May 5, 2014
My Dearest Family,
Greetings from Lawndale, California! I'm officially serving in the Hermosa Liahona Ward. My mind was literally spinning for the first few days. Its a complete culture shock, new location, new companion, new ward, and trying to remember a language I once new. But even with all that, I love it here.
My new companion is Hermana Diaz. She's was born in Honduras, but spent most of her life in New Jersey. And she's great. It’s only her second transfer (I'm starting to feel really old in the mission.) But she is doing so great. She has only been in the area for six weeks, so neither one of us knows the streets very well, but every time we get the address wrong, we just talk to whoever is there and offer them a Book of Mormon card. So it’s always a win. Ha-ha!
We are currently work in Lawndale and our area actually borders the beach. The area is great, but like I said its a big difference. In LA YSA, we did so much street contacting because there were so many people on the street. I get here, and like no one is on the streets. Big adjustment. I feel like I have to relearn how to do missionary work again. Its like I'm starting my mission all over again. ;)
So I was enlightened a few weeks ago. I'm almost embarrassed to say it took me a year to figure this out, but at least I have time to apply it. It hit me a few weeks ago, that I do nothing to convert people. The Spirit converts. My job is to place people in settings where they will feel the Spirit and feel it testifying to them the truthfulness of the Gospel. And that's the part that hit me. When planning for lessons, I've never really taken that into account before. I have always tried to teach to their needs, but never thinking about how to bring a strong Spirit into the room. So I have since repented and changed my ways, its still a work in progress, but it has helped me a lot in my planning.
This week we really saw the hand of God in our lives. First example was on Thursday. We had an appointment with a potential investigator. Apparently, Hermana Diaz had met this man and his wife once before. We had a return appointment, but as soon as we got there, we saw the wife leave. We didn't feel good about just going to talk to the man by ourselves. Well turns out, this family lives near an older lady named Hermana F. in our ward. So we decided to just drop by and let me meet her. We knocked, and she said, "You are an answer to my prayers."
Hermana F. had been feeling really sick that day. Her daughter lives with her and helps take care of her, but had to leave for work, but was still concerned about her mother. When we stopped by that night, Hermana F. was still in pain. We said a prayer with her and then Hermana Diaz was inspired to call the Elders. They came over and gave her a blessing and then we all had to leave. On Sunday, the daughter told us that she was so grateful for what we had done with her mother. When she had gotten home that night, the mother told her, the missionaries came over and gave her a blessing and after the blessing her pain was gone. It was a super cool moment to see how the Lord puts us where he needs us to be.
Second miracle was last night actually. Our goals were one member present lesson and two new investigators. We had an appointment with a potential and brought our Ward Mission Leader. So everything was going well and we were going to make our goal. Well... the potential wasn't home. (Welcome to our lives.) I was so disappointed. Our Ward Mission Leader is literally one of the coolest people ever. (His name is Hermano R.) And he was willing to go with us for the rest of the night and try someone else. We had received a referral from another set of missionaries and went to try and contact them at their house. Well after getting lost, then realizing after knocking on the door that we were on the wrong street, and then finding the right house with a huge scary dog and neighbors yelling, we found the right door. And.... the referral wasn't home; once again, disappointment. I had this feeling that we really needed to meet our goals for that day. We had a member with us; it was just finding someone to listen.
As we were walking back to our car, it was almost eight; I had this idea to knock on this one door. And let me tell you, this goes against everything that I believe it. I hate knocking doors, especially close to 8 or after. People get all mad because it’s "too" late. But there was a bunch of noise coming from this one house so 1) I knew they were home. 2) There was this feeling again that we had to meet our goals. So I asked Hno R. if we could do one more house. He and Hna Diaz looked at me like I was crazy, but consented. And that is how we found O. We knocked, he came to the door, and I did my very best to explain to him about the Book of Mormon in Spanish. He told us he had met missionaries before and was willing to let us come back. We are going to see him hopefully this coming Saturday.
Both experiences were a huge testimony builder, a realization that Heavenly Father is very aware of us. I had been kind of having a week of doubts and questioning everything, and asking myself yet again why I was putting myself through this. I was wondering if there was someone listening to my prayers and guiding my steps. I had been praying for some experience to help strengthen my faith. And there it was last night. It reminds me of Doctrine and Covenants 123:17. Let us do our part and then watch for his Hand, because He is there, even when we falter and have our doubts. The feeling I had afterwards was so much gratefulness for a wonderful loving Heavenly Father. He is there. And I am excited that I have the opportunity to share that with others.
Love you all so much!!
Let me know if there is anything I can do for you!
Hermana Mik Pillar
PS Does 5pm your time work for skype on Sunday? We will be going to our Relief Society President’s place. And I think we are going around 2pm here. Let me just say that I can't believe its Mother's Day already. Like that flew. I feel like we were just planning when we were going to talk on Christmas.