Monday, November 17, 2014

Learning and Growing and Stretching

Hola Hola! Como estan?

Yet another great week here in Huntsville Texas. I have had so many incredible learning experiences this week and I am excited to share some of them with you!

So to start off to help you understand a little better the "why" behind all of my learning, it all started off when President Mortensen challenged us to extend a baptismal invitation every single day. Now, of course we don't want to cast our pearls before swine here, but the Spirit testifies to you of when you should. We have seen some amazing miracles this week as a result of our commitment to this challenge! On Monday, as we were walking up to a trailer to go visit someone, there was a young man standing outside on the other side of the street. We walked up to him and started sharing our purpose as missionaries with him and sharing with him about the Book of Mormon. Our conversation was going along perfectly, and the Spirit told me, "Invite him to be baptized." So I did! And he said yes! It was really interesting what happened after that. He suddenly opened up a lot about his problems and some of the issues that are going on within his family. We were able to testify to him that we had the answer that would help him through all of his struggles and committed him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. It was so amazing! Then the next day we went over to visit Gabby, but we had to wait for her for a little while and ended up talking with her uncle. We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to follow Christ's example to be baptized, and he also said yes! We have been visiting Gabby ever since I came to Huntsville, and we have never talked to her uncle about the gospel until then. He told us that he wanted to focus his life more on God and that he would read and pray. Every single day this last week we invited someone to be baptized, and every single person accepted. They said that when they received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true, they would follow Christ's example and be baptized. We didn't set any baptismal dates, but we are inviting people to be baptized, and they are accepting! As we continue to follow up with these people and begin teaching them, I know the Spirit will testify to them that it is what they need to do. They too, are more aware of our purpose as missionaries and what we are helping them do. As both us and them are focused on this goal, the success we will see as missionaries will grow so much. As we have been doing this, I have seen the understanding that I have of my purpose grow and grow and grow. I have so much more boldness and so much more confidence while we are teaching. It is set in my mind that I need to teach in a way that will permit me to invite others to follow the example of Jesus Christ, and the Spirit is guiding me so much better. Now my question is, why in the world did I not understand this until now!? Hijole. I guess that's what the mission is for, right?

Another experience I had this last week helped me understand the importance of following promptings so that God can trust me as His servant. We were out in the country--in the middle of no where yet again--and on our way back to town we drove past a Valero gas station. The thought to stop the car and fill up the gas crossed my mind, so I looked down at the fuel gage...we still had about half a tank left. So I continued to keep driving right past it. However, the thought didn't leave my mind and I soon realized that it was the Spirit that had put that thought into my mind. We were already a few miles down the road and I had the fight within myself--do I go back, or do I just keep going? The thought came to my mind, "Can God trust me?" As soon as that thought crossed my mind I pulled over to the side of the road, flipped a U-turn, and headed back to the gas station, telling Hermana Loo "We need to go back." So we get there and I start to put gas in the car, still without any idea of why I was there. So I thought, we can go hang up an English class flyer in the gas station. I was searching for the tape and could not find in anywhere! I must have looked pretty confused because I heard from behind me, "Sisters, you look lost. Are you looking for somewhere?" I turned around and there was a man next to us filling up his big red truck. I explained to him that I was looking for tape, haha and then we asked if he was a member of the church. He said, "Used to be." We got talking with him a bit, why we were in the middle of nowhere--that there are actually missionaries in the middle of nowhere--and we invited him to come to church again. He said "No thanks, but I appreciate you trying." And that was it. God was hiding the tape from me, because 2 seconds later Hermana Loo had found it. I know that was the reason I was prompted to go there. Even though it didn't turn out the best that it could have, we still provided him with that opportunity. Maybe one day he will remember that moment and recognize that he does need to go back. It really taught my that whatever promptings we receive from the Spirit, no matter how irrational or strange it may seem, must be obeyed. How can the Lord trust me enough to continue giving me direction if I haven't been following the ones he has already given to me? My testimony of listening to and following the Spirit was strengthened tremendously that day. 

                   Hermana Loo and I with the Hermana from Brazas 
                              Hermanas Ordonez and Larsen
I had one other learning experience from this week that I wanted to share with you as well. I feel very grateful for the opportunity I have to serve as a Sister Training Leader. We found out that a lot of the Sisters that we are working with are in need right now, a lot of them are going through some difficult things. A lot of the times I feel that I don't know what to say to people or that I am not qualified to really help them much. A lot of times my words aren't able to be expressed in the way that I would hope, I'm not the most eloquent with my words, but I have learned that all I want them to know is how much I love them. I just hope with all my heart that through my actions and the few scrambled words that I do get across, that they feel of the love that I have for them. If nothing else, I hope they know that. I feel that this calling that I have been given is more for the other Sisters to help me than it is for me to help them. I am constantly learning from them and their dedication to the Lord. We had two exchanges this last week, and they were both wonderful learning and growing experiences for me. 
                Working at Texas A & M this week - The famous Aggie ring!
So for me this week has just been learning and growing and stretching and learning, growing, and stretching some more. I just have the strongest desire right now to study and learn as much as I can. I had awesome studies this morning about the life of Jesus Christ and all that is possible for us because of Him. Everything that He did was to benefit us. I have already learned so much, but I just want to keep learning even more and more and more! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!

Con muchisimo amor, 
Hermana Hoj

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