Tuesday, November 10, 2015

week 40

A couple weeks ago, the sisters that we were living with decided to hand out 14 copies of the Book of Mormon one day, just because. When they got home they told us about how incredible of a day they had and all of the sudden Sister Harper and I got all these ideas... 
Would if we handed out 22 copies for my 22nd Birthday? Would if I wrote my testimony in each one of them? Oh and why not also mark 22 of my favorite scriptures in each one? 
Over the last couple weeks I have written my testimony in 22 copies of the Book of Mormon. They were each addressed to someone different: a mother, a father, a child of God, a stranger, a friend, etc. And they had at least one of my favorite scriptures marked in every one. 
So on Friday, we ran around like crazies and successfully left 22 keys to heaven all over town. 22 random people that I have never met before received the Book of Mormon, and let me tell you- it was the most incredible birthday ever.
The lady at the gas station, Joseph (the grilled cheese eating man), the pre-teen washing the truck, Luis and Loran who spoke in tongues after we gave it to them, Noah's grandma (a little boy we met outside his house), the Amaya family (who we will be going back to teach this week), an awkward tween, a young girl who had tye-die socks, a larger black woman who loves Jesus, another Jesus loving woman that had over sized sunglasses on, our waiter at dinner, Christian (the pro soccer player), a French woman at the French bakery, a lady who told us "I will probably need this later tonight!", James (a man with headphones in that looked very sad), a man who was waiting for his wife and told us he had read it before and would try it again, two spanish men who were in a fiery conversation when I interupted, a man speaking insanely fast in an un-known tongue on the phone, a worker at the sunglass store in the mall (it's a good place to hit a lot of people), a couple that was speed-walking past, and then we ran into our Bishop... who pointed to a man, who received the 22nd copy of the Book of Mormon, at 8:56... we still made it home by 9. 
I really can't even begin to explain the miracles that we saw come of it. It was the most amazing thing. About half of them noticed the note in the front of the book and the other half gratefully accepted it. On a day that is so normally focused on you- we did our best to focus it on the Lord and it was AMAZING.
This work is good, even on hard days, it's wonderful to be apart of. 
Love you!
Sister Mal

Birthday package 

Monday, November 2, 2015

week 39

sister harper has been so stinking sick all week, and it's provided for an interesting week. we were in all day thursdayand then have been doing half days since then. she's doing much better now, all is well in zion!
on a happy note! we attended an incredible young women's lesson yesterday with our investigator, Ashley. In the middle of the lesson, the teacher completely paused the lesson and said, "Do you feel this right now? Everyone, just stop for a minute. Do you feel the spirit that is in the room right now? That goodness that you are feeling is the spirit. You know you're doing what's right when you feel this way". 
as missionaries, we were pumped that she took the time to point out the spirit, not only to our investigator, but also to all the other girls in the room.
right after church we had a lesson with Ashley and addressed some of her concerns. we've been trying to get her to set a date for baptism and she's told us multiple times that she wants to keep praying about it. so yesterday, we told her that we were all going to pray about it together.
we were in a random little sunbeam classroom and the three of us knelt down on our knees and she asked the Lord if He wanted her to be baptized on November 21st. That same feeling, that was in the lesson earlier, filled the room. After the prayer we asked her how she felt and she said, "I feel the same way that I did in that young women's lesson. I feel that goodness".
sister harper and i both had to restrain ourselves from screaming, "THAT'S THE SPIRIT!!!!!" to her.... but we got the message across. and she agreed to November 21st. she's 15 and honestly seeking God's plan for her. she's a sweetheart and we love her dearly. pray for her?
love ya!
sister mal
p.s. it's november 2nd and there are people sunbathing at our apartment pool RIGHT now... WHAT IS THIS?!

melissa... she pulled clothes out of the dress up box and created her own witch costume

Trunk or treat with the youth! me, sis harper, marcus (the clown), alec, sophia, victor, connor and ashley (one of the girls we are teaching). everyone in this picture but the missionaries and ashley are cousins.

more trunk or treat. maddie and marissa (we just started teaching her and her family).

Sunday, November 1, 2015

week 38

Happy Halloween! this is at one of our favorite member's house last night. they had all their halloween costumes out when we went to do a book of mormon read with their son... and we couldn't resist getting a picture.

I think I might have said something about Book of Mormon reads with the youth before... but here's a little story for you. We've been given permission to start teaching the Book of Mormon how to really READ the Book of Mormon in 10 minutes. We sit down with them, set a timer for 10 minutes, address a concern or question they currently have and start reading for the Book of Mormon. Every single time, they get answers and they are always amazed. We then committ them to reading the Book of Mormon like this every day for the rest of the week, and then they get hooked to the fact that the Book of Mormon is almost like their own personal magic 8 ball and their testimonies start. We love it.
So last night we went to do just that with a young man in the ward. He's 17 and planning to go on a mission next year because he's always wanted to serve. As we thought about his lesson throughout the day, my companion and I decided we wanted to take a different spin on it. 
We started talking with him and he immediately pulled out his phone and started texting, so I pulled the phone.
Suddenly he realized we meant business and I think we kind of freaked him out.
We talked about the next year and how close his mission really is and we asked him about the Book of Mormon and he said, "Yeah, I have no idea if it's true. I just tell people it's a good book, but do I have to read it before I go on a mission?" 
We dug deeper. And then he said, "How do you even gain a testimony? Like how can I know if the Book of Mormon is really true?" At this point, we couldn't resist smiles. 
We opened to the introduction of the Book of Mormon and read one sentence with him, " We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true". We called a timeout.
He looked up at us and said, "WOAH! I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS EVEN IN HERE!! WHAT THE HECK?! Man, where have I been?" 
So then we asked, "What do you need to do?"
His response, "Read and ask God if it's true".
Folks, that's what he will be doing from now until he leaves on his mission. We got him to agree to reading for just five minutes every single day and asking God every time he reads, if it's true. We set an alarm on his phone to remind him so he won't forget. As we kept talking he said, "You won't be here until I leave, you'll have no idea if I actually do it!" I told him that he better believe he will be receiving a call from me on his 18th birthday... which is next August, asking him to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon to me. He laughed and said, "Deal".
Children really are the largest group of investigators we have and they are off to change others lives, are they prepared?
Love you all!
Sister Mal

week 37

sooo we had a surprise MLC this week... and Elder Soares showed up! It was very short, but the spirit was so strong in that meeting and you could feel just how much that man loves the Lord.
He talked to us a lot about how our job as missionaries is to invite EVERYONE to come closer to Christ. Or in other words, no one is exempt from our invitations. At the very end of the meeting he shared the story from the end of Luke 7, of the woman who washed Christ's feet. Go re-read it if you have no idea what I'm talking about :)
He focused on one line, "Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much". v.47
And then he said, "The Lord will consider every action you do in love for other people at the judgement day". Truly, love is the greatest thing we can offer to others in this life. For the last couple months, I have found myself really trying to better understand how to show my love for others: whether they be people I meet at the door, or the sign flipper lady on the corner, or other missionaries I serve with, or members of the ward, or the less-active family that we just want to come back to church.
The only thing that I have found to work for me is to pause for a moment and ask the Lord to help me see just a glimpse of who they are, through His eyes. I have found myself embarassed time and time again at my first judgement of them. I have found myself asking the Lord for forgiveness because I forgot that everyone around me is a child of God. 
That mean guy that flipped you off in traffic yesterday, the kid in school that gave you a mean glare. The ward member that said something that offended you. No matter who it is, or what they have done, they too are a child of God. And if you really understand just how much God loves you, then it really opens your mind to think He loves these other people just as much as He loves you. So why don't you love them too? 
My goal? To act in love, motivated by my testimony of God's love for me. Elder Soares promisd us that if we did so, that we would be able to overcome the natural man within each of us. Try it with me :)
Love you!
Sister Mal

sister de jesus is fascinated with halloween- so us americans tried to give her a true halloween. it was our last pday all together so we carved a pumpkin. we attempted to convince her that its tradition to lick the stem... it didn't work. we got a good laugh though

this little friend jumped into our house last night. we kept him long enough to take a picture and then let him be free. it's taken 9 months for a frog to come into my apartment... THAT my friends is an accomplishment.