May 2011 to May 2013

Monday, September 24, 2012

It Was LIke They Were Family

Hey so this week has been another good week. It has been a harder one, but it was still good! We had some of our super good investigators drop us and say they did not want to know more. It made for a really hard start to the week.

But then, Saturday things started to turn around. It started with some service. We helped a member build in some insulation in his ceiling and roof; which was way fun. We had to put up studs and insulation and drywall and everything. It was a new good experience. Then, one our investigators, who last week said he was never going to read in the Book of Mormon, decided he would read it! The day ended with dinner at the home of a great family.

 Sunday came around and we had an investigator at church!  For a long time, we have had no success getting people to church. Then, the real miracle came. There was a Spanish Fireside and this great investigator family was planning on coming, but they did not show up. So, we rode our bikes all the way across town to see why they were not there, and the old neighbors, who never visit, decided to drop in. The family said they would be late, like an hour late, so they would still be there for the food after. We just knew they had to come into the church. Their friends left a bit late, and then, they got lost in the city. The church is kinda hard to find. I ended up running to the end of the street on one side of the church. Then, they got lost all the way to the other side, so I ran to the opposite end of the street. They finally saw me. They showed up super late and the other families were all leaving, but we had told one family to stay to help us with a tour of the church. It was good thing! They got along super well together. It was awesome. They are now great friends. Also, the investigator family is hoping to come to church! And they felt super welcome because the people who were leavening all came and said hi to them! It was like they were family. I am super excited.




Monday, September 17, 2012

Testimonies Strengthened Every Day

So, I am staying in Selma again. I guess I have found an area where I need to be for a little bit. I am excited to stay again because it seems like I am just not done here yet. We are finding people all the time and it is great. We have really been able to set up this area as one of the stronger areas in the zone. For almost 2 years, it has been a down area.

This week has been a really good week. We baptized a wonderful sister on Saturday! It was a really good baptism and very spiritual. It is so cool to see families put together through baptism. It goes to show that God is a loving God and that he can soften hearts, even if it takes a while. I love seeing the person getting baptized and the joy that comes from that.  

My testimony gets strengthened every day from working out here in the Lord’s vineyard. It is truly a great work. Two years is a long time, but it is all worth it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Blessings of the Spirit

Yesterday, September 9, was a way stressful day. Elder Castillo and I had to talk in the Spanish Sacrament Meeting. I have not given a talk in a long time. The last one I gave was over a year ago, surprisingly. This was my first real talk in Spanish. I was a bit worried, but confident that I could do it. I knew that I can give a talk in English easy, but this Spanish thing kinda scared me. So I wrote a lot more out than I usually do, and there were a lot less bullet points.

When I got up to speak, God blessed me with the words and I just talked and used the outline of my talk. It was weird, because I really did not even read the parts that I had written. It was pretty much just like giving a talk in English.

My Spanish is really starting to come along. The two things that I still struggle with right now are a couple of the verb conjugations and then my vocab needs to get bigger. I have the basics; I just don’t have those cool words to use and a few times I catch myself not knowing a word. But the Lord has blessed me with it after a year of hard work. Maybe when I get home I will be fluent. It will be cool to talk with Trevor and Ryan in Spanish though; I will definitely be learning some stuff from them when I get home.

So, also on Sunday, we had to teach the Spanish Sunday School class. Elder Castillo and I did not even worry about the class; we were just working on our talks. So, we went to the class with nothing but the Spirit and the knowledge of tithing we already possess. The class went very smooth and it was really good. We were able to start up conversations and everything. So it was really good! I definitely have a heart full of gratitude right now.

Enjoying Service in the Local Vineyards

This last week we went and rolled the grapes. So the process of picking grapes and turning them into raisins is kinda hard and it makes me extra excited for college, because there is no way that I want to be out picking grapes and whatever other fruit for a job.
Grape picking starts out with a knife and you cut the grapes off the vine and put them in a big circle tray. Then you empty the tray onto a thing of paper that is about the size of four paper towel squares. The grapes sit on the water proof paper for two weeks, then when the grapes have dried into raisins, you roll them up. Then after another week, you can box them up and ship them out.
So, if you eat a pack of Sun Maid raisins in a while, I might have picked them. If not, then I am in the area where they picked them and boxed them up. Kinda cool huh? And a lot of hard work. It was fun for a day, and I'm glad I finally got a chance to work in the vineyards.

Temple Trip Miracle

Today, September 5, we went to the Fresno Temple. It was way fun to go again and the Lord definitely performed a miracle. Last night, one of the companionships in our district had their ride bail on them. So we told them they could ride with us and it would be all good. But then, our ride bailed on us. So, we had 4 elders not going to go to the temple; I am included in the 4. We finally found a ride that could take us there, but we would have no way back; so we took it. And we trusted that the Lord would provide a way for us to get back. We forgot that a senior couple was in our district; they took 3 of us back and there was 1 seat left in one of the cars for the last of us. We had a miracle drive back to Selma. The Lord provides for his missionaries and those who follow his commandments. It is great to see.