Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hello all!

So it has been an amazing week. But, I am getting transferred! Hermana Day is staying and training. It looks like I am going to Denver! So it should be good. I think (because I am the only one who is getting transferred out of the Hermanas and two are going home) that I will be with Hermana Coughlen, or Hermana Coffee because people can't say her name. We shall see though tomorrow. I am so sad to be leaving I won't even lie. I cried.

We just got back from hiking and it is so windy.
I am attaching some lovely photos! We hiked near the monuments with another set of sisters and a member. It was a lot of fun.

I have to tell you about all of the miracles we have seen...especially in the past three days!

We have been teaching this family since my first week here, the Fraustos. They are a lot of them. Last week we met with two of the daughters and read the Book of Mormon with them. They really enjoyed it! At the end of the lesson, I asked them if they would be baptized when they knew it was true (in broken spanish) and they said yes! It was wonderful. Then on Saturday we met with pretty much the whole family. We sang a song at the beginning and the spirit was there so strong. The youngest girl, 13, had a dream about the church. She saw a church with lots of kids and heard a voice that said that it was true. The mom also knew that the Book of Mormon was true and that the church had to be true because of the way that we dress. Both of us understood why we dressed the way we did to represent Jesus Christ. She recognized us by the way that we looked and also the spirit that we had. Yesterday at church they were supposed to come. I prayed so hard that they would be there. I just had a good feeling that they would come. The sacrament was passed and they still weren't there. The first talk began and they still weren't there. Finally we gave them a call again and we looked out the window and there were 10 people. We had a total of 13 investigators at church.

Also Sonia is getting baptized this Saturday. I am so sad that will not be here. The greenie gets a baptism her first week :)

I have been reading in the Book of Mormon a lot this week. (My computer just got restarted randomly - I love that gmail saves it!) I am near the end of the Book of Mormon. I have been reading alot about the prophecies about the lamanites. Yesterday night we were meeting with Irineo, who is actually Myan. He is a recent convert. But I realized while we were meeting with him that we were part of the prophecy of the Book of Mormon being fulfilled. He speaks 3 different dialects of Myan, Spanish and is learning English. He is an amazing example. Hermana Day also spoke of how he would be a great instrument in bringing many of his people to the truth. I never thought that I would be part of something like this.
I am really sad to be leaving the great people here. They really have changed my heart. Every time that I told someone that I am leaving they said why lol - most missionaries stay along time in the branch. I really hope that I get to come back here.

I am not going to have any time to write today because of packing and saying good bye and hiking (that we already did). So I apologize! I am excited to be able to see Denver and Hermana Thomas. I love all of you - please send your mail to the mission home. They forward it really fast!

I love all of you and can't wait to tell you more!

Enjoy the pictures (that makes up for mail right?)

Hermana Spencer

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The last week of my first transfer!

Dear Familia y Amigos,

Como estan? I hope all is well where ever you are! We are really busy out here in Colorado. We had a very good week. Nothing super significant happened, but it has been good.

So some information about the Branch! I love the branch. I was looking around yesterday and realized that I pretty much had met with everyone this last week or we have an appointment  with them this week! So I love it. I particularly love a new family we have, la familia Quijano! Hermana Quijano is so amazing. She is going to change our ward. She went out with us this week and she just is such a great example to me. She always goes and talks to people. She is always smiling. So many of our investigators, less actives, and members feel more welcomed because of her. She always talks to as many people as she can. It is evident that she is the kind of person the Lord can use. I love her and I can't wait to see how the branch changes because of her.

Ohh I almost forgot.....you all will be so proud of me! I translated most of Relief Society yesterday! It was a miracle. So the stake RS presidency came yesterday. Since they couldn't speak any Spanish, our RS president asked me to translate for them. And I think I did OK. They didn't get all the details, but they got the jist of what the lesson was on. I am grateful that the Lord helped me with all of that. I have really been struggling with Spanish lately. There have been so many times when I wanted to help people and I just couldn't because I didn't have the words. I know that it continues to get better, but sometimes I just want to give up because it never seems like I will be able to understand and communicate my personality and my thoughts. I know that these are lies....duh. Some people are starting to notice more, how little I understand at times :( But it does get better every day! So yes a miracle occurred in the Grand Junction Mt. Garfield Branch Relief Society!

So we are reading the Book of Mormon as a mission. I am in 3rd Nephi right now. I am so amazed at how simple the gospel is. I read Ch 11 this morning when Christ is talking about baptism and also His doctrine. I was so amazed by the love that our Father showed and also the love that Christ showed to the people. I am just falling in love more and more with the Book of Mormon.

So Grand Junction is having amazing weather. I didn't wear tights for the first time yesterday! It was so amazing. I felt so free! So its time to put away my winter clothing. I am just fine with that. Next week we are planning on going hiking. That should be alot of fun! Yay! Also transfers are coming up. We get the calls on Wednesday about training and then Saturday for everyone else. So we will see if I am going to staying and who my companion will be. I really hope that I get to stay. I really love the people here and really think that I can help the Branch become better and stronger. So next Monday I will let all of you know.

So other news! I am amazed at how all people are the same. We all have our difficulties and we all have something to contribute to the world. Our RS president amazes me. She is poor. She has 6 kids. One is a brand new baby and the oldest is 13. Her husband is the EQ president as well and they just work. I can tell that they love the Lord and they want to work hard. The other day we stoped by her house to talk about an idea we had. She was cleaning her house and just talked to us normally. As the conversation went on she talked about she was feeling inadequate with everything. We had just had a RS activity the night before and it was great. She said she wishes that she was more spiritual like so and so. I was thinking at this time - my how wonderful you are. I was so very grateful for this opportunity to talk about how to strengthen herself and how she was a wonderful person and a spiritual person. I was struggling with the same things at that moment. With my calling as a missionary, Spanish and just feeling inadequate. And I was reminded by my words and by the words of my companion, that Satan really trys to make us not feel our worth and how wonderful we are. I know that we all feel this way sometimes. I was so surprised to hear this wonderful sister say these things and also so grateful that I was able to help. I am so glad that we went over to talk to her. Many times I wonder if we as missionaries really do anything and this week I just knew that we did. That we were making a difference.

So the Elders. We are working on improving our relationship with them. Most of the Elders here really don't like talking to us and I have no idea why. They act like they are scared of us.

So things are going good on this side of the mountains. I even have been teaching people to sing primary songs. If we stay here, we are singing at another baptism! Who would have ever thought people would think I could sing well. I think that the Lord really does help us to sound better!

Well all I love you and I wish I had a good funny story! I will try to remember them more! I can't wait to hear from all of you - especially those who have never written me!

Muchos Gracias for all the mail!

Your Favorite Hermana

P.S. I keep thinking that everyone is just going to be married with 5 children when I get back. Weird. I know.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Raking and Sonic

Hello All!

I am glad again to be writing you. I really do look forward to it, because it helps me feel like a normal person. Which at times I don't want to be and others I miss it.

So this week has been very interesting. We have been busy. We are seeing small miracles here. One is people are giving us referals. We are going to start teaching a family from Mexico that speaks spanish and an Indian language that cannot read and write and lives like an hour away. So I am excited about that one! Also yesterday our RS president told everyone how the missionaries have changed her life. She spoke of how she felt the spirit when they first came to her house. She then told everyone to make a list with 5 people and start praying about who is ready for the gospel. That was awesome! Most of the branch are converts and some of them are so amazing.

So some stories. So we go visit this less active family every week....I still haven't met them. They are both returned missionaries. Since they never open the door we noticed that they needed some raking done. So this Saturday we spent a long time raking their yard in our skirts. I really didn't think that there were that many leaves, but it turned out their were. We ended up filling 30 trash bags with leaves and one with sticks. Another blessing, the Elders walked by and they helped us finish up. The yard looks alot nicer and I hope they appreciate it. It was one of the happiest days here in the mission.

On Saturday as well we went to sonic, because it is free and we didn't have dinner. We met a man and it was his first time to ever go to sonic. So we helped him use the machine to order. Afterwards we started talking to him (yep we are missionaries). It broke my heart. His heart was so hard. There are so many people in the world who use reason and science to explain everything. They cannot see past the bad in the world. My heart actually broke.

Another great story. We went by a less active members house the other day and one of our investigators just happened to be there. Her family hasn't been progressing that much. This young girl got a lip ring. We started talking about how our bodies are temples and this led to talking about temples. And eventually to her saying that she has felt the spirit when we have talked to her. Well she wants to get baptized. This is another evidence that as missionaries we don't do anything - I mean I can barely speak some days. The spirit really does it all. But I can tell you that as a missionary, the Lord really does bless us. People can tell that there we are different.

Another good one. We went to visit this less active member. We were talking to her son and his friend for a long time. During this time we were standing on the porch. I could tell that there was something that was making them laugh. It took me a second to figure out what it was.....the Hermana was driving around ..... avoiding us. This made me laught so hard. Because I saw it early on but was not sure that this was her car. Ohh my! It was so hilarious and we were out there for like 15 minutes :) So family - I feel bad for anytime that we didn't open the door/ avoid "church people" when we were inactive! Right after this - there had been two tiny dogs following us around - these two dogs got in our car lol.

Food. I love the food here, but at times it does not like me. At dinners I really try to finish my plate, sometimes this seems like an impossible task. The other day we were eating Pasolie (I have no idea how to spell it), but she gave us this huge bowl. I had no idea how to finish it. I got close. So when I get back I might have to get a personal trainer lol!

We are teaching alot. I can definately tell that my mission is going to change the way I look at alot of things. It alread has. I love these people. I love the small things that I see them do. I love seeing the gospel make a difference in their lives. One less active member, Hermana Infante, is sick. She works all the time and takes care of her family. She was talking about all the things she was worried about. We taught her about the blessing of paying tithing. She realized she needs these blessing. It was so wonderful. I love it when we can teach principles that will change their lives.

I love all of you and appreaciate every word that I get from you. Please continue to send mail. I love mail more than I love eating....if that tells you anything. I appreciate all that you do at home and love hearing all of your stories. I know that Heavenly Father loves all of you and that the gospel is very true.

Next week I will attach some pictures! Be excited!

I love you all,
Hermana Spencer

P.S. I haven't started driving yet....I'm a little bit glad, but I think it is going to happen this week. By the way transfers are coming up and who knows what is going to happen. We have 1 new spanish sister coming. 2 going home. 1 sister that has been out one transfer longer than me. Hermana Thomas and I. Hermana Day and her MTC companion (10 months). That is it! Awwwwwww!