Monday, August 31, 2015

We can Endure all of our Trials

¡Hola! (Oh the fancy things you can do on iPads!)

Wow. Rachel D is married. Weird.

Sooooo the question of the week, what happened this week? I gave a talk in one of our wards. Here it is, for your reading pleasure (ignore all the comments in between quotes, I didn't really say them, I just kind of talked. But the quotes are the good part anyway):
Adversity Talk  Winterwood Aug 30

When I think of adversity, I think of enduring to the end. Adversity is what makes enduring to the end soooooo hard.

Preach My Gospel on page 66 talks about enduring to the end as part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It says:  "Once we have entered the strait and narrow path by our faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and the ordinances of baptism and confirmation, we must exert every effort to stay on the path." "Every effort" does not mean only when it's convenient. It means that we must put forth all our strength in staying righteous, in continually doing good works and increasing in Christ-like attributes. It continues to say that, "We do so [staying on the path] by continually exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting, making commitments, and following the Spirit.” As we do these things we become stronger and stronger in our testimony of Jesus Christ and are more able to withstand temptation.

So often, when adversity comes our way, we ask the question, "why? Why did this happen? Why me?" There's a scripture that answers this question very well, it says:

D&C 136:3131 My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom.

It says that we MUST be tried in order to be prepared for the Celestial Kingdom. It has to happen. There is no other way for us to learn and grow. We are tried so that we can be prepared to receive the Celestial Kingdom. And like it says, if we cannot bear it, we are not worthy. So how do we endure our trials?

In Elder Richard J. Maynes' talk, "The Strength to Endure" in October of 2013 he said, "If we honestly and sincerely repent, the Atonement can help us become clean, change our nature, and successfully endure our challenges. "It is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can endure our trials. We cannot do this alone and Christ suffered for us so that we wouldn't have to.

President Monson, also in the October 2013 General Conference, talked about enduring adversity. He said, "The history of the Church in this, the dispensation of the fullness of times, is replete with the experiences of those who have struggled and yet who have remained steadfast and of good cheer. The reason? They have made the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of their lives. This is what will pull us through whatever comes our way. We will still experience difficult challenges, but we will be able to face them, to meet them head-on, and to emerge victorious. "As we make the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of our lives, as we have faith, repent, and keep covenants, we will be able to endure to the end and emerge victorious from our trials.

Returning for just a bit to our question of "why do we face adversity, how is it that we can obey the commandments and sit I'll have hardships?" Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in 2000 spoke to mission presidents. In this talk he said, "I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation was never easy. We are the Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, He is our Great Eternal Head. Why would we believe, why would we think, that it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? In turn, how could we possibly bear any moving, lasting testimony of the Atonement if we have never known or felt anything of such an experience." Jesus suffered "pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind" as says Alma 7:11. He suffered, and he was perfect. We too, being imperfect, must suffer so that we can be more like Christ, so that we can be prepared for all of eternity.

I would like to end by reading the second verse of hymn 30, Come, Come, Ye Saints.
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?’ Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell—All is well! All is well!

I know that Christ is our Savior. He was suffered so that he can help us through our suffering. He has taken upon himself all for our sins, so that when we repent and keep our covenants we can be clean. We can endure all of our trials, and we can return to live in His presence, with our families, for all of eternity. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Now that I've filled up a lot of space I can talk about the really important things, like the weather. Just kidding you don't care about that.

We talked to some cool less actives/semi actives this week. In particular this recent convert family where the wife had health problems so she doesn't come to church often. So we went over and taught them the Restoration and asked for referrals (which turned into, will you give your friend a BOM?) Anyway, the wife came on Sunday! We talked to the husband and he said it was because we came over and visited them. It's cool because we never once told her that she needed to go to church, just teaching the doctrine touched her heart and she came back on her own.

We finally realized this week that we have no idea how to teach simply . . . Awkward. We're working on that though.

We found some cool new investigators this week. M and A. However, A lives half the time in Michigan, so we don't know how that'll work out. M is pretty cool, but they talk a lot. I still haven't mastered how to get in and out of a lesson fast when they talk a lot . . . But they are super interested and want to read the Book of Mormon!

We went on exchanges this week with the Mission Sister Training Leaders (basically the sister AP's) but Sister B got sick and so we spent most of it in the apartment. Maybe there's something I'm supposed to be learning from being stuck in an apartment. That has happened a lot lately.

We had to drop one of our investigators this week because he wasn't progressing and doesn't want to be baptized. His wife is a member, and it was really hard to look at her when we did that. She was super disappointed. We'll still go by and visit them once or so a month, but if he doesn't want to be baptized, there's nothing we really can do but wait until he's a bit more humble. 

E is super cool. She's the one that doesn't have a lot of Christian background. She's reading in the Book of Mormon and she's writing down all the questions that she has! She's also super smart, so it's cool to teach her.

Anyway. Life is good. I'm excited to be able to watch Rachel open her call. You do have permission to text me the details or to email me or whatever works best. 

Love you!

Hermana Leete!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Biking is Awesome

Hello there!

We found two new investigators this week! Yay!

T- She's from Hawaii! She's super cool. We street contacted her, she seemed suuuuuuppppper not interested but then said we could come back the next day. What? Anyway. She told us that ever since she's moved from Hawaii the blessings from God have just been pouring in. But recently life has been hard and she's been cursing and swearing at God. She was in a terrible mood the day we street contacted her, but after we talked to her she came inside and cried because she felt like it was a sign from God that he loved her. Super cool. So we taught her the first lesson and she loved it! She's excited to meet with us and wants her kids to be there in the lesson, and her friends as well.

E- We tried to find someone else but they had moved so we talked to her instead. She says she's a christian but really knows nothing about the Bible or religion (except she was a Wiccan once, but we told her to get rid of her ouija board). But she really wants to learn about God. It just seems that no one has really offered to teach her. So we came back and taught her about the Godhead and prayer. She's reading the Book of Mormon but doesn't understand any of it, but she keeps on reading. It was really hard to keep our lesson simple and not try to teach her everything. We're getting better at it though. She totally wants to go to church. Possible future problem(s): her boyfriend (aka the father of her child, actually, I don't know that, but I think he is) is atheist. She seems cool with it though, just has to hide her Book of Mormon.

We have a new ward mission leader in one of our wards and we're trying to train him to be the perfect ward mission leader. It's a little hard. But we're working on it. We're having him read chapter 13 of Preach My Gospel. We hope that helps.

We're biking! Why? 'Cause we want to talk to more people, we need the blessings, and we're kind of short on miles. So ya, I've biked in 111 degree weather. It's really not as bad as you would think it would be.


So we knocked on this door to try and talk to a less active and someone else opened the door. She proceeded to tell us that that person wasn't there and that he doesn't practice (ummmmm, that's why we're here, we know that, but I'm pretty sure that's only something our church does, so I understand the confusion). She was really nice though and gave us water. A lot of water. 1.5 liters to be exact. It was a giant water bottle. Anyway, so she gives us these huuuuuggggggee water bottles and we're like, "thanks!" but inside we're like, "where do we put these?" Both of our purses are tiny, and the water bottles were too big to carry in our hands. I'm not quite sure what we did, but we made it to the car, which happened to be like down the street. 

So biking is awesome for multiple reasons: 

1) We are promised tons of blessings for biking (no one has actually told me what the blessings are, I'm just told through the grapevine that I will be blessed if I bike)
2) You feel pretty boss because not a lot of sister missionaries bike, or elders anymore.
3) Exercise 
4) Your street contacting improves a lot. Not just the numbers, but the quality. People are really impressed when they see sisters biking. Especially in this heat. And when they find out we do it willing. They are nicer to you and they give you water and it just goes better all around.

J our investigator came to the fireside this Sunday! It's called "Why I Believe." They have it every month. Converts share their conversion story. It's super cool.

The L family is doing awesome. We have plans for them to meet the bishop this week. We hope that leads to marriage!

There were a lot of changes in the zone this transfer, but I'm loving them. They were totally for the best. And now there's four sets of sisters in the zone instead of three! Yay!

Con amor,

Hermana Leete

Monday, August 17, 2015

God is Mindful of his Children


So we are finally all better! We got to actually work is week.

TRANSFERS! We're staying together. This is Sister M's last transfer, so I shall kill her. That'll be fun. (Just so there is no misunderstanding, this does not mean that Hermana Leete will actually be killing her companion, she will be her last companion and will be sending her home.)

M is divorced! Yay! However, he seems a little hesitant to marry G again, I'm not sure why. But, we're going to introduce them to the bishop this week to see if that'll help them. We told them the bishop can marry them. So we'll see how all that goes.

God is mindful of his children. Why? Read the following experiences!

One day I was thinking, "you know, I haven't had pizza in a while, I would like pizza." And the members gave us pizza for dinner! They said they were hesitant to do it, but felt like it would be ok.

A member gave us homemade jam, so I was thinking about if it would be possible to make some homemade bread to eat it with (it was either that or go buy bread, but homemade bread just sounded awesome.) Then the member we had dinner with gave us a bread-maker! Crazy, huh? They were going to get rid of it but then gave it to us. I'll send you pictures of the bread I made this morning. Soooo good!

We met this really awesome person named E. She believes in Christ, but doesn't know anything about the bible or religion, but she wants to learn. So we're going to see her today and be really simple and basic with her, we're going to go really slow.

So I hope I'll have more to tell you next week. Love you!

Sister Leete

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Zone Conference

Here are some pictures from the Las Vegas Mission Facebook Page:

Monday, August 10, 2015

Horray for Being Sick!

August 10, 2015


RACHEL! I have determined you are going to South America or here to Vegas. Possibly the West mission. Not because you are apostate, but because they probably need your awesomeness.

Man, Rachel is having all the luck in talking to apostles and all the big wigs. 

We have been sick all week. I was sick Monday. Then Sister M got sick Tuesday night until now. She's still pretty bad. It's stress related so we're working on de-stressing her. So she's been staying in members’ houses as I go out and work. When we can find me a companion. But, I'll have a companion and lessons planned and nothing happens. NADA. No one opens the door, no one is interested. Nothing. It's kind of frustrating. I blame it on the past missionaries. It appears that one set of missionaries have updated the potential sheets in the past two years. Which is super frustrating. Rachel--UPDATE ALL OF THE RECORDS. Seriously, I'm super passionate about it because no one does it and no one seems to think it's a big deal. Do you know how frustrating it is to waste your time on people who told the last missionaries "don't come back" and no one bothered to write it down? Anyway, I'll speak of happier things.

I'm feeling sick again today. Yay. Sorry. That wasn't a happier thing.

Send me an email as soon as Rachel gets her call. I can check my email throughout the week so I'll keep an eye out for it. I can't respond until Monday, but at least I'll know sooner.

M, G, M, and J are doing great. They came to church again. I can't seem to be able to help them to read the Book of Mormon consistently. I don't know how to help them. And we only see them once a week, so that's hard.

We have been sick and then one of our other investigators has been sick, so we haven't seen him all week.

Our last investigator is having some trouble committing to sitting in our lessons. His wife is a member and so sometimes we'll just teach her something as we wait for him to actually join us. We think he is facing a lot of opposition and so is hesitant. Like, he wants to learn but he's afraid of learning.

So that was my week. I finally got to see Meet the Mormons. I also got to watch a lot of The District and try to organize Gospel Library. Hooray for being sick!

Love you!

Sister Leete

Mission Leadership

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Slow Week

 Hola familia!

The Truman Brothers and Jason Deere sound familiar, but that's probably just because I've had some companions that have loved country music. What songs do they sing?

Let me know as soon as Rachel gets her call!

This week has been kind of slow. Well, actually, this entire past month has been slow.

So we had this amazing investigator named D. He was a street contact, he is divorced and has a two year old girl. He was totally loving us coming by and what we shared. He would sit there and have the biggest smile on his face as we talked. However he dropped us. When we texted asking him if he was going to come to church he said no because he was searching and studying and said that he doesn't think this is the religion for him and his daughter. He wouldn't explain more so we're are going to try and stop by today to see if we can get him to talk about it. We think he found anti material.

Someone else dropped us this week. Life is just too hectic I guess. Lame.

We went on exchanges this week. I got to go to Ensign with Sister C (she was in my district in the CCM). We had a blast. It was so much fun.

It hit 120 this week.

We met a lot of people who were not interested (including less active members). And a lot of people who wanted to bash. So that wasn't fun.

So this week we helped a blind lady out. She was a former investigator so we knocked on her door. She had just had a party the night before and some weird things went down. Like someone peed on her couch, and her dog pooped in her bedroom. So guess what? We cleaned it up for her. Which was good for her because she couldn't see it to clean it up. Hopefully that actually helped. However, she's not a morning person and so she can't promise she'll go to church. So we're not really sure if there's potential there.  But she thought we were sent from God. So that's cool.

We walked a lot, talked to a lot of people.

Sorry my letters aren't interesting anymore.

We taught D and J this week. D is a less active and J isn't a member. We reviewed the Restoration because J was super confused about it. But it was good. He's totally feeling the spirit, but there's a lot of opposition from family and friends so he's kind of denying it right now, but we'll get him, don't worry.

M, G, M, and J are doing awesome! They know the Book of Mormon is true. However there might still be legal issues that are preventing them from being baptized. I don't know what they are yet, but we're going to find out.

Sister Leete

Outside the chapel because we don't have a key and that's where the wifi is
Me and Sister C

An awesome note we found on a door we knocked on during exchanges.
It was the reason that Donvan couldn't go out with his friends.