Here is Caitlyn's first letter for the new year...
January 4, 2010
Hola! Happy New Year Everyone! Our New Year was spent at Hermana Florez’s house eating Mexican food and playing cards with the other missionaries because we weren’t allowed to drive (people are kind of crazy on new years I guess.) Exciting News! Scott Haycock and Jenna Lee Bates are engaged! I love them and am happy for them! Aww. The mission was excited since Elder Haycock served here!
Lots has happened this last week! To start, I have a new companion, mi hija, Hermana McGuire- from Utah, strawberry blonde hair, likes to sing, goes to BYU, loves missionary work, good at Spanish, great at navigating me in the snow (my driving is ok-don’t worry), and she likes to smile a lot! I like her! We have had some cool experiences together thus far.
We had a very spiritual lesson with Amanda and Celia. We listened to a General Conference talk by Elder Hales about believing in God and Jesus Christ and following the feelings of the Spirit. I love our investigators so much! During this lesson, as I bore my testimony, I cried because our investigators are so special to Heavenly Father. He has prepared them to accept the Gospel and I am honored to be guided by the Spirit to those ready to be baptized! Amanda cried while listening to the talk because she also felt the Spirit strongly. She said afterwards that she knows the Apostles and Prophet are truly called of God. She has been a great example to me of faith because she is willing to follow the Spiritual promptings she receives. Her and her boyfriend, Carlos are going to drive to South Dakota to get their wedding license. We might do a wedding and baptism at our church on January 23. We haven’t fully planned it yet. We have been teaching her kids, Ariana and Andrew, and they are really learning fast! We actually got the chance to teach Carlos and will be every week! He hasn’t let us before but now he wants to learn. That is a huge blessing! We are praying to prepare him to be baptized. We set 3 more baptismal dates this week! Heavenly Father really is blessing us! Amanda’s best friend, Celia and her two daughters (Yareli and Maria) are going to be baptized February 13. They are so excited! We had been teaching Celia with Amanda occasionally but we have started to teach her and her family at their house. We are so happy for them!
Church was great yesterday! Was the first Sunday being the Senior companion at church. I had to show Hermana McGuire around, do more translating, and a bunch of other things! It was fun though. Amanda, Celia, Yareli, Maria, Elva, Reuben, and Omar were able to come to church yesterday. Elva and Reuben are still excited about their baptism on January 16. Elva isn’t sure if she will be ready then, but we are still helping her prepare. Reuben is all into it, reading his Book of Mormon and talking a lot with his brother (who was recently baptized in Ca) about the scriptures. He will be ready! If Elva isn’t she can be baptized on February 9 with Omar or the 13th with Celia and her family. I have faith that she will get baptized! We had our fast/testimony meeting yesterday and I bore my testimony is Spanish! Was way fun! But I totally cried while talking about the love God has for His children and how strongly I have felt that for our investigators. As I was talking, I made eye contact with Amanda and she was crying. Missions are the best! These sweet experiences couldn’t be felt any other place. Amanda and I will be friends forever.
We had a very powerful lesson with Omar on the Atonement and repentance. He has been changing so much! Unfortunately, he had some deaths in his family which led to him being very depressed. He fell back into some old habits, against the Word of Wisdom. We helped him see that he can repent and be forgiven through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. For the first time, he repented in prayer last night. We talked to him on the phone this morning and we shared 1Nefi 3: 7 with him that basically states God will provide a way to do anything he has commanded us to do. So with Omar, if God as commanded him to follow the Word of Wisdom, Heavenly Father will help him achieve and bless him with strength. Omar has committed to live it and rely on the help of God. He even cut his long hair shorter to be clean cut! We are so proud of him. He is so excited about his baptism!
I look forward to a very busy week and to share the Gospel with more of Heavenly Father’s children! We really want to strengthen the Spanish part of the Ward here and get them more involved. The English part of the ward has really changed their attitude and are more willing to help out. We are having Hermana and Hermano Baraza teach our Wednesday night class so that they are more involved (less-active Spanish family.) We hope to impact Sioux City and help out as many people as possible!
Love you all! Have a great week.