Monday, March 17, 2014

Thirty-ninth Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!

This week has been so full of miracles that have helped me realize that the Lord's hand plays a part in everything.

We went to an appointment earlier this week that we had with Martin Ruiz (I), but when we got there, we found out that his mom is already a member and that his dad is a former investigator. This totally took us by surprise when they told us this, so instead of teaching the Restoration to Martin, we decided to read 2 Nephi 2 with them. They apparently love it when missionaries come over, but we had no idea! We set a return appointment for this past Friday to go back and see them again. We arrainged for Hermana Rios from the ward to come with us because they had mentioned that they were really good friends with her, but when we got there, we realized that we forgot to text Hermana Rios the address of where they live now. We were unable to get a hold of her then, so we went into the appointment and rescheduled for tonight. As soon as we left the Ruiz' home, Hermana Rios called us and asked us if we were there yet. At this point, we were already almost at our next appointment, but it turns out that she got a hold of their address and still wanted to go with us even though we couldn't reach her. We felt so bad, but everyone was very understanding. Hermana Rios ended up staying there and just visiting with them for a little bit. She called us later that night and said that Hermano Ruiz wanted to start taking the missionary lesson full-time again and have us help Martin to understand the importance of religion in his life. Even though there was a lot of confusion at the beginning, everything turned out better than we expected!

We were able to go see the Galvan family (LA) this week. Last week, we had met Brian, the oldest son, and he had told us that he never got baptized or anything, but when we were visiting with Hermana Galvan, she told us that he was baptized. We were not expecting that, but it was a wonderful surprise. All of the younger kids still come to church every week and they were trying to convince Brian to come with them this past week, but none of them ended up being there yesterday, so we're going to find out why on Tuesday at our next visit with them. When we were there, we found out that Michael, the second oldest son, has the Aaronic Priesthood and passes the sacrament sometimes. It's so neat for there family to be able to have a priesthood holder as an example in the household. Every time that I talked to him, I could feel his spirit so strong. I know he's trying to be as strong as he can for the rest of his family.

On Wednesday, Hermana Reyes and I were able to go on exchanges with Hermana Siddoway and Hermana Linford. I had the chance to work with Hermana Siddoway and we saw so many miracles! We were first able to find a new investigator, Alex, at the home of where some less active members used to live. He told us that he believes mostly in science and not so much in God, but as we were testifying of Joseph Smith's experience, the spirit got so strong and he said that he'd love to learn more. We have another appointment with him on Tuesday and I'm really excited for it. That same day, we were also able to eat dinner with a family in the ward who has a non-member daughter. She was locked up when the rest of the family got baptized a few years ago and when she got out, she didn't really want to know more about the church. Lately, she's been turning more towards God for help from her addiction recovery process, but she still thinks we're a little crazy. She has such good examples from her family and especially from her brother who just got back from his mission in October. Hopefully, we'll be able to get to work with her more. I loved being able to work with Hermana Siddoway. She has a such a great spirit and such a strong drive to keep working hard. She's so loving and I felt like I was able to be edified and uplifted throughout the entire day. It was probably one of the most uplifting days that I've had all transfer. :)

On Thursday, we were able to meet with the leaders in the ward again to discuss who were some other less actives that we could visit. We've been doing so much less active work in contacting them and cleaning up the ward directory. Most of the people that we've been visiting have either moved or passed away since the directory was last updated, but at least we're able to help clean it up. As you can see from the rest of my email, we've had so many miracles happen from working with all these less active people. Another one that we were able to contact was Clara Lopez. At first, we thought her son, Omar, was an investigator, but when we went to try to see him again, it turns out that almost their whole family are members. It gets even crazier because his mom was a less active in the ward directory that no longer lived at the address listed and we couldn't figure out her new address. It was such a miracle that we were able to find her!

We were also able to visit Tobias a few times this week. He's still going through a lot of legal problems that he keeps asking for help with (which obviously we can't do), but we were able to talk to our Bishop and he talked to Tobias after church yesterday about how he can best be helped. (We were so happy that he came to church yesterday!) In addition to that, he feels like he's not really progressing and he practically invited us to drop him, but he's scared that we actually will. He told us that he can feel a difference in when we're visiting with him and when we're not. He doesn't want the spirit to go away, but he really isn't progressing that much either. We're still trying to figure out what we're going to do to best help him.

One more thing that we saw while working this week was how receptive little kids are. We were street contacting and we decided to start talking to a little girl who was playing outside. We started teaching her and she was loving it, until her mom came out and said that they weren't interested. I just wish that all people would really "become as a little child" and humble themselves to listen to our message.
There were also a lot of little random fun things that happened this week too:
- we met little tan asian kids who spoke spanish....there dad (asian) went to Argentina on his mission and learned spanish then came back and married a Peruvian woman....I really wanted a picture with them, but then I decided that I should probably wait until I knew them better! :)
- there was an earthquake this morning while we were saying our wasn't bad, just a little shake and enough to turn the power off
- we were able to eat Peruvian food (my first time) and it was really good....we ate it with the half Asian half Peruvian family
- we got a ton a food this week....Hermana Hernandez was sick, so our bishop came and brought us a ton of soup to practically last us all week, then, later at our dinner appointment, Hermana Lara gave us all the leftovers to take home, then when we were walking to an appointment, a memer from Newbury Park stopped us and gave us free "pan" (Mexican bread/donuts) was all delicious. 

Thanks for all the love and support!  I'd really love to get more mail! (especially from my own family) :)
Also, sorry if I haven't responded to your mail in a while...i'm out of stamps, but hopefully i'll be getting some soon!

Con amor,

Hermana Halliday

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