Friday, January 6, 2017

10/31/16 - Transfer board of heaven

hello friends and family! how are we?!? Happy Halloween! today for halloween we are having a fun zone activity including sports, pumpkin carving and donut races! after that we are visiting some old ladies because what are they gonna do for halloween......hahaha just kidding. but we are looking forward to seeing all of our little grandmas tonight. they are the best and will hopefully give us some sweets :)

this week was an interesting one for sure, but it was amazing and we saw soooo many miracles!
On Monday, we met our DREAM FAMILY. So there are 2 twins (haha.....obviously) that just came here from Guatemala. They are 19 and they are such strong/active members of the church. They came to church for the first time here about 3 weeks ago and their family dropped them off. I met them super quick and didn't think anything of it. And then they came to church again last week. We had that party for the Ortiz family and the whole family came because the branch is awesome at missionary work. So we talked to them a little bit there. But this week, we decided to go over and met all of them officially. We went over and it was amazing! Dennis and Angela are the parents. Dennis' kids are the twins, Luis and Fransisco and then the parents also have kids together, Lilian, Dennis and Juan Pablo (JP for short). They are so unbelievably prepared, it is unreal. We went over and just talked about our purpose as missionaries, because they wanted to know. After the lesson, we asked if we could say a prayer and Dennis (the dad) says, "Who said it last night?" THEY ALREADY HAVE FAMILY PRAYER FOLKS. so after that, they invited us to a little get-together the next day and dinner with them a few days after that. we went to the get-together and who is invited? ALL MEMBERS. there was no one that wasn't from our church there. we had a blast and played super fun games, it reminded me of my family and the yelling and competitiveness that goes on! it was so fun! the next day was Sunday, we come out of our meeting and there they all are, lined up on the wall waiting to go inside Sunday school. they stayed for all 3 hours and the twins spoke in Sacrament meeting. their talks were super powerful. when I looked at the parents, they had tears streaming down their eyes. we are so excited to teach first family!
we started a branch choir!!!! we are trying to get the Hispanics to be a little more musical...haha. we are practicing songs for Christmas and they all took videos of Hna. McAdams and I singing...we feel like celebrities with them....haha. If you can sing a melody well, you are A STAR in their eyes. But it is super fun to help them.
On Wednesday this week, we went to downtown Houston for a service project. It was a cool thing but it was exhausting because of my sinus infection. But it was at a place where kids from all over Houston come that don't have insurance and they get their eyes/hearing/etc. checked for free. It was cool and I love helping in the community! It was one point I was standing leading the kids to go a certain way and these 2 middle-schoolers starting talking about me in spanish and I could understand everything they said. At the end, the said "She is looking at us.....lets stop talking...maybe she understands..." hahahahaha.
Juan Pablo, the little kid in the new family (Familia Barrios) is the FUNNIEST little kid ever. He is 6 and the most gordito kid ever, which makes him 23489238x more funny. anyways, we were leaving dinner at their house this week and he says "I don't want you guys to leave! can we have a sleepover?" and everyone just starts busting up laughing...hahaha. JP and I are best friends already.
The Ortiz family, they aren't doing awesome but we did see some really cool miralces and we had a lesson with just the parents and it was so well-planned by our Heavenly Father. we went one night just to go see how Kayla is doing. Hermana opened the door and let us in! We started talking and she told us that she went to the temple that morning with her aunt because her aunt needed some stuff at the temple store. But she said she went and she has never felt anything like that before. They were taking pictures of the temple and her aunt said "just open the doors to the temple just a little bit and peek inside" so she said she did that. she peeked in and said "It felt like..........heaven." this lady has had a lot of trouble believing in the Book of Mormon/Restoration and actually about temples. But she went to the sacred grounds of the temple that day and felt the Spirit so strong. She went on to tell us that she wants to go there soon with her family. She said "I need to get in there" after we finished talking about it, her husband walks in (never home when we are there) and we start talking about Kayla's baptism with both of them. He wants to baptize her but he needs to talk to Presidente first. So on Sunday? He is sitting there on the first row waiting for Sacrament to start. That lesson we had with both of them was perfect. After we finished saying the prayer, their extended family walked in and we knew that Kayla wasn't supposed to be there and we were those perfect tools in that perfect moment.
the "transfer board of heaven" is a phrase Elder Holland used in a story he told once. I loved that analogy. A transfer board in a mission has all of the missionaries, areas, companionships, everything. Just imaging the one Heavenly Father has, bringing to pass "the immortality and eternal life of man". It must be pretty sacred. We saw those little miracles through that this week and we couldn't be more grateful. We are finally seeing the fruits of our labors! I never want to stop working this work! it brings me so much joy!
Hermana Garner

I live in a beautiful place!
hermana waves at every single person we see. it is so funny.
the cutest little girl here. she is my favorite.
I'm grateful for what I do everyday.

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