Tuesday, October 25, 2016

End of October shananigans!

I couldn't think of a title to this email, I am all out of ideas!
Family dearest I love you! I hope you all had a fun week with Marina at Renfest and the fall festival fun! I am sure that was so FUN I love fall, especially fall in NC :)

For some reason the sun is still blazing over here in California, its been super hot the past few weeks but we're hoping now that November is coming up it'll cool down like last year. 

Sister Smith and I decided for several reasons to hand our investigator Juan over to the Elders in the Southgate ward, because of a few personal reasons :( so we shall no longer be teaching Juan gahhh it was sad but we know he will progress with the Elders and we will be at his baptism soon :) 

This week has been filled with cool tender mercies and I feel like I have been able to see the Lord's hand so strongly in the work! Tuesday night, Sister Smith and I had been contacting the majority of the day and we had a ton of rejection :( We were feeling a little sad and while we walked, we talked about how much we wished that someone would just listen and let us share the message of the restoration. Suddenly we saw a woman in our path and started to talk with her but before we could even tell her who we were she told us to come inside her house! I'm not gonna lie I was really shocked at her request but I didn't doubt for a second that we had to go inside and talk with her. We went inside and started talking to her, it turns out that her name is Lupita and that she had met with the missionaries a few years back and her son is a less active member of the church. She told us that she knew she had to invite us in when she saw us and that she couldn't walk past us. We're continuing to work with her, I don't know if she will continue to progress in learning , if we met her to help her son or to help her investigate again but I know we were led to her for a reason! Heavenly Father truly is guiding this work. Its so humbling to be a apart of it and to realize we can't see the big picture, our duty is just to trust God and to work hard, he'll do the rest!

We had another cool experience with talking with everyone and seeing the miracles from it! We had exchanges this week with Sisters Castillo and Heller and Sisters Wadsworth and Haroldson. On Saturday, I went to Bell Gardens with Sister Heller and we were working in a neighborhood in the evening, talking with everyone. We walked by a house where it looked like they had just finished a party and two or three people were gathered chatting outside. I felt for a second that maybe they would be too busy to talk and that maybe we should just walk past them and get the next one but I pushed the thought away and I greeted them. A couple of the people of the group walked away but one woman named Michelle stayed and started talking to us. We asked her what was most important to her and she told us that her family was of course. She mentioned that she is a mom of five and she has recently been doing what she called a "study" about life after death. She told us that she has had some fears about dying and leaving her kids to be here without her. We continued to talk to her and told her what we did as missionaries, when she told us that the Elders used to come by and teach her and for some reason they stopped coming but that she LOVED when they would come and help her paint, clean and talk to her family. She thought it was interesting to see sisters but that it was so funny that we walked up to her in that moment. Sister Heller set up a time to come by and she thanked us for stopping and talking to her! It hasn't been the first time on my mission where I have seen when we talk with everyone, despite our fears, the Lord puts those of his children who NEED to hear about the restored gospel. I am SO grateful for the guidance of the Spirit that helps us know what we need to say and really who to talk to. Remember that fear is a tool of the devil and that as missionaries we should never fear what man will say. Never fear to share the gospel, have faith! The Lord will fill your mouth!!!
That's my testimony this week, I love you guys! Have fun with all the fall festivities, it'll be winter before we know it :O

Les quiero muchisicisicimo!

Con amor, 
Hermana Abreu
Helping at the ward TRUNK OR TREAT!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Happy Fall!

Happy Fall!!! 

It's finally feeling a bit like fall around here! Still have some hot days but for the most part it's a lot cooler. Things this transfer are slowing down but at the same time they're speeding up! This week we've been working non stop and it's been the coolest week! We had exchanges with Sister Davies and her new missionary Sister Cox! I was able to be with Sister Davies otra vez! We had tons of fun. Being with a newer missionary really gives you the pumped up energy you need! We worked all day and saw so many miracles as we were diligent and obedient. I love Sister Davies. :) 

This whole week as a zone we had this member present initiative where we worked extra hard as a zone to have members come and work with us everyday! and it's been so cool as we started this initiative with a fast to be able to achieve 72 member presents, how the zone has been working SO hard to achieve it and we have seen the Lord's hand so much! Our ZL's had us send a text to the zone everytime we got a member present lesson and everyday as we got texts from other missionaries seeing miracles it made us want to work extra hard! I think we ended the week with 77 member present lessons as a zone! It was so cool!! 

Norma and Francisco got confirmed! Yay yay! They are official members of the church! This week we also have been helping Norma and Francisco move to their new apartment! It's so nice and is really a much better size for them! :) we're super excited to continue  helping them to go to the temple! 

Welp there were a lot of things that happened this week that I just didn't have time to share with you but I'll try and fill you in next week. Sorry about the short updates. Much love to my home state of NC! I'm especially praying for those of you affected by Hurricane Matthew!!! Be safe. Te quiero! Hasta la proxima semana :) 

-Hermana Abreu 
Sister Smith and I with this stray kitty we found! We named it Eva :) but of course we had to give her away (if you're wondering why I am holding a cat if I have allergies...I'm dumb...because it really affected me later haha)

Lessons with Norma and Francisco and her famous horchata

Pumpkin choco chip cookies Sister Davies and I made while on exchanges! Its that time of year again!! EEEEEPPPPP :D
And a picture of Marta, a recent convert (they got married and baptized this last year, when Sis. Evans and I were together) and her daughter Kristen!

Monday, October 10, 2016

First week of the new transfer!

Hi wonderful family! It's so good to hear from all of you! Les quiero tanto tanto!

This week has been all over the place but good all in all!! Rocky start to the week but Sister Smith and I are doing well! Since Norma and Francisco got baptized our teaching pool went down pretty drastically so we spent a lot of this week finding new investigators and contacting! Pretty exhausting but we saw the fruits. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

We were able to teach and set a baptismal date with a joven named Isaac who Sister Smith met on exchanged with Sister Castillo! He is so cool! We taught him the Restoration and he was so receptive to it, the whole time he kept saying " I knew there had to be true church, I knew it!" And he was so excited to receive his own copy of the Book of Mormon. We're really pumped to teach him more!!!!

This week we also made so much progress with our investigator Juan! We've been teaching him for about 5 months now, since I was with Sister Lucas back in June and he has been progressing uber slow. But on Tuesday we taught him and we weren't really sure what we were going to teach. But we go in to teach him and we taught him about the Book of Mormon and Juan hasn't been too interested in reading it because he has such an affinity for the Bible. But we testified and taught about how the BOM is the keystone and we showed him a video of Jeffrey R Holland giving his testimony of the BOM and he really loved it. That Saturday we took him to the VC to watch the restoration movie and he loved it so much. As we talked with him after he told us he believes the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God! We invited him to prepare to be a baptized this month as he continues to read and get that spiritual confirmation himself! It was a huge step for Juan. He also really enjoyed stake conference and was able to meet President and Sister Haynie! :) MIRACLES

In our zone this upcoming week we are going to be starting a member present lesson initiative which we're excited for! We had a super pumped ZTM afterwards and our ZL's really pumped everyone up for the initiative! We're going to try ΓΌber hard as a zone to get 72 member present lessons!!! We fasted for it on Sunday and we know it'll happen if we're diligent!!!!!

Speaking of members, I know I haven't mentioned our recent converts Marta and Juan Reyes from back in June because a couple of months back they got offended and haven't come to church since. We've tried to give them their space but we've been worried about them for a long while. We had some really cool news last night. Emmanuel Osorio, one of the RM's in the ward told us he was going to visit Marta and Juan, and a few other recent converts/less actives at dinner on Sunday and we told him that would be great!!!! Later last night we got a call from him and he told us that he was able to find Marta and Juan, commit them to come to church, to pray as a couple and that they were totally open to the visit! He also visited out recent convert Karen and Jose Pablo! It was a milagro!!! No one had been able to see Marta and Juan in months!

Members can do what missionaries can't. We need members so desperately to fellowship! My testimony seriously grew of member involvement especially with those who are less active. In Jeffrey R. Holland's talk in the priesthood session of General conference last week titled
"Emissaries to the church" he says:

"My brethren of the holy priesthood, when we speak of home teaching or watchcare or personal priesthood ministry--call it what you will--this is what we are talking about. We are asking you as home teachers to be God’s emissaries to His children, to love and care and pray for the people you are assigned, as we love and care and pray for you. May you be vigilant in tending the flock of God in ways consistent with your circumstances, I pray, in the name of the Good Shepherd of us all, whose witness I am, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen."

I know he's speaking of all of us in our wards, we have to reach out with love!! I would invite you all to do so, think of someone who hasn't come to church in a while who needs a visit and visit them! I
promise you it means the world to us missionaries and I know Heavenly Father is so pleased!!!!! I love you all so dearly :) You're in my prayers, daily! Have a wonderful week.

With EXTRA love,
Hermana Abreu

Ariana Nava, an 8 year old in the ward got baptized on Sunday, I taught their family!

New missionary contacting with Hermana Cox and Hermana Martel

Baby Leilani!

Me and Jennifer and Matthew and Leilani!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

General Conference, Baptism and Transfers!

Hola hola! 

How is everyone?

It's gonna be pretty short this week because we gotta get going to do new missionary contacting again today!

This week, especially this weekend has been so special. Norma and Francisco were baptized as members of the church of Jesus Christ!!! It was such a beautiful baptismal service and and almost all the ward was there and some of the people didn't even have a chair to sit on, it was so full. A lot of their family came from Utah to support them!!!!It was also so wonderful listening to our dear prophet and apostles speak to us again. I feel like something I really got out of it that was taught and mentioned several times was knowing and understanding that we are daughters/sons of God and that we really do come from Heavenly parents,and by knowing so we must live the doctrine of Christ in our life personally and as a family. It was so cool to watch the 2nd session on Sunday, right after the Palma family stepped into the waters of baptism. I love being a missionary.

Even better news is that Sister Smith and I are staying together next transfer! There is no one else I'd rather spend this next transfer with. We're excited to continue to see miracles here in Bell! And I'm banking on the fact that I'll finish my mission here in Bell :) :) :)

Wow I love you all and I am so grateful to have you all in my life. Every time I watch General conference I feel so much closer to you guys, I know you're doing the same thing I'm doing for just once. I invite you guys to act on the things that you heard at conference and to keep striving to better disciples of Christ. I know I'm gonna trymy hardest. Hasta Luego!!!!

-Hermana Abreu

Exchanges with Sister Fehrenbach!
Palm trees ;) I just love Cali!
Dinner with Alba (RM) at this famous place in Downey, Bob's Big Boy Burgers

Basically the "virgen" we see everyday proselyting in Bell
Norma and Francisco's baptism
All the missionaries who taught them!

Norma and Francisco!