Oakland Temple

Oakland Temple

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Week 24 - Modesto

Buenos dias mi familia!

Hermana Zapata is my new companion.  She is from Tamaulipas, Mexico and is a native spanish speaker.  She is helping me with spanish and I am helping her with english.  I love it.
This week was a shake up.  I think any time you get a new companion after becoming accustomed to the  previous one,it's different.  Not in a bad way, just different.  If you know me, changes stress me out.  There was lots of stress, but Hermana Zapata makes it nice and easy.  I feel like I am the one being trained...Explain that.  I think Hermana Zapata is a better missionary than I am. :)  I love her.  She is so loving and patient with me.  I am looking forward to this next 7 weeks with her (this transfer is one week longer due to an extension happening at the MTC, it throws all the missions off on transfers).

This week in a sum-up:
-Gloria came back from Tijuana, is 8 mths pregnant with a little girl and is living with the branch president's family
-Elizabeth had her baby boy Remmi-mom and child both doing well
-It rained basically everyday all day so every time we returned home at night, we were drenched (looked and smelled like wet dogs)
-miracles every day 
-Luz and her son accepted a baptism date! They have been taught the first 2 lessons.  Me and Hermana Zapata didn't even talk about extending a specific baptism date before but when we got in there,  the spirit was so strong.  Never before did it feel so right to extend the date right then.  I know we have the help of the Holy Ghost when we are hear.  That it is only through him we can meet the needs of the investigators.
-like going to a house me and Hermana Carpenter contacted a week ago to visit with this lady who told us to give her El Libro De Mormon once she heard it was about Jesus, and  she wasn't there but her son answered the door.  His name is Nery.  He is mid 20s and we got talking with him.  He told us he didn't believe in God.  Something was different this time. I didn't lose a even a little bit of hope that he was going to reject our message completely because of that.  I have to tell you this probably was the best 45 minutes we spent.  On Nery's porch. He mentioned he doesn't feel like he's truly happy.  We invited him to try what we had.  To put the gospel of Jesus Christ to the test. He accepted and committed to do whatever invitation we extended right off the bat.  We are excited to start this journey with Nery in helping him find true happiness in his life.  We feel really good about him.  

I have to say that being able to promise the people specific blessings according to their specific needs is incredible.  I cannot express how much I know that the Gospel fill EVERY hole.  That holes don't exist through Jesus Christ. Let us not lack.  The clarity the gospel gives us is something the world lacks.  

Who doesn't need peace, hope, and love? As a missionary, I believe it is the greatest calling.  I reflect on the words of the mission call.  I think about the promise and covenant I made to God to invite others to his only begotten son Jesus Christ.  

We are all called to the work.  I am growing every day to understand the true purpose of God.  Many days, people ask us,how can there be a God when so much bad is going on? I want to tell you that I know the true purpose of God is exactly as Moses 1:39 says, 'to bring to past the immortality and eternal life of men.'  2 Nephi 2: 28-29 also teaches us that too.  May we be ready and willing to give testimony of the things we know to be true.  Let this knowledge bless all those that surround you.  Remember we are all called to the work in helping God fulfill his purpose.

What are you doing to help God fulfill his purpose?

I love you all.

Hermana Waters

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week 23 - Modesto

Hello Friends and Family!

Transfer calls came in yesterday.  We knew Hermana Carpenter is getting transferred home so I was just waiting to hear what was happening with me. They do the calls at 9:30-10:30 on Sunday transfer night and it was like 9:50 pm.  I hadn't gotten a call, but I really needed to go to the bathroom...I waited waited, but I had to go.  I told Hermana Carpenter to take charge of the phone.  Surely enough, when I'd gotten comfortable, ring ring.  I hurry out.  It was President Palmer.  I am going to be a Trainer for a new missionary here in Modesto! I am thrilled.  Nervous.  Excited.  Worried.  This will be a test to put everything I've learned and help her as well as learn from her.  I don't know her name, I'll meet her tomorrow!  

This week we had a missionary work fireside with the youth where we showed the testimony of Jeffrey R. Holland of the Book of Mormon, and had an open discussion with them about missions.  We want to get the branch youth excited for missions and help them resolve doubt

This week we had a couple days that is has just poured.  ALL DAY.  We have been coming home almost every day like wet dogs because we haven't had a lot of  appointments follow through this week. One day we tried to take our bikes out for 7 hours (in a light sprinkle) and we got all prepped, my basket was full of Book of Mormons, but my front tire suddenly started to flatten after probably.05 miles from our apartment... later that day we took out a member, Hermana Jossella from Honduras with us on one of these days it was raining.  We met lots of people.  Many friendly ones who gave us water bottles and times to come back so it ended up being a  successful day.  Blessings in disguise.

Thomas S. Monson said, "God our father has ears with which to hear our prayers. He has eyes with which  to see our actions.  He has a mouth with which to speak to us.  He has a heart with which to feel compassion and love.  He is real.  He is living.  We are his children made in his image.  We look like him and he looks like us."

As I studied afflictions, this quote helped me come recognize more of the importance of our trials and the meaning.

 Helaman12:Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his peopleyea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine,doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.

 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his
people with many afflictionsyea, except he doth visit
​ ​
them with death and with terror, and with famine and
​ ​
with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.
More than just for our growth, Afflictions are here to remember our God.  in verse 6 of this same chapter it says, 'Behold they do not desire that the Lord, their God, who ​hath created them should rule over them notwithstanding his great goodness and mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide'  Why is that?  He's perfect.  Literally the perfect guide through this struggling world.  The afflictions come when we have desires to change or God has desires for us to change. Sometimes to line our actions and attributes up with his way, we go through afflictions whether by our bad decisions or because of someone else's.  The afflictions help us change our selfishness->selflessness our comfort-> growth.  That is what God wants for us right?  
​So what does God do to change our ways without forcing us to?  He allows our faults and weaknesses to bring in an affliction (a natural consequence of our disobedience)-To turn our hearts to him, to turn his desires into ours. Afflictions are here to bless us that we can grow into a person with Godly desires.  I believe covenants are a reminder that we are trying to align our desires to his, our will to his.  
I know this the gospel blesses family.  I know that God has a plan that makes it possible every man and woman can obtain the ultimate gift of eternal life with God and our families.  I know God loves us.  I know that we have a prophet today to protect us.  Why would we not heed to his words? I know that we all have a purpose. As children of God, there are high expectations, but great reward.  I love you all.

May this week bring you great JOY!
hermana waters xoxo

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Week 22 - Modesto

Hermana Carpenter is going home next week so next Monday I will know who will be my companion and where I will be going.  I hope to stay here in Modesto.  The members are basically my family.  Every time I think about even the thought of leaving I get a little teary eyed.  I want to just tell President Palmer that I've received revelation that I need to stay in Modesto and invite him to pray for a confirmation of my revelation...  I think I will stay but I'm going to knock on wood just to be sure.  Transfers are stressful since it's all up in the air.  I look forward to learning from a new companion as well as serving in whatever area I am in.  

We are working with Socorro as a Recent convert and trying to encourage her to read El Libro de Mormon.  She's been coming out with us to lessons and has been doing awesome.  It's amazing to be using a convert in now teaching others and inviting them to come unto Christ.  She's an awesome side kick to las hermanas misioneras. 

We also have been talking with Roberto Renteria, who is 14 years old.  His parents are active members and his sister is Less Active, and he's not baptized.  We had a really good lesson about desires.  This sunday we were excited to see that him and his sister and his sister's husband (not a member) showed up! It was a miracle.  Hermano Renteria, his dad, is in the Branch Presidency and the look on his face literally was incredible to see.  He was smiling ear to ear.  He's funny and tells us to come back EVERY day.  I know the gospel blesses households.  That it lightens any burden, aliviates stress, and brings true happiness.  I saw that with Maxine and Jose.  This week Maxine had a scary incidence in her own house with her 17 year old grandson.  He is drinking, smoking marijuana, doesn't work or go to school.  I know that the gospel every family needs to be protected from the adversary. He's dang good at causing contention.  

D&C 10:​
63 And this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much 

contention; yea, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them.

The​ doctrine of Christ is not contention. It's not about anything but love.  As we bring love into all of our relationships we will feel happier.  

I firmly believe that because that if we base our actions on the love we have for the people around us, we will see changes in our behavior and our hearts for the better.  

I love you all, love the teaching of Christ and his example

Hermana Waters