The weather here is comparable to Hawaii so I'm quite happy for this week! However, Wal-Mart has put out their sunscreen so I am worried it won't last too long :/
|Laughing hysterically up to the end!|
|Trying to fit in Hermana Clark's suitcase|
Sister Pierson is all ready a huge blessing though! Her Spanish is incredible! It's in the same place mine was when I came out so she understands everyone, she can respond easily, and is not nervous to speak and help me teach. She hit the ground running hard....and was talking to strangers at dinner, discerning investigator's needs, and giving great teaching ideas. This is such a huge blessing because our area is skyrocketing with people to teach that want to be baptized....and we can't afford to slow our pace! She is 22 and from the Long Beach area in California, and graduated from BYU last year with a rec-management degree. The company she was working for had to close down, and with that and some other signals, she decided to serve a mission. She studied 4 years of Spanish in High School, and 6 weeks in the Provo MTC and she must have remembered a lot or learned fast, because she does not speak like a new missionary! She's super outgoing, and just wants to work and learn all the time....she's keeping me on my toes that's for sure!
|My new companion, Hermana Pierson|
Ok, next biggest news of the week. The Scottsdale mission has been approved to receive iPads in May!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! We are incredibly excited...and we're all ready counting down how many planners we have left before they are electronic :) 2.
Because it has been 10 crazy days, I can't remember the order of how things happened, so I'll go by name!
Concepcion is progressing faster than I could have ever imagined. We met her the first week of January, she was baptized the first week in February, and the last week of February she was in the Mesa temple doing baptisms for the dead! She's spoken in Sacrament meeting, accompanied us on lessons, said a prayer in Sacrament meeting, bore her testimony on fast, and is a Visiting teacher now. Baptisms for the dead were the best part of the week though :) We went night as Sister Clark's final hurrah and what a great ending. Concepcion told us afterwards that she just felt like everything went away in the temple, and she was in a different place. She then asked us how often she gets to go, if she can go by herself, and told us she's going to invite her mormon friend at work to go with her :) We are so proud of her! she bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and her experience in the temple. She has such a huge influence on Xochitl, so we are super grateful for that!
|Concepcion at the Temple|
Xochitl is still progressing towards her baptism date! We taught her about the temples and family history work with Concepcion, and then later on in the week we went over the baptismal interview questions with her. She still has some concerns about who Joseph Smith is to us, and isn't quite sure about the living prophet, but we're glad we found that out so we know what to focus on this week! Daniel passed the interview questions with flying colors :) And when we asked him what repentance means to him, he bore a great testimony that we can change, and that Heavenly Father forgives us. Hopefully we see a wedding next weekend so they can get baptized the following week....
Valeria and Susana are miracles. They have been inactive members for about 4 years, and one day just showed back up at church! Valeria is 19 and going to a college, and Susana is 22 with 3 little kids. We found out this week that Valeria wants to receive her patriarchal blessing and possibly serve a mission!!!! We took them to Meet the Mormons last week and the missionary story really touched her. Hopefully we can help her get out in the field! She loves to come on lessons with us, and is willing to do and go wherever!
|Valeria and Susana|
Jairo is still coming to church weekly, andhe has an interview with the Branch President so he can receive the priesthood. We took him and Ernie to the Mesa Visitors center this week to watch the hour long Joseph Smith movie and they both liked it. We asked them what they learned and they said, "Everything!" apparently they didn't understand the story very much and now, after seeing a visual it's much easier to understand. I took Sister Pierson to meet them last night, but only Ernie was home.
|Baros, Short, Noorda, Ernie & Jairo|
Ernie is progressing :) Sister Clark went to talk to himmorning so she could say goodbye, because he had to work during church. Sister Clark was very bold with him and said "Do you know this church is true?" He looked her in the eye and said "Yes." She then invited him to be baptized, but he wouldn't commit to it. But we weren't too concerned because that was the first time he'd admitted that he knew it was true. Last night when Sister Pierson and I taught him, he really opened up and I think it might be because Jairo wasn't listening, so we might need to find more oportunities like that. When Ernie was our age he served a mission in Mexico for the Christian church and he said his biggest stumbling block right now is coming to terms with the fact that what he grew up with was wrong, and that what we are teaching is the real truth. He feels "weird" leaving his roots. But he again said he knows this is true, and he's just nervous to act. However!!! He did agree to prepare for baptism on the last Saturday in April!! Whoop whoop!
The Selenas family!!!! This is the family that was studying with us and the Jehovah's witnesses at the same time....well I don't think they are anymore! They weren't too excited about their "no donating blood" rule or the rule against celebrating any holidays. We talked to them about why we celebrate Christmas and Easter, and that any other activity is for us to have fun and spend time as a family. Hermano Selenas told us how much better he felt, that they had worried they were offending God, and now he felt peace. The best part was seeing them come to Church...all 6 of them! My first complete family at church!!!! All 4 kids went to Primary or nursery....1 of them left screaming though. The parents both liked it, and they said they will be coming back :) The father said he felt a peace and a love there that he had never felt before and that he recognizes he's in the right path. I was so happy for them! Sister Pierson's first lesson was with them last night and we brought our blind member, who bore testimony of her conversion. The parents were so grateful to hear her testimony and joy in the gospel. They are now on date to be baptized the first in May. April they said was too soon, but I think after a few more weeks they'll be willing to be baptized sooner. For now though, they are on a date!
Lorenzo's wife Lupita wants to be baptized, but we can never seem to find her. We have another appointment tonight and hopefully it goes through because if she really wants to be baptized at the end of this month, we've got a lot of teaching to do! She also went to work instead of church....and since she's self-employed that's kind of an issue :p Hopefully this week she will make a bigger effort. Yasury did come however! For the first time in a few months, and it just so happens that we haven't visited her in a while. So she's really choosing on her own, or Lorenzo is being a really good patriarch in the home :) Either way I was really happy to see her there.
Well there are all the exciting points for this week! I'm sure I'll have some more:) This area I'm in is quite the adventure....we always have new stories to tell :) Like last night I ate at my first taco truck. I ordered Carne Asada tacos, but when I saw brain, tongue, and intestines on the menu...I wondered what was really in my taco! Oh well...whatever it was it was good!
|P-Day at Phoenix Zoo|
Have a good week family, hopefully it's not too cold! Someone told me you got some snow?
I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU!!!
|Funny letter from Hermana Clark|