Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Hola mis queridas personas,
I just wanted to thank you all for the Birthday wishes and love! I feel so loved and grateful to know each and every single one of you!
Wow, so the biggest Spiritual experience this past week that stood out to me was, meeting a woman named Miriam. We met her last Wednesday as we were contacting different houses. We yelled at their house and she immediately let us inside, and let us teach her and her husband Jaime. They are so wonderful, an older couple, but they are hilarious. They liked what we shared and Miriam told us we could come back on Friday and share more with her, and she would feed us dinner! Friday comes and we were at Zone Conference all day, and then we came back to our apartment and checked our phone to see if she had left us a voicemail reminding us to come by, WHICH NEVER HAPPENS, and she didn't leave us a message. So we decided to just go to her house. We got there and she was so happy to see us, and she fed us a BOMB dinner. After dinner we shared the Restoration with her. In the middle of the lesson we felt prompted to ask her how her family had been blessed by God. She answered and was telling us all these wonderful things and then she started getting really emotional and told us how one of her children had passed away 16 years ago. I KNEW right then that was a confirmation from the Spirit telling us what the Lord had prompted us to look for last week, remember, He prompted us to look for a couple who had lost their child! He lead us to Miriam, and she shared that we were an answer to her prayers. I was in such awe to see how the Lord's hand worked and really, truly, used us as instruments. We continue to witness these mighty miracles as we put our faith and trust in the Lord, lose ourselves in the service of others, an FOLLOW the promptings of the Spirit, even when we do not understand!!
Dolores: She is GOLDEN. We went by and taught her last Saturday and she always tells us how she knows that God sent us to her and we have helped her so much already. We asked her if she had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and she told us that she did, and she received an answer that it was true!!! She said that she really was wondering if it was true, so much that she couldn't sleep, so she prayed on 3 different occasions to see if it was true. On one occasion she had a dream that a man was speaking to her, with a soft voice, telling her to, "open the blue book", so she woke up and started reading and prayed for the third time asking if it was true, and she got a confirmation and an overwhelming sense of peace that it was true!!! I was in awe and got a confirmation once again that the Book of Mormon truly does contain the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Zoraida: She is still reading in the Book of Mormon and we were going to teach her yesterday, but her friend was in the hospital so we are teaching her the plan of salvation soon, hopefully later this week! :)
Miriam and Jaime: Jaime has a lot of health problems, but he thinks it's hilarious when he calls me, "Hermana Verde", it makes me happy to see him smile. We saw Miriam yesterday and she told us, that she knows we were sent to her as representatives of Christ. We are helping her understand the purpose of the Book of Mormon a little more and we are going to see her this Wednesday! Love, Love Love them!!!
I was so, so, so, surprised at Mayda and Waddy's surprise Birthday Party they did for me on Saturday! Tears were shed, and we had so much cake left over we decided to share with our neighbors, they gladly accepted. :) It's so weird because I knew it was my Birthday, but it also felt like a normal day, haha!! Sunday, I woke up to a text from President and Hermana smart wishing me a Happy Birthday too. I opened my Birthday box before going to church, and I LOVED IT. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Those handmade journals are GORGEOUS. We had Stake Conference on Sunday, so I got to see the Missionaries in my Zone. All the Sister Missionaries sang Happy Birthday to me, Cindy and her friends and people we have met every Saturday helping at the swap meet gave us cake too, haha!! Alex gave me a present (I'll attach a picture) and I got Tubba and Cam's box too. Tara also sent me a cute package! I received tons of e-mail notes today from family and friends, and Hermana Thelin surprised me and got the Chick-Fil-A recipes and made Chick-Fil-A chicken and sauce, and homemade lemonade, it was SOOOO GOOD! Hermana Post, Thelin and Peter decorated the house and made it all cute. It was a great B-Day. :) Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone for everything!! :) I am just so grateful for all the people I have in my life, the fact that I was adopted into our family and enjoy the blessings of the gospel, to have made great friends before and after the mission and to have had experiences that have helped me throughout my life. I don't need presents or worldly things to make me happy, because what truly does make me the happiest is getting to serve one another and getting to enjoy the simple things in life.
We were able to meet Elder Zivic and his wife last Friday at Zone Conference. He is in the Area Seventy Presidency over all the Caribbean, he is so cool! Zone Conference really inspired me to keep going the extra mile and to always strive to be a "Preach My Gospel Missionary". I have continually seen the Lord's hand in our finding efforts and I know we can work even harder! I have seen the Book of Mormon change lives and have felt such a strong love of it.
There really is nothing better than being a missionary, I mean that!! Weird to think that next week I'll hit a year mark, but we won't talk about that yet, haha. Thank you so much for everything. I feel pretty lucky to be apart of this family. Thank you again for all your prayers, love and support.
All my love,
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
|Hermana Post & Green!|
BUENAS, Family and Friends,
Wow, spiritual experiences.. this week we saw SO MANY MIRACLES. But here is one that kinda sums up our week. So, this week in our district meeting we talked about recognizing the Spirit more and how we, as missionaries, can improve on this, because a missionary without the Spirit will teach NO ONE. It is vital that we are worthy to have the Spirit with us at all times, so this week in my studies I was wondering how Hermana Post and I could be more unified with the Spirit in our day to day lives. We reaaaally needed to find more people to teach, so that means our finding hours have to be busy and filled with hard work and diligence. That is some of the hardest things about spending hours contacting is that you must be diligent and remember that the Lord is preparing people, because if not, you can get discouraged easily with doors being slammed in your face, rejection, rude rejection, and hours in the hot sun. But, Hermana Post and I were excited to go find some more people. So one thing that we decided to do differently, was to be incredibly specific with who we want to find. While we plan, we are praying to find those who are prepared, and you always have a goal every day for a certain amount of people you want to find that can become new investigators. That is the last part of the plan, so we have to listen closely to the Spirit to see who these people are. In an answer to our prayer to target very specific people, Hermana Post and I felt prompted that we needed to find the following people: 1) A widow, 2) A couple who has lost a child, 3) A Newyorican (someone who's born and raised in New York, but has come to live here) woman, about 40 years old, living with one daughter, 4) A pianist for our ward, and 5) A single man who could be the other counselor in our bishopric.
Now, I know this concept might seem weird or even crazy impossible to find and accomplish. But since Thursday we have found the widow, the newyorican woman and daughter, and probably the BIGGEST miracle is what happened last night (Sunday). We got a call from a couple in our Ward, saying that they have good friends who have family here in Cabo Rojo. They talked and they are interested in learning more about the church since they recently lost a child! So they set up the appointment forat 7, to meet with US, they ARE OUR COUPLE. I was in SHOCK, but my dear family and friends, this is the Lord's hand confirming that who we are finding are those HE knows are prepared. It has been incredible to see these miracles happen. With faith, prayer, diligence, patience in the Lord's timing, and following the Spirit, we will be instruments in the Lord's hands. I have learned so much this week and I am so grateful.
Zoraida: she is doing well! She couldn't come to church yesterday, but she loves reading in the Book of Mormon and hearing our lessons. Her pastor found out she was going to church with us and he said some not very nice things about the church, and so that is really troubling her and she is looking to receive guidance on which church she needs to go to. We are going to teach her the plan of salvation this week and set a fecha with her.
Dolores: DOLORES IS AN ANGEL SENT FROM HEAVEN. She is the nicest lady! We met her contacting last Thursday while looking for another person. We decided to stop and say hello to her, and we shared a little bit with her in a contact, and she said we could come by the next day and teach her, (that is a miracle in itself)!! So we had intercambios the next day and Hermana Nottingham (my good friend I was in the MTC with, she is the new Sister Trainer here in Mayaguez) went and taught her, and she accepted a fecha and PROMISED God that she would be baptized when she receives an answer, AND while asking about her family, she told us she was a WIDOW. She believes that everything we've shared with her is true and we gave her a Book of Mormon yesterday. She told us how yesterday she was fighting with her sister and how she prayed and asked God to send her someone to help bring her peace, and that's when we showed up, I know crazy, right!?! She told us she knew we were sent from God. That was cool to see, because our plans had been so changed around, that we ended up going to her house a couple hours later than we were scheduled to be there, but it happened to be at the very moment she was praying for God to send her someone. But, the Lord was aware of her needs, and utilized us as an instrument in His Hands. It was an amazing, and powerful experience!!
Diana: So on our way to Dolores's house, we saw two women standing outside, so we decided we would contact them, because why not? So we stopped and talk to them, and they invited us into their patio! (miracle), turns out Diana speaks English and it is because she is from NEW YORK and lives their with her DAUGHTER. See how all these things are falling into place? Her family has been visited by missionaries before and she is interested in what we have to share with her. She has a lot of potential and is really sweet. We are excited to meet with them again.
My companion Hermana Post is SO AMAZING. She is working so, so, so hard and is so funny. She reminds me a lot of Hannah Smith and her personality is great. We have such great times and she is just this little ball of sunshine. I am felling really good right now! Thanks for the cute box for my birthday! I cant wait to open it on my birthday :) It is weird to think I'm having a birthday this Sunday, but it will be swell, because I am with my lovely Cabo Rojo family :)
|Lexie (Alex's Daughter) Hermana Post & Green|
I am really glad you liked your birthday letter, Mom! Sorry if it got there late and that it looks like it was decorated by a 5 year old, but I never said I was good at art. hahaha!! I hope you had a wonderful day. We were having a noche de hogar that night and Mayda gave me a big hug for you.
One thing that I learned this week was to be patient in the Lord's timing and in the trials we have.at our Family Home Evening we were watching a video called, "Finding Faith in Christ". It was really touching and all of my worries, doubts, and anxiety about all the things that were troubling me went away, and I got a calming, reassuring answer to my prayers. I realized that I needed to not worry about the things I cannot control, but that all I have to do is my best everyday to be an example of Christ, and that's what I am trying to do. I am loving my learning, and I am grateful that we have trials because it also allowed me to remember all of the blessings I have in the midst of my trials. Even in the most hard of times, I have been comforted with the knowledge of the gospel, that I have a family who loves me, that I am supported by the people I love on both sides of the veil, that I have an eternal family, and that I am being molded and shaped into the person I can become. Because of this, in the hardest of times, I can ALWAYS find a reason to SMILE.
My lovely family, I love you and thank you for all you do for me!!!
|Mayda is so wonderful and drives us Hermanas to get Groceries. I just Love Her.|
|Got to have those Crescent Rolls!!!!|
|Shopping with my Hermanas!!!|
Monday, July 31, 2017
Mi Querida Familia,
Spiritual experiences: A couple weeks ago, a less active lady named Domitila called us asking if we could come over and share something with her, and we decided to go this last week. Domitila is an older woman who has a lot of health issues and is living with her daughter, Teresa. Teresa is probably about my Mom's age and also has a lot of health issues. I had visited Domitila before with Hermana Pichiule and Hermana Zimmerman. I had never met Teresa because she was usually in the hospital. So we went over and we immediately started bonding with Teresa. We shared many laughs and she was just such a gentle soul. We asked her what her favorite hymn was and she said, "Divina Luz" (Lead Kindly Light), and as we started singing, she sang along singing the alto line. I hadn't heard multiple parts being sung in a song in a VERY long time, let alone a Spanish hymn. I could see how much she loved this hymn as she sang with such feeling and emotion. I became filled with the Spirit as a familiar love for music and for the Savior flooded my mind. I shed some tears, and so did she. Once we shared our spiritual thought with them, they thanked us for coming by and she hugged us. I am not sure when the last time they were hugged, but these hugs were very special. It was an experience I'll never forget.
Zoraida: Zoraida came to church yesterday, it was so great! She really liked it. The members do a really good job at fellow shipping investigators here and it was cool to see it all work out. We taught her the Restoration a couple of days ago and she kept telling us in the lesson, "that makes sense, this is true, I can feel the Holy Ghost in this lesson.. I know it's true, because my heart feels it!!" We are going to extend the baptismal invitation with her this week and we hope that the Spirit touches her heart and she accepts!
Santa and Zamayra: We met Santa (the mother) and Zamarya (her 27 year old daughter) a couple nights ago while contacting. Zamayra has three kids, two toddlers and a newborn. We started contacting them and we just clicked with them. They are all so adorable and you could really feel the Spirit touching their hearts when we talked about families and the Plan of Salvation. We have a cita (appointment) with themand we are really excited to see where it goes!
Melodie and Devin: Unfortunately, at this time due to a lack of contact with them, we will have to drop them, but we will continue to pray for them and let the Spirit guide us!
Nicole: She came to church yesterday - Woo, Woo! We hope that we will be able to see them this week. I think they are going through some hard times right now.. so hopefully we can help them through it.
So.. just in case no one knows... IT'S MY SWEET MOTHER'S BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK! HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY MOM! Thank you for being a constant shining light in my life. You are the woman I aspire to be. Thank you for your never ending love and support. You are my best friend, and I have never been more grateful than to be called your daughter. You are amazing, wonderful and a very great example of someone who is an example of Christ-like love and charity for all who surround you. I love you so much mom. SOMEONE PLEASE give my mom like 40 hugs for me, thank you!!!!
Other random things that happened: we were visiting Mayra and Anjomil last week and Anjomil brought 1 of his 4 kittens he has, and handed her to me and said, "this one's named Hermana Green" I DIED. Hermana Thelin makes THE BOMB food. Yesterday in Gospel Principles we had ALL of our recent converts and 4 investigators in church at the same time - IT WAS SO RAD!!! Hermana Post and I have become best friends with Hermana Vasquez, and older woman in the Ward who is a widow. She is really sassy and hilarious and she told me that every time we pass her house, we have to say hi. She feeds us too. She is one of my favorite people.
I gave a talk yesterday on missionary work and I came to a realization while preparing this talk. The whole meaning of missionary work, the reason why we do it, is all because of LOVE!! Love that God has for His children, love for our fellow brothers and sisters looking for peace and truth, love for our God, love for the time we have to be missionaries, and love of the gospel. It really hit me this week, that at times, it is easy to feel discouraged, and not good enough as a trainer or missionary. I want to make sure that I am doing my best for the Lord, this mission, my companions, and the people I am around. I hope that I can keep the work moving forward while I am here and I know that as I trust in the Savior, everything will turn out okay. I love, love, love this work and being a missionary!!!!
For once in my life, I feel like my life is falling into place and it feels GREAT. It is the weirdest feeling, but I am so excited to see what the future has in store for me. I am grateful for my mission and how it has changed me, and I love all the quotes from Elder Holland, and how important it is that I take with me after my mission, the person I have become, and don't go back to who I was, but that I build on to the foundation and conversion I've started here. I refuse and will not change or stop this conversion process when I come home, because I have never been more happy in my life. I will keep adding on to it and keep becoming the disciple of Christ and child of God Heavenly Father knows I can become.
Well family and friends, have a wonderful week. Read the scriptures, pray everyday, smile at a stranger, and make some one's day. You too can be used as an instrument in God's hands!!!
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Buenas a Todos!
Yesterday, we had a family home evening with Alex, Cindy, and the Elders. We watched "Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration" and at the end we all shared our testimonies and the Spirit was so strong. While Cindy was bearing her testimony, she said," Have you guys noticed? Ever since you guys have been around, the crime has gone down, people see the love and light you all bring, and I always talk about you guys. You are constantly on my lips. I tell everyone about you. When I am down, I always have you guys to turn to. You're my family. Ever since you guys came into my life, I have been happier, and I know it's because of the gospel".
That was super cool to hear. It made me happy.
|Alex is wearing the Hat I made him.|
Melodie - We don't know what happened, but we are going to see if we can try and get into contact with her in a little while.
Zoraida: She is a lady that has gotten taught many times. We found her in the area book and we've had a couple lessons with her. She is super sweet. She told us on Sunday that she wants to come to church with us this week! So that's exciting.
I am staying in Cabo Rojo with Hermana Post! WOOOOO. Which means I'll be here for my year mark and Birthday and I am STOKED! Especially because my birthday is on a Sunday, and I will be at church with the people I love oh so much. Hermana Zimmerman is going to Caugas, and Hermana Thelin is finishing the training of a girl from Papua New Guinea named Hermana Peter. She is darling and is learning Spanish and English. She is rad!
|Hermana Post, Green, Thelin, Peter & Obispo Cruz|
I LOVE HERMANA THELIN. She reminds me sooooo much of Lauren and Avalon mushed into one person. She is hilarious and shares a love of New York and classical music with me. She is from Utah and is just great. She has become one of my best friends and she is AN AMAZING ARTIST holy crud she is great.
|Hermana Green & Thelin|
THAT IS SO COOL THAT YOU'LL BE AT THE AIRPORT AT THE SAME TIME HERMANA JOSIE GETS HOME! I said goodbye to her today and we shared some tears. It is so weird to think that she's leaving! But she has so many wonderful things ahead of her. She also said she is coming to California to visit you guys and is planning on coming to my homecoming. :) GIVE PRESIDENT AND HERMANA BOUCHER A HUG FOR ME IF YOU SEE THEM AT HERMANA JOSIE'S HOMECOMING! I love them so much. I am so happy you guys are going to Utah! don't forget to send me pictures!
So yesterday I turned 11 months in the mission! it is BAFFLING how fast time is going! But I am loving every single second here. I know I say that a lot but it is true. It is sad to think I only have 7 months left. I am going to be a sad human when I leave but I am blessed with the time I still have! I am really trying to work as hard as I can everyday that way I can leave, knowing I put everything on the table. "No stoned unturned" like Dad says. I am grateful for all of you who have helped me get here, and who have helped me stay here. I can't imagine my life without the people of Puerto Rico. They have my heart. I love you all so much and continue to be eternally grateful for the support I feel.
|I may or may not have cut Hermana Thelin's hair... and last week, she may or may not have cut mine. (Sorry Brent!)|
|Hermana Green & Post Visiting Mayda and Waddy!|
|Mayda giving me a Hug from my Mom!|
|Hermana Post, Maribel Beltran & Hermana Green.|
Monday, July 17, 2017
|Intercambios with Hermana Josie, Green, Post and Santos.|
Hola Family & Friends,
Spiritual experiences... Yesterday in relief society we were having a lesson on serving others, and the Sister in our Ward that gave the lesson is named Hermana Marty, she is so cute! She was talking about serving, during the lesson, and she started talking about us and missionaries in general. Suddenly, she points to me and says, "I may not know our missionaries super well, but she (me) has always made me feel special. She (me) comes up to me every Sand gives me a hug and asks me how I am. One S in particular I wasn't happy, and I felt weak, and I was going through a hard time, Satan was really getting to me, but I decided to go to church. Just a couple minutes after I got to the church, the missionaries showed up, and there came Hermana Green, smiling, and she came straight to me as if she knew what I was going through, and said, "Hola Hermana Marty, como esta?" and she (me) gave me a hug. I felt the Savior's love so strong at that moment. She (me) just illuminates with the love of Christ. Thank you Hermana Green." I was shocked and very humbled all at the same time, let's just say I did not have a dry eye at that moment. I don't know Hermana Marty super well, and I didn't realize the impact my kindness made on her, but I am so humbled and grateful that I listened to the promptings of the spirit that day, even though I do remember a day where she looked sad. I am grateful that I can be used as an instrument in the Lord's hands, not just to bring the gospel, but to bring the love of Christ to all those we talk to, and especially those that the Lord knows are in need.
Nicole: so we are still working with Nicole, she has really been changing. We had a really cool lesson with her last Thursday about how the Holy Ghost can help us recognize and receive answers to prayers, and she asked us how we knew we needed to go on a mission. Hermana Post and I both shared our stories in how we ended up here and it was really Spiritual and really special. She is supposed to be baptized this weekend and we are going to do all we can to help her reach that goal! But if not, that is okay, because we do the Lord's will first. If she is supposed to get baptized, she will. We are not going to push her to the font, but we are here to lead and guide her there. :)
Melodie and Devin: so we had intercambios (exchanges) last week, Hermana Josie's last one, and I was with Hermana Santos (the one who was with Avalon in the MTC), it was so great. So, during intercambios we visited Melodie and Devin and talked about our purpose as missionaries and the Atonement, as we read through Alma 7:11-16. Melodie felt the Spirit really strong and she shared with us how she was going through a really hard part of her life when Hermana Zimmerman and I were visiting her. She said she felt a lot of peace and knew that the things we were sharing with her were true. The Spirit was super strong and we invited her and her son Devin to be baptized, and they said YES! They are planning on being baptized on! Hopefully I am still here in Cabo Rojo to be at their baptism, transfers are next week!!
Vilma and Luis: we are still trying to help them come to church, but they are struggling a little bit. We are going to keep working with them so they can progress.
Nane and Fam: so we met a family of 6 the other day, they are super nice and are open to listening to us. We are hoping that we can help them come to church too. We have our first lesson with them!
Dad, your spiritual thoughts truly are inspired. I loved the story of the Devil's tools (Uncle Rey Rey shared that same story with me a while back) it has really helped me! I am excited to see how your spiritual thought is going to help me this week. :) All is good in the hood, I am here and so, so happy!! You know what else makes me happy? Seeing you two, Tubba, Cam, Neno, and all my Aunts and Uncles at the Temple together, nothing makes me happier!! I am so happy that Neno was able to be sealed to his parents, it is so cool to see how the Temple is just this fountain of blessings, joy, and happiness. I am hoping I have the opportunity to serve in the Temple again when I get home, like everyday, No joke!!!
I just love you two. Thank you for being my parents and for supporting me every step of my journey here.
Have a wonderful week,everyone!
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
|Family Picture - Hermana Josie trained Hermana Green, which makes her my mom, and I have two "Daughters" Hermana Post and Zimmerman, Hermana Santos trained Hermana Rodriguez, who is training Hermana Medina, and we are all in the same Zone.|
HOLA FAMILY AND FRIENDS,
So, to preface, these last 2-3 months in my mission has challenged me in a lot of ways, but I have grown so much more, and for that I am grateful. Part of these challenges have come from a lot of internal and emotional challenges that caused me to ask myself, "Am I doing what the Lord needs me to do? Am I doing it good enough? For months I felt like I was having a battle with myself, every day, trying to figure out why I felt this weird
feeling of not talking to as many people as I should be talking to, after all that's my purpose, to invite ALL people to come unto Christ, not just a handful. Each day I felt so bad, but I kept working and praying to figure this out, all the while I was still seeing miracles and experiencing happiness! It was weird, I was so happy, but feeling like I still needed to do more. This weird, ominous feeling was eating me alive inside, which caused a lot of self reflection, mainly because I couldn't understand the source of my problem, but seguimos adelante (we press forward). And then, I finally understood and received and answer to my prayers and what this was all about., I had caught a little cold and towards the end of the day, I was physically drained and exhausted. It started to rain very hard and I knew that that wasn't going to help me get better, haha. But we kept tracting, and once we got home at the end of the night I was beat, I walked in to see Hermana Thelin and Hermana Zimmerman feeling a little down. They told me they had had kind of a hard day, and we came to a lot of realizations. They started sharing with me what they had been feeling, and I to them. I explained how I have no problem getting rejected, I am not afraid to talk to people, and I have a drive to do the work, but there is something holding me back from my full potential, and I just didn't know what. That unknown thing was making me super frustrated, and making me feel as if I was falling short. Then, Hermana Thelin shared with me this quote that has changed my life moving forward. She shared with me how missionaries will sometimes feel this way and how our attitude of work focuses on 1 of 3 phases, "I have to do this, I ought to do this, I get to do this." She went on to explain how, sometimes we are in a attitude of, "I have to do this work because if we don't we will feel fear and disappointment." That fear, is what drives the work, but that is not how missionary work is. So you change, and you move up to, "I ought to do this because the gospel provides the help the world needs, and even though I am scared at times, I know it's for my good." That is progress, but we are still using "I ought to do this" as a motive, or something forced. Once we shift our attitudes to, "I get to do this" then that changes everything. I get to do this because I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I have the PRIVILEGE of spending this time in my life completely and utterly serving him and his work!! Once I heard this, everything made so much sense to me. I realized in that moment that as I was given a leadership position of being a trainer for Hermana Zimmerman and Hermana Post, I quickly realized I had a lot of responsibility. I had so much fear that I wouldn't help them as much as I could, or that they wouldn't learn Spanish, or wouldn't be successful and it would be my fault, not theirs, if they weren't as prepared as they should've been. That scared me and without knowing, this caused a cloud of fear to take over my thoughts and decisions. I realized I had been living more in fear, and relying on trying to do ever thing myself, rather than relying on my faith and trust in the Lord. Having these realizations I felt about 3 different emotions in about 3 seconds, crying, sadness and anger, but then overjoyed with tears of happiness, and felt as if 100 bricks just got lifted off my shoulders. I hugged these three wonderful missionaries, Hermanas Post, Zimmerman, and Thelin, and slept very well that night. The next day, I read a quote that said, "The feeling of fear does not come from Heavenly Father or His Son, Jesus Christ, it comes from the Devil. As missionaries we must learn how to self-discern these feelings and recognize that when you do feel those feelings, you are being played by the Devil." This entire experience helped me understand and discern the thoughts that come into my mind and has already helped me these last couple of days! I am so humbled and grateful for this experience and the personal growth the Lord is blessing me with!! We are talking to EVERYONE now, and things could not be better. I may always feel a bit inadequate and not living up to my full potential, but that's alright, because "I know in whom I have trusted" and I know that as I put my faith and trust in the Lord, all will be OK, and He will qualify my efforts and allow me to be successful, and that is all the happiness and joy I will ever need!!!
Investigators: OKAY, MIRACLE OF THE WEEK NICOLE ACCEPTED A FECHA (BAPTISM DATE) FOR THE!!!!!!! We taught her an AMAZING lesson that we had been wanting to teach for months. It was to read Alma 32 with them, but each time we tried to, it didn't feel right, or something would come up. So, we read through Alma 32 with Nicole and Ivette and Nicole FINALLY understood the importance of real intent. Side note: every T morning we have weekly planning, where we take 2 hours to plan for each investigator, recent convert, reference, and less active we are teaching, what their needs are, what we are going to teach them, what members we feel would help them, what commitments to give them, etc.. That morning we decided that we were going to give Nicole, Mosiah 4 to read after we had this lesson with her. So after she accepted the invitation to be baptized, we told her how she can pray and read the scriptures to get a confirmation and answers to her questions. We said, "Hey, if you pray before you read the Book of Mormon, with faith that you will receive an answer, you can flip to any page and we guarentee you you will find what you need." She wanted to try that right then and there and I was like, "oh no" but she did it. She was praying, flipping through pages, feeling them with her fingers (all with her eyes closed), and opened the book. She then read the words in, Mosiah 4. SHE OPENED RIGHT TO WHAT WE WERE GOING TO LEAVE HER WITH. IT WAS NUTS! The Spirit was so strong and we explained to her why we were freaking out and why we were excited and she was like, "OH MY GOSH THATS AMAZING, I want the Holy Ghost! This feels amazing!" She said the closing prayer, we kneeled and prayed, and she asked Heavenly Father to help her recognize these things and confirm if she needs to get baptized. It was an amazing night. They didnt come to church yesterday, they were sick, but we are going to see them .
Oh my goodness, President and Hermana Smart are incredible. It felt as if I had known them for years. I know without any doubt that they were meant to be called here, at this time, for our mission. They are so amazing. President Smart reminds me a lot of Nick (y'know, Jess's hubby). They are just the sweetest things. One thing I love that Sister Smart said was,"What I lack in knowledge, I will make up for in love." She is the most tender thing. I love them already.
CAN YOU SEND ME A RECIPE BOOK (and the recipe for your great mexican food Mom and also the spinach and artichoke dip. Everyone in our house is deciding to whip out cooking skills and I have none so I have to show them I can cook something other than eggs and biscuits and gravy. You laugh, but I need to, HAHA!!
DADDDDDDD COOL THING THAT HAPPENED! So once again, your spiritual thought last week helped me receive revelation for the second week in a row. (perks of having your Dad be your Bishop) (and perks of having a cool Dad). So, as you know, I have been praying to know which school I needed to go to, really whether to stay at Idaho, or to go to a school in utah. Ever since Mom put it in her letter a while back, I have seriously thought about it. Before reading your email, I decided that I wanted something more. I felt that if I stayed at Idaho, I would be settling. It was comfortable, a good school, good environment, my friends were there, but it didn't feel right. I came to the conclusion that I hungered for something more challenging, that would open doors for better opportunities in education and a career. I had talked to a lot of my companions and mission friends and I felt good about it. THEN I read your email last week, and BOOM got a confirmation on the thoughts I was receiving. If you go back, and look at the example you used, you mentioned college and mentioned THE EXACT SAME WORDS AND FEELINGS I have felt! We were both in tune with the Spirit and I felt a burst of joy realizing that I knew I needed to go to UVU or BYU, whichever one, I am fine with. Right now, I am really liking BYU, but as of right now, I know I am going to one of those two schools in UTAH! I am so excited and feel so much peace and joy and excitement for the future. It feels right.
I am so happy for our family and that we are finally ALL sealed together forever. I love my life. I love who I am. I love my family. I love my family here in Puerto Rico. I am grateful to be called to the Lord's work.
Have a great week everyone,
Love, Hermana Green
|A picture of Neil L Andersen asking me a question and me laughing and smiling and not knowing what to say in the presence of an Apostle of the Lord.|
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
|Sabbath Day with Obispo Cruz!|
Oh my goodness, I just love Anjomil. This little 8 year old boy is darling. When he was getting confirmed, it said in his blessing that he would go on a mission. It's crazy to think that I had the opportunity to be part of this process, that he might be able to help others do the same. We all decided we were going to help pay for his mission, not even joking!!
Okay now on to a really Spiritual experience I had this last week and it has to do with Dad's spiritual thought he put in my last email. So to preface, these last couple of months on my mission have been some of the hardest and most challenging months in my entire mission. Nonetheless, I have never been so happy at the same time. It's weird and I am not really sure how that is but it happens! So, these last couple of weeks I have been a little more stressed and it was really getting to me. I had been debating for weeks trying to figure out if I needed/should get a blessing to help me with guidance. Last Friday was a SUPER stressful day, and I just kinda broke down. A lot of things weren't really going how they needed to, or I guess how I wanted them to. I hadn't been sleeping well, and I was starting to get sick, all signs that I needed to slow down and stop stressing. The next morning, I was in my personal study and I just felt lost. I was deep in my thoughts wondering how I was going to be able to accomplish all these tasks I needed to do in the mission, be a good example for Hermana Post, work hard, figure out personal things, etc.. and I didn't know what to do. I decided to pray to ask Heavenly Father what I needed to hear, and what he wanted me to do. After the prayer, I had a very distinct thought come into my head, "Read Dad's spiritual thought again," and I thought," hmm... Okay. So I went back and read the parts that I had read before, and then, it was as if these words had just appeared, like magic. Dad started talking about how, "The work that we do requires the help of heaven, and how we need to be meek, humble, and willing to wait or lean on, and trust the timing of the Lord and his miracles." I took that as I needed to let go of my pride and stubbornness and that I needed to ask for a blessing. Then, my eyes just skimmed to a couple paragraphs down, where Dad says, " My dear daughter, if I were to help you in any way, I wish for you to have that blessing." I lost it. I started crying tears of happiness, because regardless of whether or not Dad had felt prompted to put that in, I know that it was Heavenly Father using Dad as a way to help me understand His will for me, and to accept this divine help I needed. I went into the bathroom and I said a prayer of gratitude, thanking Heavenly Father for my wonderful Father, who never fails to help me, for his spiritual guidance, and for allowing me to see the hand of the Lord in my life when I really needed it. I texted Elder Bradford (our district leader) and asked him if I could get a blessing that night, and I did. It was one of the most personal, and powerful blessings I had ever received. I am so grateful for that experience, because it is one I will never forget. So, Dad, never think your spiritual thoughts go to waste. They are ALWAYS needed!!!
Our investigators are growing, WOO!!!
Vilma: we taught her twice last week, and she is very open to listen and loves our visits. She's Pentecostal and she has a lot of faith. We gave her a Book of Mormon and taught her lesson one. The Spirit was super strong when we testified of the power of the Book of Mormon and we felt prompted to invite her to be baptized. She said yes initially, and then she said no, but we're not giving up hope! We have a cita (appointment) with her.
Melodie: so, we actually taught Melodie at the beginning of March a little bit, back when Hermana Zimmerman was just starting her training. She had interest, accepted a fecha (baptismal date) to be baptized, but then ignored us for a bit and didn't really keep her commitments. So we dropped her for a while. But we had an impression to pass by her house and one of her sons Ernis was outside, he's 3 years old and the cutest thing ever. He had us come say hi to him, and Melodie came to the door and asked us when we were going to come visit her! So we are seeing her later today and we are super excited.
Zoraida: So we were looking in our area book and found this woman named Zoraida, she had been taught on three other occasions in the last 10 years by three different sets of missionaries. So, we decided to give it a shot and look for her. We prayed before knocking on her door, we knocked and she said, are you Mormonas?, and we smiled and said yes, why yes we are, and she said, do you want to come inside? We were like YESSSSSSS!! So, we got to know her and we were talking about her family and she told us about how one of her sons has been missing for 7 years and she doesn't know where he is, and she just broke down and started crying. We were able to share a couple scriptures with her and our testimonies on the Plan of Salvation. She knows that it wasn't a coincidence that we stopped by. She said that whenever she was having a hard time in her life, the Missionaries always showed up. We are super excited to keep teaching her!
Luis: we met Luis yesterday while contacting this street we walk by to get to Melodie's apartments. We talked about baptism in our contact and he told us he was interested in being baptized! It was another miracle, and we have a cita (appointment) with him S!!
Nicole: we are still working with her. We had a really cool lesson with her and Ivette, teaching them lesson one with these cool cups Hermana Thelin made. We gave them Alma 32 to read. We just love Nicole and continue to pray for her and hope she will accept to be baptized soon, so she can enjoy the blessings of the gospel with her Mother and draw closer to the Spirit and feel the love her Savior has for her. Prayers for Nicole would be appreciated.
GREAT NEWS: Mayra and Anjomil got baptized and it was such a special day! They are just the cutest people and so great. :')
|Mayra & Anjomil's Baptism.|
|Hermana Post, Green, Mayra, Anjomil, Elder Bradford & Murillo.|
It was so crazy saying good-bye to President and Hermana Boucher, but it was a good day. Funny story: we got to spend a little more time with President and Hermana Boucher than we thought, because on our way home, they were going to meet us at our apartment to do inspections and on our way back to our apartment two of our tires popped on our car - It actually wasn't my fault!! So they came to where we broke down to help us out. We had some good laughs and It was HILARIOUS, because President went to go get in the drivers seat to help get the car towed and he yells, "OH MY GOODNESS SISTER GREEN" because, MY SEAT WAS PULLED UP SO MUCH HAHAHAHAHA. Hey, I am small, so what do you expect. It was pretty funny. I hope he reads this and laughs. (Love you President)
|Saying Goodbye to President & Sister Boucher. I'm Going to Miss them!|
|Last Zone Conference with President & Sister Boucher as they have Served for 3 Years and are being released.|
We are meeting President and Hermana Smart! I am super excited.
I forgot it was fourth of July yesterday, haha!! It was just like any normal day, we worked and later we celebrated by listening to patriotic songs. Usually everyone goes to the beach here to celebrate the 4th.
Wow, how crazy that Cade is home from his mission and that Bergen is off to Russia! I am grateful for them and their examples to me. I cried reading that Bergen shared her Spiritual hospital experience with Neno at her Farewell, and that my little video I sent singing; "The Spirit Of God" helped our family in that stressful time. CONGRATS TO AJ AND BAILEY ON THEIR BABY ANNOUNCEMENT WOW!
Thank you for your comments in your letter about seeing the transformation I've made. I have never been happier in my life and I am so glad for the things I am experiencing and the person I am becoming. I still have much to improve in, but I am proud of the person I am. That is all thanks to Heavenly Father and His perfect plan. I love the mission and I am glad that was part of His plan for me. There is nothing sweeter, than to know that families can be together forever. It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures, found in Mosiah 16:7-9, that talks about how Death has no victory thanks to our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the light of the world and I know He lives and that He is at the head of His church, and I know that these things are true with all my heart!! Hermana Josie gave me a quote that I really like, and it says; "Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional" -Roger Crawford.
Thank you for raising me in the gospel, my dear family. I know who I am and I know what I can become.
I love you.