Monday, May 26, 2014

Forty-ninth Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!

This week has been full of miracles! I absolutely love it here in Santa Paula. I miss Oxnard, but great things are definitely happening here.

First of all, Hermana Player and I are training Hermana Wallace!  She's super sweet, from Arizona, plays the cello, sings, loves life, and has such a strong testimony.

On Tuesday after transfer meeting we were able to get straight to working! We were able to go meet Benny, a former investigator that is showing more interest. She has three small kids that behave really well, so when we taught her a little bit about faith, she had no problem feeling the spirit. We went and stopped by later this week to check up on her and even though she hadn't had the chance to read the reading assignment we gave her yet, she still showed interest. We have a return appointment with her on Tuesday this week.

Derek, another one of our investigators, is so great! He had only had the chance to meet with missionaries a few times before in the past, but when we went over to teach him, he soaked it all up. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and used the visual. Hermana Player said that he had never really paid that much attention before, but he seemed a lot more invested this time. At the end, we invited him to be baptized on July 12th and he said yes! It wasn't just a casual yes, but he thought about it for a little bit before he responded. The spirit was so strong and all three of us could tell that he was trying to recognize it. He's currently living with his girlfriend (who's never home when we're there), but we're going to try to see if we can start working with her too. He said that he was going to come to church on Sunday, but he didn't end up making it. At least he thought more about it this time than he had in the past.

Sandra is one of the recent converts that we've been able to work with. She is super sweet, but very shy. We had planned to reteach the Restoration this week, but she was in a hurry, so we sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" with her. She absolutely loved it and told us that she used to sing with the other Hermanas that prepared her for baptism. Hopefully this week, we'll get to meet with her more and be able to study with her a little bit more in depth. It's been a little hard for her to come to church and stay active because she doesn't really have any support from her family. None of them are members and aren't really showing any interest in wanting to learn more. When we sang though, they all kind of stopped what they were doing and listened a little. Maybe that's the key to getting them to listen more.

Jenny is one of our progressing investigators. She has a few issues with her confidence and acting on the faith that she already has. She's been through so much in her life (used to drink a lot) and wants to change it. She's doing everything she can to stay sober and she loves studying with us. She's been ready a lot in the Book of Mormon and wants to keep reading. Apparently, she attends the Book of Mormon class that the other Hermanas in our ward teach every week, but this week she wasn't able to make it. She's also really shy, so coming to church has presented a little bit of a problem. We're trying to extend her circle of aquaintances by bringing different people to lessons, so hopefully that'll help.

Robert is another recent convert that we've been working with. He's also been through a lot in his life, but has definitely found the gospel to cling on too as a stronghold. The sisters in the past normally just read the Book of Mormon with him each week and answer any questions that he has about the doctrine or plot. They made it to Alma 36 before Hermana Wallace and I got here and when we read with him this week we read up to Alma 40. It was perfect because he ended up giving a talk on Sunday about those chapters. He has a lot of faith and is doing great.

The Ibarra family is super great, but we're struggling a little with how to help them the most. Everything we share they turn into something they already do or that complies with something they already believe. We were going to have a drop lesson with them this week, but it didn't seem right, so we're going to keep teaching them. Obviously there's a reason that we need to keep seeing them. Hermana Player brought up Family Home Evening with the Castillos (a family in the ward) and they really liked the idea of it, so maybe that'll be what helps them.

Angel, in the past, had avoided the sisters, but this week he actually let us teach him. We had a really good review of the Restoration and he opened up a little. Hermana Player said that that was the most she'd ever really seen him talk and respond to anything that we had to share. We still don't know him that well yet, but I'm excited to get to continue working with him. He has a lot of potential.

Mario was such a miracle this week! Yesterday, we were walking down the street when we decided to go knock a few apartments in this one complex. The first door no one answered, but when we got to the second door, it was wide open. Normally I love this type of situation, but it was a little awkward because there was a man sitting on the ground right next to the door that wouldn't respond to us at first (he thought we couldn't see him). We decided to knock again, but right before we could, another man came to the door. I think we scared him a little at first because he didn't hear us, but then we started teaching him and it turned into an amazing lesson. He didn't really know that much about the church, but he grew up in Arizona surrounded by members. He listened intently as we shared the message of the Restoration and asked really good questions. He asked all those questions that we hope investigators ask, but never do. The flow was so natural and all three of us taught pretty well in unity. At the end, we invited him to be baptized and he agreed to be baptized on the 5th of June. He understood that he would need to know that the Book of Mormon and church was true before he did though. It was such a perfect lesson! He's super awesome and has a lot of potential.

Melissa is absolutely amazing. We haven't had the chance to teach her since I've been here, but I was going through her teaching record and she's so golden. She started reading the Book of Mormon on her own and wants to get baptized. She's dating a member and her son is also interested in getting baptized. They come to church every week and she participates in everything. The only barrier is that she's living with her boyfriend, but hopefully they can decide whether or not they want to get married soon so that she can get baptized. It looks pretty likely, so I'm really excited!

The ward here is absolutely amazing and loves helping us out with missionary work. They've been so willing to drop everything that they're doing just to help our investigators. For example (one of many), Tony (a member) left church just so he could pick up Christian (an investigator that I hadn't met until Sunday) to come to church because his tire's got slashed right before he was about to leave to go to church. The bishop (Bishop Lee) and our ward mission leader (Brother Ennis) are both incredibly focused on the work and have such strong testimonies of the power of the gospel in people's lives.

I absolutely love working with Hermana Player and Hermana Wallace. They're both really good missionaries. Hermana Wallace seems like she's been out in the field longer than 6 days. Her spanish is really good and she's not afraid to try new things. She was a little hesitant at first to speak up much, but soon she was hopping in without any prompting. She's really amazing. Hermana Player is still so super sweet. I loved being around her in Oxnard and now I'm thrilled that I get to work with her here in Santa Paula. She knows her stuff really well and she's really good at training. She does it in such a way that it's not pushy or forceful, but loving and caring. She's very quiet, but when she speaks she's powerful. I know she understands her purpose out here in the field.

I've enjoyed so much getting to know the area and studying the area book. It's been kind of wierd not white washing (since that's all I've done my entire mission), but I love it and I'm learning so much from both of my companions everyday. One really nice thing is that we do a lot of singing in lessons because we all sing!  I love it!! :)

Thanks for all the love and support!

Con amor,

Hermana Halliday

No comments:

Post a Comment