Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Week of Miracles

I LOVE being a missionary. 
How in the world are you!? I love you all so much. Is it crazy to say that I love you all more than I did a month ago? Well, don't think that it is crazy. Because I do. I have loved hearing about your lives and what all of you are doing. Thanks so much for ALL your support, I seriously feel like I am the luckiest sister missionary in the world!!! I am so proud of each one of you and hope that you realize that you are beautiful children of God with unlimited potential. I know that now more than ever. When I am teaching our investigators or merely talking with people on the street I have started to see them in a totally different light than I ever have before. I am starting to feel and care for each person I met or teach with a love that the Savior has for them. Even though I am still developing on how I can sincerely love each one, I have seen the power and the love the Savior and Heavenly Father has for EACH of His children. It is OVERWHELMING and EXHAUSTING. But I can't thank Him enough for the opportunity to be an instrument in His hands to help other people feel that love as well. I am so excited for everyone putting in their papers and getting their calls!! It is a INCREDIBLE work that we are apart of, but even if you aren't wearing the name tag YOU are a missionary too!! The Lord needs us to be His hands.
Guess what?!!? My trainer says that I am going to be training soon!!! Can you believe that? I am so nervous!! I feel like I don't even have a grasp on things yet--one month to try to grasp all of this wonderful-ness can be OVERWHELMING. I am learning SO much though, and I can't stop smiling.  I just trust that the Lord will help me despite all the weaknesses that I have. We also had the chance to attend a mission conference this week where we learned all about how we can be the best missionaries that we possibly can. The biggest thing I learned from the conference is to remember that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH FAITH. The training was amazing and reminded me of just how many things I need to work on to even be close to where the Lord needs me to be.  
I know lots of people have questions about my VISA--No news yet. I should be hearing from the consulate within the next two weeks, so we will see. They said that they don't know when the consulate comes until the day before. Through waiting for my VISA I have learned the power of faith. Sometimes we are put in situations that we can't control, but we can control how we react. This is a situation in which I have no control, but yet with everything that I am I have faith that my VISA will come. This first month of my mission has been ABSOLUTELY incredible and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Argentina often feels like it is far away, but I know that the Lord has a time for everything. This is my wonderful opportunity to serve in the state that I have grown to love throughout my life---and HONESTLY I love it. I love the people. I feel like I am Mexican. I only speak Spanish and teach Hispanic people. The cool thing is, is that I am learning the language a lot easier, because if I don't know how to say it---they help me say it!! Speaking of the language.....I still have a long way to go, but it is amazing how I feel like I don't know any words and then we get into a lesson and then magically (the Spirit) I am able to talk without any glitches. The gospel is so amazing. This work as a missionary is amazing.
QUICK EMBARRASSING STORY: I now think and speak Spanish 24/7. And so this one time we were tracting and this lady answered the door she was white and totally American and I started rattling off in Spanish---but I DIDN'T realize it!! She looked at me all confused....and my companion burst into laughter. My companion through laughing explained to her that I wanted to practice my Spanish. Oops! That was a BAD door contact. But it gave us something to laugh at.
Miracle #1: DANIEL AND NATE RESENDIZ ARE GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) I am soooooooooo happy that they have made this decision! They will be baptized two weeks from today. Nate just barely turned 9 years old, and we are just getting started teaching him all the lessons. His dad, Daniel, has had all the lessons and can't wait to be baptized. He works 3 different jobs 7 days a week, and is exhausted every time we teach him. But he is golden. He took off work (a big deal, because he and his family are dirt poor) just so that he could make it to sacrament meeting! Boy, that was a crazy sacrament meeting! We invited him and challenged him to come to church and just when we thought he wasn't coming.....he showed up with his ENTIRE FAMILY!! I was so excited. His wife is less active, but she showed up too with their other too little kids. The amazing thing was though is that they were wearing full Sunday-best outfits! They came in jeans and stuff the week before, and this time they showed up in the best they had--even though it wasn't much. My heart was filled with such joy! I can't even describe it to you!! We taught Daniel the 10 commandments and the importance of church later that evening and he was so into the lesson. He had tons of questions and you could see the happiness on his face! I am so excited for him!! Nate is the one in the picture I sent. His family didn't have anything for his birthday party, so my companion and I hurried to the store to buy a birthday hat, sign and balloons. You should have seen his face when we walked in. Happiest child I have ever seen!! :) This family lives on a ranch in the middle of no where. They have nothing. Yet, they have everything.
SIDE NOTE: I hate Satan. We were supposed to have a baptism this weekend with Anasayi Velasquez. Anasayi had a dream that she was supposed to join the church, but the other day all the sudden she said that she didn't want to see us anymore. She said it is because she is worried and doesn't know what her mom will think. I was absolutely devastated. BUT THEN....listen to this next miracle.
Miracle #2: Just as we thought Anasayi had shut the door, Heavenly Father opened a window. We have been helping teach English to all the people up here who only speak Spanish. There is a course through the church called "Daily Dose" and a TON of non-members that are Hispanic are taught English through this program run by the church. (it is a genius missionary tool if you ask me.) When they finish the lessons there is a graduation. One of those graduations happened to be this week. :) We were there helping set up and everything and low-and-behold there walked in Anaysi WITH HER MOM (wants nothing to do with the church, strong catholic) and WITH HER DAD (recent convert to the church). WOAH! The mom and the dad where one of the ones taking classes!!! Well long story short, we made best friends with the mom. Now she wants us to come over!!! We already helped her do her laundry, and have an appointment to come over and teach her English. I hope that this opens a door for her to hear the gospel and for Anaysi to have the support that she needs to be baptized. OH! That was the other thing too--Anaysi decided that she wants to be baptized too (again), as long as her dad is the one that does it! So we quickly got the President of our branch to arrange for him to receive the priesthood so that he could baptize her!! We hope she will be baptized by the end of the month! And hopefully her mom will come around too!! :) SO excited for them!
Miracle #3: We have been trying to reactive Ana Ramirez forever I feel like. She owns her own little Mexican store and she is so nice to us. But she works all day everyday even on Sundays. She wants to take her kids to church, but can't because she says her husband, who is Catholic, requires her to work all day on Sunday. All of our lessons with Ana take place in her store. Benefit of doing this is that we get to teach her...and we get to meet all the Mexicans in Brigham City, because they all come there to by food from their home. Well the other day, we were teaching Ana about faith (which she has now committed to talk to her husband about closing the store on Sundays....SO EXCITED for her! I pray it goes well) and all the sudden 3 people walked in. Ana, to our surprise, said "Hey come learn about this! It will help you!" Me and my companion just looked at each other and smiled. Two of the people were not members and they seem really interested in the church, hopefully we start teaching them officially soon. And one was a less active that hadn't been to church in years but was trying to figure out how he could get the priesthood! It was wonderful! The Lord literally just put these people right into our laps. We had like 3 different lessons while there. We got some great potentials just from that one little act! Amazing!
Miracle #4: After our happening in the store, my companion and I where running down the street because we knew if we didn't we would have no time to eat dinner and get to our next appointment on time. We were okay with not eating though because of all the people we just had met. But we were exhausted because we had been tracting the entire day. It was right when I was thinking...."Man, I am starving" when a man yelled, "Hey Sister Missionaries!! Do you have a second!??" This kind man then asked us if we would join he and his family for dinner right then and there. It was a blessing from Heaven. We got to meet their wonderful family and teach them of the gospel as well as fill our empty stomachs! I learned that Heavenly Father is LITERALLY in the DETAILS of our lives. He cared that we were hungry and He sent us help. It was amazing. I know He does the same for all of us on a DAILY basis---if only we could recognize all the little things He does! He literally is the most loving person. I am so grateful to that family we got to meet and teach and eat with! They are wonderful!
I feel like I can't even begin to write about all the miracles that are happening on a daily basis!!! I know two things. First Satan is real---and his rage against this work is more than I could ever have imagined. He does whatever possible to make sure it doesn't go forward and often makes missionary work seem impossible. Second I know that God is stronger, wiser and faster than Satan will ever be. Heavenly Father is so wise....and He does know better than ANYONE... and because of that, the work is rolling forth. The blessings and the miracles I witness everyday can attest to that very fact. I love being a missionary. I am learning so much about the gospel, others and even myself (I have SO much to learn still). It seems that whenever there is a gloomy day, there is ALWAYS something there that is the "silver lining on the cloud." If you are reading this, I hope you never forget. No matter how hard it gets...just focus on what YOU can control--your attitude and your actions. I promise you the Lord will be there to help you do the rest.
Other than that, my companion and I are SWAMPED! We literally RUN from appointment to appointment. We are the only Spanish-speaking missionaries in the area so we cover 5 different cities. It is wonderful. I love my companion so much, she is a gem.
I hope this email finds you happy, smiling and working hard! I love you so much and pray for you more fervently than I ever have before in my life. I just want you all to be the happiest you have ever been. And if you are wondering what I am doing, well I am probably running around smiling and exhausted from trying my best to be an effective tool for the Lord (I have got a LOOOONG way to go.) I am exhausted. But in the best way possible.
I love you all so much!! Challenge for this week: Study faith. Faith is the first principle of our gospel. It is what makes our days happy. Without it, I know I would be a hopeless pit of despair. Faith is "things hoped for" not seen. But it is by faith that we can return again someday to live so happily with our families and our Heavenly Father. It is through FAITH that we can do what seems impossible. All of us have things that are going rough/that are scary, but faith makes those rough times much easier.
Your biggest fan,
Hermana Weenig :)

Happy Birthday, Nate!!

My Trainer and her trainer -- 
In mission lingo:  My mom (my trainer) my grandma (her trainer).

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