Monday, August 25, 2014

Sixty-second Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!

I don't think I really fully understood the power of serving others until this week. We weren't able to be in our area a whole lot due to MLC and going on an exchange in Solvang, but so many miracles still happened. There were so many people that we found that were so prepared. Heavenly Father is definitely watching out for our area.

Nieves is doing wonderful. We had a lesson with him on Thursday and we were able to bring a member who's just about to leave for her mission. It turned out really well and he had a lot of questions about why he needed to be baptized and what it would take for him to get to the point of having a testimony. He has a sincere desire to learn more and progress. We invited him to our dinner appointment that we had the next day and he said he would come, but be a little late. It turns out he couldn't find the house and we had to leave to go to another appointment, so he ended up just going home. He was really apologetic when we talked to him on the phone even though he didn't need to be. We weren't really concerned at first, but then he didn't come to church yesterday even though he said he would. We're afraid he might be a little embarrassed or even possibly offended in some way because it didn't work out. He hasn't answered our calls at all, but we're still trying.

We were able to start teaching Naomi this week and set her with a baptismal date of September 20th! She's so cute and really wants to follow Jesus Christ. She would have been baptized with her parents a few weeks ago, but she wanted her dad to baptize her when he gets the priesthood. We're hoping everything goes well with that so it doesn't hold her back from making this important decision.

Virginia is a former investigator that we were able to visit this week. We originally went there to see Carmelo (who we haven't been able to hear from in a while), but when we went, we found out that her husband (another former investigator) had just died a few months ago right after the sisters dropped them. It was such a tender mercy that we were able to come when we did because recently has been really hard for her. She was still a little closed off, but I think her heart was softened a little by our visit. Hermana Brown was so inspired to want to go visit them.

Another miracle that happened this week was that we were able to have a fairly good lesson with Hermana Reyes (a less active member). In the past, apparently, she had been really closed off and didn't want anything to do with the missionaries, so they would only get a brief scripture and a prayer in every time they went. This time we shared Helaman 5:12 and she opened up so much! She went on and on about all these different faith promoting experiences and at first I thought it was normal, so I started trying to end the lesson, but then Hermana Brown told me (after Hna. Reyes went to go get something) that this was the most amazing progress she's seen from her. We left her home that day with the spirit really strong.
It's been really neat being Hermana Brown's companion! I feel like I'm learning so much and that we have really great unity!  This week we've been studying a lot about humility and charity and how they go hand in hand.  I've learned a lot and feel like I'm getting closer to her and to the Savior.

MLC was really good this week as well - we talked a lot about service
I got to go on my first exchange this week!  I went to Solvang and got to work with Hermana Hernandez!
Thanks for all the love and support!

Con amor,

Hermana Halliday

The biggest bag of popcorn you've ever seen!

Me with Hermana Hernandez

The street signs by where I live....I don't think I need to was kind of weird!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sixty-first Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!
To start out, I just want to say how much I love Ventura!  I definitely miss Santa Paula and all the people there, but I'm excited to be closer to the Felix's and learn so much more from them. 

This week has been one of the most miracle filled weeks that I've been able to have on my mission. The Lord has truly blessed us in so many ways this week, that every night as I try to write in my journal, I honestly don't have time to write everything down. Writing in my journal has turned into a more enjoyable experience now that I always have something more to say. Not that I didn't have amazing things to write down before, but there's just so much more now. Same with my prayers. I find myself on my knees a whole lot more praying for a whole lot more people. Being able to be in this assignment only for a week so far has truly helped me change my perspective on who's really important in this great redemptive work. The needs of the Hermanas in our stewardship have become a whole lot more important to me.

As far as our investigators are doing, everyone is doing so great! We were able to find one of our former investigators again, Juanita. It was such a miracle that she was home and that she let us in. Her mom was originally the reason that the Hermanas had to drop her, but when we stopped by, Juanita told us that she really does want to keep learning and help her kids to feel the spirit more. She had a lot of really good questions about the Plan of Salvation, which we were able to answer, and she committed to read out of the Book of Mormon and pray daily.

Nieves was such a miracle this week! We were driving down the street to visit a potential investigator when we saw him sitting outside by his car. Before we decided to visit the potential, we stopped and talked with him and found out that he's been having a lot of problems with his family. We talked to him about the power of forgiveness and how the Atonement can help him change his life and he absolutely loved it. We invited him to church and to the Noche de Hogar that the branch has and he said that he would try to make it to it not both than at least one of them. It gets even better because he actually came to church yesterday! The branch was so helpful with fellowshipping him and answering his questions. We almost did nothing. It was such a tender mercy of the Lord that he came, but even more so that he said he was going to come again next week and bring his 8 year old niece with him as well. We also gave him a mini church tour while he was there and I think it helped him feel a little bit more comfortable.

Carmelo was another tender mercy. Hermana Brown had this feeling that we should go visit this one former investigator while we were on this one street. They didn't end up being home, but outside their home was a man (Carmelo) that the Hermanas had talked to in the past. We started talking with him about his family and then he told us that they all lived in Mexico, but that they were meeting with missionaries and were planning on getting baptized soon! He said that he really wanted to start learning more so that he could get baptized with them! We almost didn't know what to say! He said that he was going to come to the Noche de Hogar this next week, so that he could meet more people in the branch here. I'm so excited to keep teaching him!

Apparently, it had been a while since the Hermanas had had the chance to meet with the Cortez family. They're a less active couple, but Hermana Cortez is starting to come back to church. We were able to go over the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them this week and they both loved it. Hno. Cortez still has to work on Sundays, but we committed him to talk to his boss. We've been praying that he'll have the confidence to do so. The lesson was really powerful and I know they felt the spirit.

We were able to have a mini lesson with Raquel and Faustino (two investigators) this week as well. They're going through so many trials right now, but they really do have a lot of faith. They're living together and want to get married, but there's a lot of health problems that keep getting in the way. I already love them so much and hope that they'll still be able to keep progressing (which is hard because neither of them can read or write). We're working really hard to get them to come to church and have the faith to pray and receive an answer.

Sacrament Meeting was really good this week especially since we were able to get two investigators there this week. Hermana Brown was telling me that that normally doesn't happen on the first week of the transfer, but we definitely know that Heavenly Father is looking out for us.

This coming week is going to be so crazy with MLC (Mission Leadership Council) and going on an exchange, but I've already seen that Heavenly Father will definitely take care of our area while we're gone. I'm so excited to be able to keep seeing miracles and get to know the Hermanas in the mission. I also absolutely love serving with Hermana Brown too. She's so Christlike and so patient with me while I'm trying to learn so many knew things in this assignment. It definitely helps that we're very similar and already knew each other before, but I love her so much!
Thanks for all the love and support!
Con amor,
Hermana Halliday

P.S.  This is from President Felix regarding communication....

"All mail will come directly to your apartment (letters and packages). Please inform family and friends of your address. Inform them of the transfer dates a week prior. Tell them not to send letters or packages until you notify them. Please instruct your family and friends to use your first and last name on any correspondence. When contacting or sending information to the mission office, please use your full name. In all situations you should be addressed by the title of your calling, Elder or Sister. Any packages sent by UPS or FedEx can be sent to your apartment but cannot be forwarded. Please advise all who may send packages to use US Postal Services if possible. Advise family and friends that your apartment addresses are temporary. Ask them to check with you via email for address changes. Promptly let them know your address change. Mail delivered to the office will be forwarded.

The address to use if you visit a doctor and you do not have family health insurance is:
California Ventura Mission
3301 West Gonzales Road
Oxnard, CA 93036 "
My address currently is 1040 Seamist Place #103 Ventura, CA 93003 :)
Love you all!