Monday, April 28, 2014

Forty-fifth Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!

On Monday, we were able to visit Reina (a former investigator) and her family. We had tried a few times in the past, but she was never home. This time, when we went by, she actually was home and let us right in. We didn't have a chance to teach a full on lesson, but we did "how to begin teaching" and she opened up a lot. She's a single mom with four kids and really wants her kids to have a foundation in God to help them throughout their lives. I could tell that she really wants help and I know the gospel can help her. We have an appointment set up for today, so hopefully everything will go well with them.

On Tuesday, we had exchanges and I got to work with Hermana Brown. I loved being able to work with her since I got to work so closely with her in the branch in Thousand Oaks. She has such a sweet spirit and loves sharing the gospel with everyone. I could feel the love she has for people in general and for me while we were working. We were able to stop and talk with a young boy (Joseph) who was outside playing basketball. He had seen us walking around and wondered what we were doing and what we talked to people about. It was such a tender mercy that we were able to stop and teach him the Restoration. He has a lot of faith and wants to learn more. He even told us that he wanted to be baptized! We weren't able to set up a definite time to come back, but hopefully this week we'll be able to go back and meet his family as well. I work a lot on trying to talk to everyone while we walked around. I felt like it went pretty well and a lot of miracles happened because of it. 

On Wednesday, we had a mix up with the other Hermanas who got locked out of their apartment, but everything turned out well. They were on exchanges so it was even more hectic.  They ended up coming to our apartment.  Even though there was six of us in our apartment trying to study and get ready, the spirit was there and we were all able to still be productive. I'm just glad that we were able to help out and that we lived so close. As far as the rest of the day goes, we were able to contact another former, Maria, who isn't that interested, but we were able to have a really good conversation with her about the gospel and how it can help her family. She was really friendly and was really willing to listen. 

On Thursday, we were able to meet with Myra and Jose finally! They've been avoiding us for a while, but we were finally able to teach them the Plan of Salvation. Jose understood everything and Myra even helped teach him. Even though she's not a member, she has such a strong testimony of the gospel. The only thing holding her back is that she's still living with her partner. There's a lot more wrapped up into it, but since we couldn't give her advice, we talked to Bishop about it and he's going to take care of it from there. We're still praying for her and hoping that everything will turn out so she can be baptized. 

As far as Gladys and Kassy go, we weren't able to have a lesson with them this week due to scheduling conflicts, but they told us they're still interested. We have to push their baptismal date back because they haven't come to church, but they said they would definitely come this next week. 

On Saturday, we got to go help out with Mormon Helping Hands and clean up a riverbed here in Oxnard. It was great to finally be able to do service since no body ever lets us, but the disappointing thing was that not one single soul from 5th Ward showed up. Everyone that came was from 6th ward. Hermana Reyes and I are trying to help the ward have more enthusiasm by showing them how fun it is to share the gospel.  Hermana Reyes created a sheet that lists ways that the ward members can get more involved in missionary work, so hopefully this week we'll start to get that implemented. 

Later on Saturday, we had a miracle lesson with another former investigator that Hermana Brown and I met on exchanges. When we showed up, he (Jesus) wasn't there at the beginning, but we started out talking with his brother and dad. He then came in and we had an amazing lesson on the first part of the Plan of Salvation and then the Restoration. They have a lot of issues that they're trying to figure out, but the spirit was really strong as we testified and we could tell that they felt it. We have a return appointment on Saturday.

Thanks for all the love and support!

Con amor, 

Hermana Halliday

Monday, April 21, 2014

Forty-fourth Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!

This weeks been great!

We were able to teach the Galvan family again on Monday and talk about the 10 Commandments while teaching them the hand signs. They loved it! When we saw them yesterday, they told us that they had been practicing the signs. We're trying to keep working with them to help their older brother, Brian, understand that we love all of them and help him come back to church and show more of an interest. 

On Wednesday, we were able to contact two former investigators, Magdalena and Elsa, that have quite a bit of promise. Magdalena has been recently going through a lot of problems in her family that has helped her become even closer to God than she was before. When she first started meeting with the Sisters, she was going through something else, but told us that they were "angels sent from God" to help her. She told us the same thing, so we're hoping that this time around, she'll realize even more that the gospel will help her forever and that she'll have that desire to enter the waters of baptism. 

Eva, pretty much knows every single member that lives in her neighborhood and is really good friends with them. She had taken the lessons from missionaries when she was younger and had wanted to get baptized then, but her mom wouldn't let her. As she's grown older, she still likes studying about God and wants her children to know more about Him, but she told us that she's already committed to study with other Bible study groups. Hopefully, we'll be able to help her remember the feelings that she had when she was younger. We were only able to briefly teach the Restoration, but we invited her to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon again. She accepted, so hopefully we'll be able to follow up this week. 

We started teaching Isabel, the daughter of a less active member, this week. She just barely turned eight and is looking forward to being baptized. Her dad thought that she could use a little bit extra preparation before then, so we gladly offered to help. She's super sweet and is really bright. Her mom isn't a member, but hopefully, with time, we'll be able to start teaching her as well. 

On Friday, we were able to go out with a young woman from the ward to go to some appointments (the Medina family and Vivian). Both appointments fell though, but we had some back ups that we had powerful lessons with. Gabby (the young woman) is a natural teacher and it was really neat for me to be able to see how the youth today are so prepared to serve missions. She loves talking about missionary work and what she's doing to help the work progress.

Yesterday was so stressful, but so worth it. We went to the Galvan's house to make sure they were ready to go to church and wait with them until their ride came, but their ride didn't come until 11:30 (we have church at 11) due to some complications they had. Then it took us almost a half hour to get to church because two of the kids got sick and they had to stop at the side of the road a few times. We finally arrived for the last ten minutes of Sacrament Meeting, but it was so worth it to get those kids there. They've only been one other time since we've been here in the area. I could tell that the adversary was working, but everything turned out okay. 

Listening to Elder Nelson and the rest of the speakers that came was absolutely amazing. I loved being in the presence of an apostle of the Lord and being able to feel his spirit. I especially loved how much they focused on having the faith to do whatever the Lord asks of us and to do what we actually signed up to do as missionaries. I realized, as they were speaking, that there are some things in my teaching habits that I want to start doing again that I haven't done in a while such as singing more, focusing even more on the Book of Mormon, and helping them truly understand that they are a child of God before anything else. Overall, everything was truly inspiring. (I'll send the newsletter that incorporates little summaries from Elder Nelson and Elder Bowen.)

Thanks for all the love and support!

Con amor, 

Hermana Halliday