I've officially been in the mission field one month! Can you guys believe it? I sure can't! And my first transfer ends after next week! There are 6 weeks in a transfer. The weather this week was beautiful and made knocking more enjoyable. So during studies this week I found my favorite chapter in the BOM. Woop Woop! It's 3 Nephi 17 especially verses 3-10, So I encourage you guys to check it out. The Sisters conference earlier in the week was so wonderful and uplifting! Sis Mendenhall was definitely inspired to give that. We talked about our worth as women and the treasures inside you. We discussed the pearls in our life and the things that matter most to us. After the conf. we had a lunch in the gym and they catered sandwiches (delish American food which I rarely eat haha) and it was so fun to see all of the Sisters in our mission! I sat with all of the hermana's Spanish speaker missionaries and by sis Tchan. Wednesday we woke up at 4 am and went carpooled to the Denver Temple. It is so beautiful and also quite small. It was so hard to stay awake I have to admit during the movie. When we got to the celestial room it was so beautiful and I said a prayer full of gratitude for several things. So that was a wonderful experience and I get to go back 17 more times!(:
After the temple trips we get to go to desert book for 15 so we looked around and there are so many fun things in that store! Didn't buy anything though b/c I'm a broke missionary ha ha but it was so fun to look and talk to all of the missionaries in our mission. Thursday we had a zone meeting and it was incredible. It was an answer to my prayers and my companion's as well. We discussed several things like how to plan more effectively at night (which is SO hard when you just want to go to sleep), effective ways to find (in other words tracting), and my favorite topic was how to understand the spirit. I had been struggling with thinking every day I had to have this massive spiritual experience in every lesson and I started losing faith in my lessons as far as thinking I was teaching by the spirit. Our zone leader said that we as missionaries feel the spirit and are in tune with it every day so we don't always have to have these huge spiritual trains hit us and knock us over to know we are feeling the spirit. Something that one of the elders said that completely answered my prayers was this: to feel the spirit means having peace in your heart, that is one of the ways the HG communicates to you. I don't think I've thought of how the HG works like that as much as I pondered it this past Thursday.
Well this zone meeting and our discussion on how the HG works gave me hope and that night I decided to take a leap of faith and do something that I've been scared to do for a long time. I decided to pray about the Book of Mormon and truly find out for myself if it is true. I don't know what I have been previously thinking all along but for some reason I've had the idea in my head that you have to read the entire book first before you pray to get an answer to know if it's true. Well after pondering this for several weeks and being too tired every night to do anything about it I had it Thursday night. I was tired of when we'd be in a lesson and my comp would talk about her experience in praying about the BOM and receiving an answer and I just sat there because I hadn't prayed about it yet. I will just be honest and tell you guys that I was scared to pray and find out. I was scared of the answer I'd get because I've always heard these stories about how after people pray they are completely taken back and have this massive life changing experience when they pray about it. I'll admit that I was scared to see what would happen and I lacked enough faith all of this time to ask. Well Thursday night after my comp got into bed I went into our bathroom, kneeled on my prayer pillow, and read the introduction page to the Book of Mormon. I felt a sensation of peace like a wave go through my body and I got the chills as I read it. Then I read Moroni 10:3-5 and said a prayer and asked to know for myself if it is true. I didn't get a massive life changing spiritual train hit me in the face, and no my heart didn't burn. But I felt at peace that the book is true.
I reflected as I laid in bed that night about our zone meeting and how one way the Holy Ghost confirms truth to us is through peaceful feelings in our hearts. And well I felt at peace so I accepted my answer that it is true. I have always believed that it is and have never doubted it, but I wanted to have an answer for myself and some way to make my testimony stronger when I bare it about the Book of Mormon. I'm thankful I prayed about this on Thursday because the next day in a lesson with a less active we watched the joseph smith restoration video. I asked Karen if she has prayed about the BOM and she said no, so I bore my testimony and shared my experience with her. I'm sure my companion was sitting there like, "wait where was I when you did this?" lol I invited her to pray and get an answer for herself. When my comp asked her how her prayers were going I told Karen about my prayer pillow and that my mom made it for me(: Before we left she told us how excited she gets every time before we come over and how strongly she feels the spirit every time... that made my day!
So during the Sisters conf. we learned that when the 2 reps from Salt Lake came to our mission last week they told us that we are now a biking mission- they took 21 cars away. So now only Spanish missionaries have a car, all English missionaries are on bikes. If at some point I get called English speaking then I will be on a bike-fun fact.
So since it's the end of the month and my comp and I don't want to go over miles we have been doing a lot of finding (tracting). This past Saturday we went finding and knocked on this door and a black woman came to the door. She invited us in and we shared the restoration 1st lesson with her (this was in English btw). When we got to reciting Joseph Smith's vision my comp got about half way through it and this lady's brother looks at us like were crazy and then stands up and walks out. Right at that moment my heart sank and I felt like crying. The lady started laughing and said "oh I'm sorry you can continue". After my comp finished reciting the vision she asked the lady if she thought it was possible for this to occur and the lady said no. Well after that the spirit was gone, and I could tell that the lady thought we were crazy. After we walked out I was silent. My comp asked if I was okay and I was so mad. I said, "how could someone just get up and walk out and laugh at that?" I was super upset at first then when we got in the car and drove back to our next appointment I started tearing up. I was completely taken back by this and couldn't believe how RUDE these people were. I started thinking about how when Christ was teaching, some people didn't agree with his teachings and he was mocked, and laughed at as well. After seriously thinking about what had just happened I thought to myself how hard this mission is going to be when things like that occur. It really hurt and I took offense to what had happened. My comp and I talked it out and she said that it's happened to her before and it also happened to Christ. What matters most is how well you pick yourself up and move on. I agreed and felt a little better.
I have had so many great experience so far and that was the first one that really tried my faith and testes my testimony so when I had to share my beliefs with the woman I really had to think, "wait what do I stand for". This is definitely the hard part of a mission. But at least I got my first bad tracting experience over with.
Moving on... So every Friday at 3 we got to the library to do fam history. It was the first time for me going on family search and figuring out how to use it, and it's pretty confusing! I added Natasha and Truman to our family history tree because I saw that they weren't added. Any ideas/suggestions on what I can do during the time I have to work on FH?
Yesterday was an interesting day, they great part about church were that we had 3 less active families attend church which made me SO happy! I also realized that even though I still don't 100% understand everything the speakers are saying during church I'm understanding more than I was a month ago so that's positive. After church I asked to have an interview with the mission pres during the Sisters conf so yesterday after church I had my orientation interview. Since that didn't happen because of this crazy transfer. I talked with my mission pres and his wife for a good half hour. They asked me about my family and where I fit in. I told him that we are a really close family(: He also asked about my experience when I opened my call, so I told him I was completely surprised about my call to the CCM and to CO. He wanted to know my reason for wanting to serve a mission, so I told him that after my 9 surgeries and trials I want to find happiness and joy for myself and share that joy with others since I know that joy is found through the gospel. Yesterday I was wearing my necklace that says "I can do hard things" and he pointed at it and asked if that was from my surgeries. After I told him about my reason he said to his wife, "how did we get so lucky to have you three missionaries in our mission?" (Referring to elder Goodman, MHN Tchan and myself). I absolutely LOVE my mission pres and his sweet wife, they are both totally relatable, down to earth, supportive and so loving! They asked if I'd need anything for my hips and I told them that dad said I might have to buy a mattress topper for my hips if they start to hurt. He said not to worry about that and that they would take care of one for me if I need one. So that was great!
The last thing I want to mention in my letter for this week is about our lesson yesterday after our interviews. We stopped by the familia Villegas and met with the dad, (the mom is a less active and she's the reason her husband got baptized). We talked for a while because we haven't seen him since my 1st week in the mish. I had the impression to share the Gracias a El video (because of him) and then talk about the verses in proverbs that discuss pondering thy path of thy feet and where you’re going in life. I asked him what he wants for his life in a spiritual sense and for his family. He told us that he never thought about getting sealed to his family in the temple (guess what our next lesson will be on btw) and then I extended the commitment. I thought about dad and how he had a whole plan for our family in that binder, for himself and each of us kids. I asked him to write out a plan for himself and for his family, where he wants to be and what he wants to accomplish in this life. He agreed and I was so happy!
Before we left I had the thought to sing a hymn- Jesus es mi luz in Spanish our course. So my comp and I popped out our little Spanish hymn books and sung that song for him. I wanted to leave him feeling the spirit so strongly before we left. Well my plan worked and we all felt the spirit! I could tell that he was deeply internalizing all of the things we discussed in our lesson.
So yesterday was great! Well that's about all for this week, a lot happened and we also found 4 new investigators! I now know how to effectively do door approaches in Spanish and in English- at first it was awk for me. Life is going great here is CO and the work presses on! Thank you guys for all of your support.