Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cha Cha Cha...

Hey everyone! Como estan? I hope all is well with you all, and I continue to love reading your letters/emails. This week was a really good week, so I'm just gonna get down to business alrighty? Sweet. Well, first I had a really embarrassing moment happen the other day.
We were going to pick up Yolanda (the most adorable old woman) to come out and teach with us, and we knew if we ran, we would make it to her door right at 8 o clock. Wel,l we were running, and then we started chanting "backpack run, backpack run."  I being the more fit of us (hahahaha jk), was in the front just running up the stairs, and suddenly we were chanting back pack run to the "cha cha slide." I start getting into i,t and I'm "sliding" and "cha cha"-ing, and I bust into some dance moves and a flippin sweet turn. Well, I turn around and see Yolanda at the top of the staircase waiting for us.  I go from chanting to "Oooooh ye HOLA YOLANDA!" She just busted up. I think she was definitely embarassed for me. I know we're supposed to be representatives of Christ, but I highly doubt that Jesus would have turned down a good chance to bust a move at that perfect timing. Just a thought. Haha just saying. 
We were also street contacting, or "OYM"ing, and we talked to this lady at a bus stop. We taught her, and then asked her for a referral, and she said, "You know I don't know anyone really that speaks our language around here."  I was like "Our language?" And she said, "The language of our Latino ancestors?" This conversation was in Spanish. She thought we were Spanish. My life is becoming complete. Haha this was super cool. I am so glad to have the gift of tongues. 
We had a really cool lesson with Rosaurio(LA) this week. Wilson usually has the lessons with us, but he texted us last minute saying he couldn't come, so we went to teach Rosaurio by herself. It was a good thing too. When Wilson is there we focus on him and her, but she definitely needed us to focus only on her. We weren't sure what to teach her so we brought out some Mormon Messages and told her to pick the one that stood out to her the most. We watched one about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and bore really strong testimony after. Turns out she feels like a bad mother because her kids are in Guatemala with her mom. She's here working to eventually bring them here, and we wanted her to know that she is a good mom. It's because she's making that sacrifice that we know that. We bore strong testimony and we were all in tears. Guys, the Atonement is real. Jesus Christ suffered for our sins, pains, sicknesses, every emotion we have felt. He's felt it too, and I know that for a fact. We are never alone. Never. Just remember that. 
Now for the big news. This week we had stake conference, and guess who came. Just guess. You'll never guess, so I'll tell you. Russell M. Nelson, one of the 12 apostles! This was by far the best stake conference I've ever been to. He spoke on Saturday about the importance of members and missionaries working together and promised the stake that we will be an example for the whole world of member and missionary work. Pretty awesome huh? The Sunday session was 1 up from Saturday though. Elder Hansen from the Seventy came and spoke as well as the temple president and his wife. They talked about first the temple being a goal, and then always returning to the temple. Elder Hansen told a story of when he was serving as mission president and his son was married far away. Because he was serving as mission president he couldn't go, but at the same time that his son was to be married in Logan, he went to the temple here in Houston. When he was waiting there was a young man with a pin that said "to be married" and Elder Hansen asked if the young man could pretend he was his son for 30 seconds. So they held each other and cried. Elder Hansen didn't know why the young man was crying, but he soon found out that the young man's dad wasn't able to see him be married. It's amazing, the power of the temple, they were connected even though they were so far away. And the young man was able to feel of a father's love on his wedding day. Whatever I was crying like a baby, who cares? Haha 
But then Elder Nelson spoke. First of all, there were many cool things that strengthened my testimony. He asked to have all the children stand and sing him a verse of "I am a child of God." Another cry fest for Hermana Groves. It reminded me of in the Bible when Jesus says "Suffer the children to come to me." Elder Nelson, like us missionaries, is a representative of Christ. He holds the same authority that Christ did and to me that small gesture was something that Christ would do. No doubt about it. But I definitely saw a miracle. Elder Nelson was being interpreted the whole time, had headphones to understand what was going on. At the very end of his talk he said, "I would like to speak to you in a language that is not my own, but I can only do so by your faith." Now the spirit in that chapel was super strong, and I could feel the faith around me. I know that I was feeling the Spirit because in that moment, Elder Nelson stopped using an interpreter. He was speaking perfect Spanish as he testified of the Atonement, Joseph Smith and many other things. I was crying, and all the people around me were crying. That was the gift of tongues; it's real. I can testify to you that we have living apostles and prophets in the world today. I had the privledge to be called by name by him and shake his hand. I am exactly where the Lord needs me to be, and it was testified by the touch of the hand with Elder Nelson. Our Savior loves us, our Heavenly Father loves us. I know this. I am also being blessed with the gift of tongues, I am not fluent right now, but I've been learning Spanish for 5 months and had a woman ask me if I was a native speaker. Only through God is this possible. I love you all very much and hope you have a great week, I would like to hear about some miracles that you've seen this week. Make my week huh? Keep the faith. Love you!

Hermana Groves

Happy 2014

Well happy 2014 everyone!

How has your week been? My week has been pretty good! I'm just gonna jump right into the good of this week alright? So remember Wilson and Rosaurio who invited us over for Christmas? Well, I love them. Anyways for the past 3 transfers, I have been asking for referrals for people to teach, and it's become like an inside joke, because I start the sentence and sometimes Wilson cuts me off and says "No, Hermana, I don't know anyone."  Well Wilson is a little liar, because for the past 3 weeks he has invited his inactive siblings to come to church (who live in different ward boundries), and they came! Pretty soon the whole ward will be filled with the Garcia family! (there are 13 kids in his family and all but one brother is inactive), so good for Wilson. He's legit. Seriously. His sister doesn't live in our area, and he keeps saying that he only wants us to teach her cause she loves us(from Christmas) anyways, that was super cool.

Then yesterday in testimony meeting Sofia's mom, Lili, went up and bore her testimony after only her 2nd week back at church. She was crying saying how grateful she was that the missionaries came and found them again because they couldn't find the LDS church when they came from Guatemala. They've lived here for 6 years. They've been missing the gospel for 6 years. It's crazy.

Their story is really cool.  We were trying to update our addresses from the formers that were taught in this area, and we were looking for the neighbors. We had an impression to knock on their neighbor's door (Julio, Lili, and Sofia's door,) and Julio answered and told us to come back later. The second time Lili answered, and she told the story yesterday. She answered the door and saw these two missionaries, angels, glowing, like they had been an answer to her 6 year long prayer. She was so happy to see us. It's crazy to me. I've lived my life, 19 years without having to live without the gospel. I have never known that sadness of not having the sacrament or church in my life. It's really an eye opening experience. It helped my testimony grow a lot.

So here's a crazy experience that will be one I'l remember. We were on exchanges this past week, I had Hermana Allen (fresh out of the MTC) with me and we were coming out of the apartment for dinner and right behind our car was this Suburban with all of it's doors open and loud music blasting with 3 men standing outside of it. We definitely had a bad feeling about it, but we had to go out and teach, and it was too cold and dark to ride our bikes, so we just started walking to the car. They said "Excuse me, can you help me with something?" We didn't say anything. He then proceeds to say "You know, I haven't talked to any ladies with such fair skin before, and I'm gonna ask you something that is may put you out of your comfort zone." Hermana Allen yelled "We're missionaries!" and he did this evil chuckle and was like "oh missionary huh?" then proceeds to say really perverted things to us as we hurried and got in the car. So I am still learning how to take charge in missionary situations like that. I realized in that moment why I wasn't called English speaking though, I was really 1 step away from giving him a piece of my mind. I wasn't afraid, more insulted. I mean you would think when you dress practically like a nun.. Well yeah. Anyways, God was definitely watching over us because 3 in shape men were within feet of us, and something really bad could have happened, I know that because we were really in tune with the spirit, that we got out of that safely. I am so grateful for that. 

Enjoying our holidays like a sir

I realized something today when hanging up my clothes to dry, I own lots of black and white clothes. I also see things very black and white. I see things as right and wrong. In one of my studies this week I went really in depth with spiritual gifts, and that's one of mine, discerning right and wrong. I look back on my life and am super grateful for that, because I have had situations that if I wouldn't have had the "common sense" or just that knowledge, that I would have gotten into a lot of trouble. I'm trying to really grow spiritually with all my spiritual gifts, but also gain more. I encourage you all to do the same, find you're personal strengths and really try to magnify them. I love you all a lot and I hope you have a great week :)

Keep the faith!
Hermana Groves