This is the email from Hermana VanWie on October 27, 2014. She loves the work she is doing! Thank you for all of your prayers and support for her.
Querida Familia y amigos--
We started out the week with going to the zoo!! It was a lot of fun for Preparation Day! Then Sister Jimenez and I were asked to give a training on the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion in Zone Meeting. Even though we only had a few days to prepare for it, the Lord blessed us in our efforts and everything came together including doing it in English. Sister Jimenez did wonderful! I was so proud of her! As we studied we felt like we needed to address personal conversion and how we allow the Holy Ghost to touch us and change us and help us become more converted. As both President Clark and President Gelwix have taught, we first must be converted to help others do the same. As we studied we also found a connection between exact obedience and the miracle of conversion. Like the mission culture says, "We know exact obedience brings miracles and we desire the miracle of conversion--for self and for others." We know that as we are exactly obedient to the laws of God and to the mission culture we increase in faith. With this increase of faith we can have an increase of the Spirit in our lives. And this increase of the Spirit allows us to have a personal conversion which then allows us to see the miracle of conversion in others. I love what Elder Richard G. Scott says about conversion, "Stated simply, true conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience. Faith comes by hearing the word of God and responding to it. You will receive from the Holy Ghost a confirming witness of things you accept on faith by willingly doing them. You will be led to repent of errors resulting from wrong things done or right things not done. As a consequence, your capacity to consistently obey will be strengthened. This cycle of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience will lead you to greater conversion with its attendant blessings. True conversion will strengthen your capacity to do what you know you should do, when you should do it, regardless of the circumstances....I bear testimony that as you pray for guidance, the Holy Ghost will help identify the personal changes you need to make for full conversion. The Lord can then bless you more abundantly. Your faith in Him will be fortified, your capacity to repent will increase, and your power to consistently obey will be reinforced. The Savior lives. He loves you. As you do your best, He will help you." I know this is true! True conversion comes over time and it is a consistent effort.
We had two wonderful lessons with A and J this week. J is reading the Book of Mormon and wants to know that it is true--He is seeking for true conversion. He is asking more questions of things he does not understand and is opening up more to us and allowing us to more fully address his needs. As we were leaving our first lesson with them they addressed another question they had and so we knew exactly what we needed to teach them the next time. We talked with the members who are friends with them about the lesson and they then invited the whole family over to their home for the next lesson. It was wonderful! The next lesson we started teaching, but soon it became the members teaching and it just seemed like a normal conversation. As we listened to the members explain what they do in their lives to obey the commandments and why it is important to them I could feel the Spirit bear testimony to me that indeed the hastening of the work is more about the members than it is the missionaries--it is about member missionary work!
This week I went on an exchange with Sister Henderson in Madera. She did a great job leading her area!! She is a great teacher! She is so full of love and compassion to others. She radiates it as she teaches and helps others. I was so glad I got to work with her!
Sunday was the primary program (Primary is a children's group at church. Children learn about the Savior through lessons, songs and activities. Hermana VanWie has been playing the piano for them. They have a yearly program to share what they have learned.). I have said this before and I will say it again....I LOVE Primary!!! It was wonderful to see J and J (the children of A and J) up on the stand singing all the songs as well. The Spirit was so strong and A was very touched. Truly the simple truths taught in Primary are what the foundation of our testimonies are based on. There were two musical numbers that were especially touching: "Soy un hijo de Dios" (I am a Child of God) (everyone sang it in Spanish) and "Love is Spoken Here." As a group of boys and a group of girls sang it as a duet the investigators we had there were very moved. As I listened to the lyrics and felt the sweet Spirit there I realized that the home that the children were describing is exactly the type of home that we are striving for our investigators and ourselves to have. I loved Sunday!! Yo se que esta es la obra del Senor. El esta encargado de ello y El siempre va ayudarnos. Yo se que El vive. Y que nuestro Padre Celestial escucha nuestras oraciones y que El siempre va contestarnos en Su tiempo y en Su manera. Yo se que Ellos nos aman! Los quiero mucho! Que tengan una semana maravillosa!