Monday, October 24, 2016

dorothy's baptism!


She is so amazing and her baptism was great! We actually had some ward members come, even though it was an awkward Friday morning baptism, but her brother came to support her as well as 4 other missionaries, it was wonderful. It's the best feeling in the whole world to be able to bring someone closer to Christ and to bring someone in as solid as Dorothy was amazing. Heavenly Father is so great, none of that could be possible without Him. Nothing Sister Dimond or I said did anything, but through prayer and commitments and the Holy Ghost Dorothy was baptized!

Plot twist... It is getting cooler in South Florida. It is actually the best thing in the world and it feels like Christmas came early. That is all I wanted after a miserable August.

Sister Dimond and I also ran from her first dog. We were knocking in the ghetto (best place to be) and we were walking up to this house that looked pretty abandoned. But also that there might be people there... so of course we went to knock it. There was something blocking the front entry way but I was like, "whatever I'll move it." I got right up to it when this pitbull came out of nowhere from behind the wall and leaped up like it was going to bite me. We booked it off the property and the dog literally almost jumped the wall. We ended up just laughing because it literally scared the heck out of us. So, thank you Miami.

Also, at a meal appointment we were fed amazing arroz con pollo and halfway through the meal Sister Dimond turns to me and goes: "I swallowed a bone..." Okay? You'll survive right? Then she goes, "and it's stuck..." Well, that is not good. After eating about 2x as much as she had room for, then calling the mission nurse, the bone finally went down about 5 hours later. She's a survivor.

Honestly this week was so focused on the baptism, and yet we were still able to find and teach a ton of people! Dorothy passed her interview on Wednesday night perfectly, (even though she didn't understand why we couldn't be in the room with her) and then we got to meet with Courtney, the 14 year old investigator. She truly has a strong desire to be baptized but her mom is still kind of holding back on the permission. We have faith that she will be baptized soon and are really just praying that it happens this Saturday. Courtney has such a strong testimony and we are going to help her no matter what it takes!

1: When you have 45 minutes to fill the font... take selfies

2: Dorothy and her brother!

3: Yay!

4: Baptisms! (shout out to Elder Mears for baptizing her!)

5: When you walk out of the library on p-day and a Jehovah's Witness stops you to hand you a pamphlet... so you hand them one back.

6: the wonderful miracle text our district leader sent out....they actually got no work done that day because #traffic

7: when you look disgusting at the end of the day but you gotta take a selfie.

8: Miami stop signs...

9: Shout out to all the senior missionaries in this mission... they are the best and they text pictures to your family after you pass your cleaning inspection! (shout out to the 9 months of Elders we are still cleaning up after)

Monday, October 17, 2016

planting seeds

WOW, this week was great. So, South Miami didn't really get any damage so we aren't doing any clean up down here, but the ward members did go up north this weekend to help out. We are very grateful that we are spared and continuing to pray for those affected, especially in Haiti and Cuba.

This last p-day we went to the zoo. The Miami Zoo is amazing. It is so beautiful and thanks to an amazing member, we got to go for free! Blessings all around. Then we got the week started with a zone training on Tuesday about how we need to get more people to church, because you can't get baptized without coming to church. So we did that and one thing that I really liked from it was "If you are doing the work, you can't do a bad job." It's so comforting to know that as long as we do our part as missionaries, it doesn't matter who accepts us or not.

But, thank goodness people do accept us. Dorothy is getting baptized this Friday! She came to church and loved it yet again and just loves us. She calls us her daughters every time we are over there and just loves us. It's like having our own little grandma out here. We went over the questions with her last night for the interview and she "pre-passed" with flying colors. of course. there were no doubts in my mind. She's very excited and leaves little pamphlets out for her brother to read... go Dorothy!

Also, we had a lesson with our girl Courtney. She's 14 and has been coming to church for about a year and a half now but never got permission to be baptized. She told us that her grandmother and mom were okay with her being baptized and she will be baptized the 29th of this month! We were so excited and she is just really pumped for it all. She wants one of her friends to do it which is going to be so much more special! It was a really awesome day and just great news to hear!

We also went on a full day with our STL's this week. Sister Dimond went to Riverside for the day. Riverside is Miami Miami. I was scared to send my baby there but she did good, it was fun! Also super weird to not be with her for the day, but the STL's were also both sick so we took EXTRA precautions and cleaned everything when they left. We cannot get sick here in the October #Huntfor100.

Our mission is really heating up and getting excited for the month of October. Our baptism goal every month is 100, but we've been seriously slacking and not achieving it. BUT, everyone is working so hard so far this month and we are going to get it. We all have so much faith to find them and get them baptized in this month and we are so excited that this weekend we get to contribute to that number!

Also got some great news from Vanderbilt Beach, my last area! One of the AP's was on exchanges with our ZL's who we share the ward with and at our meal appointment he told me that Nicole and her kids, who we were teaching last transfer had gotten baptized this weekend!!!!!!!!!!! AND that Guyrlene, who me and Sister Rosario found while knocking got baptized on Saturday too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOO planting seeds and working on the same team is amazing. It was great news and I am so happy to hear that! They were all so wonderful and I am forever grateful that I got to be a part of their journey!

1: At the zoo!

2: Bruce Springsteen is in hiding as a dentist

3: When your Mission President says pack up and then nothing happens

4: Here's a better sunset dad... We have palm trees

5: Comp pic after a long nasty day of sweating. When is it going to cool down?


7: We found this awesome golden elephant at the zoo


9: #stop

10: She's not my daughter... she held a ferret. Nasty.

Monday, October 10, 2016

miracles and a hurricane

Hello, hello! We survived a hurricane this week! On Wednesday morning we got a text from our mission President to pack our go bags and wait for further instructions and then at 9am he evacuated 4 of the 9 zones to the chapels. Thank goodness it wasn't ours because while we had to stay in the house for 35 hours, we got to sleep in our own beds which was a blessing. It ended up going more north and didn't even hit the mission. Missionary prayers were answered! It turned and went up but we were still praying for those that it affected, I'm just grateful that it wasn't us! There were people going insane. There was no gas anywhere. The lines were like down the street to get some. It was CRAZY. We just got some wind and hard rain down south though.

Besides the miracle of the hurricane missing us, we were blessed with so many more miracles this week!

Tuesday, me and Sister Dimond both felt super prompted to knock a certain street when we looked on the map and so we went and started knocking. At first nothing was happening. Then we knocked on a door and found Kim. She let us in and we prayed with her, and then she asked if we had a pamphlet we could leave. We taught her and she loved it and was so excited to learn more. She accepted a date for the 29th of October. We were so excited and could see the way the Lord is preparing people all around us! We left a Book of Mormon with her and she was so excited to read it. She said she would start as soon as we left. Unfortunately she didn't come to church but we are meeting with her tonight.

Then we go to Friday, after the hurricane. As a mission, at 5:00 every Friday, we knock to find families. So we were knocking this area and knocked into G and M. We asked if they wanted a prayer and G says: "I'm actually a member!" He's been less active for about 10 years but immediately invited us in and M started asking us all kinds of questions about the church and we did our best to answer them all as fast as she was giving them. She really has a sincere interest in learning more, and even though she has no religious background, she wants her 3 children to be raised in the church. G was raised in the church,in Utah, so he knows how much it helps when they're kids so he was very excited to see us there. They invited us back Saturday night for dinner and the best Key Lime Pie I have ever eaten. I don't know how she did it, it was incredible. We shared the rest with them and she really wants to get baptized, but they aren't married. So we gotta work on that first! It was amazing to find our vision family that we had set and we left in complete shock. It was just a week full of miracles.

We are also working with Dorothy. She's a 65 year old woman who is super sweet. She was a bible referral and loves learning and reading. She has been to church 2 times and will be baptized next week. She came to church yesterday and said to the teacher: "I just gotta say somethin' I've been itchin' to say, Joseph Smith was a prophet..." and then bore her testimony on the Book of Mormon and the church. We were just so happy this week with all the lessons and investigators and miracles that we have been able to see. Dorothy is progressing so well and reads everything we leave with her and asks a ton of questions so that she makes sure she really understands it. She already told us she wants us to meet her brother and teach him, so she's already doing missionary work herself!

This week I read a great quote about member missionary work. It's from President Eyring and about how we all need to share what we have. He says, "All of the people that we meet here will know what we had when we were here and will wonder why we didn't share it with them. They will know that we knew the truth, and will know we didn't share it." It just shows how important it is that we share with everyone the things that we know. There shouldn't be anything holding us back, we should share it and we will be able to see blessings.

To me at home, it was so much harder to share the gospel with friends and people I saw everyday. As a missionary it is so much easier to walk up to random people and just share it with them. Elder Oaks or Hales, I don't remember shared at conference that it doesn't matter the length of time you have known someone, share it. So that is my invitation: share the gospel with someone this week. Post a picture on Instagram or Facebook or something. Share the light!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Monday, October 3, 2016

conference gems and a gun?!

It was General Conference this weekend and we got to hear some amazing messages from our prophet and apostles. It was incredible! Missionaries + General Conference = happy missionaries. I don't know if we could have handled all the stress of missionary work this week without it. The messages are so different as a missionary and you just get to hear things from so many different views.

This week was also a week of firsts. Sister Dimond got to hit up her first sketchy apartment complex, and let me tell you... it was beyond sketchy. We ran out of there as soon as we met with the members. It was not a great place to be, but we were protected and safe now. I also said something that I never thought I would say in my entire life (Mom and Dad, maybe skip this part). I actually uttered the words: "Okay Sister Dimond, if we see ONE more gun... we can leave." No worries though. We didn't see another one. Never thought I would ever have a reason to say those words until I came to Miami, but its just our area. It's interesting and amazing at the same time. We are going to try to get a picture this week of what it looks like on a typical day in Goulds (the name of the town). It should be interesting.

Also, 2 of our neighbors had some rockin' parties this weekend until the late hours of the night which was interesting to try and say prayers with some music across the street. Another first, we were knocking and heard the radio from someone's car and Sister Dimond said: "Wow I love this song." And I didn't know it! It was some song from the summer that I don't think I'm sad at all I missed, but dang... it made me feel like I had been out here forever!

-"As you share your testimony, your faith and confidence will grow." (Hales)
-"Prayer is essential in developing faith." (McConkie)
-"Are you really praying or are you just saying prayers?" (Uceda)
-"All the Lord expects of us is to try, but we have to really try." (quoted by Elder Cornish from President Hinckley)
-"Stop feeling guilty for insufficiencies you have in sharing the gospel." MISSIONARIES.
"You cannot judge your efforts based on how people accept you"
"The Lord needs you to be more involved." Talking to members and missionary work. (Anderson)
-"Do you realized the Book of Mormon is for you? The people of that time saw our day and wrote it for us? The things that they treasured most for years, is now available in your hands." (Stevenson)
-"Knowledge doesn't always come as fast as we want. Wait patiently on the Lord and His timing." (Bassett)
- All of Elder Yamashita's talk to missionaries.
-"What could be better than sharing the gospel with all? Pray not just for the missionaries to find them but also for you to help. Our own conversion is measured by our willingness to share what we have." (Oaks)
-"We need to know the perfect plan that Heavenly Father has for us." (President Monson)
-"I have learned to suffer with joy." (Nelson)
-"Embrace the less actives like you embrace the recent converts" (Ballard)
-"Exercise faith. Follow Him. Serve Him. Believe Him. (Bednar- read this for real!)
-"As you live the gospel your testimony will grow and be protected." (Rasband)
-"The reach of the Atonement is infinite but will never be forced upon us." (Renlund)

Okay that was a lot of quotes but it was just so good. Everyone should go back over these talks and read them and really ponder them. There were so many others that I didn't even mention. There is something in Conference for all of us!

1: Comp pic of the week

2: We look disgusting but #missionaryworkprobs

3: When you finally get your house organized after Elders


5: This is the face of a very sad Harry Potter fan. Found this in a members home. WHAT IS IT?!