Monday, June 30, 2014

rollercoaster week :)

Joke of the Week: What do you call cows at church? Steak Confernence!
Quote of the Week: "What do l need to do to get a kidney stone? l've always wanted to experience it." -Crazy elder
MAn what a week! This has been one of the most roller coaster weeks of my mission! We've been pretty stressed out about a few baptismal dates, complicated assignments from the branch president, and such things. But last night, we finally felt at peace with everything. 
We spoke in church yesterday, and due to circumstances in the branch, we were very worried about what would happen. But we used the counsel we'd received from Pte. AMes, zone leaders, district leader, and LOTS of prayer, and we got it done :) 
ALSO.... our investigator GOT BAPTIZED!!!! :) :) :) lt was amazing. Truly. So he had been struggling to feel his answer from God. We taught him everything, and we truly didn't know what we should do. We prayed, and went into our lesson with the purpose of inviting him to baptism again. The commitment that he needed to get there was to set a sure date. We had to teach him with the SPIRIT. We talked about Alma 32:28, and talked about the literal feelings that he should be feeling from the Spirit. During the lesson, there was a lot of silence. Hna. Lopez and l were both refusing to speak unless they were words inspired from on high. lt's amazing what the Spirit can do because at the end, he basically invited himself to be baptized and have his interview! (this was tuesday) We were SO EXCITED!
Next morning, we got a call from him. He said that he had been praying all night and didn't feel like it was his time. Canceled the interview, and basically dropped us. l can honestly say, that was one of the saddest let down's l've EVER had in my entire mission. Immediately Satan started putting all sorts of negative thoughts in our heads, "Where did we mess up?" "Why do we keep failing? Stuff like that. But we said a prayer, and we felt like we should meet with him. On the way over we were SO nervous, 
So we got there, and during the prayer, his friend/fellowshipper mentioned "Please help the missionaries know how to help Trey not be so confused." So the first question l asked was, "What are you confused about?" And then a miracle happened!!!!!!!! He said that on the way over, his friend was asking him the same thing, and that something that his friend said just HIT him! And that the Spirit had obviously given his friends to touch his heart! So the interview was back on! 
As he left the interview, he had a HUGE smile on his face and told us to fill the capilla :) We had like 2 days, but the baptism was AMAZING :) So the roller coaster ended on a high note :)
We had another cool moment last week! We went to find a menos activo in teh branch. As we walked up to the building we both suddenly forgot the number of the apartment! The logical thing would have been to go back to the car and get it, but for some inspired reason we decided to just knock all of the doors of the building until we found him. The 3rd door we knocked a lady opened and let us right in! She asked us to pray, and told us that she's looking for a church! lt's so cool how God works :) She speaks english, so we sent it onto the elders de ingles :)
President told the zone leaders after our interviews and stake conference that this place is different from the other stakes he's been to. He said that the people here are heavy, weighed down. So we're taking it upon ourselves to free ourselves of whatever might be weighing us down, and helping everyone do the same. l know that The Atonement has real power to do that. l have come to appreciate the power of the Atonement. l know that our Savior is our mediator. That word has come to mean more to me lately than ever before. Someone who is willing to fight my battles that l don't even deserve to win. 
l'm so happy to be here. l'm SO incredibly grateful for the time l have left to serve the people here. HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!! HURRAH FOR KILLEEN!

p.s. l forgot the cable for mi camera but l will send the pictures next week! 
Also, l have to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BRONWYN AND DANELLE THIS WEEK :)
Also l have another cool story. So our ward mission leader is one of the coolest people l've EVER met. He is a recent convert, and he is SO strong in the church, willing to sacrifice everything for God. He shared a story with us. l guess that when he conducted the baptismal service, he was very very nervous. He hadn't ever done it before, and he began to panic. He said that he went into a classroom, knelt, and said a prayer. As he left the room, he felt peace about it, and immediately after, a kind member stopped him and answered all of his questions. Prayer is awesome :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Which came first in Texas?

Joke of the Week: Which came first in Texas? The fried chicken or the fried egg? 
Quote of the Week: "lf he [man] willingly sacrifices all that he has, he shall find that he has enough." -James E. Talmage
What do you call cows at church? STEAK CONFERENCE!!! That's right folks. We had stake conference. Which means that we also had interviews with President Ames. l don't think l've ever appreciated the interviews more than l have here in Killeen. Haha we're so far away from the rest of the mission! l am so incredibly grateful for President AMes. He is truly inspired of God, and willing to fight for the right, no matter what it takes. 
Stake Conference was wonderful! Right before the Saturday night adult session, we had been helping one of our recent converts' wife write their talk, cause she spoke. Right before we went in, it started POURING rain. And just the few seconds we were outside, we got soaked to the bone. We walked in to greet President and Sister Ames looking like we just jumped into a pool.
The next day we were translating. Man. lt was definitely a tender mercy that we had two others surprise us and help out. Cause 2 hours of talks is a LOT! l have such a huge respect for the General Conference translators! 
Something that was talked about in conference made me think a lot about our home growing up. A man was talking about how he and his wife decided to make the sacrifice of cutting the Cable TV, and just sticking to Netflix and appropriate movies, and the local free channels. lt hit me that all of my life (hasta la fecha creo..) We didn't ever have Cable! Haha we don't even have NEtflix! And you know what? No me hacia falta nada. l honestly feel like even without those things we still found time to waste on media. So padres, muchas gracias. l'm so grateful that l was raised without the need for things like that. Haha when l have a family, we're going to live in the mountains and play music for fun :)
l am so incredibly grateful for the Holy Ghost. One of the lesson points in PMG states: "The Holy Spirit teaches us, purifies us, comforts us, testifies of the truth, warns us, and guides us." Throughout my mission l feel like l've seen each of those points in action. One of our investigators was talking with us about how he still is missing that "answer" that we keep talkign about. We started explaining the different ways that the Spirit could talk to him, and BAM the Spirit started teaching him right then and there. He "randomly remembered" that before he started talking to us, he had lots of temptations to do bad things, even when he read the Bible and studied religion. But that since he's been talking with us and reading in the Book of Mormon, he hasn't even had the desire to do those things. WE could then testify that THAT is the Spirit. lt's what helps us to resist temptation and do the right thing. 
WE met a member who served a mission in Hermosillo and knows Bishop Gomez and Herendira!!! lf he remembers a "Hermana Lucia Torres," that's her :) SHe also knwos my tios en sAltillo! 
times up.

Pictures:
l taught Hna. Lopez how to make Chilaroni!
And.... l may or may not have taught some of the youth that it's ok to "rescue" signs
Finally the picture with Fidel!









Monday, June 16, 2014

No smiling contest :)

Joke of the Week: Why do seaguls live by the sea? CAuse if they lived by the bay they'd be bagels!
Alrighty... well first of all, l left my paper with all of my weekly notes at the casa, so this will probably be short. 
SO this week was reeeaally crazy, but really good! We taught a ton of lessons, and we had 5 people come to church! We're so excited :) There's no better feeling than meeting and beating the weekly goals. We had a wonderful lesson last night in the house of a member. We watched "The Restoration" with one of our most progressing investigators. The Spirit was so strong! Haha like ALWAYS a phone rang during the First Vision, but his eyes were glued to the TV! l love that movie. lt's been amazing to see the spiritual growth that has happened with this guy. The past month has impacted him so much.

So we were eating dinner with a few of the families in the branch, and someone decided to do a no smiling contest. And the first 3 losers had to eat a full spoonful of some "really hot" salsa. My poor companion had to take a few spoonfuls, and a pesar de being mexican, she doesn't eat much spice. The poor salvadorenos and puertoriquenos were dying! hahaha it was so funny to watch! When l finally had to eat some, l was alarmed to find that no me picaba tanto! l have lost my tastebuds!!!!!! :P
Thank you for the prayers, -Con amor, 
Hermana GOmez

p.s.! l remembered another cool thing. So we were talking with Fidel Avitia, and he called his mom. And she was able to tell us the story of how the Gomezes were converted to the gospel. She said that los hermanos Gomez siempre eran los mejores ejemplos al barrio. They were the first to be sealed in the temple, and all of the kids are still strong in the Gospel! (haha l already knew that part) Fidel said that something that Abuelito decia was "Haz me un punto de apoyo, y yo moveré el mundo." Fidel went on and on about how his hero was Carlos Gomez. He said that he doesn't pick his heroes from the fake idols that the world has, but from real, amazing men. Crazy small world eh?

l'm have interviews this Friday with President. And Hermana Lopez is awesome :) AND l didn't even say it in my email, but HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!! :) Last night we were talking about what our families were probably doing. l guessed that Camilla gave Dad a dark chocolate hershey's bar, and that he got some peanut m&m's. He probably called his parents, and then y'all probably went to grandpa and grandma's for a little bit. HAha were my guesses right?? And you may have made him red enchiladas?

Pictures:
Hermana Fotu and l doing service on exchanges!!! She's from Tonga :)
Memorizing scriptures is da best.
Hermana Lopez tried to teach me what hashtags are used for....








Monday, June 9, 2014

SMALL SMALL WORLD

Joke of the Week: Why do cows have bells? Cause their horns don't work!
Quote of the Week: l have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man, but to kill it!
Buenos días! Puesity pues pues, this semana has been great! We had a few over 100 days, and a few (like el día de hoy) rain storms like Noah's Ark! Random fact: In Utah after it rains, there's a bunch of squished worms all over the ground. ln Killeen after it rains, there's an equal amount of squished frogs all over the ground.
This week we taught a lot of Member Present lessons!!!!! Which is awesome. lt means that our people are getting the chance to learn the Gospel through the members!!!! And we alll know that that's the best way.
Man, one of the fruits of the labor came in the form of a text last night :) One of our most progressing investigators texted us to apologize for not coming to church, and toldus that he's been reading a chapter a day in the Book of Mormon!!!!!!!!!!! Hna. Lopez and l were squealing in our beds like 15 year old girls who just got a text from Captain America. 
Yesterday we were at church, and a less active who we've been visiting came! The branch secretary came  up to us and asked him where he was baptized so they could start getting his records transferred. Guess where he was baptized? PIEDRAS NEGRAS COAHUILA! And guess what? My very own abuelito was his first teacher! His name is Fidel Avitia. He said that he learned every thing he knows about mechanics, being healthy, God, and life in general in the little shop with Hermano Gomez. Sweet huh? He said that his dad, Jose, was suuuper good friends with Abuelito. He said that he's never met a smarter, better, cooler man :) 
Andale pues. Aqui todo va muy bien, gracias a Dios. Me alegro de escuchar de todas las noticias de la familia y el barrio! Danelle ya me había dicho que hay un barrio de solteros.... pero creo que yo voy a ir donde hablen español. ésta semana tuvimos un intercambio con las hermanas de Temple. Para no echarles mentiras, confieso que tenía los celos cuando olí su apartamento! jaja el nuestro sigue oliendo muy feo. Vamos a tener que explicarselo a pte. Ames porque nos olimos como si fumáramos todos los días :)
Que les vayan muy bien!
Y GOOD LUCK TO ABIGAIL BEAZER GOING TO THE MTC THIS WEEK :)

Pictures 
Some of our investigators and 
Horton Hears a Who!?






Monday, June 2, 2014

Here to the very end :)

Quote of the Week: "So.... What does your church think about Aliens?"
Joke of the Week: Why do seaguls live by the sea? Cause if they lived by the bay they'd be bagels! 
Sometimes as we're finding, teaching, baptizing, and retaining, l feel like Jeramiah. People have such HUGE problems in their lives, and want to scream at them, "l'm a child! l can't speak!" But... then as l continue reading the chapter, l remember that Jeramiah was chosen of God, and God gave him the words to say. Although l'm not a prophet, l have been chosen to represent Him. Entonces, l've got the same promise that Jeramiah had, that God would put the words in his mouth. l love how the Lord was so straight up with him! "But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee,and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thymouth."
l know that every missionary (full time or part time) has that promise too. He knows us, and more importantly, He knows the people we're teaching! And He will give us the right words to say :)
Well l've definitely had many opportunities where l said the wrong. thing. Hahaha last week we were talking to the friend of a member, and they were joking around about religion, and one said that he was a Jew. We totally thought he was joking, and l was like, "Man you've hidden your Yamaca reeeaally well!" 
He's really a Jew.
Hahahaha
Well, this week l also recieved the infamous "Trunky Packet." But... l'm not really trunky at all! There's all sorts of talks about "finishing strong" .... But l've still got a TON of weeks left :) l'm here till the very end. 
This gospel is true. l know that fasting has real power. l know that prayer is powerful, and people receive REAL answers from God if they look for them. Please pray for my people here. We've got a TON of investigators praying hard for answers, and we just need to help them recognize them. 
Paz,
Hermana Banana

Pictures: 
Saying good bye to the transfered and going home souls :(
Oh ya and the other message had a lovely picture of us being all sweaty from biking  :P
Oh ya cool story! So some recent converts in our ward invited their friends to church and last sabado the whole family was baptized! 
Also, some couples were sealed in the temple and so we had a sweet boda :)
Being dorkuses!
Some last transfer pictures from Lopez camera
Hna. Lopez thought l looked funny enough doing a back bend that she'd take a picture
Golden Corral with the zone (member gave us gift cards!)
l think l've done more "selfie" pictures on the mission than at any other time of my life. Food for thought.
CAMILLA! :)
sick. 5 feet long. 2-3 inches thick. SNAKE! scared the daylights out of us.
Sometimes members try to text in spanish, but their phones are set to predictive in ingles. Hahaha we we're pretty proud of ourselves when we figured it out! "Hermanas pueden abrir la capilla esta noche a las 6:50"
This was the baptism that we brought flowers to a few weeks ago. She's an awesome lady :)
Quincenera! haha 15 months :)
Our old pet turtle Squish :'( He's in a better place now.
lf it weren't for exact obedience and our lack of parenting skills, we'd have totally kept him.
The day of the youth presentation :) The young women made the cute flower head things!
l cut off my bangs last week :)
this picture sending process is testing my patience.