First of all, I am so excited about training Hermana Guthrie! Heavenly Father has given be a special opportunity. I just love her so much. She is so determined to work and learn Spanish. She has a strong testimony and is super brave! We have been getting along great and she also has food allergies. Yeah! But really, this transfer is going to be awesome. We have some solid investigators but we will be doing lots of finding and tracting to get the teaching pool up again. I am teaching her Spanish everyday so that she can feel comfortable speaking it, she have already shown that she is confident! We taught Sunday School and she participated. I was happy. We have decided to focus on the Christlike attribute of knowledge so that we can better teach the truths of the Gospel through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. I have discovered my love for the words of the modern Prophets. I eat up the General Conference talks like candy. Feasting on the word is delicious! I will teach Hermana Guthrie all I know and hopefully lead by example (Christ will help me).
This sure was a good week! Pedro is doing very well. He received the Gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday in Sacrament meeting. Hermano Oretega performed the ordinance (he is going to be the best fellowshipper)! Pedro looked so happy and smiled nonstop after receiving it. It just made my heart melt. He loves his new scriptures, has been reading and listening to the BOM. He even invited his friend, Jorge, to church and he came with him. That was special! Starting to do missionary work. His testimony has grown a lot and I know he is solid. He is still trying to find another job so he can pay more rent and move. In his current living conditions, his friends constantly pressure him to drink…he is great at saying no it would just be better to be in a better environment. I bore my testimony in the branch yesterday and talked about the power of God’s love for His children, and how I have seen huge changes in Pedro through the Atonement. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve him and help Heavenly Father in His work. To continue to help him, we are going to bring members of the church to our new member lessons and have a smooth transition for him into the branch. By the way, he wears his HLJ (CTR) ring all the time!
Hector came to church yesterday and has the desire to be baptized and to change through the Atonement. We unfortunately found him breaking the Word of Wisdom with his friends…he felt very guilty and discouraged . He tends to be weak when he misses his family in Mexico and feels lonely. We are teaching him today about the love of Heavenly Father and how he is a child of God! We found a nice talk to cheer him up, and we are going to explain the beautiful Plan of Salvation and how it is in our favor as God’s children! Like it says in Moses 1:39, It is God’s glory to bring to pass the eternal life of man! He wants to guide us and help us. We have the Holy Ghost to help us make righteous choices and have happiness, Hector needs to know he deserves that happiness as a child of God. Hermana Guthrie and I are going to give him an envelope full of scriptures that will help him during times of trial…he can read one when he is tempted then put it up on his wall. We really want to pour out Heavenly Father’s love on him and be his friends. We are going to share a lesson with him this week about the Atonement and change. We need to repent of mistakes and part of repentance is changing the bad behavior and improving…but once we have fully repented we need to let those mistakes go, forgive ourselves and forget, and continue to become more like Jesus Christ through His Gospel. There is an amazing talk by Elder Holland called, “The Best is Yet to Be” about how we need to have faith for the future and believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ…remember Lot’s wife. She turned to salt when she looked back! Hector seems to beat himself up over his mistakes and doesn’t have much self-confidence, but he needs to receive that confidence from the Holy Ghost, by reading the scriptures, praying and going to church. He will get there, he just needs to have faith and keep his energy moving forward. As it states in the talk, it is a larger sin to continue to beat ourselves up over the sins we have repented for because that is not accepting the Atonement in our lives. We are going to do all we can to prepare him for his baptismal date on the 14th.
Alejondro wasn’t able to come to church because of a ride mix up. He will be there next week! We will be teaching him this week about the Articles of Faith. We feel he needs to understand better what exactly we believe as Latter-Day-Saints and what he will need a testimony of to be baptized. We explained to him that a testimony is the beliefs we know to be true through the promptings of the Holy Ghost 1) Knowing that God is our loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is our Savior 2) The Restoration happened-Joseph Smith was a Prophet and the Bible and Book of Mormon are true scripture 3) We have modern revelation today! President Thomas S Monson is called of God to lead us 4) The Priesthood is alive in the church and we have the saving ordinances…Temples! He knows that the church is true, but he isn’t understanding that this is the ONE true church with the priesthood. To help him understand the BOM better we are giving him a children’s book of Mormon with the pictures and simple sentences. He still wants to be baptized, and we are doing our best to have him prepared for the 14th, the Lord will reveal to us when he is completely ready.
Gladis is still progressing. We had a great member present with her this week, Hermana Santana and Amaya were there. They bore strong testimony on how families are stronger when based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. We shared a few General Conference talks about the mission as parents and how we need to guide children on the path back to Heavenly Father and lead by example. We are stressing marriage with her and also getting Sundays off for her job. Her boss said no, so that is a little discouraging; she might have to get a new job. Her son was able to go to church with the Santana family, I am hoping he loved it and will tell his parents. They really need to go to church for their kids. We explained to them that the church is run by modern revelation..including all the classes and programs for their children. We are going to share with Gladis some testimonies of modern prophets. Eder should be coming to our soccer activity tonight, I told him he needs practice.
Jenn Andrews is leaving for college soon…man she is amazing. She went up and bore her testimony during the meeting yesterday and said she doesn’t think she has a testimony but she is thankful for all that she has learned since attending the branch. She said she understands that all good things come from God. That is a huge step! She used to not believe in God. I found a General Conference talk about the process of a testimony and I know it will help her. She has trouble recognizing the Holy Ghost in her life, but I think she has felt the spiritual impressions! That is what urged her to go up and bare her testimony, her goosebumps and pounding heart. I just pray that she realizes that she has the testimony that she feels is lacking, it has come gradually through her prayer, scripture study and church attendance. It wasn’t a huge experience, then boom! Testimony, but a process like the speaker explains in the talk. We will see her today, we are eating dinner with her and she is coming to play soccer. She has become one of my best friends. I know she will be baptized!
We are attempting to get the branch more involved in missionary work; Heavenly Father really blessed us in our trio last transfer! I was able to work with many Hermanas in exchanges so that they could have those experiences helping in missionary work. Sunday in Gospel Principles, we taught about missionary work and explained how God is always preparing those for us to share the Gospel with! We gave them some pass along cards to give to their family and friends. The sealings of the families were beautiful (I hear)! The Crespo and Galvan family bore their testimony about their experiences in the Temple. I am so happy for the Crespo family, because we work with them weekly! We have been teaching them about family unity, because they have had struggles in the past. The Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families! More families in the branch are preparing to be sealed in the temple! I am so excited for all the families and pleased with the growth in the branch. I am glad we stayed here this past week-end instead of going to Nauvoo because Hermana Guthrie was able to get settled in and we had some good days of finding! The Lord is blessing us with his Spirit and putting people in our path! Love it.
My trainer from the mission, Jenny Madsen, was able to come and visit yesterday! I love her so much! It was neat because she, Kaila Beesley (my grandma in the mission) and Freddy (he served here too) came to tour the Iowa Des Moines mission! Jenny was able to talk to our recent converts in Sioux City and said they are doing great! Amanda and Celia have callings in the church and are strong. Omar is still doing good J Also she got a hold of the Phillips! They moved from Sioux City to South Dakota so we hadn’t heard from them and thought they were inactive but they are active and going to church. That made my day! All my converts are doing great (We know they were converted by the Holy Ghost but I was able to help in the process. J) I am excited to see all of them in December.
Well until next week! Love you all!