Monday, January 27, 2014

Thirty-second Week in the Field

Hola Everyone,

I don't even know where to begin with this week! So much has happened! To start out....I'm doing a lot better!  Thanks for all the love and prayers.  I don't have headaches all the time anymore.

Unfortunately, Sister Anderson ended up going home on Wednesday morning.  I'll miss her a ton, but I'm glad that she'll finally be able to get the treatment that she needs to recover. (We didn't end up finding out what was wrong with her.)  On the upside, Hermana Shepherd and I are now covering Moorpark First Ward again!!! (in addition to the branch!)  We'll definitely be kept busy for the rest of the transfer....which is good.

With both Sister Jones and Sister Anderson going home, getting adjusted has been a little difficult, but not as much as it would have been if I hadn't already served in Moorpark First Ward. I'm so grateful that I'm feeling a lot better too so that it's possible to devote all my heart, might, mind, and strength to the work. I'm also so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve in the ward again as well as continue in serving in the branch. This week we've been working a lot on finding a good balance in the work between the two units. It's interesting comparing different areas of the two units and which needs more help in each area. For example, the branch has a lot more investigators, but they aren't as solid as the few that the ward has and the ward has a lot more less-active work that needs to be done, but we've been able to have better contact with the less-actives in the branch. Brother Seguine, the ward mission leader in the ward, is helping us to decide what balance would be best in each area especially now with the two units.

District Meeting was really good this week. The zone leaders talked to us about what President Castro talked to them about at MLC.  I really liked the emphasis on stewardship. Sometimes I forget that the small things need to be taken care of before the bigger blessings will come. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." (Alma 37:6-7) Hermana Shepherd and are working really hard in trying to keep the apartment cleaner overall so that we can feel the spirit even stronger throughout the week. It got a little out of hand while we were in for the past few weeks. I really like the zone goals and Elder Bostrom and Elder Bate came up with for our zone.
1. Pray for each missionary in our zone daily by name
2. Read an assigned talk on a different aspect of the Atonement each week and then prepare a five minute talk to be given at District Meeting the following week
3. Invite at least five people to be baptized each week (mostly in declaring situations)
4. Use positive affirmations throughout the day to boost our attitudes
Focusing on the Atonement this transfer will not only help me become closer to the Savior and to his work, but as I study it and apply it more, I know that our investigators will be able to feel the atoning love of Christ. Also, as we've been praying for each missionary in our zone by name, I feel like I've been able to get to know them on a more spiritual level and remember that we're all on the same side working towards the same purpose.

Yesterday was crazy, but super spiritual! I forgot how tiring six hours of church is, but also all of the blessings that come from covering two units. When I did that in Paso Robles with Hermana Romero we saw so many miracles and I know that the Lord will start manifesting His hand once again in this coming week because of our efforts to serve Him. Have I mentioned yet that I'm so excited to be back in the ward?! Plus, we have dinner every single night now :)

In the Branch's Sacrament Meeting, Hermana Shepherd and I were able to sing finally! The spirit was really strong. I love how music can invite the spirit like that in almost any setting. I've always loved music and performing, but being on my mission has helped me realize just exactly how much power it has to heal and be a conductor for the love of our Heavenly Father to His children here on earth.

The branch presidency was also reorganized yesterday. President Zeirenberg is the new branch president with Brother Castro and Brother Montoya as his couselors. They're going to do great! President Zeirenberg previously was the second counselor, so we got to know him really well and we're excited to continue working with him.

Throughout this week, we've also had the chance to visit Nancy Valladolid and Brother Levine from the English ward. They're both working on preparing to go to the temple. At first when Nancy was preparing, we think it was a little harder for her to understand since Spanish is her first language, but since we've been in the ward (and able to explain in Spanish if she doesn't understand completely) her progress has excelled and her comprehension has increased. Brother Levine is progressing nicely as well.

Words can't express how grateful I am to be able to work with Ezra Ramirez again! He's such a cute little boy that has such a desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ. The only stumbling block in his progession is his less-active family. I love them so much, but they don't have the necessary fire in them to support Ezra. We're working on trying to get them more fellowship in the ward and hopefully reteach them the lessons. We're also hoping to get Ezra baptized this transfer, but we'll see how his family is moving along.

I absolutely love it here in Moorpark!!  There are so many blessings and miracles that we see everyday and I'm grateful to be a part of that.

Thanks for all the love and support!

Con amor,

Hermana Halliday

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