Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Area and American Fork!

So I know I have been slacking on my weekly emails lately.  I am going to be a lot better now, hopefully! I am going to try and sum up what has happened these last couple of weeks!

First off, thanks Charles and family for the package!! I loved it! Also the snacks, the bag, and CDs.  The CDs are seriously great, they have a nice variety of music, good job!

Well I had to say goodbye to Provo and it was super tough.  I really didn't think I was going to be transferred so it was a little bit of a shock but that is part of the mission.  We have to be transferred so that we can learn and grow.  Heavenly Father needs us in other places.  I got a letter from a good friend of mine recently who is serving in Puebla Mexico and one of the things he said was "If we are comfortable, that means we are no longer progressing.  The Lord will push, nudge, pull, and pry us out of our comfort zones time and time again.  He does NOT want us to be comfortable....but he does want us to be happy, and that requires a willing heart, and a mind ready to submit to all that he sees fit to give us".  It is so true, we learn and grow with change.  I was getting really comfortable in Provo so it was my time to go. 

Tuesday we went out to lunch one last time as a district.  It was bittersweet because we all have gotten really close this last transfer.  We have all learned a lot from each other.  The rest of the day I said goodbye to members, investigators, and less actives.  It was tough to say goodbye.  Saying goodbye to the a particular family was really bittersweet (they were the family that we were working with our zone leaders to get them transitioned)...I got to Provo just a few weeks before they got baptized.  I have seen their testimonies of the gospel grow so much.  They aren't transitioned to the other ward yet but I know they will be...they finally get it now.  They told me that the gospel has helped them so much as a family and that the church is the same wherever you go.  When they said that, that is when I knew I fulfilled my purpose with them.  Their son is turning 8 this month and his Dad will baptize him which will be way exciting! I am planning on going back to Provo to be there for that.

I definitely learned a lot of things serving in Provo.  I learned a lot about myself and who I want to be and become and I really learned how to love people.  The love you develop for people on the mission is seriously incredible.

That night I was finishing packing and while I was packing my companion, Hermana Smith put on the song One day More from Les mis to listen to.  That song applies so much to us as missionaries especially with transfers.  The part where it says "Tomorrow we'll discover what our God in Heaven has in store one more dawn, one more day ONE DAY MORE".  I got chills when I listened to the song because I knew that Heavenly Father had something in store for me...a new area and a new companion.

The next day was transfers.  President called my name and said that I was going to be in a trio with Hermana Figueroa and Hermana Holladay and that we would be serving in American Fork.  I was in complete shock that I was going to be in a trio.  We all gave each other a big hug.  Hermana Holladay
is from Pennsylvania and has been our a year now and Hermana Figueroa is from Mexico and she has also been out a year.  Hermana Figueroa mostly talks to me in Spanish which is great so I can get better with the language!  I have to say now that I have been in a trio for almost 2 weeks, it is definitely a blast, we have a ton of fun together and are able to get a lot of work done!

A little bit about my area.  We cover American Fork, Highland, and Alpine.  We cover 14 stakes which is crazy!! Our area is huge and because our area is huge we have a car.  I went from a walking/biking area covering just one stake to now a very big area.  I am going to be completely honest, being in a car again isn't very fun.  I got so used to walking/biking that I go crazy in a car now haha.  But I know I have to get used to it. 

This area is very different, there are not many hispanics so we have to rely on a lot of members and work really hard to find them. We cover a branch, it is really small.  My ward in Provo was huge.  It has defintely been different but the members here are really great and are very willing to help us.

We have a lot of great people we are teaching now, most of them are less actives but we are working on trying to find new people to teach.  We do have a baptism coming up in 2 weeks for a good brother.  His fiance is a member in the Spanish branch.  We taught him the first lesson and we felt super prompted to invite him to be baptized and we did for the 29th of this month.  He said he would, he knows already so much and is super ready.  We are very excited for him!

This week we also went to the temple.  So far on my mission I have only gone to the Provo temple, now that I am serving in American Fork I get to go to the Mt. Timpanogos temple.  It is so pretty, I love it!  I learned a lot from going to the temple this past week.  A lot of my prayers were answered to a lot of things. 

This area is very different from Provo but I know I need to be here and I know I will grow to love it here.  Next week I will hit my 9 month mark on the mission, I can't believe I have been out that long.  I have definitely learned so much these past 9 months.  The mission is seriously a blessing.  It changes you so much in such a good way. 

I am so excited for General Conference coming up, those weekends are seriously the best!

Thanks everyone for all the love, support, letters, packages, and everything.  I am so lucky to have such great friends and family! I love you all!

Hermana Veronica Garces

Leaving Provo

Well we just found out about transfers.  I am being transferred and my companion, Hermana Smith is staying here.  I am so sad but I know the Lord needs me to be somewhere else right now.  I have served in the Provo Slate Canyon area for 4 and half months now.  It has been such a pleasure to serve here.  I seriously love Provo.  The ward has been amazing! I have grown so much in this area and have seen so many people progress.  Serving my first 2 transfers in this area with Hermana Bumstead was a blast, she helped me so much in so many ways and this past transfer serving with Hermana Smith has been great!  She has helped me a lot seeing what my full potential really is.  Transfers are so tough especially when you have grown so attached to the area, to the people, to the missionaries you serve with, and other things.

I have to say this past week was really good.  There were so many little miracles that we had.  We were able to teach a lot of lessons.  We had a lesson with the mother I mentioned last time, this week and she only had 15 minutes.  Usually our lessons are kind of long with her.  It is always an adventure when we teach her, she gets really distracted so it kind of takes a long time.  A lot times things never go as planned haha.  So she has been working on quitting smoking and we taught her the Word of Wisdom and it went so well.  She was really focused and we were able to teach everything with her.  She understood it well and knows that she needs to live it to be ready for baptism.

On Wednesday was my 8 month mark, it is crazy to think that I have been out that long. As a district we did some service for some members that were moving and then we went to lunch afterwards.  Usually when we go to lunch we pray about where we should go so we can meet people and talk to more people.  We felt super strongly that we should go to Panda Express.  When we got there I ran into one of my really good friends from back at home, Brynne Townley.  We have grown up together and are in the same home ward.  It was sooooo good to see her.  It made my day so much! It was something that I needed, it was a good reminder of a lot of things. 
We also had our last district training meeting of the transfer.  It was pretty emotional.  We didn't know who was leaving or staying but we decided to all share our testimonies.  Everyone got really emotional.  We have grown a lot together and have experienced hardships, miracles, and many other things together.  Everyone wanted me to go last haha one of my zone leaders, Elder Page said "Sister Garces needs to go last because you know we have to save the best for last" haha.  I cried a lot as a bore my testimony, I have learned a lot this past transfer especially about myself.  My testimony of so many things have increased so much.

So yesterday was my last Sunday in my Spanish ward.  I felt really prompted to bear my testimony to the ward, maybe I should have taken that as a sign that I was going to be transferred.  I felt really prompted to and it went really well.  I felt the need to share what I know to be true and express gratitude to the ward.  My ward mission leader said he didn't want me to leave and had a feeling that I was staying...he was way off haha.  He has been so great to work with and just everyone in the ward.
We went by to see the a wonderful that has a tremendous impact on me.  They heard that we were having transfers this week, they didn't want either of us to go.  They said no Hermana Garces, you can't leave, we love you so much.  They don't know I am leaving yet and many other people don't know yet but I know I have to trust in this and that I am needed somewhere else. 

These next two days are going to be saying goodbye to everyone.  I am so grateful to be in this mission.  I have learned so much and I have seen so many blessing from serving.

Next week I will be with a new companion and in a new area.  I have been 4 and a half months without a car.  I have been so used to walking/biking...if I get transferred to an area with a car, I might go a little crazy haha.  Anyways I love you all, thanks for everything and all the support you all give me.

Hermana Veronica Garces

Great experiences!

Hey everyone sorry I wasn't able to write a weekly email last week, I was short on time.  Again this week I am short on time so this email will be a little short. 

I don't even know where to start, so many things have happened. 

We had zone conference on Valentine's Day and it was amazing!! It made me reflect on how I want to be better as a missionary. So many inspired things were said that I needed to hear.

So we are teaching a mother and she is on date to be baptized on March 22 and this past week we got her daughter on date to baptized for the 22nd as well.  We are so excited for them.  The good mother is still struggling with quitting smoking but we gave her a program from the church that will help her stop.  Its like a 15 step program that really works.

We had a miracle this past week.  So a ward mission leader from an English ward asked us to stop by this lady who is less active and she has a daughter that is 13.  Anyways we have been by her house so many times at different times of the day but she's never home or doesn't answer.  We finally got in her door this week.  She let us in and to be honest at first I didn't think she liked us.  She was speaking English to us and then we started speaking Spanish to her and she opened up a lot more.  She is less active but her daughter is super active.  She is from Venezuela.  It ended up going really well with them.  She invited us back over and wants to make dinner for us and she even gave us a ride home.  It was such a miracle because my whole time I have been in this area we have tried her house and we have had no luck.  We are really excited to start teaching them.

Also next week is transfers, I don't want to leave this area yet.  I have grown so close to a lot of people here and I am just not ready to leave yet.   But if I do leave I know it is for a reason.  I am so grateful for this gospel and to be serving a mission.  It has taught me so much to be better in every aspects of life.  I love you all and thanks again for everything. 

My email next week will be a lot longer!

Hermana Veronica Garces