Monday, July 15, 2013

Please Don't Stop the Rain....or Should I Say, TRAIN-ing

I love being a missionary. I love training. I love my companion. I love white-washing. I love my new area. I love this work. TRANSFERS HAPPENED! I am WHITE WASHING AND TRAINING! Can you believe it? I am learning really quickly that God DOES NOT call the qualified, but He does QUALIFY who He calls. I am so reliant upon the Lord right now, because sometimes the load of training and starting over fresh in a totally new area is stressful...but oh, so worth it. "white washing" means that you start a new area (they take the elders out and put the sisters in)---or basically you start out with nothing and literally find all the people and connections---I LOVE IT!! It has been a lot of fun and a lot of relying on the Spirit to guide us to where we need to go, so that is so awesome!! My stress levels have been at an all-time high---but stressed in literally the best way possible! There is not a free minute in the day--intermixed calling, tracting, finding, ward mission leader, bishop, service, ward members, investigators, area book and putting together a training program for Sister Wilcox, life is great!! I was transferred to Alexandria, Virginia which is just
Sister Wilcox (Layton, Utah)
outside of Arlington! And this place is amazingly beautiful and I can't wait to see the Lord's hand in the lives of the people here! We took the place of 2 elders (and yes, we inherited their gross apartment as well...calling out all febreeze) and were put in the area of missionary work to "revive it." Side note about the apartment: The elders literally captured the grossest cockroaches they could find and put it in a cup for us to find! What a lovely surprise! But as for the new area I love it! But more importantly, I love my new companion...FRESH from the MTC!!! Her name is Hermana Wilcox and she is from Layton, Utah and 19 years old. She is literally my twin. It is going to be the best transfer yet. I can feel it in my bones!
Training. Whew. A LOT OF PRESSURE. It is such a sacred calling and such an important role because the first six weeks of a missionary's "life" will set the tone for the rest of their mission. I am literally learning how to be a mom. I get to care for her and think about her 24'7 about how I can serve her, help her learn, help her understand and help her get the experience that she needs so that she can be ready to train someone else! So far, training has gone great!! Sister Wilcox is so wonderful and I am striving so hard to help her feel like she is the bomb missionary! Which she is! She is learning SO SO fast! She doesn't know hardly any Spanish, so we are doing a lot of language practice. Despite the fact she doesn't know the language, I will just stop talking in lessons and pray for her like crazy to open her mouth. She does...and the Spirit always helps her to speak clearly and simply. I have absolutely loved every second of training. I am learning so many important teaching skills and learning how to help Sister Wilcox find joy in the work and to gain confidence in herself as a missionary. She is amazing! Training has also made me want to step it up a notch and really set the place on fire! We have been having a blast and have been working like CRAZY....and have been seeing some pretty amazing miracles. Sister Wilcox and I will be friends for life and I just hope and pray that I can help her be the best, most obedient and Christ-like missionary that she can be. That is my hope and dream! Funny side note: I turned on "come, come ye saints" the Noteworthy version. And she was like---Oh my goodness I am obsessed with Noteworthy!!! Then there was a long pause and i smiled to myself. When she found out I was in Noteworthy she literally asked for my autograph. I told her no because I should be asking for hers because she was on the BYU color guard before coming on a mission! She is hilarious. I love her. She and I are going to be trying the "singing door approach"...which I will explain next week if we are successful. :) She wants me to train her both in missionary work and singing. hahaha She cracks me up.
Miracles happen. Did you realize that? They TOTALLLLLLLY do. And I can't even tell you how amazing this ward is. I am in the "Old Town" ward which apparently is the highest baptizing ward in the mission. We did service for the bishop and he called us in on Sunday to tell us that he expects nothing but the best from us. PRESSURE, right? I pray that through the power of God we will be carried and able to achieve all of our goals. I love it. His goal for us is to truly focus on PEOPLE and true conversion. The ward is amazing! On Sunday we had like 10 different members come up to us wanting to go out on splits with us....AMAZING. They said that the last time there was 2 sisters in the area the work just took off. No pressure, or anything. I am just striving to work my hardest and give my all to the Lord, while understanding that I will probably fall short. But I know that He will carry my efforts and help me and my companion to accomplish all of our crazy goals. Did you know that God will do that for you too? God knows we have dreams and goals. And if we follow what we have been asked to do and strive our hardest to do our best than we are given the opportunity and strength to accomplish those goals. That I know for certain.
If the ward wasn't enough, wait till you hear about our incredible new investigators---RICARDO AND JAQUELINE! Oh my goodness. Where do I even begin? The elders said that they had talked to them about baptism before leaving the area. So we have been teaching them. The first night we met them, they were a little unsure about baptism. We knew that they had word of wisdom issues, so we decided to teach about addictions and overcoming them through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ricardo has this HUGE desire to quick smoking and quit drinking tea. He says that he wants to do it for his kids and he wants us to help him. So I made a deal with him. If he stops smoking, I will stop my horrible habit of biting my nails. So far....SO GOOD! He hasn't smoked more than 3 cigars! Which is a HUGE change from doing 13 a day. He told us that every time he thinks about smoking, he says a prayer! How amazing is that! His wife, Jaqueline said that she would just stop right away and has been doing it! Jaqueline is a WHOLE different miracle. The night we met her, she broke down and told us that her life was nothing like she wanted it to be and that God has abandoned her. The Spirit guided us and we were able to teach her about the reason we are on this earth and who she is as a daughter of God! Her Spirit and her countenance changed. We invited her to come to church and to change her life by following the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. Well, guess what?! She came to church yesterday!!!!!!!! I almost fell flat on my face! The ward did such an amazing job helping her feel welcomed and loved! She couldn't stop talking about how much she loved the sacrament talk about why bad things happen ("for our own experience and good.") She also was begging us to come over that night to teach her more. SHE IS SO READY TO BE BAPTIZED IT IS AMAZING. We taught about the commandments and how when we keep the commandments we are blessed. Her and her husband started asking us all these questions about their weaknesses. We had an incredible member with us that gave up smoking and drinking to become a member...and her powerful testimony shook the house. My companion even opened up her mouth to bear a sweet, simple and POWERFUL testimony! She is amazing. And although I know that speaking another language is extremely difficult for her....but she is doing it and AMAZINGLY. But we then read the Book of Mormon with them in Ether and how we can make ALL the weaknesses in our lives become our strengths. We then invited them to be baptized on August 10th. THEY ACCEPTED!!! Jaqueline was so funny because she was like--I want to be baptized NOW! Since her husband still isn't completely off of cigars, she asked if she could be baptized without him. She says that she knows that this is what God wants her to do! The Spirit was SO strong. Pretty sure I had the chills going up and down my spine the whole time. Her eyes were glowing and she was smiling so big. We asked her to pray at the end of the lesson. She said in her prayer, "God, thank you for sending these angels to me to talk to me. I know that it was really you talking to me through them. I am ready and want to prepared to be baptized in August!" As you can imagine I was literally dancing out of the door!! Me and my companion screamed when we got outside! we are so CRAZY excited for her! The member that was with us jumped up and down and gave her the biggest hug! There was so much love and so much excitement...and the cool thing is, is that it was all because we know the BLESSINGS and the JOY that she will have in her life through following Christ. I AM SO EXCITED FOR HER!
We have had a blast tracting and finding people that are ready to hear the word of God and change their lives for the better. We had a fun day of tracting the other day. Let me tell you some of the crazy stuff that happened. My companion and I had just prayed to be guided to were to go, because we felt lost. We were in an apartment complex, but didn't know quite where to knock. We started walking and then we saw him. Yes, we did. There was this old man outside of his apartment lifting weights. Yes, and old Hispanic man lifting weights. It was great. My companion and I looked at each other and then we charged forward with Book of Mormon in hand. We began to teach him the message of the restoration. Santos, the old weight lifter, was like---"I have been looking for something exactly like this to make me closer to God!!!" He was so ready to hear the message and we invited him to pray. He didn't know how, so we had the opportunity to teach him! I am so excited to see what happens with him! But the funny thing about that lesson is that his grandson put a bird on me and then left. So I taught the whole lesson with a creepy bird on me! WOOT WOOT. Good thing the Gospel is so true. That same day we knocked on a door and a lady saw us and said "I am way too busy for you two!" and slammed the door in our face. I thought my companion was going to cry (fresh out of the MTC...there they never get doors slammed in their faces :) ) oh the joy. I have also begun to notice something. Hispanic men sometimes just like the fact that we are female and not the face that we are messenger's of God. So we may or may not have to run away from a lot of creepers. but hey, that is okay. It keeps the day interesting, right? haha.
Anyways, I am learning more and more that the sooner we get lost in the service of others, the quicker we find ourselves. If you are struggling with something or are feeling down. GO SERVE. It will change your life.
Thanks for all the love and support and prayers! I desperately need them! you are AMAZING! and never ever forget who you are! I love you all so much!
Hermana Weenig

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