it's not snow it's not snow it's not snow---it is merely a lot A LOT A LOT of rain. Wow, it has been in the 80's this whole week, which sounds delightful, but it isn't because it doesn't feel like Christmas and i am sweating like a pig, and my clothes are getting boring because it is the same season all year round. but, then again, if you drive really fast with the windows rolled down, listening to Christmas music, it almost feels like winter--almost.
hey, thanks for all of the great packages this week. i got one from kansas! i only opened one of the pressies--the CD's, because i knew it was at least one CD, but then i was shocked to find 5!!!! oh, it has made my week, and many more weeks to come. Thank you! The other one i am saving for Christmas. I also got one from Provo. Thank you, it is also waiting for Christmas. And yes, there is a TJ Max kless than 2 miles away, which i just learned yesterday. Mom--you would be so proud. there were so many cheap skirts at TJ Max, but i did not buy them because i have to wait until after Christmas, like you made me promise to do. I also got a package from Hanford. Come to find out, my companions and roommates love pistachios, and we will just sit there, planning for the next day, passing the bag around and a little cup which we have dubbed the spittoon. So many great things. i don't know if that package from Mom and Dad is here yet, but the mission office is in my area, so we might just have to make some stops and find out if it has arriaved.
transfers are this week. I am staying in the area, and the two sisters areas are combining again. right now, at this very moment, we have over 10 progressing investigators. and also, three new members, since Sunday. we will be very busy. my companion is sister Miller. i don't know if i have talked about her before, but she came into the mission the transfer after me. she was trained by my trainer in my training area, if you recall i was just switched to the other area in Hialeah. she and i then moved to hollywood together. the poor thing has had me as a roommate since her mission started and so for her, she has never not been around me, if thatmakes sense. we are both pretty young in themission, but we are going to have a great transfer. she and i have become good friends, which was shocking to me because she is one of those ditzy, cute girls who flirts with everyone and that normally drives me nuts. but she has a heart of gold. plus, i think one of the elders from Hialeah, Elder Bacon, who is so awesome and one of my best friends ever is coming to hollywood this transfer. it is like my little dream team. i am so nervous to be senior companion. this last transfer i wasn't senior comp, but i had to do a lot of the leading because my companions are kinda young and they needed some kind of guidance. i just silently took lead, while letting them know that they were in charge. but now i really am going to be senior companion and i am scared!!! oh well, we have already talked about it, since President told me this was going to happen in PPI's on Tuesday. I have some ideas that i think will work, and i know that we will work together to strengthen, support, and uplift each other, along with the ward and our newly expanded area. it is going to be new and different.
oh--sarah, that memory card isn't working, so i will send it with the christmas package that is being sent later today. Oh, i am sending two packages home. one is of stuff i don't need anymore and one is a christmas package, so keep an eye out for it all. oh, and i don't know if i told you enough times, but you can call the mission office (954)462-6959, when kacey gets her call and then they will forward the news on to me. oh, and what was grandma's Christmas card all about? i didn't get it.
Something cool i want to remember always and that i want to share with you.
Sunday we had 2 baptisms in the Northeast. It was really cool. One experience really taught me a lot about the Spirit and how essential it is to our life here on earth. One of our investigators, who was supposed to get baptized came into the chapel with a dark cloud hovering over his head. He exclaimed that he could not get baptized and then listed a few of the most lame excuses ever as to why he could not get batized. Then one of the members said that it was ok not to get baptized yet because the missionaries were probably just pressuring him anyway. Sister Deloya left, taking the member with her…we weren’t very happy with him, he was destroying our work and efforts. Then Sister Schulthies and I sat down with Mateo, the investigator, and shared a couple of thoughts with him. His demeanor did not change. So, we sat there for awhile, listening to his lame excuses until a thought hit me.
“If Jesus Christ were here right now, at a baptismal service for Mateo, what would He say to you specifically?”
“Pues (his favorite word)…I would just sit there and listen.”
“No, what woul he say to you?”
“I don’t know. Something magnificent.”
“He would say this…’Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world. Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.’ Notice how this doesn’t say all who are perfect He just extends the offer to all. And then Jesus did something else, after everyone had the opportunity to witness for themselves…something before He even started teaching them. Jesus gave the power to baptize right away. Baptism is essential, that is why Jesus taught it right away.”
His demeanor lightned a little bit, but he didn’t fully believe it. Then a thought came to my head, and I know it was the Spirit because it was too good to be from Hna Barros. I was told to open to Doctrine and Covenants 4. I asked if he wanted to ‘embark in the aservice of God?’”
Will “you serve him with all your heart? Might? Mind? Strength?”
He answered yes to all of them with a nod of quiet assurance.
“Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are acalled to the work.’ Do you have the desire?”
“Then, right here Jesus says you are called to the work. Not if you are perfect, not if you know everything, but if you have the desire. You have that desire Mateo. Now let’s go and get this baptism started.”
Mateo got baptized that night. Now, I don’t tell this story to bring glory to myself, because I would never have thought to use this scripture in such a way, it was so brilliant it had to be from the Spirit and I know that the Psirit wass the ture converter in that moment, I was just an instrument in the Lord’s hands. I learned a very valuable lesson, though. I want to be worthy to have that inspiration come when I need it, not for myself, but for others. I want to cultivate this Spiritual gift so that when I am a mom I can utilize it when teaching my children. I want it as a visiting teacher, a member missionary, as a wife, as a Daughter of God. I want to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands, this is a desire of my heart.
the other man who got baptized was the man i talked about last week, that we found playing basketball one night. His name is sergio. He is such a cool guy. Anyway, the night before his baptism we went to see him and fill out his baptismal record. when we were done we told him that we have transfers this next week and that Hna. Felton and Hna. Deloya were leaving. eh said that it didn't matter because he knows the church is true and he will always go to church. he then told us that we can come back in a year (which i plan on doing) and we can ask for Sergio and he will be there, still going to church because it is the truth. SOLID GOLD. what a pleasure it is to serve with these people. i only hope and pray that i will see him after this life and get to talk to him. there are only a few people i want to really sit down with in the celestial kingdom and ask them how their life went after we parted ways, and Sergio is one of them.
also, since i have been talking about the dream team and the celestial kingdom, i plan on going to the lecture circuit, or maybe even sponsoring the lecture circuit put on by Isaiah, James E. Talmage and Nephi and maybe John the Beloved. I would love to sit in a large auditorium and hear what they have to say about everything. my personal study has been 2nd Nephi (isaiah) Jesus the christ, james E., and Revelations. All of these things blow my mind. So, i think i am going to start petitioning a lecture circuit in the Spirit World. Whose with me?!?!?!?
anyway, that is enough. i got the matters of business done. I got to bear my testimony and then share the spirit with you all, and then i got a bit of blasphemy out as well. i guess i should've stopped when i was ahead, but i have never done that before, why start now.
love you all soooooo much!! take care and...can't wait to talk to you all shortly. Don't have too much fun without me. and if you play pinnochle, please bid into the 300's once in awhile.
love love love