"...behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass..."-Alma 37:6

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

First General Authority Encounter!!!!

So this week: TRANSFERS! we find out if we are getting transferred on Wednesday so well see what happens. Ill let you know what happens next Monday. I'm also trying to get some pictures printed tomorrow on p-day (they changed it to tomorrow because of pioneer day) so ill send those out soon too. So this past week: Monday-nothing too exciting Tuesday- we went and did a service project for an inactive family. They live in very humble conditions and are not used to living in an orderly manner. Sister Picuasi and the elders in my district and I went over on Tuesday morning and spent about 2 hours cleaning the outside of their house (washing their toys, sweeping, disinfecting, etc..) and it looked great. It felt really good to be able to serve someone in need. we are also getting the relief society and primary presidents involved so they can help her find the desire to come back to church again. Wednesday- we had an amazing lesson with one of our investigators (KEVIN). He is 20 and from Guatemala. He is living with one of the less-active families in the ward. He was covered in tattoos and piercings. we met him while we were knocking doors at one of the apartment complexes. we started talking to him and found out that he has a really strong belief in God and his faith is amazing. So today we invited him to the chapel so that we could have a lesson there. He came completely transformed. He was wearing a shirt and pants and combed his hair and he looked like he had changed a ton spiritually. Anyway we had a lesson there with him in the chapel and then gave him like 2 minutes after the lesson to pray to know if the things that we had taught him were true. He did and he said that he knew everything was true and then he committed to come to church and he wanted to bring his girlfriend too!! So cool! Thursday-We went out with one of the girls in our ward that is thinking about serving a mission. We went and contacted a referral that we had and met an amazing family! we set a return appointment for Saturday. Friday- we had our last district meeting before transfers! we had a testimony meeting at the end. I love my district! Then we had the most amazing dinner from one of the English ward families. Then we finished the night by visiting some families and teaching people on the street. Saturday-Today we felt like we needed to go back and visit someone we had visited 2 weeks ago (EVA LOPEZ). she was not interested at all when we visited her the last time so we didn't really know why we felt like we needed to go there but we did. She invited us in her house which didn't happen the time before and we taught her an amazing lesson. we invited her to church and she said that she did want to go with us. Milagro del Dia for sure. Sunday- soooo Sundays are always the busiest day of the week. You are rushing to get people to church (since we start at 9) and waking them up and calling like crazy. also you have a lot of meetings to go to. but this Sunday was especially hectic because my companion and i had to give a talk at church. super nervous! my first talk in Spanish. anyway we got to church a little late because we were helping a family get ready for church and i had barely planned anything for my talk. so when we walk in the elders are asking us why we were late and they were a little more stressed than usual and we didn't know why. so we went and sat with our investigators and then did our thing. and then they announced that i needed to go and give my talk so i did and then my companion did too so i waited for her on the stand and then when she was done we went and sat back down with our investigators. Then i realized there was a white guy sitting on the stand...its pretty easy to spot them out in the Spanish wards. so i was like oh ok someone from the stake. but then after the meeting was over he got up and spoke and as soon as he opened his mouth i was like ohhh...not someone from the stake haha. well...it was Dallin H Oaks!!!!!! Definitely didn't expect that I'd be giving my first talk of the mission in front of an apostle of God!!!! made my day! So he said that basically that when he doesn't have a stake conference to be at that he prays to know where to go. he said that he felt that he needed to go to a chapel on 33rd South (our chapel) so he hoped there was one there. He also said that he did not know that it was going to be a Spanish ward but that he was happy to be there. So after sacrament meeting we talked to him and he came up to me and said "you're the one from the Philippines, i love the Philippines!" So we chatted about that for a little bit. Then after church we took a picture with him!! Ill send pics soon. So yup that was our week. Hope you are doing well and that everything is going ok at home. I love you all! Hermana Adorable

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Week 2 In Granite

Hola Familia! I'm doing well out here. we had a wedding this past week so that was exciting. its sad to see how many people there are here that are living together but arent married. we also had 2 baptisms from our district so that was good too. Last night we went to temple square with one of our investigators larenzo. Hes about 25. he seemed to really like it and understand the things that we taught him. we watched God's Plan, the new video they have at temple square, and at the end we asked him to committ to baptism again. He said no the first lesson we taught him but this time he said yes! soooo July 21 is the goal :) We were out of gas yesterday so we walked. while we were walking we ran into this guy named Craig. He was sitting under a tree. Huge guy with lots of tatoos. Pretty scary but we are called to talk to EVERYONE. sooo we went and talked to him and it turns out that he was a member. but less active. he'd done a lot of bad things. he said that he found Jesus again two years ago. he said i may not look like it but i am a really sensitive person to the spirit. so we taught him a little bit and tried to motivate him to come to church again. he got up to leave but then we sang I am a child of God and he stayed and said that he really needed to hear that song today. then we said a prayer and he said we were welcome in his apartment anytime. times like that make me really excited on the mission. This past week was kind of uneventful but im hoping that this upcoming week brings more things to come. There are so many things that you learn here on the mission. One of the things ive been working on the most is developing charity. you need to learn to truely love everyone here on the mission. if you dont, you cant be guided by the spirit and you cant teach as effectively. its not easy but it is definitely worth it. This week i want to to challenge each of you to think of three people in your life that you have a hard time getting along with. pray every night for that person and pray for the lord to help you to gain charity for this person. will you all do that? as a diciple of Jesus Christ and as one of his representatives I promise you that you will feel the spirit more strongly and that you will be guided to know what to do. I also promise that the lord will help you to develop charity. pray for trial because they help you to grow and become the person that the lord knows you can be. most importantly, pray that you can allow the lord to mold you because he will and he will help you become a better person than you could have become on your own. I hope you are seeking to serve others in Texas just as much as i am here. the missions great, im learning a lot, im helping a lot of people, and the lord is guiding me and protecting me as i am doing His work. Love you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Working in Granite

So i've officially been out in the field for two weeks now and have learned soo much. I absolutely love my trainer she is so great and such a hard worker. We've seen so many miracles and met a lot of interesting people. To anyone who thought there wasnt a lot of work to do in Salt Lake, well youre wrong. I had no idea how much work there was to do but im excited to be working out here. So right now im living in Rose Park (out of my area) and working in Granite. They whitewashed the area so we were basically starting from zero. The first week we were here we just worked a lot to try to get to know all of the leadership..such a good idea because they already know the area and people so that was great! also we worked a lot off of referrals. As of right now we have 6 people on date to be baptized and we are teaching around 13 people. So miracles of the last two weeks: 1. Mariana- so mariana is in her 30s and she has 4 kids (armando 12, ernesto 10, ana 9, cindy 7) and she is going to get married to her 'husband' soon. she was a referral. we stopped by at her house and she didnt seem very interested but she we could tell right off the bat that she needed something. so we started teaching her and her kids were running around like crazy everywhere and her husband marcus always left everytime we came over. so that was the first lesson. Then we kept coming back. as the lessons kept going, the kids started to calm down. they would sit in on the lessons and participate. some of the kids' friends would come over and tell them to come out and play but they would say no we're listening to the sisters and you should too. so things were going well so my companion and i decided that it was time to take them to temple square (requirement for baptism in my mission). so we took them there and they loved it and the loved the idea of eternal families. so we invited them to church. they said yes. then we went over on saturday to remind them about church the next day. cindy opened the door and marcus with there. we asked if mariana was home and they said she was showering so she couldnt come out. so we stood outside and asked them about church again. cindy said that mariana told her that they werent going to church and then they shut the door. sooo sad and confused. so my companion and i stood outside and said a prayer cause we didnt know what to do. then we started to walk down the stairs and mariana comes running out and wants to talk to us. so we talked and she told us her concerns. she said that marcus had told her some things about mormons (anti mormon stuff) and she wanted to know if it was true. so we came inside, had our first lesson with marcus and the family, and then reminded them about church the next day. welll they didnt show up to church (happens a lot) buut it was breakthrough to have a lesson with marcus. we stopped by marianas yesterday and asked her what happened and why they didnt go to church and well she said she knows that she needs to pray (because she hasnt done that yet) and that marcus wants to know more!! sooo that was a miracle...well keep working with them 2. cool story. had the chance to go to a baptism of one of my companion's investigators from her old area. he was around 25. his girlfriend was a recent convert of 2 years. so he gets baptized. she says the closing prayer. he gets up and bares his testimony. calls his girlfriend up. says some stuff. gets down on one knee, pulls out a ring and tah dah baptism proposal. BEST DAY EVER! 3. so my companion and i were knocking doors at this apartment complex and NO ONE answered but we knew they were home (also happens a lot haha) but then all of a sudden we heard some hispanic music playing downstairs so my companion and i got so excited. we ran down the stairs and found this cute catholic family (mom dad 2 kids ). so we started teaching them outside the door but then they thankfully let us come in after about 10 minutes. so we were telling them about the restoration and then they were like oh well we're catholic. and my companion and i said well we were too. so we told them our family's conversion stories. then they got interested. then we tried to leave them with the book of mormon but the dad said no because if he accepted the book then he accepted our religion and he was catholic. so my companion and i left them with a hymn and a prayer. then my companion told me to run out of their house so i did without knowing why. then i asked her why and she said sister guess what i did. then i realized that she left the book of mormon on their couch haha. then we got to the car and she was looking for our keys but she couldnt find them. then i remembered that the keys were right next to the book of mormon!! so we said a prayer asking for a miracle. the dad comes running out and i was so disappointed thinking he would bring the book of mormon back buuut NO! just the keys. such a cool experience. 4. so we were knocking doors at an apartment complex and we ran into a man on the way to an appointment. so normally i would never have talked to him. honestly he scared me. super buff body builder looking guy with a goatee and tatoos everywhere. buut the spirit prompted us to talk to him so we did. we started teaching and asked for a return appointment and he said NO way. then we sang "i believe in christ" and he changed. He said actually i think you should come by. crazy. i think our biggest let in tactic is singing a hymn. it works! 5. sandiva- so we were knocking doors and we had already been to this apartment complex before. we tried this one door and this lady answered and she had to have been offended by the missionaries or the church or something because she was super cold towards us. anyway so we saw this dad carrying his son into that same apartment so we went back there. we taught about god's love and that we are his children and this man seriously started to cry. then we were going to leave him a book of mormon chapter to read after we left. we sang a hymn and then we were going to leave after a prayer. but after we sang the hymn he started reading the chapter out loud right there while we were standing at the door. so we let him read it and just listened. then we stopped him and asked him how he felt. he told us peace and joy and that this is what he wanted for his family sooo i committed him to be baptized in 3 weeks and he said absolutely and that he wanted us to help him prepare. then we bore testimony and ended with a prayer. AMAZING. the mission is great, I couldnt think of anything better i could be doing at this time of my life. Hope you all are having amazing experiences too.

Off to Granite

So its my first week in real life. I met my trainer Hna Picuasi from Ecuador on wednesday. She is awesome! love her! So on the first day we went out to temple square and had a competition for all of the missionaries that arrived to the salt lake mission (37) at temple square. So we went around and talked to EVERYONE! we ran into some pretty interesting people. Then we looked for our apartment. They told us the wrong one. So we had to go all the way to the other side of the area. Sooo good news and bad news: I live outside of my area so they gave us a car :) but bad news is that it takes forever to get to our area so we waste a lot of time commuting. Im pretty sure that they are going to move us to a new apartment soon (probably this week). Ok so the area im serving in is Granite. They whitewashed the area so we are opening it up...aka starting from zero. Its been fun! Im living in Rose Park right now. we knock on doors/teach from 1-8:50pm. Then we get home around 9:15, plan for 30 mins, pray and crash. then we get up at 6:25 and do it all over again. The first day we pretty much went around and tried to meet the leadership and get to know them a little bit. Then we knocked doors. So far ive met a ton of people in salt lake that dont know anything about the gospel. We ran into a girl who was baptised when she was eight but then left the church because she was gay. So we're working with her. We also ran into an ex-bishop who doesn't believe in God anymore. This past week we found 7 new investigators. One guys name is Fernando. He's about 40ish. His girlfriend is LDS. He is a great guy and super solid, just has a ton of hard questions. Hes super analytical and claims that if this is the true church then it should have all of the answers. He's progressing well. We found another great family (mariana and ana) she is an amazing mom and we have seen so many changes in their family. the kids used to be super hyper and crazy and not respect their mom at all but now they all fight over who is going to say the prayers. we are taking them to temple square on friday. Also Fernando, Mariana and Ana are all put on date for a baptism the first and second week of july. next week we are hoping to put 4 or 5 more people on date at least. yesterday night we went and found another family that had never had the missionaries over before. We are going over tonight to have an FHE with them. they have like 7 kids that are under 9. Everything is going great and things are fun. Im in the real world! This is what its about. I love the mission. The church is true. The book of mormon is awesome!! it truely converts people. Give the missionaries references!! they need them. If you ever see a missionary say hi, it will brighten up their day :) love you all :)))

Entering the Field

So normally when people leave the mtc they are allowed to call their family in the airport for cinco minutos so i asked about that for tomorrow since i dont go to the airport and unfortunately i dont get that priviledge. lo siento. but i was allowed to email you today to let you know that i leave the mtc manana. I will email you on my pday with me new address in salt lake. I got the elder's letters yesterday..thanks for that. Also thats awesome that sister read sent me a letter. i have no idea how she got my address but she was the sister missionary that was teaching me at the mtc when i got my answer that i needed to go on a mission. love the way the lord works! anyway im sooooooooo beyond excited to get out into the field. I ready to teach and find and serve and bring people closer to christ. Love this gospel. Its verdad. Love the work. Missionary work is the best thing you could do. (also any time you have the missionaries over for dinner, be sure to give them some references of people to teach...help the work :) ) Love you all.

Week 3 at the MTC

P-day was today (saturday) this week because we had in field training all day yesterday...13 hours... yeah it was long. I head out on wednesday morning at 6am. Hopefully i survive the long journey there haha So this past week...not very eventful just teaching and preping to head out. Hermana Bram and I taught the best lesson we've taught at the MTC. Our teacher even started crying, he said it was good and the spirit was super strong. Also i got a blessing from my branch president this week and it was seriously like a second patriarical blessing. He typed it up and gave it to me so i could look over it over and over again. He is soooo great, everything that comes out of his mouth is amazing. i bet he's one of the three nephites. amazing! We did a lot of role playing in class this week and something interesting that one of my teachers said was that of all the churches out there there is by far more antimormon stuff out there then anti-any-other church and thats totally because satan knows that this is the true church. he doesnt even waste his time with the other churches cause he knows that they arent true. That was something cool that i realized this week and thought id share with you. cool, huh? also i dont think ill ever read the scriptures in english again haha, they are so much prettier in espanol :) this week im really loving Alma 18..ammon=power missionary!! also eter 12 loove, and lastly 2 nefi 2...such a great chapter. Oh tash/man, just a warning i was showing my district pics of my familia and you may or may not be receiving some letters haha...just a heads up. Thanks for all of the letters i got this week. sorry that sometimes i dont have enough time to respond to them all because i only can write on pdays. dont worry paolo you have one coming your way this week. i put a disney stamp on it just for you. dad, dearelder still works on my mission but its not free once im out in the field. ill have to pay every time to receive it so id rather get hand-written letters so i dont have to pay for them. glad you had fun with the missionaries. mom as far as the backpack things goes i dont really know whats going on so ill ask my mission president when i meet him on wednesday. I cant believe my time here is almost over. But im really excited to get out into the field. One, im super sick of the food haha so im looking forward to real food later on. also all i ever want to do is teach so im really excited to get to go out and find and teach real people. well i think thats about all for now. im doing laundry now and then ill head to the temple later this afternoon. Hope everything is going well, i love you all and miss you! Hermana Adorable SIDE ANECDOTE: Rinna was having issues with elders flirting with her at the MTC. One elder was particularly flirty so Rinna told him, "Hey Elder I bet Heavenly Father is so proud of you for staying so focused on your mission." That elder simply walked away. Oh snap! Way to put him in his place Rinna! :)

Week 2 at the MTC

Hey everyone! So Sundays are the best here at the MTC. Since im the coordinating sister i had a lot of meetings that i had to go to but when i wasnt in a meeting it was really nice to just enjoy the day. We had a modesty fireside (again) and then they mentioned something about sister missionaries not being allowed to carry backpacks anymore? i dont know, that was the first id heard about that. im just going to wait til i get to salt lake and talk to my mission president about that. Soooo in one of my meetings on Sunday i met this Australian sister who is going where? MANILA!! sooo i got her email and told her id give her a list of references when she gets there (aka our familia) soo mom if you could get a list together of addresses and telephone numbers of auntie paula, uncle paul, uncle bits, your friends from high school, college, their friends, etc... basically as many people as you can write down, ill email it to her and she will get to work :)) we also got to go on a temple walk for an hour, even though its just across the street, its so nice to get out of the MTC every once in a while. Monday, Hermana Aguilar left...so sad. I taught my first TRC lesson, it went pretty well. Im pretty used to teaching now so i dont really get nervous anymore. I got sick on Monday night... learning that the MTC food isnt all that healthy for you. Ive learned to avoid the chicken and the orange juice and everything else is ok. Tuesday, I had to say goodbye to Hermana Morales, my roommate. She was like my mom here so that was really really hard for me. I cried a lot. i have no idea how im going to deal with transfers. I get wayy too attached to the people that im serving with already. We had a devotional that night by Elder Zwick and his wife from the seventy. it was on the book of mormon and it was amazing!! Also got 5 letters that day so taht was well-timed. I needed that little pick me up. Wednesday, Hermana Collazos and Rojas left today. Although im excited, saying goodbye to 4 sisters in a row this week has been tough. Wednesday was hard because i could really feel satan working on me. President Tyler, my branch president gave us a little devotional about feeling the spirit and that really helped. He said that even when you are under the influence of satan that if you feel the strong desire to do good that you are still in the company of the holy ghost, that made me feel way better. The next day i got a blessing from our zone leaders and it was probably one of the best blessings ive ever had. The power of the priesthood is amazing! that was the best day id had at the MTC thus far. but back to wednesday, we got 7 new sisters in our zone, the most out of any of the other zones at the MTC. One of the girls is going to Dallas, TX!!!! Three of the new sisters are in my room. Sister Alcantar from mexico is so sweet, i love her already. Sister Nelson is from Utah and has a super sarcastic and strong personality so im having a ton of issues with her but im trying hard to serve her as much as possible so i can learn to love her and lead her. Sister Monjares is really quiet but sweet too and i hope to get to know her better. Today!! I got to go to the temple, finally!! the new missionaries dont get to go the first weekend they are here. It was a great way to start off the day. We had to get up at 5:50 to get there but it was worth it. After we finished the session, i was in the womens dressing room and ran into my friend Brittany Ogletree Clark and her mom!! it was so goooood to see them. After that we ate breakfast in the temple....delicious!!! the cafeteria food here is gross. I got a letter from my mission president who said they had 42 baptisms this past week making it a total of 135 for the month. i thought that was pretty good but he said its the lowest theyve had since theyve been mission presidents so we in the MTC need to study harder and help them pick up the pace. Alsooo i got my travel plans yesterday and i leave the MTC on June 13 at 6am. we drive everyone to the airport and then we drive to our mission haha. So excited! also one of my friends elder hunt got his mission call reassigned and he is heading out to the best state in the US, TEJAS :)) Spanish is coming great, i almost cant remember englsih. my companion is amazing!! im learning so much from her . Her dad was the mission president in colombia and is now the first counselor in the mission presidency in panama. She got to go to the salt lake temple today cause she is international. She keeps mentioning that she really wants a skirt like i have and they sell some here so i think im gonna get her one soon :) I LOVE HER. she is such a good example and inspiration for me. I wish i had more time but we only get 30 minutes. I love yall. This church is true. the gospel is amazing. the book of mormon is absolutely 100% true and inspired. Every single word in that book is powerful. Bearing your testimony and developing it has been the most useful thing for me as i have been teaching and that with the spirit can be one of the most powerful tools we have as missionaries. I love yall and will talk to you next week. thus far ive had about 250 comments about my last name haha. i think im gonna stop counting now. LOVE YOU!! :))

Off to the MTC

Rinna flew to Utah on May 22nd and reported to the MTC on May 23rd. Because Rinna did well during her Spanish evaluation interview, she only stayed there for three weeks! Yay! She is so excited to teach and share the gospel with others! Im not going to lie the first day at the MTC was super rough. I had no idea what i was doing and everything was so new to me. Ive heard people say that the MTC is a different world and I never really understood that until i got here. After mom dropped me off they started pilling things in my arms and pointing out different buildings that looked exactly the same. That was a bit overwhelming but then after, we went into a big room and all of the new missionaries that had arrived that day were there. We sang some hymns and they gave us a miniorientation. After we went straight into workshops and started teaching right then! Definitely wasnt expecting to be teaching so soon but its a good learning experience. My companera (companion) never showed up so they labeled me as a "Solo" sister meaning that i have to go around with two elders from my district or find another sister. Thursday we got up and went to breakfast and then went to a workshop. Then we had personal study and then additional study time for an hour. I love that i get at least 2 or 3 hours to just read the scriptures and study.Then i went to the gym with my companeras de cuarto (roommates) Hermana Aguilar and Hermana Schoemaker. My other two roommates are Hermana Collazos from spain and Hermana Morales from Mexico. They are so nice and welcoming. I will miss them a lot when they head out next week. Later that night the zone leaders came in and met with us. They are pretty cool and they just oriented us a little bit more about what to expect while we are here. Also we got our new district leader, Elder Stone. All of the guys in my district are like family to me. Im the only girl but they watch out for me. Also tonight i was called as Coordinating Sisiter. Still not exactly sure what that will mean for me but i hear im going to be very busy and that i welcome the new sisters that come in every wednesday. Friday, we got up and had breakfast and then headed to class in our classrooms. Also forgot to mention that classes last for 3 hours. That was definitely hard to get used to and my night classes are even harder to get through since its late at night but i love my teachers Brother Miller and Brother Lee. They both served in Colombia and are very helpful. We learned about the parallels of the Doctrine of Christ with our missionary purpose. After that we had lunch. After that i went to the gym with a girl that was in my ward at BYU, shes going to California speaking spanish but she is here for 9 weeks. After taht we went to class for additional study and then we went to dinner. Dinner is super early here. We eat at 4:15 but somehow im never really hungry after that. After that we went to class and i taught my first investigator. That was so fun and made me so excited to go out and teach! Halfway through class, the computer started singing called to serve and there was a message that i needed to call the front desk, so i did. Annnd mi companera habia llegado!!!!! my companion came! Her name is Hermana Bram and she is from Panama which means my spanish should improve tremendously. Her visa came late so thats why she was late to the MTC. She is so cute and i am excited to be serving with her. Today, well normally my Pday would be on a Friday but its different this week. I only get a half Pday today and then class for three hours and then dinner and then class for another 3 hours. I dont think ive ever studied this hard ever in my entire life but its good and i love it! I also have never been more exhausted in my entire life, trek included! This is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting but its worth it! One good thing that my roommate told me that was encouraging was that outside of the MTC satan has all sorts of ways to distract and get to you (TV, movies, boy and girls, friends, etc....) but in the MTC he only has your thoughts and your dreams. So any time we get down on ourselves or compare ourselves to other, we just need to kick that though away. A lot of the sisters have had crazy dreams while theyve been here and i just had one the other night so its definitely true that satan is targeting us but the good news is that he's never gonna win. The gospels true. I love this work! Love you guys! (also sidenote that if you dearelder me while im at the MTC then they print out the letters everyday for free and i can get your letters faster. :) ) Hope everything is going well.

Opening the Mission Call

Here is Rinna opening her mission call! http://vimeo.com/45001221