Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ah it is so good to be with Hermana Vila! I got the idea from the exchange that I went on this week to do a little scavenger hunt for her where I gave her a clue which lead to another clue which lead to another clue etc. At the end I wrote her a note telling her how much I love her. So this morning I took probably the quickest shower in the world and when I got out she was still in the shower, so I literally was running around the house putting the clues in their right places and my timing was just right as she was getting out. She loved it and was so so happy!! She said no one has ever done that for her before. Last night we also did facial masks before we went to bed. I love getting to answer some doctrinal questions for her since she is relatively newer in the church. It is just so great being with her. I'm also learning a lot about humility from her. I think before my mission I didn't know how much of a prideful person I am, but she through her mission has really been able to become much more humble, so I am learning so much about that from her. I just have a weird combination because I am prideful and perfectionist but a bit insecure. Haha! But luckily I'm not doomed to be those forever. That is the beauty of the gospel-- that we can change! Use the good parts of those and get rid of the bad parts little by little through consciously working on it. 
I want to also tell you about two stories that I found out about this week of seeds that were planted back in Sylmar and I've gotten to hear about those seeds flowering. And finding out about that is probably the coolest experience in the world. Knowing that things you did and have done totally made a difference! 
SO the first story, in Sylmar one day Hermana Hardy was driving and ridiculously (and very inspiredly) made the decision at a stoplight to turn left at the last street on a street called Foothill before the end of our area. And it ended up being this completely industrial street with absolutely no one in sight. No houses, No one. except for this one person who was standing at his fruit stand. So if we were inspired to go there, it must have been to talk to him. So we got out and talked to him. ANd we gave him a Book of Mormon and we kept on coming back again and again to see how he was doing. And he wouldn't ever give us his address or his phone number but we kept on going back and he was reading the Book of Mormon! We'd come by and his copy would be sitting on the stool by his stand. It was crazy but that is where it was when I left the area. Evidently the Hermanas who came in after us kept on going back to him and I got to see them this week at the mission leadership council and they told me an amazing story. Evidently he told them that about 6 months before he met us, he had this dream where he was looking at his fruit stand and it was barren. There was no ice. There wasn't much fruit and what was there was going bad. so he was thinking to himself, "How on earth am I going to sell fruit today?" Then in his dream he looked away from the stand toward the sidewalk and there were these two angels that were walking toward him. And then when he turned back to his fruit stand, it was flourishing with fruit and ice and it looked better than it ever had before. He dreamed about Hermana Hardy and I and he connected that to us being those angels coming! That increases my faith so much that the Lord is preparing people for us to teach and they are people that only we will be able to find or touch. 
The other story also has to do with Hermana Hardy and I and how one evening we were trying to find some old investigators we had picked out during the weekly planning session. We tried one and no one answered, but we had just a few minutes left before we should return to be home at 9 and so we knocked the neighbor. And it ended up being an inactive member who had once gone on a mission. He asked if the ward had sent us to him and we just told him that the Lord has a purpose and was able to send us to him indirectly by sending us to that old investigator. And so Hermana Hardy and I worked with him. We got to do a random service project for him when we showed up one night and his door was wide open because of the wind but no one was home and we called him up and shut the door for him. And we would stop by on Sundays and randomly. And one day we came by when he was washing his car and his girlfriend was there and so we got to meet her for a bit. At that point she wasn't interested in learning about the gospel but I now remember him saying she lived in North Hollywood. Well, yesterday at church, there she was! She is in the zone leaders in my ward's area! How cool is that?! If we wouldn't have found Eddy the returned missionary, the girlfriend wouldn't have been at church yesterday and learning about the gospel now! 
We had the mission leadership council this past week and I am so excited to be able to work more closely with the mission president and it was cool to be able to actually speak up some of my ideas and he totally took my view into account. I love being in a position where I can serve better and more fully! 
Oh! And we got to take Hermana Martin to the visitor's center this week and it went so well. I really feel like she is one step closer to accepting a baptismal date because she really got to telling us there what her real deep down fears are and why she says she will get baptized but only far in the future. 
I also had my first time doing an exchange this week. It went really well but what I found out is that I saw myself spending most of the time trying to get to know her because I didn't feel like I could give her advice unless I got to know her and I haven't been around her on the mission. So I didn't feel like I trained her that much because I didn't want her to think that I just am here to come into her area and tell her everything is bad because it isn't. I helped her out with some ideas to get their area book looking even better and other things like that. But after the exchange the next day I studied in preach my gospel the chapter on teaching skills and I got a few ideas of how I can come to know more early on things that I may be able to help with so I can get to helping and I think part of it is through listening and having the spirit with me to help me ask inspired questions. But what I learned is that I can share more of my stories with them of when it was that I finally learned certain principles because that will both help them know that I am loving them by opening up to them too and also get them trained by my example and ideas. I am excited though, because for the exchange we have tomorrow, they said their biggest goal is Spanish and getting more skills for being able to master that. So I am excited because that is something I can definitely share lots of ideas with and is something I could teach well whereas Hermana Vila wouldn't be able to help quite so much as I will. I also want to ponder today and try to come up with fun games we can do through the day tomorrow to use Spanish. I was really nervous before we did the first exchange and I'm still not completely over that because I want the exchanges to be great for the Hermanas we go with. But I am more than anything else super excited because I know this calling will help me stretch and become a better teacher, better leader, and a better example. 
Finally, we're going to have a baptism this coming Friday! I'll tell more of Jose's story next week probably, but he is doing sooo great!! He is so converted and he's stopped smoking and he got a priesthood blessing yesterday to help with the headaches from smoking and he said that that helped so much because it took Satan out of his head. And he was so cute inviting everyone to his baptism. It is so great! 
Anyways, I hope you have a wonderful week!!!! 
Tenga el espiritu consigo para siempre! 
~Hermana Whetten

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