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!! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment