Monday, February 10, 2014

Thirty-fourth Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!

So much has happened this week! It's definitely a good thing, but it was a little stressful at the same time.

First of all, EZRA'S GETTING BAPTIZED ON THURSDAY!!!!!!  I'm sooooo pumped!!!!

On Tuesday, we went over to the Ramirez' home to talk with them a little bit more about when Ezra's baptism would happen. They seemed really open to having it as soon as possible (aka this last Saturday), but we wanted him to come to church the week before he gets baptized. They then said that it would be great to have in on Valentine's Day, which is Brother and Sister Ramirez' anniversary. We were so excited, but talked to Bishop about it and he suggested that we have it on the 13th instead of Valentine's Day because not as many people would come to the baptism. We did so and it's still tentitavely scheduled for this Thursday. Hermana Shepherd and I are both so excited! We've talked to Ezra about the program and already have it all set in stone. He came to church for the fifth time with his mom, this time, who hasn't come since they moved back into the ward back in August. It was really great to see them both there. His interview is scheduled for Tuesday and he's so ready. Even though his family isn't the most supportive, we feel like when he makes the baptismal covenant with Heavenly Father (one that's very individualized), he'll be able to be a better example for his parents and an even stronger desire to continue making covenants and good choices. It helps a lot as well that the ward is super supportive. In ward council on Sunday, the primary president and the first counselor in the bishopric both chimed in and said that if his parents aren't going to take him to church, then it's the wards responsibility to find rides for him and his older brother to get there. It was such a confirmation to me that he'll be in good hands when we leave the ward (whenever that is).  I'll let you all know how the baptism went next week!

On Friday, we were able to have exchanges with Hermana Romero and Hermana Wright. I was fortunate enough to go on an exchange with Hermana Romero! I love her so much! Being able to work with her again reminded me even more of what my whole purpose is here in the field. We were able to talk to so many people and invite 5 people to be baptized. The way she invited people was different than I would have done, but I loved it. Instead of inviting people to be baptized at the end of a declaration or a lesson, she invited them in the middle of the declaration. I'm definitely going to do that from now on. It seemed a lot more effective than the traditional way.

On exchanges, we were able to find this one woman, Maria, who got out of the shower to talk to us. She sat in her bath robe while we taught her the restoration and invited her to be baptized. I've never met anyone who would ever do that, so I really excited to get to work with her more. We also had the chance to teach two eleven-year-old girls, Cindy and Ruby, who are the sister and cousin of one of our formers. They are both so smart and love learning about God. They have such a desire to be a part of the restored church of Christ and come closer to Him. They're some of the most willing people that I've ever met to make and keep commitments.

Throughout this week, I've been able to realize the importance of the youth in the world and how they really are a chosen generation. Almost all of our investigators who are progressing the most are younger than 16. I love being able to watch them change their lives and know what their purpose is with such conviction. I feel like they are so much closer to the veil and have such a great capacity to help others come closer to God as well. When I first started my mission, I kind of had a skeptical attitude about working with youth, but that's definitely changed now.

Yesterday, in Moorpark 1st Ward, Hermana Shepherd and I had the chance to speak in Sacrament Meeting. She talked about faith as an action word and I talked about recognizing the spirit and acting on promptings. We had just listened to part of a talk about teaching by the spirit and it was really neat to be able to apply it directly to giving a talk. Neither of us prepared any notes and it went a lot better than how I thought it was going to go. I'm normally the type of person that will have a pretty detailed outline on what I'm going to say, so I was nervous at first, but as I was speaking my nerves went away and it gave me a lot more confidence to be able to do it again in the future. It helps a lot too that we've been working on that in district meetings too.

We've been able to keep working with Pablo, Brother Levine, and Nancy in helping them prepare to go to the temple. Seeing their excitement to go just makes me want to go all the time (even though I can't right now).

Hermana Shepherd is such a great example to me of what it means to be persistent and diligent in fighting for the souls of the people we work with. I love working with her so much and have learned so much from her.

I'm feeling so great and couldn't feel better!!!  I hope you're all doing great and I still love hearing from you!

Con amor,

Hermana Halliday

We decided to drink more water and drink a gallon everyday...i put motivational sayings on the gallons that go along with each Disney princess :)

 Stalking Pablo

Hermana Romero and Me

 Pablo is cold!

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