Sunday, June 30, 2013

10 News! (Week 5)

Well... another week down!! This week has been so crazy but it has been great!! The title of the email... we found 10 new investigators this past week! And most of them are families!! We met one family.. and the are the sweetest people I have ever met!! We OYMed(Open your mouth) them one night and we went back the next day to talk to them. The mom fed us a huge meal and we visited with the whole family. They are so wonderful and I have high hopes for them.
So the spanish, its hard. Everyone said I would pick it up but its been pretty difficult. I am trying my best though and I can definitely speak more than I could 3 months ago! But the nice thing about being in the U.S. is that I still get to speak english . A lot of people here speak both. Like we taught 2 lessons in English the other day. Oh well! I will learn it soon. I know that I will. I really love spanish. Its great! :)
One thing I have learned about the south, is that the people here really do know their Bible. I am experiencing it first hand every single day. A lot of the people that we teach, or the ones that let us in to talk to them, are Catholic. But, they are open to hearing about all different religions. The problem with that is that they dont progress. They enjoy having us over and in their homes, but they arent willing to go beyond their beliefs. One lady told us that she let anyone come and teach her and one of the churches she let come were the Jehovah's Witnesses. But she continued to tell us that she didnt like them because all they do is tell them they are wrong and that they (the JW's) are right. And its so true!! We talk to them every monday at the washeteria!! They really are rude sometimes... But we arent here to do that. We are here to love the people and add onto their beliefs. The Catholic religion teaches a lot of what we teach, but they just don't have the priesthood authority of God that we have today. That's one of the differences and so we just want to add onto their bliefs.
So this week we also had sisters conference. We talked about locking our hearts, being obedient, being representatives of Jesus Christ, and how that all relates back to the Atonement. The Atonement is the central doctrine of everything we teach and believe. And it is so true. I love it so much and I have a stronger testimony of it now.
One thing that I studied this week was Alma 5. I encourage everyone to read it. The questions that are asked are so great and we should all read that chapter often to check our progress and how we are doing to become more like Christ. I love this gospel so much and I know that this church is true! I hope everyone has an amazing week. Love you all!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Miracles Through Glass Beer Bottles, Bikes, Pennies and Creepy Mexican Men (Week 4)

Oh man what a week!! So the week before was kinda tough. But that happens. Its a mission! But even though it was difficult, I was determined to not give up and to continue to work as hard as I could and keep the faith. And the Lord truly blessed us for our hard work. This week we found 8 new investigators and taught a lot more lessons. It was just such an amazing week! I havent ever been so happy!! :) And it's a different kind of happy.
There comes a time in every missionaries mission where they realize the true purpose of missionary work and their purpose as a missionary. And that realization came to me this week. One day, I think after we had taught a lesson with a member, I got to thinking. Being on a mission is so hard, but at the same time it is so rewarding. And time is really warped on a mission. I feel like I am on a different planet sometimes. But as a missionary, the time in the apartment studying, is our time. But the minute we step outside of the apartment, its the Lords time. Well its all the Lords time, but its more of the Lords time. It is the Lords time to work through us to accomplish His great work. We met so many people this week that were truly just put into our path. And there is no other way we could have come into contact with them other than divine intervention from the Lord :) When I am out working and finding people and teaching, it isnt me. Everything I say isnt from me. It is truly from the Lord. And my testimony has grown so much!
Missions are also very humbling. We met a mother and a daughter this week that have disabilities and live in a kinda sketchy apartment complex. The people are kinda scary sometimes. And they get made fun of because they are a little different. And they dont have much. Dont have beds and dont have much clothes. They are english speaking so we cant teach them but we visited them yesterday and the mom said as we were leaving, "Can you buy her some clothes??". It broke my heart. Made me want to give her my whole wardrobe!! I wish I could.. but we are doing what we can to help them! And they want to come to church so bad! Man.. I just love them!!
But we finally had an investigator at church yesterday!! Her name is Maria and she has a baptismal date! She is so wonderful. I love her so much!! She was just getting herself around to places and has so many friends in relief society now! I love it! And we had the Elders give her a blessing because she has been having pain in her arm and back. So we went to her house after church, well later in the afternoon, and she had showered and was glowing. Her pain had mostly gone away and she just looked so happy! It made me so happy too. She needed to go to church to let go of all her stress and know that everything was going to be okay. She has been through a lot but shes figuring things out :) oh and in gospel principles, we got split up and I was paired with Maria. I was TERRIFIED!! i havent ever communicated with her one on one because i cant understand her very well and i dont know a lot of spanish. But i did it. I read a section of the book with her and we got up to teach the section we were assigned. And i felt like i was repeating myself a lot but it worked out. I stumbled through it. haha it was such a great experience though to communicate one on one with my investigator!
So some funny stories. We knocked on a door and the lady was black and spoke english but she let us in. We were just sitting there talking to her and getting to know her more and then all of a sudden my companion says, "So what ward do you go to?" I was like uhhhhhh... wait a second. what?! and then they started talking about the different wards here. I didnt say a word the rest of the converstion because i was trying to figure out when she had told us she was a member!!! So then we leave and I asked my companion how she knew she was a member! My companion just started laughing so hard and was like "oh!! i saw her scriptures on the shelf and a relief society book!" hahahaha i was like i am pretty sure i had been paying attention! ohhh my. sometimes i wonder about myself sometimes. haha it was so great! oh p.s. i started driving this week!! finally!! :) haha its so fun driving around a new car. not that that matters ;) oh and we rode bikes this week! it was so hot and so sweaty and we went to teach an investigator and i forgot how to talk because i was so out of it. joy.
Story of the week:
We were walking around an apartment complex that we are at everyday almost and we ALWAYS see this super creepy guy. Last time we saw him he said "Hola bonitas!' and this time we saw him and we tried to talk to him because we were like oh he is so prepared and we are going to convert him. so we saw him and we asked him where he lived and what side he lived on so we could go teach him, and he couldnt remember where he lived. awkward... and he walks a different dog everytime we see him. (I think he is the community dog walker). So this time he just stops and says "ustedes son hermosas para siempre..." That means "You guys are beautiful (gorgeous) forever" or something like that. AWKWARD!! we were like okay bye have a good day!!
Oh man life is so good. And this morning we had a hurricane drill. Got woken up at 6 in the morning and had to pack. I love missions. And I know that this church is true. I know this is the Lords work and if we trust in him and are faithful, we will see miracles in our lives. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They love us so much. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and he restored Christs church on the earth today. I know this is true. And I know this gospel can bless everyones lives in so many ways. I love this work and I love the Lord and his son Jesus Christ. I love this people here and I love being an instrument in the Lords hands. I hope you all have an amazing week!! :)
Love, Hermana Dorian!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Miracles Never Cease! (Week 3)

Holy smokes another week has passed! This week was probably one of the longest and one of the shortest. Doesnt make sense, I know. But in mission time, it does. It was a wonderful week though. It was long because my companion, Hermana Tauteoli was sick (well she has something in her foot and when she eats certain things or is stressed it hurts really really bad). So we werent able to go out during the day for 2 days. But I sure got A LOT of studying and reading done! She told me after the first day that if your companion is sick, you can sleep and take naps. WHATTT??? But then the next day I just felt so guilty sleeping. I felt like I needed to be studyinggg! So i did :) haha I am glad I didnt sleep though because I really learned so mucmore about this gospel than I would have if I had taken a nap. I read Our Search for Happiness, and Our Heritage (well some of it). Such good books!!! So in the midst of having to stay in the apartment all during the day, when we did go out at night, we saw some great miracles happen, hense the title of this email! 
So we had our FIRST BAPTISM on Saturday! That baptism was an absolute miracle. So his name is Jorge Garcia. The missionaries have been teaching him for 5 years. He has had tons of baptismal dates but has never gone through with any of them. We went and visited him that first real night I was here in Texas and have visited with him almost every night since then. When we first visited him, he had a date for June 15th. So we continued to teach him. However, he is a very slow learner. And he would never keep any of his commitments and wouldnt come to church because he wouldnt go unless the less active, Carmen, that he lives with went with him. And she was always too lazy to get up in the morning. So it was really difficult and before we went over on Wednesday night, we had planned to drop him if he wasnt commited. So we were there and while we were eating Hna Tauteoli started talking to him and tried to find out where he stood and what he wanted. He told us he wanted to get baptized but was just too shy! Too shy?! ohhhhhh my. He's a funny one!! Anyways.. so then we were like okay well your baptism will be on the 15th with Maria (another one of our investigators with a date) and he was like NO! I cant get baptized with someone else! I dont want anyone at my baptism!! So then Carmen was like "Okay then you have to get baptisedthis Saturday". He was like what? for real? So he asked us what he had to do. So we read the baptismal interview questions with him and at the end he got his answer. That now he was ready and now was his time to be baptized. FINALLY!!! I was sooooo happy!! So, that night we went home and made plans. The next day he had his interview and passed. He made it to the baptism. And after he was baptised, his countenance just changed. It was miraculous. After so many years, he was finally ready and finally did it. I then knew why I was on a mission. :) So then yesterday, we went over to their house early to make sure they made it to church on time, only to find out that Jorge had been out all night looking for Carmens drunk brother and needed to go pick him up. Church starts at 9 and he left at 8:30to go get him. We were stresssinnnggggg. I didnt think he would make it on time. But guess what. HE SURE DID. He made it just in time!! So he was confirmed and everything went perfectly. I am so grateful for this gospel. And I know that if we have faith, we will see miracles. Whether they are little or big, doesnt matter. They happen. I know this gospel can bless lives and I am so grateful I get to share it. I know that this church is true. I love you all and thank you for your support. Feel free to email or write me ;) haha anyways hope everyone has a great week!!! :) Read the scriptures and pray. And study the Atonement. You wont regret it. Adios hasta la proxima semana!! :)
Hermana Dorian :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

How To Communicate With People Who Don't Understand You (Week 2)

Hola! Como estan? Hope everyone had a fabulous week! I know I did. haha being a missionary is seriously the craziest, but greatest thing ever. And so much happens. But I love it. So here's how this last week went! So earlier this week, we went over to teach our investigator Maria. She's great. So we go to her apartment and her son was sleeping on the couch in the front living room and so we had to go into the back room and sit/teach her on the big bed she had in there. With her little granddaughters running around! haha it was quite the experience. But it was great. We taught her about the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon. And then we extended a baptismal date to her for June 8th and she accepted! We then found out later in the week that she has no problem with getting baptised and she would like to but she cant get rid of her belief in the virgin mary, because she was catholic. So we pray that she will be able to get rid of that and be able to be baptized. I love her so much. She is the sweetest! :) And what was so cool was that I started the lesson and I was able to contribute and I know that everything I said was completely from the spirit. I dont remember what I said but my companion told me it all made sense. And that definitely was not from me! The Lord really does qualify his servants and the gift of tongues is real. The language is hard but it is definitely coming. So we also met this lady named Timo. We found out she was baptized down in Brownsville but is inactive. She hasnt been to church since she had her kids which was like 7 years ago! Bless this sweet girls heart though. She has 2 kids and they are a handful. I think both of them have disabilities and are very demanding. But she is doing the best she can and she really loves them. Its amazing. So we try and go over there and leave her with a message and we asked her if she would come to church but she is so busy! Hopefully she will come. Then we met Alicia. We were knocking on doors and she opened the door and we told her who we were and she let us in! She is a hard catholic, LOVES her bible. But she is so open to religion and said she would listen to whatever we had to say. And that we were welcome to come over whenever. She even was like "Ya never know. I could join your church next week. I just gotta feel it." Perfect. We can help her with that. HAHA she is so sweet though. And she knows english and spanish. perrrrfffeeeccctttt. love it. So we also have this investigator, Jorge. He has been an investigator forever and he has a date for the 15th but he is so shy. And he didnt come to church yesterday. He is busted. ;) But for reals... we are crackin down on him. he is so prepared and so ready! But pray for him. :) Then we were knocking on doors again the other day and this family from Iraq let us in! They didnt know much english so it was really hard to talk to them but they offered us food and water and loved talking to us. it was the coolest thing. and they have only been here for 10 months! They loved us too. And said we were welcome anytime! And yesterday we were walking into another apartment complex by theirs and they drove by and honked the horn and waved at us and were so happy. soooo cute! love them. new friends. :)
Ya know how they say when in rains in Texas, it really rains? Well thats true! It rained yesterday morning! sooo hard!! it was awesome! I love love the rain!! But... ha we are idiots. we left the windows cracked in our car and the rain SOAKED the seats and floor and everything in our car. hahahhahahaaha we are so dumb! but we do that because there was a flood a few weeks ago and it soaked the inside of the car so it stunk. and now its worse! too funny. Oh! I forgot! we met another arabic family yesterday. and they knew like 3 english words. English, yes, and thank you. And of course they invited us in. And when they invited us in they started doing their own thing. So we were just sitting there on their couch in silence. Then they finally came and sat down and just sat there. They didnt know how to communicate with us and we didnt know how to communicate with them. AWKWARD.... hahahah so we were like okay.. we have to go but it was so nice to meet you! bye! hahahahaha so great.
So we all know about the Jehovah's Witnesses yeah? Okay so today we were doing laundry and we were sitting with the english elders and they saw the spanish jehovahs witnesses outside talking to people! And of course they saw us and came in! so they went to the back and were talking to people. Then they of course came and talked to us and told us how its a commandment from God to preach the gospel and we were like "mhmm... yeah we know. look at our badges!" not really but we were thinking that. hahaha they were too funny! gotta love em! ;) oh and gotta love the fights at 3:30 in the morning outside of our apartment! Well more like a drunk girl going crazy banging on peoples doors. But anyways! Missionary work is amazing! I really love this gospel so much and my testimony has grown so much while ive been here. I know that Christ lives and I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and knows us individually. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God. It testifies of it right in 2 Nephi 27-29 I believe. I love this work and I love all of you so much! Thank you for your love and support! :)
Love, Hermana Dorian :) or Hermana Putt-Putt as one of the staff members called me ;)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Week 1 In The Mission Field!!!

Oh my goodness gracious! I can not believe that I have been in the mission field for a week now! And it is NOTHING like what I expected. So here's whats been going on lately!! So last Monday, we basically had a P-day. Then we had class and said goodbye to our teachers, got blessings from the Elders, and went back to our rooms to pack pack pack! sooo stressful! we didnt get done till like 11:30 and had to wake up at 2:30! so we woke up so early and got ready and then had to be at the travel office at 4. We got on a bus, and drove to the airport! Then we boarded our flight and were off! On the plane to Phoenix, I sat by a Hispanic man and he didnt know a lot of English. So I talked to him in spanish the entire time! sooooo cool! Then eventually we got to Houston! When we got here, we met the Mission President, got everything situated with our bags, then were off the the mission home! When we got to the Mission Home we had a little orientation thing, had dinner, then a testimony meeting. Then we stayed at a nearby members house! it was beautiful. So the next morning we got up, went to the mission office building, had training, met our trainers and then were off to our new areas!! So my new area is called Houston 9 North. Its a new area and so we do a lot of tracting and finding! Which is great! My trainer is Hermana Tauteoli! She is from Utah as well and she is great! We have a lot of fun! And we are working hard! So pretty much we work in the ghetto. well... its ghetto to me! We dont see many white people. haha the people here are so great though! Oh and uh did i mention I have no idea what anyone is saying? Ever? Yeah its great. I contribute when I can! haha its hard but its amazing how much I love every person that I talk to. Even the ones that reject us. And it happens. A lot! But yeah so with us tracting a lot, we meet tons of people and i have tons of stories. So the very first day we went over to an investigators house. He lives with a less active member. They are so so so great! I love them so much! But we have been teaching him and he is going to hopefully get baptized. I couldnt understand a word they were saying but I am pretty sure they were making fun of me. hahahahaha oh well. So these are the stories I can remember. The other day, we were in an apartment complex and I found this ADORABLE little puppy. So cute. but it was sick. It walked right over to me and so what did i do? of course i scratched its neck! I scratched that dogs back for probably a good 5 minutes. so nasty. haha cant believe i did that! but it was darling. And i have to say hi to EVERY SINGLE cat that I see. And we see tons. Everyday!! But here is the other story. So we went to visit a lady in another apartment complex and we were about to leave when this black guy walked by and was like "hey arent you gonna offer me any water?" and we were like "um you live here! you should be offering US water!" and he says "Its alright, yall are still cute!" HAHAHAHA so we were all laughing and just talking. Then we asked him if he had talked with missionaries before and then he asked us what the bike rack on the back of our car was. We told him what it was for and he was like "oh they dont make you walk your bike? BOSS STATUS!" hahaha so funny. then he asked us where we were from and he goes "utah texas or utah like utah jazz?" and i go "yeah i love the utah jazz! their games are so fun!!" and he looks at me and goes "are you a basketball girl?? I'm gonna have to date you one day!" creeeeeeeppppppppp. loved him though. so funny. But we found this guy the other night that was like a perfect investigator. Miracles are happening. It's really hard to not get discouraged, but if we keep the faith, miracles will happen. I know they will. Missions are hard but so wonderful at the same time and i am so grateful to be a missionary. it is a very special calling and I love it. I hope you all have an amazing week. Thank you for all your support and love! Send me emails and letters! More stories to come next week :)

Love, Hermana Dorian