Wednesday, July 17, 2013

YSA's, Cooling off and Observe and then Serve

Arizona Irrigation

Dearest family,
I love you all so much! But, first things first... that is not President Jenkins... hahahahahhahaha that is actually one of our senior couples serving at the visitors center :) The Jenkins are from Idaho. I will get a picture with them this week and will send it to you.

So, faith. What is faith? Faith is believing in things which are hoped for and not seen. Is it always easy to have faith? No. Why? Because we have trials. And what do these trials make us do? Humble ourselves and truly learn to TRUST God. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and allow yourself to let go- having that faith that God will catch you. I have been experiencing the biggest trials of my faith this past transfer. It has been really
hard! But it has brought me so much closer to the Lord. I trust Him, I really trust Him. We have gone through so many ups and downs in trying to build this YSA ward and help them in any way that we can. It has also been a huge task transitioning everything from our paper records onto the ipads. We have an extra hour of study everyday dedicated to this. So along with the 6 hours we spend in the vc and the other extra hour for 12 week training, you can imagine that it's kind of hard to get things accomplished. But, we went forward in faith trying to do absolutely everything in our power to lift, strengthen, and find. We have seen sooo many miracles this week!! 

But let me see where to start... First I want to talk about the VC. So on Monday night we were in the vc and Bishop Heywood from the Lazona ward (area 3 transfers back) came in with his family. I never got to thank him or say bye so it was soo good to see him and his family again! These relationships formed on the mission are just so priceless and precious! They thanked me for serving in their ward and then they went on to tell me just how the ward has really caught onto the mission spirit. They had 5 baptisms in their ward last month! Amazing! He thanked me for helping him to catch the vision and for being a part of helping the work move forward in their ward. I just wanted to cry I was so happy! I am just so grateful that I get to be a part of this! Even if my part is just a small tiny one, it has still blessed and influenced my life forever. Another Super cute thing from the VC this week. A little 4 year old girl named Autumn ran up to me and gave me a big hug. She then gave me a piece of paper with her testimony written on it and told me I could keep it. Her mom said she does that a lot- she'll just go up to random strangers and give them her testimony! Precious!! When I finally translated it, it said something like "This is my testimony. I love Jesus and I love the missionaries." and then she signed it. Sooo cute! I love serving at the Visitors Center :) I also really love working at the visitors center because there is air conditioning :) hahaha we are getting some record temperatures out here! But you know it really isn't that bad! I think all those summers down in San Antonio prepped me for it. I kinda like it! 

Holy cow there were soooooooo many weddings this weekend!! It was CRAZY. But it was cool cus I met some people from Georgia that came up for their sons wedding. They weren't members so it was really cool talking to them about the temple and what goes on inside. I told them to go check out the Atlanta temple so hopefully they will! Ok one more story from the vc and then onto the area. So this girl came in this week from Slovakia! Poor thing had had a really long day. She is here in Mesa selling books and going door to door. This day the high was between 115-117 and so needless to say she was kinda dead. She knocked on a members door and she told her
Temp in the car...
to come in and cool off. She later saw her sitting on the side of the road just completely beat and told her she was going to take her to go get ice cream. So after they went to Dairy Queen they walked across the street and came into the visitors center. It was so sweet to take them around the center and Elizabeth (girl from Slovakia) totally felt the spirit. She was just so overwhelmed by the love that she felt that she started to cry! She was just a sweet heart! We took her through the new exhibit we have which is all about service and following the example of Jesus Christ by helping those in need. I invited her to learn more about the church and I am going to keep in touch with her over email :) I just LOVE the visitors center! Some day you all will come here and see what I mean :)
Ok, so the Gable ward. Oh my goodness YSA. It is just soo different! But I love it! It is just really fun to get to teach and strengthen people my own age! But yeah so as I had been saying we had been struggling to find people. Our area is huge and a lot of the time when the elders and sisters find ysa's they don't give them the option to go to the singles ward... But that's ok! Heavenly Father has helped us to be in the right places at the right times. So one cool experience: We were driving down the road trying to contact former investigators when all the sudden we see this giant tv in the middle of the road! We decided to pull over and try to move it. Good thing Sister Pickett is strong haha jk But we got it over to the side walk and as we were walking back to the car I noticed this man painting his fence. I gave him an invitation to the exhibit and asked him if he had ever talked with missionaries before. He said yes but that it had been a few years ago. He then said that he would like for them to come back and talk with him again! So we got his info and testified to him of the restored gospel and how it will help him in his life. He wants spanish speaking missionaries so that his family can listen in too. So we're not going to be teaching him, but honestly I don't even care. I just love seeing how Heavenly Father uses all of us to find His children who are prepared to receive the gospel. And to think if we hadn't stopped to pick up that tv we never would have met him! Observe and then serve. So many miracles come from serving others! :) So that same day we were going through this apartment complex trying to contact more people when we ran into this guy named Malkom. I just knew we needed to go and talk to him the instant I saw him. So we went over and he told us about how his grandpa had just died. His grandpa was a very religious man and he said he wants to have God more in his life. Malkom is 19! We are sooo excited to teach him!! We had just a short brief lesson with him yesterday about the Book of Mormon and he is so excited to read it! So another miracle, Isaac! So Isaac was meeting with missionaries in another area, but then he moved into our area. We have been trying for a little while to get in touch with him- maybe I told you about that last week? We finally did get a chance to meet him last Sunday. Well we had a lesson with him this Sunday and it was amazing. He is searching for the truth and he was so excited about everything we talked about!  :D Then this morning we went over to the temple to do some service in the gardens. Sister Gordon (who is now companions with sister Remington!) came up to me and said she has a new investigator for us! This guy who had been a foster child in the area they are serving in just came back in town to visit. He told them that he felt prompted to go visit this family in the ward and they invited him to go to church with them. When he was at church he met the Sisters and he told them when he was younger he took the missionary lessons and he didn't know why he never got baptized because he knew it was all true!! Look at all these prepared people that Heavenly Father is blessing us with :) We have to trust Him and trust His timing. That has been a Huge lesson I have had to learn on my mission and I'm sure I'll continue to learn it over and over again throughout my life.

But anyways familia, know that I have so much hope and faith that all things will be made right because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I trust that He will pull through for us and that everything that is unfair will one day be made fair. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. Yesterday I was reading over the words to the hymn "I Stand all Amazed". That is a good one :) I do truly stand all amazed. I love my Savior and I am so grateful for everything He has done for me. This mission is 100% not about me, but at the same time He has made it completely about me. I am just so grateful and so blessed. Remember that everyday is a gift and that we truly are sooo blessed.

Saying goodbye to Hermana. Clark

Saying goodbye to Sis. Ellsworth

Have fun on your road trip! Be safe! WHAT I can't believe Abby has her permit!!! CRAZY!!! Man I feel like I'm getting old. I can't believe I'll be 22 soon! eew. haha I hope everything continues to go well with the house! How crazy would that be if you guys got chosen for that show!!! Keep me posted! I sent letters to you guys and to Eugenie so I hope you get them soon. Oh my goodness, so Sister Pickett's brother got his mission call and guess where he's going.... Atlanta North Mission!!!!!!! CRAZY SMALL WORLD!!! That's why we're companions :) He will get there in the end of November- December so keep an eye out for him! I love you all sooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have an amazing week!!! and send me lots of pictures and updates!!!
Love, Sister Hamstead
ps- I still haven't gotten the package you sent me...