First of all, McKell your email from email with the pictures made me so happy. You are going to be an amazing missionary one day ;). and Second of all...BEYOND Jelous that Dad and Andrea went to Beyonce..woof. But I got front row of the best show in town..The Work of Salvation.
What a week of milagros (miracles). I can't even define my gratitude of amazingness that has happened this week. Basically The Lord is hastening his work and I get to watch it all from the front row. I am so grateful for my cute little companion that I just love so much (Hermana Barnes, barnsey, barnicle, etc.). We are having so much fun together and getting to watch this beautiful work unfold. And guess where it all has begun?...REFERALS. God bless the members here in Chula Vista. This week we have had at least 10 referrals. I am starting to feel like I am a missionary in SLC or something. Its amazing. So I want to share a few of the coolest refferals that we have contacted this week.
#1 The Sanchez Family: Andy and Ester are the parents of Joseph (10yrs old). We recieved this referall from a member in another area and he kept calling us and callings us to go contact it. We were finally free and we went over there and understood why he was being so persistent. We knocked and Ester opened the door and said, "OH LOS ELDERES!" No..but close. We litterally thought they were members. And had read the entire gospel principles book, they went to the church in sweetwater, they had the elders over for thanksgiving dinner years ago, they went to the Mormon Batallion etc. We could not figure out why they weren't baptized yet. They came to church on sunday and last night they committed to be baptized on December 28th. WE DID NOTHING. God litteraly just prepared them. It was unreal.
#2 Alberto: We had tried to contact Alberto the night we met the Sanchez family but he wasn't home. We were about to go in for the night when I had the strongest impression to just go try knocking again. I swerved the car over in the right lane as fast as i could and we pulled into his trailor park. My companion was confused at first but I told her of the prompting I felt. We showed up and HE ANSWERED! He was so so excited to see us. Basically he said, (in spanish), "I want a Libro de Mormon, and I want you to come teach me and my family, and I want to come to church"...SWEET SOUNDS GOOD. We did like the biggest happy dance after that. It was just joyful.
#3 Manuel: Last night we were about to give up on this one referral because he lives in a trailer in the back of a house and it is really hard to contact. We tried one more time last night and he came out and said that he had been given a Book of Mormon by the Elders and has been reading it and wants to learn more and wants to come to church. At this point, me and Hermana Barnes thought God was like trying to pull a practical joke because this was just so unreal.
#4 The Casto Family: The Castos have been coming to a ton of activitys with some members in the ward. All it took was for us to go over and knock and schedule an appointment. They have been coming to church and we haven't even had our first lesson yet.
MILAGROS. MILAGROS. MILAGROS.
I am so pumped about this whole.."hastening of the work". I am so grateful to be a part of it and I am trying to be as obedient as possible so that these miracles keep happening.
We have all of our Christmas plans underway. I am obsessed with my district. We are like a huge family. And Bishop Chavez and Sister Chavez are like our parents. We are going to be having dinner at their house on Christmas and opening presents over there as well. It is seriously going to be the best Christmas. OH AND I GET TO TALK TO YOU GUYS! Whoo!! I will probably be calling in the morning sometime. Around 10-12ish. We don't skype in this mission but I will get to call you each.
Funny Moment: We had dinner with Bishop Chavez yesterday and he is the ultimate jokester. He loves to say one-liners all the time and usually I just laugh even if they aren't funny. Well..that was not the case during this one liner...We were talking to them about their first date and Sister Chavez was talking about how she thought he was so weird because he wanted to say a prayer during the first date. Bishop says, "Well, you always pray before you eat and I was about to devour her neck" BAHAHA! IT WAS SO FUNNY! We were dying. Just so not expected but at the same time..it was. Love them.
Spiritual Moment: We had a zone meeting and one of our zone leaders shared this poem with us. It is kind of long but it really describes how I feel as a missionary.
The Fellowship of the Unashamed
I am a part of the fellowship of the Unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit
Power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has
been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow
down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense,
and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight
walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions,
mudane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or
popularity.I don't have to be right, first, tops, praised, regarded, or rewarded.
I now live by presence, learn by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my
way is rough, my companions few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted,
or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity,
negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of
I won't give up, back up, let up, or shut up, until I've preached up, prayed
up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ. I am a
disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until He returns, give until I drop,
preach until all know, and work until He comes.
And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My
colors will be clear for "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the
power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16)"
I love you all. Can't wait to hear all of your beautiful voices on Christmas. Have an amazing week.
1. Me and my little Barnsey
2. The Celestial District..aka my family @ the temple lights.
3. We got to watch the Christmas Devotional with the Chavez's. After, we had Cookies and Hot Chocolate. It was blissful.