"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." -Matthew 5:16
SOOOOOOO where do I even begin?!?
It was difficult saying goodbye to everyone in Layton and having to pack EVERYTHING (you acquire a LOT on the mission...) But it all got done, finished. Now we are all good and settled in.
So most of you know I'm now serving in Rose Park! I work in the Mount Ensign Second Ward (we cover the whole stake, but Spanish program only takes care of the 2nd ward.) We are whitewashing (when 2 new missionaries come into an area) and my companion, Sister Gonzalez has just finished training in the English program then got put with me here. (*For those who don't know English and Spanish programs are WAY different, so she's lucky to get to learn how to do both)
We live in a place where Elders have lived for at least 2 years... imagine how "clean" it looked. It smelled like elders too, so we are planning a DEEP clean today.
We met with our Ward Mission Leader and Bishop within the first two days. We didn't have an area book (information on the area) until Thursday. However we got busy and got a map of the area and a copy of the ward directory. We focused on meeting as many members as we could. We wanted to get to know them and where they live so we can help them bring their friends closer to Christ. So far everything is working really well! We established ward goals, personal goals, companionship goals, and everything with our bishop and ward mission leader. We are excited to all work together to achieve these goals.
Contacts are HUGE and super important in this circumstance of a whitewash, mainly because we just need people to see that we are here to help them. Yes, even the random people on the street, in whatever way they need help. The more people we meet will help to get us going in this area. I have a strong faith in this area. I believe it can progress well and we will be able to look back after this transfer and see the progress. But we have to start somewhere:)
We met with a lot of members, and investigators. We prayed about some former members and investigators and felt they were ready for some "sisters." We also contacted someone who felt that it wasn't by coincidence that she was outside walking her dog when we came by. Speaking of DOGS they ARE THE BEST (jk I'm not a fan of dogs. But if I ever feel uncomfortable walking up to someone with a dog I just go to them and say, "Oh my goodness I love your dog! Can I pet it?") It is a totally awesome conversation starter. Sister Gonzalez always talks about how impressed she is about the way I'm fearless with contacts. It is mainly thanks to Mexico. I also know the spirit is going to be with me so I really have no fear walking up to anyone in the street and introducing myself in a happy manner. It is friendly no?:)
Saturday is a special day it's the day we get ready for SUNDAYYYYYY. Saturday we had the opportunity to work a service project for underprivileged families that need help in this holiday season. People donate clothes, baby articles, household items, toys, and so much more so these people can get the help they need. It's in Farmington and most of the people that go are Hispanic. Therefore the need for the Salt Lake City Utah Spanish speaking missionaries and some from the Ogden mission (yes I basically asked every elder and sister if they knew Sister Boman and Elder Andrus, and most said yes!) It was awesome to get to go and use my Spanish language to help a family receive the things they needed. I told the brother in charge that I would be back next year with some friends, so they can provide the service and feel the spirit that I felt when I was there.
Sunday was insane. We had meetings in our stake center from 8-5. That NEVER happens in Spanish program, but it made me happy that we were not getting left out of the stake correlation that we normally do. Church was sweet, we each gave a minute presentation about ourselves over the pulpit. I felt like I actually knew Spanish in that moment. I was just speaking fluently and didn't realize until after I closed. Its crazy how quick the language can come if we pray and study it:)
Also, I got to go to CARMEN AND KARELI'S BAPTISM!!!! I don't think you understand their excitement and surprise when I showed up at the Layton stake center and saw them all dressed in white... I was in tears, (shocker) then pulled myself together. It felt like the whole ward was there it was GREAT! I felt the spirit so strong and told them to keep reading their scriptures and get their eyes focused on the TEMPLE!
This Christmas time I would invite everyone to read Luke 2, about Christ's birth. Also the prophecy in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 10:4, Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews--evena Messiah, or in other words, a Savior of the world. I love more than ANYTHING that He is the Son of God and came in such a humble state. I know He loves me and when I think of Christmas the first thing I think of is Service. He did so many amazing things on this Earth, and I try everyday to take upon His name in a way that He would have me do. I'm thankful for the opportunity to share He is the Gift with so many people here who don't constantly feel His love or care for them. I love John 3:16, I love it more in Spanish but really study the scripture and understand the true meaning of Christmas this year. I love you and really believe that this Christmas will be the best one I've had so far.
Con Amor Y FELIZA NAVIDAD,