Monday, November 19, 2012

First of all, before I forget, Hermana Hansen last week made us CDs of some music from the website and there is one that I've fallen in love with and you should all check out! Here is the website: and the song is called "I am His Daughter." I love it! 
I have one little request. Can you print me off another talk sometime? I believe it is called "Do Things That Make A Difference" by M. Russel Ballard. I believe it can be found in the Ensign from like 1983. Thanks in advance! 
Oh, also before I forget. On December 3rd there will be a big conference thing that we're going to because a general authority or 70 or something like that is coming. So on that week, the preparation day will be Tuesday the 4th. So you don't have to worry when you don't get an e-mail on the 3rd haha! 
Okay, now for some stuff about how this week was... so something very interesting...unique and weird I guess happened. Let me see if I can explain. I guess I can start by saying that I believe I received my first revelation through a dream this week. I've been really wanting to for a while because so many of the Hispanics talk about how they've seen amazing things in their dreams which were revelation and helped them become converted or things like that. And I know that is one way the spirit can testify to us. But that it is a gift in a way. Well I had one dream this week that I believe was revelation. It wasn't the answer I wanted necessarily, but it helped me accept what was best. Here is the story... 
So Alba had her interview on Saturday. She is an intellectual so she feels like she needs to know everything completely before she is baptized. And she had a lot of doubts for a long time about prophets and the Joseph Smith story and things like that. Her husband is a member and on the high counsel right now and more than anything else in the world he wants her to be baptized. But for the longest time she wouldn't listen to missionaries. Some elders told the husband that they only needed one lesson with her and she would want to start on the road to baptism. Well they got their lesson and they asked her if they could come back and she was like "no thank you." So this has been basically how it has gone. But then Hermanas came into the ward and the husband asked the first few hermanas that came (they changed to hermanas in this area in January or February) she just clicked with them and let them keep coming back. Even in just the time that I've been here she has come very far. At first she only came to church sometimes and she would only stay for like 1 or 2 of the hours. Then slowly she worked up to coming for longer times and coming every week. Now she comes every Sunday for the full time. She took the sacrament for the first time about 3 weeks or so ago. She has been progressing so much! Maybe she doesn't see how far she's come, but when I first came, she could be labeled "eternigator" and then eventually we were able to set a baptismal date as November 18th and she was progressing so much. We set the date promising her that the Lord could help her before that time know that this is the truth. He has definitely been touching her heart. Her big doubts--The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, prophets, etc have been dissolving slowly and she has progressed so much. 
She had her baptismal interview on Saturday and it took like an hour or so, but she came out and Elder Fullmore said that she passed and they left and we worked on planning her baptismal program. But a few hours later he called us and said that during the interview he felt great and that she was ready for baptism. But ever since he left he's felt uneasy and he's been praying and he felt like she should wait a week. Her big problem right now is coffee. She doesn't understand why we are asked not to drink it. She doesn't drink very much and it doesn't make sense to her why she has to give it up. I guess the way she sees it, it might be like if a prophet told us that apples are bad for us... she just can't understand why. But this past week she's been working on drinking less and less until she drank her last cup of coffee. But in the interview evidently she said that she had drunken coffee even the day before. So Elder Fullmore really just started to feel like it isn't the progress you've made, it is your acts that show that you're ready for baptism. She said that she won't drink coffee when she's baptized. But he was thinking it isn't right to drink coffee on Friday, not drink on Saturday and have the interview Saturday, then on Sunday get baptized, if that makes sense. So he asked to postpone for another week to make sure she is really committed to it by her acts this week. It was just a weird situation having her pass then taking it back. 
But on Saturday morning I had a dream where Alba and Elder Fullmore got out of the interview and he said that she needs more time and in the dream I immediately knew it was because of the word of wisdom. So to me, having had that dream was revelation that that was the right thing to do even though we had to take it back. I could have argued for it more to tell him that we really do feel she is ready. But because of that dream, I accepted it even though it isn't what I would have chosen. It helped me accept what was best for her. And honestly, I know this is the best thing for her. Her husband was so disappointed and was like depressed on Sunday. But this will give her another week to make sure it is her decision and not just because her husband wants it so badly. And it will help her know that she is ready to live all the commandments and to prove to God that she will do His will even though she doesn't understand completely the why. It really is the best thing for her. It really was a weird situation, though! 
Anyway... it is great to be seeing a lot of progress in many investigators. They are so great! I loved when we stopped by Herminia's house yesterday to give her a quick lesson and ask her why she didn't come to church and help recommit her for the coming week. She was working on making tamales and so we got to do a fun little impromptu act of service. She put the filling stuff in the husk stuff or whatever and then we tied them shut. It only took us like 20 or 30 minutes to finish it up (by like 6 or 7pm) and she said she would have been working on them by herself until probably like 9 or 10pm. I love being able to serve people! It is so great and it meant a lot to her. 
"Maria" has really been progressing in everything this week. For instance, one day we came over and she was just glowing. It was so great to see! But she has been learning and understanding the importance of things like prayer and scripture study. She found a quote the other day and she said that it explains her situation perfectly and about how we found her and have really been helping her. She sees us as angels who have been helping her all along the way back. This is how the quote goes: 
"It's not too late," the angel said. "Even though the world's a mess, even though you're not as young, even though you've made mistakes and have been afraid; it's not too late."
And then I saw the world through the angel's eyes. I saw the colors I could paint, the bridges I could build, the lives I could touch, the dreams that could still come true. And it became very clear to me. It's not too late.
~Ron Atchison 
Isn't that so beautiful! I love it!!! Well, I hope you all have a fantastic week! Enjoy Thanksgiving and everything! May the Spirit be with you! 
~Hermana Whetten

Monday, November 5, 2012

How time flies. And what a crazy week! I hope you are all doing well. Sarah, mom told me that you just want Mia to be born already haha.... at church yesterday Hermana Sanchez was talking about how she was pregnant for a year. I guess count your blessings that Mia will probably be born right about at the 9 month mark!
In case anyone was wondering, Halloween night is probably the one night in the year we're not allowed to go door to door haha! We were asked to be in by 6. We did a deep clean for an hour or two and after we finished we made homemade s'mores over our gas stove and we enjoyed ourselves.
This week was actually a really weird week. For whatever reason it seemed like almost none of our plans went as we thought they would. But the funny part is even though this week could be looked at as one of those less successful weeks, especially compared to the last two great weeks of tons of lessons, I don't feel unsuccessful or disappointed. I know that we will be blessed and this week will be another great week.
I've been working on the Christlike attribute of charity this week and I love it. It's like just working on that has changed a lot. I'm not as stressed, I'm more happy with the work, the companionship is working even better. I feel like I've been more able to consecrate and dedicate my time to the Lord and I can see this week how I've definitely been an instrument in the Lord's hands.
I figured out this week why olive oil is used in the healing for the sick and afflicted. It is partially because it is a symbol of purity and the spirit, but mostly it is because it is a symbol of the Savior and how through him we can be healed if we have faith. It is just like how the atonement took place at the olive garden: Gethsemane. You have to put a lot of pressure on the olives to get out the oil and just like that Christ was practically crushed under the pressure of the sins of mankind. But he endured it and came out victoriously.
That kinds of relates to what ended up happening yesterday; the biggest story I have to tell. In the end a priesthood blessing was given of healing and I know that through the atonement she will be healed.
I won't say the name of the person whose story this is for her privacy (not that any of you would know her anyways, but still). I guess I'll call her Maria, which about the most common hispanic name there is. So we went to Maria's house and you could tell that she has had something big weighing on her mind through this week. She just looked exhausted and miserable. We asked what has been going on and she said that this week especially has been very hard for her. She said that she has been contemplating suicide. In fact, just the night before she was contemplating what pills she could overdose on when we happened to pop our head in the door (we dropped by randomly because we needed to get a DVD back from her so we could let a different investigator watch it). She told us her whole story. That it has been difficult to even get up because it is easier to just be asleep than to do anything. Her whole body was in pain, especially her back, because she had been overdosing on prescription pain meds for a while and she didn't want to anymore. She was a straight A student in high school and she was in all these AP classes and she graduated early. But she got a bad boyfriend who was a drug dealer. He got her pregnant and she was 3 months pregnant when she found out that he got someone else pregnant and so she had an abortion. But this week, he came back into her life and she knows he is a loser but she still has feelings for him so she is so torn. All of that in addition to the fact that she has been doing drugs and alcohol for too long. She hates that she is addicted. She hates waking up from a hangover. She hates that she feels like her addictions control her. Her life is a mess basically. She wants to go to her family but they just judge her and are very hard on her. So this week she hasn't even really wanted to live. She was crying and telling us about how she just wants to be happy on her own. She just wants to have a husband who really loves her. She justs wants to be happy.
We taught her a simple lesson on what the priesthood is and how we have it on the earth today because of the restoration of the gospel. So that same power that Christ used to work all the miracles we read about in the Bible is on the earth again today. And that power can heal her. She asked for a priesthood blessing and we were able to set it up so the elders could come over and give her one just a few hours later.
So many wonderful blessings were pronounced upon her head. The blessing of knowing that Christ lived her life so he knows exactly what it is like for her. The blessing of love and knowing that she is a daughter of God and that God knows her so much. The blessing of being able to discern what friends are good friends. The blessing of absolute and complete physical healing of her body. So many other beautiful and powerful blessings.
That experience was probably one of the sweetest experiences of my mission so far. That we have been able to help lead and guide and teach her for so long. And that that night we could offer her something that no therapist of hers could offer. She has been completely drained spiritually, physically, and emotionally. She has no where to turn to get energy to do anything. But through the power of the priesthood she was able to be healed. The blessing ended and she was crying because she felt it. She knows. So beautiful. She told us that if it wasn't for us she would be dead right now. That she knows that this is the path she needs to go on. That God is basically knocking at her door and she would be dumb to let it pass by. She still has things she needs to work on and work through. But it has been the answer to the deepest questions of her soul...
Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace
when other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger or malice,
I draw myself apart searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows, where, when I languish,
where, when I need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand? He, only One.
He answers privately, reaches my reaching,
in my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle, the peace he finds for my beseeching,
constant he is and kind, Love without end.
~Hermana Whetten

Pictures from 11/5/12

Little sculpey clay figures Brittany made of Hermana Hansen and I. Aren't they great?! Brittany is a convert of probably a year and a half or two years. She is actually engaged to the missionary who baptized her. Fun story.

At noche de hogar this week with the Young Single Adult branch (Jovenes Adultos Sulteros) we had a Halloween party. We did fun things like eating powdered doughnuts off a string, carving pumpkins, and eating tons of snacks. This is the pumpkin the YSA missionaries carved with the symbol for baptism on it haha!

We finally got photos outside the karate kid apartment! Yay!! It actually isn't that far from where we live at all. Maybe a mile or two.

the view right inside the gate of the karate kid apartment.