Monday, December 21, 2015

Feliz Navidad- we are a little spoiled & The POWER of Prayer!

Well it is Monday again! Wow time flies. This week has been amazing! So much stuff has happened!

On Monday we visited one of our investigators, Gio. He is so ready and we know it. He has been prepared and his current situation is perfect for the gospel to be introduced to his life. He is on his second marriage, has 2 kids and is still working out custody stuff. He opened up to us even more and he is having a "my soul hungered" experience right now. He wants to find a church and is super humble. I clicked with him pretty well! We last saw him the day before Thanksgiving and he has been reading the Book of Mormon too! I am so excited for what is in store for him!

Monday night we also visited our investigators and gave them all cookies! They loved it and were grateful! We decided to do that because #1 it is Christmas season and #2 we want them to know we actually care for them and aren't just preaching.
A miracle happened Monday too! We were driving down a street and Elder Fife felt to turn down a certain street to visit a former investigator. We went up to the house, and this guy, David, was outside! We scheduled to come back Tuesday and then Elder Fife and Elder Hatch went back to teach him and his family (since Tuesday we had exchanges). Turns out that his daughter, Natalie, was interested in the church. Elder Fife and I taught her Wednesday and she came to church yesterday!!! WE ARE STOKED! This is our first investigator at church since I have gotten here! Exchanges on Tuesday were good too. Elder Browne and I had a great companion study all about the spirit and recognizing it! It helped me a lot! We raked a bunch of leaves at peoples houses for service and even cleaned up a squirrel nest from someones chimney. It was huge! 

On Friday we did service at the senior center in Mauldin again. For Thanksgiving we did this too, and helped prepare food and set up, but this time we just helped out serving the food and talked to the people in attendance.  Apparently from last time, all the old ladies would not stop talking about us! haha They were so happy to have us back.  Many people complimented us on our willingness to serve and were grateful for us. It is such a great missionary tool. From it, Elder Fife and I were able to give 2 blessings to non members! It was a great experience!

On Saturday we had some crazy awesome miracle!!! I have not had a lot of time to write in my journal so far in the mission. I'm just super busy, which is good. I want to share an awesome experience. Primero, las hermanas tienen una sirvicio bautismal hoy, para Caitlun. La primer milagro fue we needed two of our investigators to come to this baptism. We called and texted Alejandro y Felix and wanted their family to come as well. They didn't respond until 11:30 am and the baptism was at 12. They said their dad couldn't take them, so we called brother Fielosh (ward mission leader) and he and his sons picked them up. His sons are friends with them too, which is cool. Last week we invited them to this very baptism, but it was cancelled, so instead we gave then a church talk. So glad that they enjoyed the baptism today! We started fasting after dinner tonight and hopefully our fast and faith will bring them to church tomorrow!

After the baptism is when miracle #2 came to pass. On our way home to the apartment, we were driving behind a potential investigator. Back-track real quick-- we had been trying to contact members to come with us that day to certain lessons- we could not find anyone for our lives! People we called were so busy. We were so bummed. So as we were behind this potential investigator, we decided to follow him to see if he was headed home. He was, so we quickly pulled into a neighborhood and ran up his street, along the main road, to go talk to him. his garage was 3 feet from closing an Fife called out, "HERMANO!" This guy re-opened the garage door and we talked for almost half an hour!

Just a side note, he is the tallest Mexican I have ever seen! He is like 6'3"! He really warmed up to us. Elder Fife had talked to him months ago and was shewed from his porch. He opened up to us and talked about how he has been wanting to change his life. Last week he almost tried to kill someone and he's been a drinker and an addict. He was saying how he has so much guilt and doesn't know his purpose here. During our talk with him on his driveway, I had a hard time understanding him, but felt like I needed to share the plan of salvation. I didn't know when I could chime in, and ends up it was a prompting because Elder Fife started to talk about it. It went super well, and he wanted to read the pamphlet we gave him. He said he would also read the Book of Mormon introduction. We invited him to come to church, but he said he was going to North Carolina to a Catholic priest to confess his sins and if we didn't talk to him, well... who knows!? 

It's cool how the Lord works on people. In a matter of months, their demeanor can change and someone can be ready to hear the gospel. This is what we have been fasting and praying for.  By the way, we have been fasting every Sunday since I have been here.

I have grown to love the Book of Mormon so much and I have felt that it has been changing me! Please start reading it or continue to read it because it brings so much more hope and power to our lives! I love the Book of Mormon so stinking much! like I regret not reading it with diligence before. It really is a strength. There are two cool things I learned this week- actually three. MIRACLES HAPPEN! Read that journal entry! Prayer is super important. Alma 13:28, D y C 10:5, 2 Nephi 32:8-9

I realized the power of prayer in our lives. Prayers from the righteous are what caused God to be merciful to Alma the younger to bring him to repentance. Prayers of the righteous stopped Ammonihah from being destroyed. When we sin, satan will make us feel unworthy to pray. This is not true. We can always pray. satan realizes that prayer is literally a power and that by prayer, his hold on us is lessened. We will not be tempted above what we can bear, if we pray every day. We hold the power to stop satan from coming into our lives. Also, faith is an amazing power. Alma chapter 14 is amazing. Alma and Amulek are teaching the people in Ammonihah during this time and are persecuted. They were rejected, spat upon, verbally abused, thrown in prison, beat up, stripped naked, bound with strong cords, deprived of food and water and questioned by the lawyers, teachers, priests and the chief judge, non stop for many days. They were forced to witness the burning alive of many women and children who believed in God, as well as the burning of the scriptures and records of the people. Amid all of this physical pain, mental tiredness, and spiritual pain, Alma and Amulek had so much faith. In verse 28, because of their faith, the Lord literally granted them power to come off conquerer. In this gospel we have so much power and we don't even know it.

OH- and we met a baptist guy who is setting up a question & answer forum for us soon at his baptist church. Pray for me! LOL

I love my mission and would not want to be doing anything else. Can't wait to facetime the family for Christmas!!!

Feliz Navidad!!!
We may be spoiled.... Elder Fife & I

Have to have a toothbrush pic
Breakfast on the way to fill the font for the sisters baptism on Saturday
Favorite tienda here in my area (this is in Mauldin)
snacking on the homemade cookies Ama sent wrapped in like 3 boxes hahaha!

Morning workout Part 1
Morning workout part 2
Morning workout part 3- LOVE THIS HOOP!

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