California Fresno Mission May 2013 to November 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

Semana 36 -- ultima --- en Ceres

Querida familia y amigos --

        This week was TRANSFER CALLS! Sister Wallentine and I are........drum roll please........going to be..........................transferred!
       She is going to Modesto to be with my previous companion and I am going down to Fresno to be in Kerman with a missionary who just finished being trained. It was a hard phone call to receive. We have really grown to love the people here and love working together! I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve here in Ceres. I have grown to love this branch and the people in this area! They have become my other family. It will be hard to leave them. They have watched me grow from when I could not communicate at all to be able to carry on conversations and testify of the things I know to be true. I have formed wonderful friendships with them and have learned so much from them.
         We had several less actives at church this Sunday and the branch is working on helping them all come back to church. A sweet elderly sister came to church yesterday and I almost cried by how sweetly the other sisters welcomed her back into the Relief Society. How grateful I am that these sweet sisters are learning and understanding the importance of visiting teaching and helping the less-actives come back to church. They have all grown so much!
          I know the Lord is in control and He knows what we need and what the people here need. I have grown so much in this area and we have helped the area grow--we have been strengthened and so have they.
While I have been here in Ceres I have learned many things:
-I have learned the importance of fulfilling your callings
-All that is necessary is simple faith.
-We know enough
-Family time is important, but family time at church is most important.
-Every soul is precious to God
I have been so blessed to be here and learning and growing in Ceres.
          I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve with Hermana Wallentine as well. From her I learned about the importance of communication and how to be a better communicator. I learned that the key to effective communication is talking and listening and applying what you talk about. I also learned that we do not need to be perfect. Even though we may feel like we are expected to be, if we are trying and doing our best, God will do the rest. We have had wonderful experiences together and have been able to find some really prepared people!
           This week we had wonderful lessons with the familia P again. They will get baptized! They know these things are true, we just need to get them to church. They are living all of the commandments are reading the Book of Mormon almost everyday. Their son, E reads the Book of Mormon (with the pictures) every night before he goes to bed. His parents as well are reading and more importantly studying together. On Tuesday we had a wonderful lesson with them and discovered that they have learned how to find their own answers in the Book of Mormon. They read and studied in 3 Nephi 11 about the authority to baptize and were able to explain to each other and then to us about the importance that the authority to baptize has been restored to this earth once more. It was a powerful lesson. We then watched the Restoration with them in the members' home. They are so prepared. We then committed them to really pray about if these things are true. We followed up with them the next day and they had prayed. They know these things are true--they testified to us. But, they still want to be sure that going to church is an environment they want for their family. I am so excited for them! Every time we have a lesson with them I can feel the Holy Ghost testify to me that they are prepared. I LOVE this family! 
             I love a quote that I found in personal study this morning in the March 2014 Ensign ( a church magazine): "Sometimes we face things for which there is no earthly explanation. In those moments we need to erect a sign that reads, 'Quiet: God at work.' Meanwhile, hold on, child of God. Keep believing. Don't quit. Don't give up. Let God do His work in you.  The greatest tragedy is to miss what God wants to teach us through our troubles...Remember, it's not what happens to us that matters; it's how we handle what happens that makes all the difference. 'When the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces,' the Savior's power and assurance can still make it possible for us to experience joy and peace." (from "Trials, Tribulations, and Trust in the Lord" by Elder Bradley D. Foster) I know that when we trust in the Lord, He will help and help us become the sons and daughters that He wants us to be. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He loves us and is always there to help us. He is our Savior.  He is our Friend. How grateful I am for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the opportunity I have to serve as a missionary and spread this Good News!  
              How grateful I am for the blessing of serving in Ceres for 9 months! How grateful I am for the opportunity I have to be a missionary! I am excited to work in the Fresno area and to get to know the people there!  Have a wonderful week!  
Love,  Hermana VanWie

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