Oakland Temple

Oakland Temple

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week 60 - Turlock





WOW what a week.  Let's not even talk about it.

I am staying here in Turlock with Hermana Rodas! That means Christmas and Thanksgiving will be here in Turlock.  
We have 2 miracle baptisms this Wednesday, for Sarai and Emily Covarrubias, 19 and 18 year old girls who have been waiting since they were 8 to be baptized since their dad wouldn't let them.  Truly is a blessing to be able to help others and teach them.  
We have 2 others on date right now, Erika and Susanna.  We are super excited as we go out looking for these people ready.  It is the season.  Also look out for the new initiative that gets released Friday! Go onto LDS.org and check it out Friday.  
Also keep up the hope.  In my weeks of discouragement and anger, I often find myself doubting my service and mission.  I had a spiritual experience where I had Heavenly Father confirm to me that I am supposed to be here and right now.  I did learn a lot about enduring, that really, God is in charge and after doing all we need to do, he will take care of the rest.

Keep up the faith, don't give Satan a reason to smile and don't do anything that would distance you from the spirit.

love you.
sorry it's short
I'll be better next week.

xoxo
Hermana Waters



Week 59 - Turlock





4 month friends and family!

I miss you and love you all.  Definitely it was a crazy week. Transfers are next week I'll keep you posted if I stay or if I go.

This week was great! Erika is still going to be getting baptized still November 26.  Crazy story with her, on Sunday in Relief Society they taught the word of wisdom and at this point we hadn't taught Erika the word of wisdom. Well that Thursday we return and teach her the word of wisdom for the first actual time and she told us since Sunday she has been living it.  We were amazed.  She was drinking it every morning and now is completely off of it.  She isn't even letting her husband drink it and he's not even listening to us... Poor guy. She is fire.  

Can I just express my love for President Palmer? I believe I have the best mission president on the face of the earth. Wow time has gone too quickly.  I cannot believe we have got 4 months.

keep up the good work at home. I love you 

xoxo
Hermana Waters




Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 58 - Turlock





Wow.  
Exciting news! The mission has gotten the approval that we may go to the Oakland temple (outside of our mission boundaries) to do baptisms for the dead with any recent convert or less active member if they bring a family name! The elders called us since they got word of it a day before we were supposed to find out and it got released.  We were out biking and I am pretty sure all of the people thought we were crazy as were running around, screaming, and jumping all at the same time upon hearing the news.  A big push for family history work which is exciting.
Miracles: 
We have been having a big push to find the over 200 less actives in our branch since there are only 20-25 active people, only 3 or 4 priesthood holders not including the elders.  We called one of the sisters which hasn't been to church for over 6 years and has a family of 5.  When she answered she was annoyed since she was working and told us she wasn't supposed to answer her phone during work, we had no idea she was working.  We were worried but had already set a return appointment with her the following day and we doubted even going too.  We had an escape plan all figured out in case she opened the door and blew fire on us.  lol.  Well she didn't.  We entered in. And the atmosphere felt so tense.  I did not want to be there.  Well we started to do How To Begin Teaching with them from Preach My Gospel and I shared a few scriptures with them.  That is when everything changed. The spirit flushed the room and we were amazed.  We had one of the most spiritual moments we have had together.  She has a 9 year old son Damian that we are going to start teaching and preparing for baptism.  He was a bit distracted as we talked but it changed too. I offered a prayer and after, I got up to talk with Damian (oh and by the way he has read the bible several times) and told him that we were here for him and that whatever he needed, we are here to help.  As I was talking big tears welled up in his eyes. I asked if he was ok.  He said, starting to cry, 'Life is so hard.  I am just starting to realize that.' His mom and family looked at him as if they had never seen him like that.  The mom promised him to take him to church and next visit we will set a baptismal date for him.  So sweet.  The gospel is true.
There was a baptism this weekend which was incredible! After 3 weeks of investigating the church this 30 year old man was baptized and shared a powerful testimony after his baptism.  I was amazed.  His mom (nonmember) got up and bore her testimony and said not too long before she'll be entering this waters and has not even had a lesson yet.  We were thrilled to have 2 investigators there, Erika and Margarita.  Erika has already began to invite people to her baptism on the 26th.  She shows up to church before us, she shows up to activities before us, she calls and reminds us about anything and everything.  Her strength amazes me.  The husband has no interest at all and it's amazing to see her follow the impressions of the spirit and her answers no matter how hard it may be.
Turlock has so much potential. I have started getting sick thinking about how little is left and how real life will resume.  I love the gospel.  I love studying the scriptures. I love meeting new people who are nice.  I love being able to really focus on Christ.
We have no reason to feel anything but joy.  Everything will be made right.  
Be good. 
Love y'all


Week 57 - Turlock





Hola friends and family!

We received tons of rain which means that God is answering these Californian's prayer and ours too.  The streets were flooded by the end.  Biking afterwards was so BOMB.  
This week lots of things happened.  First off, we had exchanges and I went to Modesto with Hermana Dayton.  Well we got up there to finish off the night and then the next morning we got up and did our studies.  Well after doing our studies, we eat lunch then head out.  I had ate several little chocolates that they had given me for Halloween and then my lunch was an orange.  Not to much later, I was puking on the side of the road...  Hermana Dayton called Sister Palmer who told me to stay in and rest.  This was the first and hopefully last day I have to spend inside.  So here I was in Modesto (not even my home apartment) in bed (my sheets and blankets) with a Bible video playing and a puke bowl.  I kept puking and my stomach was not happy.  I fell asleep for 4 hours when Hermana Dayton woke me up and said that it was time to swap back companions and that the exchange was over.  I hobbled out with my sheets and bag and returned to Turlock.  After that day I was fine but I was stupid enough to try just 1 chocolate the next day and I felt sick again.  I believe I must be allergic or something but yeah.  I won't be eating anymore chocolate. :( 
Then there is Erika a WONDERFUL lady we are teaching and she is progressing like crazy.  She is going to all the activities, all 3 hours of church, and we are going by to teach her tonight and invite her to a baptismal date!  
I wrote my homecoming talk this week and feel pretty satisfied with it and my return date.  Less than 5 months and my companion and I agreed that we are going to say 4 months starting tomorrow since it will be November and we go home in March... Geeze.
I love you all so much.  Read your scriptures, pray to your Heavenly Father (not virgin maria) and go to church.

Loves 
xoxoxoxo
Hermana Waters





check out this beautiful video that was posted on LDS.org

Week 56 - Turlock





5 months left and I know President Palmer and Sister Palmer are already counting down, my name is on the list of farewells in a couple of transfers that's posted in the office.​  In not too long my flight plans will be sent out. 

one of the many miracles this week: We were called up by a lady named Erika (40 years old) to come to her house and teach her. I had never met her and neither had Hermana Rodas.  We set up a time and went to the house unsure if she was a member that is less active or a potential investigator.  After talking, we learned that her sisters are all members as well as her mother.  She explained that she had seen the power in our prayers as Elders had came many times and given blessings.  She wanted us to return a couple days later. We did. We were excited and had everything planned out.  Restoration focused on what a prophet is and why the Book of Mormon is key.  We start and it's going no where.  She just keeps responding how the catholics do it and seemed to care less to our message.  We knew we should just wrap it up and head out.  Well half way through the lesson, she ran inside to grab something and me and my companion gave each other the look,  and concluded Hermana Rodas was going to have the last say and peace out. THIS IS WHEN THE MIRACLE HAPPENS.  Erika returns and it's as if everything was flipped on us.  She sits down and opens up how she knows she is missing something.  She goes on to tell us about our message and doing everything to know if it is true.  We could not believe it.  She came to church this past Sunday with her 19 year old daughter and 2 year old son.  She stayed all 3 hours and afterwards said she had loved it.  She doesn't have the support of her husband but we have faith that one day his heart will be changed.

In personal study this morning, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for my mission-all the people I have come to love, the things I've learned, and more than anything the changes I've made.  To think that everything will change in 5 months makes me nervous.  The power of the gospel has brought me here and has made my love grow greatly for this area of Modesto, as well as these people.  The Lord has given us everything and as we live day to day, let us remember to show our gratitude by loving his children (everyone) and keeping his commandments.  I love you all and know that the gospel is true.  

Love you,

Hermana Waters

ps. always have to have an animal photo so here i am with Roma, Paniagua's bunny

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Week 54 - Turlock





So, first off, miracle.  We have been having problems with our car's battery so this morning we were sent into Modesto to get it checked out.  As we were waiting in line, a lady that looked really really family walked in and stood behind us.  The name 'Ana' came to my mind and I remembered that she was someone I had talked to when I was in Modesto.  She recognized me and gave me a big hug. Her house was given as a referral.  She is a single lady with 7 children.  Every time we had gone by her house​, the gate was locked and nobody outside.  She does live in a dangerous area so it made sense.  Well we continued to try over 10 times all with the same results.  Me and Hermana Carpenter prayed specifically the next day that it would for some reason be open, well 8 pm that next day, we went and there it was unlocked.  God wanted us to be there.  We knocked that door over 7 times until she would answer.  I knew she was there and I knew we shouldn't leave.  She opened the door and we taught her but due to business we had never been able to follow up with her again.  Today was the first day since.  I know God loves us.  I know he is aware of our situation.  I know that as we love God more, our love for his children grows too. I know we are brothers and sisters. On the same team.

I love you all,
Hermana Waters


Week 53 - Ceres, Hughson



Transfer calls came, I will be going to Turlock with Hermana Rodas and Hermana Trejo will be going to Ceres with Hermana Robison!!! We both are saying bye to Hughson.  It's been good in the small town of Hughson, I am going to miss it that's for sure. I have served in the same branch as Hermana Rodas before but never as a companion.  I'm excited though, she is super sweet and guatamalan.  All these native companions I don't even know what to do.

This week we saw many miracles and I have felt great love from my Heavenly Father.  I have been reflecting on Alma 17 as well as the circles of influence and concern (see below picture).  I hope many of you have already seen these circles. 

If anyone knows me, they know that I am a perfectionist.  and that I am pretty downright hard on myself and others.  This past week, I was able to meet with President Palmer and reflect on how I can better work as a missionary.  After much contemplation, the reminder of what my MTC branch president had shared with us in a leadership meeting came to mind.  That was these circles.  We have a very small circle of influence-the things that we can control such as how we feel, what we think,, what we say, and what we do.  Around that circle we have the circle of concern-things that we worry about but nevertheless are out of our control. Then outside of the circle are the things we don't have control over and that we don't seem to care about at all. 
I found myself getting so hung up on the things I worried about and related everything that happened wrong and that didn't work out to something that I or we had done wrong.  My circle of influence may be small but there are several things I can do.  These circles really helped me as I specifically put things I could change into goals.  

I want to say that if you don't feel happy where you are, doing what you are doing, then make your own circles of influence and concern and study the doctrine of Christ.  Combined, they are great sources to further feel the peace and love Heavenly Father has for you.  Agency isn't just given to everyone else but us too.  As we focus on bettering ourselves, the satisfaction here on this fallen world will grow.  We will arise from the dust and feel an awakening.  I know that God is in charge of all.  I know that Satan is going to work hard with us to convince us that our weaknesses are to great or by saying you've done enough.  I love Heavenly Father and in closing Moroni 7:48:

 48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

love you,
Hermana Waters
xoxo

Week 52 - Ceres, Hughson


It is already Winter time and I'm not sure I'm quite ready.  We will be staying on bikes the whole winter so we are starting to get bundled up.  Pobrecita Hermana Trejo since she's from Mexico and this is the coldest she's ever lived in.  I am officially adapted to the California heat and I am a Utahn full of shame since even in 70s I'm shivering and wearing a coat and boots. I'm expecting a rough transition when I return.

Well I hope all got to see General Conference this past weekend. The message that stood out to me the most was from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder M. Russell Nelson's talks.  

Think of the first time when you truly knew and understood that you were a child of God.  Think of the time when you truly felt God's love.  Or that Jesus Christ willingly suffered for your sins, so that you can be clean again.  That the priesthood power is real and binds our family together for the eternities.  Think about a living prophet here on earth today.  
"Isn't it wonderful and amazing? considering all of this, how could it ever be possible that we of all people would not be excited about attending our church worship services or get tired of reading the holy scriptures, I suppose this could only be possible if only our hearts are past feeling to experience gratitude and aw for the sacred and supplying gifts God has granted us..... Too often we let ourselves get distracted... Instead of following the example of our master.  We tread a path covered with diamonds but we can scarcely distinguish them from ordinary pebbles."

There is no need to be discouraged.  When we recall our spiritual moments that we have had as well as the eternal love of God, we can press on.  In a world where they say the hope is over, it is not.  We are promised that Jesus Christ is going to come again.  He is going to heal us and he is going to repay all that has been made wrong.

In Mormon 8
 19 For behold, the same that judgeth rashly shall be judged rashly again; for according to his works shall his wages be; therefore, he that smiteth shall be smitten again, of the Lord.
 20 Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.
I love you all.  keep your heads and hearts up.

hermana waters
xoxo




Week 51 - Ceres Hughson




Hola a mis queridos hermanos y hermanas. Espero que se encuentren bien. Y bien listos para la conferencia en general.

Okay it has gotten chilly.  I am adjusted here and 70s just feels like 20s.  Christmas time is coming up and even our members are starting to choose Christmas songs in the sacrament meeting to sing... There are some mixed feeling about that but hey I just play what they tell me to play.  

We had a miracle with one of our investigators, Claudia. Her best friend from San Jose called her up and shared her testimony with her about The Book of Mormon.  She didn't even know her friend was a member but surprise! She was so excited.  We were able to talk with her friend over the phone and found out she is coming up to visit Claudia in October! Claudia now is progressing and we hope to see her continue, knowing that she has the support of her friend.  They will be coming to church together the Sundays that she is here!
We did a family home evening with the Sanchez family.  I sent some photos. We cut out and made people for the prophet, his counselors, and the 12 apostles in preparation for General Conference.  It was highly effective so we are keeping up with the crafts for them to help the children understand.  They are working on learning all their names for conference.  I cannot wait to return and do more spiritual crafts with them.
 
The General Woman's conference was this past Saturday. It was beautiful. I wish it had lasted longer. It mentioned a lot about the Doctrine of Christ and how we need more people who understand this doctrine. This doctrine includes the Master's ability to heal all. The story of the bipolar woman whose mom said she'd give everything to take away what her daughter was facing touched my heart. I can recall several times when my very mother has said the same thing. 'I would do anything to take all your pain away' Carole M. Stephen continued to say that this mature woman facing a great storm of bipolar disorder responded, 'You don't have to, someone already has' in reference to the Savior. I know that Heavenly Father carried our sufferings of all kinds. I feel that God loves us and hope that in our moments of trial we never forget of that love.  No matter how hard it might be to think it still exists.  
Dieter F. Uchtdorf said something I really liked,
 'There are more ways to see than with our eyes, there are more ways to feel than with our hands and there are more ways to hear than with our ears. '  Just because maybe we can't see, hear or feel God's love does not mean that it is not there.  LISTEN HARDER he reminded us.

I love you all,
Hermana Waters
xoxo


Week 50 - Ceres, Hughson


Cheers to ​a year.  Weirdest things ever filled with mixed emotions.

I was able to see Socorro this weekend in Modesto which brought such joy.  I have been reading a lot from Mosiah/Alma and can really say that the joy the sons of Mosiah and Alma Jr. felt in sharing the gospel is real.  just as real as the sadness. But nothing can beat the feeling of knowing these people and getting a peek at how God sees every single one of them.  I am currently on a Libro de Mormon high.  I cannot put it down.  I finally feel like I am understanding and remembering the stories. I feel that it has all the answers.  This past week, Hermana Trejo and I taught Gospel Principles class on la obra misional, missionary work.  Principios del Evangelio is where less actives, recent converts, and investigators go for Sunday school.  Due to my current Book of Mormon rave, I insisted that we really focused in on learning directly from the scriptures.  So I wrote some questions on a chalk board such as what is missionary work? and how do we do it? Then we had Luis, a recent convert (baptized 2 weeks ago) choose a random chapter of the Book of Mormon.  He chose Alma 8.  One of my MTC teachers Hermano Clark shared with us a promise.  He promised us that no matter what question we had, what doubt, concern, formatted as a question could be answered by ANY chapter from the Book of Mormon.  I had done it several times before since that point and all throughout my mission.  It worked every time.  So I really was banking on this promise for the class this Sunday.  I wanted them to learn 2 things:

1. what missionary work is
2. that the Book of Mormon could answer whatever question they may haveI felt as though in this class of about 20 recent converts, less actives, and investigators, it would be a great opportunity for them to feel of the power of the Book of Mormon and the need to share it with others.  

Time flew by and it was a success in my eyes.  Every single person made a comment, connecting how this story of Alma being rejected in the city of Ammonihah and his return to what missionary work is and how they could do it.  It was beautiful I could have cried.  

I love you all and hope that you put the Book of Mormon challenge to the test.

Hermana Waters
xoxo

Week 50 - Ceres, Hughson


Cheers to ​a year.  Weirdest things ever filled with mixed emotions.

I was able to see Socorro this weekend in Modesto which brought such joy.  I have been reading a lot from Mosiah/Alma and can really say that the joy the sons of Mosiah and Alma Jr. felt in sharing the gospel is real.  just as real as the sadness. But nothing can beat the feeling of knowing these people and getting a peek at how God sees every single one of them.  I am currently on a Libro de Mormon high.  I cannot put it down.  I finally feel like I am understanding and remembering the stories. I feel that it has all the answers.  This past week, Hermana Trejo and I taught Gospel Principles class on la obra misional, missionary work.  Principios del Evangelio is where less actives, recent converts, and investigators go for Sunday school.  Due to my current Book of Mormon rave, I insisted that we really focused in on learning directly from the scriptures.  So I wrote some questions on a chalk board such as what is missionary work? and how do we do it? Then we had Luis, a recent convert (baptized 2 weeks ago) choose a random chapter of the Book of Mormon.  He chose Alma 8.  One of my MTC teachers Hermano Clark shared with us a promise.  He promised us that no matter what question we had, what doubt, concern, formatted as a question could be answered by ANY chapter from the Book of Mormon.  I had done it several times before since that point and all throughout my mission.  It worked every time.  So I really was banking on this promise for the class this Sunday.  I wanted them to learn 2 things:

1. what missionary work is
2. that the Book of Mormon could answer whatever question they may haveI felt as though in this class of about 20 recent converts, less actives, and investigators, it would be a great opportunity for them to feel of the power of the Book of Mormon and the need to share it with others.  

Time flew by and it was a success in my eyes.  Every single person made a comment, connecting how this story of Alma being rejected in the city of Ammonihah and his return to what missionary work is and how they could do it.  It was beautiful I could have cried.  

I love you all and hope that you put the Book of Mormon challenge to the test.

Hermana Waters
xoxo

Week 50 - Ceres, Hughson


Cheers to ​a year.  Weirdest things ever filled with mixed emotions.

I was able to see Socorro this weekend in Modesto which brought such joy.  I have been reading a lot from Mosiah/Alma and can really say that the joy the sons of Mosiah and Alma Jr. felt in sharing the gospel is real.  just as real as the sadness. But nothing can beat the feeling of knowing these people and getting a peek at how God sees every single one of them.  I am currently on a Libro de Mormon high.  I cannot put it down.  I finally feel like I am understanding and remembering the stories. I feel that it has all the answers.  This past week, Hermana Trejo and I taught Gospel Principles class on la obra misional, missionary work.  Principios del Evangelio is where less actives, recent converts, and investigators go for Sunday school.  Due to my current Book of Mormon rave, I insisted that we really focused in on learning directly from the scriptures.  So I wrote some questions on a chalk board such as what is missionary work? and how do we do it? Then we had Luis, a recent convert (baptized 2 weeks ago) choose a random chapter of the Book of Mormon.  He chose Alma 8.  One of my MTC teachers Hermano Clark shared with us a promise.  He promised us that no matter what question we had, what doubt, concern, formatted as a question could be answered by ANY chapter from the Book of Mormon.  I had done it several times before since that point and all throughout my mission.  It worked every time.  So I really was banking on this promise for the class this Sunday.  I wanted them to learn 2 things:

1. what missionary work is
2. that the Book of Mormon could answer whatever question they may haveI felt as though in this class of about 20 recent converts, less actives, and investigators, it would be a great opportunity for them to feel of the power of the Book of Mormon and the need to share it with others.  

Time flew by and it was a success in my eyes.  Every single person made a comment, connecting how this story of Alma being rejected in the city of Ammonihah and his return to what missionary work is and how they could do it.  It was beautiful I could have cried.  

I love you all and hope that you put the Book of Mormon challenge to the test.

Hermana Waters
xoxo

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Week 49 - Ceres, Hughson



Hello my loved ones.  I feel like I don't tell any of you how much I really do love you.  But here I am saying, I LOVE YOU.​  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk this past conference reminded me of the importance of telling those you love that you love them because as I read his talk, I felt special.  I am studying the talks given in April General Conference in preparation for the upcoming conference.  I love our living apostles and prophet! Here is the opening of Elder Holland's talk, 'Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You':

 Brothers and sisters, do you have any idea—do you have any notion or inkling whatsoever—of how much we love you? For 10 hours you watch,fixed on one face at this pulpit sequentially, but for those same 10 hours, we seated behind this pulpit watch, fixed on you. You thrill us to the center of our soul, whether that be the 21,000 here in the Conference Center, or multitudes in meetinghouses and chapels, or finally millions in homes around the globe, perhaps huddled around a family computer screen. Here you are, there you are, hour after hour, in your Sunday best, being your best. You sing and you pray. You listen and you believe. You are the miracle of this Church. And we love you. 

He talks about how in the gospel, we get credit for trying rather than succeeding. The Lord blesses those who want to improve, if you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone. We are going to be blessed by our desire to do good.

Go read it and check it out! It's a gem,

Miracle: this week as we were biking along I noticed this older man Jesus sitting outside.  We had spoken with him before in the past and it had been 3 weeks since that time.  The thought TALK TO EVERYONE came into my head as I was just going to bike by since he didn't seem to care for us too much in the past.  It had been 3 weeks so the least we could do is go see if he'd picked up that Libro de Mormon that we had given him a while back from his shelf or see if there was anything we could do for him.  After getting off our bikes, as we were walking up to him, I noticed he was reading.  Upon closer inspection, he was sitting there reading that Libro de Mormon that we had left with him and invited him to read 3 weeks ago! He asks us why we hadn't come by to teach him more for a while after showing us that he is in 2 Nephi 27!  WHAT IN THE WORLD?!? it clearly was not of the world his thought to read it.  I was amazed as he recounted to us what he was learning little by little.  My heart was touched and I recalled once again that God's hand is in all of this.  We read 2 Nephi 27 together.  The gospel brings me joy and happiness.  I think if the gospel doesn't bring you happiness, you aren't doing it right. I know as we focus in on the teachings of Jesus Christ and choose to live them, we will find more peace in this life.  The things that worry our mind will become settled.
I have to share with you all a story that my mission president, President Palmer shared with us, 
"Fifteen years ago on September 11, 2001, a close friend of mine had arisen early in the morning as he typically did and was preparing for work at the World Trade Center in New York City where he managed a large office for an international bank. As he finished dressing, he felt a small but distinct impression that he should stay home that day to surprise and spend time with his wife to celebrate her birthday. Contrary to his customary behavior, he followed that feeling and promptly sent a notice to the office indicating he would not be arriving that day. As expected, his wife was rather amazed when she awoke and found him still at home; however, while they were relaxing together later that day, the shocking and horrific news of the terrorist attack that caused the destruction of the office tower where he worked created an immediate, immense, and intense feeling of sorrow for his co-workers and friends who had lost their lives.

Interestingly, it wasn’t until after he had tried to reach each staff member’s family affected by this devastating event that he and his wife took a moment to quietly reflect on what had happened. It was then that they finally realized the miraculous impact of his simple yet obedient response to a gentle impression suggesting that he take an unplanned day off. Literally, his decision to remain at home and spend a few extra hours with his wife saved his life. As he shared the details of his experience with me, it became evident that he had initially dismissed the thought and was about to go to work when the feeling came again. Fortunately for him and for his family, he ultimately followed the prompting and while many of our mutual friends continue to describe this occurrence as coincidence, fate, or luck, you and I and my friend know better."

I know that God loves us, I know he will lead us.

Love you all,

Hermana Waters







Week 48 - Ceres, Hughson



Buenos dias y feliz dia de descanso! Que regresen a casa bien aquellos fiestando!
Just recently since President Dorius-a counselor of President Palmer was called as area seventy, it had been a while without a counselor in the mission presidency.  Well just recently, un hermano from Turlock that I had known from the stake was called as his counselor! Presidente Juan Martinez! We are so excited since he lives in our stake and speaks spanish.  He has great energy for la obra misional. He came to our meetings yesterday, the first time with his new calling. He told us that he was willing to come out with us and we were thrilled! We have had troubles finding ways to have more lessons with members present. After having spiritual dinners with them and they commit, they call that day and say that they can't. It is definitely something that we are working with. Presidente Martinez is going to come out with us Wednesday night to teach with us this family referred to us by a different family member who is a nonmember! In our first visit with her she told us how not to long ago, her friend had told her to find los misioneros mormones.  She always would see them around on bike and finally was in a position able to follow them.  She was in her car and was following them.  She had been spending days hanging outside of the church building, when these elders passed by.  But while following them, she had lost track of them after getting stuck at a red light and them continuing. We are the first missionaries she has met since that day.  She is is introducing her son to us this next lesson who she believes would love to learn about the gospel too!
We have been having better lessons with How to Begin Teaching as well as clearer Restoration lessons I believe due to all the Roleplaying and studying. That has been one of our goals.
I like having a mexican companion because they tend to be more relax and not as high strung as I am about everything. It's helped me a lot in the mission field as well as taught me a lot about how we should be. I have got to stop being a perfectionist.
MIRACLE: so when I first arrived here to Hughson with Hermana Pimentel, that first week we met a lady named Nancy. We were teaching an at the time investigator when she was at his house visiting her family. We had just arrived and were teaching the Restoration. The whole time she was paying close close attention to everything we said. The current investigator not as much. She had great questions and addressed her interest at the end. We had left her with a copy of the Book of Mormon and the promise of Moroni. She told us her address and phone number-though not with a set time. We spent the whole next transfer looking for her and seeking to get in contact with her. She had changed phone numbers, and the address I had written down had a small error. We were really saddened. Well just this week, we were going to visit a potential investigator who rejected a message. I felt we should take this different route on our bikes after leaving the area. As biking this lady was outside. We stopped and started a conversation with her. I asked for her name after presenting myself, when she responded Nancy. Behind her dark tired eyes, I realized this was the same Nancy I had met many weeks ago. She told us how her pareja lost his job and she had started working night shifts for the temporada. She hardly sleeps during the day due to her kids always being up and wanting to play. She had been reading inside the Book of Mormon and told us tomorrow she wanted us to come back-that she would have her whole family gathered. She told us that she believes she is ready to take this step in her life and how badly she desires the blessings of the gospel in her family. I know that God loves each of us. He knows exactly where we are in our life and where we are going. I know that as we grow our confidence in the Lord, we will find that there is more joy to this life than before. I know that God heard my prayers that we would run into Nancy again and here we are 13 weeks later saying we found her. It felt like forever to find her in the small town. 


sorry a bit long but lots of huge blessings
love you all
xoxo

Hermana Waters 




Week 47 - Ceres, Hughson



I am staying here with Hermana Trejo!  We have been having some really amazing companion studies and we have goals to eat healthier and running in the morning, every morning.  Our clothes are a getting a little tight.  ​We are looking forward to finding, teaching and baptizing!

More than anything I just want to bear my testimony.  

I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ was lost for a time after the death of Jesus Christ. I know he was rejected as well as his apostles.  I know that Heavenly Father loves us perfectly that he has established a perfect plan.  His will is that we have joy.  That we have the best experiences possible here. No it's not what the world encourages us to be nor how the world teaches us to live.  I have to say that I know my Heavenly Father watches over you.  I know that our experiences here are to help us be perfected.  I know that repentance is necessary.  It is the change that makes us worthy to return to live in his presence and is a blessing. I know that as we focus more on the Savior and less on ourselves we find more joy. We find peace in this life.  The promise that God gives us is that we will find peace in this life and eternal joy in the life to come.  In a world full of sadness and chaos we need a little peace.  I know that we aren't perfect but that that is part of the plan. I know as we come to know the father's will we will grow a love for ourselves and others.  The gospel is the good news.  We aren't hear to force anyone nor tell anyone they are wrong but to seek Heavenly Father for themselves and learn.  I hope we strive to work together as the great big family we are in returning to our loving father's presence.  I know these things to be true.

Les quiero mucho y a mi familia les amo mucchisimo.  

que dios les cuida y les protege

Hermana Waters


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Week 46 - Ceres, Hughson



Well I figured I'd start of saying that I love you. We don't say it enough.

I hit 11 months tomorrow and we receive transfer calls Sunday night!  I think I am going to stay here with Hermana Trejo but we shall see.

I feel like this week was incredible.  Sure it had it's rough spots but overall, we found new people to teach as well as have a few investigators that have kept every commitment extended.  Now we just need to work on inviting to church and finding a way to invite members to accompany us.  It seemed for me that it had been a while since we found so many ready people.  We are excited to grow our love for them and teach the restored gospel.

I have pondered the word sacred and consecrated a lot.  When the apostasy happened the teachings of sacredness vanished.  Everything we believe in is something sacred.  I feel like I shouldn't say the word so much to diminish it.  We are here. We are sons and daughters of a loving perfect Heavenly Father.  We come to receive bodies.  We grow up in families.  We serve others. We strive to work out our faults. We make promises with God.  We donate 10% of our income to build up God's kingdom here on earth. We get sealed for not just time but eternity.  We have homes filled with love.  The gift of the Holy Ghost. 

As a society the word Sacred is not used very often.  I believe one of the greatest blessings of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is realizing that every aspect of our life is something special and consecrated to the Lord.  It's sacred.  Our thoughts, words, actions, and beliefs need to be in line with the purpose God has given us. 
D&C 104:65: And thus shall ye preserve the avails of the sacred things in the treasury, for sacred and holy purposes. 
Helaman is writing in the plates pertaining to the care of the records but I hope that as you read this verse of scripture, you think of the things above and how you can keep them more sacred.
Alma 37:14:And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations. 

A new mormon message was released the link is below, check it out. I know as we make every moment more cherished and focused on the sacred purpose of all, we will find joy and satisfaction in our lives daily.  I know that we will be able to love others with greater love, and understand our purpose.  I know that as we make our lives more sacred that we will feel closer to our Heavenly Father and our personal families.  Never forget where we came from and where we are going.  This is all part of God's great sacred plan.  This I know and leave in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Week 45 - Ceres, Hughson

Hello

We had many, many, many miracles this week.  They really come in the smaller things. I'm going to recount a few because I feel grateful.
 We were just putting the bikes on the car to head out to Waterford for the day when a man pulls up in an older car.  He had rolled down his window and was speaking to us in his little english asking who he should call to see if there were vacancies in the apartment complex. We happened to be out just at the right time. We responded in spanish, telling him we would look into it and get back with him.  He asked us what we do and after telling him who we were, he told us where he lives and invited us to come by and share a message with him and his family over dinner.  It really was amazing how every minute a missionary has is greatly valued and precious for we met this kind Guatemalan man Dito right outside the apartment.
That same day we were biking in Waterford when I saw a man sitting out with 2 little kids playing in a pool. We got talking and a young woman came out.  She asked us who we were and what we were doing on bikes in this heat.  Before we could even respond, she said, 'are you missionaries?' She goes on to tell us how she's lived in this little home for 2 months with her boyfriend and 2 children and how she didn't really know a lot of people.  We explained about the special message of the restoration.  She told us we need to come by and teach her.  She speaks english and explained the transition to the english sisters.  She quickly took their number and we took hers in exchange.  We rode off as she was telling us to have them call her any day. 
In the night of that same day (we were blessed),  an 18 year old girl approached us on the street after we had said, 'hello'  She had her hand extended out and a smile on her face.  I believe I had a weird look on my face wondering what was happening and if I should know her... She knew exactly who we were and began talking with us.  As we talk we find out she lives in Modesto, has a cousin who is a member, and has always had interest in what we have to share.  When she was younger, missionaries came by but her mom always said, 'you have to stay true to the faith' referring to their catholic tradition.  She just kept lingering with a smile on her face, also waiting for us to say something.  Maria is her name.  She is super special and how lucky are those Modesto missionaries.  It really was such a special contact.

My heart is full of gratitude this week for all the marvelous blessings God has given us.

Love,
Hermana Waters