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Monday, June 29, 2015

It was only 100 Degrees

Family,

It sounds like you had an awesome trip! I'm glad you all had fun.

This week was unexciting. Except for Thursday. It was only 100 degrees. Maybe 106. But nice and cool.

We had exchanges this week. I stayed in the area with Sister DF. She was called Spanish! So that was cool. Except the only things we did in Spanish were one short member visit and one street contact in Spanish. I waited a year to have an exchange where my STL could actually help me teach better and we didn't even teach a lesson. So ya.

The P ward (they are the Spanish ward right above us) invited us to an activity they had. It was super cool!. It was a Viaje (vacation) a Hawaii. They taught the plan of salvation and then ended with a Luau! So they waited in the chapel, watching Mormon messages and then we took them out in tour groups. (Some were English and some were Spanish, apparently they invited English wards too.) We took them down the hallway and stopped and some pictures of the creation and explained the creation. Then we stopped and talked about the Restoration, and then the Atonement. They then entered the airplane. They watched the safety video, took off, and crashed and died. Then an angel came in and told them someone (I couldn't hear what they said) but we lead them out of the airplane and talked about the Resurrection and took them to three different rooms, the three kingdoms of glory. After explaining each room we asked them "do you want to live here?" and the answer of course for the first two were, no! After the celestial room (which mimicked a celestial room in the temple) we had them close their eyes and think of someone who they want to be in the Celestial kingdom with them. Then we had them give us their information! From there they went to Hawaii, learned how to do the hula and the haka and ate some food! Yay!

I've read the talk "Qualifications for the Work" given in the MTC in like the 80's this week. SOOOOO GOOD. I'm like I've been doing missionary work wrong for the past year. I've started applying it and I've seen miracles. No new investigators yet, but some pretty awesome street contacts. It's probably been because I think we've talked to like three hispanics this week.   

I also read "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox this week. Read it: https://www.lds.org/youth/article/his-grace-is-sufficient?lang=eng I didn't understand grace until I read that talk. It uses the example of a mom paying for piano lessons for her kid to explain grace. The mom is paying for the lessons so she can ask something of her kid, right? Like, "practice, practice, practice." When the kid practices, he doesn't pay his mom back, or pays the teacher. No, but by doing so he becomes a pianist. His mom paid for it because she wants him to live life better. That's how grace is. Christ has paid for our piano lessons, and he wants us to practice so that we can live life better.  Us obeying his commandments doesn't pay back justice, it doesn't pay him back, it allows us to live life better. The question shouldn't be, are you saved by grace? but are you changed by grace? I've probably botched explaining this, but the important part is that everyone will be resurrected and return to God's presence, but if we don't use Christ's grace to change us, we won't feel comfortable in His presence, and then we won't stay there.

We did a blitz for some elders in our district (aka we went and worked in their area for two hours) which was cool. Literally and figuratively. It was the only 100 degree day. We got to talk to some not interested but nice white people. Yay!

We street contacted an English member that told us two interesting things:

-the English elders are poaching all the Spanish people!
-And he works at a lasertag/putt putt gold place and can get us in for really cheap! --that's going to be our p day activity

If you can't tell, I've been avoiding mentioning anything about lessons, because we didn't have any this week. We said a prayer with someone, and she said we could come back. But that was it. All of our investigators fell off the face of the planet and we cannot find anyone new. Except for our ray of sunshine: R.

This week we found R (well, we didn't find him. Our recent convert found him). He's super awesome. He's the boyfriend of a recent convert in our branch and has come to church twice, self-assigned himself reading in the Book of Mormon, and went to a ward activity. And we haven't even taught him anything yet!

We found S (the recent convert) again. However, he didn't come to church. Which is sad. And ridiculous! We don't know why he didn't show up. But we love going over and teaching him because he's awesome. And sometimes his little brother J is there and he tries to be like S so much and it's just too cute. 

Love you!


Hermana Leete

Monday, June 22, 2015

So What did I do this past Year?

Jessica! (And everyone else, because this is going to be the big letter for the week.)

We had a giant Spanish Family History Fair this week. It was for the entire valley and was all in Spanish! So it was super cool. They had people come down from Salt Lake to help us out. The members loved it. Except we only had about 100 people show up. But the ones that were there loved it! We had a training the day before so that we could help the people at the fair. I learned so much. I used to think that my family history was all done, that I couldn't do anything else. Oh boy was I wrong! I learned how to use the documents to look up more people, how to put pictures and things up. I'm so excited to do family history! In either six months or when I get an ipad.

So this is how it was set up. The first bit we had a key note presentation from Brother Soria (he works for Family Search) about turning our hearts to the fathers. He said that it really didn't matter how many names we can find, what matters is that our hearts turn.

From there the people who have never done family history went to a room to start their Mi Familia (My Family) booklet that asks for information about relatives and stories about them. From there, they make their account, learn about indexing, and how to find more names if they are stuck. They could also scan photos and learn how to put those and other documents online and connect it with people. It was super cool.

Yes, it is true, this Thursday I will have been on my mission for exactly a year.

So what did I do this past year?

I helped 11 people choose to be baptized: N, N, B, E, I, E, D, M, J, G, S.

I've biked in the heat and in the cold. I've been scared to talk to people. I've talked to a lot of people. I learned (well, am learning) and new language. I've had 7 different companions and 5 different areas (that's including the CCM). I've served in two branches and one ward. 9 transfers. 3 zones. 

I'm officially an experienced missionary. I really don't feel that experienced.

It was really hot this week. But we're not letting that stop us! 

M S got baptized this week. She's 8 years old. Her family is less active, but they are working on coming back to church. At least the mom is. We've been working with them for a while now, so we got to go to the baptism. It was very nice. Later that day we were walking around and we found a member (in an English ward) and they were moving across the apartment complex. It was the hottest day thus far, but we stayed and helped them a bit. They really appreciated it. We were sad that we couldn't help more because we had to leave.

No one is outside. Not a single person. You can walk around for an hour and only talk to two people. It's just too hot. 

M is kind of frustrating because we just have to have patience with him. But I feel like our lessons really have no point. But we're working on that.

R is doing really awesome but she's not coming to church! She says every week that she'll come, but something happens every time! We suspect that father's day was the cause this week. But she needs to go to church!

So ya. That's our two investigators. Well, AP is new. We just taught her lesson 1. But we're not sure if she can read, so we'll have to figure something out about that.

I gave a training on charity and love at District Council this week. It was based around the thought that charity is consecration. The idea is that when you have charity, you think of others and not of yourself, and that is when you become a consecrated missionary. We even had a roleplay! I had them divide up in twos, and said, "tell your companion what you did yesterday, without saying the word 'I'". It was really hard! You had to say "we did this". I made the point that too often we think of ourselves when we tell our mission experiences, "I did this" but we should have never been alone on our missions, so it should never be "I" and it's that kind of "me" focus that keeps us from having charity. That's my problem. I'm so focused on myself that I can't help other people.

Anyway, that about sums up this week. I hope you can find a good roommate at Duke! You definitely want to be around good people, but don't forget, you can't do missionary work if you only are friends with members!

Hermana Leete 




Sister P thought it wasn't fair that moms got something on mothers day but dads not, so she took that picture for us. Thanks for the picture in return. It made us all laugh.




Monday, June 15, 2015

We aren't letting the heat stop us

Dear family and anyone else who reads this,

I love that third picture of Rachel. I think I need it for my wall.

This week we refound everybody! Yay! But they are still pretty cool, so that's ok. We haven't had a lesson with them yet, but we have appointments!

I talked to a lot of atheists this week. We had this really nice conversation with one of them. According to him, the purpose of life was to be happy, and we are happy when we are good people. But of course, there is nothing after this life, you just cease to exist. But to me, that world seems like a pleasure seeking world. Because, why be nice to anyone, because even though that might make them miserable now, it doesn't matter, because they and you, will just cease to exist. And if the point is to be as happy as possible, and religion makes you happy, then why not be religious? What would be the point of being atheist? Just to be right? BUT IT WOULDN'T MATTER. I don't know. I hope I'm not offensive or anything, I just don't understand.

M is doing pretty good. Really doesn't want a baptismal date, but as long as he's progressing, we'll teach him. So we'll see how long he takes.

M M is pretty cool. She was a member referral. Her son just died. We can only meet with her once a week though and this last time the member just talked for an hour straight . . . there's always next week right?

R and N are back! N just told us all about her trip to Columbia. She had a nice time with family.

We've been working with the less active S family for a while now. Their daughter just turned 8 so she is going to get baptized. We've been working with her and the mom. The dad and the older kid are never there when we come by. But M (the daughter) is going to be baptized this Saturday,  so we're going to the baptism. And we're going to sing at it. So we're doing a half Spanish half English version of "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." Our branch is doing the stake baptism this month so we wanted to sing at least a bit in Spanish, but most of the people there will be from English wards, so compromise!

It was totally crazy what happened with M. She has the HARDEST time focusing in our lessons, we try to keep them super simple and basic and short, but it like doesn't stick. But like a week ago she turned 8. We've had two lessons with her since then, and she totally gets what we are teaching and retains it. CRAZY. The church is true you guys.

It is officially over 100 degrees. That just means that everyone comes outside at 7:30 pm to walk their dogs, and everyone gives you water. Which is great, but it doesn't mean they are interested. But free water is always good. But we aren't letting the heat stop us from doing missionary work! We still go out and walk, we only bike after 6 o'clock though because we don't want to die (I feel so bad for the biking elders!) We don't hang out in the car. The second we park and say our prayer, we are out of the car! No waiting around and soaking in the AC. All the people are outside of the car not in it! 

Hermana G and J G are my favorite people in the world. They were less active but are fully active now. They both have callings and are in the temple prep class! J comes out with us all the time. It's super exciting to see the difference in their lives and how I feel like I'm actually making a difference. Like, we taught them about patriarchal blessings, and now J's getting hers. We talked about the temple, and now they are in the class! We are planning a temple trip to do baptisms for the dead, they are going to come. IT'S SO AWESOME. J had a day off of work and she told us she just studied the scriptures all day. She didn't mean to, she just did. She's awesome.


Anyway, I'm going to go bowling now. Hasta luego!


Hermana Leete

Monday, June 8, 2015

It Happened all of a Sudden

Woah. That doesn't even look like our backyard. Crazy.

CONGRATS RACHEL! 

So we had a baptism. It happened all of a sudden. We weren't really prepared for it. So what happened. His name is S. He was referred to us by his brother-in-law J C. He had a baptismal date for June 6 but he didn't go to church on Sunday so we had to move the date. But on Wednesday night (at approximately 8:45) J C called us and told us that all of S's family got Saturday off for the baptism and if we move the baptism they wouldn't be able to go so he wanted to know if we could get permission for him to be baptized on Saturday. That required calling President S and asking for permission. So we called President S but he didn't get back to us until the next day. He told us it was ok we just needed President P's (our branch president) permission. So as we were trying to get that all worked out, we were trying to find out if there was a chapel open. And NO ONE WAS GETTING BACK TO US. Anyway. It took us until Friday to get a place and a time. But the service was really nice, and there was a good turnout. Then on Sunday he went to the bathroom right as they were about to give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. We panicked for a moment, we didn't know where he went. But don't worry! He was confirmed. It was pretty cool.

R has a baptismal date! Awesome. That was totally 100% by the spirit getting her that. And watching the district. I improved my technique because we had just watched it like the day before. Go 12 week.

We got dropped again by N. This time she said she didn't have enough faith. We tried explaining that that was the reason we were there, to help her have more faith, but she didn't really respond. So we'll try her again in a couple of weeks. I am determined to baptize her. She needs it and can totally do it!

We didn't find anyone new this week. But that's ok. We'll get some next week.

This is what happens when you leave a Jesus Christ card in the window of your car for a couple of weeks.





Anyway, that's about it. Love you!

Hermana Leete

Monday, June 1, 2015

Don't Listen to Me. Ask God.

Buenas tardes!

In response to last week: Ya, we were hiding from a guy who proposed to Hermana H, and asked me out in Spanish. He didn't seem super happy when he was walking towards us. Hence the hiding in the car. There might have been so not-so-nice words said, but thankfully I didn't hear them.

That guy didn't let us do yard work for him and he wasn't there for the appointment. Well, someone was there, but they choose not to reveal themselves to us.

You know, I used to think (before YW) that senior quilt night was a night that you quilted with the seniors. Like the senior members of our ward. Don't worry. I've got that all straightened up now.

Now back to this week.

We got dropped by A. He had three doubts about our church, blacks and the priesthood, women and the priesthood, and tithing. He didn't show up for our appointment and then texted us saying that his focus right now was finding his new true love and starting a family and not finding a new faith. 

I feel like not a lot happened this week. Didn't really find a lot. Lost a couple of investigators. Our investigator that was going to get baptized the 6th didn't come to church so we're going to have to change his date. Our other investigator, M, has a conviction that this church is true but doesn't want a baptismal date. We're still working on trying to figure that one out.

It has hit 105 degrees. But honestly it's not that bad. But that's probably because we've got a car. And an extra hour of studies. Go twelve week! But honestly, I love doing twelve week. We get to focus on the basics. I've realized this week that I'm really bad at listening to people, and because of this I'm bad at following the spirit. How can I listen to the spirit but not to other people? Also, at the mission conference Elder Clarke mentioned that we shouldn't do object lessons. They have been proven just to confuse kids and that people only remember the objects and not the lesson. So I've stopped all that. And I love it! Lessons are so much more spiritual without that kind of distraction. They are also a lot more right to the point. And honestly, if you have to set tea bags on fire to get people's attention, they are probably not that interested or want to listen to the spirit. (By the way, I never did the faith rocket, it just sounded a lot better to say setting things on fire rather than stacking scriptures on knives and cups.) But anyway, sometimes we get so caught up in the pictures and the diagrams and all that stuff that we forget that what people are really looking for is the spirit. It's so easy to get distracted by the rock bands and the donkeys. But that's not fulfilling. I street contacted someone once and we asked what they liked about their church. It was so sad to hear that he talked about the pastor--how he rode a donkey and a harley (however you spell that type of motorcycle) up the aisle in his services. He didn't mention a thing about what he taught or the spirit or anything. I can't imagine that. I love telling people about our message. My favorite thing to tell people is this:

We aren't here to convince you of anything. We can't do that. We are here to share our message with you and to invite you to pray and ask God if it is true because God is the only one who can tell you if these things are true. And He will answer you, because he wants you to know what is the truth.

Anyway, that's my soapbox for the day. I love that people don't need to depend on us. And they shouldn't! I tell that to people daily. DON'T LISTEN TO ME. ASK GOD. 

This is our motto, it comes from 1 Nephi 21:10 "They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them."

This scriptures apply to every day life. Don't forget that.

We found L this week! She talks really really really fast. It was definitely a gift from God that I understood her. We  had like a 20 minute lesson with her about prophets. She didn't understand the need for a prophet a first (which doesn't make sense to me, like they're in the bible) but we read Amos 3:7 and she totally got it. So that was great.

We have come to the time a year where no one likes to wear clothes. Especially men. They don't like shirts. You would think they would put one on before they open the door, but no, they don't. It's really gross. I'm like, come on people! Do you know how many layers I'm wearing right now? A lot. That's what. Modest really is the hottest. But that's ok. Totally worth it. I totally got this heat.

T is a new investigator. We just knocked on his door, set up an appointment, came back, and taught lesson one. It was pretty cool. He seems really interested and open to learning. So that's pretty cool. Didn't come to church because he was calling Honduras, but we'll get him next week.

It's sad about L. Tom Perry. We'll miss him.

Love you guys! Que tengan una buena semana!


Hermana Leete

Three Generations