Monday, September 29, 2014

The spirit I felt in that moment was so overwhelming ~ Fairdale Week 2 ~ Mission Week 12

Hello everyone!!

It's been another crazy week here in Kentucky! It's been fun getting to know the area and getting to know the people that we are working with. I'm trying to prepare myself to lead an area in about 4 weeks which will be scary, but somehow the Lord will carry me through! Hermana Wilbur has been so great and has taught me so much. The chances of her staying in this area are extremely slim, and so we are preparing so I will be ready to lead it in a month. There is a lot to do and a lot to prepare for. I'm hoping my directional skills will continue to improve... haha.

We had a great week. Cesar is doing amazing. He has a baptismal date for Oct. 25, and he should be keeping it! Our mission president and our bishop are very on board with helping him to be baptized. Their support has been amazing. We just hope that Cesar continues to use the atonement in his life so he can overcome the Word of Wisdom issues that he has. We had an incredible lesson with him yesterday with the bishop there. We centered it all completely around the atonement and how he can use it to overcome the trials that he has. It was such an amazing lesson. The spirit was strong. At the end, Cesar asked for a blessing. It was so incredible. It said that Cesar would one day receive the priesthood and that he would bring thousands of people to the gospel. The spirit I felt in that moment was so overwhelming. We were all crying, including Cesar. It was such an amazing moment. It has given us the push we need to continue to help Cesar, and to never give up on him. He can do this. We know he will be ready. One thing that was said that really impacted me was to never forget the Savior, because he never forgets you. I have learned so much about the atonement on my mission. It has been an incredible process.

There are so many miracles that have happened this week, but I don't have much time to write them all. Entonces, nos vemos! Les quero mucho!

Hermana Failner

Monday, September 22, 2014

I can say that I gave my last area and my investigators EVERYTHING I had ~ Fairdale Week 1 ~ Mission Week 11

Hello everyone!

I am officially in my new area! I love it here. It has been wonderful!! It was so hard to leave Hurstbourne, but I couldn't ask to be in a better area now! I also LOVE my companion Hermana Wilbur. She is amazing! We get along so well, and we teach well together. We both feel like we've known each other for years. I literally just came in and we were able to work effectively and easily together. I love her because she doesn't put the "greenie" label on me. I feel like as a companionship we are equally yoked. She values my input, and I value hers as well. We just work so well together. Things just flow. It has been wonderful. She is the perfect companion for me. I really, really needed her.

Last week was hard to leave my investigators, especially Arturro. He is our most progressing investigator and has been going to church. The last lesson I had with him was very emotional and sad, but so incredibly spiritual. He told me that I teach from the heart and that when I speak he feels like it is exactly what God wants him to know in the moments he needs it. It meant the world to me. I gave that area and my investigators everything I had, and hearing that from him made me feel like I was doing my job as a missionary. The goal is to teach through the spirit and to tell our investigators what God wants them to know. It was an incredible experience. When he found out I was leaving he was almost in tears, and of course, I was crying. But it was an amazing moment. I can say that I gave my last area and my investigators EVERYTHING I had.

Next, in my new area Fairdale, we have an awesome progressing investigator whom I have grown to love already! His name is Cesar and he has the cutest little son named Oliver. Cesar is so incredibly strong, he goes to church every week, and he calls us every night to tell us what he has been reading in the Book of Mormon. The only set back he has is the word of wisdom. So we are really trying to help him overcome that. It has been an incredible experience to teach him and to get to know him. He was so welcoming towards me and is so kind about my Spanish. We feel that he will progress more as he continually gains a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I have really learned on my mission that the Book of Mormon and praying about it is the key to everything. If that is true, everything else makes sense. That foundation is so essential, and is the only way an investigator can be truly converted.

I am grateful to be serving in the great area of Fairdale! Exciting things are happening here and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Nos Vemos!
Hermana Failner

Monday, September 15, 2014

Emergency Transfer ~ Hurstbourne Week 5 ~ Mission Week 10

Hello everyone.

I don't even know where to begin. These last 24 hours have been filled with a lot. A lot of sadness, hurt, pain, and frustration. Long story short, I am going to be emergency transferred tomorrow. This was not the original plan. Originally, we were going to be put in a trio, Hermana Adams, Hermana Hearne and I. I was so excited! Hermana Hearne works the area right next to ours that is in the same Spanish Branch. We were going to run two areas as a trio, then Hermana Adams was going to go home after a transfer, and we were going to go back to our areas and lead them, Hermana Hearne and I, with other Hermanas. I was so excited, this is exactly what we have been wanting. This is exactly what the ward needs. We were so excited to take on this challenge. But that won't be happening anymore. I am getting moved to another area tomorrow. I can't go into detail, but after discussing it with my district leaders, zone leaders, and President and his wife, we all feel that it is best for me if I leave. It is frustrating and hard because I don't want to leave, and because of the agency of someone else, I have to. We finally have progressing investigators that our going to church, and our numbers have been awesome. I don't want to leave. But I know that the lord is in charge and I am excited to see what else is in store for.

Anyway, we had investigators come to church this week! The area that I am in hasn't had investigators come to church in over 4 months, and we got 2 to come! It was amazing. Arturro is our most progressing investigator and he came. Arturro is just great, he gives me a lot of hope that there are still good people in the world! During Sunday school when he introduced himself, he said that he hoped that the moment with all of us in church could last forever. He loves church and is progressing so well. He has a baptismal date, and we are so excited for him. I don't want to leave him. He is amazing. I have learned to love and care about the people so much, and it is hard to say good bye, especially when it was so unprecedented. But I know that he will continue to progress, and I can't wait to see what else is in store for him.

One last experience I want to share. I have had a break through with my Spanish! For the first time in awhile I was able to fully express myself, my feelings, and say exactly what I wanted to say without such a significant language barrier. I contacted this man named Antonio, by myself. He has seen Hermanas before and never will set a return appt. He started to ask me some very deep questions, questions that I don't get very often. He asked me how I had personally come to know of the truthfulness of the gospel and my experiences with how I knew I could see loved ones again. He talked about how he didn't want to know doctrine, he just wanted to know my experiences. I was able to share with him my experiences that I have had with death, and losing people I love and care about, especially with what has happened recently. Somehow, it really touched him. So much so that he started to cry, to sob. Somehow, even with my imperfect Spanish I was able to speak to him, and to speak by the spirit so his heart was touched. He completely opened up to me about how he had lost his mom and how he always wondered why God lets bad things happen to good people. It was amazing to be able to help him and to let him know that I had had the same questions. This has been one of the greatest moments on my mission thus far. We even set a return apt with him after refusing for the last 7 months. I have learned that I am learning Spanish for a reason. Spanish has taught me to teach with the spirit, and to not rely on my own personal skills or speaking abilities. I have to completely rely on the Lord when I teach in Spanish. If I would have gone English speaking, I don't think I would have learned that as much. I would have relied and my own skills, rather than on the spirit. Spanish has taught me so much and has really, really humbled me. I am so grateful I am Spanish speaking, I need it more than I ever knew.

Anyway, I love all of you. Thank you for your support. Who knows what will happen next week.

Hermana Failner

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dropped by both investigators, Met two wonderful investigators Arturro and Teo!! Former friend was just given six months to live... ~ Hurstbourne Week 4 ~ Mission Week 9

Hello everyone!

Sorry for no email last week, things have been crazy!

This week has been filled with ups and downs... but also some miracles! We got dropped by our progressing investigators with baptismal dates, two days in a row. It has been hard, but we have seen some miracles from it!

After we got dropped, one of after the other, we literally found a hispanic, taught them lesson one, and challenged them to baptismal dates! It was crazy! Wasn't even planned at all!! They were amazing lessons.

The first was with Arturro. He is amazing! He has had a Book of Mormon and has been reading it for the past four months when we found him. He talked about how much it has helped him make changes and how much he wants to have more peace in his life. We taught him outside of a gas station. Haha. But it was the most amazing lesson I have ever had. My companion and I were able to teach in unity, and my Spanish has never been that fluent. It's amazing what the spirit can do. When I told him the first vision, it was one of the most incredible and spiritual experiences of my life. I always feel the spirit when I say it, but never like this. I felt like I was staring into his soul, and him into mine. When I finished we both had tears in our eyes. It was something I will never forget. There is something so different about him. It was so amazing to be able to look at someone and to know of the truthfulness of all of things, to testify, and to have it have such a an effect on someone. He is amazing, and I have so much hope for him. He told me at the end that he knew of the truthfulness because his heart and his soul had been touched, and that he knew of it's truthfulness. The spirit is so amazing. We don't convert, the spirit converts. I learn that every day.

The next is Teo! We also just randomly found him, contacted him, and taught him L1 on the spot! He had the same kind of look about him that Arturro did. It was amazing, and we challenged him to a baptismal date! Teaching him was also amazing. The spirit really does work wonders with people. This week I have learned to really trust in the spirit, and to not be afraid to speak when the spirit tells me to say something, even when I know my spanish might be wrong.

One of our investigators that dropped us, we just found out yesterday has six months to live. This is why she and her boyfriend, Hector had dropped us. My companion and I just felt like we needed to go visit them, even though they told us to not come back for awhile. I am so glad we did. She told us of the news that she had received. Honestly, it broke my heart. She talked about how scared she was. I was able to share Jacob 3:1 with her, and she said it touched her heart, and the spirit that she felt was something so special. I don't know what will happen, and it's sounding like she will be moving away, but I am so grateful that we were able to tell her about the plan of salvation, and that there is no end to life. The love I feel for my investigators is something I have never quite experienced before. I am able to mourn with them when they mourn, and cry with them when they cry. It was a really bitter sweet moment with her, something I will never forget. I don't understand why bad things happen to good people, and it really hurts sometimes. The gospel has been my saving grace, and I'm glad I can share that with others. The concept of life after death has really been something I have used a lot while I have been out here, I run into so people who are scared to die, and who don't know if they will see loved ones again. This is why I do what I do.

Anyway, I love you all. Thank you for all of the support. It is needed, and I feel it!

Nos vemos!

Hermana Failner