April 22, 2013
This week has been great! I am seriously LOVING Houston! We've been seeing a lot of success this week and have had many opportunities to teach and I just absolutely love it! There is no better feeling than sitting in a lesson and bringing the spirit and seeing it change someone's life.
Monday was P-day and we spent the day emailing, doing laundry, washing the car, and grocery shopping. That night we went to a ward member's for dinner and had FHE with them. After that we went to see one of the Recent Converts in the ward. He has brain cancer and the family is having a really hard time right now. But we were able to teach them about temples and they are working towards being able to go to the temple in a year to be sealed together as a family.
Tuesday morning after we finished studying we had district meeting. We talked about obedience and miracles. Our obedience shows our faith and faith will bring miracles. That's what my companions and I are focusing on this week. We are trying to be exactly obedient so that we can see miracles happen in our area. We are making it a goal to have one baptism every week. It will be difficult but it's possible if we do our part and exercise our faith and leave the rest up to the Lord. After the district meeting we went to lunch together at a place called Sweet Mesquites (classic Texas BBQ). The elders in my district are really awesome and I learn a lot from them. Tuesday afternoon we were able to see the Vasquez family and teach them about prayer and following the prophet. We are only teaching the mom and her son now because the dad is not interested. He has serious Word of Wisdom issues and is not willing to try to change. The mom and son are awesome though! They are both so ready to be baptized. The son is going to get baptized this weekend if his dad will agree to it. His mom is ready to be baptized but she has never been legally married so she can't get baptized until they either get married or she moves out. We were also able to teach another son on Tuesday. He is 9. He is getting baptized next weekend if all goes according to plan!
Wednesday morning after studies we went to the mission offices for interviews with President Ashton. He is such an incredible man! He makes me feel so good about myself and the work we are getting done but he also makes me want to work harder and be better. I talked to Sister Morten (the one in charge of travel) while we were at the offices and she said that as of now they still haven't heard anything about our visas. I'm really not all too concerned about it because I am LOVING Houston. I am willing to stay here as long as the Lord needs me too. But I'm also really wanting to get to Australia. I just trust in the Lord's timing. He knows better than I do and He has put me where He needs me.
On Wednesday we started teaching a woman who is 52 and the classic crazy cat lady. We have taught her the restoration and the plan of salvation. She has been really receptive to both lessons but is not in a hurry to make any kind of a change in her life so we are praying that she will have a desire to come to church and to commit to a baptismal date.
On Thursday we got to meet with Ronesha. We had already taught her the plan of salvation and we planned to teach her the restoration but she hadn't read the chapter in the Book of Mormon that we left her with so we changed plans and decided to read it with her. We read 3 Nephi 11 - When Christ comes to the Americas. The spirit was so strong as we read with her and her heart was really touched. She accepted a baptismal date and she is going to be baptized on May 4th! I really love Ronesha. I have had a connection with her from the beginning. She is really serious about changing her life and I've seen such a change in her already.
Friday and Saturday were both really busy and we taught a lot! We were way busy all day! Wherever we went we ran into more people to talk to and to share messages with and it was so awesome to see Heavenly Father placing people in our paths.
Last night (Sunday) we went to an investigator devotional. Missionaries bring their investigators the devotionals and the speakers are people who have joined the church recently and they share their testimonies and conversions stories. The girl who got baptized last weekend, spoke and she did awesome. The spirit was really strong and I know that many of the investigators that were there were really touched. I also got to see Sister Adams from the MTC there which I was super excited about!
|Sis. Adams and Sis. Baker at Investigator Devotional|
So yeah, we're busy 24/7 and I love it! Houston isn't at all what I expected. There is tons of diversity and people from basically every ethnicity you can imagine—lots of black people, lots of Native Americans and lots of Hispanic people. I'm finding that it would be really helpful if I knew some Spanish.
Oh yeah, so I’m not sure if it was the Sweet Mesquites that we had for lunch or the dinner that we ate at a members house but I'm pretty sure me and my companions got food poisoning. We all got sick. Tuesday night in the middle of the night I got up and threw up. First time I've done that in 10 years. Not a pleasant experience. I felt a little bit sick all day on Wednesday but not too bad and by Thursday I felt fine.
Also, Texas is starting to rub off on me, I've started saying y'all. Don't know how that happened so fast!
I know that this church is true. I know that Houston is exactly where Heavenly Father wants me to be right now. He needs me as a missionary to prepare his children for the second coming. I know the Book of Mormon is true. My testimony of it has grown so much in the past two weeks. I have learned so much and felt the spirit so strongly as a read from its pages daily. I have seen it make such a huge difference in the lives of investigators too. I challenge all of you to pray and ask again if the Book of Mormon is true. You can't ask that question too many times and renew that testimony. A testimony of the Book of Mormon is essential because if the Book of Mormon is true then everything else is. It holds everything together. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I know that he is very aware of each of us and is in all of the details of our lives. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can receive strength to do things that I could never do on my own. I am relying on the atonement every single day while I am out here. I have thought several times this week about how much serving a mission is going to prepare me for the rest of my life. It will make me a better wife, a better mother, a better teacher, a better disciple, etc. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve and the growth it is allowing me.
Love you all to the moon and back!