Hey, Happy Halloween to everyone!
I hope everyone is enjoying their festivities! As for us, unfortunately we have to be in at 6pm, BUT its for the better, better to be safe here in California ;)
This week we had exchanges with our wonderful sisters Hibbard and Lopez :) Sister Lopez came to Bell and we had a blast!! She is from Peru and is a VC sister but is serving full field with the dearest Sis. Hibbard in Hollywood! It was a day of SO much walking, due to the fact that neither of us have valid licenses at the moment haha but we had so much fun. We contacted a lot of cool people, found some new investigators and got to play with cute dogs!!! :D
|As you can see it was really calm with Hermana Lopez and then when I|
decided to hold it, it wouldn't stay still!
|Exchanges with Hermana Lopez! Holding the cutest dog ever named Molly!|
Updates on Norma and Francisco! They are doing SO good, they are still trying to get used to the idea of us not visiting them as often as have been, becaue they are now baptized. A couple of hermanos mentioned to Francisco that they had plans to visit him on Thursday and while we were there Francisco told Norma about them coming over and Norma goes all in Spanish "WHY in the world do they need to come over, the hermanas are already come over every day!" LOL We're trying to help her love the visits from the ward ;) She already told us that starting in a week or so she wants me to stop all visits to prepare her for when I go home :( she is really sad! That's why we are really trying to continue to help the ward get involved with them. Francisco also got the priesthood!!!!!! YAYYYYYYYY! AND the ward had the primary program, and their son Jonathan who is 10 years old participated! He loves primary so much and the primary president says that he does so well and that she feels like he's ready to be baptized. We're trying to help him to be baptized in November! We're continuing to teach the rest of the Palma fam, their other son Francisco jr. and his girlfriend Yohana but its hard to teach them both because they have completely different work schedules!! All in all they are doing good! I love their family so much, but I am not gonna lie I think I have gained 5 lbs. from eating at their house alone, Norma feeds us SO much hahaha its her sign of love I assume ;)
This week Sister Smith and I tried some "finding outside the box" ideas, that President Haynie has been enforcing. He wants us to try to use other ways to find investigators, rather than the usual contacting, tracting etc. methods. Sister Smith and I drew the Plan of Salvation out in chalk near a park in a busier side of our area and we had some really cool people talk to us. As we drew, families asked what we were drawing and then we would ask them questions about life after death, eternal families, about the nature of God etc.! It was a cool effort, however towards the end we let a couple kids draw with us and it got a little out of hand but it was something different that we tried! :)
|Sister Smith's and I chalk Plan of Salvation drawing (new ideas we're|
trying) it was super fun!!!
Yesterday we went to the Visitors Center with Arely, the less active that we contacted into a few transfers back and she LOVED everything about the Visitors Center, but what she loved most of all was the audio in the Christus room. As the audio was playing, the spirit filled the room!!
Arely has really been working on understanding the gospel because although she was baptized years ago in El Salvador, she said that she didn't learn much about the gospel in her years being active. Teaching her has helped me to understand our calling as missionaries is to teach and invite EVERYONE to come unto Christ, not just non-members.
|Visitors Center trip with Arely (the returning less active Sister|
Vincent and I found contacting one day a few months back) and the Cruz
fam took us (Recent convert fam of a year--they're getting sealed in
And something I have realized that is most important is the invitation that I have accepted for myself to come closer to Christ. The conversion in myself has changed. As I have prayed, pondered and searched for what my investigators have needed, I have come to understand TRULY the importance of living the gospel in MY own personal life. Lately I have been reflecting a lot on my mission and the really really hard experiences to the really really happy ones and I have realized Jesus Christ has been with me through it all. Last night the sisters in the VC during Arely's tour invited us to stand in front of the Christus and to look towards the outiside of the center through the glass windows, what we saw was the reflection of the Christus all over each panel of glass, as if he was surrounding you, the sisters mentioned that because it was nightime it was easy to see Christ reflection surrounding you but in the daylight if you stand in that same place, you don't see the reflection as strongly, but you do see it. They applied it to our lives... that Christ is there through the darkest, gloomy times and that's when we see him most. But that he is there also in the happy, days, full of light but that sometimes its not as easy to notice. It hit me so strongly as I thought about the mission that I have been serving for almost 17 months. I've realized my Savior has surrounded me, been guiding me, protecting me but I have to look and realize that Its Him. He's always there. I love Him. I know He is the light of the world. I know that only through Him can be saved and be clean before our Father in Heaven. I know that NO matter what circumstance you are in right now, he's cheering you on and is waiting for you in daylight or dark, at any moment. If there is anything I have learned on my mission, out of the many things I have learned it is that the Jesus Christ and His Atonement is central to everything we teach, preach and live. The invitation is to come unto Him! I invite you to do so by studying of Him and living His teachings. I love you all!!!
Sorry about the long email! I hope ya'll enjoy your week and Happy November!!