Tuesday, January 10, 2017

11/21/16 - Things that we need

hello family and friends!

this week was awesome because Kayla was able to be BAPTIZED! it was an amazing day and she was literally glowing (pictures to prove). A ton of her family was there supporting her and it was amazing to see. we are hoping this step will help their family all together. the day after, we went to their house to have a Thanksgiving dinner and it was sooooo good. they are so united as a family and we love it. on tuesday they go to El Salvador for Thanksgiving break and wont be back for about 2 weeks. so we are hoping that they will be able to go to church over there. we are just so happy that we were the lucky missionaries that got to see Kayla take this step in her life-after 4 whole years!

on tuesday we had zone conference and it was amazing, as always. we got super pumped for the new #lighttheworld campaign! it will be amazing and we are so excited to start it this week. here is the link! please check it out and participate! 

We visited this old man this week that lives in Needville, hardcore farm town. Hardly anyone visits him because he lives super far but seriously he is the sweetest, most faithful man. We were planning on sharing with him something to help him with his scripture reading but he told us he is almost done with the Book of Mormon. and the best part about him?!?!? HE DOES YOGA. I'm not kidding. I explained my love of yoga to him and we instantly connected..to say the least. he is my new favorite man here in the branch and we are planning on taking him to a lesson this week. I love meeting new people!

for the Barrios family, we had an awesome family night with them and the Flores family. we had this awesome lesson plan we were going to do and we were going to get them all on date for baptism. but the kids were sooooooo crazy and so we basically just said "families are eternal" and ate...haha. there were some cool testimonies shared though. especially by 5-year-old Mario, son of the Flores family. we asked him who Jesus was to him and it was super sweet.we are going to try to meet with them again this week. but the all came to church again and Hna. Barrios participated in Relief Society. They also all came to the Thanksgiving activity last Monday and brought awesome food. Everyone in the branch is so surprised when we tell them that we are teaching them because they think they are already members. 

we met with Jose again and it was powerful. he just has sooo many questions for  us and is even questioning if God exists. we started teaching the Restoration because he always has a lot of questions about religion. so we were teaching the Restoration and all of the sudden he asked where we go after this life. so we tucked our Restoration pamphlet back in our bags and pulled out the Plan of Salvation. we explained to him God's plan of happiness for him and he looked so relieved. we asked him to ask God that night if everything we have taught him  was true. We promised him that if he knows it is true, he will understand and want to learn  more. So the next day, guess who calls us? Jose. He said his prayer went great and he wants us to come over again. we are so excited!

It has been a pretty rough week emotionally though. I am coming close to the end of my mission and a I feel a lot of emotions and training a new missionary is always hard. I have been pretty hard on myself for so long and I am learning to just take it easy and enjoy the ride. Last night, Hna. McAdams was super sick and was trying to sleep but couldn’t. So I started to read conference talks out loud until she went to sleep. She fell asleep in the middle of the talk "Fourth Floor, Last Door" given at a Women’s conference in October by Elder Uchtdorf. I decided to keep on reading it and had the impression that I needed to. I got to the end of the talk and realized why I needed to. The reason I started reading it in the first place was for me. The Spirit touched my heart and put the talk in my hands, so I could be spiritually strengthened in that moment. I started to tear up at this part of the talk, it hit me hard:

Will we give up after knocking on a door or two? A floor or two?
Or will we keep seeking until we have reached the fourth floor, last door?God “rewards those who earnestly seek him,”but that reward is not usually behind the first door. So we need to keep knocking. Sisters, don’t give up. Seek God with all your heart. Exercise faith. Walk in righteousness. I promise that if you will do this—even until the fourth floor, last door—you will receive the answers you seek. You will find faith. And one day you will be filled with light that grows brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

My beloved sisters in Christ, God is real.
He lives.
He loves you.
He knows you.
He understands you.
He knows the silent pleadings of your heart.
He has not abandoned you.
He will not forsake you.
It is my testimony and apostolic blessing to each one of you that you will feel in  your heart and mind this sublime truth for yourselves. Live in faith, dear friends, dear sisters, and the Lord [our] God [will] increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised!’”

I know that I needed to hear that right in that moment and that Heavenly Father answered my long heart-felt prayers.

another cool experience was at Kayla's baptism. Kayla is a shy person but she is so sweet. I offered to braid her hair for her baptism so she didn't have to "do" it after. So right before it started she me pulled aside and said "Hermana Garner, can you braid my hair super quick?" so we went into the room and got to have some one-on-one time with her. We talked to her about how she feels and if she is excited. She said she was a little nervous but she told us that she is going to be an example to her family of strength. She also bore her testimony about the priesthood and how grateful she is that it is on the Earth again today. it was such a sweet moment that we were so grateful for. there is no other feeling on the mission than seeing the person you have grown to love sooooo much, enter the waters of baptism and receive a remission of their sins. watch them start their life over. watch them make the decision to follow their Brother, Jesus Christ.

I love you all and I know the Savior lives. Let us serve Him as much as we can!
Hermana Garner

Kayla's baptism!!!

baptism happiness!
hna. avila is a less-active that is coming back to church! she gave us a ton of mexican candy and one of them looked like a piece of green paper! but it was food..haha
family night with the Barrios family! I look like a ghost
tis the season! christmas lights outside and inside!
zone conference!
companion fun!

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