Monday, July 28, 2014

Most fertile parts of the wilderness :)

Quote of the Week: "Don't tell God you have big problems, tell your problems you have a big God." -Hna. Melendez
Joke of the Week: Como se dice 99 en chino? "Cachi chien!" 
Missions aren't about waiting for the storms to pass, but learning to bike in the rain!
Hna. Lopez and l have deemed this week as the. most. crazy. week. of our missions. l can't explain all of the reasons why, but just trust me. lt's been nuts. 
First of all, mom, if you could send me a story about my ancestors, l'd be very grateful. They're trying to help us use family history as a finding tool, and asked us all to get stories that we can share. l know you've told me a billion...... but l don't remember very many!
So last week was zone conference, and l was super nervous cause l was going to do 2ish musical numbers, AND the infamous "departing testimony".... AND l was just really sad that it's my last one. 
ln preparation for the conference, we always wax the car. So during our lunch break on thursday, we went outside to start. But..... lt WASN'T THERE!!!!!!! We freaked out. We ran up and down the parking lot and started to panic as we contemplated how to tell the zone leaders that someone jacked the car. Almost in tears, we call them, and the FIRST question they asked was, "was it towed?" A feeling a relief came over me as l realized that there was another option. Turns out, we DID get towed! Right there in our own apartment parking. So that complicated our lives a little. Thankfully, the very next day was zone conference, so people from the office would be coming down to Killeen and they could get the car back before the fine went up too much (it goes up every day it stays there). And a member just randomly gave us groceries for this week that are going to  keep us alive this month! Somehow God knows how dumb his children can be, and always looks for the best way to help us. Like Pte. Ames says, he leads us through the "most fertile parts of the wilderness." We are still facing trials, and we still make mistakes, but we have the PROMISE that Heavenly Father guides us through the best way possible. THAT is mercy.
Last night l was privileged to have one of the coolest experiences of my whole mission. Although Pte. Ames just barely got home from his trip here last friday, he felt prompted to come down again Sunday evening to do a fireside with the missionaries and the YSA branch. We invited one of our YSA aged investigators. The Spirit was very strong as Sister and Pte. Ames taught us about the blessing that we receive from living the Gospel. As the closing prayer was said, my investigator turned to me and said, "You know what? l think this IS the true church!" l asked him why, and he said that he can just feel it. And that Pte. AMes had answered a ton of his very specific questions that he's had! We set a baptismal date for the 16th of Aug. right there in the pew! And then he had the opportunity to talk with Pte. Ames and talk about how excited he was for hsi baptism! lt was literally a miracle. l was not expecting anything like that to happen. l'm so grateful for the Spirit that can literally soften and change the hearts of the people.
Time is running out and l have about a billion things to say. 
14 seconds. Adios amigos.
5 sec
Ok. l'm back. So the other crazy things that have happened have been dramatic things that..... can't be told exactly. But a dear family in the branch went through some crazy stuff and the next day we were supposed to do a FHE as a branch. Nobody showed up till about 5 minutes after it was supposed to start, and we had just been told that Hna. Lopez was getting transferred. l had already been bawling my eyes out that day because of zone conference, and when we saw all of the members we didn't know how to tell them that Hna. Lopez was going to leave. We cried a LOT that night. Hahaha
So we wake up Sunday morning, and a random awesome investigator texts us to ask if we could show him the way to church! So that's happy :) And we ALSO got a text from Pte. telling us that Hna. Lopez isn't leaving till Friday IF she even leaves at all! She was literally all the way packed. And we already said goodbye to EVERYONE! Hahaha awkward taco situation. 
But we went to church and guess what? SEVEN investigators went!!!!!!!!!! Speaking of numbers, we were #4 companionship in the mission this week :)
After church, we had the fireside and all of that cool stuff. 
As of right now, we're waiting the call from President to tell us if Hna. Lopez is going or not. lt's pretty much torture.
Speaking of torture, one of our investigators is a pilot, and he was telling us about his airplanes (we went to the airport and looked at them!) and he told us that in basic training, they practice being captured and tortured!!!!!!! sick right? They have to leave with at least one bone broken. lt took the edge off my desires to be in the Army.....
Well....don't worry about me. We are being taken care of by Heavenly Father. l was a leeetle worried about how we were going to survive, but then a member offered to take my bike to Utah the last week of August, so l will probably use some of that money to buy t.p. and stuff. And like l said, a member randomly gave us some fruit snacks and granola bars and yogurt! The Lord definitely is mindful of us. 
Tell Katelyn that l'm so excited for the baby!!!! Man that makes me happy! People keep asking me what the first "non-missionary" thing l'm going to do when l'm home, and every time l tell them: HOLD A BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lt's pretty much torture to go visit cute little Ali (the brand new baby) and not be able to hold her! Haha last trial of my obedience eh? 
Alright this is waaay too long. PAz a vosotros.
-Hermana Gomez

Monday, July 21, 2014

I love love love contacting people!

Quote of the Week: Do you love me? FEED MY SHEEP!
Joke of the Week: What Mexican food won't shut up? Talk-o's! 
What?!! Siera got her mission call??? That's sweet!!

Another crazy week has passed by. We walked about 1 billion miles this week. l love love love contacting people! 
So we were walking one day, and we were talking about how hungry we were.  Right as we turned the corner, there were 4 perfect pears sitting on the road. We almost cried from happiness! God truly takes care of his missionaries! Unfortunately we were right at the house of our investigator and so we went inside. And when we left, we walked the other way and forgot them. Haha. BUT the tender mercy was still there :) And IF we weren't such dummies, God would have provided us with lunch that day :)
We had a super cool talk with the mom (member) of two of our investigators. She said that she has prayed every day for YEARS that her kids would stop being so rebellious and change their ways. And since we've been visiting them, K. and D. have been asking to go to church! And K. even got rid of all of her bad video games! That is a HUGE step. l'm so so so grateful for the gospel that has power to change every single person.
l'm so happy to be here serving. Although sometimes people tell you that after we leave they're going to throw the Book of Mormon in the trash where it belongs, there are moments that are pricelessly amazing :) 
Have a good week!
-Hermana Gomez

l'm still awfully behind sending pictures! But here's a highlight from June :)


Monday, July 14, 2014

the many adventures of Tali

Joke of the Week: Why do seaguls live by the sea? Cause if they lived by the Bay they'd be bagels!!!
Quote of the Week: "Podemos mirar atras para reclamar las brasas de las experiencias brillantes pero no las cenizas." -Jeffery R. Holland
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO NAOMI!!!!! l'm so sorry l won't be there to celebrate your quince.... ANd l can't even believe that you're that old! 
l will pray for the Breretons... that's so so sad. 
Well last week we had many adventures. We were outside our neighbor sister missionaries' door talking the night before transfers. They were doing a "sleepover" and had face masks on. Suddenly, a woman walks up to us, and asks if we have any ice. One of the sisters said yes, and the lady WALKED IN THEIR APARTMENT. (That's not kosher.) We were trying not to laugh ourselves to death as the sisters (in their p.j.s and ... blankets) hurried and got her some ice. But this lady wanted them to teach her! She started asking questions about the white boards, folletos, etc. WELL, it turns out, that this crazy innocent lady actually STOLE the wallet of one of the sister missionaries! So... ya. Never make exceptions to the rules. Even if it seems harmless!
We had a super cool experience with a part member family! THe elders de ingles had given them to us as a last resort. They said that the son (non-member) just wasn't interested, but that maybe a spanish branch would help them (son puertoriquenos). As we were about to leave the appointment (The son had talked a little bit) he stopped us before the prayer, and said that he had something to share. He said that he has been feeling like he lacks faith and that he needs help from God. His mom asked if he would like a blessing, and he started to cry (23 year old army dude) and said yes! God is definitely preparing him :)

Sunday we felt the need to stop by the house of one of our active members who wasn't at church. She's pregnant and so it wasn't too weird that she didn't make it. As she opened the door, she started to cry and invited us in. There are a LOT of things going on in her life right now.... her husband is about to leave to Korea (army) and will be alone with her 2 year old to have the new baby. Also, the doctor just found some cancerous tissue in her uterus. Listening to all of it, l just wanted to fix her problems! My heart was breaking for this poor lady, and l had no advice about marriage, family problems, or life threatening diseases. l prayed with all my heart that the Spirit would help me know what to say. lmmediately, Mateo 11:29-31 came to my brain. l know that GOd really is there to share the load of his weary and tired children. 
Another cool story happened in the branch!!! A home teacher went to give a blessing to a sister who had asked for it. He didn't know exactly why, but he followed the Spirit, and in her blessing, he specifically mentioned that her "eyes, lungs, and knees" would be blessed with health. Everyone was a little surprised at the specificness/randomness. After the blessing, the hermana called he and his wife and demanded to know WHO had told him to say that. He said that he had no idea! ANd that he had even surprised himself when the words came out. But it turns out, that this lady had just gone to the doctor for problems in her eyes, lungs, and knees. Crazy huh? The priesthood is real!!!!
Well, that's about it! l have a ton of pictures to send but l dount l'll actually send any.... :P l shall put them on a flash drive.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tamales in the summer !

Joke of the Week: Cuantas vacas en Tejas hay? Cin-cuenta. :)
Quote of the Week: "That little urchin is going to steal my stuff."
Man what a crazy week. We got transfer calls this morning. And....... WE'RE BOTH STAYING :) The silly zone leaders tried to trick us and say that Hna. Lopez was going to a zebra (spanish-english) in Hillsburo. They even gave her the new address and everything! We were freaking out a little, and then he told me that my new companion is going to be SISTA LOPEZ (he is from New Zealand). Haha we screamed like little children we were so happy. 
Well.... this last week was pretty crazy! l had forgotten just how sweaty and gross  we get on the bikes this time of year. lt's gross! But we've seen so many tender mercies. My very favorite tender mercies are when we teach a great lesson. Teaching a man named Eliot, the Spirit was so... there! l never cease to be amazed how we are directed to teach exactly what these people need. We'd already taught the first lesson to him a few times, but this time, we were asking inspired questions that would help him understand. As we read Moroni 10:4-5, he was struck hard. He was amazed at how the words spoke so clear and direct. l LOVE the Book of Mormon. l have truly watched it change lives. At the beginning of my mission, l was always worried that people would get lost in the big words and weird  "vosotros" language. But as Eliot stopped and felt the words hit him, l was just so so grateful that God gave us this tool.
Another humbling moment was last night as we began with the new member lessons with our recent convert. We had decided to give assignment to him and his friend to teach us the first one. They studied and prepared to teach us about the Restoration :) As they stood up and began to testify to us about prophets, the apostasy, and Jose Smith, the Spirit was so strong! l felt so blessed to be able to the change in these two muchachos. 
Hahaha so we decided to fulfill a promise that we made the zone leaders long ago to make them tamales. But the chiste was that neither l nor hermana Lopez had ever made tamales without the help of someone older/wiser. But.... WE DID IT! We even spread the maza on the hojas with a cuchara! lt was a waaaaay bigger project than we had anticipated! Haha but we finished almost all of it. The last part of the chicken, chile, and maza are still in teh fridge waiting for us to gather up the ganas to finish. We even invented our own tamalera with two pots, a bowl, and a plato. One crazy adventure l will enver forget!
l certainly felt the fasting and prayers from you all! l will keep praying for you too. l hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!
Also, l want to see pictures of Katelyn's stomach!!!!! 
-Con amor, Hermana GOmez