Monday, January 23, 2017

The Church of later DeSantis

 We knew Heavenly Father loved us this week because of the miracles we saw, the free food we received, and the rainbows that came after the rain.
     David is on track to be baptized on Saturday!!! Oscar is on track to be baptized on Feb 4th! Sister Chiang and I set a goal to baptize two people this transfer. the transfer before she leaves. We will have two baptisms this transfer. One this weekend, one the next. YAY for GOAL SETTING! 

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Matt 21:22

    I admire Sister Chiang so much, for working so hard until the last day of her mission. She only has two weeks left and we are working as if we just got to the field. We are happy and healthy and LOVING EVERY SECOND!!!!!!!! How great is our calling. and how short.
     I went campus contacting with Sister Herbine at Berkeley! I got some materials and locked the car. A thought popped into my head (the Spirit) to grab a Book of Mormon. I dont usually carry one with me, but I grabbed one and stuck it in my bag, not thinking anything of it. The sun was out for 5 minutes, then it would rain with black clouds for 5 minutes, then sun again. Sweating, freezing, sweating, freezing. We talked to lots of people!! I love seeing all the different outfits and stlyes and people and cultures. I think we saw more men wearing make up than women! We keep seeing people we have talked to before because we come here so much haha. We were walking down a sidewalk with TONS of people and I saw a man we had talked to earlier this week. We stepped aside and he remembered my name! We chatted and suddenly he goes, "Do you have a Book of Mormon for me?" I almost said no but then I remembered that I had one in my bag!!!!!! I smiled and said, "yes." I gave it to him and he stuck it in his jacket because he wanted to keep it dry. I KNOW that that was the Lord who prompted me to put a Book of Mormon in my bag. That wasn't my plan! I didnt know I was going to see him again OR that he would ask me for a Book of Mormon!! This is the Lord's work and we are just His instruments. I learned that day the importance of listening to the promptings of the Spirit. I learned that day that the LORD is in charge. I learned that day that we just need to put ourselves out there and open our mouths. 
     It was 2:30 and we started walking back to our car, which was parked at the Institute parking lot because we needed to be at the Visitors' Center at 2:50. We were hurrying because we were all the way across campus!! On the way I thought of this quote, 

"It is not needful for … mine sisters to be moving swiftly … whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief."

 I had to talk to one more person. We talked to this Catholic guy about the Book of Mormon. He wasn't interested and we headed to our car. It was 2:55 and we were supposed to be at the VC 5 minutes ago. We were hurrying so fast and as we turned the corner to our car, I saw this super nice car pulling out of the Institute parking lot. All of the sudden the car backed up back into the driveway. The window rolled down and I look and who is it? M A U R I C I O!!!!!!!!!! Mauricio was our investigator last year but we lost contact with him. I RAN up to him and said "MAURICIO?!" A look of relief flooded his face and he said, "hi." I said, "NICE CAR!" I told him how much I missed him and we caught up a little bit. We havent seen him since the beginning of December. Then I asked, "Wait, what are you doing here?" He said, "I came to find you." I was just FILLED with humility and gratitude towards my Heavenly Father. I told Mauricio that we were supposed to be AT the Visitors' Center 5 minutes ago. I bore my testimony to him that this precious experience was the Lord's hand. This was a miracle. He made this happen because He loves us! Mauricio smiled ear to ear and said, "I know." He knows it was the Lord. He knows he was supposed to meet us today. He has lost our phone number and wanted to see us. So the Spirit guided him! He came to the Institute the exact time we were going to be there. What if we would have been 5 minutes earlier or later. Mauricio wasn't in our plans. It wasn't because we timed it perfectly or set good plans or said a prayer full of faith. Nope. It was all the Lord. AGAIN, we are just HIS INSTRUMENTS. What if we would have slept in all day because it was raining and we were tired. We arent allowing the Lord to work miracles or guide us to people or help us open our mouths. We have to wake up and do our part and go to work and open our mouths. The Lord does the rest. and more. I LOVE THIS WORK! Mauricio said he had overcome the problems and challenges that he was facing and was ready to meet with us.

Funny moments: 
1. I was following up with someone that I sent the missionaries to online. I said, "Have you been able to meet with the missionaries yet?" They said yes and I asked what message the missionaries shared with him. He said, "About the church of later DeSantis." It took everything in me not to say, "Oh wow! I have never heard of that church before."
2. We always pray together at the beginning and end of our Visitors Center shift. It was past closing time and we were trying to round everyone up to pray. We were kneeling in the room waiting for everyone to come in and I said, "Let's pray!" and Sister Chiang said, "Let's communicate with God!" 
3. There was a 4 year old little boy at the Visitors Center who loved opening the door and letting people in. Two ladies walked up and he opened the door for them and goes, "Here you go, old ladies!"
4. We were campus contacting in the rain and it was SOO windy! Everyone had umbrellas covering their faces and walking quickly and obviously didnt want to talk to us. I walked up in front of this girl and said, "HiI! We are missionari--," and right as I lifted up my umbrella a little bit to talk to her, the wind caught my umbrella and flipped it inside out and threw me backwards and my hair was wrapped around my head and I almost fell over. I fixed my umbrella and caught my balance and pulled my hair out of my face and looked up and she was just standing there with a straight face and walked around me. I looked over at Sister Contreras and she was bent over laughing soo hard. I wish I could have seen myself. We laughed for a while.
5. I was explaining who our investigator David was to Sister Ward. I said, "Bee is his boyfriend...sorry I mean girlfriend!" Elder Neves goes, "Well, this is the Bay Area." 

    We have been meeting with a few members of our ward each week and inviting them to share the gospel through Facebook. We pray, talk about it, have them pull out their phones and get on Facebook. They scroll through their friends list with a prayer in their heart, then pick someone, send them a video with their testimony!! It is really great! I know the Lord provides technology for us to share the gospel and spread it quickly around the world!!! So one of our members, Kaity, picked someone named Albert. He replied immediately and said, "I have been searching for God and wanting to get close to Him. I was just at a Christian booth on campus and you texted me. I will definitely come to church with you this Sunday." He came to church and we set a return appointment with him for this week. MIRACLES! This strengthened our faith and the faith of our members! We have been sharing this with everyone and it is motivating them to do missionary work and reach out to their friends!
     We gave a tour to a less active Togan girl at the VC. She said she was heading somewhere else but she felt something pulling her here. Reluctantly, she came in. The whole time she had tears in her eyes and kept saying, "I need to go back to church." I can tell you it was nothing that we said or did. It was simply the Spirit that she felt. 
     I had the sweetest experience the other day. A family came into the VC, a mom, dad, and two kids. They were raising their kids bilingual. The dad only spoke German to them and the mom only spoke English to them. They wanted to listen to the Christ statue and I asked them what language they wanted to listen to. They said, "either one!" So I chose German. Afterwards, the little girl, about 6 years old, said, "This was a reminder to me that He speaks all of the languages. I know that He loves us." I was speechless. She spoke the truth. He knows all the languages. He knows all the brains. He knows all the hearts. He knows all the cultures. He knows all the pain. He knows all the trials. And He loves all the people. 

"He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female." (2 Nephi 26:33)

     I would love to testify of the peace that the gospel brings. It will fill our hearts. It will clear our crowded minds. It will calm our racing hearts. It will give us an eternal perspective. It will allow us to endure faithfully. I have watched the turmoil and suffering and confusion in people's lives who reject the gospel. I have watched the happiness and tranquility and strength in those who have accepted it. We cannot turn to the world for peace or happiness. Maybe temporarily. But that will soon fade. The only way to feel lasting peace is by living the gospel of Jesus Christ each day. He will provide us a peace we cannot find elsewhere. He Himself has promised:

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." John 14:27


Zone Activity

more rainbow

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Sister Gonzalez eating her first piece of gum in a year

package from Riley

Riley sent me the cutest necklace with the Oakland Temple coordinates on it


Exchanges with Sister Contreras

Our ward mission leader telling us we were great for the first time in 6 months.

We appreciated this text!


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