This week was AWESOME! We are seeing so much success in this area, and we are loving it! We really feel like this ward is starting to pick up, and we are sure hoping we get to stay here longer. I love my companion, and I REALLY don't want to leave this ward yet. Not now that I am finally starting to see more success. :)/:( We found out this week that this transfer is going to be shortened to 5 weeks in order to make the whole change from 180 missionaries to 250 missionaries in the next couple months easier. So, they found in order to combat that and make it all work, they are shortening this transfer to 5 weeks and all the rest will be 6 weeks...meaning we are all going home 1 week earlier! ha Everyone was excited to hear that...except for me. :( I don't want to go home early, I love it too much! But that is still a little less than 18 months away, so no sweat now. So, after this week, there are only 2 weeks left in this transfer! We are going to be sure to keep working hard! ;)
This week we found 4 new solid investigators! It's been great! Most of the new investigators are from less-active members. Turns out that a few families we are helping to return to activity have children past the age of 8 who REALLY want to be baptized. It is the cutest thing! Samantha Cedillo is still going strong, and despite the disagreement with her grandma, her baptism is set for the 3rd of March, and would like me to baptize her. :) I'm so excited! :) Along with her, we have 9-year-old Azul Ramos, who is practically already a member. She and her family have been working on returning, and the other night when we went over to teach her the first lesson before baptism, they basically taught us! All about Joseph Smith and the First Vision and the Restauracion. She and her little 6 year old brother are so cute! His name is Hyrum, and he doesn't have his front two teeth, but despite his speech impediment, he loves telling us about all he is learning in church. She has a baptismal date set for the 10th of March, and can't wait to be baptized. :) Also, we were referred to another family the Assistants found cleaning the Bristol building that live in our ward. A family we have been trying to contact. We had a lesson the other day, and they really want to return to activity, as well...although it may take a little more work for the parents, their 10-year-old daughter, Rebecca, has been begging to return to the church to get baptized, so we will be talking more about baptism this week with her. Man! I don't have time to tell you about all of our investigators, but I absolutely love ALL of them. They are progressing well, and are really showing their faith as they make some big changes in their lives.
Along with a great week of success, we also had Zone Conference on Valentine's Day, and it was AMAZING! A few of the Elders and Sisters spoke, we were trained by our Assistants on finding, and President and Sister Bowen spoke to us. The Spirit was so strong during that whole meeting. I loved it. We learned about how we need to be driven in our teaching by love, not by duty. We need to get up and get going and work hard because we love the people we love the work, not just because it is our duty to serve. I loved that because, although it is easy for me to love the people here, sometimes I lose sight of that importance as I get caught up in just trying to hit our number goals for the week. I feel as we show the investigators and members more of the love that we have, they are more willing to listen and help. Love is the key!
Speaking of love, I LOVE the Lopez family! They are just so great ha. They gave us some gifts on Valentine's Day, and Nacho invited us to his birthday party at the Discovery Center today. We got permission and spent a couple hours with him and his family touring the Indiana Jones exhibition and the rest of the cool stuff at the Discovery Center, that place is so cool! I remember going somewhere like that when we went to New Jersey, Mom! It was so cool, I love that family, and will be so sad to leave them. :(
Now, I want to share something that I meant to share last week that I learned in a talk during stake conference that I thought was so neat. It was given by Elder Falabella of the Quorum of the Seventy. He taught about "the Rule of Cinco (5):"
1. Cinco oraciones (5 prayers). We need to be sure that we say a minimum of 5 prayers each day: when we wake up, when we eat breakfast, when we eat lunch, when we eat dinner, and when we go to bed.
2. Cinco minutos en el Libro de Mormon (5 minutes in the Book of Mormon). We need to study in the Book of Mormon at least 5 minutes each day.
3. Sin comer (Without food-meaning fasting). It was pretty humorous how he made this one into "cinco" ha. We need to remember that a part of spiritual growth is fasting for the answers and blessings to serious moments in our life. We need to remember to fast at least 1 time a month on Fast Sunday.
4. Cinco minutos antes de que empiece la reunion sacramental (5 minutes before Sacrament Meeting starts). We need to be in our seats and ready and reverent 5 minutes before Sacrament Meeting starts, in order to really prepare the Holy Ghost in our hearts and in the meeting.
5. Cinco convenios (5 covenants). In this one, he was referring to the 5 main covenants we make with God in this life. Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, Priesthood, Endowment, and Sealing. Although not all of them apply to women as well, they are still very important in all of our lives.
We promised the stake, that if we take action to apply this "Rule of Cinco" into our lives, we will see more promised blessings and feel the Spirit with us more throughout our days. I testify that this is true, that if we do that, we will indeed receive what he says. As servants of the Lord, I ad my testimony to his that this Gospel has that divine power to bless our lives if we only take the steps to show we are worthy to receive them. I love this church, and I love this mission. I never knew I had so much to change in my life, but I sure am glad to figure it out now, rather than later. ;) Love you all so much, I hope you had a great Valentine's Day, and I hope all is well! Cuidense!
"There is no obstacle too great, no challenge too difficult, if we have faith." President Gordon B. Hinckley