Friday, May 16, 2014

Staying in American Fork!

So first off let me just tell you all that we have transfers this week! We just found out that we will not be a trio anymore! Sister Figueroa is leaving and Sister Holladay and I are staying! We will for sure miss Sister Figueroa.  We had such a fun transfer being a trio.  We learned so much from each other.  I am looking forward to staying in American Fork and doing more work here!

This past week we found out some changes to attending the temple.  It used to be that we could go to the temple twice a month, once as a companionship, and once as a district.  Our mission has changed the policy now.  We can only go now every 3 months just with our companion.  But we can go more our recent converts are going through the temple to do baptisms, endowments, sealings etc.  We can also go to the temple if any of our immediate family is going in for the first time, getting married, etc.  We can only stay for the ordinance and not go to like luncheons or receptions afterwards.  Another neat thing is that we can go out of our mission boundaries to other temples, we just have to get permission from our mission President.  If we have a recent convert that wants to do baptisms at the Salt Lake temple we can go.  The temples that are in our mission is the Provo, Mt Timpanogos, and Vernal temple.  We can go now to Salt Lake, Jordan River, Bountiful, Oaker Mountain, and Manti.  We can only go to those temple if we have immediate family doing ordinances or recent converts going through.  I think this new change is really neat! I think it will make us work harder to get our recent converts to the temple.  As missionaries part of our purpose is to get others to the temple.  We have two recent converts that we are teaching that we are working on getting them to the temple and the big G family that I taught in Provo are working on going to the temple as well.  I am so excited for them!

As for teaching this week it was a little slow again.  We are struggling trying to find more people to teach.  We have some investigators but they aren't really progressing or keeping commitments.  We taught a lot of recent converts this past week and less actives.  We are going to continue to work hard so that we can see miracles and be led to those who need the Gospel. 

This week we started using the bikes because we are really low on miles haha. It was such a nice week this past week.  It was in the 70s.  Using the bikes was crazy, my companions aren't really used to riding a bike since they have never been in a biking area.  Our area is so big and we were in over our heads using the bikes haha but we established that we are only going to use the bikes in the afternoons and only in 2 stakes that we cover in American Fork.  We aren't using them in Alpine or Highland because that would just be way too far for us haha.  It is crazy trying to keep track of 14 stakes but we do our best.

We taught this one less active family this past week.  It is a single mom and she has three kids.  I love them so much, we teach them in English, the kids don't really know Spanish very well.  They are always so excited to see us, we asked them how reading the Book of Mormon was going for them.  And they each wrote a summary of what they read, they were so excited to tell us.  You can tell now that they know the importance of reading the Book of Mormon everyday.  We taught them the Plan of Salvation, they had a lot of questions but they understood it so well.  I love teaching the Plan of Salvation, I love testifying that we can be with our families forever and we can all reach the celestial kingdom through the Atonement of Christ.  How wonderful is it that we have that knowledge to share with everyone.

I am so grateful for this time of year.  As a mission we have been encouraged to share the link  I already posted it on my Facebook page.  We are encouraged to share and to encourage others to share the message.  It talks about the message of Easter and there is a video that describes Christ and what we have Because of Him.  I love the video so much, it shows that we can be like Christ and be free from everything Because of Him.  I am so grateful for my Savior.  Because of Him I have a best friend that I can rely on.  Because of Him we have the Atonement.  I know that Christ lives.  I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and remember what Christ did for us.

I love you all.  Thanks for everything! Mom, I am so glad you made it to China safely.  Have a fun time with Charles and the family. 

Hermana Garces

General Conference!

So guess what?? I am actually in Provo right now, which is so awesome! This morning we hiked the Y with my last companion Hermana Smith and her companion Hermana Barney.  It was so fun! Hiking the Y this morning made me realize a lot of things.  I have had so many wonderful experiences since being on the mission but there have also been some pretty tough times.  There were moments I didn't think I could overcome the trial I was going through.  But just like hiking the Y , we think we can't make it to the top but we really can, we have to believe in ourselves and trust that we will make it.  I have overcome every trial I have experienced on my mission so far and I am so grateful for that.  It made me think of the talk that President Uchtdorf gave on Sunday.  We really need to be grateful during our trials.  Looking back, I am so grateful for everything I have gone through even if it was really tough at the time.  I learned and grew from it and going through these experiences have made me a better person.

So this week, we actually didn't teach as much.  It was kind of a slow week, we are really trying to find more people to teach and to get people to progress.  That has been our goal.  We had a lesson with Gonzalo this past week and he actually taught us the lesson.  We have him a copy of Preach my Gospel and he taught us about Faith in Jesus Christ, he did so good.  You can tell he has such a strong testimony of the Gospel. 

So conference this weekend was amazing! I got to go to the first session and what a wonderful experience that was.  Walking into the conference center and hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practice was amazing! I got chills right away and got a little emotional.  We got to sit pretty up front.  Before President Thomas S. Monson walked in everyone was talking and the minute he walked in everyone stood up and was silent.  The Spirit in that conference center was so strong.  When you see the prophet, you can't deny that he has been called of God. 

I had so many favorite talks this conference.  One that I would like to mention is Elder Holland.  I was so happy that he talked the session that I was at.  I loved how he said that we need to defend our beliefs and be strong.

Sorry I am out of time

Hermana Garces


Well before I tell you all what happened this week, I just want to say how excited I am for General Conference this weekend!! General Conference weekends are seriously the best time of year.  It is definitely inspired that it is every 6 months.  I just found out this morning that I will be able to go to conference this time! I will be going to the Saturday morning session.  So everybody watching conference this weekend know that I will be there Saturday morning! I heard we get to sit up front or really close to the front which will be way exciting!!

We went to the temple as a district on Tuesday.  I love going to the temple so much.  I got to see Hermana Derges (she was in my MTC district).  It was so good to see her.  I love seeing people from my MTC district.  They will always be my family!

This past week I was able to teach a few Skype lessons with some of my best friends from back at home.  It was such a great experience teaching them and sharing with them what I know to be true.  The gospel has made me so happy in my life and I want to share that happiness I feel to everyone!

Saturday was a very busy day.  We had big G's baptism which went so well! So many people came to his baptism, probably the biggest turnout I have had for a baptism since being on the mission.  Pretty much the whole branch was there.  He was so happy, seeing someone come out of the waters of baptism just brings tears to my eyes.  They are taking such an important step in their life coming close to the Savior.  We did a special musical number for him.  The three of us sang and his fiance sang with us.  We sang Sigueme, it is a Spanish song that talks about Christ and following him and his example.  I actually sang that sang at my very first baptism that I had in my first area in Payson for Eduardo.  It brought back a lot of memories. When we practiced the song not gonna lie we sounded really bad but then when we actually performed it, we ended up pulling through.  Its amazing how the spirit can help us with situations like that. 

Also that afternoon we went to another baptism in Eagle Mountain that one of my companion's was involved with teaching her.  So many missionaries were at this baptism.  My last companion Sister Smith was there and my past zone leaders was there.  It was nice to see them again.  It was so nice to see Sister Smith and talk about how things were going in my old area in Provo.  We did a musical number also at this baptism as well.  All the missionaries that were there sang the song "Come unto Christ", the very last part we did in Spanish.  The song is from the youth theme this year.  The spirit was felt so strongly while we sang it.  Singing both of those songs at both of the baptisms made me reflect on my mission.  I hit my 9 month mark this week!! Both of those songs talk about Christ and if anything I have learned on my mission, I have learned to Come unto Christ.  Every touch thing I have gone through I have learned to turn to my Savior.  I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

That night we went to the Women's broadcast.  How awesome was that!! Sister Smith and her companion came with us! I really liked how they stressed that we as women really need each other.  We need to love each other and look to everyone as a Daughter of God.  It made me really think of the companions I have had to far in the mission.  Each one I have needed.  I have learned something different from each of them.  I have grown to love each one of them so much.  I was sitting with Sister Smith during the broadcast and we just hugged each other and she said to me "I love you Sister Garces, our companionship was so inspired, we needed each other".  It's so true I needed her my last transfer I was in Provo.  I grew a lot with her.  And now I need to be with Sister Holladay and Sister Figueroa.  I love them both so much. 

Well I am about out of time! I love you all! Enjoy conference this weekend!!

Hermana Garces

Know why I'm in A-Fork

Well this week I have learned that I am supposed to be serving in American Fork right now and that I am really needed here.  It was hard for me to accept that at first when I first got here but I know now why I am here.

We had a really good week this past week.  We were able to teach a lot.  We have a baptism this Saturday that we are really excited for! It is for a good brother, he is the fiance of a sister in our Spanish branch.  We taught him the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity this past Monday and he just gets everything and why it is so important that we have those commandments.  He had his baptismal interview this past Saturday and one of our zone leaders did the interview for him.  So He actually lives in Orem but we got permission to teach him because he is getting married and will be moving to American Fork.  This zone leader that interviewed him used to serve in Orem and actually got a referral for him and him and his companion always went by to his house to try and contact him but every time they went he was never home.  This Elder always felt that even though he never met him, he knew that he needed the Gospel and that somehow someway he was going to be baptized.  As he interviewed him, the Elder realized that he was the one that he tried to contact all those times when he served In Orem.  He couldn't believe it was him.  He told us the story after he interviewed him and said that this guy is golden, he is so ready to be baptized.  He told this Elder in his interview that he knows that this is the Church of Jesus Christ and he feels so right about joining and that he is looking forward to being sealed to his soon to be wife next year.  We are so excited for him! We had a lesson last night with his fiance and we taught the Plan of Salvation, the spirit was so strong in that lesson.  We are going to be meeting with them pretty much everyday this week because we have to finish teaching him the laws and ordinances. 

This week I went on exchanges with Sister Coleman, it was way fun! I was in Orem for the day.  I taught all the lessons in English which was a little different but it was still good.  On Wednesday night, one of my companions Hermana Figueroa was feeling really sick and didn't feel comfortable driving so I got permission to drive the rest of the night which was fun.  I haven't driven in a while but the main thing was that we made it home safe haha.

We are teaching this a great young man.  He is 18 years old and knows the Bible really well.  He really likes learning about other religions and is very knowledgeable.  We met with him this past week and he likes to find fault with the Book of Mormon with the Bible.  We bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and invited him to start reading it.  I expressed to him that he might not get an answer right away with the Book of Mormon, sometimes it takes time but I promised him that as he reads and prays with a sincere heart he would receive an answer. 

This past week I actually finished the Book of Mormon.  I started reading it in my personal studies when I was serving in Payson and I have been reading a few pages a day and I finally finished it this week.  I have learned so much from reading it this time.  I know it is the word of God and I know it is true.   I am now going to start reading the New Testament and I came up with an idea that will make my personal studies more effective.  In chapter 6 of preach my gospel it talks about Christ-like attributes.  I am going to focus on a Christlike attribute each week and read scriptures/talks that relate to that attribute and really pray that I can be stronger and better at that attribute.  This past week I started with Faith in Jesus Christ.  I have learned a lot by studying this attribute and it has really helped me with my faith.  I feel like I am trusting more in everything and know that I can turn and pray for anything when I have faith.  In preach my gospel it says "Faith includes confidence in the mission and power of the Holy Ghost.  Through faith you receive answers to your prayers and personal inspiration to guide you in the Lord's work".  I feel more confident in things and more at ease with everything as I have been increasing my faith.

Well I am about out of time.  Thanks everyone for all the love and support you have given me. I love you all!

Hermana Veronica Garces