Monday, July 28, 2014

I am getting abducted . . . . . . . by God (in the words of Hermana Miller:)

Showing off my new Mexican food cooking skills - This is guissero puerco
Yes, I am getting abducted by God in the words of Hermana Miller. Transfer calls came yesterday and I am leaving Louetta. I feel good and sad all at the same time. I have really loved this area and all the people I have met. My life really has been changed here! And I am so sad that I only got to be with Hermana Miller for six weeks, she is just so amazing and I have learned so much from her. It was just too good to be true I guess!! haha but I know that the Lord has plans for me and that those plans are absolutely perfect. So I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me. It was actually pretty ironic. Last night it was about 10:22 and I hadn't received a phone call yet so I thought, "Okay, I guess I'm staying." So I was getting ready for bed and started to say my prayers and said "So I think I am still staying here, but I am willing to go wherever you need me to go and do what you need me to do. I know that you know what I need." At 10:27, right as I said Amen, the phone rung and I found out that I was being transferred. haha talk about the timing of the Lord! Hermana Miller has helped me so much though, she has been the answer to many of my prayers and has helped me overcome many of my weaknesses that I could not have overcome on my own. She has helped me to be more bold, and she has helped me gain a confidence in myself that I didn't have before. Being companions with her has helped me focus on my strengths--it was almost hard to focus on my weaknesses. Enough that I could recognize them and work on them, but never so much that I was dwelling on them. This past transfer I was truly able to work outside of myself so that I could focus on others' needs. I was worried for them instead of myself. That was what I needed to let go of to truly get lost in the work. I think this has been the happiest time of my mission so far because I truly felt that I was focused more on the work than anything else, and as a result I am happy. So so so happy. There is not one single day out of this transfer where we didn't see a miracle. I truly just feel remarkably blessed that the Lord has permitted me to see so many amazing things. This scripture came to my mind as I was thinking back on this transfer:
"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many might miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever...for our joy is full." Alma 26:12,16
                          Oh how I will miss Hermana Miller!!!!!!
Again, this week has been another week of awesomeness. (is that a word?) We went to the temple on Tuesday! So that was wonderful! I really am so lucky that I am in a mission where the temple is in my area. The fact that we get to go to the temple every transfer is SUCH an incredible blessing! I always learn something new when I go, the Lord always helps me find the answers that I am searching for. So that alone made this week awesome.

We had an amazing miracle with one of our investigators this past week. She is so incredible! She has been investigating the church for a long time--she comes to church every Sunday, and her son actually was baptized, but because of some things in her life, she is not able to be baptized...yet. It's going to come soon though, I know it! We went to the Book of Mormon class at our church on Tuesday, and she came! She shared such a powerful testimony. She shared with us an experience she had when she was talking to her sister about church. Her sister had invited her to come to a different church with her and Hermana began to tell her how she has found a church that she knows to be true and isn't interested in going to a different one. She told us how she has always had a hard time talking openly with her sister, just that she has felt kind of small in comparison to her, so she was scared to begin telling her about our church. She said that as she was testifying to her sister of what she knew to be true, she recognized that the words she was speaking weren't hers. They just came to her through the power of the Holy Ghost.(she was tearing up as she said all of this) I shared D&C 84:85 with her and testified that the spirit was with her. She knows better than many people that this is the true church. She really, truly KNOWS. That is something that as a missionary can be so hard. You know it's true and you just want them to know as well! However, the answer doesn't always come in the way that you expect it, or in the time that we as missionaries expect. It often takes a long time, and that is something that we have to be patient about. The Lord is constantly preparing people to accept this gospel, and it really is all in a matter of His timing. I am so excited for her and I am praying for the path to open up for her to be baptized. She is AMAZING!! Please keep her in your prayers!

While we were working hard this week, we were also having fun doing so. We learned how to cook a few things from two Hermanas in our ward so that was super fun! (see pictures) Claudia is just the best. I love her so much and will miss her so much! She taught us to make a super spicy salsa that we loooove and also some delicious bread. Then we also learned how to make something called guissado puerco that was also really yummy. So that was fun! Wow I am starting to realize so many things we did this week. Victoria, one of the girls in our ward, had her farewell this weekend so we went to a dinner that she had, and we also went to the house of one of the families that we are teaching for their little girl, Itzel's, birthday. She is sooo cute! We love them. I'm going to miss them too! So it's been a fun and crazy week. And here is my favorite story from the week. You ready for this?
                                     I love Claudia!!!!
So amazing. I told you last week about Mercedes when we celebrated her birthday, so you know a little bit about her. When I first came into this area, she wasn't coming to church very much. We have been visiting her a lot while I have been here, and she started to have the desire to come little by little. The first Sunday she came to church while I was here was so awesome and I was so happy that she came! And then she started to come more and more, and before we knew it she was reactivated! So the opportunity that I had to see that happen was just wonderful in and of itself. And then yesterday...ahhh! So good! She came to church on her own and sat with us for Sacrament Meeting. Hermana Miller and Hermana De la O gave talks, and then Victoria gave her farewell talk. So needless to say, missionary work was the big focus of the meeting. The Spirit was so strong. While Victoria was giving her talk, I looked over at Mercedes and her eyes were glistening with tears and with the Spirit. As Victoria finished her talk, Mercedes was crying and turned to me and said, "I think I'm going to go on a mission." AHHHH!!!!! You have nooooo idea how happy that made me to hear those words come out of her mouth! I cannot even describe to you the happiness that I felt as she said that. She said "This never happens, I don't usually cry you guys, but today was a really special day for me. I felt the Spirit really strongly, and now I have made a life-changing decision!" AAAAAAHHHHHH I AM SOOOOO HAPPY!!! These are the experiences that we have as missionaries that make all the doors slammed in your face, the rejections, the heartbreaks, and the sorrows worth it. Because the joy that you feel from moments like that overcome it all. I found a scripture this past week that I absolutely love. Now, I know that I am not a mom yet, but I can imagine that this is pretty true. It's from 3 John 1:4 and reads, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." I LOVE THAT!! And as I was reading that the thought came to my mind, "Wow, can you imagine how our Heavenly Father must feel when He sees His children walk in the truth?" PURE JOY. I think that as missionaries we are blessed to feel a portion of the love that He has and the joy that He feels when we see our friends, our family, our investigators, and less active members return to that path and walk in the truth. I love being a missionary. So so much. I am so so so happy and GOD IS GOOD. 

Much love, 
Hermana Hoj

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