My dearest and loveliest family!!
Hello hello my loves!!! SOO as you can tell from the subject of this
email, this past week was a week FULL of miracles!!! They were never
ending!! So before I get to talking about all of the miracles that
have occurred... I have arrived in Orland!! Oh yes. So we cover many
different areas here. We cover Chico (we have Spanish Elders there
too), Willows, Hamilton City, Corning (there are Spanish Elders there
too) and Orland, where we live!! Orland is teeny tiny but anyways...
We have a lot of area to cover - meaning we have A LOT of work to do!!
But I am finally here! With mi compañera Hermana Lee and things are
1. MIRACLE #1 ...we went and taught the most amazing
lady named Maria del Carmen Gonzalez. Well anyways, she is amazing. So
we went over, she fed us lunch and then we had a lesson with her.
Well, since it was my first time meeting her, I took full advantage of
the situation and asked her what all she has learned from the
Hermanas, what she thought of it all, told her of our purpose, brought
up baptism... and then I had us read Alma 34:32 "For behold, this life
is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of
this life is the day for men to perform their labors." ... After this
I asked her what she felt she could do to prepare to meet God RIGHT
NOW and she said with a big smile on her face, "SER BAUTIZADA!!!" ...
BE BAPTIZED!!!! Haha this answer couldn't have made me any happier. We
then told her about a baptism happeningand she smiled and
said she would be there!! She then said she wanted to come to church
and went and grabbed a new dress she bought that she wanted to wear to
church. Haha and I then started to tell her something else, (wanting
to put her on date) and she said, "I need to wear white??" and went to
put her dress away and Hermana Lee said, "Do we need to inform her
that it isn't HER baptism???" Hahaha and then when she
came back, we talked about baptism a bit more and then I committed her
to be baptized onand she agreed with again, a huge smile
on her face and said, "lo pondré en mi calendario!" ... "I'll put it
on my calendar!" Soo we have a baptism!!! And to be
completely honest, I think we may be able to push it a week earlier.
Because.... NEXT miracle.
2. MIRACLE #2 ... Maria came to all 3 hours of church!! Wearing her
new dress and the biggest smile on her face. She looked BEAUTIFUL and
loved every minute of church!!! She was saying hello to EVERYONE,
smiling away introducing herself, during both classes she was sharing
comments the entire time... haha she talked A LOT but it was great!
And she wants to come to the relief society activity this week...
everything. Amazing. And she was carrying around her Book of Mormon
the whole time just loving life. It was so awesome!
3. MIRACLE #3 MIRACLE #4 MIRACLE #5, etc..... hahaha TOO MANY
MIRACLES!!! So after church we had a baptism for an 8 year old in the
branch and anyways, we invited everyone including our most progressing
investigators including: Maria (the one on date) ... Cecilia and her
two daughters Adriana y Andrea and then Amparo, her husband Rafael and
their 3 kids. Well anyways, Cecilia apparently has attended a baptism
before and LOVED it and then Amparo and her family have never attended
a baptism or church or anything... nada... And anyways, Maria stayed
after church for the baptism which was a MIRACLE and she was soo
excited to watch & witness one. Then in walked Cecilia and her two
daughters.... HUGE MIRACLE!!! We were already so excited. And THEN a
little bit later... in walked Amparo, Rafael and their three kids...
THE ENTIRE FAMILY came!!!! Another GIGANTIC MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So
ALL of the people we REALLY wanted to come to the baptism, CAME. And
last minute we were asked to do a presentation while the little girl
was changing and so Hermana Lee & I taught the Restoration. Which I
was soo excited to do. It was perfect because we had soo many of our
investigators there and a few potentials as well. Including a lady
named Patricia who is family with a member. She was at all of church
too. So the Restoration is the perfect thing for them all to hear. Soo
amazing!!! So anyways. I am so happy I can't wipe the smile of my
face!!!!!!! I don't know if I have ever witnessed so many miracles all
at once!!! Heavenly Father truly is POURING out blessings upon us
right now and I couldn't be happier about it. We had such wonderful
lessons with all of these people as well this past week and wonderful
fact, Rafael - Amparo's husband... has never listened in on a lesson
before but when we were teaching her the other day we watched the 20
minute video on the Restoration and he came home from work, hurried
and changed out of his dirty clothes, and then came and sat down and
watched half of the video with us. And the miracle about that was he
started watching RIGHT as it was leading up into the First Vision. So
he made it JUST in time. That was no coincidence. He loved it too but
is still trying to understand why he would have to be baptized again.
(I was on a roll inviting everyone to be baptized the first time I met
them... I am taking full advantage of being the new missionary on the
block haha) and Amparo started teaching him why... we don't even have
her on date yet but she is progressing so much. Also, she told us to
pray for her to receive an answer about the Restoration, Joseph Smith,
the Book of Mormon, baptism, etc... so we are DEFINITELY doing that!!!
And then after the baptism we had a dinner and after they all
finished eating, Amparo had me sit by her and we talked for a minute.
She started whispering to me about some stuff but I couldn't fully
understand her... seemed like important information though because she
started off telling me how she had been praying & praying to God and
asking him about everything since that's what we invited her to do.
But then people kept interrupting us and there was a lot of noise
around us so she asked if we could meet with herand she
would tell us everything she was feeling then. And then while I was
talking to her, Hermana Lee supposedly was talking to her husband
Rafael and set up an appointment to meet with the entire family on
tell us and what she is feeling but I have a feeling I am going to
like what I am going to hear!!!!!!!! Also, she told me how she was
heading to Chico with her family to go to the store when she
remembered about the baptism so she turned around and they all
came!!!! MIRACLE!!!! Also, her and Cecilia are friends!! Which makes
it all the better. I am almost positive if one of them decides to be
baptized, the other will join right along. MIRACLE AFTER MIRACLE I
TELL YOU!!!!!!!!!! Also, Maria acted like a member during the dinner
afterwards. She was helping clean up, etc. and was just talking with
everyone. So cute too.. when she was leaving she kissed my cheek and
said, "I love you!" She is amazing!!! Haha I asked her after the
baptism if she still wanted to be baptized and she said, "Ohhh
si!!!!!!!" Hahaha she sure does! I love it! Cecilia and her daughters
loved the baptism too. I am excited to talk to more about it with them
all this upcoming week!
4. MIRACLE #6 ... so there is an amazing family and they probably are
the strongest link in the tiny Chico branch... The Whitaker family...
the wife, Liliana is from Mexico and then her husband is from here and
he served his mission in Mexico. They met at BYU and anyways, they are
DARLING and so awesome. Well anyways, their friend wanted us
missionaries to meet her friend Maria and her fiancé (who is a member
- less-active) so they arranged a dinner at the Whitakers for us
missionaries to meet them and what not. Well crazy fact,
after our "Meet the President" conference, I'll talk about that in a
minute... We decided to tract a little bit. Well, we decided to tract
a trailer park and about the 4th door we knocked we ran into a darling
girl named Maria. Well it didn't take long of us to realize she was
the Maria we were having dinner with the next night!!! Is that a
MIRACLE or what!?! That is no coincidence I'll tell you that much. And
anyways, she is sooo cute and we had a lot of fun with her the next
night as well. We haven't been able to teach her a whole lot yet but
she told us she loves how our church really focuses on and places
importance on families. And at dinner her fiancé was AWESOME and
talking about all his memories in the church in Mexico City, his
sister went to Benemerito where the CCM is... so that was fun to talk
about!! And anyways, we want to work on them a lot and get him
re-activated, them married, her baptized and then them both to the
TEMPLE!!! But anyways, pretty fun miracle.
5. MIRACLE #7 ... After the baptism last night we decided to contact a
few formers and we happened to choose one of the homes of a members
family! The Jaime family. Interesting fact, their son Mauricio is the
only member in their family and he is a member of the Branch
presidency and was the one who performed the baptism earlier that day.
He is sooo awesome, served a mission, was married in the temple,
everything... and anyways, we found his family and they are amazing!!!
They are Catholic but loved talking with us, even are happy to listen
to our messages and we had so much fun with them! After we talked with
them for a bit and shared some scriptures with them as well, they
invited us to join them for dinnernight!! So we will be
eating with them and I am so excited. I hope they find the truth & joy
that comes from the gospel like their son has!!!!
6. Okay and then we, again, had our "Meet the President" conference!!
I have officially met President Marston!! Crazy!! He is super
different than President Weston but I love him so much already. It is
clear he is brand new to the field too because he more relaxed, loves
cracking jokes and is just still trying to get things figured out...
But he is full of kindness & love and I love him so much!!! And his
wife is super darling. They are wonderful!! The whole change is pretty
crazy but I am very happy and excited to get to know these wonderful
people more. We got to learn all about their lives as well and
President Marston's life was a lot crazier than I expected! He was
born in Hof, Germany to a poor little German couple, they ended up
giving him to an American couple who was in Germany at the time...
they ended up being from Utah and members of the Church. So him and
his twin were raised in Utah!! Ogden I believe?? He served his mission
in Taiwan, married his girlfriend quite quickly after he returned home
(they were engaged after only 2 weeks!!) and then they had 4 daughters
together. His first wife then happened to pass away while giving birth
to their last daughter. His now current wife then first saw him at the
hospital when she was visiting his sister-in-law ... due to the
tragedy of her sister and anyways, long story short.... they later
fell in love and got married and had two children of their own!!!!
Very crazy, right?? This life is full of twists & turns! But when he
was telling his entire life story I had chills and he is already
someone I admire very much. Pretty awesome. He was super fun to meet
face to face as well. And speaking of mission presidents... I am sooo
happy some of you were able to make it to President Weston's
homecoming. I miss that man so much. I can imagine his talk was
amazing!!! I would have loved to be there. The Weston's mean so much
7. We went to Lincoln this past week for a baptism for Hermana Lee!!
And I got to see Hermana Piggott!! My favorite person in the world.
Ah, I adore & love her so much. We realized that might have been the
last time we'll see each other in the field too, which made me quite
sad, but I love her more than I can explain and will see her the
minute I get home!!!!!
Well I love you all sooo much and want you to know how much I love my
Heavenly Father, my Savior, Jesus Christ, His wonderful gospel and the
opportunity I have to serve Him all day every single day. For the past
long while I have been really focusing on giving myself up completely
to The Lord, doing all I can to turn my will over to him and work my
absolute hardest. There is nothing more rewarding. I love this work.
I am the happiest and my heart is full of sooo much joy, love & gratitude.
Con mucho amor,