stake had a special stake conference with him!  And then we had a meeting together as missionaries.  I went into yesterday and left with so many questions answered.  Some of them were questions that I didn't know that I had!  We were counseled on a few different things.  Really, I left the meetings wanting to repent and be better.  It helped me have the desire to keep pushing and work better.  He said something that I really loved and honestly that I haven't thought much about.  He said to have our investigators kneel down and pray and ask if we are true messengers from God.  Usually, we have them pray to know if what we teach is true.  But if they know that we are true messengers, they will know that our message is true and really is from God.  I took a picture of my notes because I don't know how to explain it all. 
Okay, so details about our area... it is really growing.  Fast!  [You asked about what our training that Pres. had us give to the other missionaries]. What we have done is nothing too special or significant.  Well it is, but it's not hard!  We just planned differently.  We put a name every half hour, into our planner so that we never go throughout the day asking what are we going to do right now.  Usually these names are potentials, formers, less actives, members.  We have prayed and fasted a lot!  We continually remind ourselves throughout the day that we really need to have faith.  And that is what we have done!  When we put specific names and plans, then Heavenly Father is able to guide us.  The angels that surround us are able to put us in the path of those that are prepared.  We talk to at least 20 people a day.  It is super tiring, but we do it!  Often times, the miracles don't proceed out of our many contacts.  It could be that our investigator that wasn't progressing, begins progressing.  A less active shows more interest in returning.  The Lord will always provide the miracles if we provide the faith.  So yes, I have learned a great deal about faith and what role it plays in missionary work.  We have an incredible family that have been investigating for years.  She grew up in the church but was never baptized.  They are really special and really need the Gospel in their lives.  They came to church yesterday and said how they are going to keep coming and working towards the end goal.  The woman I told you about last week, well we taught them a few times this week! They have started reading the Book of Mormon!  Their biggest fence to jump over, will be having the faith to do it.  If you could keep John and Sarah and the G. family in your prayers, I would be thrilled! 
We talked to this man a few weeks ago on the street.  He seemed really not interested but pointed to where he lived and said try another time.  We tried the next week and they were all sick, so we tried again this last week.  We talked to his wife a little about the church and what we believe.  They live about a block from the church.  She said that they have always wondered about the church.  They want a church that feels like a family and where everyone knows each other.  They weren't able to go yesterday, but we actually ran into her husband later in the afternoon (not a coincidence..) and he said that he had to work but he really wanted to go and that he will go next week.  Things like this keep happening!  It's amazing.....

No more cookies, I am getting way too fat.  I am cutting out all sugars!!!!!  Believe it or not I eat more sweets in my English area -- members love to give us dessert!  I am doing great!  Loving life here in LA.  My mission gets better and better everyday.  I am working really hard on taking in the moment, loving what I can here.  I am so grateful for how I am growing and changing.  I love you so much!! Hna Michelle

Hi daddio! It's true, I feel recharged.  I will have a little melt down, and then feel so silly afterwards because the cure is always the same - working.  When we work hard as missionaries, the other stuff doesn't get to us.  We focus more on others around us.  We had Elder Ballard yesterday, WOW!  It was amazing.  I have never felt like that before.  I am in such a different spiritual place than I was even 6 months ago.  I truly felt the presence of the Savior as I was there.  We have been working with an active member that has an addiction problem.  It has been really cool for me to be with her.  We met with her last night and she told us that she had relapsed.  She was sad and looked tired but had made plans to keep going.  It helps me to understand how Michael felt. It has given me sympathy on those around me and helped me love them more.  It just reminds me about how perfect the Atonement of Jesus Christ is.  We are so special to Him.  He would do anything for us.  I am so grateful for what I am learning here.  I love my companion -- again that happened, because we work.  Thank you for sharing that story!  I don't know much about your mission, so I love love hearing about it.  I love you so much daddy!!