Monday, January 27, 2014

"Yes We DO Go Out In The Pouring, Freezing Rain!" (week 34)

I think the longer you are on a mission, the crazier it gets. LIKE SERIOUSLY. This past week was crazy too. So many things happened and we saw so many miracles. It was absolutely amazing. But first things first. I know you all are so anxious to hear about transfers because its been 6 weeks since last transfers. Well... here it is. I AM GETTING TRANSFERRED. what?! There was definitely a point where I thought I was going to be in that area for my entire mission. literally... but i'm not! I am so sad to leave the area and these people but I just knew I was leaving. It's time. I am really ready for a change and this area is ready for a change as well. I am excited to see what my new area has in store for me!! It will be really good and I feel like I have done everything that I was supposed to do and everything that I can do for these people. Now they need a new missionary who will help them come closer to Christ and receive the blessings of the gospel! Stay tuned for next week! Transfer meeting is on Wednesday so I will find out where I am going then!! so exciting!!
As for the week... I cant really remember what happened to be exactly honest. And it doesn't help that I forgot my planner which tells me everything that goes on. Anyways so here are just some big highlights from the week:
 Can I just say that Houston weather is sooooo random and weird? it is. Hence the title of this email. More news coming. Anyways so on Monday, we went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science! It was AWESOME! They have real mummies. And when we got to the dinosaur exhibit, we got our own personal tour. sweettt. I learned so much about dinosaurs. Did yall know some have feathers? Yeah. Me neither. But yeah that was super duper fun. And Hermana Hogan took us all to a Nacho place that is the closest thing to CafĂ© Rio in Texas! YESS! we did it!! it was seriously so delicious!!!
This week we taught Gloria a lot at the church which is the most ideal situation to teach. But not when her kids are there! Her kids are monsters!! They are sooo adorable and I love them all so much but they NEVER listen to hear and they are OFF THE WALLS crazy 24/7. Mom, Abraham is 6 and reminds me a lot of seth. actually.. ramon reminds me of him too. Its just that age. So we tried to help them with homework this week and we also taught Gloria which was perfect. She finally read out of the Book of Mormon and she LOVED it! We left her with 3 Nephi 27 to read and she thought it was so beautiful and she wanted us to read it with her kids. So we did! We also invited her to be baptized and she said no and that she has already been baptized. So.. we left her with Acts 19:1-6 which is about Paul and how he asks the people if they have received the Holy Ghost and they said no and that they had only been baptized by water and then they were baptized again!! So I hope that helps with her doubt and that she realizes that she needs to be baptized again because it wasn't by someone holding the priesthood authority of God and so that she can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. I really do love her so much and I am so excited to see and hear about what happens with them!!
We also have Alex and Sylvia!! They are sooo LEGIT. They are progressing sooo well. They read in the Book of Mormon everyday! And LOVE it!! Alex came to church yesterday and wants to get baptized so bad! And get this. He is 12. and making us dinner tomorrow. He told us he was going to make us either hot dogs or quesadillas. I LOVE HIM. I am so excited for them to be baptized. They just understand everything so well and they are so prepared. The Lord has been working on them for the last 7 months from when we dropped them and then ran into them again.
So we had a cool experience this week. Texas weather likes to be really nice and warm and then FREEZING COLD the next day with freezing rain!!! So the freezing cold was on Thursday. We had to bike to the church twice times that day and both times it was so cold and rainy and windy and I could barely see anything. The second time we went, it was later at night and by the time we got to the church, my skirt was SOAKED. And our investigator didn't even show up. So exciting. But as I was riding in the cold this week, I just was loving every second of it. This week was SO exhausting with so much biking but I literally LOVED every single second. I love being a missionary so much! It is amazing!! And people kept asking us if we went out in that terrible weather. DUH! we got souls to save here!!!
Now for the rejection of the week. FUNNIEST thing ever. So we knocked on a potentials door and then a lady walked by and she was like "um excuse me? excuse me?" and I was like, "oh do you live here?" and she goes, "no but you all need to leave because its rude to knock on doors." Basically she told us to leave because we were being rude and annoying. haha it was all in Spanish and she was talking fast so I didn't catch it all but after I just started laughing so hard because it was just so funny!!!! and then we stopped a lady on the street and asked if we could share a message with her and she was like, "hmmmmmm... no!". So sad. But it was funny. Just gotta be a duck as my aunt tiffany would say! And keep on going!! MISSIONS ARE THE BEST!!!
Oh and update on Janie and Antonio. Our eternigators. Janie is doing good. Her and her daughters are teaching us a lesson tomorrow night. yes. and we are making them dinner. Antonio and Gabby are GETTING MARRIED. and he still isn't baptized. :( but it will happen!!!
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!!! love you all so much!! thank you for the love and support!!! :)
Con amor,
Hermana Dorian!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

WEEK OF MIRACLES!!! (week 33)

Oh my goodness gracious.... so since today is a holiday we are emailing at the church and only have 30 minutes to email. That is sooooo not enough time for me to tell yall about the AMAZING miracles that we saw this week. Literally I am a little overwhelmed with all the miracles that have happened. Our little area just BLEW UP. So many investigators that I am overwhelmed. I love it though and I am so grateful. I have learned a TON this week in studies and everything but here is how the week went!

I think everything started on Wednesday. We went on exchanges. Miracles always happen on exchanges! This was my favorite one though!! So Hermana Fisiiahi came to my area. She has only been out in the field for 5 weeks and she is a rockstar! Did I mention she is tongan? THEY ARE THE COOLEST. It was like having Hermana Tauteoli back. I think we talked about her like the whole time. Anyways so the day started out really weird. And I was so stressed because I wanted us to have a good day but we didnt have much planned. So i just trusted in the Lord and prayed really hard that we would be able to find people to teach. So yeah the day started weird. But then we went out to start proselyting. We first went to see Maria. She was having a lot of pain in her back so, of course, Hermana Fisi knows a tongan massage and helped her! sooooo perfect. Then we biked over to see Carmen who was home and cooking! yes! i LOVE her cooking! well.. it real bad for you but i love it. So we waited for her to cook us some food and then taught her about the Word of Wisdom. Which was pure revelation. She has been having some problems so it was pure revelation from God. She asked us how we knew and I said that we didnt. but Heavenly Father did. Ah! The Lord KNOWS us personally. So amazing. Then as we were leaving, we ran into Sylvia!!! Hermana Tauteoli and I taught her like 7 months ago but she wasnt showing real intent so we dropped her. But we found her again and she was like, "why did you guys stop coming??" I felt terrible. But she wasnt ready then. She is now! She accepted a baptismal date and is ready for a change!! :) Then after that we went to try a potential family that we hadnt been able to see for like 2 weeks. She was home and she is soooo LEGIT. The mom, Gloria, is. We taught her and her kids about the Book of Mormon and then she was really interested in coming to the chapel for open chapel. SO PERFECT. no one ever comes. I was seriously so happy that we got to teach them. She is just a mom. Its the best! Then after that we taught Moniqua and her family. They are really tough. All about the Bible but her husband seems interested. I will tell yall about them next week.

So now update on the people.
Gloria: came to open chapel twice with her kids for tutoring and piano lessons. She wanted to have a lesson first before we did anything. we have taught the restoration. she knows a lot of members now and says she is going to try to start coming to church. The thing is that she is baptist and is very active in her church. she feels something different here though and she is so very prepared. She asked us what we should do because she likes both churches and we testified that this will bless her life and her families and that she needs to pray to know and that God would give her an answer. She is GOLDEN.

Sylvia: She came to the devotional last night! LOVED it. She is so prepared and ready now. Wants a good church for her 1 year old son. Knows this is true and has a date for the 9th of March. So legit and we love her. Her brother in law is 12 and listens to us too and he used to go to our church before. such a small world. but such a miracle!

That is just a itty bitty glimpse of all the miracles we saw this week!! I will try and tell yall some next week but really I just cant believe how much the Lord is blessing us and blessing this area! It's amazing and its just amazing to see the Lords hands in this amazing work. This is truly the Lords work and we are just here to help move it along. I know this church is true. I have no doubts in my mind that it is the true church and if we are faithful and keep our covenants, we will be saved and live with our Father in Heaven again with our families. I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!! :)

Con amor,
La Hermana Dorian

Dead Dogs, Dead Cats and.....ELDER NELSON!!! (week 32)

So this week I have realized that the dead animal population on the roads here in Houston is probably higher than the dead animal population in Heber. And that is saying something! I have never seen so many dead dogs and cats in the roads before. It's the saddest thing ever. Especially when I have to ride past a dead cat every single day. But anyways.. moving on!! This week was so great. It was a really hard week, but I definitely learned a lot. About my Savior, about repentance and the Atonement, about the power of personal revelation, and just about everything. it was amazing. One thing that was just so powerful to me this week was fasting. I decided to fast yesterday for personal reasons and my questions and prayers were answered. I have such a strong testimony of fasting and it is so powerful. I then read in Alma 5 who says that He came to know that everything he was saying was true because he had fasted and prayed to know and had received a personal witness of the truth of this gospel. And I can testify that we can all do that too and receive answers and revelation that we need! :)
So this week we saw a lot of really cool miracles!! And we found a lot of new people!! Here's how we did it:
first we asked a member family a really long time ago about a family that lives across from them because we always saw them going there!! We tried to stop by for a month or 2 and they were never home or never answered the door or were always busy. But this week we went over earlier in the morning and Beatrice let us in!! She is living there with a member who goes to a different ward and she is very familiar with the church!! She actually knows that it is true, she has just had bad experiences in the past!! So we watched the Restoration video with her and she said she wants to start coming back to church this week. SO AWESOME. Then on Thursday we were going to get our apartment inspected and then we had to go to the chapel for capilla abierta. So we had about an hour and 15 minutes to find someone to teach so we left and I wanted to go see a member and our investigator but inside I knew that weren't going to be home. But while we were walking to the apartment, we saw a lady at the playground sitting at a table and so I stood my bike up and sat down by here and we talked and taught her a short restoration and gave her a book of Mormon. SO AWESOME. again. And then later that night we were at Janie's house and her boyfriend stayed to listen to the lesson and was asking when we were coming back again. We aren't sure if he is legit but he says he wants to change his life so we will see what happens!!! And then, on Saturday we were trying to contact some potentials but no one was home so we tried just last minute a guy that OYM'd us one day!! He was actually home and his sister was as well!!! And his sister is friends with a member and met the other hermanas in the other ward!! SO AWESOME. and so prepared!! It was so great. I loved it. Lots of finding awesome people this week :)
This week we also had interviews with President. Dad.. its a little scary. The more I am around President Ashton the more he reminds me of you!! You guys are the same!!! You might just have to come pick me up so you can meet him. Yall would be great friends. He is so great though! The spirit was really strong in that interview though and I received a lot of revelation and the spirit taught me a lot. And it just motivated me to do better and rely on the Lord!!!
Okay now for the BEST PART OF THE WHOLE WEEK. This weekend was like missionary party weekend. Wanna know why?? BECAUSE ELDER NELSON CAME TO STAKE CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh it was the best stake conference I have ever been too. I have never been so grateful to be on a mission. It was so special and He only came to our Spanish stake. AHHHHH. And Maria came to the Saturday night session which was awesome. Saturday night He talked a lot about missionary work. But Sunday morning was the most powerful meeting I have ever been to. It was like General Conference. Here is what He did though. He asked all the kids to stand up and sing "Soy un hijo de Dios". I was bawling. It was the cutest and sweetest thing ever. Okay and get this. He is really old. I think He knows Spanish but He is old and cant speak it well. So he spoke in English and there was a man translating for Him. But at the end, He said, "I want this to be a memorable experience for you all. So now I am going to speak in a tongue that is not my own." And proceeded to bear his testimony in PERFECT Spanish. I cant even begin to explain the spirit and the feeling that was in that room. At that moment, I knew without any doubt in my mind that the gift of tongues is real. And that He is an apostle of God. And that we have a living prophet of God. And that everything He said was completely by the spirit. You could tell that it was not him speaking. It was all Heavenly Father speaking through Him through the spirit. I know that this church is true. It is the only true church and we have the true power of God on the earth to perform miracles and ordinances for salvation. This is an amazing time everyone and the Lord is hastening His work!!
I love you all and hope you all have a great week!!! :)
Con Amor,
Hermana Dorian

2014 Already?!?!? (week 31)

hello everyone!! I hope everyone had an AMAZING New Years!!! I literally can not believe that it is already 2014!! Time goes by SO fast. I cant keep up! Our new years was great. Actually it was absolutely AMAZING. I will tell you about it in a minute. But first I just want to share something i learned and studied this week. We are focusing, as a mission, on teaching a powerful restoration lesson. And gaining a personal witness and testimony of each of the principles that we teach. So this week I studied God is our Loving Heavenly Father. And I am not even close to being done!! There is soooooooo much good stuff in there. Everytime i have studied the Restoration (which is ALOT, we teach it ALL the time!) I just read it and briefly study it. But i have started studying it more deeply and its amazing how much I have learned. I have learned about the Restoration, my investigators, and myself. My favorite thing though is a line that says that He weeps with us when we are sad and He rejoices when we do what is right. which just goes to show that we truly have a loving Heavenly Father. Who knows us perfectly and personally. And then i studied Moses 7:26-37. Yall should do it too. Its soooo good. My testimony has grown so much! And I can promise that yours will too :) I think everyone should just get a PMG. ITS AWESOME.
Anyways so new years. Okay so we ended our pday normally. we were going to ende it early because we had to be home early but we just decided to end it at the normal time and then keep working a little bit later into the night. So earlier we had looked through our area book to find some formers. We found a paper that had like 4 names on it and it was from when hermana tauteoli and washburn were here! before I got here. So we just decided to go try them. One is named Esau. he is a 13 year old boy and we had tried him before but his parents werent home. We had left him with a restoration pamphlet and told him about the study stuff in the back. He was so sweet! So we went back new years eve and his parents werent home again but we just decided to teach him at the doorstep! AWESOMEST LESSON EVER. he loved all of it AND accepted a date!!! we havent had a date in a while!! it was such a miracle!! this is how it went:
me: "Esau, when you know for yourself that these things are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood power of God?"
Esau: "yes I will!"
me: "We will be having a baptismal service on the 25th of january. will you prepare to be baptized on that day?"
Esau: "I sure will!!"
SO PREPARED! and he wanted to get started reading the Book of Mormon right away and he said the cutest prayer at the end and then at the end he goes, "did you know the Bible isnt complete?" AHHHHHHHHH no one ever would say that to us!!! so we read in 1 Nephi 13 where it talks about that and it was just so so awesome!!! Such a miracle and a blessing. We have to get permission from his parents to teach him now but he is so prepared and I am so excited for him!! :)
Then, to start the year out AWESOME we taught 4 LARCS in one day!!! That's Less actives and recent converts. It was a miracle and super awesome. On thursday we had to be at the chapel for capilla abierta and I got to practice my piano skills because guess what.... I had to play at church yesterday!!!! more to come later...
So this week we had Zone Meeting. It was awesome. I learned a lot and we talked about asking for referrals, finding, and teaching powerful Restoration lessons! I love my zone. It is just full of hard working awesome obedient missionaries. After zone meeting we went on exchanges!! I went to the other hermanas area of Houston 9 with Hermana Knopf! It was so much fun!! And we saw an amazing miracle! There is this lady named Clarissa that one of their recent converts OYM'd and she has met with missionaries before and was going to church. They havent been able to find her at home for about 2-3 weeks. We went over there on exchanges and she wasnt home but we tried again and she was!! And she invited us in!!! She told us the whole story. She was going to church and wanted to get baptized but was living with her boyfriend and couldnt get baptized so she stopped going to church. Her kids loved it though!! At that time, her husband didnt want to get a divorce and she wasnt going to stop living with this man. But now, 5 years later, her husband wants to get a divorce and she is still so set on getting baptized and wants to!!! And her daughters LOVE the church and were so excited to get books of mormons and pamphlets to read!! It was seriously such a miracle!! So now all she has to do is get divorced and married and she is good to go!! They are seriously the cutest family!! :)
Okay so now for our Sunday yesterday. We get to church and there was no piano player. Elder Evertson from houston 2 has been doing it for us but we switched church times so he was in class. Soo... Elder Dorny tells me to change the hymns to whichever ones I could play and then we would jsut go with it! I was sooooooo nervous!!!! Its so hard to accompany. But... I said the most fervent and brief prayer and asked the Lord to help me do this!! And He did!! I KNOW He answers prayers!! I played fine and I was able to deal with the nerves. I was so grateful for the Lords help because I wouldnt have been able to do it without Him. Now I just gotta learn some new songs to play! I also got to play at the Elders Baptism which was fun! I just love being a missionary!!
I hope everyone has an amazing week!! I love you all and thank you so much for your love and support!!! :)j
Con amor,
Hermana Dorian

Free Kitten? New Scratches. (week 30)

Well hello everyone!! Sorry i am emailing so late!! We took our pday today so that we could go to the temple!!! It was the most amazing experience and I am always sooo grateful to be able to go to the temple. I really am so grateful that we have one close too and that we get to go once every 3 months. Such a blessing. And I really needed the boost to keep going!! There is just such a sense and feeling of peace at the temple and i love it alot. The Houston temple is so special. I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas though and HAPPY NEW YEAR. I cant believe its 2014 already! TIME FLIES! Hope everyones christmas's were jolly and filled with lots of warmth and food. That doesnt make sense.. moving on. Okay so this week was SO AWESOME. I learned a lot about praying specifically and really relying on the Lord. Before I give you all a play by play of the week I just wanted to add something I learned this week in studies. I am studying in John right now and in Chapters 13 and 14, Christ tells His disciples that He will be going somewhere that they cannot know and they cannot go. They are confused when He tells them this. But what He is saying is that He knew He was going to suffer for our sins and go down to the deepest parts and feel the deepest pains. And no one else could do that or experience that except for Him. Which is why they couldnt follow him or know where He was going. And the fact that He did it so willingly is amazing. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I am so grateful for the Atonement and everything He did for me. And each one of you.
Alright so this week was amazing. We saw soo many miracles!! Tuesday, after P-day, we prayed specifically that we would be able to fill up our night becasue we had NO idea where to go! we knew that people would be gone with family or partying and drinking. But the Lord really blessed us and we were able to fill up our whole night!! And we got to sing for some members. The spirit was so strong and even though we dont sing, the spirit was there and it was awesome. I really enjoyed it. Then we opened most of our presents that night. I couldnt wait! Thank you to everyone who sent me a gift or card!! it really meant soo much to me!! :) Then on Christmas we made breakfast at the church for single members and then sang! Soooooo jolly. It was really different being a missionary but it was really so special. :) Anyways so then it was SKYPE TIME!!! BEST TIME. soooooo good to see my family and get to talk to them!!! I have been blessed with the most amazing family!!! :) Then after that we had a dinner appointment and we were able to visit a few more people as well. Once again, such a blessing!
Thursday we did speed weekly planning and then went out to work!! We taught Janie and then later that night we were able to meet with Antonio!! It was basically the final showdown. Bishop Lomeli came with us. we went over the baptismal questions with him and he is SOOO ready and prepared. he was supposed to be baptized on Sunday but said he needed more time and wanted to pick his date. So we are praying so hard that its soon! I just know how much this is going to bless his life!! BUt its all in the Lords time!!
Friday was the day I turned 20. WHAT?! im so old. haha i am no longer a teenager!! It was such an amazing day though! I was just so grateful to be working and doing the Lords work on my birthday. There isnt a better way to spend it. And we didnt have that much to do but I was praying for some birthday miracles. AND THEY CAME! First we tried a less active that lives on the edge of our area. I knew she wouldnt be home but i knew we needed to go over there. So then we tried a former in an apartment complex across the street, got rejected, then I felt like we needed to go try a lady we contacted on the street a really long time ago. Like when Hermana Tauteoli was here. She was home and let us in!! AND she accepted and commited to read the book of mormon. FIRST MIRACLE OF THE DAY. it was soooo awesome! she is so sweet! Then we got to see Carmen Godinez who we havent seen in forever. We taught her about temples and stressed eternal families. She knows alot and she has a car now! ANOTHER MIRACLE. and she said the first place she went with her car was the church so she could know the route. shes so great. its her new years goal to go to church so that steve can be baptized in march. yes!!! But then we tried some potentials then went to dinner with the other hermanas! we went to a mexican restaurant and it was SO GOOD. and they sang to me. in spanish. i was in heaven!!! :) haha then we saw all the people we planned to at night and they all made cakes! ive never eaten so much cake. it was AWESOME. and definitely an amazing day filled with miracles. And hermana johnson was so sweet to make me breakfast and put ugly pictures of me all over the apartment :)
....................and to explain the title. on this same day, friday, we rode by a house that had a free kitten sign. we knocked and the lady is catholic and kinda rude. we asked if she knew any hispanics around. she said no. then i asked if she still had kittens. she said yes and i held one. best birthday ever. it got scared and scratched me............ :)

Sunday we had another AMAZING miracle!! So we had church! OH and first of all we had to teach the sunday school class. and we didnt know till halfway through sacrament meeting! winged it... good thing we have the spirit. That's what elder vanderbeek said. haha so funny but so true. we decided to talk about Jesus Christ and the spirit was really strong and it was a good lesson. I also learned I am going to make comments in all my classes because its annoying when no one makes comments or answers questions ;) anyways so then after church we went to a lesson with Paula. We taught Neftali. Well... not much was taught. his roommate just wanted to bible bash and I just didnt have much patience. After we left, we decided to go contact a family we had oym'd. We saw her trying to get her shopping cart in her apartment! So we ran over to help her and we asked if we could come in and she said YES! I was so surprised!! I thought she was busy!! So we went in and taught them about the Restoration. This family is THE CUTEST!! I am literally obsessed. Shas 4 girls and they are all so darling. I love them so much and the older daughters are so excited to read the book of mormon! I LOVE teaching families and I love teaching them about how they can be together forever. SO grateful to be a misisonary and bring that happy news to families like the familia juarez :) and she is from guatemala... i love guatemalans. :)
Well thats all the time i have but thank you sooo much everyone for your love and support!!! I know this church is true and I KNOW it can change lives because it's changed mine. Hope yall have an AMAZING week!! :)
con mucho amor,
hermana dorian :)