February 2011-August 2012

30 May 2011

May 30

Well, Hermana Kiewra leaves me tomorrow morning, and I'm getting my new companion tonight. Her name is Hermana Garcia and she's from El Salvador!!! She's been out about a year, so I will learn a lot from her! I'm especially hoping that my Spanish will finally have a chance to improve one hundredfold. It needs it. Bad. So I'm super stoked. I haven't met her yet, but I'm excited! This is going to be an answer to all those prayers you've been saying for my Spanish. ;)

Oh, our areas are also being combined because the mission is losing 20 Spanish speakers this week and not getting any in until about August. President Martin has had to combine 6 areas, and our ward is two of those. So we're losing 4 of the 8 missionaries that normally serve in our ward. It is now just going to be me and Hermana Garcia and Elders Camacho and 'Otuafi that you have pictures of. So now we will be covering half of the entire Santa Clarita Valley and the Elders will cover the other half. That's a lot of ground to cover so I'm ready to hit the ground running!! And we're going to have to run in order to keep this place going!

Seriously, this has been SUCH a BUSY week!!! Most importantly, we threw a wedding for some friends that have been coming to church for the last year and were only waiting on 1) a divorce to be finalized and 2) to get married so that they could be baptized. Well, they got married on Saturday and got baptized yesterday. So good. So fun! SO MUCH WORK. I did all the flowers for the wedding... so that was fun. Considering I haven't been practicing at all for a year, the bouquet wasn't a disaster. :) God DOES work miracles! haha Oh and in preparation for the wedding, I got to SIFT DIRT for someone's garden!! OH YEAH. Not as great without the prospect of finding an arrowhead or ancient Nabataean glass, but still really fun to do something I'm actually GOOD at!! haha So that was definitely another highlight.

The baptism yesterday... so beautiful. SO many people were there to support them, it was so great! And guess what?! DAVID WAS THERE!!! Yeah, I was super excited about that. AND I gave the missionary moment while everyone wasn't getting changed after the baptism. In Spanish. And it wasn't a complete disaster!! YAY!!!! And what more? I talked to David after for at least 30 minutes... all on my own... IN SPANISH. Granted, I didn't understand everything he said, but I understood enough that I felt like we actually made some progress. We had a good heart to heart and it turns out he just doesn't have a testimony yet. THAT is the reason he "wants a bit more time"... Good reason, don't you think? So now we can hopefully move forward and help him with that. It's A LOT easier to help people work through their concerns when you KNOW what they are. Sheesh. So the Spirit was really powerful there and he WANTS to know. So that's a perfect condition for his testimony to grow in.

Melissa's dad now is showing interest and has met with us a few times. But they have lots of family issues, so we feel a little lost as to how to help them. Melissa wants to get baptised but her dad has pressured her about having her Quincinera by the Catholic church, which would mean waiting 4 years to get baptized. No bueno. Luckily with the help of the Spirit, we will know what to do... it just might take awhile. I love this family so very much and I just WANT to help them. And the gospel WILL help them. But they have to want it as much as God wants them to have it. That's the key.

The Tovar Family is making a bit of progress too, especially now that Carlos, the father, loves us and wants to listen to us. He's reading the Book of Mormon, and I'm not even sure if Leonor is doing that! So I would die happy if I could see this beautiful family be sealed for eternity in the temple. They have 6 kids. I love them. And I just can't stop picturing them in the temple. So that's good, cuz it might take awhile. :)
Did I mention that Gabriel got the Priesthood?! So I don't know if I've ever mentioned him before... but he's a convert of about 2 years and has just become active within the last couple months. So we've been meeting with him and teaching him about things like the Priesthood, tithing, etc. And encouraging him especially to talk to the Bishop about getting the Aaronic Priesthood. And then I look up during the Sacrament yesterday, and HE'S PASSING IT!! WHAAA????? HE GOT THE PRIESTHOOD?!?!!!! YEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Seriously I wanted to jump up and down I was SO happy! And why am I so happy? Because I know the incredible blessings that will come his way as a worthy Priesthood holder. I know how much MY life has been blessed from my father and brothers being worthy priesthood holders and I want that for EVERY family. And so does God. So I am REALLY HAPPY! :)

Well, I wish I had more time, but I gotta run. So until next week! I love you all so very much!

Hermana Blackburn

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