Monday, September 17, 2012

Mission Log: 17 September 2012

Crazy, crazy, crazy week. We had leadership training...but it was in a town an hour away in one direction, and we had to pick up missionaries from an hour away in another direction. So I spent a good chunk of my week driving around, sleeping on floors, and sitting in meetings. It was well worth it though. The missionaries in New Jersey and incredible individuals who teach with power and authority and learning from them was a precious opportunity that I was so grateful for. Also, my mission president is an incredible man. His optimism and devotion to the work are contagious. I love learning from him. 

On top of training Sister Lowry and I were assigned to spend a day at Ellis Island this week. So we kicked around there for the better part of our Saturday. I'm learning to really love working at Ellis Island. I helped a sweet Australian couple find their family. They were so excited to find them. The man air punched and giggled uncontrollably. They want so desperately to know about their family that they have dedicated an entire month long vacation to traveling family history research. When we had done all we could with the Ellis Island research they kept asking me how on earth they could find out more. Specifically they wanted to know if the LDS Church had any genealogy information that could be useful to them.  Right about then is when I flipped my hair over my shoulder, for dramatic effect, to show off my name tag "I'm actually a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what would you like to know about our work with family history." Oh I LOVE when people have questions about the church because at Ellis I'm not allowed to talk about it unless people specifically ask. They were even more excited to know that they had a real life representative of the Church right there to answer their questions. Insert more giggling. We talked and talked and I directed them to the website and helped them find a family history center both during their vacation and back in Australia. It was a happy day. 

Want to know more of the happiness that is my life? Well let me tell you. A sweet little girl named Thalia got baptized yesterday. She was so excited and kept asking for us to take pictures of her, sing with her, and do anything and everything on her very special day. It's cool how wise children are. They recognize truth so quickly and accept it so fully. I learn so much from Thalia every time we teach her. Her baptism was a very special day. 

In other news, Sister Lowry and I do everything we can to be exactly obedient. As missionaries one of the things included with obedience is being at home by 9...the only problem is that most days our appointments end around 8:45. We've gotten pretty popular on our street for being the girls who RUN home every night. Our land lord has even started holding the door open for us around 8:58, sweet man. 

Now it's on to a new week. I hope each of you are having a wonderful autumn. 

All my love,


Monday, September 10, 2012

Mission Log: 9 Sept. 2012

LUIS GOT BAPTIZED! So much happy! It was such a beautiful baptism. Our ward really went out of their way to make him feel special and welcome. It was just the best day. I love how much peace and joy is felt any time anyone does anything that brings them closer to Christ and baptism is definitely a huge part of that. Oh, what a special day, a day never to be forgotten. This is one of those times when words completely fail me. You just need to come live inside my heart for a little bit to understand it all. Just come on in and feel all the warmth that is a direct result of pure joy. 

Want to know what else is wonderful? The members in my ward. Yesterday a ward member invited us over to teach some of his friends. He ended up bearing the more beautiful testimony ever. He was bold, because he knows that he has the truth, and he wants his friends to have the truth too. He wants them to feel how much their Heavenly Father loves them. So he told them everything he felt, he testified that God is our Father. He testified that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. He testified that God restored His gospel through a prophet and that we can be edified and renewed as we attend church. Then he invited them to come to church with him. He invited them 4 different times I think. They said no for the first bit, and every time they did he would just bear his testimony again, he would tell them how much the gospel has changed his life and how happy he is. The Spirit in the room was so strong and it was just incredible. I love people who know the truth and who can't help but share it...the truth literally bursts from them. It's wonderful and I love being there when it happens. This beautiful family is going to come to church next Sunday because their friend loved them enough to share the gospel with them. I'm so grateful. Seriously, my life is wonderful. Every day there is just more and more wonderful. I love it. 

On a completely different note, today I turned into a dragon. After we got our clothes out of the dryer Hermana Lowry threw them all on the floor and then brought me a big blanket...she told me the blanket was my dragon wings and told me to lay down on my treasure (and pointed at all the clothes on the floor). Then she told me that I'm a new dragon, and something that I need to know about dragons is that their hearts are made of fire, and that it warms everything a dragon touches. Gold is the best thing for holding a dragon's heat, and that's why a dragon always has to have a heap of treasure. Gold makes the best bed for a dragon, the most comfortable. So I snuggled up in my little dragon bed, with my new dragon wings, and I laughed a little dragon laugh while I sat on top of my treasure. Our life is fun, and you're jealous, you know it. 

Have a great week. 

With all the love of my fiery dragon heart,

Hermana Santos 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mission Log: 04 Sept 2012

It's September. It's my month! I really do love September, and from what I hear Jersey does Autumn right, I'm excited to see it. 

This week, like almost every other missionary week, has just flown by. Poof. Gone. 

If I've learned anything this week, it's this:

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3: 5-6

It's one of my all time favorite scriptures, but I feel like I always have to re-learn the principle, and I probably will for the rest of my life have to keep learning that principle. It's true though. Heavenly Father has a plan, a perfect plan. Sometimes I fight against it because it's hard, or it's painful, or I would rather do other things, but in the end I'm always happiest when I just let him guide. When God wins I win too, always. Change is a funny little thing. We get so attached to who we are and we just don't want to change. The girl I was before my mission was my favorite person in the whole world. It took a lot of time and effort to build her into that person, and I liked her a lot. Then I became a missionary and somethings had to change. It feels like I'm literally being carved into the person Heavenly Father wants me to be. Parts have to be cut away. Some parts just shaved a little, or just smoothed out. Other parts have to be completely cut off, never to be used in the final masterpiece of the woman I will one day be. And getting parts of me cut off HURTS! But it's okay, because I know it will be better. I know in the end that I won't even miss that cut off part...I don't know if I'm making sense and I don't have time to proof read and I'm just going to assume that you know what I mean and go with it. 

In completely unrelated news...

We played volleyball with some ward members yesterday. One of the boys showed up with a shirt that said "Bring it Santos" on the front and "Bring it Lowry" on the back. It's not really that big of a deal, but it made me laugh hysterically. Let it be known that his volleyball skills definitely outdid mine, well done Jonathan. 

And now my time is gone. Have a great week.