Monday, September 26, 2011

August Letters

August 1

Saturday came and we got to go aroudn our zone with our mission president visiting people's apartments. One of his focus's is that we have spiritual safe havens in our homes. That they can be clean and night and well lit in order to provide a spiritual source for us during our studies and planning. It was a blast we got to go with him for like 3 and a half hours just visiting missionaries in our zone. It was cool to see him interact with missionaries and learn how he does it with so much love. What was really awesome though was the difference in my companion and i's relationship. it seriously was awesome the change and how much more we enjoyed one another's company. It has been hard with him just barely learning spanish, not knowing any of the basics or anything! But for whateever reason which was an answer to my prayer, we were laughing with one another we talked about little things that just needed to change and after that, we got along so much better. So since saturday, things have been great. he even said the prayer in spanish on sunday in sacrament meeting! I was so proud of him haha! it was so fun hearing him pracitce all the time. He said just about every prayer we had together and it was the same memorized prayer he had written down in spanish haha. I was so happy for him though. We also had to take over our english ward. It was so scary. I don't know why but i felt like a fish out of water when we were there. We knew just a handful of people who were actually soo nice to us and we were asked in sacrament meeting to stand up and share a quick talk. it was really cool though and we are just working on gaining the trust of the members. it will be hard again this week though because tomorrow we are going to eugene for zone leader council again which will be a full day out of town. It will be good for our newer missionaries to be taking charge though. And we are really excited to go to ZLC and ill get to ride up with puertas again and alderman and elder kirkham who came out with me so it as always, will be a fun reunion.

We had a cool lesson this week with rodrigo and adriana. We didn't find a ton of new people, but some potentials turned into something more solid. They are a really cool family and we are trying to get them to Family home evening tonight because they couldn't come to church yesterday. We had a fun lesson with them on sautrday where we shared a little something and then they just asked a TON of questions. We had some members with us which helped a ton and we planned this week to go to the park right by their house and go play with the kids whether its soccer or who knows what. They have a 12 year old named monserath, an 8 year old named angel and a 5 year old named sandy. They are a really cool family and as usual the kids love us haha :) We are gonna see a cool white family we are teaching too. We foudn them like a month ago but for some reason things kept falling through. We tried to refer them to the other missionaries but now we took over that area, and so we are hoping that WE were just meant to teach them haha (prideful?) and that's why it took so long to get a meeting in with them. They have the potential to be super money! She said she had a bunch of friends that were mormon and family too and she loved the family values and wants to go to church, it's her husband that she wanted us to come over and teach ahaha. She is acting like a member already! So this wednesday we are gonna go see their family with the stake president's wife who is awesome. I actually met their daughter in the mtc (kinda funny).

August 11

So the rest of the week. It has been pretty cool because we have been going back to the camachos and teaching them a little bit more now that they are settled down in their new situation...without their dad. It's really sad but he was pretty crazy. So we've been going over there and practically all the kids in the whole neighborhood come over and sit and learn with us. It has been so fun and sometimes i feel like the apostles of old or even Jesus Christ, teaching masses of people at a time. While it's only a fraction of what that must've been, it has been pretty awesome and we set two baptismal dates with an 18 yr old and 15 yr old, their names are christian and chandler. They are really into it and love learning about the book of mormon, and even the modern day prophet. The only thing though is that they are kinda flaky. For example, they didn't come to church yesterday. Mostly because the camachos didn't come. We talked to them saturday night right before they went to bed and basically all their neighbors agreed to come to church if the camachos came, but they didn't wake up nor would they answer our texts or door knocks...nothing. It was a bummer because there were literally like 8 non members that would've come with them haha. It would have been pretty awesome. But this week we will try and do something different to help get them their, i know they will come. We also went and talked to this part member family in our ne wenglish ward and they LOVEd us. It was so awesome. One of the ward missionaries told us to go visit them beacuse they need a new "perspective of missionaries" and so we went and they just loved it. We were talking about the sisters' daughter getting baptized and how that's the next big step for her. We are going to see them again tonight with the ward missionary (who is also the stake presiden'ts wife she is AWESOME). It has been such a miracle to see how much our new ward has been able to trust us in our few visits with them. They have all welcomed us so much into their homes. We did run into a speed bump with them though haha, because on sunday we didn't get the dinner calendar from the guy that fills it out for us, and then he went to utah and we never got it from him, so we had no idea who signed up for dinner this past week. The thing is, we didn't care so much about eating, but we just didn't want to stand anyone up. So we figured it out as best as we could and hopefully this week we will get it back. It was pretty funny.

August 22

We've been teaching this part member family in our jacksonville english ward. We have taught her all about baptism and all about the gospel of Jesus Christ and she seems to understand it, but just would not say yes to being baptized. Even her mom is super supportive but she just wouldn't say yes. So we have been praying and praying for her that it would click. We had a cool lesson with her on thursday night though. We went to a baptism for someone in our district, and elder alderman and i sang a song, and then we had a lesson with Kelsie (the girl in thepartmember family) and her mom dawn, at the church. We went into the chapel and elder alderman and i sang another song for her, the one we sang at zone leader council, it is "nearer my god to thee" and "i know that my redeemer lives". So we sang this song and it sounded amazing! Then the other elders left and we had a prayer right there. We had kelsie's cousin who is less active say the prayer. (she's 17). She said "dear Heavenly Father..." and just started bawling. It was really cool to see how the spirit of music had touched her heart so powerfully. We asked her afterward how she was feeling and what she was thinking and it was just amazing! She has been less active too but because she baby sits kelsie, they have been coming to church together. It was the perfect start to our lesson. Then we had a lesson about church and why we go, and how the main reason we go is to take the sacrament! It was a really cool lesson and the spirit was soo so strong. Then at the end, we had kelsie go stand up on the stand and talk into the microphone like she was giving a talk, and her mom says, "Kelsie, do you have something to ask the elders?" and she acts really shy and then says "...ummm....will you baptize me?" and she points at elder Hatton!! Ahh man it was sooo awesome and such an answer to a prayer! Not only the fact that she said she would be baptized, but that she wanted Elder Hatton to baptize her! I can't tell you how excited we were and just how amazing that night was. It was such evidence to me that the only way she could've accepted the invitation was with Heavenly Father's help. We taught her everything we could in the most simple and easy to understand way, and it was only when Kelsie and her mom, took the time to kneel down and say a prayer about whether she should be baptized or not, was when she got the confidence and the excitement to take that big step. It just completely took us out of the equation and yet made us feel good that we were able to help her reconnect with her Heavenly Father and receive that direction from Him. Super awesome.

August 29

This week was another weird one. I feel like these past few weeks have been soo strange. Just cause they are challenges that i haven't really faced in my mission yet. There were more ups and downs again this week with the work and our companionship and actually last monday started off really bad! But monday evening, we had some aweseom miracles! We were driving and i felt impressed to go see the camachos and so we saw them and had an awesome lesson with their family and even two of strella the 18 year olds friends. We taught a lesson to a 14 year old girl who found out that day that she was pregnant. Talk about a rough one. She told us and we didn't even know what to say. ahh man it was soo sad! It made me think of something katie said how when you are done being a full time missionary all of a sudden all the worries and the guilt and the stress that you feel for the people you are teaching nd searching for, goes away. And i was just thinking how that girls sadness became our sadness and how hard but amazing it is to be a part of Heavenly Father's children's lives. This week i swear we heard soo many "hard life" stories whether they were conversion stories or just people going through the hardest time. But anyway, on mondayevening, after the camachos, we decided to go bike to a less actives house that we wanted to see. We didn't have an appointment or anything but decided to go. So lately, i don't know what it is, but i have been working so scared. I konw it sounds goofy but like when we are biking on the streets i have just been so afraid to talk to people and i feel like i haven't had that problem since the beginning of my mission. I mean everyone gets a little nervous, but you overcome it and talk to everyone! But lately, i had been having this problem. So we are biking and i'm just praying while i'm biking that somehow i can get over this huge fear and just talk to the dang people in the street haha! So we passed one or two people and i'm like dang it what am i doing?! why can't i just open my mouth? And then we go onto the main road and are biking by this lady watering her grass and i stopped (YAY) and started talking to her. She keeps her hose running and occasionally turns it off to listen to us talk haha but all she does is nod or shake her head. And i'm like man what is her problem haha. So then after 30 seconds of talking to her and asking her a few questions, i realize wait, i speak spanish! And so i said "hey, where are you from" in spanish and then we started talkig hahaha! It was actually really funny and we had a good laugh together too. It broke the ice well. But we ended up talking and teaching her about the book of mormon and her mom came out too and told us to come back and they have known mormons before and even missionaries from back in mexico. So that was a pretty cool experience and we felt blessed for opening our mouths even though it'sexpected of us, it has just been especially hard for me lately. So then we bike a little farther toward the less-actives house, and there's a guy plauying with his dog and again, my mind says, "no you don't need to talk to him, he'll probably be really rude and you have somebody to see". And i kept praying and finally said hey as we were driving by. He was super nice and after a little small talk he comes and walks closer to us and asks us about mormons and says he knew a bunch of mormons when he was growing up. We asked if he had ever heard the story about Jesus Christ when he came to American and visited and taught the people here, and he was surprised and says, "wait is that in there?!" (pointing to the book of mormon). And then says, "...can i read about it?" and our eyes get big hahaha and we smile and say HECK YEAH! So we taught him more about the book of mormon and gave him 3 nephi chapter 11 to read and set up an appointment for the two days later. Unfortunatly he cancelled his appointment but we texted him later and got no response. But then he called us that night and says "hey i have a question, who are the nephites?" and he told us he was in the middle of reading but he didn't understand who the people were and so we had a littl mini lesson over the phone and he finished the reading that night hah! it was a pretty cool miracle and by the time we had taught both of those people we had talked to, we had to turn back and go home so i don't think we were even meant to see that less active that we had planned, we were supposed to meet john and angela, the people we talked to on the street.

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