Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weddings & Baptisms

August 13th

Sister Hovorka has now become Hermana least I think she is getting used to me calling her that because "Sister" just doesn't seem to make its way out of my mouth. :) She is from Orem and her family now lives in Highland...good 'ol Utahns we are! She is so adaptable and ready to be here...I feel very blessed. We are already seeing how now was the time to Zebra here because, especially with 2 families we are teaching where the kids learn better in English and the parents/grandparents in spanish so we are able to teach to their needs with our dynamic duo. The Lord is definitely sustaining me with his "enabling power" because translating and teaching would not be possible on a daily basis if He wasn't. We are being prayerful about putting a good handful of investigators on date for baptism this week! :)

Some Highlights:

With recent converts. They are the lights of my l
ife in the Basin
Sandra and Jose finally came to church yesterday...the last 30min. and LOVED IT! Sandra said that she learned more in the last 30 minutes than she has in the last several years going to her family's church...pretty intense. Their little girl Cassi/Cassandra also fell in love with primary and said, "Mom I behaved really good, so can we come back next week?" BOO YAH! Jose really enjoyed priesthood and told us this weekend that his great-grandpa actually carried around a BOM with him and named all of his kids after the names in the book and nobody knew why! WHAT THE!?!? We didn't have more time to talk about this, but what a teaser right?!

We've had some rockin lessons with Aneth, Ramon and Laura...they are praying about a date to be baptized after their wedding 9/1...they call themselves "sponges that are soaking up the gospel." Ramon told us about all the blessings he has seen in his life since he chose to keep the true.

The abuela, Alexandra & Alejandro. 
Last week Alexandra and Kassandra's little brother came outside after our lesson and I told him he should join us next time if he wants...he was there this week, ready and waiting...completely willing to learn...Alejandro, 8 years old, fascinated learning about God and prayer. At the end of the lesson, I asked him if he'd pray and he said, "YUP!" and did...first time, right then and there and it was celestial. :) His abuela told me that she's never seen him pay so much attention and be so interested in learning. He made me think so much about Mosiah 3:19. Alexandra and her abuela told us that since we taught her how to pray, her fears and nightmares have gone away...she has had some sad experiences and seen some "adult" things too early in her life...and pray has chased all of that away. Ummm yeah, that's the power of prayer my friends. We are getting members there this week! 

August 27th


We are so grateful we were able to get our investigator Sandra to the morning-side and stake conference yesterday! Thank you for you and Sister Greer's encouraging testimonies and of course we were so honored to have Sister Boyd bear hers too. Sandra really recognized the Spirit in all of the meetings and told us several times how happy she was that she came and how comfortable she feels. President Hadley and Elder Hansen's focus on covenants was celestial! We hope to put her on date this week! Her boyfriend and father of her little girl, Jose, wants to be baptized but had to go to California to work for a month. But, that does help them live the law of chastity and they are being stubborn, but have admitted that they should get married and really do want to, especially since they have been learning the gospel because they have never communicated so well and felt so close to each other until now. :) They both know it is true because they have been reading and praying and learning how to recognize the Spirit. Sandra has also been writing down her revelation in a notebook we gave her and really identifies with the scriptures...AMAZING! This is a lot of change and commitment for them, but it is coming. 

New Comp: Sister Hovorka 
A similar situation is Aneth and Ramon who will be getting married this Saturday! :) Ramon's wife died and he has 2 children that Aneth has practically adopted, Laura 11 and Jose 7 (turning 8 in November). They love the gospel and have been coming to church every Sunday for more than a month now. They had a lot to overcome since the Sisters started teaching them in February, but the change of heart has come and we are praying to have Aneth, Ramon and Laura baptized before the end of the transfer and then Jose after his birthday! Their cousins have also seen such a change in them that they invited them to take the lessons from us too and that is going really well! (Rosillo the mom, Bertha 11, Junior 9) The Bleazards, our ward mission leader and his family are so full of charity it is almost unbelievable until you see it. They don't even speak their language, but they have been there for them all of the way! Ramon works for them and they are making their wedding very special. It was also their son with special needs who softened Ramon and Aneth's hearts to really accept the gospel and change. I want to be like this family...they truly are mastering "The Character of Christ" that Elder Bednar talks talk, look it up. :)

September 3rd
Well, Aneth and Ramon's wedding happened! It actually happened...I could hardly believe it because I have tried this so many times with investigators, but I had the faith and the Lord kept me amazingly calm
Allyson, and amazing girl who just graduated H.S.
from an amazing family 
and confident! It is so cool that they have had such support and excitement from english members that they totally put on a gorgeous wedding for them, but usually we just have them sign the paper at the courthouse because the temple is where we want "gorgeous!" So yeah, it was a crazy stressful week, trying to stay focused on the week, but everyone needing us for wedding stuff...I'll be glad to be back to normal this week. The stories I will tell you when I get home will be memorable, but just for a teaser, when the lady who made the cake shows up...she's rattling off in Spanish about how she got lost out here finding the house and steps out of the car holding the cake and gets her huge high heel jammed in the grass and trips over her dress and face plants it into the cake!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Total movie, where was my crew! So sad, so funny, so stressful, so speechless...don't worry folks, this was a Meximerican wedding so the peice she demolished was just part of the cake...we made it work....oh my was too much. The American and Mexican opinions, traditions, etc. were all mixed and I was the translator and my voice is horse and it was awesome. :) Now to get them baptized so that they can be sealed in the temple...that is both of their goal and what they are most excited for. I have thanked Heavenly Father countless times for investigators who keep their focus and know the priority...they know that getting married civilly is just the first step...they have been so humble and grateful. :)  Our goal is to get them baptized by the end of this the next 2 weeks!

Sandra came to all 3 hours yesterday with her daughter Cassi and really loved it!!!!! We got her a front row seat of the sacrament (My mission president and his wife's voices rang in my head to "The power of Godliness is manifest throughh the ordinances....Get them to the ordinances!"), then she was totally participating in the BOM class in Sunday School (She has read up to Enos and has pages filled of the notebook we gave her for revelation and finally moved to her laptop because she had so much!). Then I guess there is a new slideshow presentation from the church that they showed in combined RS/EQ yesterday that explains a lot of the outward living the gospel that others would observe of members and wonder about. So the presentation is to help members learn how to address daily gospel life questions rather than the detailed doctrine or mysteries. I assume that this is because of the upcoming election and there are many misconceptions being tossed around. Have you heard about it? They say that anyone can have copies from online...? Either way, it was neat to see how the members really got excited about missionary work and feeling more capable of having casual and positive conversation of the church and then redirecting people to missionaries for doctrine. Sandra was also really into this and felt like it made her way more at ease of who the church is in the world and what she would be a part of. We again extended the invitation to be baptized last week and she is still struggling to leave Catholic tradition...but knows that this is the that was a very powerful lesson with a member present and she accepted our invitation to fast with us for her conversion yesterday and she really liked that! She also told us how she just keeps loving the gospel more and more and our other ward mission eader offered her a answer to our prayers! :) It's really cool to see how all the units we serve really love and support one another...

September 11th
LISTEN UP! THE ENRIQUEZ FAMILY IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!! We put them on date 9/5 for 9/15! So life after the wedding made things more calm to finally have a serious sit-down and we had the Branch President come and it was so smooth. The morning after the wedding they felt so relieved, but at the same time how hard Satan was working on them...a lot of contention in the home until we came over. So, we explained how having the gift of the H.G. asap and how Ramon can then
baptize Jose when he turns 8 in November...they were so humbled and loved it and it was so spiritual and I can't even possibly write down all the details...but these last 2 weeks have been exhausting spiritually and physically, but only because the Lord is on our side. Yes family, after being out 10 months the Lord is letting me see not just 1 baptism, but 3 (Aneth, Ramon and Laura)!!!!! These conversions are the efforts of years of the Bleazards fellowshipping, Branch members and other missionaries concerted efforts...but conversion does not happen until the individual chooses it...AGENCY. Ramon had the biggest change of heart...he is so converted...he is seriously Alma the Younger! It has humbled me to the core. This is so cool...I could tell you cool stuff for days. Just take my word for it...they are
converted...this is a MIRACLE. They were all interviewed Sunday and ready to go! We are visiting them daily to fight off Satan trying to pull any fast ones. All of Ramon's friends are making fun of him...but he is standing strong. He makes me ask myself if I am that converted to the gospel? I love them. I love my mission. I love being a missionary. :) I don't deserve all of this...but I know they do.
Transfer calls are the day of the baptism...we'll see what happens with a new spanish sister coming in. Sister Hovorka and I have had a fun and exhausting transfer! This companionship was meant to be...I know that we would not have been able to prepare the Enriquez family for their wedding or baptism if she had not been here with me. :) What a tender mercy that the Lord is letting us both be here to carry out their wedding AND their baptisms!


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