Monday, February 2, 2015

"I like to ride my bicycle, I like to ride my bike . . . . . . "

Okay everyone....hold on. This letter is going to be crazy and disorganized but full of wonderful things! So try to bear with me and try to follow me as I tell you all about this week. There was A LOT that happened.

So this week started off a little rough for me. There is a lot of change coming my way and I just want more than anything to finish my mission strong and with the least amount of distractions as possible. I also know that I need to accept what's coming my way. Let's just say that Satan had a hold of my thoughts this week and was doing all that he could to discourage me and make me belittle myself. He was trying to make me think that with this little time left I couldn't make a difference in anyone's life. The part that was most frustrating about it was that I knew it wasn't true! For a little while though, my mind could not let it go. I prayed and prayed and prayed for the ability to change my mindset, and finally after a long 3 days it did. And after that, whooo what amazing miracles we did see! I was thinking about how the Lord will not give us trials greater than we can bear, and that we can get through them if we turn to Him. That is always, always the case! So I saw that this last week, and my testimony of that grew even more. 

The first thing that I think helped me change that the most was MLC. So so amazing!! We talked a lot about overcoming fear, and having confidence in ourselves/helping others gain more confidence. We read a talk from President Uchtdorf called "Fear Not, I Am With Thee." Wow, it is amazing! I love MLC's, and I am sad that it was my last one. But I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to go to the ones I did. I learn so much from them. So later that night, Hermana Saenz and I put that overcoming fear pep-talk to use! We were contacting in some apartments and we saw this guy blasting rap, covered in tattoos, etc. We debated whether or not we should talk to him, but we decided that we needed to. And good thing we did!! We taught him the Restoration lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon! He recently got out of jail and he told us that he had seen that book in prison and really wanted to learn more about it. Then, we showed up and gave it to him. There really are no coincidences with the Lord. 
The beautiful downtown Houston skyline
A free library for anyone to come borrow a book
Of course we contributed the Book of Mormon!
So this week we ran out of our limited allotment of miles for the month...something very common among us missionaries. haha So we had some awesome adventures contacting! On Friday we walked all day and we went to the very border of our area....DOWNTOWN HOUSTON. We talked to a lot of people along the way and took lots of pictures too. It was so awesome just contacting like crazy! We loved it. I will send pictures with captions of some of the things we did there. But here's a crazy story (another there are no coincidences with God story) There was a mural that we wanted a picture by, and there was a woman standing there with a camera, so we asked her to take a picture for us. (we figured she probably knew what she was doing) After, we got talking and she told us that she used to see missionaries like us exercising in the gym at her apartment every morning. She remembered there was one that was always so happy and so friendly and she was amazed by that because it was so early in the morning. She said she lives in Spring, and I started thinking....that was my first area....turns out, it was Hermana Driesel and I! (So that goes to show that missionaries still make an impact on people after they leave their missions. Way to go Hermana Driesel!) So that was awesome! It was a fun day though!
Then the next day, we still didn't have what did we do? We biked a total of 22 miles! It was so much fun. I felt like such a missionary. :) I think that Sisters on bikes probably attract more attention than the Elders because everyone is thinking....who is crazy enough to ride a bike in a skirt?! haha we had so much fun! We were biking in the ghetto though...and that made it even more fun. :) haha I turned to Hermana Saenz and said "If only our moms knew what we were doing right now..." haha but don't worry mom. We are being safe and following the Spirit. While in the process of biking we also contacted almost triple the people we did the day before! So we feel pretty happy about that. The second half of this week I truly just felt swallowed up in the joy of missionary work. There was a big difference for me between the first part of this week and the second. I'm grateful that I can recognize that difference though! And I am grateful that I experienced the hard part, because then the good part wouldn't have been nearly as great. 
Lots of amazing murals in Houston
Rockin' the bike helmet
As far as investigators go, we had two amazing lessons with A this week! We taught him about family history and temple work and he looooved it! He thought it was so amazing that he can still help people after they have passed away. And it IS amazing! THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!!!! C is progressing really well too, she came to church again and everything. We're having a hard time getting them to commit to baptism--it's something they want to do, but they just want to be sure of it before they make the decision. But I know they'll both get there! We also had a lady come to church yesterday with her 3 kids and she is looking for a "home-base church" in her own words. They stayed for all three hours! We're going to start teaching her this next week. We are so excited! WE ARE SO BLESSED!! Being a missionary is the best thing a person could ever want. Yes, it's hard. Yes it's a lot of work. But oh it is soooooo rewarding! I hope that you can all feel a little bit of the joy I get to experience as I share my experiences with you. It's so hard to describe it, it's just something that you have to feel. I love this work. These last 3 weeks are going to be amazing.


Con muchisisisisimo amor,
Hermana Hoj

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