On July 21, 2014, Hermana VanWie wrote:
Querida Familia y amigos --
Although it was hard to send Hna Parra-Ortega home, I am so excited to be with my new companion!
My new companion is Hna Jimenez Carrillo! She is wonderful!!!!!!! I already love her! She is from Tabasco, Mexico and is learning English. It has been so much fun speaking in Spanish and helping each other learn the other's language. The few days that we have been in the area this week we have seen so many miracles. We are turning the area around and have been finding people who are ready to be baptized. Hna Jimenez is a wonderful missionary. She is learning very quickly! This is going to be a wonderful transfer! The first night in the area together we had 2 lessons and found 2 new investigators!
Through the past few days my testimony of the Atonement, the gift of tongues, and heeding counsel from inspired leaders have increased. To start, my testimony of the Atonement has increased. The Atonement allows us to do things that at times seem impossible. It is only through the Atonement that we may access the Lord's help. I know that the Lord never gives us more than we can handle, although He does give us enough to stretch us and make us grow. I have seen this take effect as I have been with Hna Jimenez. In the past few days my language capacity has grown immensely.
As we have taught together I have felt my testimony of the gift of tongues be strengthened as well. It is real! I know it is because as we have taught and testified together her testimony in English has been able to touch the hearts of those we have taught. I also know this because every day we have been together her English has been getting better and better and so has my Spanish. I realized a few transfers ago that the gift of tongues does not necessarily mean that we are going to be able to speak perfectly in an instant (sometimes it does), but it means that we will be able to have the ability to learn faster, to understand more rapidly and to apply it at a rate that before seemed impossible.
My testimony of heeding the counsel from inspired leaders has also increased. A few transfers ago we had a training on the importance of the 12 week program in missionary work. As I continued to study it I came to know that it is an inspired program! Hna Jimenez loves the 12 week program and so do I! She can hardly wait to do it everyday. As we have been doing 12 week the past few days we have seen miracles and have been able to apply the things we are learning that day. On Saturday we found a new investigator named A M. That morning we had role played Como Comenzar a Ensenar (or How to Begin Teaching) and practiced inviting people to baptized. As plans fell through, we felt inspired to go see Ana. As we taught her, we used what we had practiced and because we role played everything went smoothly and we were able to work in unity and the Spirit was able to be there. Hna Jimenez was able to invite her to be baptized and she said yes! We set a date with her for the 17 of August. I know that when we follow the counsel of our leaders we are able to reach our potential and be able to powerfully testify and teach with the Spirit.
We also had an amazing lesson with a less active family in English. We did an activity using a wood block and 12 nails. Ultimately the goal is get all of the nails to rest on one nail that is hammered into the block of wood. As we about the importance of the Savior and His Atonement and that it is only through Him that we can balance our lives and return to live with our Heavenly Father, the Spirit was strong. Hna Jimenez bore a beautiful testimony. Afterwards as we discussed the lesson she told me that for the first time she saw what I said I love about being a missionary--seeing the light come into people's eyes when they are touched by the Spirit and they suddenly understand. It was a very special experience.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve in the California Fresno Mission. I love serving the Lord! I know this is where He wants me to be. I know He lives. I know He loves us!
Que tengan una semana fabulosa! Los quiero muchisimo!