Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Love is the Secret Ingredient.

 I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! Happy MEMORIAL day! I love this work. I really do, and I am learning more so than ever how much I love these people. My whole paradigm is shifting, missionary work is more than just sharing the gospel and getting people excited about missionary work and getting them excited about the work. In fact we could be the most powerful and wonderful missionaries that have ever walked the earth, but without love it is all invalid. We can't persuade people into the church, but we CAN LOVE THEM INTO IT. Love is by far the most persuasive thing that we can offer. So instead of persuading people to do things this week, we were focused on being really excited and sharing our love for the gospel....and things TOOK FLIGHT.

MIRACLE at church. Just at our ward alone we had 18 people at church on Sunday!!! WAHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! INCREDIBLE MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING AND FAMILIES ARE COMING TO CHURCH! It is a beautiful thing.  5 of those included our investigators Ana, Byron, Delmy, Denya and Sonya. They are part of one of the families that we are teaching! It was incredible. They came, but in their club outfits. It was so good to see them there and they will be getting baptized in June! So happy for them!

MIRACLE.EMA OLMAS texted us the other day and said SHE WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED!!!! WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! What a miracle! I started teaching her family back in December, and they fell off the map for a couple months, but now they are back and they want to try again...but this time with a determination to be baptized!!! YAY!! Ema asked us what it takes to be baptized, and said that she wants to do it. She said that she missed being close to God, and that she wants us to help her get back close with God. SO EXCITING! Also, she says that she wants to marry one of my brothers.....so Tyler, Austin and Hayden....I will let you fight over her. She is amazing! ;)

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That was a lesson learned this week. Satan has been trying to thwart our plans and our investigators like CRAZY. But he will never win, because we are being focused on the Savior Jesus Christ and bringing people to know Him and to love Him and to serve Him. We had zone conference this week and President Riggs trained us on how to be bold and powerful servants. I loved it! We practiced teaching the Law of Chastity, and that very night we used it on one of our investigators. It was one of the coolest lessons that I have ever seen on my mission. We felt just like when Ammon taught King Lamoni about God and how he can come to know God---when Ammon spoke with the Spirit and with power there was silence. The Holy Ghost taught through us as we boldly taught about this law given from God. (It's the only thing that is keeping him from getting baptized). We love him, but because we love him so much we were able to testify with boldness and help him understand the importance of obeying ALL of God's commandments, even if that means sacrificing many things.

FAMILIES FAMILIES FAMILIES!! This week we have been praying like crazy to find families! And guess what? God led us to find FAMILIES!! I love FAMILIES!!! We are finding families like crazy and the work is taking flight! I love all of these people that are interested in the Gospel and want to change as a family. Another family that we are teaching is Alcidus, Franscico and Anahy. They love when we come over. Alcidus is like 10 years old and whenever we come to teach their family he starts screaming and jumping up and down and mauls us with a whole bunch of hugs. Cutest little boy ever. They came to church on Friday to play soccer with the kids and LOVED it. They want to be baptized, and I wouldn't be surprised if that day is soon.

Zone conference was inspired---again the tid-bit that stood out the most is that we can't MAKE people do things, but we can LOVE them into doing them. That can be applied whoever you are, wherever you are, and whoever you are with. LOVE. "Charity is the PURE love of Christ." So that means it isn't tainted by any of our own selfish desires and wants.

Fernando Guzman is getting baptized this weekend!!!! SATURDAY IS THE GOLDEN DAY!!!!! YAYAYAY!  We are SOOOOOO excited. He is FLYING through the missionary lessons. There has been miracle after miracle with him. What has been amazing is that we have taught him probably 8 times and every time except one, it has been within the home of a member. That has made a huge difference in his conversation process and to see him changing and morphing into a new creature has been inspiring.

Crazy side note: I learned how to do phone lessons this week! I taught 10 lessons via the phone! Cool, right? :)

We are teaching Byron Castillo, who is the son of one of the members in our ward. We have had to freshen up on our basketball knowledge, because he won't talk to us if we don't connect the gospel to basketball.  We have related everything back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon=the play book of life. The Coach=God. Team-mates=everyone that surrounds us. Opposing team=opposition. goal=Eternal Life. THE GOSPEL RELATES to everything! We love playing the gospel analogy game in the car. We have to relate whatever one person says back to the Gospel. What a blast.

My companion has been sick all week, so I have got to go work with a lot of different members! It has been incredible to see their zest for missionary work and how they are sharing the gospel to their family members. I have learned something this week, that even when we feel alone or not strong enough, GOD WILL CARRY US....always. If we rely on Him, and even when we might be to stressed to pray, He ALWAYS will be there to comfort us and carry us so that we can see clearly what is most important in life.
The members are on FIRE here with missionary work. Every time they invite us to teach a FHE, they have invited a family or a friend to learn about the gospel. It is beautiful. This ward is ON FIRE. I love these people. I love this language. I love the hermanas. I love this work. I love my Savior Jesus Christ.

Thanks for all you do for me. All your letters, prayers, emails and the like. You are my heroes. Keep up the amazing work. And never forget.....TO LOVE ALL THOSE WHO SURROUND YOU. Even when it gets really hard or you don't want to....pray....and do it anyways. :) <3

Hermana Weenig

p.s. We had the opportunity to place roses at the Arlington National Cemetery and go to the Washington DC national parade for Memorial Day. IT WAS THE COOLEST THING EVER! I am so grateful for all of you out there that have served faithfully so that we can be free! I love you! and God bless the USA!!! :)

They had a flag and a rose on EVERY single grave. Everyone that came got to place a rose on a grave. It was beautiful!


The view from where we were sitting.

Tomb of the Unknown solider. Each branch of the military presented a wreath. It was beautiful.

Selfie on the Metro


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

NOW is the time

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. I love these people, my companion and this ward, and most of all--I love my Savior and this great work. This week was a week full of miracles and inspiration. Miracle after miracle. This truly is the GREATEST work on the face of the earth.

The members of this ward are on fire and they are stepping up to the plate! It has been absolutely incredible to see the transformation. We have been focusing on training the members to share the Gospel, and to bring the investigators into their homes so that the Spirit will be strong, and they will be true CONVERTS of the Gospel. In the Hispanic culture, family nights are a BIG deal. There are also many others that have never had a family night. We had 4 family nights this week, and each time the MEMBERS INVITE NON-MEMBER friends over!!!! INCREDIBLE MIRACLE!!! And all of those people were at church! It just goes to show how much more effective it is to work alongside the members. When they bear testimony the Spirit is so strong and powerful.

ELDER BALLARD came and spoke to our entire mission. I felt the power and the authority that he carries as an apostle of the Lord. I hope one day I can carry the same light and inspiring example that he does. We had a 3 mission conference at the stake center near the temple. It was an incredible meeting! Elder Ballard is one of my favorite speakers because of his passion and enthusiasm for missionary work. One thing that I loved that he taught us was that we must INSTILL the gospel into our souls in order to teach with power, authority and simplicity. He talked about UNDERSTANDING AND DOING is much different, and yields much different results than just knowing something. When the people we lead and teach understand they will do. I learned a lot at that meeting. Life is really a lot more simple than we make it out to be sometimes. The gospel is simple. If you are confused, get back to the basics. Apply the fundamentals--that goes for all aspects of life. One of my favorite quotes from the conference was, "Christ is the author of simplicity, Satan is the author of complexity." Keep it real, keep it simple. All Christ said was "Come follow me" and if we rely on His Atonement, we are made whole and strong. He wants us talking to 10 people OUTSIDE of all the lessons, street contacts and everything we do. So that means we are going to make more of an effort to teach inside stores when we shop---basically we are sharing the gospel LITERALLY everywhere we go!! :)

Singing miracle. We found Edras street contacting---God literally put him in our paths---and went back the next day to teach his entire family. When we entered they weren't super interested and thought that we were crazy. They just treated us like salesmen. The music was blasting the TV was on, and no one was really listening to our message. But the Spirit prompted us to sing. "Can we sing you a song?" They said, "sure." We began singing "I am a child of God." Everything went dead silent as they listened intently to the song. The Spirit was so strong---it was like they were hit with a wall of spiritual enlightenment. We are going to teach them, and now they want to learn. MIRACLE!

GOD's TIMING IS PERFECT MIRACLE!! We didn't have time to eat dinner one night, so we were going to stop and get a snack somewhere really quick. We originally decided to go somewhere, but changed because we felt like that wasn't the place we were supposed to be. Well, GOD IS IN THE DETAILS OF OUR LIVES---literally every step. We were led to the grocery store, and we couldn't decide what we were going to eat. Finally, after about 5 minutes we left. We felt led and guided to walk a different way from the grocery store back to the car. And there stood JAVIER ALARCON!!! We were teaching them back in December, but they kind of fell of the map. Right then and there he told us that he wants to come back to church. Ema, came out and started talking to us--right there in the parking lot. As we started talking she said that she has been reading the book of Mormon and wants to get baptized!!! WOW!!!! We had been praying for member present lessons that day and God answered it. It was already a HUGE miracle we saw them, and then! When we were talking, a member of the church who was baptized at the same age that Ema is and has all the same doubts that she does---came out of the store and started talking with us and teaching with us! Her husband was there getting a phone fixed, and we had never seen her before! WHAT A MIRACLE!! Talk about perfect timing and being led EXACTLY where the Lord needed us. MAN I LOVE THIS WORK!!

I got to teach someone from Austria!! She was so cool! She is from where Sound of Music was filmed! What a classic! It was so fascinating that her culture and her family believes that God is instill within one's own heart, therefore there is no need for religion. She is a friend of the Campos family, and so we were able to teach her in their home! It was incredible! I love the Campos family, they are like a second family to me! My Guatemalan Grampa lives there....every time he sees me he pulls out some joke or some mine game. He told me to tell my family that he is going to adopt me and take me to Guatemala! So if you don't hear from me...I have been kidnapped by a Guatemalan grandpa! He is a hoot!

We are working with a TON of youth. Elder Ballard said that this mission is one of the missions that works the most with the youth, because of the HIGH population of young people. This is so true. Right now over half of our teaching pool are youth! It has been so incredible to see them making changes in their lives, repenting and seeing that God exists. One of them in Luisa Arteaga. She is a inactive member, and she is my age. She slipped into the party life and doesn't even know that God exists. We have been helping her look for God and feel of His love, and it has been amazing to see her sincere desire to search for and know God. Also, I have loved teaching the youth because a lot of the stuff I did before my mission is coming into play. For example, basketball. Byron Castillo, one of our investigators, is obsessed with Kevin Durant. I love Kevin Durant. We were able to compare how Kevin Durant is this year's NBA MVP to how Jesus Christ is the MVP of everything, and if we follow Him and are baptized---one day we too will be MVPs. :) He loved it.

We are teaching a house full of 21-year old moms that just immigrated here from Honduras! THEY ARE INCREDIBLE!!!! ALL OF THEM WANT TO BE BAPTIZED and will be baptized in June!! We are SO excited! They are reading the Book of Mormon and they are progressing like wild-fire. They are so young, and have children already, but understand the importance of raising their children in a happy and strong environment centered on Christ. :)

Yesterday one of our recent converts, Arturo, proposed to a woman in the ward, Hermana Alicia Ramirez! His only request was that we were there and that we sang while he proposed to her! It was the cutest thing I have ever seen! So let me tell you! So we set up an FHE with the Sanchez family (she is the yw president from Mexico) and invited a whole bunch of other families in the ward to come over. We had a lesson on Charity and love. Hna. Ramirez had no idea what was going on! And THEN! We told them we had a special musical number for them. We sang an arrangement of the primary children's song, "Where Love is". While Arturo got us and got roses and a cupcake. (We had hid the diamond ring inside a cupcake and I got to design the cupcake with a heart). We were still singing and he got down on one knee. She started to cry. We finished the song. "Will you marry me?" (but in Spanish). She bit the cupcake and out came the diamond! It was so cute! They are so happy! It was definitely one of the more fun/interesting things I have done on my mission! What a miracle and what a special night!

I love doing these exchange with the other missionaries as a sister training leader. These hermanas are incredible! It has been a huge learning experience for me, because they teach me through the things that they do, and also I am learning how to set goals, follow up and help others reach their full potential! I LOVE THIS WORK. I have decided that this has to be apart of the career I pursue, because it is incredible.

I love you all so much! Thanks so much for all you do for me--all your support, prayers and love.  When life gets to hard to stand, kneel. You WILL receive power if you believe you will.

STAND STRONG. (aka, if you are too weak or sad....KNEEL STRONG).

Hermana Weenig

The Campos Family from Guatemala! I love them SO much! This was when we taught their friend from Austria!

Arturo and Alicia's engagement! It was adorable!! :)

Arturo and Alicia are engaged! We are so happy for him and her! They will be married in the temple in December!! :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. This week has been exhausting and crazy and exciting and amazing! We saw so many miracles I don't even know where to start. The mission is incredible because you learn so much about life and about how to treat people and help them reach their full potential, but this work really is ALL about LOVE and learning how to love people for who they are. So amazing to see you all on Skype, Mom--hope you had the best mother's day ever...you deserve it.
This week was all about love and loving people enough to be BOLD. Something that is such a common mistake is that we love too much and aren't bold enough to help them become better. We have seen the miracles that have come from being BOLD. We have seen a lot of miracles coming from being bold.
MIRACLE OF THE WEEK!!! Dana and Nancy's parents FINALLY came to church!! We were jumping up and down because we were so excited. We have been praying that their hearts would be softened, and they finally came! Also Dana and her friend, Eduardo, who we are also teaching, sang a solo in church this week for mothers day! It got her mom to come to church, which was a miracle!!!! They are going to be baptized soon!! We got over there to teach with the ward member Dana And Nancy the new member lessons, but this past time the mom was like "When can you guys come over and talk to me!?" We were so stoked!
MIRACLE OF THE WEEK #2: Fernando. I think I told you his story last week. He is INCREDIBLE. Literally so prepared to find the missionaries. He is in the midst of the crisis and is positive that we were sent from God to find him at this point in his life. He called us, so he could come to church. Well this week we had the MOST INCREDIBLE lesson with him. Probably the best lesson I have ever had on the mission thus far. As we taught the restoration he was bawling and saying that he felt something he never has before. And right before we were teaching the apostasy and the Book of Mormon, he asked, "Why are there so many churches?" and "Why has the bible been changed so many times?" Which, where all perfect segways into the restoration. It was amazing. At the end of the lesson, we invited him to be baptized on May 31. He said, "OF COURSE!! WHAT DO I WEAR?" He then sang a song about coming out of the darkness and into the light of truth. He said that he felt like that was the experience that Joseph Smith had and that he is experiencing first had right now through meeting with us!! WOW! We were all crying and so happy because the Lord literally had prepared him to find the truth. He came yesterday to church and he brought a friend! MIRACLE! We are going to start teaching his friend too! Fernando says that there is something amazing about coming to church. He fills edified and inspired---like it is a renewal so he can receive strength to take down his problems. YES! We can all do that if we go to church with a specific purpose in mind. We are teaching him the home of a member, and it is making a huge difference! Can't wait to see him be baptized soon!
We had 6 people at church this week! FIRE! It was incredible! Miracle.
Funny miracle. We were eating dinner at this fried chicken place, and it was not-so-good. It was gross food, but my companion and I were eating it anyway because we didn't want to offend the ward member and the investigator that took us to eat. But then I started to feel a little sick after eating a bunch and prayed that everything would be okay. Just then, a homeless man walked into the restaurant. He approached me and said, "Hey, I am starving, could you please give me your food?" I told him he could. He took the rest of my food. But the amazing thing was is that he just threw it away on his way out. Weird, right? But a total answer to a prayer. It was so funny and so random, but it was just another testimony to me that God is in the DETAILS of our lives. :) We call it the "chicken miracle." Thank you random homeless man from saving us from getting sick. I don't think I stopped laughing for the rest of the day.  
Exchanges are a blast and I am learning so much from the hermanas that we have the opportunity to train. I love them all so much. It is so fulfilling because we see them setting goals, and then going full force to attack them. We have been focusing on teaching them how to access the atonement and how to be made strong and be carried through the Savior Jesus Christ. HUGE miracles have happened in their lives from learning more about the Savior through His infinite atonement.
This week we started teaching a LOT of new FAMILIES. Which was also a miracle. When we didn't know what to do or say, we just prayed. And God led us to a lot of new people to teach who are Golden. There is nothing like being out in the hot sun preaching the truth. I love it so much, and it is so amazing to see all these people changing their lives and coming to Christ. Timing is everything, and God's timing is perfect. Again and again we are put in the path of the people who need us the most right when they need us. He will do the same for you as you pray for experiences to help someone in need. you are always in my heart and prayers.

Tyler!!! HAPPY 20th birthday to one of the world's GREATEST people and BROTHER!! I love you so much and am so grateful you were born.  I hope you have the best birthday ever.

Hermana Weenig

Guitar Center with our recent convert Bryan Huartia last Monday. What a champ! We had a blast.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Complete Submission to His will

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. This week has been a week of growth. LOTS of growth, which is awesome. Sometimes growth stretches you and pushes you...but in the end it makes you SO much better. What I am learning though, is that if we push on ward with faith and when we spend a lot of time on our knees and we rely on God with all that we have got....MIRACLES happen. I love this work. I love this area, this ward, my companion, these people we are teaching. All of it. Hardships and trials may look like a rainy storm ahead, but if we just smile and embrace it ANYWAYS and try to learn all that we can from it, by receiving strength from the Lord, we start to walk on water....even though we thought we never could. Sometimes we are asked to do things we don't want to. Submit to His will and trust in Him. That is where the masterpiece of your existence is created and polished.
MIRACLES are happening everywhere. Byron Leonardo is programmed to get baptized this Saturday! He is so stoked about it! Also, we met his family members who are also not members yesterday! They are really curious about the church!! YES! They were asking us a gazillion questions and will be at the baptism on Saturday! That whole family will also be baptized someday soon.
Spiritual guidance. WOW. When you follow the Spirit and let it guide your every footstep INCREDIBLE things happen. Time after time this week we were praying to know what to do when things fell through and EVERY time we were led to exactly where we needed to be, right when the people needed us. We were walking to an appointment, and we felt inspired to talk to a man sitting down across the way. His name is Neptali. INCREDIBLE. He told us he was waiting. Waiting for someone but didn't know who. He said that we had been sent from God to find him. Our mouths dropped open. "yes, your right" we said. We started teaching about how God loves us, so he has restored his Gospel for us and has given us a plan to follow to become all that we were meant to become. He is incredible. Going to get baptized soon, for sure. The Lord's timing and guidance is always 10000000 times better than our own.
Another time when our back-up for our back-up fell through for a lesson, we prayed. We were led to a less active/part member house. She had been praying for help and then we came! What a miracle!!
Fernando! A WALKING MIRACLE! We met him out tracting one night with Hermana Obregone (a member of our ward) and he was moving out right then so we talked for a little and gave him a card with our number on it. We didn't have much time to teach him anything, but he said he would call us. When people usually say that we don't hear anything from them. Well, not this time. Fernando called us on Saturday and was like "Hermanas! I want to come to church! Where is it! And I'll be there!" We were in shock!! He came to church an hour early and stayed all the way through sunday school. HE LOVED it. It was testimony meeting and he was sobbing. He said, "This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I feel something I have never felt before here. I am so happy. I am going to come EVERY week." WOWOWOWO!!!!!! In Sunday school he was involved in the lesson, and after asked US about baptism. "what if I want to be baptized in your church, but I have already been baptized?" We smiled REALLY big. We explained to him about Christ's original church and the authority it was established on. He wants to get baptized. HE IS MADE OF GOLD. WHAT A MIRACLE! God is SO great!!!! :) :) Miracles. EVERYWHERE.
Love is the CENTRAL element to all that we do as missionaries and as children of our Heavenly Father on earth. Without it nothing else happens. Love of the Lord brings faith. Faith brings obedience to His commandments, because we Love Him and will do all that He wants us to do. Obedience and love for God brings change and progression. Because we love Him, we also submit to His will and let go of pride and bitterness for freedom and growth. Love overcomes slothfulness and pride. Love brings about our progression here on earth. Just like it says in 1 John 4, if we don't love we are nothing, and we know not God because God is love. Love brings change and the power to BECOME. Charity is the pure LOVE of Christ. Without charity in EVERY aspect of our lives, we are nothing. Charity suffers long, doesn't seek her own, isn't puffed up, doesn't envy and is patient and kind---ALWAYS. Have charity for others more. Love God more. Love who you are more. And you will BECOME more.
THE MEMBERS are ON FIRE! Our mission has been focusing on training the members and helping them in their missionary efforts! It has been incredible to see the members TAKING OFF like I have never seen before! We received 7 SOLID referrals from members this week who are all interested in the Church! How amazing! The hastening is happening right in front of our eyes and it is inspiring. Also we are teaching more member-present lessons that I have ever seen on my mission. And they are super high-quality, because we are teaching the MEMBER's friends!
Speaking of member work and referrals! Bryan Huarita, our recent convert, is preparing to serve a mission. We felt inspired for him to study preach my gospel lessons and then teach us the lessons as investigators. Well, he called us the other day and was so excited to tell us that a lady at work asked him about where we go after we die---just the day before he had taught us the plan of salvation! Miracle! He was prepared and so the Lord put someone prepared in his path. This is what happens when you pray to do missionary work! Bryan is such an incredible example and inspiration of being a member missionary!! :)
We had transfers this week, and YES! Hermana Woodbury and I are staying together! We are SO excited about it!!! :) We are also working in this area, Annandale, still. I LOVE IT SO MUCH! It is miracle central, and I love the members and the people so much that I don't ever want to leave this place! We were so grateful and it truly was an HUGE miracle. We also were all placed in SPANISH ZONES! That will be so great. Hermana Woodbury and I will still serve as sister training leaders, which I am really excited about! I learn SO much from these wonderful hermanas! I love them. Also, guess who is training a new missionary!? Hermana Wilcox!!! So excited for her!! I had the opportunity to train her and now to see her training someone else is amazing! She is awesome!
I love this work, and I love you. Thanks for all that you do for me and for all your prayers and letters and emails. I love you all so much, and you mean the world to me. Life is so  much better when you totally are in line with what God wants you to do. If you haven't lately, I would invite you all to have a inventory with God. It may take hours. But tell Him everything. Your triumphs, your weaknesses and your trials. Give it all to Him. And then ask Him with a sincere heart what He wants you to be doing right now in this life. He WILL guide you and it is the most incredible experience ever. You will be filled with love and power to submit completely to His will. You are always in my prayers and heart.  I love you all!

Hermana Weenig
Olga and Byron took us out to dinner. Byron gets baptized THIS WEEK! AH LE LU IA!
One of the potential investigators we found street contacting gave us her address....it was TOTALLY fake! Look...this ENTIRE apartment complex has been locked up for a while. Gotta love it!

We had a HUGE rainstorm this week! We had a lake outside our apartment! It was really beautiful.