Monday, April 7, 2014

Forty-second Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!

Transfer news - I'm staying here in Oxnard with Hermana Reyes!

This week has been so great! Like always, the last week of the transfer always has so many miracles happen and so much progress being made. 

Tobias is doing great like usual! He still has a few doubts about Joseph Smith and prophets in general, but he still wants to keep learning until he has that belief that we still need one today. Unfortunately, this weekend was the one weekend that he couldn't come to church all transfer. Of course, it had to land on General Conference weekend when we'd get to hear our prophet speak, but we're not going to let the adversary get to him. We're planning on reviewing some of the talks that were given with him, especially about the Restoration and having the strong foundation in Jesus Christ. Hopefully, he'll be able to come to Ward Conference next week and feel the spirit as people are talking about it around him. We're also working on teaching him English, so he can find a job a little easier. We decided to meet with him twice a week and one of those lessons would be purely devoted to English and the other about the gospel.

The Ruiz family is just as great as ever! We've been able to continue talking with Hermano and Hermana, but Martin is still avoiding us. We haven't been able to talk to him in about two weeks, so we've decided to shift our focus more to his parents and help his dad progress more in the gospel and bring his mom back to church. It's really hard because they both work on Sundays and they have a pretty hectic schedule during the week, but when we stopped by this week, we had a great lesson. We showed them the cup and knife visual to help them understand that the church of Christ can only have one foundation, the foundation that Christ set up. Hermano really liked it, but Hermana had a hard time focusing on the lesson because she was so tired. We're trying really hard to get him with a baptismal date, so hopefully this next week it'll happen.

Gladys and Cassy are two girls that we were able to find through a referral (their mom) that Elder Trujillo gave us from when he was working in the English ward. They're 14 and 8, respectively, and have a such a desire to keep learning about the gospel. They had really good questions and they accepted a baptismal date of May 10th. The only problem there is that we still need to get permission from their mom to teach them. We set up a return appointment for this week so we can meet her and talk to her about this too. We talked to Elder Trujillo and he told us that although the mom is really nice, he's not sure if she'll give us permission to teach her daughters. We haven't met her yet, but I really hope that she let's us! 

The Galvan family was able to come to General Conference! Hermana wasn't able to because she had to work, but we were able to find the kids a ride to come. They loved it and hopefully they'll talk about it with their mom and less active older brother! We still haven't had the chance to talk with Brian since we first met him, but his siblings are still trying to get him to come to church and participate more when we come over for FHE. We were able to talk to them about the plan of salvation on Monday and they practically taught it to us! They all have such strong testimonies. We're just trying to get the mom more involved and do more of the teaching. We understand that it's hard for her to be home a lot, but they could really use more of a solid foundation when they're home. We're planning on talking to the whole family about the gospel of Jesus Christ tonight when we go by.

We were able to have a lesson with Vivian again this week. She is such a sweet girl who gets really excited when we come over and are able to teach her about the gospel. She wants this so bad, but her mom is totally against it. She's 19 now, so she can make her own decisions, but it's hard seeing her get into little arguments with her mom. We were able to find a ride for her to come watch General Conference, but when we all got there to pick her up, her mom wouldn't let her come and blamed it on the fact that she has special needs and can't be away from her mom for that long. This caught us by surprise because even though we knew she had a few special needs, she goes to school and understands everything we teach her. It'll probably be harder than we thought to get her to progress more, but we're not going to give up. She wants this so bad and we're not going to let the adversary affect this. 

We were able to stop by and finally visit Alberto yesterday. We didn't have much time, but we re-shared Moroni 10:3-5 again and invited him to read one verse every day even though his schedule is crazy busy. He said he would and that he would work harder to try to remember to pray everyday too. I feel really bad for him because of everything he's had to go through and all the madness in trying to organize his life again after his wife's death. He knows that the Plan of Salvation is true and that he'll see his wife again! It's just hard trying to set up appointments with him. 

This week, we met a man named Joe as we were street contacting. He didn't want to talk to us at first and then he turned around and started asking us a lot of questions about the church. He had confused us for Jehovah's Witnesses at first and he told us that we taught him so many new things that he thought were pretty cool. He even told us that he was going to come to church this weekend (he didn't end up making it) and that he'd bring his friends too. He got so excited that he told us he wanted to take our picture, so we let him, thinking it wasn't that unusual, and then continued teaching him. In the end he found out what our first names were (also not that unusual because he promised that he would still call us "Hermana") and where we were from, but then it got a little weird when he started texting us afterwards. Apparently, he thought that the phone number we gave him was just Hermana Reyes, so he started to get a little attached to her and started flirting with her over text. We gave his number to the Elders and they said that they'd take over with him. I think the whole situation is pretty hilarious!  It reminds me of Guillermo.

I'm so grateful that we get to stay here in the Oxnard 5th ward! I absolutely love the people here and am so thrilled to keep working with them and our investigators. I've learned so much from Hermana Reyes and I'm excited to keep learning more. 

General Conference was so amazing (as usual)! I love how much they focused on having that strong foundation in Christ through whatever trial we're going through. Christ is the only one that will never fail us and will always help us to become the best that we can be.  Two of my favorite talks were probably Elder Holland's and Elder Zwick's.  They were both soooo good!  Everyone needs to read them.

Thanks for all the love and support!

Con amor, 

Hermana Halliday

 Me and Vivian

 Me and Tobias

 Me and Hermana Reyes Eating... Again!  :-)

 MOOSE!  Just for Mom!  :-)
 Me and the Macias Family!

OH!  i forgot to mention....since me and hermana reyes are staying together, we get to go to the TEMPLE this transfer cuz it's her birthday on my mission birthday!

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