Monday, April 14, 2014

And so it begins.....

Como estan? Bien? Que bueno!

Anyways, I'd just like to start by giving a big shout out to the youth of the Temecula Creek Ward (maybe the stake too... not really sure) for their happy big envelope full of letters! Thanks especially to all y'all who don't even know me and just wrote to some random missionary that's Trevor and Sam's sister. I really appreciate it. While I can survive without mail, it is very encouraging to get mail.
 Also, Sam, nice try trying to pass off your letter as your friend's. I know your handwriting fool! :)
We had a SUPER good week this week. I would show you pictures but I just realized that I left my camera at home so this will just be a little bit more boring!

MONDAY: We had a zone P-Day and STM (specialized training meeting) that was all about faith, especially faith to find. This was perfect because Hna Loveland and I have been struggling a bit to find people in Weatherford, but we know there's a family out here just waiting for the gospel! So we're leading more with our faith and praying for the ability to recognize the prepared when they come.

TUESDAY: This was the day of the massive amounts of food. We had lunch and dinner lined up, then the Elders reminded us that weeks ago we'd planned another lunch with a member of the ward who loves the missionaries but hardly ever gets to do anything with us because he's kind of old and lives in Thomas. So we ate at Braums first, then at the Chinese Buffet, then at a Mexican Restaurant, all while trying to pretend that they were the only meal we had that day. Needless to say, I didn't get hungry again until halfway through Wednesday. I LOVE the members here to death, but sometimes I'm afraid they might kill me!

WEDNESDAY: We did more service! We walked Hazel's dogs then planted grass and flowers. Yard work isn't so bad when you're doing it for someone else and they make you dinner after. :)

THURSDAY: We had the most amazing church tour with our investigator Natalie! She's been taught a lot but hasn't really been progressing, so we thought that  the best way to help her would be for her to come to church, and in order to help her come to church we planned a church tour so she'd be familiar with the building and also be able to feel the Spirit there. It was amazing! One of the Elder's recent converts that lives in Clinton came (she just got baptized in January) and she and Natalie really connected. Turns out that Cindy's had a lot of the same questions that Natalie's had so she was really able to speak to her needs. After Cindy said "I just tried to say what was in my heart." That definitely taught ME a lesson in following the Spirit!
FRIDAY: We had a great District Meeting and then had dinner with Aunt Dona in the evening. We've been trying to get her to come to church forever and after our lesson on the Plan of Salvation she committed to come!
SATURDAY: After a baptism in the morning (a kid in the elder's area) we went out tracting, and all of the doors we knocked on let us pray with them and we got a return appointment with a family! Then we had our usual dinner with the Arney family, and they once again have a nonmember living with them who is SUPER nice and SUPER open. She was just asking us all these questions and she's the kind of person that I could be friends with in real life. After dinner Sis. Arney told her "you're going to be baptized. I know you don't think so now but you will be". I have to agree with her. A lot of nonmembers that live with the Arneys get baptized!

SUNDAY: So you remember the Ramirez family from Norman? I think this is what I've said about them before:

"We were trying to contact a potential investigator at this strange circle of trailers off the freeway (the same place where we ate chicken with the random Mexican men) who once again wasn't there. However, his neighbors looked Hispanic so we went over to talk to them. We asked the kids running around if we could talk to some adult figure, and they brought out their grandpa, José. We didn't even get through asking if we could share a message when he started pulling out chairs so we could platicar (talk) on the porch (becuase it was randomly like 80º outside... no complaints here!). We shared the Book of Mormon with him and talked about eternal families, and he talked about how he really wanted to change but hadn't found a church that he really fit with yet. We have high hopes for him!...

In other news, WE'RE TEACHING A FAMILY!!!!!!!! Woo hoo!!! We went over to see the Ramirez family on Wednesday and we had a Family Home Evening with them. It was fantastic. We gave them all copies of the Book of Mormon and we got Jose a big one because he has trouble seeing. Mom, remember that green ribbon you sent me in my greenie package? Well I used it to tie around the Book of Mormons that we gave out and they all loved it. It was great to show people how the Book of Mormon really is a precious gift. I have high hopes for the Ramirez family. They are SO humble and SO teachable. They've been waiting for the gospel, I can tell."

Well yesterday JUAN RAMIREZ GOT BAPTIZED!!! He's one of the grandchildren and he's 11. And super awesome. I got to go back to Norman for it, and when we got off the freeway it seriously felt like I was home. Plus pretty much the whole branch showed up for the baptism and when Hna. Ochoa saw me she literally started crying. It was amazing! It was so hard to leave again, but I know I'll see them again sometime.

Anyways, during the service Presidente Ochoa talked about how Juan was the pioneer for his family and that he would bring many people into the gospel because of his good example. I totally believe that that's true. He's a special kid. I think his parents and grandparents are dragging their feet a little bit on baptism, but I feel confident that Juan will make the difference. It's always so happy to see people that you love doing what you know God wants them to do. I know that Heavenly Father has big plans for little Juan Ramirez and he'll accomplish much good! This work is the BEST!!
I hope you enjoy this novel! Sorry it's so long and so pictureless. I'll bring my camera next time so I can show you the happiness.
Hermana Holloway
PS: the title refers to OK storms. For example, yesterday was a balmy 91 degrees, then a storm rolled through with wind, rain, lightning, thunder, and hail. Now it's snowing. Basically it dropped 50+ degrees in less than 24 hours. Oh Oklahoma...
PPS: Here's your inspirational article for the week! It's super good you should read it!!

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