Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Really BIG huge REALLY really big huge HUGE miracle!!!

Dear family,

Boy do I have news for all of you!!!!!! Ahhhh I am just soooo excited!!! So I think I mentioned in my last email that we had set a new baptismal date with Tanya, but I don't think I mentioned that it was for th the 22nd!. Family..... 

TANYA  GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I can't  express to you how amazing of an experience this has been. So let me recount the baptism to you all and I will do my very best to include as many details as possible :) sister Younce and I got permission to attend and so after an appointment we headed to the stake center in my old area (which was actually Sister Younces greeny area this past summer!). We got there just as they were singing the opening song and so we grabbed a seat in the back/middle. Just sitting in that room with so many people that I love and seeing Tanya up front dressed in white made me feel like I was in heaven. And that's when the tears started- and then they didn't end till the end of the night! The first speaker was sister shauna tucker. I got so close to her when I was in hither area because she came to Tanya's lessons a lot and ate breakfast on Christmas with her and her family. I just love her and her family! Anyways when she got up she was already crying and she apologized and said she had been fine until she saw the sisters in the back row (me & sister younce). It was so touching! She gave a wonderful talk on baptism and explained the covenant and everything very well. Tanya was So sweet and just kept crying as well because she was feeling the spirit so strongly. Sister tucker mentioned that the night before Tanya's  baptism Tanya had called her and she was so happy and giddy! She told Sister Tucker that she felt like her baptism day was her wedding day.  I remember feeling that same kind of excitement the night before I went through the temple for the first time. So special. Then Sister Vancapella gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. She has also
been an amazing neighbor and fellowshipper to Tanya. The night that Tanya failed her baptismal interview the first sister Amy Vancapella and her husband were there and they
continued to love and support her through out this whole experience. After that sister Holly Michaud sang "Come Thou Fount" and man that just hammered in the spirit!! When it was finally time for the ordinance the Stake President went down into the font and Tanya followed. Tanya hadn't seen me yet because I had been in the back. It was such a touching moment and one that I will never forget - when Tanya looked up at the people watching and she saw me. She just had the biggest smile on her face and she started crying and said thank you. Sister Tucker and Sister Michaud came and gave me hugs and then the 3 of us stood together- me I between them - with our arms around each other. I said I just can't believe this is happening and Sister Michauds response was - this is the Lords work. That it is! Little baby Jackson started to cry right before Tanya was about to go under but she looked at him and told him it is going to be ok. Then she went under the water and it was completely silent. All you could hear were Tanya's sobs of joy. And of course you know that I could not control my tears. I went into the back with Sister Tucker, Taumarawa, and Finau. Tanya will still sopping wet in her jumpsuit kneeling on the floor. I think she was praying. I went over to her and knelt down by her. She took my hand and kissed it and told me that I saved her life and that she was so happy I came. My heart was just about to burst!!!! I told her that Heavenly Father is so proud of her and that I love her so much and we were then hustled back out to do our little part while she changed. We
played a little Mormon message. We went to stand in the back and sister free came back to give me a hug. She is the wife of the high councilor over missionary work for the stake, and they were in our ward so we got to know them very well. I love them!
Anyways she gave me a big hug and told me what a good job I did and that I worked so
hard. She told me that she loves me and gave me a big squeeze. Mommy she reminds me so much of you!!! Sister T, Finau, and I all stood in the back with our arms around each other. The spirit was so strong and I just felt so blessed!!!! What a miracle!!! After the little Mormon message we shared our testimonies of the restoration. I was just so completely speechless and overcome by emotions that I think I just made a fool of myself! Haha! Oh well :) Tanya came back out and the bishop had her come and share her story. She shared how she had been having a hard time and all the other stuff I have told you guys before, but she mentioned something new that she had never told us before. She said that we saved her because she was planning on ending her life. She had said her life had become too dark and she was too bro ken to carry on. She had prayed for help and she knew that god sent us to her and offered her new life through the gospel. A fresh start- that is what Christ's atonement offers to all of us. She said that when she was meeting with us she knew that God was telling her that He loves her, but in a girl voice :) it was such a sweet and sacred baptismal service- perhaps one of the greatest miracles of my mission. It was amazing to see it from start to finish- but really this is only the beginning! I have a testimony of this gospel. It is pure, it is true, and it will change us. Everyone is looking for happiness, everyone is looking for God. I have found Him through
living His gospel and by watching how He takes care of his children. He loves us, all of us. We are all special to him. Don't let yourself think otherwise even for a second! After he service I just ran up to Tanya and gave her a big hug!!! I will never forget these  experiences and what I have learned from them. They will always be a part of me because they have changed me. Never ever ever give up- ever!! In times of discouragement and despair trust that you have a loving Father in heaven who knows you best and who has a plan for you. I love my mission, and the reason why I love it is because I have invested so much of myself into it. I have mad this my home, I have made the
people my family, I have loved The Lord and his gospel at such a deeper level than ever before. I feel such peace, such satisfaction. Life is so good! And let me tell you something about miracles, they happen every day!!

Ok what else happened this week... I went on exchanges with Sister Moreton and Beaudette in the Lehi stake. It was soo fun and we saw sooo many miracles too!! I just love missionary work!!!! Our investigator Mary is starting to progress which is awesome!! We invited her to be baptized early this week and she said she has always wanted to be baptized. I just thought cool we can help you with that! Haha she was sick so she couldn't make it to church onbut she will. The work is really starting to pick up in our area. Blessings!!

A lesson I have learned I my mission is to ask for help- or when you stand in need of something. So you might think this is kinda dumb, but it was a miracle to me! At the last apartment complex I lived at we had a nice gym that we would go to every morning. When I moved into this house they have no gym and my companion doesn't like to
exercise/run... Ahhh I didn't know what to do! I prayed and asked Heavenly Father and I just felt prompted to ask the member we are living with if any of the neighbors have a gym that we could use in the mornings. We had just been going outside in the mornings and sister younce would stretch on the grass while I ran up and down the street- ya there was no way I could just keep running in circles the whole transfer! Anyways we get back from our exchange and the member told us somebody donated an elliptical for us to put in our room and the bishop of her ward has a full gym in his garage that we can use whenever- he just lives down the street. Wowwww Heavenly Father answers prayers!!! Yayyy!!! That was my little miracle :) haha 

I love you all sooo much!!! Never forget that!! Thank you for your prayers- thank you for praying for Tanya. I know that made a difference.

Love forever,
Sister Hamstead