Monday, January 23, 2012

1-23-12- Like a woman

Dearest Family,
Hola from south-land!!! Yes, it is getting SO cold... I think we´re leaving "summer"

This week was good! We found a ton of new investigators, which is really great because we really need them. I know that the Lord will provide and we will keep working and we know we will see the baptisms. We have 3 solid baptismal dates...
Walter is a former investigator with a bunch of attendance who we found in the area book. We went to visit him and after 4 different visits, finally found him... AND, the first thing out of his mouth was that he knows everything is true and that he wants to come back and GET BAPTIZED!!! He accepted a baptismal date for this coming Sunday! He is really great, and will make an awesome priesthood holder... seriously, future missionaries... USE THE AREA BOOK! Their are so many great people in the area book who weren´t ready, but now are so ready and willing to accept the gospel. Do it! Visit them!
Lidia is also a former investigator who we found by mistake looking for Walter. After the first lesson, we found her old teaching record in the area book and it really helped us understand her doubts and in the second lesson, she accepted a baptismal date for the 5th of February. Super great! We had a really powerful lesson with her and it really was very special.
Daniel is GREAT!!! He walked into the church about a month ago during a zone conference and we quickly took down his info and tried searching for him forever, but he was never at home when we went and so we eventually had to drop him (at the time, he also didn´t have a cell phone cuz he had just moved here). Well, Saturday we found him walking in the street and stopped and invited him to church. To our great surprise, he came!!!!!! (Oh me of little faith...) and he LOVED it and said that he felt so good and so much peace. We invited him to be baptized and before we could even finish the invitation, he was saying YES and how soon!!!!!! We set the baptismal date for the 5th!
So we have seen lots of tender mercies and we know that we are going to have a lot of success this transfer... we may be off to a slow start, but everything will come along just fine. And the people are slowly coming back from vacation.. school starts the first week of March so in the next 3 weeks, pretty much everyone will be coming back... we only had 53 people in church yesterday, so most of our members are still gone, but they will be getting back soon.
I forgot to share something from the conference last week that I wanted to share... I think that Dad will especially like it!
How do we fully share a vision (talking about ward council)?
1. Form the vision
2. Share the vision
3. Counsel and agree on the outcome
4. Make specific plans
5. Motivate and inspire others
6. Report back
I thought that was so neat! I wish I would have had that idea in my head during my council time... I think a few council members read the blog... maybe it will help.
Also, he told us that Vision determines direction, goals distance indicators. That was really great! Our branch council this week was really a lot better with this in mind (this vision thing was shared at our Sunday night meeting with all of the district leaders).

So a quick note of apology... I REALLY, REALLY hope that the envelope of Christmas letters gets to you!  I´m afraid that it got lost somewhere or didn´t have enough postage of something... hopefully it´s just behind with the holidays or something... Also, dearest friends, thank you SO MUCH for your love and support and letters and everything... I wrote you back, but put them in with the big envelop to be sent out by my family, and now you may not get them... I´m SO sorry... I really do love and appreciate you all... still hoping that they get there... things ARE slower to and from the end of the earth... it takes a good month and a half or more for things to get here to me, so hopefully you will get your things too... Love you all!
So now that you are all trying to figure out WHY in the world the topic of this email is "like a woman," I will explain...
The other day, we were walking and Hermana Gonzalez said that her legs were killing her... I asked why they were hurting so bad, because mine hadn´t hurt as bad when I got here... she said "probably because I walk like a woman!" hahahaha. Meaning that I walk like a man??? haha. So she loving taught me to walk like a woman by putting one foot directly in front of the other like walking over a straight line. Well, let me tell you... my legs were ON FIRE at the end of the day... I thought they were going to fall off! haha... But after that, we had lots of good laughs about how I walk like a man... good times.

I am so proud of all of you to hear about your success with the daily scripture study! I love, love, love it! Thank you for taking that challenge to heart. This morning, my study was focused on how to use the Book of Mormon more effectively in my teaching, and I was just so happy to think about how much I LOVE the Book of Mormon. Though I´ve read it many times, it´s different every time, and every time I have a witness of it´s truth. Also, I have been reading it in Spanish and it is like a completely new book. My goal is to finish it in Spanish by the April conference... I am determined to do it! I´m only in Alma, but I really want to do it, so I will make it happen. Thank you for all reading the scriptures and going to the Temple like Mackay invited. That´s really so great!
I love you all! Thank you for your examples and dedication in the gospel. I know that the church is true and I am so grateful for this chance to eat, sleep, and breath the gospel! There is really nothing like it. I can´t put into words how great it is to be completely focused on the work of the Lord. Never again will I have this chance. I will one day have to go back to school, get a job, etc... but for now, I can just serve the Lord. I have made some new goals. I really want to say at the end of my mission that I have been transformed. That I have BECOME a true servant of the Lord. That I have gained talents thanks to the Lord that I will then use the rest of my days in serving Him. I want to be changed. I want to be a disciple of Christ. I want to do like Elder Holland says... forever. 100%. He said that when he called the Apostles to leave their ships he meant FOREVER. He meant to have them give EVERYTHING. When we think about it, really EVERYTHING we do IS for the going forth of the gospel. We work so that we can support our eternal families. We go to school so that we can learn all that the Lord already knows. We study the gospel to have a better understanding. We serve because we love the Lord and we love His children. What a marvelous work. I love one sentence in the mission handbook the most:
This is the Lord´s work. May we all do it together!
Hermana Shelley

pictures: 1.  Hermana Gutierez, me, Hermana Milmont, Hermana Gonzalez 
                                            (Sisters from Rio Grande) 
                2. Hermanas Gonzalez and Shelley (Hermana Gonzalez bday)


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