My dear dear family!
You are so so fun! Thank you for encouraging words, confirming testimonies, and zealous efforts! I love hearing about your own goals and efforts in missionary work. Sometimes i think, "if i were a missionary in washington i would do this and this and this." BUT i am not...at least not yet! This week was a fun week. For starters, 1 1/2 weeks ago our heater broke so we waited until last monday, preparation day, to fill out the maintenance report for our heater and our lock because it has been causing some problems. We went about our missionary work and got home just before 9:30 only to get to a door where the lock was fixed but jammed. So we got stranded out of our apartment for a night and had a legal sleep over with sister cheatham and Garner. No toothpaste, PJs, beds....nothing. it was funny but we survived and got it all fixed the next day. We are teaching Alan's stepdad still in ASL. We now have a translator to help though so it goes much better. My fingerspelling is slow and inneffective :) But either way, that has been a lot of fun. Sister Nieto pointed out the scripture in isaiah 29:18, "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book..." We both thought it was a neat scripture to read right after a lesson in ASL. He will be refferred to english soon but until the details get organized for where is best and where there is translation available, we will keep teaching him. Alan is doing really well. He sends us funny text some time. He is already in Jacob in the Book of Mormon! He is flying through and randomly texts us references that he likes with his testimony and encouragement to work hard. He just found out this last week that He won't be able to serve a mission because of his past problems. We are sad for him but so excited to keep working with him and get him back into full membership with the church. His change of heart really was a miracle! On Friday he told us, " May the Lord hang out with you guys like he always does." It is pretty funny because Sister Nieto and I don't know street talk at all so sometimes we get kind of confused but we always laugh it off. Please keep Alan in your prayers that he can always have the faith and strength to keep away from his past addictions, and other temptations. We are working hard with the inactives, members, and investigators. I don't know if i have every tried to focus on so many things at the same time. We are hoping to get going on splits soon so that we can invite more people to claim the blessings of heaven. What a neat work this is! One of the Zone leaders in the mission said, if you aren't happy, you better start doing more street contacts. When i first heard that i thought it was kind of strange but as i have thought more about it is true! The funniest things on the mission always happen street contacting and much of the inspired finding happens when contacting. What a blessing it is to talk to EVERYONE! It has been a little harder lately because of the weather. We have the goal to talk to 10 people everyday on the streets. It has been surprisingly hard but we are going to work for it! Sister Nieto is helping work hard and enjoy it too. We are goofs together but I'm learning a lot from the way she teaches. A main thing she has taught me is simple but it is about faith. It reminds me a lot of Kirsten's lesson last month that she shared with me. What she taught me is that real faith is not just hoping but expecting God to fulfill His promises. In Alma 32:21 and in Ether 12:6 it defines faith. It describes it as a hope for things unseen which are true. In Spanish, the word hope is the exact same word as expect. So maybe faith is also an expectation for things unseen which are true. When we build our faith through 1. prayer 2. scripture study 3. church attendance and 4. temple attendance our expectation, hope, and confidence increases that God's promises are not empty words but words with depth, meaning, and purpose. I depend greatly on God's promises as a disciple of Jesus Christ, as a representative of Jesus Christ, and as a latter day saint with covenants to do my part. How i love the Lord! What a privilege it is to make any sacrifice no matter how large or small it may be to serve God and His Children. From one very special day and forward i have and will CONSECRATE my whole self. May God always bless you! I pray for you often and am motivated and enlightened by your testimonies. Hurrah for Israel and "may the Lord always hang out with you!" :)
ps- YMLU ;)
Dear President Neider,
I love being so close to the temple! We had our first lesson at the temple on Saturday. To our disappointment the temple was closed but it still went well despite the cold. We have been working hard to help this specific investigator, Gabriela, understand the spirit. She is so sincere. She is reading the Book of Mormon daily now and has already born her testimony that she knows it is true. Her confusion right now is why the spirit helps her feel peace in many different churches. We have some plans to help her and we are excited for her to keep progressing. President, I am often impressed by the sincerity of the people and their desires to really understand what God wants for them. We are also visiting a family. The wife is progressing so well and the husband is very critical. The difference is so obvious between those who honestly seek The Savior and His gospel and those who do not. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ in its simplicity. I love the temple, and i am so grateful for the help of the Holy Ghost in this work! I hope you and Sister Neider are well. I so look forward to learning from you both in Zone Confernce. We love you and are praying for you! Hurrah for Israel and God's marvelous work!