Monday, November 18, 2013

Dear Family, I know there is a God. He is Real.

Dear family, 

I know there is a God. If anything in my testimony has been strengthened this week it would have to be just that. God. He's real. So I don't even know where to start. I wrote out a few points that I wanted to talk about, but we'll see how this goes...
Well, let's start with Monday. It was a great day! 

OK onto Tuesday, we were in the area during the day and had shift at the Visitors Center from 3-9. Mine and Sister T's dinner had to cancel so we were excited to go out to eat and had so much fun! I love hearing stories from her island and learning more about her culture. It is just sooo different! But she is just doing sooo good with all of the changes. She is amazing :) When we came back from dinner we were on shift in the back greet area so we headed over there. Then sister Gordon came around the corner and said she needed to talk to me. I was excited and followed after her, then she told me it wasn't good news. We sat down in Elder Beckstrands office and she handed me her phone. I took it and she told me to push call. I was very confused. Then I looked at the caller id and saw that it was Imani's number. That's when I started to get worried. I had remembered you all emailing me and telling me that Brother Rincon wasn't doing so well and Imani had told me she was going to be going back to Georgia for a little bit for the same reason. I called the number and Imani answered she told me what happened and my heart just sunk. I just started crying. Sister Gordon went and got Elder Beckstrand and I told him what happened. I asked him if I could go be with Imani and he told me to go. I can't even tell
you how sacred of an experience it was to be there. To actually get to be there with my dearest friend the night her father passed away. When Imani first moved into my ward here in Mesa I was wondering why on earth that would ever happen or how it could ever happen and Sister Gordon said that one of us would probably end up needing each other. All of that just flooded back into my memory as Sister Gordon and I drove over to Imani and Sierra's house. I asked if Sister Gordon could come with me because she had served with me in Imani's ward and I needed her to help me be strong. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father allowed us to be together during this time. I left her house feeling peaceful. I got to help her pack and it was so nice to all be together and to share our testimonies of the plan of salvation. We laughed and we cried. I went to bed peaceful that night, but then I woke up. You know it's always harder the next day when you realize it wasn't a dream. I tried to keep myself busy and happy, but I just felt sad. I was super frustrated because I just felt weak- come on I'm a missionary, I know everything's going to be ok! Why am I so sad?? I know...stupid thoughts. Even though I am a missionary I am still a human being and I still have feelings lol Anyways so we had VC that morning and a bunch of us went to the little cafe where they feed the missionaries for free. I was trying so hard the whole time not to cry. I rode back in the car with Sister T and Sister Gordon and I just blurted out "Sister's, I'm having a hard time." then I lost it. I was just crying and I couldn't stop. Brother Rincon was like my own dad. Back in the day if I wasn't hanging out with Imani at our house then I was over at her house. Their family was my family and it just hurt so bad. I asked one of the Senior Elders to give me a blessing and then I told him I needed his wife to come in and give me a hug so I could pretend she was my mom. haha! But that's really all I wanted right then was to be with my family. It was a really low point.. and then guess what happened. Then Senior Elder came back in and told me "your friend is here!" Oh my gosh Heavenly Father did it again! Imani and Sierra came into the back and we basically had a repeat of the night before. We just all hugged and cried and talked and laughed and reminisced about our dear papa Sonny :) When they left I felt so much more peaceful and believe it or not I was actually able to go back to work just fine! I felt Heavenly fathers love as He gave me the strength to keep going. I am so grateful for the plan of salvation. I am so grateful to know that there is more to this life! Life does not end at death. Where would I be without this knowledge?? 

Ok this is a perfect lead in to the next and probably last miracle I will share with you all today. Sorry time crunch! So Saturday night this group of girls came into the VC and they were in the back looking at the panels that talk about the temple. I felt like I needed to go talk to them so I grabbed Sister T and we went on our way. They were super friendly and the aunt told me right away that she was not a member but that she was super intrigued. They had driven like an hour to get there because they thought the Christmas lights were going to be on, but they don't start until the day after Thanksgiving... but the aunt told them that she didn't want to waste the trip and got out to look around the temple. I asked them if they would like to see a little movie about what goes on inside the temples and they said yes. So I took them over to a little kiosk and played a little video about the baptistry. After the movie ended I noticed that the Aunt was crying and I asked her what she was thinking. She told me that her brother  (the girls father/the girls were her nieces, not sure if I specified that- the nieces are members) had died and her extended family had done his work for him, but she had never known what that meant. She was just so happy and kept repeating "I didn't know that was possible. I was never taught." I felt like they needed to watch Gods plan so I took them over to it. As they were watching I went and grabbed a Book of Mormon for the aunt as well as a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. When it ended Sister T shared her testimony about how she was converted and the blessings the gospel has brought into her life. The spirit was so strong. At this point the visitors center was just about to close so I told this sweet lady that God truly does have a plan for her and that it is never too late to accept blessings. She felt that it was too late for her and that she could never change, but I testified to her that because of Jesus Christ we can ALL change. We change every single day! I invited her to start reading from the Book of Mormon and I got her info so that we can keep in contact. I am going to continue to teach her over the internet and phone :) Miracle! Man I just feel so blessed and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father is so actively involved in my life. I see His hand every single day. 
Sister Gordon & Hermana Aquino

We had our farewell prep meeting this week for Sister Gordon and Hermana Aquino. I can't believe they are leaving!! We haven't had anybody leave the vc since Hermana Schwartz! I just hate how fast time is flying :( But I am loving every single minute I have out here! Oh we got transfer news and Sister T and I are staying together!! Yayyy! 

Sis. Miller goes home in 6 weeks!

Me and Sis. T. - staying together!

So her birthday is December the 12th and she probably will not be getting anything from home. She will be turning 22, so maybe you all could work some magic?? :) OHHH MOMM I need contacts. I know, so annoying. But I am dying and really need some more pairs. Just like 2 pairs could probably last me, but whatever you can dooo!! We got our Christmas lights schedule. Man it is crazy. Out of the 33 days of Christmas lights we will only have 7 nights in our area. And there are like 3 days where we will serve in the morning and then come back from 5:30-10. ccrraazzyyyy. It makes me tired just thinking about it! lol well I love you all! Thank you soo much for your prayers and for all of your support!! I am really hoping that I will be able to use you all to call some investigators :)

Sister love!
Have a great week family!! Pray for miracles and then do everything you can to facilitate them!!

Sister Hamstead