Monday, December 29, 2014

Being a missionary during holidays is the best ~ Fairdale Week 15 ~ Mission Week 25

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope you all had a great Christmas :) I really, really enjoyed mine. Being a missionary during holidays is the best! You literally only think about serving other people. I wasn't focused on anything material and solely just wanted to serve my Savior. It has definitely been one of my favorites. We were able to go to a member's home, the Thorns, for the whole day with the other missionaries. It was so fun to play games and to eat food all day :) I wish I could be a missionary every Christmas! It really has made me realize all that I have to be grateful for.

This week has been good! I don't have a lot of time to email this week, so I will be short. The highlights of my week have been serving my savior and bringing people closer to Christ. It really is that simple. We have been teaching Flor, and were able to teach her whole family with a Hispanic member named Juana! She is absolutely amazing. On Saturdays she takes us to appointments and we do visiting teaching and visit less actives with her. It has been so amazing! She truly is incredible. She is a single Mom, works so hard, and has every excuse to not do her visiting teaching or go to church, and she does it, and gives it 100 percent. She really has taught me so much. She literally only thinks of others, and it has meant the world to me.

In addition, we have been teaching Cira, an investigator that we had lost contact with. An absolute miracle happened with her! Hmna Barajas and I both felt prompted that we should teach her the Word of Wisdom instead of teaching lesson 3, which focuses on baptism. Cira struggles with the idea of baptism because of her catholic background, but she still reads the book of Mormon and has a testimony of it. We taught her the word of wisdom and had the most amazing lesson! She agreed to completely live it, and has even stopped drinking coffee every day! She absolutely loves it! In addition, she now wants us to start teaching her husband as well. It was so inspired! God truly does inspire us to know what we need to teach people!

Anyway, have a good week! Merry late Christmas!

Hermana Failner

Monday, December 15, 2014

I am so grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ ~ Fairdale Week 13 ~ Mission Week 23

Hello everyone!

Man oh man has it been a crazy week! I don't even know where to begin. This letter might be a little disorganized, but hopefully I can get my points across.

First is Flor!!! I love her. We ended up finding her in an area that was just given to us and added to our area. She had been seeing missionaries 7 years ago but had lost contact with them. Her step son is also a baptized, less active member. In addition, she has actually been to our ward a few years ago and remembers it! She is absolutely stellar! She is also one of the easiest people for me to understand... and to communicate with! Praise the Lord!  We had the most amazing lesson with her last week. We watched the restoration video to see what she remembered, and then afterwards she had lots of questions for us to answer. It was incredible! Somehow we were able to answer every question and doubt she had. At the end, we asked her if she had more questions or was confused and she told us that everything, every doubt or struggle she had had in the past was answered. It was such a spiritual lesson that was truly guided by the spirit. I don't know her needs, but God does. It was so evident in that lesson. I feel like through God I truly know her. She also has an amazing family and we are going to be teaching all of them! Yay for families!

Next is our crazy near death experience. These actually happen pretty frequently, but we won't go into that :) But this one is worth sharing! Through this experience, I truly have a testimony of revelation and receiving it even when we don't realize what it is and being obedient missionaries. It was a bizarre experience and had Hermana Barajas and I had decided to do anything different that day things could have turned out differently. So, we now get a car Wednesdays and Saturdays and we drop it off at the elders at night. We were on our way to the Elder's and had left a little bit earlier than normal. In addition, for some reason we decided to take a different route than usual to get to their apartment. While we were driving, we witnessed a car accident, directly in front of us. It was with a huge truck and a small car, and the truck hit the car pretty hard, the car spun out of control, and then hit the lamp post. It was pretty obvious that it was truck's fault, and that people in the car could be hurt. We stopped to go check on the people in the car and to see if they needed witnesses for the accident. The side that was hit the hardest had a women inside who was pregnant. It was obvious that she was scared and hurt. While we were out there, the driver of the truck came up. It was very obvious that he was wasted. It took all I had to be Christ like towards him and to not tell him how angry I was with him for deliberately breaking the law and putting someone's life in danger. I then remembered my name tag and whose name was on it. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I needed to act like it, and Christ would have still treated him with love. I was able to be peaceful about the situation because of that. I am so grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ! It helps me remember that I need to be Christlike at all times. Afterwards, they asked us to stay to give a statement to the police. The drunk man was arrested, and we gave our statement. We left the sweet family with our phone number on a card and asked them to call us if they needed anything. Everyone in the accident was okay, although mildly injured. Before we left, the pregnant women's mom had arrived at the scene. She came up to our car in tears, and told us how grateful she was that we had stayed with them and for the statement we gave. It was a truly humbling experience, and one that I won't ever forget. It also makes me realize how grateful I am to live and how precious of a gift it is to have life. Had we done something any different, Hermana Barajas and I could have been hit, and we wouldn't have been able to witness the accident and help the family through the ordeal. I am so grateful for this experience.

Lastly, we found a new family last night, the Estradas, and had an incredible lesson. The highlight for me was kneeling down with them in prayer. With the husband, wife, and their three children. It was incredible. Enough said.

Hasta la pasta!

Hermana Failner

Monday, December 8, 2014

In that moment I truly felt the love that God had for Judith ~ Fairdale Week 12 ~ Mission Week 22

I don't have a ton of time this week, so sorry for the shortness.

We had a really good week this week! We worked hard and saw some miracles. The highlight of my week was having a lesson with an investigator Judith. She has been going through a really hard time and I have known her over my last two transfers here. She was really hard to get ahold of, but we felt like we still needed to try her. Now we have been able to start officially teaching her! We had an incredible lesson that really alleviated a lot of the worries that I have encountered being a Spanish speaking missionary. We took an English member out with us. In the past, the language barrier between everyone can be hard to navigate, but we decided to try something different. Before each of the lessons we had that night we prayed specifically with the member and that we all could find a way to communicate and bring the spirit in the lesson. It made all of the difference! Somehow we were all able to understand each other and we had some of the most powerful lessons I have ever had. With Judith we watched the Restoration video and asked her questions about it. We found out that she truly believes that God does not love her and that she is alone. We were all able to help her. The spirit was so incredibly strong. One of the most amazing parts of being a missionary is that I have never felt God's love for others as  much as I have. In that moment I truly felt the love that God had for Judith. It was overwhelming how much love and peace I felt. It brought all of us to tears. Moments like these are the reason why I keep going. Missionary work is extremely difficult, but the tender, sweet moments we have make it all worth it.

Love you all!
Hermana Failner

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mexican Thanksgiving is filled with turkey tacos and pasole! ~ Fairdale Week 11 ~ Mission Week 21

Hello all!!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We had a really awesome one! A family in our ward, the Thorns, had a big Thanksgiving at the church for all of the missionaries and other people who were single or didn't have family. It was so much fun! After we got to play games... and just eat more! In addition, we were also invited to a less active's house for another Thanksgiving dinner. I was so full! But it was a great experience! Mexican Thanksgiving is definitely a bit different. It's filled with turkey tacos and pasole! Yummy stuff. I thought I was going to die from all of the food we were fed, but it was very worth it!

This week has been a week filled with lots of service. It has been really nice! First, we have helped a recent convert Emanie and his family paint their house. It has been quite the project but has been a lot of fun! In addition, we helped a less active member and her husband who isn't a member move into their new house. They had 11 people help move everything into the trucks... and then no one showed up to help move it all into the house. So us and two other sets of elders took on the project. We had a great lesson with both of them and was so powerful. Her husband is starting to get taught by the missionaries again! In addition, we also helped one of our investigators set up her Christmas decorations and lights. Service is such a powerful way to spread the love of the Savior and to bring others to Christ. It has allowed me to truly forget myself and has brought me a lot of joy.

In addition, we found an amazing new investigator and a less active! First, we found Mareny, a less active that we have been trying to track down for months now! It was a miracle that we found her. We had a great lesson with her and can't wait to keep seeing her! Furthermore, Hermana Barajas and I were looking in potentials for people to go teach and found Francisco listed several times. Both of us have felt so strongly that we needed to try him and find him again. We recently found him and found out that he had been taught by missionaries previously, but they had lost contact due to moving. He is so prepared and is so awesome! We will be teaching him and his family!

I love you all!

Hasta la pasta.

Hermana Failner