October 31, 2011

There is light on the horizon...

So there´s a ton of stuff I need to do today (much like EVERY P-day) and SOOO little time to do it.
We had a special conference in San Fernando this week. It was super great and I love the Spirit and urgency I feel when I leave these meetings with President and Hermana Gulbrandsen. There is SO much we want to do in Congreso and are humbly hoping to also be privileged to see the fruits of our work soon.
Mainly what we were talked about in the conference was the power of MEMBERS, whether old or new, to bring their loved ones into the fold of Christ. When an investigator has a friend in church, they STAY. When the activated less-active member or the new member has the FIRE and DESIRE (sometimes WE´VE got to fan the flame...encourage them because it´s scary sometimes!) to SHARE THEIR NEWFOUND TESTIMONY......people get BAPTIZED and STAY ACTIVE. The fire is spreading and the MEMBERS, especially recent converts are the source. President Gulbrandsen said something a while ago that has not left my mind: ´The Lord is preparing people for the gospel and the recent converts know them´. ´Inside´ the church, we think we know only members and have no missionary work to do. BUT when we know ONE and share with them, they are the door to tens of hundreds more. It´s like genealogy but with live people. We are here to pay it forward.

Which brings me to some GREAT TUNES that Hna Dunn got me LOVING. The cds I told you about, the Nashville Tribute ones? Are SOOOO amazing!!! The Work and The Prophet are on DAILY in our apartment....looove it and I get the chills every time. Mom, I know that you will cry all through the Work......
I was really moved by every single track but there is one in particular that I sing to myself all day. It´s like my ´Rocky´ song.
I wrote the lyrics down into my daily planner (because they are JUST THAT AMAZING) (the original lyrics are slightly different but I applied them to myself) and it says:
I was born in California, born the daughter of humble converts. Now I´m here to pay it forward.
I was born of goodly parents, blessed souls of a rich inheritance. We are children of our Father, an army of His sons and daughters.
And I am here to serve my King, Daughter of the Most High and this is good news that I bring as I labor gladly bringing souls to Christ.
It´s a GREAT song that I love like crazy. If I were with Hna Whitehead, it would be on REPEAT for DAYS......it´s just what she does.

We are working ever so diligently with Prince. He loves when we visit and talk to him about the Gospel but still does not understand why he has to be baptized again. It is more than just a language barrier here. Teaching him makes me wish I had stuck with French for a few years longer. Our communication in English is great and he just loves that he´s found a church full of people that care about him. Everyone is so great with him even though he´s still working on his Spanish. He is so full of faith and I do not have a doubt in my mind that though we don´t have the answers in his native language, he will understand the language of the Spirit and prepare to be baptized PRONTO!
Fresia, a sweet, very faithful little girl (one of those who made the bracelets to get to church) is also trying to get permission from her mother to keep going every week. She loves church and primary (who doesn´t?) and wants to be baptized very badly!!! Keep them in your prayers this week.

Last Monday we had a GREAT Family home evening with a member family and their referrals. Victoria and Enzo were SO great! We talked about the Restoration and watched the video about it too. They loved it and loved how they felt. We will be working closely with them and not let them go!
Tuesday we went with Prince to the Centro de Recursos de Empleo (employment resources) that is wonderfully IN OUR AREA! Hooray! We got to go help Prince and also see firsthand what great things they do there and the wonderful resources the Church has in action all over the world!! Did I tell you that the Sisters who are serving full-time in the CRE are both from the US and I know their nieces from school???? One is Sister Blanchette from (most recently) ........drumroll please..............Orem, UT!!!! Her niece lived (family might still be there) in the Sharon Park stake....Natalie Johnston. And her companion is Sister Anderson whose niece Tricia Packer was in my Timpanogos Choir class all senior year.....what a small world.

Shout out to my favorite stalker....Hna Camilly! Mom, there is seriously great things about you updating my blog. Not only do the wonderful people that I love at home get to read (and then WRITE ME! Hint, hint) but even people HERE get to know what it is I feel about being here, serving here and loving here. It was hilarious because yesterday we ate at the Pinto´s house and at the end of the meal, I pulled out my planner to see where we were going next or anything we had to check with them and Hna Camilly exclaimed: “oh how sad that you lost your planner but you got a new one!” hahahaha I laughed really hard with her. She would only know certain things because they are in my emails home to you all. So great!

Overall, we had a great week with more seed sowing and organizing. The Lord´s house is a house of ORDER and by the end of my time here, however long that may be, CONGRESO WILL be called to order! It´s crazy how much can get lost in the work if we DON’T KEEP A RECORD. I have a great testimony of being organized, ESPECIALLY in the week I didn´t have a Missionary Daily Planner. I got to realize that my little notebook replacement was not up to snuff and I am VERY grateful for the inspired ways that missionary work is kept organized.

Well, that´s about all for today. I know that this is the true Church of God. I know that my Savior lives and loves me. I know He loves each and every person on this earth which is why I´m down here in Argentina, because He called and prepared me from BEFORE THIS LIFE to come and meet and talk to and share my testimony with the people who were also called and prepared BEFORE THIS LIFE to hear it at this time and in this place. I NEVER want to have the regret that I just didn´t DO enough, that I didn´t WORK HARD enough, that I didn´t TESTIFY enough. So I do everything I can, I work as hard as my body will let me sometimes even pushing THAT and I will testify in every moment that I know that these things are true.
Tell Lehi Acosta that he´ll have to call a stretcher to meet me at the airport :)
At the end of every week, I can see the Lord´s love for me. Last night as we were going over the last week, I had JUST ENOUGH energy left to count the numbers, plan for today, brush my teeth, kneel to pray and collapse on the bed. This morning, I feel rejuvenated and with more energy than yesterday. It´s an answer to my prayers, to YOURS and to all those who pray for the missionaries. I thank each and every one of you and also pray that you feel the blessings of being involved this way in the missionary work.
I love you all and pray that you will also have missionary opportunities at home! They are there!
Love love love love love you alll sOOOOO much....
And on behalf of Hna Dunn.....
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! (this is one of her favorite holidays. We are even making special treats for our district to celebrate....Dirt in a cup. Not Bryan Regan’s style but the oreo-pudding-gummy worm fun stuff! Hooray!)
Love, until next week,
Hna Gonzalez

PS: dad....I GOT THE PACKAGE!! Thanks sooooo much for the mascara and post-its and bobby pins and hair stuff. It was SOO great to get. And the Reese’s pieces all got here safe and sound. Just a question, could I put in a special request for peanut butter m&m´s? They just aren´t the same as the Reese’s pieces. If anyone ever asks if I want anything in a package...or I don’t know if people ask that....but like Tia Gina...if she wants to send me something for Christmas or something....PEANUT BUTTER M&M´S. They are in my dreams....
Also, a little wish list for a Christmas package or whatever you may be sending out of the love and goodness of your amazing hearts:
Letters ;)
Maple extract 3x (yeah?)
Baby B of Mormons....hmmm baby hymnbook, both in English.
Well, that´s all really. And cupcake cups, the paper ones.
The end

And the pictures we did not get last week:
                                                     Taking Hna Shelley to the airport

                      The brownie pics are from Hna Dunn and my party for y´alls birthdays back home.

                                                         Sweet sister in our ward

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