Tuesday, June 2, 2015

el 1 de junio

el 18 de Mayo

this week, what a week it's been!

a big challenge this week was working with a new companion, hermana carranza, from guatemala. 

she has the same about of time in her mission as hermana gomez, and so they will actually leave together. hermana gomez is in didiamba, as one of the hermana leaders and she sounds like she is having fun too!

all of our investigators ability to choose has also been really rough this week. we haven't had the success we have wanted for this month with baptisms, especially with the people that we have been working really hard with. but pray that all goes well this week!

a great success would be tasting a nacatamale for the first time this week.  
imagine having a tortilla, chicken, tomatoes, and rice all together. with lots of spices, and you have a nacatamale. they aren't half bad...

my favorite person this week is hermanito alejandro, who was baptized on saturday, and after a little bit of pulling teeth, was confirmed sunday morning. this little fireball has been asking to be baptized since i arrived in the area, but hasn't had permission from his parents until recently. he is one of the few investigators who i have placed a baptismal date with and then they actually complete with that baptismal date. he's such a great little chavalo. 

a tender mercy is the time i spent with hermana gomez, helping her prepare to leave tuesday night. i miss her soo much, but know that it is time for a new companion, new adventures, and new experiences. 

our plaque picture!

i am looking forward to getting to know hermana carranza better this week. we have some things in common, and i can't wait to find out more!

a new goal is to go running every morning at six am. for those that know me, know that i hate running, but because my companion likes to exercise, and because i should, we will leave the house early and go running. 

one of the scriptures that i studied this week was in matthew chapter 7, with its corresponding chapter in Jesus the Christ. can i just say, how awesome is James E. Talmadge!? reading along, here's what i learned!

v.1-5 you can't force another person to see your prespective, especially when you have a skewed or beamed view of the world. 

v.6 we are given pearls to share with those who are worthy. as missionaries and disciples our "duty would be to discern the spirits of those whom they essayed to teach and to impart unto them in wisdom." james e. talmadge we can't share everything with everyone up front, because their hearts aren't ready to hear the word. they will just trample it under foot. 

v.7-12 we used these verses to answer a parent's concerns for the baptism of his 10-year old daughter. our zone leaders compared the fish to her plea to be baptized, the serpent to his father's denial of permission. the bread to her desire to follow Christ and be cleansed from sin, the stone to his utter refusal to give us permission. the scriptures are clear; ask/act, and through your faith and obedience, you will receive. seek the Lord, His truth, and He will put it in your path. knock and He shall enter. 

some fun moments of the week:
after getting kicked out of the cambios meeting, we went back to hermana machalan's house, and made FRENCH TOAST! we watched part of the other side of heaven in spanish, and then listened to the cambios meeting from a source on the inside. after we got the word we came back, and i was able to grab a photo with this little ray of sunshine! 

during one of our interviews, we passed the time by choosing beans, or being very racist and cruel. each beans has to be inspected for perfection, and if they aren't the right color, smooth, or don't have all their parts, they are cast out. how cruel! but elder velasquez seemed to enjoy it...

until next week friends!
hermana graves

el 11 de Mayo

this week was a fun one, with all sorts of adventures. hermana gomez and i have started saying something: "y qué vamos a hacer con usted?" which is the nice way of saying what are we going to do with you?! and it's all in fun because we possibly, almost positively, only have a few more days together...

hermana gladis left us in the hands of her son for food, while she visits her daughters in the united states, and so far, i haven't died! 

we also went searching for acotes, which are like grapes and apples mixed together. we have a couple of really fun pictures of while we were picking them, but these ones show how many is "a few" to the people here...

one of the great opportunities we had this week was to help a sick sister wash all of her dishes, which were a mounding pile, and help her put them all away. she lives with her daughter, but she works all day, and doesn't have a lot of time to the things around the house. so of course, we washed them all!

this week's daily challenge was finding new people to teach, and keeping our investigators progressing towards their baptisms. yesterday one of our investigators, Alejandra, decided that she didn't want to get baptized, that she liked the Evangelist church better, and that the Mormons weren't for her. we are waiting the word from our leaders to see what we should do with her.

our biggest worry is that anaí won't have her three attendances in church before her baptism. saturday and sunday she had some really bad stomach problems, so lots of prayers that she heals quickly!

our biggest success can be found in hermana darling, a reference from the offices. she is super receptive of our message, and has the support of her member-boyfriend in this journey. wooo hooo!

my greatest tender mercy was talking with my family, via skype, and even getting to talk with my grandma and my twin sister. goodness, i miss them so much. but a great blessing from the lord is that i don't miss them so much that i can't wait to see them. this time is for the lord, and i can wait the following seven months to talk with them face to face again.

this week we are looking for to helping joel alejandro progress for his baptism this coming saturday. he's so awesome, and i can't wait until he's a full blown member!

one of our goals this week is to find some of the wayward investigators that have had a baptismal date recently, but have what i like to call liquid appointments, or they never stick to a date. we pass by, they say they are busy, and we set a new appointment, repeat. 

a scripture that really hit me this week is this train of thought. matthew 17:20 first.

::if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible.:: 

i was thinking about how is that? how can we move a mountain with our faith? and then i remembered this scripture in james 2:17

::even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.:: 

and so the story goes: if i have faith, i will move mountains. because i will act. i will find those people who need this message, because i will be searching for them. 

con amor,
the tennessee hermana

el 04 de Mayo

heejolay! another week!

our biggest challenge this week was getting all of the papers together for two different weddings, and making sure that one of the couples didn't realize that they were getting married again. let me explain: one couple, was married by a lawyer about eight years ago, but never went and registered their wedding, which actually finishes the whole process. she didn't want to go through the whole process again, but it was cheaper to just have them married again, then pay the large fine for each year that a constancia, or the paper that says that you are married, goes without being registered. so we played chase the investigator to get all the paperwork together, and get copies of it all, for the lawyer so that she could have it all ready the day of. that was just a very large pain in the neck...

our largest concern was setting a time for three of our baptisms, especially when he works every other day, and she starts a new job this week, it was just really stressful. but somehow we got it all together, got them married, and we have four more baptisms in the book. but more about that later!

our biggest success was bringing to pass four baptisms, my first family! we helped married Jefri and Anaí, and then Jefri was baptized! His picture is during their wedding, where I missed the kiss again!! then later that evening we married Eli and Marjurí, and baptized them and their daughter, Jennifer! That baptism was a grand experience, because while waiting for the lawyer, our mission president showed up! talk about a hike of the nerves! i ended up shouting my message because it was down pouring outside, but we had a great service, with quite a few members, and they couldn't be more excited to be baptized!

my favorite person is hermano jefri, because he loves his family so much, and loves his new wife even more. he has a goal to attend the temple in one year, and we are preparing his wife, anaí, to help him complete with this goal!

a tender mercy would have to be the opportunity we had this week to do divisions as a zone. all together, we changed companions for a day, changed the standards of excellence, and went to work. hermana tadeo, the hermana training leader, and i worked here in loma linda, and we had ten lessons, five lessons with less actives, and 46 contacts. echando fuego!

this week we are looking forward to working with our new converts, in the hopes that we can find some new investigators to teach.

one of our goals is to place a baptismal date everyday. and one that will stick. 

a scripture this week, will actually be a saying. and this is something that i love!

it goes something like this: "It is possible that in a moment of weakness, you and I exclaim: Nobody understands; Nobody knows. Perhaps no human being knows, but the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before us; and because He paid the ultimate price and carry that burden. He understands perfectly and can reach out His arm of mercy in many stages of life. The hand can set us, touch us, succor us, literally run to us and strengthen us." 

I love the promise this brings. that the Lord understands it all. No matter what happens. He understands.

lots of love, hermana graves

{this was my first Eskimo, the only type of ice cream really available here. and it was great!}