Tuesday, May 1, 2012

they have been prepared [From 9 APR 12]

My first exchange was really good! I was with Hermana McKay in Windsor. This week I’ll go to Napa with Hermana Ordonez. My day with Hermana McKay was really good. I learned so much from her. I felt like I was the new missionary learning from a more experienced missionary. We had some miracles. One being we were able to extend a baptismal date. The lesson was really good and it was just natural to invite her to a baptism. She accepted and the Spirit was very strong.

We also had a few miracles in Novato. Two investigators came to a baptism. One told us afterward that he decided during the baptism he wanted to be baptized. We were so happy for him! He told us that he would pray about a date this week and tell us on Saturday. In his prayer he asked that his baptism would be soon. It was a pretty neat experience.

Our other investigator, Katiuska, is doing so well! I just love her! She’s still in high school and going through a hard time with her family. But she is seriously thinking about baptism. After the baptism we lost her and then found her in the chapel praying. We snuck out and found a room and prayed too. It was a sweet sight to see.
So we had a good week! Many of our investigators are progressing and some of our less-actives. The Lord is so good!

I feel like there's more to tell you but I can't remember.
Oh! The branch went to the temple yesterday and Katiuska and another investigator, Javier went too. We haven't heard anything from them but we're hoping it went really well. Katiuska has told us many times that she wants to go to the temple. She knows what she needs to do to enter and has been thinking about baptism. We’ll be extending a date to her and we're praying she accepts. I just love her! She’s a strong teenager. I hope I’m here for her baptism. Katisuka is from Peru. Interesting name I know. It fits her though. She’s a painter.

Which reminds me. We have a baptism scheduled for the end of the month. Michelle is the wife of a RM. She has been taught before, but this time she's more prepared. In her prayer she expressed that she thinks that all she was waiting for was to be invited to be baptized. She’s excited and we'll be having dinner with them tonight. I’m pretty excited for her as well. Her comment reminded me that all we have to do is invite them. We need to have the faith that they have been prepared by the Lord and they’ll accept the invitation. We have been called to invite others to come unto Christ by receiving the restored gospel and being baptized. It’s such a great calling! I love being a missionary!

I had an interesting experience that I wanted to share. We have two new elders to the branch and it's been interesting getting to know them and working with them. They’re good missionaries. But what is interesting is through all of their questions about what I like to do and what I did before my mission caused me to think. I don't remember what I like to do. Well, that's not completely true. I know I like to cook and sew and play with children. I know I love, more than anything, to be with my family. But besides those basic things I don't remember. What I love doing is missionary work. It has become a part of who I am. I love sharing the gospel! I love bearing my testimony to everyone. It’s amazing how the Lord has changed me! I love it!

Sounds like you had a good Easter. Ours was very different. It didn't even feel like Easter really. Besides Easter talks nothing was different from any other Sunday. I guess they don't celebrate Easter here as much as they do at home. Or maybe it's because I’m a missionary that it was weird.

I really enjoyed the package. I had a few chocolates and brought the rest to church to share with the children after. The gum I had during personal study to keep me awake and focused better. It was kind of fun! I love the little picture! I smile every time I see it. And the cards are the best part of it. I cherished every word.

I keep praying for health too. It’s a hard balance between caring for myself and getting lost in the work.

I hope you don't recognize me when I get back. I hope that I have changed. It feels like I haven't changed at all but I suppose I have in some small way.

I love you!
Forever Love!
Hermana Stephenson

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