Monday, September 23, 2013

Remember..the call is not the place (Sept 16)

Well it has been another amazing week here in Mesa! So many amazing people have come into my life and I have seen the Lord's hand in so many ways. I just love being a missionary and having this time of my life to fully devote to the Lord. It is sooo nice not having to think about myself and my own problems. It really helps me to see the daily miracles in my life both big and small. So I am going to start off by telling you some awesome visitors center miracles.

Miracle numero uno: Karlos. So I was up at the front greet when this guy walks in. He asked me if he could have a Bible and I wasn't sure if he actually meant a Bible or the Book of Mormon... I think he could tell that I was kinda hesitating and then he clarified by saying, "You know one of your Bibles- the blue book.". Ok he was talking about the Book of Mormon. I went to grab him one from the back and Elder Beckstrand started to chat with him a bit and found out that he wasn't a member and that he wanted to find the nearest church. So I came back with the Book of Mormon and then Elder Beckstrand went to the back to look up his ward info. I talked with him a little bit more and found out he had just moved here from Independence, Missouri. He had been exposed to the church while in Missouri and said that he really admired the faith and unity of the members. Just at that moment a woman who had recently joined the church came in and talked with him about her conversion to the gospel. I love the Visitors Center :) Elder Beckstrand came back with his ward and Bishops info and I sat and talked with Karlos for a few minutes about church. As people normally do, he freaked out when he found out it was 3 hours long haha but he was excited to go. He said he wasn't ready for missionaries to come and teach him in his home just yet, but he said that I could teach him with sister Gordon over the phone and in the visitors center. Yay! When he left that day he said he was going to sit down and read the Book of Mormon that very day. I called him again on Saturday to follow up and make sure he was still planning on going to church and he said yes. He told me that he had already sat down with the Bishop and was excited to meet the people in the ward. I asked him about his Book of Mormon reading and he said that it was going really good! I asked him if he had prayed about it and he seemed kind of confused.  He told me that he had been raised only saying recited prayers and that he wasn't sure how to do it. That was like music to my ears and I was so excited to teach him how to pray. After we talked I invited him to say a prayer and he did it! I love the Visitors Center and having the opportunity to teach people in so many different ways! That whole lesson was over the phone and the spirit was just as powerful. We are going to call on Tuesday and see how his experience was at church :)

#2: Lita! 
Lita was a sweet Navajo woman who just moved down to mesa from up north on the reservation. She had been being taught by the missionaries and had a baptismal date set for September 14th. BUT she moved! That is like a missionaries worst nightmare. So, she was just walking around Mesa when all the sudden she found this big white building that she thought was a bank. She went in the front doors and they told her she was in the temple, and then they told her to go check out the visitors center. She was soo excited that she had found the church again! It was so great getting to meet her and seeing that the Lord had really guided her there. She had lots of questions about the temple and it was amazing getting to use the resources to teach her and show her what the temple was about. She was in tears and told me that her father had just passed away one year ago. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the restored gospel and that Heavenly Father has provided a way for all of us to be together eternally. I am so grateful for this plan of happiness- I know it is real! The greatest thing about this gospel is that it makes me happy. That is one of the biggest testaments to me. Anyways, so I got Lita's information and I am going to start teaching her over the phone until she gets a permanent residence and then I'll transfer her to her local missionaries.
There were soooo many more miracles, but for the sake of time I am going to move on now to area miracles! So you know that we have been struggling to find investigators, well we had a miracle this week! Bishop had told us to go visit this girl who had been less active for years. Her name is Danielle and we knew that the Elders had gone by before to visit her and she had not been interested, but we went by anyways! Well actually I wasn't there because I was on exchanges with some other sisters, but Sister Gordon went and brought another companionship with her. So they went in and Danielle was sssuuupppeerr friendly! She shared with the sisters how she had been having a great desire to come back to church and to find out for herself if it all was true. Also Danielle has a roommate/bff named Dana. She was also there for the little meeting and said she would like for us to teach her too!!! When Sister Gordon told me all that had happened I freaked out and was sooo excited!! We went back to teach them on Sunday (last night) and had an awesome lesson about prayer. I am learning sooo much about prayer lately! Sister Gordon made a comment that I loved. She said you feel like it is easier to just find your answers by asking your mom or your dad, but what Heavenly Father wants us to do is come to Him and ask Him. Why? Because He wants us to know Him. He wants us to develop that personal relationship with Him. He wants us to build our faith by learning to come unto Him and submitting our will to His. THis is something I have really had to learn and focus on while serving my mission. It was always soo easy back home to just pick up the phone and ask you guys the questions I have had, but not having that as readily as before has really caused me to turn to my Heavenly Father. I love prayer! After our lesson we went with both Dana and Danielle to a fireside/concert. It was this tongan guy and it was AMAZING!!! Look up this song called, "How can I be". I LOVE it.

So exchanges were amazing and I learned soo much!! I got to go back to my old area (Lazona ward!) So that was really fun! Holy cow it felt funny teaching adults again haha! I am just soo used to YSA's now! It's all I've known since like April. I love having the opportunity to serve these sisters even more. Look for people that you can serve and uplift this week. I can promise you that they are out there!! 

Well family I hope you have an amazing week! Christopher I hope you get your call soon!!! Remember that the call is not to the place. The call you will be receiving is a call to serve the Lord- then He tells you what portion of the vineyard He needs you in. There will be people there who will need you- your personal experiences and testimony. I love you brother!!

Have a great week!! Have a Bday party in my behalf and send me pics! :D 
Sister Hamstead
ps- the thing that would make my birthday super wonderful would be if you all prayed to have a missionary opportunity on that day. Pray with faith and desire and I know you will see miracles. Tell me how it goes!!!!!