Monday, March 31, 2014

Find When You Teach, Teach When You Find

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. This week has been a week of miracles and a lot of cool experiences where the Lord truly led us and brought us to the people and the places that we were supposed to be at right exactly when we were supposed to be there. Our mission is focusing on talking to EVERY person that God puts in our path, and we are seeing immense amount of miracles coming because of it---we are calling it "accept or reject". We are focusing on getting the people here in the mission to learn about the restoration in a way that applies to them, it a short, but powerful way and then inviting them to learn more. It has been really fun to see all of people that are literally searching for the Gospel, and that God seems to plop us right in their path as they need it. WEEK OF MIRACLES!

We gave out a whole box of Book of Mormons in a day this week! It was a feat indeed! And we felt super epic because it was raining and we were still able to do it! Wet and muddy....but SMILING! So fun! So many cool things happened because of prepared people being put in our path. We were going to check on Patricia, who is one of our investigators, and when we arrived there were 9 men watching the Barcelona, Spain game. As we walked in, we knew that we were supposed to teach them about the Book of Mormon. We ran out to the car and we grabbed 9 Book of Mormons. It was awesome! We gave them each a Book of Mormon and committed them to reading it! Although they were a little bit distracted by the game, they loved it! They said that they are searching for their place in this world and wanted more guidance. It was literally such a cool experience to teach so many people just how the Book of Mormon can be and is a map for our lives if we let it guide our every footstep. I love having a Book of Mormon feast everyday, and then go tell everyone about the book that has CHANGED my life. It really is the most true book there is, and a person can get closer to Christ than to any other book that there is. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING SO HARD! Harder than ever before and it has been so cool to see.

MIRACLE! Byran Huarita was confirmed this week in church! What a miracle! The amazing part about Bryan is that he is already starting to share the Gospel with all of his friends. One of his friends, Lucy, is learning with us now. It is absolutely incredible! She saw the change in Bryan and now she wants to make a change in her life. She has been coming to the church activities and everything this week, and so we are really excited to see her progressing in so many ways.

THE BOOK OF MORMON COMBINED WITH THE SPIRIT IS THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL THAT WE HAVE AS MISSIONARIES. This week we have been challenging all of our investigators to read the Book of Mormon before the end of April!!! We are extending that commitment to everyone reading this email too! :) We have like 5 people doing it! and it has been so much fun to see how the converting power of the Book of Mormon is really taking place! I love the Book of Mormon so much and I am so filled with happiness whenever I read that Book. It really truly is the guide to all hope and happiness.

The Lord has lead us to three different FAMILIES! MIRACLE!! We will be going to a lesson and walking and then all the sudden: BAM! A service taking out the trash, carrying groceries, someone drops all of their stuff. And then we are able to help them and then able to teach their entire family! What a miracle and how amazing it is to see that the Lord really is providing ways so that we can find the elect. :) I can't help but smile HUGE whenever we are out knocking doors, serving members and teaching these incredible people. THIS IS THE DREAM LIFE AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

I love working with the sisters on exchanges. This week I had the opportunity to work with Hermana Felt. It was so inspired for the two of us and I just learned so much from her beaming, happy example. She is absolutely amazing, and it was one of the most divinely inspired exchanges that I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of. The Spirit really guided us both to learn about how we can both be more effective people and missionaries.

We taught Nancy's family yesterday. HUGE MIRACLES are happening in that house. The grandma who would never talk to us before now ran up to us and gave us the biggest hug. The mom's heart is softening through service and love. Dana is learning the Gospel and is READING AND PRAYING EVERYDAY! She is going to get baptized this month, and we are so excited. We taught her the plan of salvation, and she was in shock. The Spirit was so strong and she said that it made her feel so happy in life to know who she is and where she is going. AMAZING. the Gospel truly does soften hearts.

Tons of people are coming to church every week and are coming to the church to be taught as well! BYRON IS SO SOLID! Once his papers are in, he will be baptized! YES! :) so amazing!  My new companion is wonderful and we love working hard and seeing the great change in people. It has been really busy and a little stressful but IT IS THE BEST WORK EVER!

We are busy this week as we have been asked to prepare presentations for Mission Leadership Council and the Spanish Forum in order to inspire and help other missionaries become all that they can and reach their potential. It will be quite the busy week, BUT I AM SOOOOO EXCITED!

Thanks so much for all your support, love, and letters, emails and prayers. I love you all so much. And am learning that we can all be like Nephi. Even though we might not understand everything that is happening to us, we need to continue in faith, and then we will be given success. God loves us, and that really is all that matters. If we live our lives to show Him we love Him back, life will be happy.

Hermana Weenig
Exchanges with Hermana Felt. Shulamy Figeroa and Nancy came out with us to find the ELECT! What an amazing day!
I ran into this glass wall when we were out tracting an apartment was pretty funny.
 I love this place!

Monday, March 24, 2014

God Softens Hearts--Like Butter

First of all, a shout out to my brother, Austin!!!  Congrats on your mission call  -- Spain Malaga Mission.   Wow!  That is so awesome!  You'll be amazing out there!!

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!! :)  God always has an incredible plan for each of His children, and I am learning that HIS plan is always the best plan, even if it doesn't seem like it at first. MIRACLES, MIRACLES and MIRACLES are happening all over the place!! It has truly been the most incredible thing. The Lord is so great, and what I am learning is that the Gospel centers around change. Just like the majority of our own lives. God sent us here to the earth to change--and change is constantly happening---to refine us to make us the best version of us as we possibly can be. It is has been amazing to see how God changes the hearts of the people here in Washington DC---they go from having hard hearts to hearts as soft as butter. Change does happen with patience, love and faith.

BRYAN HUARITA GOT BAPTIZED YESTERDAY!!!!! We are SOOOOOOOO happy! It was probably one of the most incredible baptism that I have ever had the opportunity to see. He has been learning about the church for 10 years, and finally got baptized yesterday! He really is one of God's elect, and it was seriously such a blessing and honor to have been able to be apart of his conversion process. One of the most amazing things that happened with Bryan's baptism was the fact that ALL of his less active and in-actives friends came to support him. ALL of his non-member family was there!! The place was PACKED. And so many lives were touched through him. Bryan is going to be an incredible missionary someday. He had asked us to sing at his baptism, so we did. My companion is INCREDIBLE and she is quite the musician on the guitar. Bryan is a BIG-TIME guitar player, so we thought it would be really cool if we used his guitar for the number. We did. We arranged a version of "Gran Eres Tu" (How Great thou Art), and we sang it for him! :) It was so incredible to see how many people Bryan has influenced in his life and to see him FINALLY taking this huge step to get baptized. I have honestly seen first hand how the steps of faith and repentance really do precede the step of baptism. Bryan is seriously one of my best friends, and always will be. He is one of those people that I have met on the mission that you know you knew before you came here. I am SO happy for him. It was so cool to see him go into the water, and back out---so clean, so happy and so fresh. After he was baptized, he leaned over and said, "This is it, my new beginning to my story." I thought that was so profound. It is so true. Bryan's decision to finally get baptized is a miracle. It was NOTHING that we did, it was all the Spirit working through him and his desires to change. I AM SO HAPPY. And now, he is preparing to enter the temple so that in a year from now he can leave to serve his own mission for the church! He will be one of the most incredible missionaries ever! :) I know that all of those people in that room felt the Spirit SO strong as he bore his testimony that change is possible and we know A TON of good is going to come from that baptism...more baptisms, reactivation and the like! Miracles are happening!! So happy for Bryan! :) I remember just three months ago, back in December when Bryan told us he'd never change. "Don't waste your time with me. I have had missionaries before and I am never going to change," he would say to us. But with time, and on the Lord's time, things happened in his life and the Spirit touched his life in such a way that he gradually changed. With patience and LOTS of love Bryan finally had the desire to be baptized! and now he is going to be one of the strongest members this ward has got! MIRACLE. One of the coolest and  most special conversions I have seen on my mission yet. He developed a desire to be TOTALLY clean before God and that motivation will carry him throughout the rest of his life. I sure have learned a TON from Bryan.

Brother Nelson, a man in our ward who has been clutch in Bryan's conversion, baptized Bryan. After the baptism, he came up to me and said, "Thank you." I said, it wasn't me, it was God. He said, "I remember when you told me that Bryan would get baptized. I didn't believe you and I remember laughing. But you guys never gave up, and I now believe in miracles. Who would have ever thought?" God would. God is the author of change...of miracles. It can happen in all of our lives.

Speaking of miracles that came from Bryan's baptism.....:) WOAH! Miracle after miracle has been happening these past couple of days. We have a few of our investigators that have been investigating the church for over a year. One of them in Ana Orellana. Ana is incredible. She comes to church all the time and has received the missionary lessons multiple times, but has never got baptized. Well, Saturday, my companion and I felt inspired to invited Hno.Ceberg to come out to a lesson with us, who is a friend of Ana's friends. Well, he pulled up---with ANA IN THE CAR!!! She came out and knocked doors with us and we taught some incredible lessons with them! Ana isn't even a member, yet she wanted to come out with the missionaries! As we were out walking around, we talked to her about why she hasn't been baptized. She expressed some serious doubts to us. The next day during our studies we studied those doubts. Ana came to church yesterday and she also came to the baptism!! While there I asked her if she wants to set goals to have each of her doubts resolved. She said yes. And then I told her it was possible and that we could be celebrating her baptism by the end of April. She said "Yes, I think it is time." WHAT!!!! She has never said that ! that is amazing! So we will be working a lot more with her and helping her to get baptized! :) What a miracle!

Speaking of another miracle that came from Bryan's baptism. Kelly. She too has been investigating the church for a while. She is 15 and she is wonderful. In the past she has always just said that, "Someday I'll be baptized." Well, after Bryan's baptism, she came running up to us and said, "Hermanas!!! It is the time!! I want to get baptized! I have been waiting for so long just like Bryan, and I want to do it now. I think now is the time." WOWWOWOWOOW! I almost fell over! Incredible! She is on date for April 12! Miracles are happening right and left! God is truly softening these people's hearts as they are turning to Him. It's incredible and inspiring to see all the change that is taking place!

This week we had transfers! Hermana Dopp headed back home, she is an incredible woman and missionary! I am so grateful for all that she taught me and wish her well back home. I now have another AMAZING companion! How do I get so  lucky with all these incredible people? Her name is Hermana Woodbury! I love her so much already! She is from Nevada. Her dad is from the states and her mom is from Thailand! Cool, right? She is such a powerful teacher and we are excited to see SOOOO many miracles this transfer. We have set some pretty high goals and are going to work extra hard this transfer because we know God has some many prepared people out there just waiting to be found! :) I am still serving here in the greatest ward ever--Little River ward here in Annandale, VA. I love them all so much, and I know that there is so much work to be done! It is an exciting start and can't wait to see all the incredible things that are going to take place! We are still serving as Sister Training Leaders, and I can't wait to learn more from the wonderful Hermanas in this mission. I love serving them and helping them become the best they can be!

Byron is working on his papers, so that he will be able to get married to Hna. Portillo in the next couple of weeks!!! MIRACLE! They should be married by mid-April and baptized by the end of April. :) I can't wait for that! Byron is incredible, and is changing so much.
Funny story about Byron: I had this weird growth/bug bite on my leg and he saw it on Thursday and was like "Hermana!! Let me get rid of that!" I should have been worried when he pulled out tequila, white gloves, some strange liquid and medicine. "Hermana, I SURVIVED THE JUNGLE of Ecuador, I can handle this!! I have seen this before! A bug stole some of your skin and we must save your leg!!" You should have seen my face....terrified.  Well, I said a prayer in my head and there he was....performing surgery on my leg. After a lot of pain and laughing the strange thing on my leg was gone. Byron has always got our back, and will be baptized soon.

One more miracle! There has just been so many! We are teaching this amazing family Angel and Delsa and Maria Osorio. Well, we went to teach them and a different man answered the door. We had never seen him before, and he was like, "MISSIONARIES!!! Where is the church?" We looked at him half way confused. His name was Juan, and he continued to tell us that he is a member of the church who had just recently moved from Honduras and had been searching for the church here, but could never find it. He had been praying that he would run into the missionaries and there we were! He was apparently about to go on a mission, when Honduras enlisted him in the military. But he wants to come out and work with us everyday! He lives in Commerce which is a place that we are in often! What a miracle! But what is even more is that HE IS RELATED TO THE FAMILY THAT WE ARE TEACHING!!! WHAT!? Miracles all over the place. We had a lesson with him there and the family was so touched. It was incredible to see how the Lord had all of our paths cross. I really do know that if we follow the Spirit, we will be exactly where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there.

Thanks for all your love, support, letters, and prayers. I love you all so much and you are always in my heart and prayers. This really is the DREAM LIFE. and I can't wait to see so many more miracles this week. I am learning more and more everyday of the importance of having the Spirit guide and be apart of our lives. I never ever want to live without His comfort and guide.

Hermana Weenig
Bryan's baptism! SO happy for this guy! He is going to do incredible things!

Bryan, Hermano Nelson and I! What a happy day it was to see Bryan FINALLY taking that step! :)

This was one of my most favorite districts that I have ever served with on my mission! They are all like family! :)
The ward had a good-bye for Hermana Dopp, and I took the Tres Leches cake and got her good....but then she came back with revenge! :)

Transfers! Bye Hermana Dopp...go tear it up at home! Love you!

My AMAZING new companion Hermana Woodbury! This transfer is going to be full of miracles!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Even the Nation's Leaders Testify that Jesus is the Christ

I LOVE being a missionary. This week has been so incredible and literally full of so many miracles that I wish I had time to tell you about every single one. This place is ON FIRE. and the work truly is hastening in every aspect of the word. Just as Nephi saw in the Book of Mormon, we are seeing so many "tender mercies" and so many MIRACLES happening right and left. It has literally been the most exciting time of my life. I love these people. I love God. I love this work. I love this language. I am pretty sure we will all be speaking Spanish in the Heavens. It is beautiful.

MIRACLE. after MIRACLE. after MIRACLE. I seriously feel like I am living in the scriptures or some epic "last days" movie. Wait a second! We are!! We have modern-day revelation and the work is hastening. God NEVER changes, so we are LIVING and breathing God's mercy, love and words everyday if we choose to do so! :) And these are the last live it. Give ALL of you to God.

Miracle #1: Ever wondered what it would be like to teach a lesson with a Senator of the United States???? Last preparation day we had the opportunity to have a private tour of the capitol. My amazing companion used to be a page for the USA senate, and she was able to hook us up with a private tour of the building. Well, it just so happened that our page that was giving us the tour is the nephew of Senator Hatch (Utah's Senator). We just strolled into his office, and there we were! Sitting in his BEAUTIFUL office talking about life. We were there for a while. He is an incredible man, and such a great leader! He asked about our lives and told us all about his life as a senator. (Wants me to possibly intern next summer...hahaha) Then, I felt prompted to ask a question. "What!?" I thought to myself. I didn't think that I would have the guts to ask. But we had a non-member page with us as well, and I thought that we could take advantage of the perfect missionary opportunity. I asked Senator Hatch, "Senator, you served a mission. How has it blessed your life and also your career as a Senator?" His response was absolutely beautiful. He said, "I would never trade my mission for what I am doing now, although being a senator is very important." We then started teaching the non-member page about the church, and describing who we are as missionaries. It was incredible to hear Senator Hatch testify of Christ and teach what the church means to him and his work. We worked together to teach a powerful lesson. WHAT A MIRACLE!!! What an experience! Teaching a lesson in the Capitol building with Senator Hatch acting as the member present. Once in a life time? Probably. Senator Hatch is an amazing leader and powerful man, but yet even he recognizes the need for Our Savior Jesus Christ, and realizes the eternal perspective that life is more than power, money and politics. God's love and laws ALWAYS trump the laws of the land. No matter how corrupt any government or societal bounds may get, GOD IS CONSTANT and will always be. That is why we should always build our lives around Him. Life is about becoming and getting closer to Him. What an incredible experience. (also, the tour of the USA capitol was BREATHTAKING....I want to live there someday.) What a beautiful thought it is to know that even leaders of our nation bear witness that Jesus is the Christ, and wish that they were doing full time what we are doing now as missionaries.

Miracle #2: Bryan Huarita was supposed to get baptized this past Sunday, but we switched it to this Saturday so more people can come!! WAHOOOO! HE PASSED HIS INTERVIEW!!! After 10 years of taking the missionary discussions he is finally getting baptized this Saturday! What a miracle. I am starting to understand what it means to have a "change of heart." Bryan is a prime example of that. He has changed completely and is so much happier now. That is what happens when we let ourselves change through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Miracle #3: Remember Nancy? She went from being super involved with gangs and drugs to being baptized? Well she is one of the greatest missionaries I know. GUESS WHO WE ARE TEACHING?!!? Her entire family now! It has been the most incredible thing ever. Dana, her little sister wants to be baptized in this next month!! YAY! And also when we first started teaching Nancy, her mom was super hard, but now she is softening so much and she too wants to learn and be baptized. What a miracle! The Lord is softening their hearts and they are coming closer to Christ! What is even more incredible is that Nancy's change has influenced her neighbors as well. Her best friend Carlos and her mom Pati have been wanting us to come and teach them, and they are Golden. They say that they have noticed a drastic change in Nancy, and want the same change in their own lives! WOAH!

Miracle #4: We had 5 investigators at church this week!!!! WAHOOOOO!! Byron Castillo, who we have been working on for 4 months now....FINALLY came to church! It was nothing short of a miracle and a lot of prayer and inviting. :) He is a 14 year old, whose mom is a member. Even after we rapped to him a Gospel rap he wouldn't come. But we kept trying and never gave up. and he FINALLY came! I literally started jumping and dancing when I saw him walking up to the church! What a miracle. Roberto (to be baptized in April), Byron Leonardo (to be baptized this month), Ana Orellana (to be baptized soon), Bryan Huarita (to be baptized this Saturday) and Byron Castillo where ALL there. It was sacred. I am so happy for all of them. They are all changing and coming to Christ.

Miracle #5: Tracting with the Giant Book of Mormon is probably my favorite thing to do. Whenever it is warm outside, we pray about a place that we are supposed to go street contact. Then we fill our bags with Book of Mormons and then we start to walk. People are drawn too us. It is a GREAT conversation starter..."Why are you wearing a gigantic box?" "Let me tell you about a Book that has changed my life." It works like a charm every time. We have found a ton of investigators through this tactic. :) I love preaching the Gospel. Everything about it. But, finding is STILL my favorite. People are incredible.

We have been busy presenting at zone conference and helping other missionaries reach their potential! I love these people so much! And seeing how the mission changes and shapes people has been such and incredible experience. I really have loved serving these sister missionaries as a sister training leader. We learn so much together and push each other to be the best people that we possibly can be. I am learning so much from them and from watching their examples.

Transfers are this week. My wonderful companion and best friend/compadre will be returning home to Bountiful, Utah. She is a hero. She has been such a light in my life and she will forever be a legend here in this mission. She has changed so many lives for good, and I can't wait to see what she does back home. Look her up, she is pretty incredible---(Hermana) Allie Louise Dopp. That's a name I will never forget. She has impacted my life for good and I am so happy and honored to have had the opportunity to serve with her. I wish her the best of luck as she goes back home to continue sharing her light with all those who are around her. She is one that will hopefully be apart of my life forever. I am really excited about transfers and to see what they bring, but also very sad about loosing one of my best friends. We have had a LOT of crazy, amazing and wonderful adventures together! Best wishes to her! I love ya, Hermanita!

Juan Gonzalez, our recent convert, spoke at a fireside! It was incredible! He spoke about how the Gospel has changed his life and his entire family. I am so HAPPY for him. He is an incredible man.

Thanks for all your love, support, letters, emails and prayers. You AMAZE me. Just remember, Jesus Christ lives. And because He lives you can live in peace and happiness. Don't carry burdens around anymore....give it to Him.


Hermana Weenig

We had the opportunity to meet with Senator Hatch, the current senator for the state of Utah in his office in the Capitol building!! WOW! The page giving us the tour was his nephew. We had a non-member with us and we taught a member-present lesson with Senator Hatch. He said he would never trade his mission for what he is doing now.
Hermana Dopp and I on the balcony of the USA capitol building. This is the spot that they do the the PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION. :) WOW!
The beautiful Capitol
Liberty Bell Replica.
These are the two pages that gave us a tour! It was so fun to go with pages, because we had unlimited access to all parts of the capitol. As we went though the tour it was so cool to brush shoulders with members of congress. WOW.

Fun to walk through the signs that said, "Senators only."

Private tour of the USA capitol

An ancient bath-tub in the USA capitol, where senators bathed back in the day!
 BRYAN passed his interview and signed the papers!! He is ready for baptism and we are all so excited! :)
Byron came to church for the first time in 3 years!

Our zone had a SAMOAN feast....yes, that is a real pig. and Yes, we ate it. WOW.

A real Samoan cutting a pig Samoan style.

 Rachel and Nefy. Rachel is FINALLY getting baptized! HOORAY!!!

Learning how to make HAND made tortillas with our investigator Pati from Honduras.

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Mundial Mormon" AKA The Mormon World Cup and ipads

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. This week was JAMMED packed with incredible miracles, events and amazing things that have happened to help the work of the Lord truly hasten. It has been such an incredible experience, and I honestly love it here. This week I learned that missionary work can be hastened and done in many different ways---the two this week was through events and....iPads. This week was amazing....BUSY...we are exhausted but SO HAPPY. We are here, smiling--happy--working hard---and literally wearing our lives out in the service of our King.

THIS WEEK WE HAD THE "MUNDIAL MORMON" (which means the Mormon World Cup). Our district of 8 missionaries threw a mission-wide event for all Spanish speakers in all of northern Virginia! It was a HIT! SO many people came---investigators, less-actives, actives, in-actives---from all walks of life! It was truly incredible. Since my companion and I launched the idea, we have been working like crazy for it to take off! I learned a TON about leadership, organizing tournaments and talent shows and how to work as a team in an unfamiliar culture. What the event consisted off was an All-Day event. We had a volleyball tournament in the morning (we reffed and organized it in Spanish--crazy right?) and then we had a soccer tournament all day from 1-6 p.m. and I got to work with making brackets and being the MC for the day! What a blast! Tons of people came from all around the mission, missionaries included! It was really cool to see all the people I had the opportunity to serve from my old areas. Whenever I would hug someone that I had previously served, we would both burst into tears. It is like seeing family after a long time. All throughout the day, we organized chapel tours for those who were waiting to play or had just come to watch! So many people went on them and want to start going to church that weren't going before. We met two people on the tours that haven't been baptized, but want to be baptized soon! What a miracle!!! After the soccer tournament we RAN to get everything ready for the Talent Show. We had a talent show from 7-9. We were in charge of it and it was a bit stressful, because Hispanic show-time (I found) is not the same. But it was a hit! A ton of people came to see it and 2 of our investigators participated in it!! WAHOOOO! Bryan Huartia (to be baptized this week!) sang a hipster version of "Love one another", and Byron Leonardo (getting baptized this month and professional Mariachi singer) also performed! We had people participating from all OVER the mission. The people that performed were among the most talented I have ever seen. At the end all of us missionaries performed a drum version (using cups) of Called To Serve. It was amazing! President Burton spoke at the end and invited everyone to "Come and See" and experience the Gospel and the Church and a happier life through the Savior Jesus Christ. AMAZING! It was an incredible experience: from being the DJ to MC, to organizing brackets, to organizing, to making a billion calls, to flyer designing, facebook promotions, to decorating, to rounding up, to being patient, to loving it---we got to experience it all---BUT most importantly, SO many people were introduced to the church and WANT to come and learn more! I love big projects, and think it will be apart of my life somehow for the rest of my life.  After, some of the ward member came up to us, crying. They said they were so grateful that we took time to serve them and their friends and how this truly meant the world to them. I love them all so much. We were EXHAUSTED. We spent 14 hours in the church on Saturday--but all for this GREAT cause! Seeing the members invite their friends and seeing everyone have a good time made all the hard work, exhaustion and sweat worth it. I LOVE THIS GREAT WORK!!!

As a mission, we also had iPad training this week and were each given iPads to hasten the work. I have no idea how to work them! hahaha Our planners and area books and EVERYTHING is on the iPad now....and I am so out of the loop I have no idea how to use it. That is why we needed to receive training. :)  It is going to be so amazing for the work!  We are able to show videos to investigators and the like. My companion and I are still WAY old-school for this high-tech stuff. But we are learning! We know that they are inspired of God and are going to change the work forever! THE WORK IS HASTENING THROUGH THE INTERNET AND THESE NEW DEVICES. It is an amazing fire and we are learning so much! I love them! It is defiantly RE-Defining missionary work!! There are 30 missions in the world that have them so far. I LOVE THEM, but need to learn how to use it. It is wonderful to see that we are able to reach so many more people through iPads!!!

We made 2 GIANT Book of Mormons! It is a new way to tract. We are sooooo excited for it! :) We are trying to hasten the work in every way possible! It is a total blast!

We have been super busy this week with iPad training, Mission Leadership Council meetings, and the Mormon World Cup. But the Lord is truly CARRYING us on His back!

Miracles: We had FIVE of our investigators at church yesterday! WAHOOOOO!!! What a miracle! These people are literally elect, and are all progressing towards baptism. This ward is ON FIRE! And it is so fun to see them working so closely with us as missionaries--we are a team after all :)

MIRACLE: Bryan Huarita dared to face his boss and tell her that he can no longer work on Sundays! What a miracle! and now he will never work on Sundays again! WHAT STRENGTH! He is super excited and ready for his baptism this Sunday. We are SO excited we can't even handle it. Seeing him walk into church was such a beautiful moment. He really had to sacrifice a lot to come, but he did it anyways, because he knows that it is what will bless his life and help him prepare for a mission. Seeing him on Sunday with his white shirt made both of us jump for joy. There is literally nothing like seeing an investigator come to church. It is amazing!!!

MIRACLE: Our recent Convert, Nancy, is sharing the gospel with all of her friends that she used to be in the gangs with!! AMAAAAAZING! The other day we went over to teach her family, and she had her friend Carlos there. After a super inspired lesson according to his needs, he was super interested in learning more. So we gave him the Book of Mormon and a chapter to read. Well, we were led by the Spirit to go see him yesterday, and HE READ ALL OF THE CHAPTER AND SAID IT CHANGED HIS LIFE! He wants to know more about how he can change and be baptized! He is literally a walking miracle!

I love serving these wonderful hermanas as a sister training leader. I consider them to be my trainers because I am learning SOOOO much from watching and loving them!

Thank you so much for all your love, support, letters, and prayers. I love you all so much! Sorry, I don't get much time to write letters on preparation days. I hope all is well and I am so excited to hear about all the wonderful things you are doing. Remember----the work is hastening. But WE need to step up to the plate and talk to our friends and family about the amazing message of the Gospel. Just think: "Who could benefit from being a little happier?" and then share your testimony, invite them to church or share a scripture. It can and will change their lives.


Hermana Weenig
President Burton and I. He is over the Spanish program, and incredible. He spoke after the Talent Show portion of the Mormon World Cup! AMAZING!

Byron Leonardo! He is our investigator that is set for baptism for this month! He performed in our talent show! People loved his Mariachi Music! So cool to see how he feels like he is part of a HUGE family now! AMAZING

The Mormon World cup! We had such a great turn out. We had 4 teams all full of investigators! AMAZING!

Reffing volleyball at the Mormon world Cup! It was a blast! Reffing in Spanish is something totally new! :)
Our mission got iPads this week! Can you believe it? The work truly is hastening!! :) WOW. I have no idea how to work it....hahaha :)

All of the Hermanas in the Mission. I LOVE serving them and working with them as a Sister Training leader. They are teaching me so much! They all came to the event and brought all their investigators, too! What a hit!
We made a GIGANTIC Book of Mormon for us to go tracting in. We literally wear it around as we talk to people. It has been a TOTAL hit! People love it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

God's Plan is the Best Plan

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. This week ZOOMED by and we have been working like crazy. The good news is--we have been so busy we can barely see straight. I love this great work and this ward and these people are on is truly inspiring to see! Miracles, miracles, miracles. Our Heavenly Father is doing miracles left and right and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be along for the ride. The ORIGINAL church of Jesus Christ is on the earth AGAIN today. Part of that beautiful restoration is the fact that we have the beautiful Plan of Salvation. And now, more than ever, it means something big to me. Not only does it mean that I get to spend eternity with my favorite people in the world (you guys), but it means that I know who I am, why I am here and who I am supposed to become so that I can live with God again. Isn't that beautiful? We don't have to walk around in life without a purpose and hopeless. We have purpose and there isn't a second to loose.

Miracle: this week we were out tracting. Knocking Doors to tell people about Heavenly Father and how to be happy is MY FAVORITE THING. We knocked into this beautiful family from Honduras. The mom answered the door and she was holding a new born baby of about 14 days old. Woah. The Spirit prompted us to start teaching the Plan of Salvation and help teach her about the purpose of this life and where we came from. "Do you want to know where your baby came from?" We asked. "Yes, I have been wondering that." She replied. She is ELECT. Her husband came in and listened. They invited all of their kids to come in and listen. They are ELECT. Teaching families is one of the most amazing things. I can't describe it. Other than picturing them all in white walking into the temple together. We taught the message of the Restoration. They loved it. They wanted us to come back. We did. They are now, as a family...PREPARING TO GET BAPTIZED! Can you believe it? It is absolutely amazing!! :) We have been praying and praying to find families, and the Lord sent us straight to one. The part that was so incredible about that lesson was that we got to tie in the restoration with the Plan of Salvation. There was something so powerful about sitting there and teaching about where we came from and why we are here as we were staring at a beautiful new-born child that just came our Heavenly Father's presence. It caused me to think--life really is so short, and we have so much to learn here--I saw that baby and thought--it is so pure and has got his whole life ahead of him--he will pass through trials, he will pass through pain and sickness---but it is all apart of God's plan. It is a perfectly DESIGNED plan to help that child overcome all of his weaknesses so that he can become like God. That is really why we are here. To become like our Heavenly Father---He knew we couldn't do it alone so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ.

Bryan Huarita is on fire! His mom had to leave to go to Guatemala, so his baptism will be moved to the 16th of March when she is back! We are SOOOOOO excited!  This week we took him to the temple and showed him what steps he needs to take to prepare to go into the temple so he can go on a mission. He is so dedicated and counting down till the day he is baptized! I am so so so excited for him! He is one of the coolest people I have met on my mission and has been a poster child of forgiveness and repenting to have a better life. Along with Bryan, has been the re-activation of 2 of his best friends. We have been working with them to help Bryan get baptized, and they came to the temple with us as well. Well, when we got to the temple we invited them to all prepare for missions. ALL of them accepted!! WAHOOOOO! They are all now preparing to go on missions! Can you believe it? Maybe one of them will serve in Cordoba, Argentina. That is my bet for sure :). Bryan is a big-time band artist and he is working on getting some records for the future, but this week at the temple he told us that he told his band that he was preparing to serve a LDS mission after he is baptized this month. He said it was really hard, but that the band is supporting him! Awesome, right?

I love doing exchanges with these wonderful hermanitas. This week I had the opportunity to go serve with a Hermana from Canada! She is awesome! We worked her area and found some new people to teach! I learn so much from these wonderful hermanas and I am so honored to serve them. I love getting to know them and learning how to work with all sorts of people. These girls literally are AMAZING. I am starting to see how true it is that God has saved these elect Girls to serve missions at this time. They are wonderful, and I love serving them as a Sister training leader. Also, there is prepared people EVERYWHERE. The work is hastening like a fast speed train.

Update on Byron from Ecuador! He will be getting baptized this month, we have just got to get him married to the woman he is living with first! They have finally made the decision to get married---IT IS A MIRACLE!! WAHOOOO! And He is on fire! He has been reading the Book of Mormon like a rock star, he is already in Mormon! WOW! He is really excited for his baptism and we are working with him to get him TOTALLY prepared for his baptism this month. He is singing in his mariachi band this weekend for the event we are planning as a district...we are pretty excited about that! :)

This week we had zone conference! It was so inspiring and I learned a TON about how I can be a better missionary and better person. One thing that really stood out to me is that we are all different people. God therefore speaks to us all in different ways. We must learn how to recognize and follow His voice. Also a quote that has been stuck in my mind, and applied to our teaching since then has been, "Show me the WHY and I will figure out HOW." All we can do as teachers is show them WHY it will bless their lives, and then they will AUTOMATICALLY figure out how. Elder Ni, a missionary from Tawain, ask my companion and I to sing with him and his companion there. They are the Chinese speaking missionaries so we sang a song at zone conference that was a mix of Chinese and Spanish! It sounded SO cool!! What a blast! I love how diverse this mission is. :)

AMAZING NEWS! Remember Adla and Jill Betancour who I had the opportunity to teach and see get baptized while serving in Old Town? Well, I got mail from both of them this week...and THEY HAVE ENTERED INTO THE TEMPLE TO DO BAPTISMS FOR THE DEAD!!!! :) :) :)  I couldn't be more happy. They said that they have never been so happy in all of their lives....and neither have I. That was the happiest news ever!! I remember meeting them back in July of last the lobby of an apartment complex. Little did they know in just under a year their WHOLE lives would change. And now for generations later they will be touched. Missionary work is the COOLEST! I am so happy Adla and Jill are going to the temple and are now working to be sealed for time and all eternity together. AH!

We are SOOOO excited for this weekend! We are jammed pack busy this week because we are finishing planning and putting the final touches on the "Mundial Mormon" (which means "Mormon World Cup") and apparently a TON of people are coming. 6 different wards are involved and it is going to be huge! We are so excited about it and we have LOVED planning, preparing and seeing this idea take flight! It is SO exciting! Also, we will be getting iPads this week. Crazy, right? Missionary work is changing drastically. We taught 43 lessons this week. Apparently a MISSION RECORD!!!!! woah, right? We are trying to give it all that we have got! It has been an amazing week!!

Thank you so much for all your love, support, letters and prayers. I love you all SO much. You are always in my heart and prayers. I hope you take time to GET to know God, and then STUDY the map (the scriptures) daily. It is the only way to be happy.

Hermana Weenig

Bryan and his crew at the temple---learning about missionary work! We are all SO excited for his baptism!

All of us at the Temple Visitor Center. We are here to help all these people come closer to Christ. COOLEST job ever.
Hermana Dopp, Me, Shulamy Figeroa (Peru), Bryan Huartia (Bolivia), Roger Arteaga (Guatemala), Danny Coen (El Salvador)

Byron! Getting baptized this month! Marachi singer and DJ. Pretty cool, right?
Mundial Mormon!!!