Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Merry Christmas, and Being BOLD!

 A member gave us each a little Christmas stocking. Mine was a cowboy boot!!! So cute!

Hello! Merry Christmas everyone! I had such a great week this week. 

On Tuesday we were on exchanges! This means we switched companions, so I was companions with Sis. Hirsche, and Hna. Hall and Hna. Luevano were companions. It was pretty fun to get to learn from a different trainer and gain new insights. Plus I got to really practice my Spanish a lot, because Sis. Hirsche is an English missionary and hardly knows any Spanish, so it was all me! It was a little overwhelming at first, but I did well.

 On Exchanges with Sister Hirsche

Cute Lab puppies we saw at an investigator's house

In the early afternoon, we spent a few hours at the local food bank getting boxes of food ready for needy families in the community to have a good Christmas dinner. I was kind of having a hard time about it, because I hate it when people just expect free hand outs all the time, but when I saw the looks on the children's faces, and really started thinking about it from the kids' perspective, I felt so blessed to be able to help them. It's not their fault that they don't have food, and there's nothing they can do about it. I am so glad that God helped me to soften my heart and grow in compassion for these people.

Then, that night we were driving around Sis. Hirsche's area. We had a few appointments, which all fell through, so we started just knocking on doors. Then we ended up with five new investigators! It was so awesome, God is really preparing people here in Royal to receive our message, and receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday was pretty crazy, I don't even really remember anything in particular, except that we were running around like crazy people. One of our Spanish investigators has a really nasty blood clot in his leg, because he has been smoking for like 70 years. He can't get the surgery to get it fixed, because he can't afford it. So now his leg is pretty much just rotting off. It's pretty nasty and we're not really sure what to do about it. His wife and son are members of the church, and the branch is trying to help where they can. His son has given him a lot of blessings, but he really needs the surgery. I don't know what to do but pray. He can't even really have lessons anymore, because he is in so much pain that he can't pay attention and we can't understand him when he talks. His words are very slurred like a drunk person or something. Please keep him in your prayers.

We also had District Council on Wednesday, and we were really focusing on how we can be more bold and loving with people. We want to share how important our message is, without being overbearing, but we also want to be really confident and fearless, so that was a huge goal for the rest of the week--we focused on being BOLD!

The boldness, and fearless attitude started to really pay off right away, because Thursday we found a new family to teach! We were driving down this road, trying to find a less-active family Bishop asked us to visit, and we couldn't find their house. But we drove by this green house, and I just felt like we needed to stop. I pulled the car over and said, Hna. Luevano, what do you think about that green house? She was like "Let's knock it!" It was crazy, because usually we are feeling too awkward to go up to a random person's door. But we wanted to be bold, so we thought, "What have we got to lose? So what if they slam the door in our face? We're just here to help them! We're just the messenger. Lets do it!” And we ended up talking to this family, a mom and three of her kids, ages 13, 12, and 12, for almost two hours! They had so many questions about God and Jesus Christ. They occasionally go to a Catholic church in Moses Lake, but they were just really confused about a lot of things. We were able to help them with all of their questions, and even teach the restoration! It was amazing! We have one of the daughters scheduled to be baptized in a couple of weeks!

I'm going to fast forward to Saturday. We went back to talk to the family in the green house again, and ended up being introduced to another sister, Liesl, who is 17. She is SO ready for the gospel. She had so many questions as well, and has been searching for something for years. She said she has always admired the Mormon kids at her school because they are all so nice and stick up for each other, and even when they are in different cliques and don't really have anything in common, they are still friends, just because they are Mormon. She said she has always wanted to learn more about our church, but never new how. We ended up talking to her and the other sister who is scheduled for baptism for another two hours and taught the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and baptism! Now Liesl is on-date for baptism in two weeks too! It is so amazing to think how the Spirit just told us we needed to stop at that random green house! It wasn't even on our radar, but Heavenly Father knew that family was searching. I am so blessed to get to be an instrument in His hands, and help others find what they are looking for.

Then Saturday night, I was at a Spanish member’s house and learned how to make tortillas from scratch like a real Mexican!! Woo hoo!!

CHRISTMAS. Was Awesome!!!! I loved my presents! Thank you all for the leggings, socks, tights, scarves, books, boots, pictures, and especially my bag! I had forgotten I asked for a bigger bag, so it was an awesome surprise. It is perfect! I'm wearing my new boots at this very moment and the leggings from Grandma and Grandpa. Pretty much I am just set for winter now, which is good, because it is freezing here! I haven't had any time to put up my picture wall yet, but as soon as I do, I will definitely take a picture and send it to you, Lib! Thank you!!!

 Christmas morning

 I love my new BIG bag!

Hermana Luevano loves her presents! 

HA HA! Hermana Hall gave me this, because I'm a mission baby!
After the four of us opened our presents, we got ready for the day, read the Christmas story in Luke together, and told about our favorite Christmas traditions at home. Then we drove to the Stake Center in Othello and had a special Christmas breakfast with the other ten missionaries in our zone. It was really fun, and we also got to watch “The Best Two Years”. It was really good, but totally different than I expected.
Then we drove home and went to the Anderson's house to Facetime our families!!!! It was SO amazing to see them. I got to talk to my family for about two hours on Facetime. I thought it was going to make me really homesick, but it was actually very refreshing. I loved seeing how much they've grown even just in the last couple of months, and especially loved the one on one conversations with my parents and getting to see my puppies! At the end of the Facetime, my sisters and I all sang a song together. That made me miss them, but was so fun. I love them so, so much.

Hello, Momma and sisters!
Then, after Facetime we went to the Perez's house for dinner and had tamales, along with a lot of other super good Mexican food. I ate goat.... it was weird.... sorry mom. haha. Hna. Luevano and I also got to do Secret Santa for a needy family in the Branch, so that was really fun too. I also got a Dolly Parton Gospel CD from my roommates... haha they know me so well! It was a really great Christmas!

Ok, back to Saturday for a minute. HAPPY SWEET SIXTEEN, MOOGIE MOO!! I seriously cannot believe my little "Elimy" is 16! Wow! (My little sister, Emily)
Sunday was pretty good, a little weird, and a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but good nonetheless. We sang in Sacrament Meeting (all four of us) in three-part harmony of course! We sang in English and Spanish. It was really fun, and we made people cry! We also had to translate in Sacrament Meeting. My brain was pretty much melted after that. It was exhausting going back and forth English, Spanish, English, Spanish.... whew! 

Then after church we spent a couple of hours in the Family History Library so I could teach Hna. Luevano about Family Search and Ancestry.com. We are planning with our ward council on having a family history night soon, to teach people how to do genealogy. Hna. Luevano needed to learn about it, to, so we could teach others! We got her Family Search all set up and actually found a few new people, so that was awesome.

 As I was in the library, some Spanish members came by and wanted to say hi to my mom!

Then we went and visited a few more people, including going to a member's house for dinner. We had an interesting conversation with her. It started out a lot different than usual, but we ended up talking about the exact thing that she needed to hear.

Today has been pretty great so far, except I'm getting pretty sick, and our car got stuck in the snow!! Hna. Luevano had to get out and push!! Haha! It was so funny, but we made it out okay. She's like the Hulk! 

Anyway, I think that's all! I love you so much!


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