Monday, August 5, 2013
Monday, August 5, 2013
Oh man, do I have miracles to share with you today! Seriously, this week has been AMAZING and I probably feel more like a missionary and servant of the Lord this week than any week before on my mission.
First thing's first... here is my new address:
6924 Woodman Ave #203
Van Nuys, CA 91405
My new area is in the ward of North Hollywood 5to and my new companion's name is Hermana Vila. She is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! She was born in Venezuela and she lived in Texas before her mission. She is a convert of about 2 and a half years. She was baptized when she was like 24 or 25 or something around there and she was told she would have to wait a year after she was baptized to be able to go on a mission, so when she hit her year mark she went and she is so great! She was born Catholic but her really good friend brought her to church and that was it for her. She met with the missionaries and was baptized 3 weeks later. She has such an outstanding testimony. She knows this is the restored gospel and she loves sharing her testimony. She is a little ball of fire and is so great. This is also her last transfer on the mission, so we're totally committed to making it the absolute best in the world!! She also has like 600 photos left to take on her camera, so we have a goal to take all of them before she leaves haha! So much fun! But I've looked up to her in the mission for so long. Like she was Hermana Tavoian's trainer and when I was in Reseda I for my 4th and 5th transfers I gave her rides because she was in the bike area in El Camino ward. I've always looked up to her for how generous and loving she is. She loves people from the moment she meets them.
We made a companionship statement and it goes like this:
We will serve faithfully not perfectly as we turn outward to lift others and expect miracles through our obedience.
We are already living that so well. We have seen miracle after miracle this week and I can't wait to see what the coming weeks have in store for us. Like one of the big miracles has been that we have 3 baptismal dates for August which are now super solid! They are:
Jose on the 18th. He is amazing because he used to smoke like 4 cartons of cigarettes per day. But he's been reading in the LIbro de Mormon (he's read more than 600 pages already! He's almost done. But just by reading he just felt that he should stop smoking and so he had already been smoking less and less. Then when we taught him the Word of Wisdom on Tuesday he really committed to stop smoking. On Wednesday he smoked one and felt so bad. And on Friday he bad barely smoked a little bit of one and he felt like he was going to throw up. So the Lord is really blessing him to be able to quit. Hermana Vila is also super detail oriented and she called someone in the ward and they donated a white shirt to him and our district leader donated a tie, so he came to church yesterday and he looked like a member already and it was so great! We also showed him the baptismal font after church and he said a prayer after that and said basically "God, I'm so ready to get baptized!" He feels it and it is so great to see him becoming converted!!
The other two are Liliana and her 10 year old daughter Nadia. They are extremely adorable!! We invited them to be baptized on the 25th and they accepted and asked what they needed to do to prepare for that right then and there we made a calendar to help them see what they need to do to help them achieve their goal. They loved it. Before church we also had some extra time, so we stopped by their house and through knocking on the doors and windows for a while we were able to wake them up and they were so grateful because they would have slept right through it because they had only gotten like 2 hours of sleep that night. We helped them get ready and made them breakfast. It was so fun! And they really loved church, especially Naida. They are also from Argentina and so they have a crazy accent that I haven't really heard often at all on the mission... like they say vos instead of tu and they speak as if they are singing because of the Italian influence. It'll take me a little bit to be able to understand her on the phone haha! But her husband has also been in a coma for 18 months which is really really hard on them but we are working on building their faith still.
Another miracle of this week is seeing how the Lord knows exactly what he is doing. He created the position of Hermana Training Leader exactly when he did a few transfers ago. Then he put Hermana Arguello and Hermana Vila as the Hermana Training Leaders. And of all the areas they could have been put in, they took over this precise area. And Hermana Arguello just went home because her mission was done and the timing was exactly right that the Lord put me as the new Hermana Training Leader at this moment in time even though that meant taking me out halfway through training two hermanas. And he happened to put me right here right now. And in this area, one of the investigators they happened to have is the mom of an elder I met and became friends with while at the MTC because he is from the mission I was going to, and so he was able to tell me all about what it would be like. Isn't that the craziest thing ever? All of it fell exactly into place that I was able to be right here right now and I believe part of it is to help her be able to progress by connecting with her in a very unique and special way. The odds of me going to this exact mission and me happening to be at the MTC at the exact time as her son etc are phenomenal! I believe it was definitely in the Lord's hands.
One thing I love about this assignment is that we are able to serve so much more. Or maybe it is just me. Hermana Vila calls me a service magnet because she said that in the two transfers she was with Hermana Arguello, she didn't serve nearly as much as she has served in this one week that she's been with me haha! I think that is what I love about this assignment. And I have a newfound appreciation for district leaders, zone leaders, and especially the assistants. I never realized before how much they do behind the scenes because I never saw it or heard about it. But they do a lot. But yeah, some of the service we did this week includes.... playing ring around the rosies with all the missionary’s bikes, taking one and delivering it to an hermana then taking her bike and delivering it to zone leaders to give it to an elder who really needed a better bike, et cetera, Also, jumping our zone leader's car whose battery was dead. Then getting to drive up to Santa Clarita to go searching for a bike replacement for the hermana who we had delivered the bike to about 24 hours before who had it stolen from her while she was in an appointment. Dropping off meals to people in our district who didn't live within biking distance of the members who volunteered to feed them. Giving rides to the bike hermanas in our district to get food after the transfers. Giving rides to help bike hermanas in Van Nuys not have to bike very far to be able to e-mail this morning. Sending off encouraging texts to the hermanas all the time. Even finding a few random service opportunities when finding-- taking in one woman's groceries and helping another one with some gardening which she was trying to do with one hand because her other was in a cast because her dog had bit her hand (and through that we were able to get a rock for Nadia's lesson this week to give her a prayer rock). Basically we are more service full than ever before and I really love it! It makes me feel so good to be able to serve so many people all the time!!
We are going to have our first exchange this week and I'm pretty excited for it! I am so excited to be in this area and to have this position and to be able to serve and love better and especially to be with Hermana Vila. I think she will change me for the better absolutely as she rubs off on me more and more.
Hope all of you have as great of a week as I'm going to have!!
Tenga el espiritu consigo para siempre!