Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Week 19 "I think you're losing your brain." Nov 18

 Nov 18, 2013
Hi Family y Friends!

So much to say and so little time!
Monday was the first snowfall. We were like freaking out and buying hot chocolate and thermoses and stuff haha it was funny. Its warmed back up though. We had a great lesson with Vanessa- She has been reading and praying and progressing! Maybe this week I'll get a picture with her or something.
Tuesday was a great experience! I wrote about it to my mission president and this is what I said:
I am sure Hermana Lopez will tell you about it, but we had a really great experience in implementing what we learned from Elder Martino about finding the right 'Amulek'. So we have two investigators- Maria and Melanie (mother and daughter) and we have had a little bit of a hard time getting through to Maria the mother. For some reason, while thinking of what member/s we need to have meet her, we thought of a member named Hermana Lozano. So since I have been here, Hermana Lozano hasn't exactly wanted much to do with us- not sure why. We tried to visit with her a few times and things never worked out, and later on in my time here in this ward her mother died and so, things have been hard. So I didn't really know this member at all! But even without knowing her, we felt prompted to try very hard to visit with her and later bring her to a lesson with Maria. The first lesson with Hermana Lozano (in my 4+ months of being here) was really great. We felt like she had gained so much trust in us! The miracle really happened when she came with us to a lesson with Maria. Her testimony shone through and touched Maria- and we later found out that Maria had really found a sense of hope in life through Hermana Lozano's kindness and testimony as well. She was in a way 'astonished' like we read about in the story of Alma and Amulek. We need these members so much! We are seeing more and more progression in Maria and Melanie since that time. Very exciting!
So yeah. In Alma 10 (and the surrounding chapters) We learn about Alma- who we can compare to be the missionary- and Amulek we can compare to be the member or less active. When both testimonies were given, the people were astonished! We were able to see that same miracle in our missionary work this week. We hope to see more and more progression with them! I had never seen a member take an investigator under the wing like she had. And there is even MORE  awesome things to the story, but I don't have time to tell!
Wednesday We got to see Manuela again! She is awesome. She keeps praying for a change in her husband so that they can follow this path. She knows the book of Mormon is true!! Wow. Also she is a missionary ha she let her sister in law borrow her copy of the LdM so, good for her haha :)
So wednesday we were about to start a lesson and the phone meowed and I was talking with the lady and Hermana Lopez read it. Later she was like 'Hermana You have to read that." it was a text from the referral system. The text said a name and address,  just moved from Mesa, Arizona, has learned all of the missionary lessons and has already had her baptismal interview. Her daughter is a member and lives in chicago"  WHATTTT I was like whoa whoa whoa what a miracle! Its the miracle that we had been waiting for since our really hard week last week! BUTTT Sadly I've become a little negative and I said I wouldn't gett TOO excited yet. So we go to the GPS after the lesson and find out it is just over the border of our area :((( so we called the sisters in that area and told them. They felt bad but were very excited. BUTTTT they called us again the next day and said the boundaries had changed! So she is ours! we haven't been able to find her yet- we got lost and called her on the phone and she said she'd call us in a little bit after she is settled :( but still! Pretty cool!
So a really sweet lady we are teaching accepted a baptismal date this week! Her name is Antonella. after that lesson we got to meet with her whole family. They are great, pray for them and pray for us to find the right 'Amulek' for them like we found for Maria. It makes all the difference.
Below are a couple pictures from Nicole's farewell saturday night.
She asked me to sing 2 years- I think my ward is sick of hearing it! A couple people from the english wards told me they'd seen it on youtube so, thats pretty cool! But it was a great activity- Ana and Lucia came!! (veryyy less active. it was like a miracle kinda) and also--- Maria and Melanie came with Hermana Lozano! Was very very awesome. So thankful! 
Sunday was a little crazy- there was a tornado and flash flood warning! But it all worked out alright. An investigator that we've only taught once came to church! Her name is Maria Paula and she is so so so sweet. Sacrament was the primary program- (PERFECT) ahh the spirit was so so so strong. She stayed all 3 hours! She really liked it and wants to come next week :)
Dante also came but pobresito lost 40$ at church :( :( he cancelled our lesson after church and it was sad because we had an awesome lesson lined up at a members house after eating dinner with them :( I was so so bummed. I hope he is ok- he is sweet and called us the other day to have us explain who nefi and lehi are :) haha.
I bet you're wondering about my subject title to the email. I will tell you now. So sunday after church we ate dinner with the Esquivel. They are SUCH an awesome, cute, hardworking family. They've been in the church 2 years and Hermano is already an awesome Elders President (what's it called??) and Hermana is a Relief Society teacher. solid solid people. Anyway, they have the CUTEST 6/7 year old boy named Joseph. He is a hooooot. Below is a picture of him and a sign he made for his house. it says "no smocing. no fumando" these are some of the things he said over the course of the night:

(to me, very serious) : "Your hair looks like Dog's hair"
Me: Wow I have forgotten all of my jokes!!
Joseph: "I think you're losing your brain" (yes, maybe true)
Joseph: I heard coke has dead people in it
His mom: goes on to tell us that her sister told them that. they kind of believe it?
Joseph later on: " Oh Coca-cola. They probably get dead people and put their colas in it."
for those of you who don't know spanish,  "cola" means "butt" hahahah idk if these are even funny maybe you had to be there??? Idk
This week I made a little goal to actually share a little more of spiritual things I had learned during study/whatever this week so I'll try!
I loved in Mosiah 5 what we can learn about Covenants. After the people had repented, felt a remission of their sins, felt more joy than they ever had in their lives, they ALL wanted- the desire of their hearts- was to enter into a convenant with their God. How special are covenants! They are crazy important and wonderful blessings. I love how the Relief Society meeting was centered around them this fall. Wow wow- Think about your baptismal covenants more often PLEASE. Temple ones as well if that applies. They're gifts, we just have to do our part now :)
Last week President Fenn said something that really touched my heart/soul. Not gonna lie, its hard being a missionary! I've seen investigator after investigator drop drop drop. Person after person that I love so much and desire their salvation- choose no. My 6 months as a missionary comes this week, and-- yeah I don't want to be too negative. But sometimes I am very close to being discouraged and wondering why! President Fenn told us all (anonymously) about a missionary who is very discouraged and is probably in the most unfortunate circumstances of all. He tells us that baptisms are our goal, but it is NOT how we should ever ever measure our success. It is NOT how he judges whether someone is a good missionary or not. He said to us something to the effect of: "If you are struggling with this, all you need to worry about is whether or not your sacrifice is sufficient in his eyes."
Thats what this is- a sacrifice. This biggest sacrifice I've ever made! He invited us to ask our heavenly Father that question. And to keep humbly serving him with all our might, mind and strength. That is where the success comes from and that is what I came here to do! and I am doing it!
Sooo I'd just like to say that I love you all. I know with out a doubt that this Church is true and we DO have a Father in Heaven who loves us and he DOES speak to us. Through a living prophet, and to our own hearts. Have a good week and don't forget what is important!!!
Love you,
Hermana Carli

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