Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Howdy from Houston (email from Oct. 29, 2012)

Hi Hi everyone.

I hope you all had a fantastic week!  :) I know that I did. Every day just gets better and better. As HK would say "its like this Church is true or something" :) I miss that girl...not going to lie. But its okay! 

A few randoms to start this little letter of mine.

- Brad Wilcox is speaking on the 17th of Nov. at a Chapel about 30ish minutes from my area. They announced it in our Stake Conference and I was like Hey!! I know him! :) I think i might try to convince my mission president to let us go with an investigator! just kidding. its out of my area so we can't but still its kinda cool.

- Can you send me the recipe for banana bread and muffins? We have rotten muffins we need to get rid of. Thanks~ you are the best in the west.

- If you haven't sent my package...you want to send me some of our really good jam? Like....3 bottles? :) I have been bragging about it and smuckers isn't cutting it for me. If not its totally fine. Like really don't worry about it. I will be completely fine and happy! :) Honest T. 

- The CHI straightener store is in my area in Houston. Its like this HUGE warehouse. I just thought that was interesting. And...a man owns it. hmmmm do you think he straightens his hair too?

Okay soooo news of the week. Shall I start with good, Better, or BEST? I will start with good. 

Good: I loved stake conference. 1st cause it was in English! Booyah. I actually understood. It was really fantastic. They talked a lot about family life. To make family prayers, scriptures study and dinner times consistent. They aren't going to be perfect, there might be fighting but consistently trying is what counts. As well as going to the temple. I know it is so easy to get caught up in the so called "important things" of life but make sure you are really focusing and remembering what is really important and what our Father in Heaven has Commanded us to do. It isn't a suggestion. They are commandments and when we keep His commandments we are blessed. I know this and am learning this more and more as I obey on my mission. It is even in the little things. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. I know you are all trying so keep up the great work. It was just a good reminder to me that even when I come home I still need to set apart that time to do the things that are MOST important and CRUCIAL for my salvation and for keeping satan and our little devils (that tempt us) away. We need to be untouchable...you ask how...but doing the small things every day. I really enjoyed that meeting to say the least. It reminded me of our stake conferences and how the church is the same all over the world. 

Better: Cindy

So we had a lesson with Cindy - It was very amazing to say the least. She is an incredible woman! We asked her about her relationship with God/Religion and she told us that she didn't have one because she had been mad at God since she was 16. I think she is in her 50s. She told us how she never gave up but that her life has been really hard. She has a really good outlook on life. We taught her the plan of salvation and she said...for once this seems normal and it seems right. She told us how a lot of things in churches just didn't fit smoothly with her but that this sounded exactly right. When we told her about the spirit world with paradise and prison she kinda freaked. She told us about this dream she had with a lady in prison and she said I have been waiting for you cindy for 200 years to free me. We talked to her about the temple and about the work that she can do there. The spirit was there really strong. She said she would come to church but wasn't able to make it. We had something strange happen with her boyfriend yesterday but we will see cindy again soon. She is a very awesome woman. I am excited to see where the Lord takes us with her! 

Best: La Familia Faz/Santillan y Hermano Juan Solano

As you can see from my pictures Juan Solano was baptized on Saturday! He is an amazing man. I love that guy. He has been through so much this week with his wife and family. She didn't end up coming to the baptism and it was really hard on him but he told me I am here to stay with or without her. I am here to stay because this is Christ's Church and it is the right church. He is such a strong man. His testimony is amazing. Every time I talk to him I am just taught so much and blown away by his testimony. Juan was baptized on Saturday. It was a very special experience. I was able to play the prelude music at the begining and it was just nice to be able to sit and play the piano. I was playing primary songs and the spirit was so quiet and strong. Juan loves that I can play the piano he always makes comments about how he thinks it is amazing. It was a blessing and I felt i was also able to serve by playing. The talks were really good and after he told me Hermana Reefy. (thats how it sounds) I feel like I am floating. I am a different man and I have a different life. This is the start of my brand new life. It was really cool. I am so excited for him to receive the holy ghost next week. I wish you all could have been there and meet him and hear his amazing testimony. He will be a great leader in our church.

The second best highlight of the week was our lessons with La familia Santillan and Faz

Jose and Lorena are the parents. Alejandro 14, Randell 10 (who reminds me of my little tanny man sooo much and it makes me love and miss him so much:), Abby 9, Rodrigo 7 (who is adorable and so shy but loves coming to sit by me) and Little Camillia who is 4. They are a special family. We have taught them 3 lessons. Last night was very special because we taught them all how to pray and all of them prayed. The parents have never prayed until we came along. All of the Kids said prayers and it was very sweet. We all knelt and helped them learn how. It is definitely an experience that I will never forget. Randell is so ready and special. He has read 17 chapters in the little kid Book of Mormon. He takes notes and he told us how his favorite story is when Nefi kills Laban and gets the brass plates. Randell, Abby, Rodrigo and Camilia came to church yesterday. Randell was all dressed in a vest and dress pants. He had his little book of mormon and told us how much he loved church. He soaks it all in. His mom told us last week that he was crying when they weren't able to go so they were so excited they could go this week. Their mom wasn't able to make it and neither was Alejandro but they are so behaved. They came with our Bishops familiy. (Whom is also such an amazing family) I love Obishpo and Gloria Escobar and their little daughters Rebecca and Sophie and their 16 yr old Kevin. I am getting to interact with such strong people and examples. It is awesome. We are having a family night with their family and the escobars tonight. It should be great. 

The moments I have had teaching people about Christ here are moments that I will never forget. They are so sacred and special to me. This is the best work one could ever do. I know i have said it before but this is the best decision I have ever made in my whole life until now and I am sure that will stay true that it is one of the best I will ever make. Do missionary work. Help Bring others to Christ by your example and Love. Teach them the true and happy way of life.

A quote from stake conference yesterday 

"Living the Gospel and Keeping the Commandments isn't the hard part. It is when we fall short of living up to what Heavenly Father has asked us to be and Repenting and changing that makes it hard." So live the gospel and you will find true and ever lasting joy. Find the little things that you can become better at. Look at the things you are reading, watching and listening too...could they be better? Then find the better. We are blessed with so much wickedness as well as goodness so find the goodness and don't settle for less.

I love you all so much. your pumpkins look so fantastic! I love the one of Texas!! It made me feel so special. I am truly blessed to have you as my family. I pray for you all every night and think of you often. Know that I love you and to keep smiling.

All of my Love! Your Texan Hermana

Juan Solano was baptized on Saturday!

Sisters Rife, Rivera & Busenbark with Juan Solano  at his baptism