|Tacos for the road... long trip ahead...|
|Me and Hna Gonzales :)|
|Hnas Blau and Van der Toolen :)|
|What are they doing!?|
|Filipe, Hermana White's recent convert who baptized Martha, and Martha.|
|Martha after her baptism.|
|The people from the Arvin Group who came to Martha's baptism.|
|Hnas Gonzales and Willamson, in my FIRST APARTMENT!!! :)|
|Us and Martha.|
May 30 (1 day ago)
Mom and Dad I just want to start off by saying how much I love you and appreciate all that you do for me! Thank you for all of your support and love!! I did get the package and I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much!!! I have actually been meaning to ask you for markers and keep forgetting so that was perfect!!! And the sunscreen was well needed and the shirt and candy much appreciated :) <3 And thank you for the updates of what's been going on!! I really appreciate it!!
So I have a LOT to report on this week so I will try to be brief so I can get it all in!! So we had 2 exchanges this week and a baptism!!! (That picture you got was of the lady - Martha - who got baptized and the man - Filipe - who baptized her :) It was sent to you from a member named Hermana Navarro. She is the BEST member EVER!!!! She gives us referrals for her friends ALL the time!!! One of these days one of them will want to listen and get baptized!!)
Anyways, so first exchange was in LITTLE ROCK my first area!!!!! It was so fun to be back!!!! So the Hermanas were Hnas Gonzales and Williamson. I went with Hna Gonzales. She is a convert to the church from about 3 years ago. She is from Mexico City but has lived in California for the last 3 years, then got called to her mission in Cali!! She is really good but kind of sad. It was really hard to get her to talk or really want to do anything. I tried to be as happy as possible for her. She just doesn't seem like she's enjoying it very much. We are trying to think of ways to get her excited again :) Then our other exchange was in Esperanza which is the other side of Palmdale. So we had to drive all the way to Palmdale from Arvin TWICE this week!!! It was SO MUCH DRIVING!!!!
Anyway after that exchange it was planning day. We got home late because of driving and had basically no time to plan!! And we were trying to plan for 2 more exchanges next week. And we have some other people that we need to prepare for baptism that we weren't able to this week because of exchanges. We were pretty darn stressed about that. That night was Martha's baptismal interview and after the interview the elders gave us blessings. This week has been really good just really stressful not having time to be in our area!!!
The next day we had exchanges with the Hermanas in Esperanza are Hnas Van der Toolen and Blau. I went with Hna Van der Toolen. She is an awesome Hermana!!! She was super sweet!! She is REALLY good with people and has a lot of faith. We have started every exchange out with a challenge to pray for someone specific to find on the exchange that will get baptized in the following month, and then we will go out and find them! All to build our faith to reap like in that talk I told you about. Well with Hnas Gonzales and Williamson it didn't happen. We all prayed and decided on someone to find but we weren't all 100% committed to finding them. But with Hnas Van der Toolen and Blau all of us were 100% committed to finding a family of 4 with some awkward 40 yr old single guy somehow related to them. That was what we prayed about and felt we could find. Well we had found some people and were having a successful exchange, but then in our last hour of the exchange Hna Van der Toolen and I stopped and talked to a lady in her garage. She was really nice but was busy decorating for her daughter's birthday party so we offered to help. She let us in and her husband gave us pizza and water. Then we set up some tables and while we did that we talked to this awesome guy in his 40s. He was single because his wife had just passed away (can you say being humbled?) and he has had and has been reading the Book of Mormon for the last 2 years and is in Ether. He was really excited to "FINALLY talk to some Mormons!!" He was REALLY cool!!! And turns out that he was the brother of the guy who gave us pizza and water. And that guy has 4 kids!! So we found a family with 4 kids with a single 40 yr old man who's their brother living with them!!!! WE FOUND THEM!!!! And they came to church yesterday!!!!!!!!! AND they had a member present lesson with them yesterday!!!!!!! How incredible right!!!!!! Specific prayers really do work and the Lord rewards us for showing forth our faith!!! That was such a miracle!!!! So that exchange was a success!!! It was a little rough for Hna White though because her and Hna Blau were on bikes because the hermanas ran out of miles on their car so they got bikes from members. They had a lot of fun and got a LOT of sun!!!!! It was so funny to watch them ride away swerving left and right trying to ride a bike in a skirt!!! HAHA!!! I wanted to ride the bike just for the experience, but at the same time I like having AC :) #blessed :)
And thenour investigator Martha Sigala GOT DUNKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is the first investigator that I have found, taught, and baptized!!!!! With Mario I taught him all but lesson 5 (cuz I got transferred) and Ada had been taught for YEARS, we just finished the job!! But Martha is the CUTEST thing ever!!!!! She is basically blind, but she still drives to church because her punk daughter won't take her!!! She is so cute!!! She showed up late to the baptism feeling REALLY sick, like she almost went to the hospital sick. But she told us that she told her daughter "I can't go to the hospital!! I have to get baptized!!!" So she came and got baptized!!! Then when she got out of the water she said that she felt 100x better and she looked 100x better too!!!! Proof that blessings do come from doing what the Lord wants you to do!!! But unfortunately because she was late and sick and everything we didn't get a picture with her in her baptismal whites :( but we did get pictures with her afterward!!! And she was baptized by Hna White's recent convert Filipe who got baptized last time she was here!! So that was cool for her to see!!! It was such a sweet experience!!! Not very many people came to the baptism though.. but it was still sweet :)
So there was my week in a nutshell!! It was pretty crazy but a lot of fun!!! Lots of miracles, lots of love, lots of faith, lots of chuggin' along!!! But it's going good!!! I love you so so much!!!! Thank you for your examples!!!! <3
Hermana Martineau <3