Feb 17, 2015 "Intercambios"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

(Transfer 1, Week 3, Area 1: Valencia)

What a week we had this week! Phew. The weeks tend to blur together, so sometimes I can't even remember what happened this week and what happened the weeks before. So I'll do my best to tell you these stories and I hope to be able to tell them adequately! 

So we've been working with a family of recent converts. I've told you in the past weeks about teaching Hna S about family history and how we were able to help her print names to take to the temple (yay!!) in a few weeks when the relief society goes. We are so excited for her! She made an appointment this week with Presidente Barrientos to get a temple recommend. I'm telling you, she is such an elect lady! Her faith is amazing. This week, we went over to visit her on Saturday night. The next lessons that we needed to teach her were the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity (mission bucket list: teaching the law of chastity on valentine's day: check). She was pretty sick, so we asked her if she wanted a priesthood blessing. It took a little while to help her understand that she wouldn't be inconveniencing anyone, so she agreed and we texted the ayudantes to come over and give her a blessing. While we were waiting for them to come over, we taught about the WoW/LoC and visited with the family. After the closing prayer, she ended up telling me about her life story. She has been through SO. MUCH. She was telling me these amazingly personal things about everything that she went through, her husband, her family.. all these crazy trials. But she has so much FAITH. She has taken situations that to anyone else, would destroy them. But the gospel gives her so much hope for the future and that she will be able to be blessed by the principles that we believe and teach. She is amazing! When the ayudantes, Elders Linford and Speth, arrived, they anointed her for the healing blessing, and gave her the most perfect blessing in the world, especially after what she had just been telling us (which the ayudantes knew nothing about at all). They blessed her to know that Heavenly Father knew all the trials she had been through and that He had been there with her through all of them, and He would continue to be there in the future trials she had and He loved her so much. Her face at the end of the blessing.... wow. Bien paz. Milagro.

This week we also had... exchanges!!!!!!!! I went with Hna Morse to Reseda! We had dinner with a family, and then taught a lesson to a recent convert, C! He reminds me of a hispanic Chase Dixon, seriously. He's 21, but he looks really young. He has so much faith! He's only been baptized a month but he's already planning on going on a mission!! We had brought another member with us to the lesson, and at the end of the lesson, C goes into his room and comes out with something behind his back and tells me and Hna Alvarada (our member) to close our eyes and hold out our hands. He puts a really pretty handmade scarf in our hands as a gift!! AHH MUY AMABLE. It was adorable. We took C to our next lesson with us, and it was really awesome. The next morning, we switched back out and I went back with my sweet companera, Hna McGeezy!! 

Yesterday we also saw some really amazing miracles too. We had cena con la Familia Byers, and earlier in the day, Hna M had made some comments about wanting Panda Express. And what did Hno Byers bring to dinner? Panda Express!!! For real. We were also able to talk with Hna Byers about some situations she's been in and the struggles she's going through, and last night was the first time I could remember that the Spirit really prompted me to say some very specific things to her. She is such a choice woman. Her faith is amazing. One of the things that I told her (that I have recently been learning myself) is this:

One of the reasons that obedience is most important to our Father's plan is because it brings the greatest blessings. If you think about it, our will and free agency is the only thing that we really, truly have that is our own. Everything else was given to us by the Father. BUT when we freely choose to align our will to the Father, or "have our will swallowed up by the Father" or basically, give in to the Father's will instead of our own, it is the ultimate sacrifice for us. We are giving the one thing that is truly ours to give- back to the Father. The greatest sacrifices bring the greatest blessings. Obedience brings the greatest kinds of blessings. 

I love this work so much. I am so so so grateful to be able to be here in California. These people are AMAZING. I love them with all of my heart. I am so honored to be a missionary and to be able to teach these people about the restored Gospel, about how much Heavenly Father loves THEM personally, and how the gospel will bless their lives for all eternity. 

This church is true and I am grateful every day to be a part of it. I love you all so much!

Hermana Steele
23602 Magic Mountain Parkway #207
Valencia, CA 91355