Sister Tippetts are I going to see so many miracles this transfer! I'm already so happy and excited to work with her.
I love both my wards so much. This past Friday, Sister Tippetts had a training all day in Spokane (she's the new traveling sister so get ready for more exchanges!) and so I stayed with a few members during the day to finish my studies. I went and had breakfast with the Williams-he is the EQ president-and then did my morning study while the little kids got ready and played. Their home is so cute! Being on my mission makes me so excited to be a mother. I see so many examples of how I want my future home to be. Full of love, and Christ and the gospel! Then I went over to the Richard's home. Sister Richards served a mission and I'm positive I want to be her when I grow up. She is crazy and fun and her house is FULL of color everywhere. I just saw a vision for my future life while I was in their home. She teaches her children so well and I was just thinking of how my mission will truly shape the rest of my life. I feel like everything I know about the gospel, the testimony I have and the love I cherish for the Scriptures and for Christ has really all come from my mission. It's only been 2 months but it's changed my life in so many ways. My mission means everything to me!
We've had a pretty bitter-sweet week. Highs and lows. Good, great, beautiful times. And also some pretty sad times. Genaro and Claudia were married on Friday and baptized on Saturday! It was so amazing and wonderful. I just have loved seeing their family grow in faith. It's a real tender mercy to be part of it all. I know that if they can stay faithful and if their son, Anthony can go on to serve a mission in 5 years, their family will continue to see so many blessings. The spirit of Christ is in their home now and they can feel and recognize the difference. It's during times like this, where I can witness families coming closer by coming unto Christ that missionary work is just to fulfilling and sweet.
Also, their next-door neighbors-Nancy and her kids are all getting baptized on Christmas day! It's going to be a beautiful, white Christmas! It's a miracle and we'll have to work SO hard to really help them make this day but I know that the Lord can do anything. Sister Tippetts and I are going to give it our all. It will be such a wonderful Christmas for their family! We made prayer rocks with their family last week to get them excited about saying prayers and they all loved it. It's so fun to teach families and we really are blessed to have this opportunity. As I understand from other areas, Moses Lake really is special. I'm so happy to be here and I just want to embrace each day cause who knows how long I get to spend here!]
Arturo, Virginia's husband hasn't chosen a baptismal date yet and so he's not progressing or moving towards anything. He reads his scriptures everyday (well he listens to the Book of Mormon because he can't read) and he is praying and going to church, but we've been in the same boat with him for a month. So we are giving him a breather. He wants to be baptized but he is waiting to feel right-to feel like he just HAS to be baptized. So we told him to call us when he is ready. We will still teach Virginia the new member lessons and we will see him at church but it's pretty sad to let him go. But we have to help the people that are progressing and spend our time finding those ready to change their lives!
Brenda and Fernando were getting ready to be baptized on January 12th but yesterday when we passed by to pick them up for church, Brenda said she didn't want to go and that they didn't want to have any more lessons with us. It was so heart-breaking. Oh man, I'm still pretty sad about it. It's hard to not let things like this get you discouraged-because I know how much the gospel of Jesus Christ will bless their lives! If only, they knew what I knew! But we have to keep moving forward-it just means there are people out there-waiting and ready to accept our message.
But then-last night we had an appointment with Maria who is a referral we received from the Elders. We had tried this lady before but she was NEVER home so we had almost given up on her. Then we went earlier this week and she said Sunday would work for her. We stopped by last night and we had a quick lesson on her doorstep. Her husband was sleeping so we just stayed outside in the cold. We taught about the restoration and our purpose as missionaries. We asked her if she would be baptized if she prayed and found out what we taught her was true. She said yes! Then we asked her if she would prepare for January 5th and she said, YES! It was unreal. She just liked everything we were teaching and saying. After a hard day yesterday, it was such a nice tender mercy!
It's been pretty crazy and awesome taking over the area this last week. I'm constantly surprised by how well I know the city. I'm positive I don't even know Provo or McKinney this well. I'm certain it's a little gift from God. It was so helpful that Sister Hicks was traveling sister last transfer because I really had to learn the area quickly. I'm trying to help our Sister Tippetts with her new calling and I think she wants to me show the newest missionary around this week for exchanges! It's always nice for me to have to step up and take more responsibility. I feel like that's when I have to push myself and I really learn more about the language and the work.
One of our members in the branch, Lorena Sandoval is like our 3rd companion. She is so wonderful and will call us when she can come out with us. We try to have members at so many of our lessons so it's always a blessing when someone volunteers their time! She joined the church 3 years ago and her testimony is so strong! She came on a miracle church tour with us this week and it was incredible! The Munoz family live out in the farm country which is the boundaries for our 6th ward and usually it's all English speakers out there so it's pretty neat that we found them too! Sister Hicks met them a while back and she was dying for us to get out there and teach them but the only time we made it out was the VERY LAST day of the transfer. It was SUPER foggy (it's foggy here all the time) and it was freaking me out to be driving out in the country where it's pitch-black and 4 pm. I told Sister Hicks that I wasn't feeling good about going out there and she was getting worried too. "Are you nervous because of the fog or you have a bad feeling about trying the Munoz family??" I couldn't decide! But we went out there anyway. Agostine answered the door half asleep but he was still so kind and friendly to us. We set up an appointment for this past Tuesday and it was amazing! They have a good faith in Christ. I could just envision Agostine being the next branch president! We set up the church tour that Lorena came on and it was the best church tour I've had on my mission. The spirit testified of truth and I think it really clicked for them. They asked so many good questions and we just bore simple testimonies of Christ. It was pretty powerful. They said they would start reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it's true. We have an appointment tonight with his wife, Maricela and so cross your fingers it all works out. I'd give everything I had to see them join the church and rejoice in the fullness of the gospel!
Lorena also came to the wedding on Friday night and afterwards we waited around for Claudia and Genaro's baptismal interviews. While we waited, she asked us if we knew how to conduct music. She told us it was one of her great desires to lead the music someday. How tender, right??! Sister Tippetts taught her how and it was so precious as they counted out loud and practiced different songs. It was the sweetest moment of my mission. The hispanic people have such good hearts. I love Lorena so much and her desire to follow Christ and keep moving forward in the gospel. She is preparing to enter the temple soon and I'm so happy for her. The church continues to move forward! I'm so blessed to be a part of it all.
Well, that was a lot, huh?
Always so much to say and share! I know that Christ lives and he is our Savior! Invite Him into your home this Christmas!