Monday, June 16, 2014

Week #68 - Father's Day and Birthday!

Hey guys!!  

Okay, sorry but this email will be a little short today. Not because I don't have time, but because I am wrestling with a very stiff, very broken keyboard. My fingers are already hurting from pounding on these things to get a word out, haha :) Hang in there with my bad grammar and typos - already trying to speak English, and throw a broken keyboard in there too? I'm toast, haha :)  

This week was... incredible. I thought the last week topped it, but Hna Perez and I are literally seeing miracles every day. I feel so very blessed to work in an area where my Heavenly Father is furthering the work so very much, and together with the members. 

1) Do you remember the Idan familia? The mom, Betina, is a less active, and her and her husband Guillermo had decided to let their daughter, Valentina, be baptized, and they all came to church yesterday, WITH the full leg cast that Betina has after her hip surgery. Anyway, this week, our zone leaders pulled us aside, and offered us a bit of inspiration they had had - to talk to Guillermo and invite him to be baptized first, receive the priesthood and baptize his own daughter the next week. I`ll admit, I wasn't really on board at first, but I talked about it with Hna Perez, and we decided to obey the counsel and trust our leaders. We went with a member, Walter Olmos a good friend of Guillermo, and talked about it with him. I was totally floored with Guillermo told us `yesterday, I was actually reading in gospel principles about the family responsibilities, and there it says that the father should be the head of the family. So yes, I want to be the one to baptize Valentina`. I was so floored to see the manner in which the Spirit of the Lord works to prepare and teach his children - this is truly His work!  

2) We also have been working with Brian and Soledad. They are a referral from Luis, a man from another ward who works with Brian. Luis talks about the church a lot, and had invited Brian to come - so, he went 45 min on moto with Soledad and loved it. He came to church this last week, accepted a baptismal date - they are getting married on the 23, and baptized shortly after - and are progressing incredibly.  

Truly, this week was an amazing week that helped me realize the worth of the members in the missionary work. For example, with Guillermo, Walter was the one who taught and explained the priesthood and invited him to be baptized - we just backed him up. And with Brian and Soledad, Luis read with him 30 min every day in the Book of Mormon during their work break, and that is exactly why he is progressing so much. There are so many things that the missionaries cannot do, even though they are set apart especifically for this work. We, as the members, have the greatest work. To befriend, support and guide these investigators and converts in a way that the missionaries simply cannot do. So, if you don't know your missionaries, step up, call them up, and invite them for a FHE to teach you how to give away a Book of Mormon, or how to approach someone with the gospel.  

As was mentioned in the General Conference almost a year and a half ago now, ask the missionaries - they can help :) Pray in your family about what it is you need to learn, and call the missionaries this week to invite them for an FHE. Do it. You will see miracles :)  

Love you all!!   Hna Hillbill 

p.s. special hugs to dad for Fathers Day, and mom since today is her BIRTHDAY! Love you both!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week #67 - Miracles of Missionary Work

Hey everyone!! 

To start off, sorry that y´all were email-less last week. It was a crazy week since transfers came and went, and we got together as a zone in the church to have some last pizza and play Uno before everyone all went their different ways. After cooking, cleaning and playing, there wasn't much time left to write :) However, I´ll make it up by telling you some amazing stories that happened this week!! 

Like I said, another transfer has come and gone, and I am still with Hna Perez here in Alberdi! I will be honest, I am actually really grateful. I love my area here, and I love Hna Perez! Sometimes in the mission, I have the tendency to become so focused on the work that I forget to just relax and laugh - and boy, Hna Perez really helps me do that. That girl is completely ridiculous, and we have so much fun together :) I am thrilled that we have another transfer together!

We started off the transfer running, and boy, I think we have seen more miracles in this first week of our transfer than the previous 2 weeks together. I don't know if that borders on apostasy, trying to put miracles in a measureable amount, haha, but you know what I mean :) 

For starters, since it was Fast Sunday this last Sunday, we´ve been working a ton with all the recent converts to help them be prepared for Fast Sunday and fast offerings. All the running around like crazy paid off in a few precious moments of the weekend - when we went to visit Sanda Suarez, a woman who has baptized about 7 years ago, but went inactive almost immediately and has never really been too involved. The elders found her, and we have been working with her a lot. She was able to go to the temple 3 weeks ago, and came back a new woman. On Saturday when we dropped by her house, she came out BEAMING and proudly announced ´I already did what you taught me. I made milanesa, ate some soup, then kneeled down and said a prayer, and won't eat or drink ANYTHING until tomorrow!´ When we were teaching her about fasting, she said that she had wanted to fast before, but was embarrassed to ask, and already had decided for a purpose about a week before. On Sunday, she proudly marched up to the Bishop and handed him her envelope of fast offerings, and was beaming the whole day :)

Also, Natalia and Luna - who were baptized 2 weeks ago - received the Holy Ghost on Sunday, and also came prepared for the Fast Sunday. They both had similar experiences with fasting, and were so excited to see all the blessings that were going to come. When we dropped by on Friday, Natalia told us that she was so excited to go to church on Sunday, since she had messed up on some things during the week and wanted to take the Sacrament :) Her and Luna are such gems, and we love them so much! We are currently working with their whole family, since she has 11 brothers and sisters, and only her and her youngest sister (Belen, who left for the mission this Thursday) and her mom are members. As of right now, one of her nephews - Laureano - has a baptismal date for later in the month, and her Dad and some other siblings are now listening to us. I have gained such a testimony of seeing the blessings that come to the families of missionaries, just working with them. Since the day that Belen got her mission call, the whole family has begun listening to us more and more, and we have really seen miracles. Amazing things will happen with them during the next 18 months, I know :)

Also, remember how I mentioned that we moved last transfer? Well, the family who lives above us, the mom is actually a less active and recently had hip surgery. That has given us a lot of opportunities to serve and help them, which has led to her daughter preparing for baptism, and the whole family came to church this last week :) We have a FHE in the bishops home tonight, and we hope to invite the Dad to baptism as well! Incredible miracles with them as well :) 

That is really only a few, but I am out of time to say more! Honestly, I am blown away for all the blessings that the Lord is working here in Alberdi - the members are incredible, and I have never worked in a vineyard more dedicated to missionary work than here, and I love it :) It really helps me know how I can be a better missionary, and a better member after my mission. 

A few little thoughts - this last week, I also came upon a talk that many RMs will know - The Fourth Missionary. Anyone who has already read it, is already nodding in agreement, because you all know that it is incredible. And for anyone - members and preparing missionaries included - haven't read it, look it up. Anyway, few thoughts from that: ´´ There are those who give of their means, their time and talents, then there are those who give of themselves. Sacrifice, it seems to me is the first. Consecration is the second. In the end, your heart and your will is all that you have to give to the Lord that He does not already have. If you give your time - two years-  and your strength, then you give that which He grants you with each beat of your heart and each breath that you draw. If you dedicate your time and talents, you only return to Him that which He already has given you. If you pay tithing, you only return to Him a tenth of what He has already give you. Everything that you have to give to the Lord, has its origin in Him. Except one thing - your will. He does not have your heart, nor your mind, unless you give it to Him. It is the only gift you have to offer that He does not already have. So, when you give of yourself, you give everything to Him. 

Trust Him, that He will make of you immeasurably more than what you will ever, ever in all eternity make of yourself. He will create of you a masterpiece. You will create a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. He will create a God.´´ 

I love, and testify of my Savior! That is perhaps the best part of the mission - testifying of Him. I love this work, and I love you all!! Have a wonderful week, and may we all strive to depend a little more upon Him, for it is only through Him that we may accomplish all the incredible potential that we have as children of an omnipotent, living God. He knows and loves you :) 

Love, Hna Lake!! 

PS - this week is a week of events!! Happy birthday to Karis (last week, haha), Mason, and Mommy!! Happy Father's Day to Dad!! And happy ACT to Jameson, haha :) 

P.P.S. Eden, I forgot to tell you - I LOVED the exercise log that you made. Its AMAZING! you can tell that you put a lot of time into it - thanks so much! I love it, printed it out and am putting it into practice :)