Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Probably my BEST SUNDAY so far!!

Hi familia and amigos!!!
This has been a great week and I have tons of fun stories for you all!!..especially you Hermana Brundage.. you are going to DIE at these updates!! Well we spent the first part of the week just tracting and I thoguht I was going to die from tracting the same appartment complexes for six weeks straight then it was like as we started driving around new apartment complexes were popping out of no where. We have found some really good places to tract that are really densely populated with hispanics and haven't been knocked much... We met some really great families and my week this week is filled with appointment with them so I pray they go somewhere. We are teaching a recent convert named Stacy Martinez who didn't really know much when she was baptized but it is amazing everytime we teach her she gets more and more and longs to learn. this week we taught her an awesome lesson about the five steps in the gospel.. faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and endure to the end and we centered it around the atonement. I have never felt the spirit so strong in a lesson and the light went on in her head... she talked about how pure she felt at her baptism and then when we explain the holy ghost she was like.. "oh that's what they is?" then told us amazing stories about feeling the holy ghost in her life. i was hoping she would come to church this week since she has been in the hospital with some sort of flu... kinda like swine flu but she didn't show up to church yesterday because her boyfriend was in town from San Antonia.. so I've gotta get her there next sunday.
Friday and Sunday were the best days of the week though!! On Friday we started the day off with a interviews with President Smith and Training from him, Sister Smith, and the Zone leaders which was amazing. My interview with President Smith was such a boost for me... he has such confidence in me and when I talk to him I feel like I can reach the potential he thinks I can.. it was really good but kinda confusing at the same time because I guess in Hermana Medlyn's interview he asked her how she felt about doing English work and talked about doing mid transfer changes because she had been praying about it or something and in my interview said that this "experience" might be even shorter than I expect... so who knows, but Hermana Medlyn and I are actually doing pretty okay now... we are starting to figure out how to work together and I have grown in the last two weeks in ways I wouldn't have without this situation so I am actually realy thankful for it! The training we had was more like our mission council training about focusing on getting member to help "friendship" our investigators and creating the best experience for them possible. I love trainings because I get new ideas and get to see areas i can improve as a missionary. I also told President and Sister smith all about Mark coming in and they were super excited!! He wasn't on their list yet or new missionaries but they should be getting an updated one in a couple weeks... President Smith also wanted to know if Mark and his family were related to Derek or Wayne Metcalf from up north.. I guess Wayne was President Smith's old mission companion and good friend...just wondering.. but they are super excited to meet him. I talked him up so he better get ready!!
Right after training I got permission to go the Dallas Temple to the sealing of a family in our ward named Familia Corona... they were inactive for a long time and their daughter was just baptized in February.. they got sealed without two of their kids but it was still beautiful and my first sealing with kids involved.... This family is known as the " Missionary Family" and has pictures of missionaries hanging all over their living room... like shrines of missionaries... ha ha well there were 16 missionaries in the sealing... it was crazy. Then they took us to dinner afterwards. It was amazing thought inside the temple how much I thought about our family, we never went through that experience because thankfully mom and dad have lived worthy of their convenants but it really hit me that we are get to live together FOREVER!!! I can't wait.. thanks mommy and daddy for being married in the temple, for being worthy so I can have that amazing gift!!
Sunday was an amazing day though... we had SIX investigators at church!!! Hermana Medlyn was playing the piano for Sacrament meeting so it was up to me to get them all settled.. i dont think i've ever been so stressed and nervous in my life. We started teaching a family again that Hermana Brundage and I dropped because she was too sick and would never keep our appointments... her names is Maria Rico.. her daughters name is Maria Rico and she brought her nephew Hector Rico. Hermana Rodriguez, the Relief Society President who is AMAZING, picked them up for church, sat by them during sacrament meeting, took the kids to their classes, introduce Maria to friends to take her to class and relief society.. I didnt' even have to worry about her.. that is what fellowshipping should be, I couldn't have been happier. After Church I asked her how she felt and she loved it.. her little girl ran up to me after primary so exicited she had met two new friends and proudly said, "I now know how to PRAY!!", the nephew told me about the stuff he learned about Jesus Christ... it was so cool!!!
The other investigator that came to church.. (ready to freak out Hermana Brundage!!!) was EDUARDO HERNANDEZ!!!! He is the miracle man that Hermana Brundage and I found over a month and a 1/2 ago and he disappeared and Hermana Brundage saw him again the week before she left while she was on exchanges... well we went and taught him on the Fourth of July (Dad Hispanics don't really ever need a reason to have parties.. so they party just because its a holiday more than the celebrate the actual holiday i think!! ha ha) and during his lesson we talked about the Plan of Salvations and the steps to reach the celestial kingdom... he told us that he wants to be baptized and has wanted to since he went to the baptism he just feels like he is on the step of faith right now.... and wants to feel it more in his heart before he gets baptized. So i commited him like twelve times to come to church and started my fast that night that he would recieve his strong anwswer at church the next day.
Well he showed up to church on Sunday and i was SOOOOOOOOO excited to see him walk in the door I focused all my attention on him and forgot I was suppose to be waiting for antoher investigator named Hugo Garcia. Well I sat Eduardo next to a younger man in the ward and was explaining about Fast and Testimony meeting when Hugo walks in with the other elders and they set him on the other side of the member!! I explained everything to Eduardo as we went through the meeting and cute little kids bore their testimonies and the other testimonies were perfect and not about Crazy doctrines which i was happy... we read scriptures during sacrament, sang all the songs and even during Gospel Principle class he was flipping to the scriptures, participating... it was amazing. He went to Priesthood then after Priesthood I invited him to this testimony meeting/dinner thing with all the single adults in the ward and the missionaries since we were going there for dinner... it started at five and I didn't think he would come but I invited him anyway...(to be continued)back to Sacrament meeting... Hugo came to Sacrament meeting and sat by the member and I had asked the member previously to explain the sacrament and everythign to him... well he wasn't and I thought Hugo was completely confused and didn't like sacrament and I was really stressed when he just walked out after Sacrament and didn't come talk to us... After Sacrament meeting Elder Kelly our Zone leader comes up to us is like.. "So I was standing in the foyer and all of a sudden this male model with muscles buldging is walking down the hall and walks up to me asking where Hermana Barbie (that is what everyone calls me) is... ha ha.. where do you Hermanas go tracting anyway??" I was laughing so hard.. it's not our fault if they are the only ones who will listen to us!!! But anyway we called Hugo after church to see where he went and why he ran off.. and he told us he thought it was over but loved it... then he asked how you tell the difference between missionarys and members they were all in white shirts and ties and skirts... so we explained... then we told him visitors are always welcome and he asked how he can become not a visitor so we gladly explained baptism.. he have two appointments with him this week!!
Back to Eduardo.. So we are sitting at the single adults testimony meeting and he wasn't there so I didn't think he was going to show up.. then he walks in the door about ten minutes after it started.. at the very end of the meeting the people on either side of him had already bore their testimony and so Eduardo was like, "Well i guess it is my turn!!" I was SHOCKED!!! since this was the first time he had come to church adn around these people.... well my state of shocked turned into panic as he went off for 15 mintues telling these people a story i didn't really understand but I did understand the words tomar (to drink), embarressado (pregnant), policia (police), and matar (to kill!!)... yep don't even worry about it.. I was FREAKING OUT IN MY SEAT!!! and on top of that he was bawling... I didnt know what to do. Then after he was done everyone in the meeting welcomed him and told him he was right where he needed to be and Hermano Magana shared a powerful scripture about Jesus Christ being the only way to overcome his pain.. I guess the story he told was about him changing his life from being an alcoholic, a lady he was dating that was pregnant then her ex-husband came adn killed her two kids and how much pain he has been through and how he is ready to change his life. Then at the end of the story he said he has gone to many churches and didn't like them and now he has finally found a place he likes and feels welcome. He then sat and ate with everyone and when we left he was still there making friends.. I feel like my fast was definitely answered!!! He is not only spiritually converted but also socially converted... and after that meeting Hermano Magana the first counselor came up to us and said... He's ready to be baptized!! and I agree... he is amazing. The Lord really prepares people for us and I am seeing mircales in this area sprout up left and right I am I have felt joy this week that I have NEVER experienced in my life... yes the work is hard, yes I am exhausted, but Sunday made everything I've gone through, sacrificed, or lack of sleep so worth it!!
I hope you are all happy.. I hope Jule's birthday was wonderful.. and Thanks mom for the shirts they all fit AMAZING... and they are so cute. You are so good at shopping for me now mom!! I am the most stylish missionary out here.. ha ha.. love you.. and dad about your new grill and BBQ.. i'm so jealous I keep looking for that amazing Texas BBQ everyone talks about and can't find anything better than yours!! love you all and miss you!! please keep writing me!!
Con amor,
Hermana Barber!!!

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