This week was an eventful week, yet at the same time not. Here's what happened!!
Investigator wise, we weren't able to see a lot of them. We met with Margarita and set up a church tour with an hermana to pick her up an everything, but then she couldn't. We had a really good lesson with another investigator, finally! We haven't been able to get very far w/ her, but we finally were able to explain the whole restoration with her and it went well! At the end she told us she just wants to find 1 church where she agrees with everything and feels comfortable! So that's cool!
We had a really good lesson with a less active hermana in our ward. We read in Alma 32 and she opened up to us again. Earlier she has talked about how she got offended by someone in the church and so doesn't want to see him again, but knows she needs to go to church. This time she added that she doesn't really have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and doesn't understand how it applies to her, but wants to gain a testimony. How easy could it be for me to just give her my brain/experiences I have had with the Book of Mormon, but it doesn't work like that. But we are going to help her gain a testimony of this book and help her understand the message it has for her and how it can help her!
As we had this lesson I learned 2 new things from Alma 32. Hermana Buitrago talked about how to nourish the tree, we don't just give it one thing (like water). But we have to do a bit a multiple things- give it water, sun, fertilizer, good soil, weed, etc. We can't just pray or just read, but we have to have a balance of multiple things to truly nourish our testimonies. I also realized that the fruit after the tree has grown is designed to be eaten multiple times! We don't just grow a tree to eat from it once! That's silly! We want to keep the tree strong and healthy so we can keep eating form it again and again! Same with our testimonies! Eating of the fruit and tasting of the goodness isn't a once in a lifetime experience, not even in a few/rare occasions. But it should be frequent, as we nourish it.
It is getting cold out here in the desert! haha. I've worn my coat multiple evenings. I feel like I'm in Nebraska, except there is no snow.
This week we tried to contact this referral. We knocked and right away this little girl opens the door. We asked if the referral was home, but this little girl (probably like 7) and her brother (probably like 11) wouldn't speak a word. We tried English and Spanish, but nothing. We didn't even know if they could speak! Nobody else seemed to be home so we left. And as we walked away we finally heard the brother speak "did they leave yet?". Lol weird experience.
Other funny story! So for the more youthful people, it is super cute because Hermana Buitrago loves to say "BYE FELICIA!" lol. So this week she met her first Felicia. She spoke only English so I was talking with Felicia. At the end just naturally I said, "Thanks for your help. Bye, Felicia!" Hermana Buitrago started like dying and as soon as I said it I realized what I said. So we went around the corner super quickly and doubled over laughing. We kept laughing even in the car. It was funny!
We had MLC this week! We talked about how numbers are secondary, true desires, doing accountability as a zone, how to motivate others, miracles, using members, using the Book of Mormon, and the parables of the lost sheep, coin, and prodigal son. It was awesome- as always! This week the whole mission is having Book of Mormon week! (so call it the APs). We are going to focus hard core in the Book of Mormon this week and try and use it in every contact, lesson, etc. We want to carry a book in our hands like everywhere we go. It'll be sweet!
We tried by some members we don't know (so probably less actives) the other day. At this one house the hermana wasn't there but we met David! David told us the hermana had begun to talk to him about the church and wanted him to go with her one day! He seems pretty interested! We hope to teach him this week!
Recently we found a recent convert from Lake Elsinore that one of the other hermanas in the ward baptized a little over a year ago! So we had dinner w/ her twice this week! I only taught her like twice before she left Lake Elsinore but she still remembered me! Cutie!
And the highlight of the week- going to the San Diego temple!!! :)
A less active member from Jurupa drove Hermana Flores and I. It is true what they say- when you are driving on the interstate the temple just pops out and it truly looks like a castle! so beautiful! As we got there we saw a good amount of other missionaries. Turns out the missionaries going home from the San Diego mission had their last temple trip- in the same session. I met the mission president and wife (stobbs, I think)- I told them I know Elder Stephen who will enter their mission ( )! What a small world!
We saw a good amount of people from the El Cariso ward! The Esteves Srs. (the ward mission leader) who working during the session. We saw Obispo Valencia, the Magadans, Hermana Nieves, Hna Lem, etc. It was so much fun seeing so many familiar faces in the session!
So the session was all in Spanish!!! Wow!! I was super pumped and didn't want to use headphones. and I didn't! I understood it all! Wow!! It was an amazing experience! I remember about a year ago in my first sundays in the mission getting a headache after 3 hours of church in spanish. But here of spanish in the temple, nothing. It was tan facil (so easy) for me! Cool experience just right there!
The San Diego temple is the prettiest thing! The temple is big, but not as huge as I thought. But so pretty!!! #templegoals
What surprised me was that the temple isn't what amazed me the most, it was Hermana V (the less active hermana Hermana Flores and I taught and helped reactivate, received her endowment ). Hermana V was sitting in the room waiting for everyone else to enter and she requested that we could sit with her and wait. We entered the room and could just see her back. What blew me away was when she turned around. What a beautiful woman, dressed in perfect white, face full of happiness and light. There truly aren't words to describe the experience. She is a changed woman. She has made a lot of changes in her life to be there, but she did. She was so happy, so content.
|TAN HERMOSO! (the temple)|
Here- this is what I told President Hammon about the experience. It is probably that best attempt I can do a trying to describe the experience, because truly I can't do it justice:
"This week Hermana Flores and I had the opportunity to go to the San Diego temple to see a less active Hermana we taught and helped her return to activity in the church receive her endowment. It was a marvelous experience! Of course the San Diego temple is beautiful and huge!!! It was an amazing sight to see! She and I had been waiting months to be able to go to the temple. Even though it was an amazing sight, what stood out to me most was seeing Hermana V in the temple. When she was sitting waiting for everyone to enter into the session, she had ask for us to come in and sit with her. That is the real sight I will never forget. I can't describe the sight of seeing her turn around, seeing her dressed in white, seeing her face full of light. Truly a change has occurred within the last 9 months. I truly saw a new woman. This woman was genuinely happy, full of light and hope and faith. She was worthy- she knew it and God knew it. And that knowledge lifted her. In my three transfers in Lake Elsinore teaching her, I was able to see little changes in her. In this moment it was as if I could see all the changes she has made in a instance- and it was incredible. Truly there are not words fit to describe what I saw and felt. For me, it was one of the best feelings I have felt in my entire life. Moments like these truly make the mission more than worth it. One question I asked myself afterwards was, "What if I never came out on the mission? What if I never met Hermana V and her kids? What if I never had this experience?" The relationship I have with Hermana V and her family and this short time I've had to know them and teach them has changed me. It was changed my life because it has changed me and strengthened my testimony and my desire to perserverar hasta el fin."
|Love the El Cariso ward!|
Amazing! The temple is so sacred, so holy, so peaceful. The experience of going with Hermana V was incredible, indescribable, so worth it.
This upcoming week we have a christmas devotional w/ the south half of the mission and our ward will have the christmas party!
|We helped a recent convert family decorate their christmas tree for a little bit!|
Week 6! transfer calls ! hopefully hna buitrago and I stay together!!