Monday, November 25, 2013

It's a Christmas Miracle!!!

November 25, 2013

Mi familia y amigos!!!! Como estas?

This week has been amazing! Are you ready for a great letter? I need to make up for last week. Fasten your seatbelts... and here we go! 
I'm going to go by day as much as possible. Sorry if it's a little bit bumpy! That's why you're wearing a seatbelt, right?

Let me tell you about our investigator, “D”. “D” is in his late 30's and goes to seminary. Yep, that's right. He goes to seminary. So we've been going there a few times during the week to teach him. I extended my first baptismal commitment to him... and he excepted!

We we're able to help one of our recent converts (my only baptism) this week with some service. She and her husband feed hundreds of needy people during the holidays, so we wrapped silverware one day and then helped serve food. It was rewarding and hopefully helped her family warm up to us a little bit more (they aren't members... yet). She's 81, and reminds me a lot of Grandma. I love being around her!

On the front of missionary work, this week has been full of miracles! We got 3 new investigators in ONE day! Our area has changed entirely in one week. How? Well, mostly due to a newly returned missionary. He's setting us up with tons of people to teach and is helping us with some of our other investigators. We've seen him about everyday this week. He's a heaven sent! But look for him next year on the BYU football field; he's a linebacker for the team. But let me tell you about one of his friends that we are teaching: “B”!

“B” is a student. He's been feeling a need to become baptized and we had a great lesson with him talking about the Atonement. The Spirit was so strong, and he agreed to be baptized if he comes to know that the church is true. And he wants his close friends to join us on his journey! Talk about a great investigator. 

Also, we got another new investigator this week: “M”! She was a referral and is a teenager. She wants to be a member of the church SO badly! She grew up attending, but was never baptized. So she has a baptismal date for the 7th of December! We're stoked to have her. And her friend that we taught also! We're meeting with them on Tuesday. Miracles!

And another huge miracle. “A”! I found her (through a member referral, her best friend left for a mission the week I got here) and have been with her this entire time. We we're hitting the point where we knew we needed to ask her about baptism. And we were terrified. Not only is she our investigator, but our friend also. We didn't know what to expect. But when we extended the invitation to be baptized, she accepted! It was one of the most beautiful lessons I have ever been in. The Spirit was SO strong, and I could feel God's love for her so strongly. She's afraid that her parents won't support her in her decision, so we fasted for her. Yesterday, she talked to her Mom and her Mom agreed for her to be baptized! We were so happy!!! She now has to talk to her Dad, but otherwise she is super excited for this change in her life!

Some cool things about the Spanish culture: since it's holiday season, that also means it's tamale season!!! I'm super stoked. I love tamales. SO much. And when Hispanic women talk to you, they rub your hands. It's different, but I like it a lot. Also, there's this cute little Hispanic lady in our ward that speaks English really well, and she calls me her hija! She brings food for us each week and adores me. I love it! 

One thing that I'm really thankful for this week is repentance. I'm so grateful for the opportunity we have to be forgiven for the mistakes we make. It helps us become better people, and I love it. What an amazing thing that we have a Heavenly Father who loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ here to bear all of our sin and heartache. Jesus Christ always understands how we feel. My favorite scripture of this is Alma 7:11-13. 

Speaking of being thankful, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! I'm going to 3 dinners that day: a Hispanic one, and 2 English ones. I'm stoked. We'll be eating all day! So don't worry, I'm taken well care of here in 2nd ward. Pray that I'll be here for one more transfer!

I love you all! I hope everyone is enjoying the cold weather and the holidays. I'm still wearing t-shirts, so it still feels like September to me. It's the strangest weather I've ever seen.

Well, I must go. Enjoy this week! I really love you all. Enjoy Thanksgiving! Remember all that the Lord has blessed you with, because He gives us SO much in our lives. I can see how He has blessed my life everyday, especially with friends and family like you!

Con amor, 
Hermana Lau

Monday, November 18, 2013

You gotta keep your head up

November 18, 2013

Oh, also, I forgot to tell you some cool cultural things! I had tongue one night. It was good, until I say the taste buds, then I lost all my appetite. And something that is interesting. When Spanish sisters talk to you, they'll hold and massage your hand. So I'm overcoming my "don't touch me" phase. Also, one of the sisters in the ward called me her "hija" (daughter). They like me! Haha, she brings us fruit every week and she is so sweet.

This week we had a baptism! It was super spiritual meeting. The Spirit was super strong.  She's really cool! It was a great experience.

I spoke this week in sacrament meeting! I found out the night before and I got to choose. I talked about being grateful for the blessings we have and how we need to be humble to realize them in hard times. I talked about how once people realize the blessings of the gospel, they'll want to share the gospel with others.

We had a church tour this week too! It was successful. There weren't too many people who came, but it helped people who came to understand the functions of the church more. We thought it was success and learned a lot from it.

A young man from our ward came home this week from his mission in Argentina and he's on fire! He's a God send. Two of our investigators are living with them, and we have had the hardest time scheduling times with them. So now we have an inside person helping us! We're hoping they'll be baptized on the 7th of December.

Keep strong and know that I love you! Pray always, that you may come off conquer.

Con amor, Hermana Lau
                                     With Companion
                                   With New Convert
                                    Sister Missionaries Rock!
                                     At Members House for Dinner

Monday, November 11, 2013

Summer never ends in California

November 11, 2013

This week has been good. The man we're teaching that came to seminary said he wanted to quit smoking and drinking, and we hadn't even talked to him about it! The 18 year old girl likes the church a lot and believes everything except Joseph Smith. We're going to watch the hour long video with her. That's how I started to gain my testimony of Joseph Smith!

We've been doing a lot of service still. Because of all this service, the ward is really coming to love missionaries. Boo-yah!

We sticky noted all the elders in our district, the zone leaders, and the Assistants to the president's doors. We didn't go out of our area either! We said nice things about them. It really uplifted them. We can definitely see a change in our district. Hoorah!

Oh! Something neat. We got a referral from Elder Christofferson this week. When he was staying here in a Residence Inn, he talked to the front desk about the church, so we were the follow-up people this week. The lady wasn't interested right now, but we might try again later. It was pretty cool to have a referral from an apostle! 

We went to a Spanish family yesterday for a party. The Spanish elders were with us, and one of them is a native. So he made fun of me to some of the other members. It was funny, but I want to know this language so badly! I understand what they say, but I can't speak back. Any tips on how to learn Spanish in the states would be helpful.

I want to talk about how much I love the scriptures. I love the Bible. I haven't read much of the Old Testament, but I love the beauty of Psalms and Proverbs and Isaiah is so powerful! The way he talks about Christ is beautiful. I love the New Testament even more. I love the teaching of Christ and his apostles. The parables have so much symbolism and depth. I love the ability I have to learn from it in so many different situations of life. The Bible brings me closer to Christ, helps me understand his life and his teachings more. I'm currently reading it in my personal study and I love it so much. 

I also love the Book of Mormon. It testifies of Christ also. It's another testament of him, and is the other branch talked about in Ezekiel 37:15-17. Every page talks about Christs and testifies of him. Reading this gives me the power to resist the evils of today. We all face "darkness" or gloom of today's evils, but the Book of Mormon provides a "rod" for us to follow. It helps us stay where we need to be to be happy. It's symbolic of our day. The stories are like parables. They are deep in meaning and I learn so much from it each time. 

I know both of these books are true. They bring me happiness and joy each day, even when I have difficult trials in my life. The Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God. As Elder Holland says, "No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so." Millions have given up so much in their lives because they know it is true. I've given up 2 years of my life because I know it's true. And you know me, I'm smart and don't just believe anything. I've grown up with this, yes. But I've wondered for myself, questioned it, and prayed about it. And I've felt in my heart that it is true. 

I invite all to read from its pages and pray for themselves, whether you are a member or a non-member. Just like it says in 2 Nephi 33:10-11, believe in Christ.

I love you all! Keep trucking along and I know God will help you with whatever you are going through.

Con amor,
Hermana Lau

Monday, November 4, 2013

You can't really see the mountains today. But I swear, they are there!

November 4, 2013

I love my mission! It's the best experience ever. Come on a ride with me of this past week!

I decided to do this with all my companions: I write a good thing about them each day on a card and a good thing about me each day. It's really helpful! It helps you get over the things that annoy you about people really quickly.

On Halloween, we had to be in by 7. So we went upstairs to the senior couple (the Jensens) and had pie with them and talked to them. It was super cool!
Miracles this week! We had one of the girls we were working with tell us over a text she wants to become a member of the church! We've seen hearts soften in our other investigators, and we started teaching a man who has been taking the initiative to go to seminary! So we went to seminary twice this past week. Props to the high schoolers that go every day. It's SO hard. But blessings come from it!!!

And one more thing. The power of prayer is amazing!!! I'm learning that more and more about its power as I am out here. Trust God and have faith! What else can we do?

I love you all! Keep up the good work. 

Hermana Lau