Friday, January 6, 2017

11/7/16 - Families are forever

helllooooooooo! hope everyone had a good week this week! it was another miracle weekend for us, especially at church! it was amazing! today is transfers and I am staying with Hna. McAdams in my area. I have a feeling I will end my mission here and I would love it!

Our Halloween we spent with Hna. Aguilar, we read the Book of Mormon to her and sang her favorite hymn and she sent us home with a huge tray of AMAZING brownies. our week was off to a good start....haha.

we did a LOT of service this week...17 hours! but a fun new service project that we will starting to do is called Lunches of Love. There is a local church here that packs sack lunches for families that don't have enough food on the weekends. The kids get free lunches at school, but on the weekends they don't have food. So I spent a couple hours putting goldfish into ziplocs and we met a ton of people! We are trying to find a local food bank too because we want to use our Spanish :)

On Thursday, we had about 3 service projects! We helped one of our favorite ladies in the branch, Hna. Montalvo, clean out her kitchen and she doesn't mess around when it comes to food and appliances. So we got a ton of food and some really nice appliances for our new apartment! (by the way we are moving on Wednesday...we are saying bye to all of the cockroaches and couldn't be happier!!!)

On Friday we saw an amazing miracle. A couple weeks ago we were leaving a less-active's house and saw a man on the stairs smoking. He said "hi! how are you today?!" and nothing else. We said hi and a couple seconds later he said, "Wait!!" so we turned around, expecting to be Bible bashed, but he puts out his cigarette and just says softly, "What do you guys do? What does your church believe? How do I learn more?" We gave him a little summary and he said we could come back the next day. Well we went and he wasn't there. But on Friday we decided to go try him again with a member, Hno. Torres. We got there and he and his wife were sitting on the stairs. We asked if we could share a message with them and they let us in. His name is Jorge and her name is Angel. Jorge went on to explain how his life has been involved with lots of drinking, girls, drugs, you name it. He has multiple kids with multiple women. He said he has been in 4 deadly car accidents and wonders why he is still here. We explained to him that God has an individual plan for him and that he is still on the Earth for a reason. We talked to them about baptism and how it is a fresh start to everything. It is a new life after we are baptized. We usually don't invite people to be baptized without explaining the Restoration of the Gospel, but the Spirit was so strong at the moment so I invited them to be baptized on November 26 and they accepted! We explained to them that is a life-long commitment and this involves complete change. We asked them if they are willing to do that and they said yes. It will definitely be a process with them, but we are excited for them to have a fresh start.

the next day was Saturday and we finally saw this less-active 18-year-old girl that we haven't been able to contact in forever. We gave a powerful lesson about the sacrament and how Heavenly Father wants her to keep her part of the covenants she has made. She said that lesson changed her and is planning on looking for another job so she can come on Sundays. also, we had a meeting with Presidente (president of the congregation she is serving in) at his house about our area and how we can help him with his calling. We talked about the things we needed to and then we talked about how he and his wife met, it was the cutest thing! I took a picture of their family so you can see!

Our miracles started on Friday and didn't stop until Sunday. After the meeting, we went over the Ortiz family's house. This week we had really good lessons with Kayla about sacrifices that she has to make to go to church and be baptized, things like that. We were very bold with her because we want this for her family soooooo bad. So on Saturday night around 8:30ish, we just went over to their house to check and see if plans for church were all okay. We went over, knocked on the door and Hermana opened it. Her eyes were all puffy and she just hugged me. I asked her what happened and she said their dog ran away. She is an animal-LOVER so this really hit her. We went inside and their family was there from El Salvador, they are here right now and they are super active in the church. So awkwardly I said, "soooo church tomorrow? are we good?" and the family said, "Oh yeah! We are going to all 3 meetings right?" and looked at Hermana Ortiz. She was like "...yeah!..." after that, we left and just hoped and prayed that they would come the next day. 

Sunday after our meeting, we came out and the Barrios family (with the twins) are there AGAIN! This is their 3rd time at church! Apparently the little kids looooove Primary and they are going to be in the Primary Program next awesome! So they are coming next week too! We are going to have a family night with them next week and hopefully get them on date to be baptized. they are so awesome and love coming to church! So after we see them, some guy introduces us to a lady who wants to come to this church. So we take her to sunday school, Relief Society, sacrament, the whole shebang. We have an appointment with her next week and we are excited to teach her! In the middle of me playing the piano in Relief Society, Hermana Ortiz and the lady (family member) walk in and sit down. They loved it and Hermana Ortiz grabbed my hand and said "Leo (their dog) came back!!!" with the biggest smile on her face. It made my day. Then we walked into the chapel and KAYLA WAS THERE. This girl has been taught by the missionaries for 4 years and this is her first time at church. She met president and she is stoked to be baptized in 2 weeks. We love her!

We are seeing soo many miracles. I know I say that every week, but missionary work isn't missionary work without miracles. Our November goal for baptisms is 3 and we have all of them lined up.

We asked ourselves this week why we do this. Why do we keep on teaching Kayla if she doesn't go to church or why do we walk the streets? It is because we want these people to be with their families forever and have the blessings that we have from being an eternal family. We are so thankful for this knowledge and want to share it with everyone! I love the Gospel and I love sharing it with everyone I see! We cannot wait for our baptisms coming up!!!

love you all and thank you for everything!!!

Hermana Garner

our car is having issues and we have had to get it jumped about 5 times and now it is in the shop. so this is a picture of us in a dead car.
we ran out of dishwasher soap and decided to do regular dish soap....never again.
we helped Hna. Regalado with her family history this week and she had a "BYU-Idaho Grandma" t-shirt on and it couldn't have been more perfect!
this is the Solis family, Presidente, his wife and daughter asleep. They were all snuggled together with Barbie blankets and I loved it.

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