Monday, June 27, 2016

What the heck, Gina!!*

June 27th, 2016

K so we have been doing so well in our area. We've been nearly completely booked with appointments and we've been doing well at getting members to come out with us on our appointments with investigators. Literally it felt like we had to run around to be on time to everything, and we were often late.

But guess what!!!

Our mission president is taking our car away today!!!

And please understand; I'm not complaining about biking itself. I sincerely don't care about biking in the heat or anything like that, but I'm concerned about my investigators because I don't know how we are going to be able to reach all of them now. 

He's taking the car away because he wants us to be more visible, in order to find more investigators. But I just don't understand--what is the point of doing that if we aren't able to REACH all of our people after finding them!!

I'm not mad or upset or frustrated, I'm just really worried about our investigators.

Lord, I believe. Help thou mine unbelief. I believe that President Palmer receives revelation for us but I also have concerns about this.

Ok so let me tell you about some positive things...

We have this awesome investigator named Paula. Whenever we would arrive at her house she'd be sitting outside waiting for us, and reading her Book of Mormon. She and her son Luis have been reading it, and it's so awesome to hear their understanding of what they've read! She says she wants to learn more before she commits to baptism, which is fair, but I see serious potential in them! I'm so excited to see them progress.

We also have this new investigator named Rosario, and she has an 8-year-old daughter Jennifer who is so interested in our message. They really want to come to Church and they've been praying together every day. 

I got to go on exchanges for a day to my old area of Modesto, so that was cool to go back there. While I was there, though, Hna Gundersen was still here in Ceres and she met with a new investigator named Gloria. Gloria had previously been in the hospital and we had sent missionaries there to give her a priesthood blessing. What happened was, that she somehow had like 50 lbs of water or some fluid in her body?? It was weird, and it was painful for her, but after the priesthood blessing, she immediately felt better, and it went down 25 lbs.!! So she said she wants to get baptized, but when we went back to visit her she was busy. I hope we can help her to understand the importance of the Gospel in her life.

Love you,

Hermana Aburto

*Quote is courtesy of Elder Williams

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

No, pues wow

June 20th, 2016

Happy Father's Day Papi!!!!! You are the absolute best and I love you to the moon and back!!!!

This week we were going to meet with one of our investigators who wants to get baptized, but can't yet because supposedly her boyfriend that she's living with doesn't want to get married and he wasn't interested in the Church. We had never met him until this week, when we knocked on their door and he answered. She was sick, so we asked if we could have a lesson with him and his kids and at first he said "No, I'm going to take a shower." So we started having a lesson with the kids instead, and a few minutes later he came back out and actually listened. He was paying attention as we talked about the Restoration and he really seemed interested. After walking away from that lesson, we were both in shock with the miracle that he actually listened to us. I really truly hope that in the future we will be able to meet with both him and his girlfriend, and that they will be willing to get married and baptized soon. 

On Friday, Elder David F. Evans of the Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke to us missionaries, and we all got to shake his hand. He is so cool! I loved his message so much. He spoke about repentance, and about how we as missionaries should teach people how to repent. That's so true, because usually as missionaries, repentance is just a quick principle that we teach in lesson 3, but it truly is central to our purpose, and during a baptismal interview, people should truly feel like they have repented of their past sins. We need to put so much more emphasis on that all the time. I don't know how to describe it really, but they way that Elder Evans explained it just made so much sense and I think every missionary in this mission may feel like I do, that we've been preaching repentance wrong this entire time. I'm really hoping to be better at that since it's so central to our purpose. 

I also liked that he said investigators should always start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning, so that they can understand the story. And 1 Nephi 1 is a great chapter because in the first few verses it talks about prophets, prayer, and reading a book to feel the Spirit. That's a perfect chapter for people to read after hearing about the Restoration. Also, he challenged us to challenge our investigators with long reading assignments. We used to only give out a chapter at most, but we try to assign multiple chapters now. President Eyring said that "We should read long enough to feel the Spirit, and then a little more." That is so brilliant!!

I have another awesome story that happened this week: So we went to visit our recent convert Mabel, who is 21 years old and she just barely got baptized like last month. We've been wanting her and her sister to come with us as we visit investigators, and Mabel finally said yes. She took us to her friend's house, and she thought of this friend Marisa because one of her friends just passed away. So we went to visit Marisa and at first it was obvious that she felt kind of awkward, but as Mabel shared her testimony, that helped Marisa open up to us. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation, and Marisa didn't know that after this life, we will still have the same personality, and we're going to be with the people that we know and love. We're excited to work with her more, and this just goes to show that members really are so crucial to missionary work. If Mabel had not come with us, then it probably wouldn't have gone as well. She is so awesome!!

My companion has also been really good at asking everyone for referrals, and we've received so many of them ever since that zone conference with Elder Evans. No, pues wow. Seriously, he motivated us to be much better missionaries than before. He is the bomb!

I know the Church is true. I know that my Savior lives and that He loves me. I'm so grateful for the chance I have to grow in my faith in Him while serving Him as a missionary. I'm thankful for my Heavenly Father who has given me everything and now I get to feel the love that He has for His children. I love the Gospel so much and it truly has blessed my life more than anything else. 

Love you!!

-Hermana Aburto

Calilis, you will be such an awesome District Leader!! Being a leader is such a great opportunity to serve your fellow missionaries and to love them!! You will do so great!


So the sister in this picture is Hna Villareal, and she is seriously the best ward missionary ever. She is always willing to go out with us, and she's given so many referrals. She is fearless!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

First Week in Ceres

June 13th, 2016

Ohhh we're halfway there
Ohhh livin' on a prayer 

Haha it doesn't feel real, but I'm halfway down with my mission! 

We've had a really successful week! We've been teaching lots of people and I really like this area a lot. Even though I'm in the same branch, it's like being in a completely different area since I'm visiting different investigators and less actives, and even the members that we've worked with are different, but I'm happy to still be in this branch.

We've been teaching this really cute young family. Vanessa is the mom and she and her husband are like the nicest people ever; he gave us ice cream the first time we came over and they are always smiling. The only thing is that they were confused about why we have a Book of Mormon and I'm curious as to how things will go from here, but I really hope they can progress because I can just totally picture them being sealed as a family in the temple.

There is also this young single mom with two kids, and one time as we visited them, they told us about this challenge that they are going through which has to do with keeping their house. Her young daughter Jiovana offered the opening prayer, and the faith that she had as she sincerely prayed to Heavenly Father for help was so beautiful! I was so close to crying, and I really hope that they will be able to keep their house. 

Here is a picture of me and Sergio and Irene! I will miss them.

Love you!

-Hermana Aburto

Monday, June 6, 2016

Transfer Calls Again!!

June 6th, 2016

We got transfer calls yesterday! I was really feeling like I would be staying here; and I've never been wrong with my transfer predictions before...

I was kind of right!

I will still be serving in this Ceres 3rd Branch but I will not be covering the area of Hughson anymore, but I will be in Ceres now. Hna Pimentel is staying here and I will be companions with Hna Gundersen. I'm so happy to stay in this branch but I am so so so sad that I won't get to see the people in this area anymore. Especially the Ortiz; they better come to church so that I can still see them!

So this past week was a little discouraging just because there were times when we found investigators who seemed really solid but then they just suddenly weren't interested anymore. 

But we did find some really awesome people named Sofia and Adam. Sofia's parents were baptized last year, so that's a really good connection with the Church! We were teaching them the restoration and at the end Sofia just started crying all of a sudden and she asked us to pray for her family. It was really cool to share the gospel with them, and I hope they will progress!

Another quick miracle that happened yesterday was when we were visiting a less-active family and a family member of theirs named Alesandra was visiting and she listened in as we read 1 Nephi 19:9, and she was asking questions about what we do as missionaries and we were able to talk to her about the Book of Mormon and how it goes hand in hand with the Bible. It was really cool to be able to talk to her! 

I totally was watching Mexico vs Uruguay yesterday during dinner and those last two goals were beautiful. Also, Chicharito's attempt to score made me laugh since Papi says all his goals are ugly, haha

I don't know what else to write today haha but man, things are just never the same after transfers so I pray I'll be able to adjust to the changes!

I love you, I love you, I love you!!

-Hermana Aburto

District Picture: Hna Arevalo, Hna Camacho, Hna Gundersen, Hna Williams, Hna Pimentel, me, Elder Nielsen, Elder Bonola, Elder Williams, and Elder Eager.