Oakland Temple

Oakland Temple

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


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.

Hermana Waters

Week 44 - Ceres, Hughson


I never know how to start these things so bank on them being awkward every week. okay?

 I was excited to hear that Patricia and Juan in Modesto were married and baptized from the Modesto missionaries! I still remember when Hermana Zapata and I met her out in the street carrying several bags of groceries back to her house. It all started with a small act of service of returning her load back to her house. Definitely a miracle of someone prepared placed in our path. 

Yesterday, investigators Rebecca and Reuben invited us to have dinner with them.  It was delicious-Ortega burgers, homegrown fresh salad and fruit.(definitely something I'm going to miss in Utah)  It was a thick hamburger patty from Costco wish grilled Ortega chiles laid on top.  mmmm. We were sitting at the dinner table waiting for Rebecca to come from the kitchen with our hamburgers already prepared when Reuben started eating.  Me and Hermana Trejo were just sitting there when Rebecca comes out from the kitchen and said, 'REUBEN, IBAN ORAR...'  (They were going to pray) He gives the look of 'oh no' and looked over at us.  We explained that it is a 'rule' that whoever starts eating before saying the prayer, is the one who has to say it.  He had never said a prayer with us before and we were thinking he'd just laugh it off and insist on us or Rebecca saying the prayer like normal.  But all he mentioned was that he didn't know how to pray beautifully like us but ok.  Sin inclinando nuestras cabezas, oro.  Dandole a Dios gracias por nosotras y su esposa. Fue cortita pero poderosa la oracion. Empezo a llorar con lagrimas en sus ojos.  pero fueron lagrimas gosozas. Without bowing our heads, he prayed.  Giving thanks to God for us and his wife.  The prayer was short but powerful. He started to cry with tears in his eyes.  but they were tears of joy.
Though something simple, I know there is power in the small things we do.  

I hope you are taking care. I love you all, miss you so much and think about you a lot.

loves, xoxo
Hermana Waters

Week 43 - Ceres, Hughson

Well this week was a hot one that's for sure.  We are drinking a lot because if we don't, we get a headache. 

The week started of interesting when we received a text from this man we contacted the week before asking if we could go out and get a drink or beer with him.  He sounded interested in our message when we first contacted him but I guess not.  The next time missionaries go by his house to follow up, they'll be elders.

I have pondered a lot about how the Gospel Blesses Families.  It's the second principle we teach as missionaries, right after God is Our Loving Heavenly Father. 

As I have spent time being a missionary, I have realized that most people struggle to place the Gospel on an individual basis.  Yes the gospel blesses everybody and yes it tends to make people happier, but how does the gospel change you.  As we have spent this past week speaking with many who are generational catholics, I have found a lack of personalizing the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Upon asking almost all of them 'How has the teachings of Jesus Christ blessed your life?' they then respond 'en todo' In everything.  It is something held at a very surface, superficial layer that has yet to reach the heart.  

Why is it so hard to apply it to ourselves? I believe that Satan really doesn't want us to apply it to ourselves. He wants us to be satisfied with believing that we don't need to recognize how it truly affects us as a person and our families.  

For me it's meant that although I don't want to let go of things in the past-it's required to progress. It's helped me realize that sure I disagree often but through counsel it can be resolved.  It made me realize that it's not so much about what I want but what my Heavenly Father wants.  He wants us to be happy and he let his son come to teach us that we may make the most of those teachings.

I invite you all to think on how the Gospel of Jesus Christ (or in other words His Teachings) has blessed your life and shaped you. 

The gospel is great for everyone. But really it allows us to have spiritual and miraculous experiences. Made not only for the blessing of ourselves but of our families.  That is how we got the scriptures..Just a bunch of spiritual experiences our forefathers had.  And it's here to bless us and strengthen us.

I invite you to write down in your journal sometime this week how the teachings of Jesus Christ, his gospel, has lightened your burdens, gave you more perspective, shaped your life, and lifted your family.

I know God loves us. I know as we individually apply the gospel of Jesus Christ which consists of Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end we will find ourselves happier and we will consider ourselves blessed.

I love you,
Hermana Waters