Oakland Temple

Oakland Temple

Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 38 - Ceres, Hughson


It has been a hot one here lately.  But I hope you are all enjoying your summer vacation like those are here.
I came down with some kind of stomach bug 4 days ago and I haven't been feeling as hot as I wish but hey, I'm still breathing.
This week we did lots of walking since it's way too hot to be biking which has been great way to contact people.  We had a really cool experience even just today as we were washing our clothes at the laundry mat, when casually an investigator we have been struggling to contact walked by.  I book it outside yelling 'CLAAAAUUUUDIA!!! como estaaa???' We were able to chat a bit with her and see how she was doing.  We got an appointment to see her Wednesday.  Her family is really cute but all SUPER shy.  
Then as we finished talking with Claudia, we started walking back inside the laundry mat when on the other side of the street we see an investigator that we haven't been able to contact too! I run out and yell the same thing but only 'IIIIRRRRMMMMMA'  Isn't that crazy?? We were able to talk to both of them even though we had tried all this past week to find them home without success.  It must be a new week.  #hope
In small town Waterford there was an 18 year old boy killed in a car wreck and being a small town, everyone knew him.  The funeral services were this past week and many of our investigators as well as members attended.  We have found ourselves teaching a lot about the Plan of Salvation and sharing this simple but profound truth.  This doctrine is not only something that can bless them right now in their moment of loss but I find it interesting that while I am teaching it, a loved one of mine, Uncle Lloyd has been given less than 30 days to live in Utah. The privilege to teach this doctrine right now in this moment to these people isn't only applicable to them but to me individually.  How cool it is to be studying and teaching the same doctrines I am being blessed by in this moment to others.  We met the grandma of this 18 year old yesterday in the street.  Fransisca is her name.  How precious is our time here and how precious are we in the sight of God.  

I love the Lord and love the work.

I hope we can more apply the principles we teach to our loved ones and friends in our own personal lives.

Love you all,

xoxo Hermana Waters

Week 37 - Ceres, Hughson

Where does time go? I feel like I just started this journey called the Mission not too long ago yet this week I will hit 9 months.  I don't feel like there is time enough to care for all of God's children and do all we need to do to help meet their needs.​  So if you could spread the word, God is recruiting missionaries.  Oh and the pay- blessings you can't get anywhere else.  Tell them to meet with their bishop for further details. 
Elder David Evans from the seventy came out and we were privileged to receive a training from him-on teach repentance and baptize converts. So on Friday from 9 am to 3:30 pm my zone and a couple other zones received the training. (the other half of the mission the day before)  

Hymn Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy 

  1. 1. Brightly beams our Father's mercy
    From his lighthouse evermore,
    But to us he gives the keeping
    Of the lights along the shore.
  2. (Chorus)
    Let the lower lights be burning;
    Send a gleam across the wave.
    Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
    You may rescue, you may save.
  3. 2. Dark the night of sin has settled;
    Loud the angry billows roar.
    Eager eyes are watching, longing,
    For the lights along the shore.
  4. 3. Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
    Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
    Trying now to make the harbor,
    In the darkness may be lost.

President Palmer gave a great insight about lighthouses and how not only should we focus on the the great light house on shore which is the Savior, Jesus Christ but the idea of lower lights.  I didn't quite know what lower lights were.  They are lights that are underneath the water to light the routes that are deep enough a boat can enter so it doesn't hit rocks.  If you don't follow the lower lights, the boat finds itself stuck.  We cannot neglect the light that is underneath 
“‘Let your light so shine before men,’ said the Lord, ‘that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven’ [Matthew 5:15–16].  

3 Nephi 12:14-16,24

 14 Verily, verily, say unto you, give unto you to be the
​ ​
light of this people. city that is set on hill cannot be
​ ​
 15 Behold, do men light candle and put it under a
​ ​
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 yourFather who is in heaven.
 24 Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to
​ ​
thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of
​ ​
heart, and will receive you.

 We never know who may be depending on us. And, as the Savior said, we ‘know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them’ 
I invite us all to be Brighter, more Consistent lower lights for those around us.  The doctrine of Christ is repentance.  Be the lights you need to be even when those you love aren't.  That one day you may be the means to bring them safely home to their loving and forgiving Heavenly Father.

I love you and think about you a lot.

Hermana Waters

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Week 36 - Ceres Hughson

Buenos Dias!

Where do I even begin? This week was crazy.  Transfers were a party.  Hermana Pimentel is the best.  She is so loving and such a hard worker. 
Hughson is such a small town.  We cover Hughson, Hickman, and Waterford.  Really small.  The amazing thing is EVERY single person that we run into has not refused us from sharing something with them. It is amazing.  I love it.  It feels like such a small town so that was a huge switch up from Modesto.  There are cockroaches in our apartment-we like to think they are investigators coming in and begging to be baptized but little to they realize they are going to be baptized first by fire (the poison) and then baptized by water (flushed down the toilet). I'm in the process of communicating with President Palmer if they qualify as investigators... I will keep y'all posted.  
I'm pretty sure I am picking up a Texas accent since many of the missionaries here are from Texas but hey it's cool.

The lifestyle here is a lot different. I was amazed on Sunday to see that the youth of this branch are so strong-and how they actually combined the English youth with the Spanish youth so that the Spanish you could help strengthen the english youth.... I am so amazed. We have had many opportunities to invite new people out to come and accompany us to lessons with investigators. It's incredible how willing they are to help. They actually 'auctioned off' times when we had appointments in Relief Society to get all the Hermanas involved. It was impressive to see how many women just were ready to come out. The spirit of Missionary work is awesome!

I don't feel like I know too many of the people well enough yet but that will come with time!

oh and fun story: one day me and Hermana Pimentel were getting ready for bed and she decided to look out the window for some strange reason and you won't believe what she saw! 2 wild bunnies in our backyard!!! i screamed. and we ran out the door chasing them.  She said she held one of them before and so we did not give up.  Well they hid and it was soon time to go in for bed.  We have wild bunnies now that we 'attempt' to catch every night.  It reminded me of our bunnies.  oh and our neighbor is a recent convert named Crystal who makes us food often and keeps us in good care and company.

I'm getting my hair cut today so new photos next week.  I"ll send photos later this computer is having trouble uploading them!

Love you,
Hermana Abigail Waters

Week 35 - Last week in Modesto!!!

Got my transfer call to Ceres Hughson! I was told approximately 8000 citizens live there.  I'm thrilled to get Farmin' Hermana Waters on.  It will be a new adventure.  I've been here in Central Modesto for almost 7 months and I have enjoyed (almost) every minute :)  Hermana Zapata is leaving to Lodi with my MTC companion, Hermana Parkinson.  President really shook up things almost the whole mission is swapping up. They also are shutting down our apartment for missionaries because of the neighbors below at night swear and fight.  So not only are we leaving so is all the missionary supplies and food.  Yay for moving again (only a year after we moved).

Hermana Gilda Jimenez and Hermano Jimenez is taking me, Hermana Pratt, and Hermana Rodas down to the Turlock Zone (Ceres is in the Turlock zone).  We found out Elder Rivera will also be going down to Turlock zone but to Crowslanding.  He is having surgery today at 3:30 pm because he got Appendicitis.  JUST LIKE ELDER SMITH when I was in Turlock with him.  ELder Smith is his companion right now so such a coincidence.  I think God put Elder Smith experienced appendicitis so that he would know how to help Elder Rivera, his companion over come it. Pray for Elder Rivera. (brown elder in zone picture)

This week Patricia (a new investigator we found in the street) came to church and loved it.  We later returned and taught her and her husband that night.  We are happy to have found them!  The ward mission leader, Hermano Antonio Tirre got released this Sunday and that was sentimental because my first day in Modesto we had a meeting as missionaries.  It was his first meeting for his calling and so he's been with us through thick and thin. I was up playing the piano in Sacrament and of course right after the announcement was made it was the sacrament hymn and I was sobbing.  Man I'm going to miss the Tirre family.

It is getting hot but the work doesn't stop. I am amazed by all the tender mercies that the Lord puts in our path when we really do our best.  The idea of 'be your best' is so nice because it's not saying, 'be your perfect'.  Remember God doesn't expect us to be perfect nor does he expect us to always know what we are doing.  He asks for your best and take it.  He asks for your confidence.  
Take the opportunity to hand it over to him. 

I love you all, miss you lots.  xoxo

Hermana Waters

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Modesto - Week 34

Buenos tardes!

Wow where do I even start?
We have been getting up every day on time! Guess a change of alarm tone never does any damage. We both were really committed to that after talking about it. How simple it was when we decided to set our minds to it. Funny how that works. 
We will be blessed by a special visit from Elder David F. Evans of the First Quorum of the Seventy and his wife Mary on June 16th and 17th!!!
This week we struggled one morning this week. I felt tension between the two of us and so I mentioned it. It was frustrating because I felt like she wouldn't share how she was feeling or what was happening. She told me that the night before when we were daily planning she was using a makeup wipe at the same time, washing her face and I had asked her if it could wait until after. She got mad and didn't want to participate in the rest of the planning and the feelings had carried over that next morning. We came to the conclusion that I could've said it better and in a nicer way and that she could've accepted it better. The best thing about it was that we had a good talk about how much we both love each other and we know we both are trying. We grew closer through this experience.
We had a wonderful opportunity of finding a lady named Juana Patricia this week as we were walking the sidewalks. She was carrying a lot of groceries for the 70 year old woman she is and so we offered to help. She spoke Spanish, even though she appeared very fair. We took her groceries. She let us in, gave us something to eat and drink and pulled out a Book Of Mormon her friend had given her. She told us how she reads from it and how she has been to the congregation in Ceres with that same friend. She invited us back the next night to talk to her and her husband, Juan. We returned and taught the Restoration. IT was incredible. The spirit was really strong. The lesson seemed to be understood like never before-about the power being lost and restored and why this is so important. Her and her husband committed to read together every day and pray too about Joseph Smith as a prophet and the Book of Mormon. They both said that they are ready to be baptized when God tells them that these things are true. It was a huge blessing and miracle. Those were the 2 investigators we found this week and I am so happy for them. She really was placed in our path.
Me and Hermana Zapata spoke on Sunday on Tithing.  The bishop asked us to give 20 minute talks each.  So I had studied really hard.  I had it all written down and all my notes on this notebook.  We were all ready up on the podium (I play piano so I was playing the opening hymn) when I realized that this notebook was out in the foyer! I had accidently left it outside.  I was so nervous.  I literally got up there with nothing but my Book of Mormon and Bible.  but I survived! woohoooo.  
Oh and one quick last miracle...
La familia Rivera of 5 showed up at church this past week to sacrament.  They had been referred by a member to come to our congregation and are currently looking for a church.  They loved church and will be taught by the elders! We are excited.  The work is really pressing forward.

Keep up all the great things you are doing at home!

Love and miss you all!

Hermana Waters

Modesto - Week 33

WE ARE A WARD! I am so happy for Modesto 12. There is a great new bishop, Bishop Chavez! We have a meeting with him over his vision for the now ward this week. It was a full house Sunday, there were no open seats. It was also ward conference so we were able to hear from the Stake presidencies.  

This week we found 7 new investigators a couple, a young lady, a family, and a former who we are getting to know his wife who originally avoided the missionaries.

This week as a companionship we focused on teaching people, not lessons. As we seek to love them and really tune into what they are saying instead of just teaching from the pamphlet or the lesson points, we have noticed that they progress faster and are more receptive.  

I have been struggling getting out of bed at 6:30. I am getting frustrated and feeling really bad and the shame. We now have a plan that we have more than 1 alarm going off as well as moving the alarms farther from our beds. I want to be obedient and know that it is just me being lazy, and I know how God feels about laziness after studying the scriptures.  
The general conference talk-Family Councils by Elder M. Russell Ballard is something I've studied as I have thought about some of the families her that we work with-investigators and members. He says, 'Family councils have always been needed. They are, in fact, eternal. We belonged to family council in the premortal existence, when we lived with our heavenly parents as their spirit children. A family council, when conducted with love and with Christlike attributes, will counter the impact of modern technology that often distracts us from spending quality time with each other and also tends to bring evil right into our homes.' He continues...
"A family council that is patterned after the councils in heaven, filled with Christlike love, and guided by the Lord’s Spirit will help us to protect our family from distractions that can steal our precious time together and protect us from the evils of the world. Combined with prayer, family council will invite the presence of the Savior, as He promised: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am in the midst of them.”4 Inviting the Spirit of the Lord to be part of your family council brings blessings beyond description.  Finally, please remember that family council held regularly will help us spot family problems early and nip them in the bud; councils will give each family member feeling of worth and importance; and most of all they will assist us to be more successful and happy in our precious relationships, within the walls of our homes. May our Heavenly Father bless all of our families as we counsel together is my humble prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen."
I know as we seek the Lord's guidance in our relationships and especially in the family that Satan will be blocked out.  As we work to unify our relationships with our loved ones we will recognize the strength the Lord Gives us.  I love you all.  I know this work is the Lord's work and that we have eternities ahead of us. 
que tengan una semana buena!

Love you,
Hermana Waters