Tuesday, November 21, 2017
The Utah Salt Lake City South Mission is the best mission ever. There are lots of reasons why, but this week in particular we had the privilege of meeting and listening to the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: President Russell M. Nelson. !!!! It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. We got to sit in the very front row of the chapel and just watching him and his wife speak with such power was truly inspiring. Whenever he made eye contact with me it felt like he was looking into my soul. Hah it was way cool. We heard from him and his wife and also President Craig Christensen (of the presidency of the first Quorum of the 70) and his wife, and Elder Warner (area 70) and his wife.
We received so much revelation for our investigators and less-active members! Sister Nelson’s talk especially taught me so much. Something I really loved that she said is that we don’t believe in sprinkling water for baptism, we believe in being baptized by immersion just like Jesus Christ. She said that because we do that covenant by immersion, we should strive throughout our whole lives to live our covenants by immersion as well! Just “sprinkling” our lives with a little bit of the Gospel will not change or convert us. We need to be fully immersed all the time!!
She also invited us to pray not to find people that are ready to accept the gospel but instead to find those whose ancestors have already received the gospel in the next life and are waiting for their ordinance work to be done! I love that!
I very much enjoyed President Nelson’s emphasis on the Book of Mormon as well. We talked about how different our lives would be without the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the Gospel. I love that book and it’s power is so real! Most importantly, it helps us understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Did you know that the entire Bible only mentions the word “Atonement” once? And that the Book of Mormon says it 39 times?? I am so thankful for that knowledge of the Savior’s sacrifice for me. Sister Nelson also invited us to do something called the 30-day challenge with the Book of Mormon. She told us to start everyday in a kneeling prayer and to thank God for that book. She then said to ask God a specific question in that prayer and then to just open up the Book of Mormon anywhere and start reading. She promised us that it won’t take us very long to find an answer! And then when we do find an answer, she told us to write down in a journal 1) the date 2) our question 3) where we found the answer to our question and 4) what the answer was. She said that it’s important to put where we found our answer because when we go back and read it again sometime it most likely won’t teach us the same thing! That’s the power of the Spirit and the Book of Mormon, folks. Read it everyday and do that challenge with me!! I have seen it work already.
Sister Neuhaus and I have had a great week this week as well. We are so excited for the holiday season and all of the service projects and teaching opportunities we’ve planned for investigators and less-actives and even active members!! We had an amazing miracle this week as well. On Friday the Spirit lead us straight to a new investigator! Her name is Leilani and she is in her 60s we think. When she opened the door she was a little hesitant at first, but then let us inside right away and told us about all of the miracles she has seen and that she’s looking for a purpose in life! She has had some near-death experiences and has lost many loved ones, but she was very open to learning about the Plan of Salvation and she really wants an eternal family. The Spirit was so strong and she accepted a Book of Mormon and we taught her how to pray and she is so excited to learn more! The coolest part about this miracle is that her nextdoor neighbor who is a very active member had just started teaching her about family history work and does it with her all the time, so when we heard Sister Nelson’s talk the day after we were so excited that we found someone who has ancestors waiting for her!!
Transfers are also this week and Sister Neuhaus and I are staying together in Riverton!!! WOOO!! This is going to be another super fun transfer— we are so excited!
at 8:09:00 AM
Monday, November 13, 2017
It has been a crazy but great week :) I’ll do another highlight reel today because there was so much!
Normal p-day, we went to Costco, bought some peppermint chocolate-covered almonds (10/10 definitely recommend), and we played flag football as a district! I think I sent pictures of that last week though.
An awesome miracle we saw was when we went to go visit a less-active family named the Haaga’s. A couple weeks ago their bishop gave us their name as a referral and we were finally able to contact them about a week ago. It was honestly amazing and a miracle how we were able to gain the mother’s trust right from the beginning— that was defintely the Spirit softening her heart! She told us straight up that she has met a lot of missionaries but we were the first ones that she actually liked. She invited us back for this week to meet her husband which was a pretty big deal considering he is practically anti now and extremely introverted. Well, this week we went over and the husband was hesitant to meet us at first but he also opened up right away and you could literally see his attitude change in a matter of minutes. It was in God’s plan that we were able to meet them!! They also have two unbaptized children so we are hoping to start teaching them soon!
We had interviews with President and Sister Lansing! I love them to death. They’re so great and they told us about all of the upcoming events for our mission this holiday season and we are super pumped!! I think we will be meeting like five general authorities in the next two months :D
We had a zone meeting and Sister Neuhaus and I gave our first training together/it was her first training in a zone meeting! #crushedit Alsooo during that meeting they trained us on how to use Facebook....... yes, it’s official, we are a Facebook mission now. We really haven’t done that much with it except clean it up haha but in the future once we figure out how to use it better it will be a great tool in missionary work. So, just so you all know, I cannot chat or video chat with anyone even on p-day and I won’t be doing much on Facebook besides posting inspirational things about the Gospel :) Entonces please don’t tag me in things :))) thanks!!
We taught Tyler! He is my favorite little friend ever. He is so prepared and it kills me because he wants to learn so much and has a sincere desire to do what’s right, but his mom is super over-protective and won’t let him go to church. We brought a boy his age with us to this lesson (who was on his football team and is the Bishop’s son) and he even invited Tyler to church but Tyler’s mom still said no... We’ll keep working on him! Please pray for his family!!
Haha so awkward story... So the other day we got a referral from our Stake Relief Society President of a less-active family next door. We went over, not sure what to expect, and they let us inside right away. So far so good! Then we start talking and getting to know them and after a little while we asked if we could share a scripture with them. Well, at this point we still weren’t really sure if they were less-active members or not. We could tell that they were members but we couldn’t quite figure out all the details so as I was explaining the background of the scripture I was just like “this is the story of Alma the Younger....you’re familiar with that story right??” Hahah trying so hard to figure out where they’re at and they just nodded their heads so we kept going and after that scripture they immediately testified and shared experiences from past missions and told us that they have three friends that aren’t members and asked if they could have some Books of Mormon to give them! Hah we were so confused like how are these people so strong but less-active?? And then they mentioned that they had just returned from a month-long vacation in Europe.... (we didn’t tell them this) but their neighbors thought they went less-active because they were on vacation for so long!!! Hahah ah it was hilarious, you had to be there.
Saturday morning I fell off my bike for probably the 10th time hahaha the struggle is real. But still no broken bones! (Knock on wood) I have a nice bruise on my knee and thigh and arm though so that’s good. That was also super awkward because there was a car behind us on the road (just in the neighborhood, don’t worry mom) so the whole reason I fell over was because I was trying to move out of the way to get on the sidewalk and I totally biffed it.... and then the car behind us didn’t even stop to help hahah they just looked out the window and stared at us lol
Church was all about missionary work!!! It was the best!! We went to primary, multiple relief societies, sacrament meeting, and gospel principles all in different wards! Sundays are the best. We also had our weekly English class with the Portuguese family in one of our wards and they are my favorite people. Hahaha they are so funny and have been teaching us some Portuguese too! :))
This week in my personal studies I have been reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish. I absolutely love 2 Nephi 27-29 about the profecies of our day—they are all currently being fulfilled!! It amazes me how people can’t see that sometimes. I love the Book of Mormon and I know that it is true. I love reading it everyday and I love continuing to receive that confirmation of its truthfulness from the Holy Ghost.
Also this week I hit my one year mark in the field!! Wow, time flies :( But it has been absolutely incredible and I have really changed and learned so much since then :)
Love you all!!!
at 5:52:00 PM
Monday, November 6, 2017
Haha I pick up accents so quickly— Sister Neuhaus has already got me saying “y’all” and “ma’am” and “sir” lol. Also yesterday we were teaching a Brazilian family in our ward some English and the mom asked me if Spanish was my first or second language...haha either she doesn't understand Spanish very well or I haven’t completely lost my accent yet! Hahah I still get asked where my accent is from though. Also I feel like I’ve developed a Utah accent as well so I guess I just speak really weird in general... the family has something to look forward to at Christmas now haha
This week was super great! Life is great!! First of all, happy Halloween! Going to the Draper Temple on Tuesday was such a blast!! We got to do baptisms and confirmations for the dead and it was really fun because we went through one time and we finished super early so we got to do it again! I love the temple so much :))
We have seen a lot of miracles this week! We have been able to gain the trust of a lot more members and motivate them to do member-missionary work! It’s been a little slow getting them fired-up, but Sister Neuhaus and I have the faith and determination to turn this stake around so we are brainstorming all of the possible ways to do so! We also picked up two new investigators on Thursday! We were promised by the zone leaders that we would find a new investigator if we talked to everyone and taught when we found specifically that day and we came across many close calls, but it wasn’t until the very last door we knocked on that they opened up and let us in right away. We had prayed to know where to go that night and the Spirit directed us straight to them! We taught their two kids and they are super sweet but their parents are very less active so we will be working hard with that family to reactivate all of them. :) But the best part is that one of the kids is 9 years old and he had never prayed before and when we taught him how to pray he was so excited that, after the lesson was done, he ran upstairs to go pray some more so that he could feel God’s love. God’s love is real, people!!
We have seen a lot of little personal tender mercies this week. I think two or three times someone pulled over while we were walking or biking somewhere just to tell us how awesome we are and how much they appreciate us <3 it was so sweet! Also yesterday in testimony meeting at church we got to bear our testimonies (which doing so is a little scarier when there are like 400 members in the ward lol) but afterwards a lot of people came up to us to thank us for it and how it changed their perspective on missionary work or how they received revelation for someone they can give a Book of Mormon to or little things like that! Super sweet. I love this stake!!
I want to share part of that testimony with you all as well! It stems from Mosiah 28:3 which says, “Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any souls should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.” We should be so excited to share the gospel with everyone we meet just like the sons of Mosiah because everyone deserves that opportunity of salvation and hope through Jesus Christ and God loves ALL of His children!
This week in my studies I have been reading Joseph Smith-History and the talk by Elder Christofferson called “Why the Church.” I loved learning even more about Joseph’s determination and testimony- it gives me chills every time. That talk by Elder Christofferson is also incredible! I love the points he makes about the importance of organized church and that we go to church because we love God and to keep our covenants and not because of the cultural or social aspects. We have met way too many people this week (and in my whole mission) that think the Church is just a culture and not religion, but they need to understand that it is so much more! It’s an obligation to God! We need the Church and we need Him!!
Also fun facts: we played flag football as a district today which was fun! I’ll add pics. #gobucks And the activity day girls from one of our wards surprised us with little baskets of goodies! It was super cute! OH and today we have an FHE with a member family and we get to do tim-tam slams!!! #shoutouttoMegandPops
Aaaand it lowkey snowed this morning!!!! Haha I’m so excited but not because that means we’ll be walking instead of biking soon but oh well it was a great start to the day. It wasn’t real snow, though, it was like raining slush...but close enough :D
LOVE YOU ALL!!!
at 5:21:00 PM
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Sorry this week the email will be short because we have had a busy day. But some highlights from the week!
SULPICIO GOT BAPTIZED!!
wooooo! It was so great. I gave a talk on baptism and let me just testify real quick of the gift of tongues because it is so real. I was kind of nervous since I haven’t spoken that much Spanish for a little while, but it all came back no problem so that was nice :) Also I got to FaceTime Hermana Alvarado!!! She’s so cute and doing really well :) she’s teaching Spanish to Americans that go to the Guatemala MTC!
#shoutout to the Zuskinds who sent me Canadian candy for Halloween! It was so good!!
I also got to share some of it at one of our ward trunk or treat parties :) we thought we were funny and parked our bikes there and put candy in my basket to give out to people haha it was fun.
We also had exchanges this week with our sister training leaders and I was with Hermana Villaroman! She is serving in English now too and she is my stl so that was fun :)
Sister Neuhaus also taught me how to make an ice cream cake and we made it for one of the elders’ birthdays! It was legit. Also we had a surprise party as a district for him so that was fun!
Today for our zone activity we had a little Halloween party! We did relay races and our district won by a long shot which was fun haha also Sister Neuhaus and I made lit costumes: the Bible and Book of Mormon! It was her MTC teacher’s idea lol it was a hit
And tomorrow for Halloween we get to do work for the dead! We are going to do baptisms for the dead at the temple!! I’m so excited.
Our area is doing super well! It was kind of a rough start whitewashing, but we have seen soooo many miracles and we are killin it! We are excited to keep working hard with patience to continue seeing those fruits of our labors :)
This week we have been teaching a lot of “CPR.” CPR means church, prayer, and read. Just like CPR can save physical lives, going to church, praying, and reading the scriptures saves our spiritual lives. Everyday we run into people that are returned missionaries, retired temple workers, high priests, people that once had a testimony and were active members of the Church but have ceased to do the basics and no longer have a testimony as a result. Because this is such a common issue we have been stressing to EVERYONE the importance of reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and church attendance. When you stop doing those three things you lose an essential foundation of your testimony! Never stop reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and going to church!!
That’s all the time I have for now but I love you all!!!
at 4:37:00 PM