Monday, February 27, 2017

Wherefore can ye doubt?

February 27th, 2017

This week was a really successful week, even though we didn't officially get new investigators, the Lord has helped us be successful in other ways.

This week we met these two sweet less-active teenage girls. They were so cute! They've been through a lot and so they're pretty shy but we had a really awesome lesson with them about God's love, prayer, and scripture study.

We met with a man whose ex-wife was a member of our church. He doesn't believe in God, but we had a good visit with him, and we brought our member, Hna Mxxx with us. Even though he didn't wind up being interested in our message, he said that if he were to join a church, he would join ours, because he has noticed that our church members are really good people. We talked about charity with him. Overall our visit was just a really good "touchpoint" for him.

Oh yeah, and thanks so much for the family history stuff that you sent me last week! We've pretty much been talking about family history with everyone that we meet now, and here's an example of how awesome it is!

Last night we knocked on a random door and an old man named Hno. Jxxx answered, and we talked to him about how the Savior made it possible for our families to be forever, and mentioned family history to him, and asked if he knew his grandparents and what not, and he really liked it! He then asked us questions about our beliefs and we asked if we can come back this week and he said yes! He said that he believes that all religions are good, and that he is Catholic, but I'm so glad that he was able to feel the Spirit of Elijah as we talked about family history with him.

This week we were talking with a man who suffers from something like anxiety, and he's a major introvert. It just made me so sad to talk with him because you can tell that he is super lonely. It just reminded me a lot of how lonely I used to feel. I really truly would not wish that on anyone. It's not a fun experience.

But as I pondered about that I was thinking about how I used to not believe it when people would tell me that I was doing a good job. I thought about how Mami told me that God sends those people to me, and they are acting as angels from God to let me know that He is pleased with me. Then this week during district meeting, we read in 1 Nephi 4:3 where it says, "Ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt?" So, it's saying exactly the same thing Mami told me!

I was also reading in the newest edition of the Ensign and I love what Elder Bednar said about Nephi and the bands around his arms. He said that Nephi didn't pray to have his circumstances change, rather he prayed to have the strength to change his circumstances. And he prayed in that way because he knew of the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I just absolutely love that and can testify that that is 100% true!!

Love you!!!

Hermana Aburto

P.S. This week a member fed us tinga, and it was the best thing ever! Can you make me some tinga when I get home? And ravioli 'cause that is also the best.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Reunited and it feels so good

February 20th, 2017

It's been a great week!

This week I was reunited with Sister Talbot, whom I absolutely adore! We had a zone dinner at the home of one of the stake presidency members, and we got to giggle a lot together, just like old times. I'm so grateful I get to serve near her during my last transfer!

A few days ago, we were biking down the street at night, and Sister Maya didn't see a pot-hole, and she ran into it and fell off her bike. She hurt her knee and we got help from a member, thankfully, and she's been recovering since then. One night, she and I talked about how, after a trial like that happens, some cool miracle will come about soon after. 

Well, one day we were knocking on doors as usual, and one Hispanic lady opened the door, and I mentioned to her that we teach about how families can be eternal. She said, "I want to be eternal!" and she invited us in and told us about how her husband passed away in the year 2000 and she wants to be with him again. It was super cool to be able to testify to her that she could be reunited with him some day! We left her with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and a Book of Mormon, and she said we could come back some other time....

Sadly though when we called her to confirm the appointment, she suddenly told us that she was Christian (meaning that she didn't want to learn more about us at the moment) but that she would read the Book of Mormon and call us if she is interested to learn more. But honestly, I am not discouraged by this. I know that we at least gave her a major touch point in her life, and it's so important to try to leave copies of the Book of Mormon in people's homes, because you just never know who can get their hands on it, read it, and feel of the undeniable power and Spirit that it brings.

We visited a less-active, Mxxx Cxxx, and brought a member with us, Lxxx Cxxx. Hna Lxxx was so amazing! They got along really well, and I loved hearing her share her testimony and her conversion story to Hna Mxxx Cxxx. I'm such a huge fan of member missionary work!  

One night we were walking and there was this guy sitting on the sidewalk and we started talking to him. His name is Sxxx and he was super friendly and started asking us questions like, "What are you doing out so late?" and "Do you get paid to do this?" and stuff like that. We explained who we were and he was so cute; he gave us tips on how to talk to people since he works as a salesman. He also told us his story, how he used to be involved in some serious things and he used to be Christian, and he said that by meeting us he was reminded that he should look into coming back to God. It was such a tender mercy for him and for us to be able to talk to him. He just made our week! I really hope that he'll be able to meet with the missionaries again (he lives out of our mission).

We visited the less-active Fxxx Oxxx again, and he was awesome. He said he would come to church, and... he did! We were so happy to see him there! The ward was so welcoming to him and he really enjoyed it.

Thanks so much for all that stuff you sent about family history, that is absolutely perfect and I want to try some of that stuff out.

I love you! I can't believe I only have a little over a month left of my mission! I truly want to follow Elder Holland's advice and enjoy every minute of it!

-Hermana Aburto

Zone dinner pictures:

This is the zone dinner from last transfer

Monday, February 13, 2017

Last Transfer Call!

February 13th, 2017

Last night I got the last transfer call of my mission...we're both staying! Dang, Gina! We thought for sure that because Hna Maya and I get along so well, and because we're both about to go home, that we'd be split apart! But no! We will be staying together! We are excited to be companions until the end. 

Haha I love your stories! You are the cutest parents ever! And yeah, I was totally born with flojeritis, too.

This week was really good! One time, we were trying to find a street that wasn't on our map, and we asked someone on the street for directions, but they neglected to tell us how far away we were biking to. We accidentally biked to the next town over, Ripon! It took over an hour to bike there. We are so smart, haha! It was crazy though because as we were biking in the middle of nowhere, a member of the Church saw us and was like, "Do you know how far away from town you are?!" She was super nice and went back to her house to get her bike rack so that she could drive us home. But yeah, anyways we biked all the way out there, and the person we talked to seemed interested but he lives in Tracy so we gave him as a referral to our Spanish elders out there. All-around that was an experience of tender-mercies!

This week we were struggling yet again with the fact that it has been so hard to find investigators here. But we were blessed in other ways. One day, we had dinner with a prospective elder, Hno. Cxxx, and his family, and he said something very nice. He said that his favorite hour of church is Gospel Principles, which is taught by us 6 missionaries. He said that he has learned so much. We really appreciated that because, you just never know how much your teaching actually affects people. 

We stopped by to see some members in our ward who we haven't seen in quite a while, and we must've been inspired because Hno. Axxx told us that he has a friend who is interested in the church, and he wants to give a Book of Mormon to his friend who lives in Stockton. We gave him a Book of Mormon and we are so excited that he gets to have this missionary opportunity!

We met with a less-active, Hno Oxxx, for the first time. He is such a spiritual giant! We planned on teaching him the Restoration, but it felt more like HE was teaching US. It was so cool. I hope he comes back to church soon. And he is Nicaraguense so his accent was super fun to listen to!

There was one night where it was raining pretty hard, and I was feeling kind of cold. But I wanted to stay positive, so I simply thought about you, Mami and Papi, and just by thinking about my loved ones, I didn't feel cold anymore. Another tender mercy for me!

This week it was super funny because Hna Maya was sitting in her desk chair talking, and she leaned back and fell over but the couch stopped her from completely falling to the ground. I tried grabbing her hands and pulling her up, but I have no arm strength at all, so instead of lifting her up I actually made her fall all the way to the ground. Haha it was great!

Here is a picture of Hno. Rxxx. He is our favorite! His humor reminds me of Bugs Bunny, since he's always able to turns things around on you and makes it a joke and he just has fun with himself. Like, last Monday we were asking if he had read his Book of Mormon and he said he hadn't read much, so we asked him where he was in his reading, and he was like, 1 Nephi 4, and we were like, "That's where you were last time, so you didn't read at all!" And he was like, "Really? I thought you were saying that I HAD read a lot this week!" Haha I don't even know why but that made me laugh so hard.

This is Hna Jxxx, who is an awesome missionary-oriented member in our ward!

District picture! Me, Hna Maya, Elders Schoenfeld, Jarvis, Baker, Ashton, Spikes, and Gifford.

Love you!

Hermana Aburto

These are our favorite elders in the zone; they are all so funny and cool! Elders Pope, Schultz, Perry, and Beus. This is the food bank where we all do service every week.

These are our elders in the Spanish ward! They are also all so funny and cool!

This is how I will propose to my future husband! Haha

This is us with the Bxxx and Axxx family. The kid in the middle with the hat on is Dxxx, and he is the recent convert who we've been teaching. He's a great kid! 

Monday, February 6, 2017


February 6th, 2017

It's been a great week!

One day, we went over to Hna Mxxx's house just to check up on her since she hadn't gone to church the Sunday before, and as we were talking with her, her friend Exxx stopped by. Exxx knows lots of members in our ward, and she's met with missionaries before, and we've been trying to meet with her for the longest time, but it never worked out, so it was so awesome that we happened to cross paths! We talked about the Plan of Salvation, and it went really well! Exxx seems to really like our church, but she said that she never has gotten an answer as to whether it's true or not. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon, since she hadn't read it before. She also had a pretty difficult concern: she raised her children Catholic, and her son told her that if she were to change religions, then everything that she had taught him would be a lie? That's rough...I've been trying to study about that concern this week and just some thought I had were the following: Everyone needs to find the truth for themselves, just like how I had to gain my own testimony instead of solely going off of my parents' testimonies. And also, as people learn about the gospel, it's not meant to completely throw away everything that they believed previously, rather, it's to help them strengthen their faith that they already have and become converted to the Lord and His teachings.

This week we miraculously got two calls from two less-active members, and we set up return appointments with them! It's just awesome because it always feels like we have to bother people in order to get them to meet with them, but they reached out to us! With one of these less-actives, Mxxx, we met with her yesterday and showed her and her boyfriend the "Enduring Love" Mormon message. We talked about eternal families and she knew that she needed to be married to her boyfriend. We really want to help them be together forever!

Hno Rxxx has been progressing beautifully! He has been reading the Book of Mormon more often. Before, we would ask him if he had read, and he'd be like, "No," and we'd be like "Why not?" and he'd be like, "Estoy enfermo con flojeritis!" (I'm sick with lazy-itis!) Hahaha! He is our favorite.

Yesterday Hna Maya and I went to see a less-active, Axxx. She is absolutely hilarious. She says she doesn't go to church because she doesn't like being around people. But hopefully she gets the hunger to come back soon.

We visited another less-active who has definitely softened her heart since I first got here, in that she has actually been letting us into her home and feeding us, where when I first got here she would only talk on the porch of her house. But at the same time it was frustrating to meet with her this week because she really doesn't want any help from God at all, which I really don't get, because she's in a sticky situation, but she won't even pray for help. She wants to do everything herself. Humility is a pre-requisite to learning about the gospel!

It's crazy how much people have been talking to us about marriage and family though. Hna Maya and I haven't even been telling people how soon we are going home, but it comes up in every conversation! Yesterday Mxxx was freaking us out with talk of pregnancy and c-sections and what not. Gah!

A few weeks ago, Elder Schultz got this video sent to him, and it's so funny! It's this 70's band singing about Jesus. All the missionaries in Manteca sing this song now hahaha. 

Hermana Aburto