Monday, March 31, 2014

Miracles Do Happen

Guess who came to church yesterday! Remember la familia Campo that I talked about in my letter last week? Yup they came. Y'all would not believe the transformation Hermana Shannon and I have seen in this family this past week. We went over there about four different times this past week. Hermana Campo had to work every day so just her husband was home with their two kids every time we went over. He lost a lot of work because of his drinking. Every time we went over they were so happy to see us and we would make sure to encourage Hermano Campo not to drink. He is going strong. He did admit to us that he had been drinking one day but that he was cutting down. We told him that sometimes when we are trying to change and become better we will fall but the getting back up is the most important part. We saw a HUGE change in him by the end of the week. Sunday at church (yesterday) was the first time that we saw his wife since the blow up last week. After Sacrament meeting I gave her a hug and she just started to cry and hugged me again. She just kept saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking care of my family." I felt such a warm feeling in my heart and such a love for her and her sweet family. We had a lesson with them after church and invited them to be baptized and they said YES. It has been such a beautiful experience seeing their progression.

Michael also came to church yesterday! Oh Michael.....his is a tough cookie let me tell ya. He makes my brain hurt. He just has so many questions, and views, and concerns, and doubts, and blah blah. Plus he expects his answer to come "Joseph Smith style" as he would say. haha But he is so willing to do what he needs to do to find his answer because he really does have such a strong desire to know. We just keep trying to bring it all back to his testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We invited him to be baptized on the 26th of April and promised him that if he continues to do all that he can to know that he will feel ready to be baptized by this day. He accepted!

The General Womens Conference on Saturday night was so good! I hope all of you got the chance to watch that and if you didn't go watch it! It was truly inspiring. The messages brought hope and I know that it made me want to be a better missionary, friend, daughter, companion, and sister.

I AM SO EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE THIS WEEKEND. Mostly because if you want someone to get baptized you have them listen to the prophet. So I am really excited to invite all our investigators and less actives that we are working with to come watch General Conference and feel the spirit. It's going to be a powerful weekend. At district meeting on Friday Elder Williams stressed the importance of General Conference. He talked to us about how sometimes we can get too relaxed about hearing the prophet and his apostles speaking because we see their faces all the time. He committed us to prepare well for this conference. I want to leave you all with the same commitment. Moses is coming down from the mountain. We have a living prophet on the earth today!!  Do you understand how amazing that is? Don't take this for granted. Heavenly Father loves you and knows you and he will give you the answers, the comfort, the healing, the guidance that you need to move forward, through his prophets this weekend.

I love you all so much and I am so happy to be a missionary. I can't even believe how fast the time is going by. You are all in my prayers and thank you for all of yours. LOVE YOU.

Hermana San Juanita

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Como están...?

Okay so I just figured out that you can change the font and the color on this computer and I got really excited so I would like to apologize in advance.
So this week has been an adventure thats for sure. First of all Hermana Shannon got a really great present for her birthday this year.....lice! So that has been really fun. We have no idea how she got it! On Wednesday I spent about 5 hours brushing her hair with that weird comb they give you and getting it all out. I WOULDN'T WISH THIS UPON MY WORST ENEMY. Hermana Shannon is glad that she has a companion that loves her haha. And also it's a miracle that I haven't gotten it yet either so we are counting our blessings! The mission teaches you a lot of things you never thought you would learn let me tell you haha. But really all is well and her lice is basically all gone. We called Sister Crawford on Wednesday to ask her what we should do and at one point she told us, "This will be funny in a couple of days Hermanas I promise!" We were like, Yeah right that will be the day! But we laughed about it for like an hour this morning so the scars are healing! haha
So yesterday one of our citas fell through and Hermana Shannon got the feeling that we needed to go over to one of our investigators houses named the Campos. They are a family that we have been teaching since I got here and the dad has a really big drinking problem but hasn't been able/willing to give it up so we stopped going over there as often. Well we went over yesterday and they let us in and the dad was DRUNK drunk drunk. The Hermana told us that it had been one of the worst weeks ever and that the police were on their way over to kind of slap him back into reality. Plus there were a million other problems that his drinking had caused like money, his kids, his job.... It was a mess to say the least. Well we decided that we better leave before anything happened but on our way out the police showed up and everything kind of exploded. So we decided to take their 2 little kids (one is about 6, a boy, and the other 12, a girl) outside and distract them so they didn't have to see all that was going on. These poor kids are terrified of their dad. So we passed a soccer ball around with them for about half an hour while they figured things out in the house. I had a silent prayer in my heart the whole time. They finally came back out, the policeman left, and the Hermana thanked us for coming over and taking care of her kids then left in her car with them and told us that they were going to go get away for a little while. So Hermana Shannon and I were walking back to the car when Hermano Campo shouts out "Hermanas!" from his front door. We had such a strong feeling that we needed to go to him. We went over and he fell to the floor crying. I had never seen anyone so sad and it broke my heart. We lifted him up and cried with him. We told him that our message can save him and his family but that he HAS to stop drinking. And then we said will you do it? And he said, "Yes, I will do it."  It was a powerful, powerful experience. I felt the love that Jesus had for him in that moment. He was at rock bottom, yet I could feel that love so strongly. That experience taught me many things. We should never judge, never give up on people, always listen to the spirit, and love others as Christ would.
It also made me realize how greatful I am for my family and that I was raised in a loving home with parents who have a love for the Savior and a strong desire to follow him. My heart is full of gratitude for that. We sometimes forget how much we really have.
I Love you all so much and I am so happy to be a missionary! This is the best decision I have ever made.
Hermana San Juan

#1 Celebrating Hermana Shannons B-day!
#2 Stake Conference
#3 Pobresita la Hermana Shannon

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mario Got Baptized!

Wazzz up

I am so excited to e-mail today I have lots of exciting things to tell yall!

So first off Hermana Shannon and I are staying together here in South Houston! We are SO excited.

Second off Mario got baptized!! So kind of an interesting story here. Everything was going great this week, they got the marriage license last Monday and we had everything set up for them to get married on Thursday and have his interview to be baptized right after and then have his baptism on Saturday. So we go to the church at 7:00 on Thursday and Obispo Resendez is there and he takes Mario and Patti into his office to have a mini interview before they get married. They come out of the office about 20 minutes later and all have really straight, serious faces. Hermana Shannon and I just looked at each other like, "What happened, what didn't we teach him, what did they say?!?!" Then we asked them how it went and no one said anything!! So we were like "Obispo...que paso......!" He was like "Hermanas I have good news and bad news...." Then he said "Bad news...they aren't going to get married today...good news...they are getting married Saturday right before the baptism!!!" Then they all broke out in smiles...those tricksters. They had us SO worried. They thought they were pretty funny. They decided that they wanted to get married Saturday because then they could invite family and everyone in the ward could be there instead of just getting married in the bishop's office with just them and the bishop and us haha. So we were really happy for them but I'm not going to lie, it made things a little bit more hectic for us because now we had a wedding and a baptism to plan for the same day! But God is a God of miracles and everything went perfectly Saturday and I had never seen Mario so happy. President and Sister Crawford even came for the baptism and wedding so that was TERRIFFFFICCC as President Crawford would say.

Also, I don't know if I told you this but I am officially the designated piano player for the ward which is HILARIOUS because I can't play the piano. But I guess I am the only person in the ward with any kind of piano ability so I am the lucky winner! haha I wish you guys could hear what it sounds like with me butchering every hymn and the tone deaf Hispanics singing. It is something else, let me tell ya. hahaha Hermana Shannon and the other elders in our ward basically laugh their heads off every week. It's priceless. Shout out to Emily for teaching me piano. I wish I would have practiced more haha :)

Hermana Shannon's Birthday is tomorrow!!! You guys should all send her a happy birthday e-mail :)  

I love you all so much! I know that this Church is true and that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that he knows how we feel and that if we trust in him and his atonement we can be healed.

P.S. Watch the Mormon Message called Leave The Party! You wont regret it!

Con mucho mucho mucho mucho amor,
Hermana San Juan  

Our district with our Bucky shirts! (it's a really famous gas station here in Texas, don't ask me why.)


Brother Stanton and Katelyn - Sunday dinner her every week.

Guinea Pigs on the porch - why not!

Houston, TX

Hermana Shannon and Chi Ha

Biker Chix

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Michael and Mario

Hermanas Shannon and San Juan Bowling with the Zone

#STATESIDESPANISH represent! She is going to be the best missionary.

YOU GUYS this gospel is so cool. The thing that I love most about it is that it makes perfect, complete sense (unlike this sentence). So we have this investigator named Michael. Let me just tell you about this kid. He is 18 years old and is probably the smartest person I have ever met. We found him knocking and he likes learning about other religions so he let us come back. We have been teaching him for about 5 weeks now and at first he just let us come back because he thought it was interesting but now he lets us come back because he has a deep love and understanding of the gospel. I don't know if I have ever seen such an obvious change in a person just in 5 short weeks. When we first met Michael he told us that he didn't even know if there was a God and now when we go over he tells us about his kneeling, heartfelt prayers that he does each night. He is a very deep thinker though and at times this can be a little frustrating for Hermana Shannon and me because he wants evidence or proof. This had caused me to dig deeper into the scriptures and look at the gospel in a way that I haven't seen it before. It has strengthened my testimony about the truthfulness and simplicity of the gospel. He came to church for the first time yesterday and loved it. He was participating in all the classes and was telling everyone about all the things we have taught him. It was really funny, and also a really proud moment for Hermana Shannon and me haha. PresidentCrawford is coming with us on Tuesday to our cita with him. President Crawford is like the second smartest person I know so that should befun.....haha.

Also we have a baptism this Saturday! Mario is getting baptized! Actually this whole thing has been SO stressful because he still has to get married before Saturday....He told us that he was going to get married like 2 weeks ago and then something came up and then he and Patty couldn't get work off at the same time and this and that....SO much stresssssss. But actually we just got a text from him about 20 min ago telling us that they got the marriage license and now all they have to do is have the bishop marry them! Hermana Shannon and I were jumping for joy in the library. God is great. Also Mario finished the Book of Mormon on Friday. No big deal he just finished the whole thing in a little over a month. He is so prepared and we are so happy for him.

We will find out about transfers this weekend! Hermana Shannon and I have no idea whats going to happen. We are hoping we can stay together for another one though!

I love this gospel and I love all of you!

Hermana San Juan

Monday, March 3, 2014

Half Through!


So I don't know if you guys noticed but I am officially half way done with my mission. Hermana Shannon and I are freaking out a little bit but we are fine.....kind of. We are really happy that we got to spend it together though. It's great being with someone who is on the exact same page as you.

This week was a pretty normal one. We are just working hard and really trying to find new investigators, we have been struggling with this a little bit for a couple of weeks but we did find more this week than we did last week so we are pretty excited about that!
One thing that we are really happy about though is that we have 4 really solid progressing investigators with dates! So we have been working with them a lot this week and helping them progress towards baptism. One of them being Alex who came to church again! And also good news Mario is planning on getting married this week and is still good for the 15th of March so we are really looking forward to that. He didn't know if he would be able to get a day off of work to do it this week but we invited him to fast about it yesterday and he just told us that he got a day off and it is happening! We are really happy for him.

We also found two lost sheep this week! We found them knocking. One of them actually went on a mission and hasn't been to church in about 15 years. And the other one got baptized in Utah a couple of years ago and didn't know where the church was here so he's really grateful that we found him. His wife isn't a member but is interested to know more about the church so we will see how that goes!
So this morning I was reading in 2 Nephi 4 and the spirit hit me with something so strong. I compared my situation of losing Mom to Nephi's situation of losing his father in this chapter. I am amazed by his faith and trust in the Lord even after just losing someone so special to him. I can relate to his words when he says, "My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep." Then in verse 30 he states, "Rejoice, o my heart, and cry unto the Lord and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation."

I am far from perfect but after Mom's death this is how I felt. I remember being so grateful to God for all my blessings and for all the miracles along the way. I know he has been my support and he has never left me or my family alone. I miss my Mom but I know that God has a plan and it is perfect. He just wants us to return home to him.
I love the scriptures so much. Especially the Book of Mormon. I have found so much peace and comfort in it and I know it's the word of God. And I know you can find peace and comfort in it as well.

Love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Hermana San Juan

Some Pics of us helping our investigators paint!


#1 This old asian man named Chi Ha that walks the route that we run every morning donates money to the missionary fund every month and buys us groceries every once and a while. He is the best! He's not a member either. He just knows everything about the church because missionaries have been talking to him every morning for about a year now. And he basically has the whole Book of Mormon memorized. We love him.

#2 Hermana Valdez is my FAVORITE. She sends us the funniest texts (I don't even know if you will get this/think it's funny but hna shannon and I were dying).  [I think she forgot most of us don't speak Spanish.]