Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Thankfully Maria is Alive and Well!"

Holla mi Familia!

Ok I am so jealous Mom and Dad are in Ireland! Take lots of pictures you two! And I would not be mad if you like sent me awesome stuff from there...just sayin. :)

Anyway, I hope you are all having a great week! My week has been pretty good! Being able to share the gospel is a pretty sweet job! OH! Thank you so much for the package! Ya'll know I love me some goofy balls! :) If I can't go to Disney with you guys that's the next best thing! The GPS you sent is perfect and Dave and Liz loved their gift! So nice of you guys to think of them! AND I LOVED looking through all the pictures! I didn't realize how much I missed your guys' faces! haha looks like California was a blast!

We had an awesome dinner appointment this week with a single woman in our ward. Her name is Bonnie Christensen. She is such an incredible woman! She told us her conversion story and it seriously was an answer to my prayers!...I'll tell you the short version. She was born into a baptist family and was raised baptist until she was a teenager. She told us how baptists believe that If you do not have an unwavering relationship with Christ you were lost in hell. She could not believe that a just God would let people be lost even if they are good people. So she left the baptist church and found the Catholic church. She was very involved in the Catholic church after that. Well, I guess one summer she had a really rough patch in her relationship with her father. She said she would yell at him and was really mean, and after the summer she felt terrible about it. So she went to Cathlic confession to repent. When she told the priest what had happened he asked her how many times she had done this. She said...I dont know, all summer. He insisted on a number so she left and tried to add it up. She had no idea but she estimated about 100 times. So she went back and told him 100 times she had done it. The priest took a min to add it all up then said...Ok you must say 10 hail marys and you are forgiven. He gave her the prayer beads and sent her to the rosery to recite her 10 hail marys. (one hail mary is this long chant to the mother mary) She walked into the rosery and looked out on all these people rushing through these recitations as fast as they could so they could get out of there, and thought...this is not repentance. She got through about 2 hail marys then threw her beads down and had her records removed from the Catholic church the next day. At this point in her life she was so lost and confused. She said one night she prayed and said...God, I know the baptist church is not true and I know the catholic church is not true...why can't I find the truth? Well the next morning the missionaries were at her door. She knew it was an answer to prayer so she let them in and they taught her the restoration. They came back and taught her about the Book of Mormon. She was amazed. She could feel the truth of their message. But unfortunatley she moved apartments right after that. She contunued to read the Book of Mormon on her own. Not taking the missionary lessons in her new apartment because she didnt know how to contact them.

About 5 months later she finished the Book of Mormon. She said she took Moroni's challenge to ask if the book was true very seriously. So she did and she recieved an overwhelming confirmation that is was true. But she still had no idea how to contact the missionaries. Well a few years earlier she had gotten in a small car accident. She remembered that the woman she got in a car accident with sent her to her atorney. She remembered him saying he was Mormon. This man was the only mormon she had ever met. So she took a 2 hour bus ride to this mans office. She said I don't have an apointment but I need to talk to him. So he allowed her to come in. He remembered her from the accident and asked what he could do to help her. All she said was...I know you are Mormon and I know your church is true but I have no idea how to join it. He got her in contact with the missionaries in her area and she was baptized shortly after. 

This story was so inspiring to me. And it was an answer to my prayer. Lately I have been getting frustrated becasue a lot of our investigators feel the spirit while we are there and invite us back, but never keep commitments or come to church. Or we find someone to teach and they move or are never home or never answer their door. This story helped me know that even though I might not know what happens to them after we teach them, they were touched by the spirit and they may choose to act on that later in their life. Bonnie said that she was never able to tell the first missionaries that taught her that she moved or that she ended up getting baptized. They probably went to her apartment the next week to teach her again and she was gone. They probably thought she forgot about their message and lost the Book of Mormon. (Like I think about alot of people we have contacted) But she didn't! Those missionaries were an answer to her prayer. Bonnie said...they still don't know to this day but they changed my life!...Maybe we dont know how many lives we change. Maybe we don't know how many prayers we answer. Even though none of our investigators have been baptized maybe we are changing lives. And like those missionaries that first taught Bonnie maybe we will never know the profound effect we will have on someones life. Her story made me realize that even if we have no baptisms and none of our investigators came to church that week we are still doing His work. If I am working as hard as I can then that is all the Lord expects of me. And if I work as hard as I can I can be a tool in his hands to change lives....It's not about me. Missions are about loosing yourself in His work. It's not about If I had a bapism or if I had a successfull week....it's about CHRIST and if HIS work is moving forward. We simply must do his work and lives will be changed...this goes for you guys too not just missionaries...You never know when you will be an answer to someones prayer!

Whoa...sorry that got heavy..I turned all Sister England on ya for a second haha Anyway that was an awesome experience and this week really has been great!

We got a referal this week for this woman named Maria. So we found her address and go to teach her. Her daughter answered and we asked for Maria. She said she was kind of sick and that we had to go down stairs to teach her because she was laying in bed. So we did. Guys...Maria is super old...keep that in mind. So we go down and talk to her for a second. She seems kind of out of it. And we ask if we can start with a prayer. She says yes and puts one arm over her face. (Like so her elbow pit was covering her eyes) and her other arm was down by her side. So I finish the opening prayer...we say amen...and she doesn't move. We wait for a second (thinking she is finishing her own prayer or something...hispanics do that alot) but no...she doesn't move. We sit there for like a few min and nothing. We both were like....crap she's dead! They family is going to hate us AND the church because we try to teach her and she dies!...So we are both like silently freaking out...then all of a sudden her hand that is down by her side twitches...Sister Martinez and I both start laughing so hard. Trying so hard to be quite so we don't wake her because clearly she is indeed...alive. We are both laughing so hard and can not stay quiet and despite my atempts to hold it in I bust out in laughter...facing the corner so she might not hear me. Sister Martinez is pretending to find something in her bag to cover the noise of her laughter...and all of a sudden Maria wakes up to our laughing. And the second we see her waking up we both cough like we had something in our throat to cover for our laughter. Anyway we ended up teaching her a great lesson on the restoration and it all turned out okay...and thankfully Maria is alive and well! haha

Well anyway I am out of time. But I love you all so much! Keep being the amazing people you are!

Te quiero MUCHO!
Love, Hermana England 

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