Oakland Temple

Oakland Temple

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Modesto - Week 32

This week I started off with a new bike- Katy Perry.  Snoop Dogg died.  Katy is a lot better and the seat even has shocks so comfy riding is definitely a new pleasure of mine. No complaints from me about biking.  
Crazy story-we went on exchanges and I stayed with Hermana Alcaraz and Hermana Zapata went to Turlock with Hermana Robison.  Hermana Zapata had put her bike on their car rack and had gone to a lesson. She forgot to bring her key to the big U lock so she used the one on the bike rack to seal it as they went into a lesson. When she came out, the cord was cut and her bike was gone.  Someone had stolen it.  Well they looked for it and couldn't find it but told all the members and missionaries in the area aobut it. Well one of the spanish members has a friend that is a bike thief and asked him if he'd seen her bike.  He said, 'well my friend got a new bike today' then he pointed to the porch of his friend with the bike on it and said 'that's his new bike'  The member recognized it from the description and her friend stole the bike back! This all happened just before our curfew (including our phone calls) so we were thrilled to get the news just minutes before we fell asleep.  It was missing the basket she'd just bought and the front and rear lights but still together!  miracles.

This past week we had a humbling experience of teaching a current investigator named Javier. He is 80 years old and currently assisting with the Jehovah Witnesses. He is not baptized because he hasn't felt right about it. We were talking with him about the Book of Mormon and he told us, 'when you come, I want to read from the Book of Mormon more.' We instantly reflected back on the past 2 lessons and realized that we used the Book of Mormon but not enough of what this man craved. We have started to use the Book of Mormon more and we can tell the difference. His prayers all of the sudden became more sincere. It was beautiful. He has great fellow shippers and we hope he just keeps continuing to grow. 

Today I was studying in when Jesus came to the Americas because that is where I am in my spanish Libro De Mormon, and I love how it says it in spanish best so here, 'toda la multitud se fijaron en el y no se atrevieron a abrir la boca ni siquiera el uno al otro'  When they saw Jesus coming down from heaven, there was no talking, no wandering eyes.  They were fixed on him. They were still.  I related this to how I act in the lessons and in church.  Are my eyes fixed on Jesus Christ-the scriptures, my prayers, and church teachings?   I know that often times I find my thoughts wandering or elsewhere.  We all do.  I invite you this week to 'fix' your eyes on him.  Whether it be in improving your church attendance or your attention when you are there.  Are you looking to grow closer to him.  I can promise that as we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ and forget the outside world we will find our lives happier.  We will realize that God loves us more than we can imagine and that our challenges are small.  Life was meant to not only be lived but to be enjoyed.  

Fix your eyes on the fixer of all.

Love you all.
Hermana Waters

Modesto - Week 31


I hope you all took time to appreciate and serve your mom.  

I had another bike accident.  We think our bikes are possessed. This time it was scary. I found myself in the middle of the road and my face up against the asphalt. Thank heavens for a helmet.  

We have been focusing a lot of our efforts in downtown in the humbler parts.  I love seeing the miracle of the gospel in these people's lives and want to share it with everyone.

This morning I was studying Helaman 15:3 which says  "Yea, wo unto this people who are called the people of Nephi except they shall repent, when they shall see all these signs and wonders which shall be showed unto them; for behold, they have been chosen people of the Lord; yea, the people of Nephi hath he loved, and alsohath he chastened them; yea, in the days of their iniquities hath he chastened them because he loveth them."
I don't think we recognize the full extent of Love and what it really is.  It's through love that we learn.  I thought about how we are in training.  He is in charge of all the consequences.  I drew a little picture I don't know if you can see it but I love that we have the comfort of knowing God is in charge of the consequences and the blessings.  The only thing we have control over is if we want to be blessed or consequenced (for further training).  We are promised that even the results are from God and that they are good for us.  All good comes from God.  I have learned to appreciate more and more the consequences.  Change your view from that one of anger at God or at thyself.  See it as an opportunity to be trained and experience the things God needs you to experience.  It has changed how I see my time here.  It's part of shaping me into what God wants me to be.  I invite you all to look at your own lives and ask what God wants and needs you to learn right now.  Will you do that? I promise as you do the burdens or troubles will become lighter and seen more as blessings.  

I love you. I pray for you. I hope all is well 
Hermana Waters

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Week 30 - Modesto

Hola mi familia,

This week it was a little chilly with the wind but I believe it's because I am used to the Cali weather.  I think I will freeze when I come back. 

This week we found new people to teach by going to the areas of former investigators. We found a former investigator who we still had in our area book that had an incorrect phone number and address! His name is Giovanni and he was going to church for a whole year but seemed to disappear off the face of the earth.  
We also met a man named Javier outside who instantly pulled us out seats so we could sit and share our message with him. We will be visiting him this week!

I've been reading from the time when Jesus Christ was in the Americas and thinking about what God asks of us.  It really isn't hard what he has asked of us. 

14 Verily, verily, say unto you, give unto you to be the light of this people. city that is set on hill cannot be hid.
 15 Behold, do men light candle and put it under bushel? Nay, but on candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;
 16 Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
I think we need to remember discipleship isn't hard.
"Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all.
And therein lies message for every young man and young woman in this Church. You may wonder if it is worth it to take courageous moral stand in high school or to go on mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our “houses” left unto us “desolate”—desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations." -Jeffrey Holland
I am looking forward to the next year here.  Time is flying and there is not time to mess around.  I hope you are all looking for ways to share the gospel this week.  It's a great blessing to participate in his work. 
I love you all xoxo
Hermana Waters

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 29 Modesto

Wind was crazy this week,and that makes for interesting times to be biking in a skirt.  Pretty sure I'm flashing everybody.  Thank heavens for biking shorts!

This week Gloria had her baby girl Sophia and she's a doll! We swung by the day after at the hospital and it's too bad we can't hold babies because she is precious.  As Hermana Maribel Martinez, Gloria and I gathered around the baby we couldn't help but talk about the miracle of life and love of God.  We counted her 10 toes (my idea because ever since Ellie I have to) and beheld her little hands.  It reminded me of a talk from October 'Discovering the Divinity Within' by Rosemary M. Wixom.  As I have been finding myself in moments of despair, I remember the moment with Gloria's baby.  I remembered of the beautiful invitation made by her.  
Looking out through a window, not just into a mirror, allows us to see ourselves as His. We naturally turn to Him in prayer, and we are eager to read His words and to do His will. We are able to take our validation vertically from Him, not horizontally from the world around us or from those on Facebook or Instagram.
If you ever question that spark of divinity within you, kneel in prayer and ask Heavenly Father, “Am I really Thy daughter, and dost Thou love me?” Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “One of the sweetest messages the Spirit will relay is how the Lord feels about you."
And how Jeffrey R. Holland  said, 'Don't give up... Don't you quit.  You keep walking. You keep trying.  There is help and happiness ahead...It will be all right in the end.  Trust God and believe in good things  to come.
Right now Gloria has a new baby and holds in her arms one of God's beloved daughters that just left his presence. But it's important that not only are babies children of God.  Let us not forget ourselves.  All the hopes we have for the babies, God has for us.  We still are babies and like Gloria has Sophia in her arms, God has us in his.  Let him craddle you.  
'Because you are His child, you not only need Him, but He also needs you'
Though a challenging week, one full of recognizing that divine identity we have within us. 
Love you all and have a great week.  you are in my extremely fervent prayers right now.
xoxo Hermana Waters