Monday, February 3, 2014

Thirty-third Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!!

This week has been great! We've been able to get better control on the balance that we want between the ward and the branch. All of the unit leaders have been really understanding and I feel like they've even bumped up their game in regards to helping us out a little bit more. They seem more willing to commit to things that we ask them to do. 

We've been able to work a lot more with Ezra and helping him set a baptismal date. At our appointment on Thursday, we went over with the Bishops wife, Sister Benton, and review the baptismal interview questions with Ezra. He understood almost all of them with the exception of a few terms that we had to clarify and remind him what they meant. His dad came in at the very end and bore such a powerful testimony on what it means to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ and take his name upon us. We were so shocked. For a while he never really had shown much support or interest in getting Ezra baptized. When we asked him what these meant, his response was so powerful. I know that he has a stronger testimony than he's been letting on, which is really good for Ezra to see. We decided to ask Ezra what date he wanted to work for to be baptized and then in coordination with his dad, they decided on either the 8th of February or the 22nd. We were so excited and still are to be helping him prepare for this big step in his life. Unfortunately, Ezra and his family weren't at church on Sunday, so we're helping him work towards just the 22nd now. When we got moved to the ward, I really wanted to help Ezra get baptized this transfer. As I prayed about it, I felt like the 22nd would be the date that would be best for him, but I couldn't tell if it was the Spirit telling me that or if it was just my own desires of wanting to see him baptized. My doubts were confirmed when Hermana Shepherd told me that she felt like the 22nd would be the best date too. It's been amazing to see the hand of the Lord in my life while being here in Moorpark. I have such a greater understanding of what it means to rely on the Lord and realize that I'm really not doing anything and that it's all Him. 

Yesterday, in Sacrament Meeting, one of the Sisters in the ward got up and told about how she gets to work in the temple in the children's area and help them get ready to be sealed to their parents. She went on and on about how all of the little kids are always so happy and she can tell that they feel closer to God there. As she was talking, I had the strongest impression/spiritual creation of Ezra in that room all dressed in white getting ready to be sealed to his parents. It was so powerful that I started tearing up. The spirit bore such a strong testimony to me of eternal families while this Sister bore her testimony. 

This week, as a zone, we've been able to study more about grace and the Atonement. In conjunction with this, we've been able to read "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. Although I've read it many times before and absolutely love it, I've been able to learn so much more about grace. Being a missionary has definitely impacted my perspective on what grace truly is and simple it really is. There was a quote in the talk by one of Brother Wilcox's friends that said, "A life impacted by grace eventually begins to look like Christ's life." I thought this was so powerful because that's really all grace is. Christ has already paid the price for us. All we have to do is become more like Him.

This week we also had President's interviews!  Every time I talk to him, I always feel so uplifted and feel like he knows exactly what I was thinking.  Every question that I went with was answered.  Also, apparently he was really worried about me because he thought I was seriously thinking about going home.  He told me that he was really concerned and that he wouldn't be able to reconcile with me going home.  He told me that he was really proud of me for being strong and fighting through whatever was going on.  I absolutely love President Castro so much and love being able to serve with him in this great mission.  

Yesterday, at correlation with Brother Seguine, we were talking about grace some more and he said something really profound. He said, "Be accountable for your imperfections, but don't believe for one second that that's who you are."  Nobody's perfect, but we can't forget that we're still all children of God.  We were spiritually created by the most loving and powerful and perfect being in the history of the universe or anything.  

We had another missionary meeting with the stake presidency on Sunday.  Every time we meet with them, I feel so loved and so special to be able to be serving here in the Thousand Oaks Stake.  

Pablo is doing great as usual!  On Friday, we have exchanges and we're going to surprise him with seeing Hermana Romero!  He hasn't seen her since she left in early June, so he'll be so pumped.  

Thanks for all the love and support!  I can believe I'll be half way done this week!  The time is flying by so fast!

Con amor, 

Hermana Halliday

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