Milagros (9-16-13)

So this week. Crazy. I wish I could say we got more proselyting done, but we had some pretty big events! And even though we didn’t have as much time to get out and work, when we were able to visit people, we truly did see miracles.

First: On Tuesday, Elder Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy came to our mission, as well as…Elder Neil L Andersen of the Quorum of the 12! We were there for pretty much the entire day, but I definitely learned so much. A lot of ideas that we’ve been having for our area recently were brought up in Elder Andersen’s address to us. It really was an answer to prayers to listen to a Prophet of the Lord speak to us about what truly is important in missionary work right now. One funny part was when he spoke about how missionaries should start staying in their wards for 6-8 months (builds more trust with members, because members are just so important and vital to this work!) instead of changing so often. There were a lot of missionaries (in my Zone even) who were expecting to get transferred soon, but now no one is so sure of what will happen! Elder Andersen quoted Alma 17:23 to us…so apparently I’m staying in MonteBello till the day I die! But it really was such a blessing to be at that meeting and feel the Spirit of what was being said.

On Friday, we had a Fiesta Patriotica in the ward. What was super awesome was that we were able to get a lot of Less Actives and also Investigators to come!! The combined effort of us 6 missionaries, as well as the ward, was able to bring in some great results. The Elders also decided to buy a packet of mustaches…so all six of us wore mustaches at the party! Everyone laughed when they saw us Sisters with our mustaches on.

On Saturday, we were blessed with the opportunity to go to the Sealing of a family that Sister Nieto taught as Recent Converts out in another Zone. Plot twist though: the water went out in the Temple (and also our house). So the Temple didn’t open until 9am. The Sealing was going to be at 9am, but when we got there they told us that they were barely starting the Endowment sessions. Since the family still needed to go through the Temple, all of us Sisters who had come decided to go through with them, in Spanish! It was such a blessed experience. We were at the Temple longer than we planned, but it was such a great reminder to me of how everyone we teach has the potential to go to the Temple and partake of the marvelous blessings there. I felt the Spirit so strongly there that day. I can’t wait to start my eternal family! The family was seriously the cutest too.

Some of the other miracles:
-we have a new investigator, N., who is seriously so willing to hear the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We met him last week outside, and he loved what we had to say. We planned to meet him this week, but it ended up that his son, who he lives with, doesn’t want us teaching in his house. Sooo we really didnt’ know what to do. So this week we decided to just knock on the door and see if we could talk to the son. Just the son, also named N., was there and he seemed really nice and just told us to talk to his dad (we’re going to see if we can work with the son at all, but for now just the dad is interested). And then Saturday again, we knocked and found the dad, again. He was excited to see us because we hadn’t seen him for a week and he is seriously so ready to learn more. We found out that he wanted to come to church last week, but because it was raining, he couldn’t walk there. But this Sunday he came! He seriously walks to church because he wants to come so bad. He doesn’t live too far away, but his humility is such an example to me. We are going to start teaching him in the chapel. Also…one of the members in the ward was friends with him when they were both kids! Like, they played in the river together, or something like that.
-we have been geting so many less actives to church recently! It is so exciting to see people who have fallen away, come back and receive the peace that comes from taking the Sacrament. They look just so happy that first Sunday that they come back.

Missionary work! It’s the best!

I know that this is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that families can be eternal, when our homes our centered on Christ. I know that the blessings of this Gospel are real and everlasting. I feel a great joy to be a missionary, guided by the Spirit, bringing this glorious message: that the truth has been restored. We need not be confused. I know that repentance is powerful. It is a step that we can never forget or skip. When we truly repent we can feel that strong peace that this Gospel brings. We can move forward with faith, and receive all of the glorious blessings that are prepared for us. This is my humble testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

con amor
Hermana Newey

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another week (9-9-13)

Every new week is never like I expected it to be when it started. This past week was such an example of that. We have really been struggling recently with the investigators that we have had. Appointments fall through. They drop us (decide that they don’t want to be taught anymore). It’s been rough. Miraculously though, this week we were able to find 7 new investigators. It was seriously such a blessing. I’m absolutely loving it. A lot of the new investigators have amazing stories of how they have been prepared to hear this Gospel. Some examples:
N. – we literally just street contacted him on Saturday. He is older, lives with his son’s family (his ex-wife lives down the street with the daughter…). We were trying to visit his neighbor, who is an investigator, but N. was just outside working in his yard. Apparently my companion was praying super hard while I was writing a Post-It for our investigator so that N. would stay outside so that we could talk to him. We go over and he was seriously golden. At first he didn’t seem interested, but then we came to realize that he has been searching for a really long time for the truth. He was so excited to read the Book of Mormon! It was slightly awkward when he asked us if there was someone smarter than us that he could talk to, but it ended up that he just meant that he just wanted to know who he would have to talk to to get answers to his questions – but he was perfectly content when we told him that we would teach him. We are super excited for our appointment with him on wednesday!
O. and R. – This was seriously a miracle find. They are neighbors of one of the sisters in our ward. (This sister is seriously the greatest by the way. She has been married several times, but she recently married the love of her life, her eternal companion, but he recently passed away of a brain tumor. Her faith and testimony is so strong.) Her husband, before he passed away, was good friends with O., and he always offered to send the missionaries, but they never came. So recently, when an appointment fell through, this wonderful sister invited us over to go contact O. He was super nice and invited us back. We just went over last night, and it ends up that they were taught several years ago by two sister missionaries back in California! (they are originally from El Salvador). They absolutely loved them. Apparently one of the Sisters visited them about three years ago here in Vegas, but they have had no contact since. R. is really sad about it. We told her she should try facebook – they know the full names of both of the Sisters. They were telling us stories of when the Sisters taught them, for example, one time they came over and made cheesecake for them – so now they really want us to too! We’ll have to figure out a recipe so that we can do that for them haha.
We get to leave the mission! I actually got to leave last week, I just forgot to say it. On exchanges in Paradise Stake, my temporary companion had a doctors appointment out in the West Las Vegas Mission. We almost drove through the strip to go there (we were a block away), but we decided to go further down on Las Vegas Blvd so we wouldn’t have to…it was a bit sketch. And now we get to go back out to the West Mission for a conference where Elder Anderson is going to come (tommorow)! Everyone is talking about what they think he is going to say.
Also, another miracle from yesterday: We had a few Less Active members come back to church! It was such an exciting day. We had no investigators come, but just seeing people come back after so long was such a blessing. What was so big about it too was that these people had been offended in some way and decided they wanted nothing to do with the church, but they have found a way to forgive.
Being a missionary is the best!

Hermana Newey

transfer day! (9-2-13)

6 weeks up in the mission field! Which means 12 weeks since I left home…how crazy is that? 12 weeks isn’t long in terms of 18 months, but when I think of how fast these weeks have gone by, it’s kind of scary to think how fast the 18 months will fly by. But also, thinking about how exhausted I’ve been these past 6 weeks just work work working, I think I might be grateful when the 18 months come and I can finally relax! Missionary work is hard, but so worth it.
Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of the side of missionary work being hard, not much of the worth it. There has been a ton of knocking on doors without much walking through them. It’s definitely been rough. After a while your hand starts to hurt! haha. Sometimes it can be really discouraging though. After knocking on 10 doors you start to lose hope that the people behind the next door will be ready to listen. But that is never the right attitude to have. Most doors might not open, but there are some that will! I think of one door in particular. We have visited that house I guess 5 times now. The first time no one answered. The second time S. opened and let us in (because it was raining!) and we shared about the Book of Mormon and she definitely had some interesting opinions that we will have to work with, but she will definitely be fun to teach if we continue to get the chance. The third time M. opened, and she is seriously the nicest. She couldn’t let us in right then because she was getting her kids ready for the first day of school the next day, but she was so sweet. She even apologized for not joining us when we taught S. that first time because she was on the phone with someone. The fourth time M. was there again, with her neighbor. She opened the door and literally without hesitation asked if we wanted to come inside. It was such a blessing. A lot of people when they have company over will say that they are too busy with company to let us in, but they both welcomed us in and loved listening to our message. Thinking back on that moment it was a miracle that we found both M. and her neighbor there together. I’m so excited to start teaching them both! M. is so ready for this gospel, and her neighbor pretty much has a testimony of the Gospel, she just doesn’t know it yet. Hermana Nieto and I joked that that lesson felt like an LTM because we were teaching, but she pretty much testified of what we said. She definitely has a lot of things to learn, but I see a lot of potential in her. The fifth time we visited no one opened, but hope definitely isn’t lost. We will go visit again soon.
Another blessing: Torrential downpour on friday morning. Seriously the best.
And then the greatest blessing ever….F. and N. got married!!! It was so cute!! They were so excited to know that they were finally able to live the Law of Chastity. We got to help do the decorations on friday night and then the ceremony was on saturday. She was so pretty and they looked so happy. I also got to sit at the “family table” for the first time in my life. I was going to go and sit with the Elders with my dinner, but the bride called me back and said that the seats were saved specially for us Sisters that helped teach her husband. It was humbling to think how the people we teach really are grateful for our being there to support them. I have only been with them for 6 weeks, but they treat us like family. I did feel slightly awkward sitting at the front, but I loved getting to sit by the bride. And then….F’s baptism was on Sunday! It wasn’t the smoothest running baptismal service ever, not in the least bit, but it truly was a blessing to be able to see how happy he was to finally take this step in his life after having to go through a lot of hard things. There were 6 of us Sister Missionaries who helped teach him, so he asked all of us to participate and I gave the closing prayer. I could really feel the Spirit testify to me that he is ready to start this new path and that he will be blessed for his desire to live this Gospel. I’m so excited for him!!
I love this Gospel and the joy it brings into my life. I love that I have the opportunity to share that with the people here in Montebello. (Oh yeah, transfers happened and I’m staying right where I am with Hermana Nieto!) I’m ready to continue to work hard here for the next 6 weeks and hopefully see the fruits of our labors. Missionary work is the best.

love
Hermana Newey/Kiwi

Nearing the end of transfer 1! (8-26-13)

So I’m pretty much loving missionary life. It can be really rough out here, but you can always see the silver linings. Sister Nieto and I have been getting a little bit down on ourselves lately (not getting the numbers that we want/expect, having investigators fall through and refuse to talk to us, and the list goes on), but we decided that we needed to start a “miracle board” where we write down a couple of miracles at the end of every day. So we go to bed thinking about the positive things that happened that day. Que bendicion. There are seriously so many tender mercies we can find as we look for them. Funny story: at Gospel Principles we had this guy come to church for the first time and he told of how God has blessed him: by giving him marijuana. He also told of how he used to be in a gang and stab people, but he got shot in the back so now he is in a wheelchair. It was a bit crazy. My companion was actually teaching the lesson, but she handled it all super well and just moved on with the lesson. It was pretty cray!
We have a wedding to go to on Saturday, and then the baptism on Sunday! I seriously think I might cry if that falls through – but I think it will all be well. This family is seriously the best. I love going to their house. We actually did the Anti-Nephi-Lehi lesson with them yesterday: we wrote down what we wanted to give up (he is working on abstaining from drinking – and he’s being a boss at it!) and then we buried our papers in the ground. They love giving people nicknames too: I’m either Hermana Kiwi or Ricitos de Oro (they sing some jingle that was for a shampoo commercial back in Mexico to me – it’s seriously stuck in my head all the time now).
We went to the funeral of a sweet sister on Saturday – it was really precious hearing her family speak of how blessed they have been to have her in their lives.
This email is super short today, but all in all it’s been a solid week. Not many lessons but we’ve been meeting a lot of various people out in the streets as we go from lesson to lesson. I met this really cool lady yesterday who had a dog named “Chuey” (I think that is how you spell that) – so I said “Like from Star Wars?” She got excited when I said that, because apparently no one else ever gets the reference. That dog seriously looked like a mini Chuey though, he was so precious.
So that’s it for this week!!

Love
Hermana Newey/Kiwi/Ricitos de Oro 🙂