Monday, June 6, 2016

4/25/16 - Serving the Lord

hello friends and family!

this week was full with a ton of service, 25 hours to be exact. but not with the flooding actually but different service projects that we did. the flooding service projects will be comin up though!

it is getting warm here in Texas and my tan lines are comin through. I have some awesome ones on my feet and from my rings on my fingers. we were outside a lot this week with all of the service and also we tried to find more people outside in neighborhoods too. we had a really cool experience that grew our testimonies a lot with that. after we visited a less-active (someone who doesn’t come to church very often) , we decided to find (look for new people to teach) in that neighborhood. there are a lot of Hispanics there so we decided to approach them with the English class we teach. we knocked on the door of houses that kind of looked Hispanic and asked them if they would be interested. we knocked 4 whole streets and people weren't very interested or they would be bilingual already. it was a super hot day, we were really thirsty and our feet were tired. we were pretty discouraged. (sounds like a stereotypical mission day) but we were on the last street and the last house. we knocked on the door and a lady opened it. we asked her if she would be interested in an English class and she said she would love to but she cant afford it. she said she has been looking at so many different classes but they all cost too much. we told her that ours was free and her eyes got huge. she couldn't believe it. we explained that as missionaries we also teach about Christ and how we can become closer to Him. She was super interested in that too. we taught her a little bit about the Restoration and we have an appointment with her this week. she has a lot of potential and we are really excited. her name is Maria and she has 2 little kids. we love her already!

also with English class, our little students "graduated" this week from Level 1 of our program! YAY! it was the best. they were so happy to get that little piece of paper saying they did it. we explained to them that with this they can get a lot better jobs and be a lot more successful. but the funniest part was this. we had pizza at the end to celebrate and after that they wanted to take pictures with Hermana Reeder and I. I am not kidding when I say this, they got in LINE with their phones to take pictures with us. I felt like a character at Disneyland. standing in a certain spot for 20 minutes and having people come up and take pictures with you. that is what it was like! we felt like celebrities and they expressed to us how grateful they were for helping them. but this isn't the end of it! there are about 40 different lessons and that was just Level we "graduate" a lot of times. but it was such a happy night!

we are teaching Oscar the new-member lessons and it is awesome. we are going to the temple with him on Saturday to do baptisms! we are actually going with all of the hermanas in our branch and Oscar and us. we are so excited! this is our purpose! to "begin with the end in mind". the "end" is the temple. also, we ate breakfast with Hna. Peralta (Oscar’s wife) this week and she made her famous hot chocolate for me because she knows I am obsessed with it. I love my mission mom.

this weekend was Stake Conference weekend! (a meeting where 8-9 congregations meet together to listen to talks and receive inspiration) and WOW did I learn a ton. Saturday night adult session was all about families and it made me miss mine a little bit. but it also made me realize how great my parents are. Pres. and Sister Hall (Megan’s mission president and his wife) talked also about families and they centered it on Jesus Christ. The read Helaman 5:12 and related it to our family life.  (Helaman 5:12 is a scripture from the Book of Mormon that is one of my favorites! It says: And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall) How we WILL have those trials and hard times, not IF. WHEN we do, we need to rely on the Savior. Pres. Hall said, "Opposition is the way we grow and the way we recognize that we NEED our Savior" I love him and his counsel! also on Sunday I was strengthened SO much by the love of Heavenly Father that I felt. all of the words and speakers were for me.

So....Leslie. We didn't have the opportunity to teach her this week because she couldn't pay her phone bill so she didn't have a phone. we couldn't contact her. but a member contacted her and she told us that she wasn't ignoring us and she would still love to meet with us. so yay! we will see what happens this weekend with her.

"service" projects we did:
-English class (is our life)
-we went "churching" with Pres. Allred. us, the other hermanas in the branch and the branch president (Pres. Allred) are going down to Texas City, where they switched the boundaries and we are meeting all of the members down there. we are trying to make sure that they still live there/they aren't less active/etc. we met the SWEETEST family. they have a son on a mission who is coming home in May and the Spirit in their home is incredible. they offered us fruit and juice and they said the Hispanic dicho "Mi casa es su casa" we love them and hope they will be in our area in the future. they are familia Aguirre.
-on Friday we went to a less-actives house with some English elders. I mowed the lawn, Hna. Reeder whacked some weeds and the Elders painted part of their house. Dad- you would be pretty proud of me. I got a lot of compliments on the lawn and how the rows were even and everything :) youre an awesome teacher and thanks for making me pay the phone bill that way! haha.(Troy and I have our kids mow the lawn to help pay for their phone bill – it’s nice she now appreciates that. Sierra is not quite to the appreciation stage yet – we’re still waiting!)
-also on Friday we did the Food Truck! such a fun thing, we love doing it. we love making people happy!
-on Saturday we went to a race held by another church. it was a mile, 1k and a 5k. all the missionaries (there were a lot) were at different points in the race telling the runners where to go and to cheer them on. lets just say I was pretty humbled and I felt really out of shape watching people run. I was so inspired by the people who were pushing strollers on the phone and the people with 1 leg. I ran with some old people and I loved it more than life.

Everyday I am just amazed at the little miracles and tender mercies the Lord puts in our life. this week when we were knocking on doors a little 4 year old boy answered the door and with his big blue eyes said "you girls wanna come in and visit?" or when a family from Kenya bears their testimony about the power of families in Stake Conference. Or when Hna. Peralta and Oscar have a pillow fight when we are teaching and when Hna. Reeder loses her nametag and finds it in a Goodwill garbage. Heavenly Father knows this work is hard and knows we need these little blessings to keep going. I am humbled everyday about how much I really do need my Brother, Jesus Christ. He wants to help us and listen to us, we just have to do our part and reach out to Him. I love Him!

Hermana Garner

this was a part of our celebrity experience at the English class graduation!
some of our English class students! they were so excited to have that paper.
Oscar is and will be forever one of my favorite people.
the race we did service at was sponsored by NASA so casually the Star Wars crew was present.

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