January 2014 Letters

Week 30: Dallin’s Out Too! (6 January 2014)

Woohoo Dallin came out to join the party! I am so excited!

I guess I don’t have much to tell you except for a cool thing that happened this week. So last Monday I asked Sister R. how many baptisms she wanted to have this transfer and she said 2 which sounds pretty humble but I think that’s great and totally doable so this week we focused on finding those two people who we are going to baptize this transfer. Well we started with the area book, contacting old investigators and people that other missionaries contacted but never ended up learning more. As we were going out looking for those people there was a lady sitting outside one of the houses we went to. They weren’t home so we just talked to the lady and she was telling us about her life when my companion asked the INSPIRED question, “Do you believe in God?” to which the lady replied NO! She told us that all her life she has tried to be good and honest and kind and yet God has abandoned her. She always wanted to get married and she believes that that is evidence that God is cruel.

Wow! My companion led out telling her that God LOVES her, and WANTS to bless her. We talked with her about agency, and about how in this life we experience joy and suffering, but that it is all part of God’s plan so that we can learn and become something!

I have been thinking a lot about her plight and her questions for us this week. My companion and I are praying every night that we can keep visiting and teaching her so that she can finally have peace!

That’s all I have time to tell you guys right now! I love you all! Be safe and warm this week! MUAH!!!

Week 31: Changing Our Nets! (13 January 2014)

Wow I have so much to tell you I don’t know where to begin!

First we had an inspired zone meeting this week. Our leaders told us all about president’s vision for the mission to “change our nets” by REALLY FOCUSING ON LESS ACTIVES and working as a team in ward council. Also to focus on helping people CHANGE by keeping their compromisos… I have no idea what the word for that is in english

I feel like a new missionary! My understanding of my role and vision for what we can do here has totally expanded while at the same time narrowed in focus! Sister R. and I have completely changed the way we plan our lessons and our days now. It is almost completely compromisos-centered. Our weekly planning this week was driven by two questions: with what compromiso is this person struggling with and how are we going to help them accomplish it. We just followed the teaching record, compromiso by compromiso. It is in an inspired order.

This is what God wants! I know it because SIster R. told me yesterday she is happier than she has ever been in her whole life and her whole mission—she finally feels like she is fulfilling her purpose! I feel the same way! President Rowley is so inspired! He directed us in this way!! I am praying to know every night to know what more we can do. The funny thing is is that I really feel like He is responding, “well, what do you think would be best?”

As a result I started really thinking about our branch mission plan. What are we going to do this year as a branch to hasten the work of Salvation??

This is what I got and our Branch President loved it!

Goal for January: Each member prays daily (personally and in family) for missionary opportunities, that the hearts of their friends will be opened to the spirit. By the end of the month they need to have at least one friend or family (less active or non member) in which they have chosen to focus on.

February: Invite friends to a family home evening (perferably with us, the missionaries), or to a chapel tour with the missionaries, or sacrament meeting. Depends on the comfort level of the friend, thats why there are three options. The goal is that they provide their friend with opportunities to feel the spirit that month to prepare them to accept the missionary lessons.

March: Goal for each active member to Invite their friend (non member or less active) to take the missionary lessons. the GOAL is that by the end of the month they have accepted the invitation to be baptised or interviewed by the branch president if less active.

April: The goal—friend is baptised or rescued!

We call it our Branch Plan of Salvation!

I had an exchange this week with our sister traning leader that was LIFE CHANGING. She made me feel so loved. I talked to her about [some of my trials]. She just hugged me and let me cry and told me how much God loves me and that He is just cleaning me up! She told me about an experience she had where she got really bad road rash and her dad, who’s a doctor, had to clean her up. She said that each little rock he pulled out hurt SO BAD and she still cringes when she thinks about how much it hurt but that it was necessary! And she also said that as her dad was both inflicting pain by cleaning her up he was also holding her hand and crying with her as he did it… she said it was almost harder to watch him have to do it than anything! And she said that that is what Heavenly Father is doing with me! I am better for it and closer to what God wants me to become because of it. And she told me all about her experiences in Las Vegas because she served there for three months before she got her visa… I felt a great desire to raise the bar as a result. I have to be able to testify the way she does that God is our Father and the great love He has for us because if I can get my investigators to feel the way she made me feel they will never want to do anything wrong ever again! I have decided that in order to testify with greater power of His love I must spend more time praying, really seeking to do His will. I feel that if I do all I can to put in practice what we learned in our zone meeting, that is seeking to bring about His will!

Yesterday Sister R. and I talked with our Banch President about our ideas for the ward mission plan. He loved them! He asked us to type up our plan and go to each active family and explain it to them the way we explained it to him. We talked to him about our goals for the week and he talked to us about his vision for the ward. I just feel like we are getting so synchronized, that we are doing what President Caceres needs and what the members need! He and his councilors are still forming our list of less active families to focus on but I am sure they will have it ready soon.

I just feel so good and happier and just BETTER! Today we went to the beach as a branch and I just felt so much unity and love! We threw rocks in the water and found cool stuff (a whole bunch of baby OCTOPUSES!! and sea urchins and living, moving starfishes!) it was so awesome!

Week 32: No Time (20 January 2014)

I’m just going to have to copy my letter to president this week because I have no time!

Dear President,
Thanks for your direction this week in our multi-zone meeting! I love specific directions, THANK YOU for your invitation to talk with at least 10 people every day. Sister R. and I have started planning how many people we are going to talk to in between lessons and that really helps us stay brief in our visits so that we have time to meet our contacting goals. Thank you!!

This week in Talara we set a huge goal of 19 lessons with a member present. We set it prayerfully, and decided that in order to reach it we are going to try to plan 4 every day and so if one falls we can still make our goal. It also means that we have to employ more helpers, and so we have been talking to EVERYONE in the ward about when they can accompany us. I am so excited!!

The reason we set such a high goal is because we aren’t seeing a ton of progress in our investigators and we have no one with a baptismal date! I believe that these lessons with the testimonies of the local members will help a lot. I can’t wait to tell you next week how it went!

Thank you for your faith and prayers on our behalf! I love Talara and our branch!

Week 33: As We Serve We Grow in Faith! (27 January 2014)

This week I was thinking about how I could help Sister R. in her English study because she’s kind of bummed out that she’s had north american companions for 4 months now and the only thing she can say is “I need to go to the bathroom.”

This is the idea I had and where it came from: One thing that really helped me learn Spanish fast was to memorize little phrases in Spanish. Now, every day I pick a phrase from my Spanish for Missionaries book and Sister R. and I practice that phrase in English all day long. She dominated, “Our bodies are sacred” and “As we serve, we grow in faith.” She´ll be fluent in no time!

I just have to say that Sister R. is the bomb. She is such a blessing for me. I think the reason we work so well together is not that we agree on everything because we actually don’t agree a lot of the time, but she is just super straight forward and honest and RATIONAL. She always has an opinion on things which is awesome because it’s just evidence of how focused she is on the work—every time she explains her ideas you can tell she has put a lot of thought into it. But she’s never irrational about her opinion, she is always willing to talk and listen to mine. Except that when she explains her ideas I usually am totally sold on her idea by the end of it…

This week I made a huge mural in our room one night that has every investigator, less active, and recent convert we are teaching. I made a pool called the Pool of Progress and put all the people who were progressing in the Pool. The mural has all the commitments necessary for lasting conversion and where everyone is. It just came into my head and I thought it was so brilliant I had to make it happen on our wall. I am so excited to get everyone in the Pool! Haha I will have to send a picture of it. It is helping me stay focused on thinking about how we can get each person in the Pool.

My mission president’s wife came with us to teach on Saturday night which was such a blessing! She makes us feel like the best missionaries in the world!

I love you guys and I think about you every day! I am growing so much in faith in our Savior, I want to do whatever He wants! I love His ways and I love working to serve Him!


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