Friday, October 31, 2014

Random Pictures

Things that make me happy

Things that make me happy.

This list has no particular order of the things that have made me happy.....a lot of them are simple things and some are bigger things

My list could honestly go on forever but these are some of the things that I specifically wanted to share with you all!

Charles and Mike, I challenged Mom and Dad to do this and they have! You two should do it too!

Making the time to have dinner as a family every night when we could and just talking about how our day was.  A lot of families don't do that so I'm really glad that we made that an effort as a family, it meant a lot.

Going out every Friday night to Baja Fresh....seriously that was the best! I looked forward to that so much. I have had a lot of Mexican food on my mission but I have not had Baja Fresh at all so that will be something that I will want to do when I get home, I have missed it!

Mom, it always made me really happy that you always would take the time to talk and listen to me especially when I came home from school. I loved that I could talk to you about everything whether my day was good or bad.

Dad, growing up it always made me happy when you would come home from work and Melissa and I would run up to you to give you a hug. I know as I got older, I stopped doing that....I know I was a brat, sorry about that. It made me happy though that even if I didn't greet you when you came home you still always found me and said hi and asked how my day was.

Mike, It made me happy that I could tease you and give you a hard time....haha that's what little sisters do. I have changed a lot on the mission but that part of me still has  not changed....I will always give it right back and give the last word haha but really I do it because I love you and let's be real, it's pretty funny!

Mom, I loved having girls nights with you and Melissa when Dad worked late on Saturdays.   I loved watching I love Lucy and laughing really hard. I loved that we would make our own nachos or make something fun to eat. I remember being really happy during those times.

Charles, I loved going on trips to 7-11 to get piña colada slurpees with you. It was something so simple but getting one with you always made me happy.

Mike, the day you graduated from George Mason. I am so grateful that I was able to be there for that and that the whole family was there. I know it was a long journey for you but you finally did it! I was so happy and proud of you that day.

The day of my high school graduation was amazing! The highlight of that day for me was when Charles came all the way from China to be there for me. Seriously, Charles to this day I don't know how you pulled that off. I remember Denise telling me, hey that's your brother. I couldn't see super well and I assumed it was Mike because I
knew you were all the way in China. And I was like o yeah Mike and she said no it's Charles and you came closer and I realized it was you, what a surprise that was!

Melissa, I loved that you would always ask how my day was at school when I would come home. I love watching movies with you, those times made me really happy. I love listening to you sing while you listen to your iPod haha. You crack us all up Melissa haha. You keep us all in line, I love it. You truly are an angel to our family.

The day Abuela died, actually I think it was a day or two before she died. She wasn't responding and we thought she was going to go anytime and she woke up and we were all in the room with her....all of the grandchildren. I remember specifically she saw Mike at the end of her bed and she said "O, Hi Mike". I remember we all laughed a little bit. She recognized each and everyone of us and we were all able to say goodbye to her.  I remember feeling so happy and at peace with everything. I knew she was going to a better place. She was able to die peacefully and say goodbye to all of us. She made it to Christmas just like she wanted and what a great Christmas that was! Dad, I know that your Mom is very proud of you for doing that ride. You are an
inspiration to many people.

Being involved with Les Miserables my Senior year made me really happy, that was such an amazing experience to be involved in! All of the hours of practice and everything that was involved with it was all worth it.  I think a lot about some of the lyrics in some of the songs especially One day More....."Tomorrow we'll discover what our God in heaven has in store', I always think of transfers when I think of that song haha.  But seriously that whole production will be something that I will never forget.

The day I finally made symphony made me really happy.  I wanted to be in symphony so bad and I finally did it, my senior year was the best playing in symphony! We got to do Handel's Messiah and what an experience that was!

My Mission, I have so much to say about my mission of how it has made me so happy.  I don't know where to start.  I remember the day they made the announcement about the age change, I was actually in Provo at the BYU dorms, who knew that I would be called to that mission haha.  I remember being so happy that day because I knew I wanted to serve a mission, nothing was holding me back.  I just had to, sister missionaries blessed our family so much and I just had to do the same.  The day I got my mission call was such a great day, all of the anticipation was finally over and I was going to find out where I would be spending the next 18 months of my life sharing the Gospel.  Utah Provo Mission, spanish speaking.  I honestly was very happy about it, I felt so at peace with everything and knew it was where the Lord needed me.  I know a lot of people's reactions were like "o, Provo Utah, are you disappointed".....I have not been dissapointed one bit about it.  A lot of people have said "the Utah Provo Mission is the worst mission to be called to but the best mission to serve in", that is so true.  I love this mission so much and it seriously has been the best.  I have met some of the most amazing people on my mission that I will never forget, I have had some challenges but I have grown so much because of them.  I know who Jesus Christ means to me now, my testimony of him and his Atonement have strengthened so much.  I love sharing the Gospel with others, it makes me so happy.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ really does make us happy, I would not have it any other way.  I don't regret coming on a mission at all, the sacrifice has been so worth it and honestly I don't see it as a sacrifice as much anymore....yes, I left a lot behind, friends, family, school, and other things but I truly love this work so much and I know I needed to come on my mission at this specific time so that I could meet the people I have met and help change their lives.  It will be a sacrifice to come home and take off that tag, but I know everything will be ok.  My mission will always be a part of my life.  I am so grateful that we will be together forever as a family, I know sharing that with others.  I am so grateful to all of you, we are so lucky to have such a great family.  You all mean so much to me, thanks for supporting me with everything....I pray for you all everyday.  I will see you all soon, December 18th, start counting down the days!!! haha maybe don't do that because that will freak me out about how much time I have left haha Love you all!

Hermana Veronica Garces

Catching up

I have to do a little bit of catch up with this email and explain what has happened these past couple of weeks. It has been a roller coaster for sure but it has all been good.

We had a really good lesson with a good sister. She is the less active that we have been working a lot with.  Our ward mission leader gave us this really great idea we could use with her. He said have her write for 45 minutes about this question "what would my life be if I didn't have any limiting beliefs? A limiting belief is something that holds us back.  He said even if she gets stuck tell her to keep writing, whatever comes to her mind to keep writing. My companion and I also did the exercise and it was really interesting and actually helped with a lot of things.  From what she wrote we set goals with her physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. She has been to church the last 3 weeks in a row! That is the most she has been since I have been in the area. She has met with the Bishop to try and get things better. She told us "ever since I have gone back to church and have met with the Bishop, I feel more happy and I don't even know why". That was the best thing I could have heard from her. She has changed so much these past 4 months I have been here in Pleasant Grove. She really does seem more happy and she is glowing. It is so neat to see.

We have been working with another girl as well. It has been a little up and down with her. We have prayed so much for her and how we can better help her. My mom sent me her conversion story a couple of months ago. We decided that we should read it with Brenda and talk about it.
Sister Lutz and I both felt that she could really relate to it. A lot of things in the story really applied to her and her family. I was telling her that she is so ready, that she already knows so much and has a testimony, I told her you know what a great blessing the Gospel has been for your family. You can be sealed to your parents and whole family. We put her on date to be baptized for the 27th of this month.
She was very hesitant about it but said she would pray about it. We met with her again and talked  about the fears she is having and what is holding her back....she said she didn't feel like she would be
ready for the 27th. We don't want to pressure her.  Not gonna lie...Sister Lutz and I were pretty crushed...we have fasted and prayed for her so much.  We have done everything we can for her, it's
up to her now, we just need to be patient with her.  She has been taught by a lot of sister missionaries. A sister (M) day she finally gets baptized will be a great day for her and her family.

We have been teaching a brother as well, he is from Mexico. He is actually roommates with another brother who was baptized in July. This new brother is a really great guy and has a desire to learn more.  We are taking things really slow for him because he doesn't understand things very well.  His roommate has been amazing fellowshipping him.  When we have lessons with his, his roommate is there and always steps in to bear his testimony...its so neat seeing the change in him.  He is such a strong member and a great member missionary.

We are continuing visiting all of the members in our ward to get to know them better and share the Restoration with them.  It has been going really well and we have been able to get a lot of referrals from it. 

We had Emily Smith come out with us one night.  She was one of my companions in Provo, she is at BYU now.  She actually used to serve here in Pleasant Grove.  She has also been companions with Sister Lutz, we had such a great time with her.  She came with us to 4 lessons! She is amazing! She still bore such a strong testimony of the gospel to the people we were teaching.  She mentioned an experience that her and I had when we served in Provo, she shared it to a less active family we were teaching, it was such a great reminder to me of a lot of things.  I actually shared a status about it on my facebook, I want to share it it is:

"Yesterday I was reminded of how much The Book of Mormon has helped me in my life. I was reminded of an experience that I had with one of my companion's when I served in Provo. I was going through a difficult time, I was having a lot of doubts about certain things. I had prayed many times about what I was going through but never felt like I received an answer. My companion and I decided that we needed to pray again. We went to separate rooms and got down on our knees and prayed out loud. We then came back together and turned to The Book of Mormon and the page that we turned to was literally an answer to our prayer. I finally knew what my answer was. I felt such an overwhelming feeling of peace and comfort. I knew in that moment that Heavenly Father was mindful of me and that he does answer our prayers. I know that the Book of Mormon can help us receive those answers. I am so grateful for The Book of Mormon, the more I read it the more I feel Jesus Christ in my life. I know it can guide us in the direction we need to go. I know The Book of Mormon changes lives because it has changed mine. I will forever be grateful for that experience I had with my companion."

We also had stake conference last week, it was actually regional conference so it was broadcasted from the Marriott Center in Provo.  Elder Richard G. Scott spoke and Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke.  They were amazing talks.  Elder Scott talked about the power of prayer, some notes that I took on his talk were:

Just talk to him, you are his precious child
Take the time to tell your deepest feelings
When the answer is no, it is to help you prevent error
When he withholds an answer it is to have us grow and increase our faith, he expects us to be obedient
When you are sensitive to the promptings of the spirit, you will receive peaceful confirmation that your choice is correct
He will prompt you in peaceful moments
His pattern allows you to grow, be thankful that God has you struggle for awhile....your character grows
Never feel you are too unworthy to pray
Prayer is most effective when we strive to be clean and obedient

I loved this talk so much by him, it was a great reminder of a lot of things for me about the power of prayer.

Yesterday we didn't have normal church, it was the rededication of the Ogden Temple, it was broadcasted in all of the stake centers in Utah, it was so neat.  I love the temple so much, my companion and I were actually able to go this week for a session, the temple helps us so much, I love it.

Well I think that is about it, I hope everyone is doing well.  Thanks for all of the love and support.

Hermana Veronica Garces