California Fresno Mission May 2013 to November 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Semana 27 en Ceres -- a GREAT New Year!

Querida familia y amigos--
           Como estan? Espero que todo este bien con ustedes. (How are you? I hope all is well with you.) Muchas gracias por todos sus cartas! (Thank you for your letters.) This week was a great week! We have continued to work with the less actives and are so excited when they progress and read the Book of Mormon, pray, and come to church.
        It was preparation day. After doing the normal preparation day things we had time to relax a little. Then we had a great lesson with an hermana that works in the Ramate (the flea market) on Sundays. She has such a great testimony and such a great faith! I am so glad I have been able to get to know her and to learn from her example of perseverance even if life is really hard.
        Tuesday was New Year's Eve. We had dinner with the familia A again. R said he loved the temple! How wonderful! I love seeing how he is progressing in the gospel and strengthening his testimony. We also had a great street contact with a man named R. He has a huge faith in Christ. I love street contacting! It was great to hear how his life has been changed because of Christ. That is definitely one of the best things about the mission--we have the opportunity to get to know people and their stories.
       At the end of this year I am very grateful for several things:
--I have the opportunity to serve a mission in the California Fresno Mission
--3 people were brought unto the waters of baptism
--I have an increased testimony of the Savior and His divine role
--I have the opportunity to serve in Spanish
      Wednesday was the first day of 2014! It started off with a bang. It is going to be an exciting new year! We had some of the most interesting lessons that I have ever had. These lessons dove into some deep doctrine that is quite frankly hard to explain in English let alone in Spanish. But as we bore testimony of the basic truths of the gospel and helped them understand the basics their doubts were resolved and we gained 3 new investigators. Yay! We also had a wonderful team-up today. We went out with one of the sisters in the branch and got to know the people she visiting teaches. This is going to be a great year of missionary work!
       Thursday we had a district meeting. We also talked about the importance of teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This third lesson in Preach My Gospel is so important! Without the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ the other lessons have very little meaning. It brings purpose into our lives because we know exactly how we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. How grateful I am for the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We also did service with a less active member in our branch. We sorted through tons of clothes and swept and cleaned all of the tile outside of her home from all the leaves from her fruit trees.     
       Friday we had wonderful lessons with one of the members of the branch as well. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to our investigator Y from Peru. I know she felt the Spirit as the member bore powerful testimony of the role the Holy Ghost has played in her life. I know this is why it is so important to take members with us to lessons--so they can bear another witness of the truths that we are teaching. We also had a lesson with the Familia O--the ones we did service with last week. We got to know them, laughed, and had a pretty good lesson. We are excited to teach them again this week. We also had a great lesson with V. We are getting to know her more and more. As we are getting to know her we are finding out how we can better help her. It really is true, what Elder Holland says, that as we listen we will know what to teach because we will know their needs.
       Saturday we had a miracle! The saying of "if you ever need anything send me a smoke signal" came true. We were out doing harvest blessings when we saw a plume of black, black smoke coming from behind a house. Worried that there might be a huge fire, we walked over to the house and began knocking on the door. Soon someone came around from the back and we asked if everything was alright. They explained that they were just burning cardboard and we continued talking and explained who we were. He was interested in receiving a blessing for his family and went to ask his other children to come to listen as well.
       Shortly he returned, without his children, and said they were not interested. As we testified that we knew that God has a plan for him and his family his eyes brightened and told us that we could come back but that he would have to check with his wife (who was sleeping) for an exact time. He promised he would call us and we left shortly after. As we walked back across the street to try to go talk to a woman who was washing her car, he come out of his house again and called over to us to come back. He said that what we were doing is hard and that one day he hopes that his daughters do what we are doing. He told us that even though his children were not interested in receiving a blessing, he was. He wanted to hear what we had to say. We offered a prayer over him and his home and his friends and family and he was clearly touched. We can't wait to see him again this week to teach him and his family. What a testimony builder it was for me that God truly does work in mysterious ways!
        On Sunday, yesterday, V and J, B, and F all came to church and so did a less active we have been working with. We were so excited! We also had an interesting experience because two people that spoke sign language came to our ward as well. One knew Spanish as well. We had a wonderful time trying to communicate with them. I wish I had learned more sign language when I was in primary and when we had the Bergs (an elderly deaf couple that lived in our neighborhood) over. Hopefully they will come back next week and we can find an interpreter for them. Despite not being able to understand what exactly was going on, the woman was clearly touched and could feel something different. I love the Spirit and how it testifies of truth to each person in a way that each of us can understand.
        I know this gospel is true! I know the Spirit testifies of truth! I am grateful to be sharing the gospel at this time of year and that I get to be sharing the gospel during this next year as well! I know God lives and loves us! This is His work. Thank you for all that you do!
Los quiero mucho! (I love you lots!) Que tengan una semana maravillosa! (I hope you have a marvelous week.)

                                                                  Hermana VanWie

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