November 18, 2009
We are doing well here in Sioux City. We got our transfer call this morning and found out that we are staying one more transfer! Hermana Madsen goes home in 4 weeks! We aren’t sure what will happen when she goes home, I will probably be in a threesome until the new Hermana comes 2 weeks later. We will wait and see! We are so thankful to be in this area for more time because we absolutely love it here! We love the investigators, the members, and each other. haha But we feel blessed to stay. One of our zone leaders, Elder Phillips, got moved to be Assistant to the President of the mission. We are so happy for him!
This week has been a better week because we saw light at the end of the tunnel with some of our investigators. It started with the LoveJoy family! We were able to set a baptismal date with them for December 15- Sonya, Bryan, Kiana and Brianna. They are excited to work towards that date and continue learning. The Gospel has already blessed their life so much as they go through important changes. Rehab has really helped Sonya, she is glowing like she never has before! She has also been reading scriptures with her children nightly and praying more. She hadn’t prayed for a really long time, since her mother’s death. We are so excited for her as she continues to grow and progress. Bryan has also changed a lot; the kids are better taken care of. We have been teaching Bryan and the kids twice a week during visiting hours with the social worker. Next week, Bryan and Brianna are moving to Macy while Sonya and the kids stay at the Women and Children’s correction facility. Sonya and the kids are able to get released for Church, which is such a blessing! Bryan and Brianna will go to church in Macy and continue learning from Elders there until their baptism. Originally, Sonya requested that we teach her family and her because we are sisters-they are really connected to us. We are glad we are staying because when we told her we might be leaving, her heart dropped. We love them and are going to continue to show our love, support and encouragement. My mommy sent me some jackets and we were able to give them to the family! They loved them and really appreciated it. The Ochoa family is also doing well. Lauren and Alex so excited for their baptism on November 28! We are teaching them every week and getting them rides for activities. They have been very welcomed into the Primary class in the ward, they participated in the program last Sunday. We were so proud of them! I gave Alex a few thumbs up because he was so nervous to recite a scripture on the microphone! J We were happy to see Amanda Gomez and her family come to a Relief Society activity we held at the church. We gave them a tour of the church and the Spanish speaking members really welcomed them. The lesson was on food storage and family history. Amanda wants to do temple work for her mother who passed away without learning about Christ, so she was excited about family history. The family has yet to come to church but we know they want to-the kids will also be going to activities. We are going to her house for thanksgiving dinner Guatamala style. Im excited! Guadalupe and Omar are continuing to learn. They will have their baptismal interviews this Sunday. They didn’t feel ready for baptism yet but we are going to set a new date with them. We are working with them to stop smoking; they have cut back a lot. Victor wasn’t ready for his baptism, but he wants to keep learning and understand more clearly. I have faith that as we teach him he will feel more comfortable to make a commitment like baptism. The last progressing investigator I am going to update you on is Jose Manuel. He is the nephew of a less-active family that we are working with. He really loves learning and it all makes sense to him.
We want to start having a Spanish Bible and Book of Mormon study class once a week with investigators, members and less-actives. We think it would really help them get involved. We are also going to go by houses Saturday nights to remind people about church the next morning. Everyone says they will go, but it is hard since it is at 9 in the morning. In January our ward changes to 11:30 am. Thatll be sweet. We were able to do service at the O’Connor House in Nebraska this week. That was fun because it is an old-fashioned house that was owned by a rich family in the 1800s. I love antiques and family history! That was neat. The members of our ward have invited us over for dinner for every night of this month! Intense. We had a great dinner appointment with a Spanish member, Rose and her son, Nefi. Their family is made up of converts-Rosa gave her conversion story and made me cry. She is such a great woman. She talked a lot about how she feels the Spirit through hymns that we sing at church. I shared her an experience I had with music, before I was baptized Arly-lian sang “Lead Kindly Light” to me and I cried like a baby because I felt the Spirit so strongly. I knew what I was doing was the right choice. It is neat how music can connect with our Spirits.
I love all of you so much and hope all is well. All is well here in Iowa. Being a missionary is a great experience and I am learning so much every day. Talk to you next week!