I just thought I'd share with all you guys just a few of the miracles that have occurred this past week! I know for a lot of you, I haven't written to you personally, and I haven't kept up with a group email every week (hopefully some of ya'll have looked at my blog which has my weekly email) but I just wanted to let you know that things are really well over here in the California Los Angeles mission! Update on me, I will be hitting 17 months in the mission field which means my time to serve the Lord is coming to a close. It's really unbelievable that it really is ending. But the last parts of the mission have honestly been the best. I am so grateful for all of your prayers, your support, love, advice that have helped me get to this point!!!
I wanted to share with you a couple experiences that me and my companion had this last week that have strengthened my testimony that the work of salvation is real and that God knows and loves all his children! (I apologize in advance for the long email; I promise! Its worth the read.)
My companion Sister Smith and I have been struggling to find new people to teach these past few weeks and we have been trying various ideas to help us find those who really have interest in learning about the restored gospel!! The AP's (the assistants to the mission president) told the whole mission leadership council about a finding method that they had used and how miraculous it was. Its called the "four door approach", where it really is a form of inspired tracting. You and your companion knock four doors, or contact four people, but before you do so you pray specifically to Heavenly Father for someone of those four doors to be prepared for the gospel. The AP's shared a few miracles that came from trying it so on Wednesday night this past week, we decided to try it! We were headed back to our area from being at the church building with Francisco getting his temple recommend, (YES HE GOT HIS TEMPLE RECOMMEND!!!!!! WOOOOO) and we only had about 30 minutes until we had to go home. Sister Smith and I decided that then would be a great time to try it since we didn't have much time. So we decided to go to Maywood, an area that we hadn't gone to in a while. We were completely led by the Spirit as Sister Smith asked which way we should turn left or right, I chose left and I asked her left or right and she chose right until we decided to park on a street that felt right. We prayed for the spirit to lead us to the door that would be receptive for the gospel. We got out and began to walk, Sister Smith (who is afraid of every creepy, crawly creature) saw a possum in one of the houses yard, so due to the that we skipped a few houses. She had plans to walk down and around the corner until we should start knocking some doors but I felt prompted to knock at this particular door a few houses away from our car. We turned back and knocked once or twice and almost immediately a man answered and greeted us and let us in without us even introducing ourselves! We went inside and we sat down and we began talking with him. He said his name was Rafael and we also met his wife Liz, and his daughter Sofia. He explained to us that he used to be a member of the church, that his wife and his daughter had never joined the church. As we sat there, I was in shock at the fact that we were even in their home and the fact that we had knocked on the door of this family! He continued to explain to us that his family had just moved from the Torrance area to Maywood about 6 months ago and they didn't know anyone. They saw us in their outside camera at the door and told us that they thought the missionaries in Torrance had sent us. Rafael mentioned that he hadn't gone to church in a long time but that his daughter would go from time to time with his sister (all of his family are members) He even said that his dad was the bishop of a congregation in Mexico. He said that recently his daughter had been wondering how she could get baptized!!! We set a return appt., testfied that we knew God really had sent us to them and left them with a prayer. Sister Smith and I left that lesson so overwhelmed with the Spirit!!!! Out of all those streets, out of all those doors and the first one we even knocked, God put us there to meet this family!!!!!!! I know God knows His children and I know that if we will listen to the promptings of the Spirit, we will be guided to those who are waiting for the gospel!!!! It was such a huge testimony builder.
Another experience I would like to share with ya'll is really close to my heart. It has to do with some people that I taught the beginning of this year, back when I served in Hollywood with my old comp, Sister Moli. So one of the sisters that we're over is Sister Hibbard, a sister that I trained a few transfers back. Sister Hibbard is now serving in Hollywood, and she has been there for a four transfers now! Anyways the other day we were on exchanges with those sisters and I felt prompted to ask Sister Hibbard if she has seen or taught a family that I had taught back in January. Their names are April and Kaidy, Kaidy is around 14 and April is 9 years old. Some of you might remember mentioning in my emails, teaching these two wonderful girls. The back story behind them is that way back in January when I served there, we got a call from these two girls dad, who is a member of the church. The dad, who lived in Washington at the time told us to go visit his children and his ex-wife, the girls mother, because she was very sick in the hospital at the time. He told us to find someone to give her a priesthood blessing. Sister Moli and I then started visiting the mom, Tania somewhat regularly and we got to know the daughters very well. We would sing hymns for Tania and then go visit April and Kaidy and taught them the gospel. It was a hard time for the girls seeing their mom how sick she was but they were really strong and the gospel lessons we would have with them would take their mind off of what was going on with their mother. Anyways, fast forward to today. I told Sister Hibbard and her companion to try and visit these two little girls because I hadn't heard anything about them since I had gotten transferred from that area!! A few nights back, Sister Hibbard gives me a call and explained to me what had happened. She told me that they tried to go see them but that they no longer lived there. They were about to delete the info because there was no phone number but they felt like they should keep it a little while longer. Sister Hibbard then tells me over the phone that she had gotten a phone call that next day from an RM (returned missionary) named Alicia in the ward that had fellowshipped these girls and their mother Tania, all throughout the teaching process. Alicia asked the sisters if they had ever met or taught April and Kaidy at all. The Sisters responded that they hadn't, they never had met them but that I had requested they go visit them but that they found out that they no longer live there. Alicia, shares with them that Tania April and Kaidy's mom had actually passed away 6 months ago! Alicia continues to share with the sisters that she had had a dream the night before. In the dream, Tania, spoke to Alicia and told her to find her daughters, to teach them the gospel and to baptize them! As Sister Hibbard shared this with me, I couldn't help but cry and cry and cry. I was overwhelmed with sadness for those girls, but at the same time so so amazed that Tania had spoken to Alicia to tell the missionaries to go help and save her girls. I know it was no coincidence that I felt prompted to tell the sisters to visit them and that Alicia had that dream!!!
I felt so strongly that Tania needs her girls to be a part of the gospel, so that they might have it and so that she might have it. I know that the work of salvation is one, for the living and the dead! I am so grateful for the restored priesthood keys that allow the work for the dead to be allowed in the holy temples that we are blessed to have and to attend all around the world!!!!.
|April and Kaidy, back in January|
I know with all my heart that this missionary work that we do, is real. That God is and his Son Jesus Christ are at the head of this church! I know this is the true church, the kingdom of God on the earth today, to prepare for Christ's second coming. I testify that God loves ALL his children. I feel so privileged to be his servant, although sometimes I feel unworthy to do the work, he qualifies those who are chosen. I love you all so much. I hope that something in this letter spoke to you! I hope you all have a great week!!! Keep on pressing forward with faith and the Lord will bless you as you do.
California Los Angeles Mission
|a man pulled a parrot out during the lesson|
|our zone, after our ZTM meeting we had an "angels" training hence the hand signs....by the way that Elder in the back, we do not know where he got that sword....lololol #HPZONE|
|Senior couple, Elder and Sister Council are leaving next week :( They are from Virgina! #eastcoasters|