Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 34

Happy Easter From Puerto Rico

Hola Familia y Amigos! 

Feliz Pascua a Todos! (Easter in spanish) I hope it was a wonderful day full of family and happiness, but most of all, remembering the Savior and that He lives!

So we had an all mission Testimony Meeting yesterday about Hermana Boucher's Book of Mormon challenge, to read it focusing on Christ and the Atonement and it honestly has changed my perspective on everything.  I thought I had a pretty good understanding about the Atonement before this, but to really dial in and focus on EVERY verse and to see that EVERY Prophet testified of Christ, Prophets that lived during His time and Prophets who lived 600 years before.  On the front cover of the Book of Mormon it says, " Un Otro Testamento de Jesucristo" and it is so true.  The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ and His living reality and that He lives and will continue to lead His church, just as He always has.  My testimony on both the Book of Mormon and the Atonement has been strengthened so much, and that the Atonement has the power to heal and fortify us both physically and spiritually.  I have seen it time and time again in my own life, and continue to see it happen every day.  I bore my testimony and I got such a rush, a rush comparable to when I perform and have all of this adrenaline, it came in that moment, but more so, the Spirit overwhelmed me with gratitude for my Savior and what He did for each one of us.  I feel so grateful that I have this time in my life to be a witness of Him, and that I get to bear my testimony everyday here.  Someone mentioned yesterday that, "Our lives are Our Testimony".  That really impacted me, because as we live the gospel, we will find that we will be a walking testimony and that others will see our good works.  At the end of the Testimony Meeting we watched a video called, "Missionary Work and The Atonement", and it was incredible.  My eyes were not dry after watching that video.  Then to end the testimony meeting, we sang, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives".   I couldn't bring myself to sing the first two verses because I was still so impacted by the video and reflecting on my own testimony and my own life at that moment and how even throughout my lowest moments, Christ was there, every step of the way. It was a moment I will never forget and will treasure for the rest of my life.

My interview with my Mission President was great.  He knows me SO well.  He was able to give me advice and remind me that I am not the worst missionary ever and that everything that I was feeling was normal.  It's been challenging at points this transfer being a trainer because we hadn't been finding people with potential that wanted to learn more, and every day we hadn't felt successful.  I immediately thought that it was my fault and had been feeling the weight of that, but President Boucher reminded me that Heavenly Father truly is preparing His children to receive the restored gospel and that through our faith and diligence we will find them.  So that was comforting to feel, and I do feel a lot better now.

I got the packages you sent and I DIED of happiness!  I loved all the cute little stickers Mom put on the letter and the dresses you both sent were GORGEOUS, especially the yellow one!  I really like that color, and I may or may not be wearing it today, for the second day in a row - Haha!  Grandma is the best and sent Sees chocolate and a cute note, I love her.  Our house has definitely enjoyed the plethora of candy, to say the least.

Our investigators are great!  On Thursday, Hermana Zimmerman and I decided that we should fast to find those that are prepared for the gospel, and to help our current investigators feel the Spirit more abundantly, and to testify of the truthfulness of this Gospel.  It truly was an answer to our prayers because we have already seen the blessings of it.  Ivette: Wow, pero wow!  She is doing wonderful.  We had planned to teach her and Nicole about Temples, Baptisms for the Dead, Eternal Marriage, and how we can be sealed for all eternity in temples, thanks to the Priesthood authority.  We got to our lesson on Wednesday and felt that we needed to read the Book Of Mormon with them instead, so we did!  It was a great lesson and it's cool to see their understanding grow more and more.  On Friday-Saturday we had intercambios, and I stayed in Cabo Rojo and Hermana Larsen came with me.  We had set up an appointment with Ivette and Nicole for Saturday and we were really excited because we were for sure going to talk about temples.  We got there and Nicole wasn't there, which was sad, but Ivette was, which actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  She opened up to us more about some things that were going on in her life, and when we told her we wanted to talk about temples, she stopped us and said, " I had a dream yesterday that Nicole and I were in this beautiful place and I KNEW that we were in a temple, It was so beautiful!!  Hermana Larsen and I were SPEECHLESS, because we hadn't taught her about temples before that.  As we got into the lesson, we told her about how all these blessings are available through Baptism and she told us that she wants to get Baptized and that she's willing to drop coffee!  We went over the Baptismal questions with her and she answered them all perfectly.  She is so ready!  So we re-invited her to be Baptized on the 29th of April and she was still hesitant on committing to that day, but we invited her to pray about it at the end of the lesson, and she asked specifically to know if this was what God wants her to do, and she truly wants to receive an answer!  It was amazing!  She told us, Nicole doesn't want to get baptized right now, and for once, I was okay with it.  It reminded me of Leunanni's conversion and how it all started when Awilda (her mom) got Baptized a year before her, and that's when she realized that it was something she wanted.  Ivette wants Nicole to get baptized as well, and I feel at peace knowing that it is in the will and timing of Heavenly Father.  Ivette is amazing!!  I brought that book of our family that Mom made to show my investigators when I was Baptized, when Mom and Dad got Sealed in the Temple and when we all got Sealed as a Family.  She was looking through it, telling me how much I look like both Mom and Dad, I laughed a little and said how crazy it was because I am adopted.  She just starts CRYING and I bore my testimony on eternal families, and she told me, " You were meant to be with that family, I know that God helped you get there, you were always meant to be there".  My heart was full.  She came to church yesterday and loved it.  She's the best.  Thank you for your prayers for her, they worked!

Inter-Cambios with these Amazing Hermanas

Hermana Larsen &  Me!

Melodie (a young single mother), and her two kids, Devin (9), and Ernis (3):  We met this cute family 3 weeks ago contacting and immediately had a great relationship with them.  They are adorable.  After some talking we were able to set up a return appointment and we ended up teaching them the Plan of Salvation and Melodie and Ernis both agreed to be baptized!  Then, they moved and didn't tell us their new address, and we thought that they weren't interested, and we were really sad.  But, Hermana Zimmerman didn't lose hope and she was determined that we could find them in the apartment complex they moved to.  One day last week, we were contacting and Hermana Zimmerman suggested that we go to the other side of the complex, and we did, and we saw Devin and Ernis playing outside!  It was truly a miracle!!  We ended up teaching Melodie again and after the lesson we still were confused on whether or not they had interest.  We came back on Friday and we decided to get to know their family more. Melodie opened up and told us that her husband had left her 3 months ago and that she hasn't been at peace.  She told us that every time we visit her, she feels peace and the hope to keep going.  It was such a blessing to hear that, and she really appreciates us.  We love this cute little family and have been praying for a family with two kids two help bring to the gospel.  I hope they are the answers to our prayers.

Last night while driving back from the all mission conference, we had to make a stop in a parking lot for the Zone Leaders to help us get back home.  They needed help getting to us so we asked directions from this man in the parking lot sitting in his car.  He gave us directions and we gave him a pass along card.  We got into talking and he told us about how at one point in his life he had fallen into a depression, got schizophrenia and was in a Mental Hospital receiving help, but that through the grace of God and his prayers, he was healed and saved.  He had a cool testimony on the Atonement!  I bore my testimony of the Atonement and afterwards he said, " You keep sharing that testimony with people here and you will help save a lot of people’s lives.  Thanks for sharing that with me, and keep moving forward in your work".  I was very touched.  Also, Hermana Wilde, one of the senior couple's working in the Mission was serving refreshments last night after the testimony meeting and I walked up to the refreshments and said hi to her, and she almost dropped these cups in her hand because she just came and hugged me! She said, " Hermana Green, I am just so proud of you and your progress and how far you've come!  You make me very proud".  I almost started crying because of how kind that was.  It's the little things in life.  Oh, I almost forgot, last night at the testimony meeting our Sisters in the Zone sang “Asombro Me Da”, (I stand all amazed) and that was really cool.

Random things:  We have a Zone Conference with our Zone and Ponce (woo!) next Friday and I was asked to sing a solo at it!  So that's exciting.  I met a man in Subway on Saturday night who walked in as we were ordering and in English goes, "hey Sisters! I am a member too".  His name is Moses and he actually ended up serving in the Long Beach, CA Mission!  A.K.A. my home!  He was really cool.  Hermana Zimmerman made a cake for Hermana Antonio's 9 Meses. I am very proud of how it turned out, haha.

Dad, thank you for the consejo (advice) and I am going to study it in my personal study tomorrow! You never fail to give me the perfect advice right when I need it. Thanks for being you.  I am definitely jealous that Dad made prime rib for Easter, I am sure it was wonderful. 

Not too long till we get to talk again on skype! How exciting.  I am just loving the mission.  I love my calling.  I love being a missionary.  I love serving other.  I love this gospel.  I love my family and friends and people in my life.  I just am so grateful.  I am grateful for the Savior and His atonement and that I have the chance to be with you both for Time and All Eternity.  I love you.

All my love,
Hermana Green

Roomie Shinanigans

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