Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sister Lutz and some goodbyes!

I am so sorry I have not written in a while.  So many things have happened and I don't know where to start.

We had transfers last week and I have a new companion.  Her name is Sister Lutz and she is awesome! We get along so well together.  She is very motivated to work hard which I love! She has 2 transfers left and I have 3 left.  We both want to finish our missions strong and want to give everything we got.  She served with one of my old companions, Sister Smith and she just came from my old area in Provo. 

We had the opportunity to go to the final testimony of the missionaries that were departing.  2 of my companions were going home, Sister Smith and Sister Holladay and some other missionaries that I have grown really close to.  We sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me".  Hearing their testimonies was bitter sweet.  There was a lot of crying going on, I had mixed emotions about everything.  I was going to miss my mission friends so much but it was also emotional because I am going to be up there soon bearing my testimony for the last time as a representative of Jesus Christ.  All of their testimonies were amazing, a lot of them focused on their testimony of their Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Our area also split, we are no longer covering 2 wards in Spanish.  We just cover 1 ward in Spanish and now we only cover 6 stakes instead of 14.  It was really hard to leave the other ward I was covering because I loved the members and people we were teaching but it is nice that we can just focus on one ward now. 

I was a little worried about not teaching as much now that the area is split but we have been so blessed.  We have found so many more people, we have received a ton of referrals.  The members are more willing to help us and we have been working a lot more with leadership.  It has been really nice to just work in one Spanish ward and focus all of our time there. 

My companion and I set a lot of goals for this transfer.  We set a goal to find 100 non members and so far we have been finding on average about 2 a day and have been getting a lot of referrals.  We have worked so hard and Heavenly Father is really blessing us for our efforts.  We also want to visit every family in our Spanish ward and teach them the Restoration and invite them to read the Book of Mormon for 5 min a day.  We want to strengthen the ward and have them be more excited about missionary work. 

We also have a new ward mission leader.  He is amazing! He is so organized and knows how to delegate really well, he has amazing ideas and he wants us to be busy, we love working with him. 

We also had a Spanish meeting for all Spanish missionaries in our mission and they talked about an initiative that we are going to be doing.  Starting September 15- December 15 there is going to be a website up called  It has 8 questions of the soul like Why am I here on earth, How can I find peace and happiness in this life, How can I have a happy marriage, what can I learn from the challenges in life, etc.  They gave each companionship a box of cards that have these questions on them.  We have been asked to show these questions to people as we contact them.  We have also been asked to show members how they can use these cards and share them with their friends....we have already started using them and we have seen a lot of success with them.  It is amazing how much the work is really hastening. 

We also had zone conference this last week, and this is one of my very last zone conferences which is crazy! It was amazing, we talked about wonderful things.  President McCune is so inspired, seriously I love that man.  He gives the best council, I am so grateful that I have had him as my mission president.  We talked a lot about goal setting and what we are going to do as companionship's to try a little harder in our areas and specifically what are we going to do to accomplish them.  He called on a companionship to share what our goals were and guess what...he called on Sister Lutz and I haha.  We shared with 60 something missionaries and our Mission President what our goals were and how we were going to accomplish them.  One of our goals that we shared was that by the end of this transfer we want to be teaching 30 lessons a week, our first week we taught 12, last week we taught 18.  He asked us straight up if we have faith that we will get 30 lessons and we both said yes we do, we want to work so hard and do everything we can to accomplish our goals and bring this area back up.  We were put on the spot a lot but it was a good thing, it gave us even more motivation to work even harder, President and a bunch of missionaries know what our goals are so we better accomplish them haha but really we need to so we can see miracles! President also talked about obedience, he gave this long lecture on obedience, it was sooooooo good.  He was so straight up but I loved it.  He said, we need to just be obedient, we know the rules, we know we can't see miracles if we aren't obedient, we know we won't be happy if we aren't obedient then why be just doesn't make sense.  We are so blessed when we are obedient in everything that we do.  I have learned so much about obedience on my mission, I have a strong testimony of it and know that we really can receive those blessings from being obedient in everything that we do. 

We are teaching a wonderful family, I am pretty sure I have talked about this family before.  The parents got baptized a year and half ago and went to the temple recently to be sealed.  None of their kids are members yet.  We are working really closely with their daughter who is 14.  She goes to church every week, she went to girls, she acts like she is a member already.  She is such a sweet girl.  For some reason she doesn't feel ready to be baptized yet, she gets really shut down when we bring it up and sometimes will cry.  She just found out this week that she has diabetes, she has been a little down about it but still is being positive about it.  She seems more willing to meet with us and talk to us more, we have been walking with her a few times a week so she can get more exercise and she has been opening up to us more.  We feel like she is really close, we are going to try and bring up baptism again this week with her and hopefully it will be a good experience.  We are hoping we can get all of their kids baptized, that would be so great for the family.  The parents don't want to pressure them, they want it to be their decision. 

We are also teaching this less active lady.  I have worked with her my entire time here since being in Pleasant Grove.  I love teaching her, she is in a abusive relationship and has made a lot of mistakes.  Its a long story but she is such a strong lady, she has been through so much.  my entire time since being in Pleasant Grove, she has not gone to church.  We always invite her but she never comes but yesterday a miracle happened.  She walked into church with her kids, I had tears coming down my eyes and so did she, I was so happy to see her.  She looked so happy to be there.  I love seeing the change in people, Tiana has really stepped it up and has a desire to change her life.

Our new ward mission leader told us "Sisters people say that you are here to teach the gospel to others but really you are here to change peoples lives through teaching them the Gospel of Jesus Christ".  It is so true, we are helping people come unto Christ to make that change in their lives.

I am so grateful to be serving with Sister Lutz, we have already seen a ton of miracles together.  I am looking forward to see what else is in store for us.

Happy Birthday Melissa, Iove you and hope you have a great day! Also Happy Birthday Dad, hope your day is amazing!

Also this is a little late but Happy Birthday Luke, I can't believe you are 7 years old now, where did the time go??

I love you all, thanks for all the support.

Hermana Veronica Garces

Grateful for the Gospel!

Well this week was a little up and down but it still ended up being really great.  We didn't teach as many lessons this week, a lot of appointments fell through which was a little frustrating but we still were able to see a lot of miracles. 

We had a really great lesson with a less active lady we have been teaching for awhile.  She is the only member in her family, she has 4 kids who are younger.  Her husband is not a member.  Her one son really wants to get baptized, he is 10 so we have been working with him a lot.  He has such a strong desire to be baptized, he is such a sweet boy.  Her husband has always been really friendly with us but has never sat in on a lesson.  He is very catholic and respects the church but he hasn't really had an interest.  But a miracle happened this week, for the first time he sat in on the lesson with us and he has somewhat of an interest now, he is willing to learn more and supports his son for wanting to be baptized.  We are really excited for this family and have a lot of hope for them.  She came to church this week with all of her kids and she hasn't been to church in a very long time.  She would say "yeah I will be at church this Sunday but never came, there was always an excuse.  So seeing her and her kids at church was such a great thing.  We are praying really hard for this family, especially for the husband that he will have that desire and that he will want this for his family.

We have another investigator that we are working really close with.  She is really close, she is 14, her parents are members and got baptized over a year ago.  She goes to church every Sunday with her family but she for some reason does not want to get baptized.  She went to girls camp this past week and had a wonderful experience.  She has opened up a lot with us and this week, we are hoping that we can sit her down and talk about baptism with her and put her on date.  We think that she just needs a push and that if we put her on date, it will give her something to work towards.  We have been praying for her a lot.

This past Saturday we had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Mt. Timpanogos temple.  We did the session in Spanish, that was the first time I have done a session in Spanish.  We have been teaching a couple recent converts.  We love them so much, and they were receiving their endowments. We got permission to go.  Sister Traini, my last companion also was there which was really nice. What a special experience it was to be there for them.  A lot of ward members were there and a lot of people from American Fork were there that I knew.  It was really neat to do the session in spanish, I was able to catch onto things that I haven't before.  We are hoping in a few weeks that they can be sealed as a family with their kids.  There are some personal issues with that, we are praying really hard that they will be able to.

We had a zone training meeting this past week that was so good.  We talked a lot about talking with everyone.  When I served in my Provo, my zone leaders there were very good about talking with everyone and really helped the zone to be more excited about talking with everyone.  When we would go out to lunch as a district they would make us kneel down and pray and ask specifically where we should go eat so we could find more people to teach.  I definitely opened up a lot serving in Provo because we did that and because I was in a walking area and was able to talk to more people.  I know it is something that I need to keep getting better at.  Sometimes its really uncomfortable or awkward to talk to everyone that we see.  The zone leader that I had in Provo was actually at our zone meeting, he is an assistant now and he is very good at talking with everyone.  And he said something really interesting that I never thought of before he said "The Atonement of Jesus Christ has helped me so much in my life, I truly love my Savior and I know that he loves each and everyone of us and I want everyone to feel that, that is why I do everything I can to talk to everyone, I want them to feel the significance of the Atonement in their life...we have that message to share with everyone, we don't want to hold back".  My testimony of the Atonement has been strengthened so much since I have been on the mission, I truly know Jesus Christ and what he means to me.  Relating the Atonement to talking to everyone has given me the motivation to really do everything I can to talk to as much people as I can. 

I love serving a mission so much.  I really know that obedience brings blessing, and we can see miracles as we are exactly obedient and fully committed to serving the Lord.

I am so grateful for the gospel.  Virginia, I am so proud of you for being baptized, it sounds like it was a very special day for you.

Family- I love you so much, I miss you all a ton especially since the whole family is together and I am the only one gone but I know why I am here.  The gospel has blessed are family so much and I need to be here to share that with others.

Transfers are next week: I have no idea what is going to happen at all. We will see what Heavenly Father has in store for me.

Hermana Veronica Garces