Monday, January 23, 2017

Knock on Wood!

Another incredible week! It has been so fun to be training! I love it!!! I feel like I'm a big sister again (which is something I miss every day!). It also can be stressful....I have never been so tired in my whole life! 

The Holy Ghost

I'm learning more and more about how ESSENTIAL the spirit is for us to learn ANYTHING. I've learned that if you want to have the spirit you gotta

- be worthy (repent often)
-be humble (the spirit always tells me i'm I gotta be humble)
-seek it
-recognize it!

When I can't feel the spirit its usually one of these three things, and for our investigators it is exactly the same! For example, we are teaching a man named Armando. He reads the scriptures every day (like 2-3 chapters), prays, and comes to church. He's been doing this for months! Why hasn't he been baptized? He says he doesn't feel God could love him personally. The only way he will every know that God does love him is through the spirit. But, he says he doesn't feel the spirit! All he says he feels is a "peace and calm". Oh brother.  So we have been working with him like CRAZY to help him recognize that "peace and calm" is the spirit! We had a lesson the other day and of course the member started getting in his face about doctrine and talking over him. Things got so tense that finally I had to knock on the table and say, "sorry, but the spirit isn't here so we can't continue. If you would like we can sing a song and invite the spirit back". But nobody else was down so I had to remember the words to I am a Child of God in spanish all by myself. HAHA I really got myself in a hole there. But all worked out, the spirit came, and he definitely started to recognize the spirit!! Score!

So the other night, about an hour before we had to be home, we pulled up to a less actives house to drop in for a visit and I felt like we shouldn't go in. The weird thing is that I could see the family walking around inside...there was no reason to cancel! But we said a prayer asking for guidance on what we should do. I asked, "is there someone in this area who needs a lesson right now?" The spirit dropped a bomb on us! Someone in our area needed a lesson, and we had no idea who it was. We just started driving for home. I turned on a road where I knew a few people and that's when the spirit told us to front of the house of an active member from the english ward. WHAT? WHY? haha we knocked the door and inside was some relatives of theirs who just got in from MEXICO! We said, "We are here to teach you about your family's church". Sure enough, the family sat down and at the end of the lesson the mom said, "nothing will stop me from being baptized!". 

Knock on Wood!

PABLO IS GETTING BAPTIZED! okay...i'm jixing it. But, we announced it at church, and Pablo was pretty sure he's down! The only thing is he has cancer really bad and he could get sick at any minute and miss his baptism this Saturday! Cancer sucks!!!! But, the coolest thing is that Pablo believes that God will help him figure out the purpose of his struggles if he gets baptized. So much faith!!!

We found a new woman named Maria! She is the cutest. We were trying to contact a referral when across the street we saw this lady saying goodbye to her grown-up kids. As the kids drove away we approached her. She was so surprised to see girl missionaries! After making friends for a minute she invited us in. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she said it seemed really interesting. 

We came back the next week and Maria welcomed us into her house with so much love!!! She asked if she could feed us anything and we said no. But she went to the kitchen anyway! So we agreed to quesadillas if she would show us how to do it. Long story short we wound up eating:
-4 quesadillas
-a giant bowl of gourmet guacamole
-3 fajitas
-some mexican sausage and egg thing
-and nachos.
Not to mention she filled three bags of food for us and the elders, and she has never met them! (Dad...she is literally the girl version of you hahaha) 

 Guess what fam...i ate it all. All the flour, and pasta, and grease...I ate it. And I was so full I dreamed I was pregnant that night. BUT I did it for the GOSPEL!
After she tried to kill us by overfeeding us, we taught her the Restoration. I have never felt the power of the First Vision so strongly. She started CRYING! That has only happened a couple times on my mission! But Maria started crying. She said she hasn't cried over a thing in years, and she isn't even sad! She couldn't figure out what was happening. (cough's the Holy Gost)

She told us she KNOWS it is true and she will be baptized as soon as possible! We gave her a date for 3 weeks out and she asked if she could be baptized sooner! 

Maria came to church and all was well until....she signed her name on the food calendar. lol.

Joel is awesome. When we first met him he was way drunk and way depressed. He actually lives above Pablo (who ironically just kicked Joel out.) So Joel was about to be homeless when we met him and has about 1,000,000 problems that he will tell anyone about. But, this guy loves God. He has always done his best to keep the commandments and read the Bible. Long story short, he knows the church is true and he CAN'T WAIT to be baptized. The cool part about this story though is the members! Every day Joel sees a member. People have gone to help him find a new home (in our area), negotiate contracts, have a visit, give a blessing, teach about the church....a bunch of members even helped him move on Saturday. Get this- we as missionaries didn't ask for any of it! The members just saw a need, the word spread, and did it!!!

I have heard several times from our investigators "I know the church is true because the members are happy. They practice what they preach." I hope when I come home I can be a good member...I used to be so lame! But how powerful is it to just set a good example and serve. You never know how much of an impact you are having.

It Happened Again

Just thought I would throw in a follow up to last week. This week at church the Sunday School teacher asked me to sing. He had actually translated the entire article of mom's into spanish! So cool! He read the whole thing. And then he made the connection that "Hermana Johnson" is one of the kids from the article and had me sing. Mom I can't tell you how powerful it is! The whole room was in tears! Countless people have told me that the article has had an impact on them. Even my companion had read it before she met me! 

Honestly, these moments are some of the most powerful in my whole mission. I love my family and I miss them like crazy. How unique is it to sit in church and have the talk be about my mom? And then have the speaker look right at me and tell me that this all will be worth it? And then have the whole ward say a prayer for my mom? I feel soooo blessed. Not every missionary gets this. MOM YOU ARE AWESOME! KEEP BEING A MISSIONARY! You ROCK! Thank you for your faith and your willingness to share. If we keep this up, the whole El Paso stake is going to be praying for you!

Love you all!!! xoxox

P.S. Hermana Garcia is complaining that I talk in my sleep...buttt IT'S IN SPANISH! Heck ya. nothing to complain about. that is a straight up WIN