Monday, May 12, 2014

Forty-seventh Week in the Field

Hola Everyone,

This week has been such a good one, but also full of a few struggles.

We didn't have our car until Thursday because it was still in the shop, so we had to walk everywhere! Literally everywhere. We walked so much that our feet were blistering and I got bruises on my feet even though I wore my really good walking shoes. On Friday, the side of my right foot started hurting really bad and it was hard to walk, but now it's all better. We have our car, my feet don't hurt as bad, and everything's peachy.

So last P-day, we were able to visit the Galvan family again and teach them about the City of Nephi and the principles that we can learn from it. They loved the visual that we showed them and the committed to start having family scripture study every night. They've already been praying together, but we're helping them take one more step to being more unified. The four youngest children came to church on Sunday, but Michael and Brian didn't. We're starting to think that Michael is losing the fire that he once had and is listening more to his brother. He's the only one that has the priesthood in the home, so we're going to start working more with him just so he doesn't fall away and will want to continue keeping the priesthood covenant. The other children are getting more and more excited about coming to church, but they're having problems understanding exactly why we need to go. We're going to be talking about baptism and confirmation with them tonight and reviewing the sacrament prayers to help them understand that we need to renew our baptismal covenants. We think it'll help especially since Tony is turning 8 next week and is preparing to be baptized.

Gladys and Kassy are still doing great and still love learning. We were able to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week as well as the 10 commandments. They still accept everything that we have to say and teach them, but they talked with their mom and she wants them to wait a little longer before getting baptized. We definitely understand, but we're hoping with time she'll want to learn more as well. We found out this week that some of the young women in the ward are texting them, reaching out to them, and trying to get Gladys and her cousin (Jalene) especially excited about going to Girl's Camp. They really want to and we know it'll help them to feel the spirit even stronger. We were talking with Gabby (the young woman that normally goes with us) and she said that Girl's Camp was how she knew she wanted to be baptized. She explained this to the girls and the spirit was really strong. She such a good example for them. It also turns out that she knows their other cousin (Janessa) from school. It was perfect! They weren't able to come to church this week because their family was celebrating Mother's Day, but they said they'd come next week because they loved it before.

Tobias is still struggling a little. This past week especially. We had a really good lesson with him on Wednesday, but we found out yesterday that on Saturday, he got robbed and beat up. He still came to church, but he was really depressed. He doesn't own that much and he lives out of his car, so a lot of precious and important things were stolen. He was able to talk to the Bishop and few other people and all they could really do for him was comfort him and they're trying to help him find some other people to talk to. When he told us about everything he's been going through, I wanted to cry. I know he can handle it, but we're trying to help him realize all the blessings he already has in his life.

On Thursday, we were able to find a new investigator, Norma, who had met with missionaries in the past. It turns out that she now lives where one of our potentials used to live. It was such a miracle. We were able to teach her the Restoration and set up a return appointment for this coming week.

Ever since zone meeting, we've been trying to use the 5 step formula to make sure that we don't lose any of our investigators. We see so many miracles everyday that it really is a shame to never see those people again. It's such an inspired idea. As we've been using it, we realized that we do part of it anyway, but that all of the parts are necessary to keep our investigators close. It made me wonder why I haven't been doing all of it my whole mission.

Friday was such a miracle day. We were able to find 2 new investigators that have a lot of potential (Leo and Freddie) and we have return appointments with both of them this coming week. We were also able to teach the Ruiz'. They haven't really been progressing until now. We brought the bishop's mom with us and she really helped them understand the gospel better. She pretty much said the things that we tell them all the time, but because it came from her, a friend and member, they related to it a lot better. Sometimes I forget the power of bringing members with us to lessons.

We were also able to take our ward mission leader out with us to teach. Our appointment that we had set up with Jesus fell through, so we decided to go visit a less active instead that was in the area. As we were walking there, we passed a man that was cleaning his car. We stopped and started talking with him about the gospel. As we were talking, I couldn't understand anything he was saying because he spoke super fast and quiet and mumbled a little. I tried following Hermana Reyes and Danny (WML) and everything turned out well. After the lesson, I found out that neither of them could really understand what he was saying either. We all just followed the spirit and worked off of each other. When we got to the less actives (Angelina) house, it turns out her mom (another less active) was there too, so we got to talk to both of them about enduring to the end. Angelina even prayed for us at the end even though she was really nervous and didn't really know how. We retaught her and the spirit was so strong. I love hearing people pray who haven't in a long time or at all. It reminds me of what prayer is really about, communicating with our Heavenly Father.

We were able to contact the referral that we got from Sister Baker by phone, but finally on Saturday, we were able to find out exactly where she lives. It wasn't on our maps or in the GPS, but with the help of the zone leaders and the assistants we were able to find the apartment building. At first we couldn't get in because there was a key code, but we went to the front part of the building and tried calling all the people listed in the directory for someone to let us in. No one would, so Hermana Reyes wanted to jump the fence to get in. We decided that it probably wasn't the best idea started to leave. We then saw a grounds/mantainance worker that let us into the building. When we got to the apartment number, there was an eviction notice for the family that lived there, but it wasn't Graciela (the referral). We tried so hard, but maybe she's just not ready at this time to hear the gospel.

The call home yesterday was great and my family is doing amazing. I love hearing about all of the missionary opportunities that they're given and what they're doing to hasten the work. I found out that my brother who's 9 almost 10 is studying Preach My Gospel on his own and, because I challenged my family to read the Book of Mormon again before I go home, is reading the Book of Mormon and studying it too. I love being able to see the growth that he and all of my other siblings have been making spiritually while I've been gone.

Everything's been going great and I'm learning so much from my companion. Our investigators aren't progressing as much as we'd like, but there is definitely progression being made. I absolutely love it here in Oxnard and love working with the people here.

Hermana Reyes' birthday was this week and so was my year mark. I can't believe time has flown by so fast!  Because it was her birthday, we get to go to the temple tomorrow!  I'm pumped!

Hermana Reyes also made me try Tostilocos this week....they have a bunch of yummy things in them....except cueritos....don't eat's pig skin and it tastes like pure fat....

Thanks for all the love and support!  Love and miss all of you!

Con amor,

Hermana Halliday

Also, if you've written me and I haven't responded yet, don't worry....I have a pile that I'm going to attack today!

My Companion and Me!

Our Granny Shoes!  We did a lot of walking while temporarily without our car.  :-)

 Me in our apartment planning.

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