Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy July everyone, from Sunny CO!

Pappa Bear, 


 This week was rough because of the holiday, members and nonmembers were nowhere to be found! I guess here there are a lot of places to go camping and hiking so people are really into doing that on holidays and such. But not every week can be epic, sometimes we have to have our "off weeks" to humble us and help us rely on the savior. There were a few highlights though that I wanted to share with you. 
On Tuesday we went on exchanges, I got to go with Sister Mall to the Malley ward. I LOVE SISTER MALL. She is leaving at the end of this transfer and she is just so full of love and never wants to waste a minute, she's my kind of missionary. We have made it a goal to never leave an area without talking to someone whether by street contacting, tracting or a potential in the area we can go see. It's a really effective thing to do and you talk to a ton of people you wouldn't have thought to talk to, I really like it.

 One of the biggest highlights of the week was seeing Yovanne, she's the excommunicated member that wants to be re-baptized. We taught her the law of chastity this week and at first it was super rough, as soon as we brought it up she kind of hardened and so it was hard to teach her because she didn't really want to talk about it or answer any questions we asked her. It didn't go as we planned at all, but then something really cool happened. As she talked we both just listened and when we turned our focus from teaching to listening, the spirit told us what to say. We were able to come to the conclusion that she felt that she had not repented fully. She told us that the law of chastity was an awkward thing for her to talk about and she also said that she had been praying the night before and the spirit told her she needed to repent. She said she thought about it and she decided that she did need to do that so she prayed and talked to heavenly father about it. We told her that we were very proud of her for listening to the spirit and doing what she needed to to be closer to her heavenly father. She then continued to tell us that she was doubting that she'd be able to be baptized again because of her past and that she was feeling pretty hopeless. We were able to testify to her that her heavenly father loved her so much, that he was so proud of her and that he wouldn't deny her the blessings of salvation if she was repenting and doing all she could to get back on the pathway towards him. THE SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG and I knew we had taught Yovanne by the spirit. 

The other really neat experience happened yesterday. We didn't have any set appointments and so the night before we planned out a potential 
appointment every 30 minutes. It was about 3:30 and I had a prompting that we should go see a returning less active. We had seen her last week and we had already taught her the lessons but we decided to go over. When we got there she answered the door and she had tears streaming down her face. We had no idea what was going on and so we went in and she told us that right before we got there her ex-husband called and told her that he couldn't pay the mortgage anymore and he would have to file for bankruptcy which meant the mortgage would fall on her. Her current husband said that he wasn't willing to deal with that and said that she should decide what she wanted from their house and pack her things and go. She was in shock and both sister reynolds and i had no idea what to say. I had no idea what to do, this was a serious real life issue that I hadn't ever faced in my entire life but I knew God wanted us to be there. So after a couple minutes of her telling us what was going on and then silence, she asked us what we wanted to talk about. We told her we wanted to watch a video presentation of the restoration but that it didn't really seem fitting anymore. She said it was fine and so we watched it. It was amazing to feel the spirit of the room change as we watched all the struggles and trials of the early saints. By the end, all of us felt that our problems were so small and that there wasn't anything God couldn't help us with. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of the restored gospel can heal any wound, not matter how serious. When we are being taught those truths by the spirit we are made whole. It was an incredible experience and I know the lord is working through sister reynolds and I here in east lake. 
















Transfers are in two weeks, everyone is voting me off the island since I seem to be well seasoned here in east lake but I'm just not ready to go. Sister Pitts and I were talking and she said "You really are sealed to the East Lake Ward aren't you?" I am.... its pretty pathetic. But I do know that its all up to Heavenly Father and I'll go wherever he sends me. We spent our fourth of july at home. All the missionaries had to be in by 6 so we watched the testaments and played harry potter trivia. We also discovered some really cool straws from 7/11 so we had fun with those too. Oh and just in case you were wondering, I made it through a whole tube of toothpaste in 6 months and I am pretty proud of it. So I have estimated that I will need about 2 more tubes before my time is up. HAHA! I love you Dad, I hope you have a great day and don't cry anymore... Just kidding. Its okay to cry, plus its not crying if your eyes are just a little sweaty. NO WORRIES! XOXOXOXO 
P.S. The last picture was us and our car full of all of our stuff since we are moving houses today.... ah!!!

SISTER HOOPES

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