Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Transfer 10

Transfers have come and gone and I am staying, yet another transfer, in Sparks.  Number 10!  Pretty sure it's a mission record, staying in the same stake for that long.  It's been great, I love it.  Sis Sweany and I will be staying together again, which will be boss!  She is such a great missionary and we have a good time together.  But President always has to mix things up somehow.  Since so many missionaries are going home in the near future, a couple areas are going to be closing.  So for the past couple months we have only been covering half the ward but now the Elders that cover the other half are being taken out and we are now going to be covering the whole ward.  Just like it was the first time I was here!  That's going to be weird.  I finally stopped having to say "yes, you have seen me before, I was here a year ago" and now I'm going to have to do it again.  They see a lot of the same people I did before but they never went to church so I haven't seen them since I've been here.  So that'll be fun.  Actually I am pretty excited.  We are going to be so busy which is going to be awesome!  I love being busy.
So.  Now onto the week.  The stake has started something called Why I Believe firesides.  And basically the idea is to have a couple recent converts come and share their testimonies and how their lives have changed because of the gospel.  Then we can invite all those that we teach to come and hear them speak.  It was so powerful.  A couple of the people that talked have only been members for a couple weeks so it wasn't very refined but you could feel the spirit so strong.  I think it's a great way to help them put into words why they joined the church and then to help those that are learning or coming back or recently baptized themselves to hear the experiences of people that were in similar situations to their own.  
Then!  We got to go to the temple and do baptisms with our recent convert.  Probably the best experience I have ever had doing baptisms.  There were a couple people that were also there for the first time in the temple and so it was just amazing.  They brought family names which made it even sweeter.  The temple is the best place ever; I wish I could just live there.  We also took someone up there to walk around the temple and then a member of the presidency came out and talked with him.  They are so inspired.  We didn't give him any background or anything but he addresses his concerns perfectly.  The church is true and the spirit is awesome!  That's the only reason we see any kind of success at all on the mission, because it is true.  Otherwise what we did would never work.  That's been one of the biggest testimony builders on the mission.  
Oh, P.S.  This week I went on exchanges twice, both to biking areas.  And I am a little sunburned and a little sore.  Life of a missionary! :)
Well!  Love you all and enjoy the warm weather!

Sis Rae

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Keep On, Keepin' On!

That is the favorite phrase of Burt, the 96 year old that we are teaching. He's awesome.  
Story time!  We had a couple amazing miracles happen this week so you get to hear about them! :)  So we have been teaching these two girls that have been meeting with missionaries for years.  Their mom and dad are divorced and their mom is super active and their dad is kind of anti and won't let them be baptized even though they both really want to be.  So missionaries have been teaching them for forever.  Well.  We decided that it was time for it to end.  God can do anything, right?  Including softening hearts, which has been happening to their dad, slowly.  So last week we had this amazing lesson about the miracles that Christ performed while on the earth and the faith of those that were the recipients of those miracles.  Then we talked about how when we show our faith that God can really bless us and give us those righteous desires that we ask for.  So we had them select a date to be baptized; taking that huge leap of faith.  (Don’t worry, we cleared it with their mom first before we did it).  They surprised both of us by picking a date super soon, really relying on the Lord to help them get to that date! Then we had a fast with them and a couple members of the ward that their dad's heart would be softened and that they could be baptized on the date that they had picked.  Last weekend they were at their dad's house and had planned on asking for his permission then.  So we were nervous for them all weekend, we really didn't want them to be disappointed.  But we didn't have to worry, the Lord always comes through!  They got permission to be baptized!!!!  It was the best moment ever; they have wanted it so long and now they can finally do it!  With faith, all things are possible!
Our other miracle happened that same day.  We have been teaching this guy who really likes what we have to say but hasn't been sure if he really wants to commit to the kind of lifestyle we live i.e. church every week, reading the scriptures every night, completely giving up his tea etc.  Why can't we just mostly do what God wants us to do? was basically always his question. Well we taught him the Plan of Salvation and nothing really special happening.  Just ok, that's cool.  So we left him with the pamphlet and committed him to read it and pray about it and set up an appointment with him the next day.  The next morning we get a call from him and he asks us if we could come by any earlier because he had something he needed to talk with us about.  Uh-oh.  Never good signs.  We honestly thought he was going to drop us (you become kind of jaded as a missionary...) but thank goodness we were wrong!  Apparently he had had the most amazing experience while reading the pamphlet.  You know last time I mentioned that there is always something that just clicks with people, like the light bulb has gone off?  Well that happened for him.  It was awesome, he got emotional just telling us about it; we saw him almost every day this week and he brought his whole family to church and wants to be baptized in a couple weeks.  It's amazing the transformation that happened!  The gospel is true!
But those were our really neat experiences.  Sis Sweany and I have both been sick this week so the past couple days we haven't been able to do much.  We drag ourselves to maybe one lesson a day and then sleep, but we are finally getting out of it.  Opposition in all things, I guess.  But bring it on if awesome things keep happening elsewhere!
Hope you all have a great week and enjoy the sunshine!
Sis. Rae

Jackson and Katie's baptism

Me and sis. Sweany

This Girl Is On Fire!

What a week!  It's been a roller coaster ride.  So many good things and so many hard things.  So remember what I said last week about feeling like a bad luck?  Well, this week, almost everyone we teach has either been in the hospital themselves or had pets die or family get in serious accidents or lost their job.  It's been fun. BUT!  Besides that we have had some pretty amazing lessons and experiences.  I think when things get hard it allows us or reminds us to rely on the Lord that much more and because of that, we can have some pretty sweet experiences.  
We have had a couple lessons this week that the Spirit was so strong and that we were able to get to the heart of people's concerns and hopefully help them continue to build that relationship with their Savior.  So that has been really exciting and fulfilling.  Makes up for some of the craziness in other parts of the world ha-ha
We also met and have started teaching a Muslim this week.  He is super cool, from Egypt, and is super smart.  It's really fun to teach people with different backgrounds and find that common ground with them.  Also, it's interesting talking to someone who believes Jesus Christ is a prophet but not the Son of God.  It makes you think a little harder about how to approach them and you have to revamp your teaching a little bit.  Always an adventure!
Also, we had another baptism this week!  A father and his daughter.  They have been through 7 sets of missionaries and finally decided to take the leap!  It had been completely fantastic to see the transformation in their lives (they do not have it easy) and how they have changed their environment as they have learned about the gospel and the changes in themselves.  They are such a cute family and so on fire to learn and be a part of the gospel.  It’s interesting how certain things hit certain people.  His trigger was when he heard the phrase "come into the fold".  It really hit him and has encouraged him to make those changes and be baptized.  You can always pinpoint the time when the light flips on and it really becomes a part of the person.  Best feeling ever!
And I just realized that I forgot my camera so pictures will come next week! Well, I am running out of time so I will talk to you all next week!  Happy Father's day to all those out there!
Sis. Rae

Wack Attack

This week has been, yet again, an insane week.  Up and Down and then back Up again.  We had a baptism Saturday and then a couple more this next week so we are getting hit pretty hard by the adversary; us and the people we teach. Sometimes I feel like a bad luck charm, we show up and bad things start happening.  But there are amazing beautiful things as well so I guess we then would be good luck?  Opposition in all things I guess.  
We have had some of the most amazing spiritual experiences this week but we are both bone tired and so exhausted.  You really notice it when there is such a contrast between things that may be happening in their lives and the Spirit that comes when we bring out the scriptures and start talking about the gospel.  Such a cool thing and experience!
Well, like I said, we had a baptism this Saturday.  We have been teaching the Segovianos for a couple months, such a cute family.  Melissa was raised LDS but hasn't practiced for a long time and recently started coming back.  And then her husband, Marco, wanted to start learning and was able to be baptized this week.  So, I may have mentioned this before, but Marco works in the restaurant in two Casinos in Reno, and their hours are not very flexible, especially on the weekends.  So a couple weeks ago we had a fast, along with a couple people from the ward that Marco would be able to get Sundays off and come to church.  Well!  Since that fast, he has had every Sunday off and his boss is working it out that he can get every Sunday off.  So cool!  Prayers are answered.  And in a year, this cute little family can be sealed in the temple.  
But yeah, my brain is mush so that's all I can think of right now.  Hope you all have a great week and we'll talk to you later!

Sis. Rae