Dear friends and extended family,
I am back home and so grateful to be with my family again. Thank you for all of your prayers and the encouragment that you have given me in the past weeks and months.
This Sunday, the 27th of April, I will have the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting, the most sacred meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For any of you who will be in the area that day, I invite you to come to sacrament meeting to hear me speak and, most importantly, to remember our Savior. The meeting begins at 10:30 am at 16331 Hafer Road, just off 1960.
Thank you for your wonderful support!
Monday, April 14, 2014
Dear wonderful family and friends,
I hope you all are doing great!
I just have a few moments to send a quick note and want to take the opportunity to list some of the things about my mission that I am so grateful for.
Wonderful examples of leadership
Relationships with companions, people I have taught, members of the church I have worked with
Better understanding of how to pray
There is so much within each one of these categories. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve a full-time mission and learn how to be a servant of Jesus Christ.
I love you all!
Monday, April 7, 2014
Thank you so much for your continued encouragement and prayers for me. I appreciate it so much, and my heart always overflows with gratitude whenever I reflect on my many associations that enrich my life. Thank you for being you.
This week, we had some really wonderful opportunities to serve other people. Just little opportunities that came up, and I am really grateful that we always strive to talk with everybody, because if we didn't, we would have missed all of those opportunities.
General conference this weekend was a wonderful experience. I got to watch one of the sessions in Spanish with one of the people that we are teaching!afternoon. It was really neat. The other sessions I watched with my companion in English, which is always nice because you get to hear the actual voices of all of them.
I am so grateful for the answers I received to questions I have and also to questions I didn't have but should have!
I hope that you all could also enjoy general conference, and if not, that you will check it out, or any sessions you might have missed atgc.lds.org.
I love you all so much and hope that you have an absolutely fantastic week!
It's going to be a great one on my end!
Monday, March 31, 2014
Dear wonderful family and friends,
I hope that you all are having a wonderful week so far and that your April gets off to a great start. You will have to let me know next week of any good April Fools happenings.
So this week we will be experiencing even more changes here in Novato. After only four weeks of being with us, Hermana Anderson is being emergency-transferred out of the area. She leavesmorning to go be companions with Hermana Fernandez (one of my former companions!) in Dixon, CA. As far as I know, this is no April Fools joke.
In other news...this week on exchanges we met a man named Juan who has come to church on and off for 24 years but never gotten baptized. He told us that he feels that now is finally the time, and he is planning to be baptized on. The day that we went by his house, he had been having a really rough day. The next day, when we taught him again, he told us that we were his angels and expressed the gratitude in his heart. He explained that as he had pondered after we had left, he felt like he understood the love of our Heavenly Father in a way that he never had before. He is coming to know who God really is. I know that He is our loving Heavenly Father and that He knows and cares for every one of His children. He answers our prayers.
I am grateful that I have been learning to speak with Him and understand His answers to me. I am so happy for the wonderful experiences I've been blessed with, moments when I have seen and felt him work through me to express His love for others of His children, my brothers and sisters.
Thank you for your continuing encouragement and prayers. I appreciate it! I hope that you all have a wonderful week, especially as we prepare for and enjoy this general conference weekend and the chance to hear from our living prophet.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Dear wonderful family and friends,
I appreciate so much the support that I continue to receive from you all. It's good to hear news...so many great things happening in all of our lives! There is so much good for us to do, and so many ways in which our Heavenly Father blesses us as we do it.
This week I have pondered quite a bit about the second coming of Jesus Christ. I have thought about how my efforts to share His gospel and to help others to live it are the way that I am able to hasten his return. It makes me view everything I do every day a little differently when I think of it more in that perspective.
A random thing I have thought about for some reason more than normal this week is that I miss math. That is not something really significant, but just thought I would share. Considering I have not taken a math class since high school and didn't think I'd really want to take another one...it's kind of odd.
Things are going well in our area. We have a great companionship and lots of people to visit and teach. It's actually pretty crazy how much we have going on...there could definitely be another set or even two other sets of missionaries in our area, and they would all have plenty of work to do!
Miguel is continuing to get ready for his baptism. It's not likely going to be this coming weekend like we had originally planned because he has been working a TON, and has a couple other obstacles to overcome, but it should be soon. Please pray for him!
I love you all very much and hope that you have a wonderful week!
Until next week,
Monday, March 17, 2014
Dear family and friends,
I hope this finds all of you well!
This past week was another great one.
We had a great stake conference this weekend that taught me a lot about missionary work and especially how to share the gospel when you're not wearing a black nametag.
A wonderful, wonderful experience that I had at the conference was getting to see Sonny again!! As a reminder, she is the young lady who was baptized on Mother's Day last year in Rohnert Park. She is doing wonderfully, and it was such a joyful reunion. It was a taste of what it will feel like after this life to find myself with people like her who are so special to me and with whom I have shared such special experiences and had a part in bringing them to a knowledge of our Father in Heaven and His plan for them. She told me she is working really hard, doing her own missionary work with her family, and that she feels her purpose is to help her family be together in the celestial kingdom. Oh, it is so hard to put into words what it felt like to be with her again and really myself be lifted by the strength of her testimony.
Another wonderful experience this week was teaching Miguel and seeing in him such sincere desire to repent as we taught him about commandments and the blessings that can be his through obedience. It is so heart-softening and wonderful to see right before your eyes someone's perspective changing and their resolve to do what is right strengthening.
I hope to always have that kind of humility and faith to always seek to better understand the will of God for me and then patiently and faithfully make whatever changes that He requires of me.
I love you all and am very grateful for the ways in which you have supported and continue to support and encourage me. Have a wonderful week!!
Dear wonderful family and friends, 3-10-14
I hope that you all have had a wonderful week. For those of you on Spring break this week (Alex, Scott, Stacey and anyone else who might be), I hope you have a great time!
This week was incredible. We have just about had more work than we can even keep up with. It's been awesome to just be able to go for it and work hard all day every day again.
My new companion, Hermana Anderson, is from Washington state, the Seattle area. She is 5'11'' and very sweet and a hard worker. Fun fact: she really likes essential oils. So our apartment smells really good now.
So now I just want to tell you about some of the awesome people we met this week.
On Monday, we met Amy. She had talked to other missionaries who gave us her number, and on Monday we had our first lesson with her at a Starbucks. That was a first for me--teaching a lesson in Starbucks. She was born in Houston...it was an instant connection! She is also my age, about 6 months older than me is all. She grew up in Guatemala and has a lot of family there. We started teaching her, and she is so receptive. She is going to school so that she can get a better job because she provides the financial support for her two orphaned nieces who live with one of her sisters in Guatemala.
Monday we also had a first lesson with Chato, who is also working here to support family out of the country. He was already reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, and he wants to be a member of the church. He has a lot of family, including his dad and his sons, who are members of the church.
On Tuesday we visited a family from our branch that hasn't been to church in quite a while. Their grandchildren were over, and we started talking with them, and ended up teaching them how to pray and how to read the scriptures and who Jesus is. They haven't been to church since they were really little and basicallly have forgotten everything they might have known about God. Their Mom wants to take them back now, and they were really excited about it.
Wednesday we were walking out of an apartment complex and Hermana Harris stopped and said, we need to knock on that door. So we did, and no one answered. Then we knocked on the next door one and this lady answered. Clearly in distress, the house inside was a mess. Turns out they were moving. We talked a little and took down her information to give her a call a little later on. When she wrote down her number for us, she also wrote a note to us saying that they were being evicted but she doesn't want her family to know. We've been praying a lot for them this week. She was very appreciative and I know Heavenly Father sent us there for her.
Thursday we were planning and couldn't for the life of us remember who someone was. We had an appointment scheduled with him but couldn't find anything recorded besides his name. So we said a prayer and immediately after (well really during), Hermana Harris remembered who he was. I know Heavenly Father really does know all of his children, and he answers our prayers through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Well there's more, but I've run out of time.
Things are going wonderfully!! I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and all the support you give me.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Dear wonderful friends and family,
This will be a quick note because we are here at the mission office today dropping off Hermana Zimmerman, and we just have a short time to email.
This next transfer Hermana Harris and I are staying together in Novato and receiving a new companion as well, Hermana Anderson. She is one of the tallest sisters in the mission...I will be the shortest one of the three of us. So we will be a pretty tall companionship.
I definitely have learned a lot this transfer about diligence, patience, charity, and compassion. I'm grateful for the experiences that I am having and for the miracles that I continue to see each day in the work and in the lives of those around me.
I love you all so much.