Monday, April 4, 2011

La Conferencea General

Hey fam,!

Sup these days!? Did you not just love conference!? I know I did and there is just something about the mission which makes conference that much better. We just watched it at the ward. It was really fun and the members brought us lots of food for inbetween sessions and we enjoyed a good time. I think one of my favorite parts of being in this area for such a long time is being able to develop close ties to the members and them taking us in and just treating us like families. A huge part of the mission is the way you are able to develop your love for other people and the sincere concern you develop for them. I don't think I've ever experienced this kind of love before and the sincere concern I have for these people and their wellbeing. I know with time I'm going to continue to grow and do well. I know that it is only through living the gospel of Jesus Christ that we find satiating peace. Think about people that are happy or the things that bring people happiness. They may not even be members of the church but the principles apply and good people do things that Christ taught when he was here on the earth. It' s just taking the next step of baptism by someone that has proper authority to seal the deal. It may seem a little harsh to some people yet in reality its so easy! It' s a perfect plan that god has set up here on the earth. Baptism is the way we show our commitment to him and a formal step to demonstrate that we will follow him and do the things he asks even when there are other things we thing would be funner for the moment. Yet life is so good.

Okay so rewind a couple of weeks ago to the first week of the transfer. I wrote a little bit about a Dominican Family that we walked into when one of the Brothers fearlessed us on the streets of New York and told us he was baptized in the D.R. Well I have a little bit more that I think would be fun to add on to the story. So it all happened the back on the first week of the transfer. Sister Nelson had been crazy busy with appointments the first couple of days she was here. Toward the end of the week I gave her some cards with some names on them and asked her to pray for inspiration as to what area we were to be in and which names we should go to visit. She did so and she picked some names of people I had never met in an area that I hadn't worked very much within the boundaries. Yet I had asked her to pick and I wasn't going to say anything about it. It's a learning process right? So we went forth with our day looking up these people and tracting around them without much success. None of the people were home that she had asked to look up. I was trying to stay upbeat and tell her it happens sometimes that way but that there is a purpose in all things. We were walking and secretly in my head I was questioning God. "God, what is our purpose right now in this area? Being a little sarcastic. But not kidding in the mission for every bad emotion there is always an equal and opposite reaction so something else really good that happens right after. Not kidding right after I said this prayer this guy approaches us in the street. The Dominican "Hermanas!" Como esta? Bien.... algo a si. yadayada yda. Anyway we come to find out like I said that he was a inactive member se llama Miguel. He has one other sister Jasmine that is baptized but also inactive here in new york. We asked him if we could pass by his house and he said "claro que si cuando quiere." We set up an appointment that we were going to go back and visit him the next day after church. Ends up the address that he gives us is the house of his mom. He is there with the family. There are tons of people there. Familia grande. They are so loud, fun, family orietnted, just a big ball of fun. I really loved being with them. We talked to Miguel and his mom. Talked to his mom about baptism. I am amazed at when people fall away from the church how quickly they forget about the teachings of the gospel and it's almost like the knowledge is further down than before they learned it. I don't even know how that is possible but it is. Anyway so they were super nice. Asked the mom to get baptized and although I felt like like she knew it was god wanted she said she sitll isn't ready and that she wants to wait until her nephew gets home from his mission. Then she went on to tell us that her brother has a darlling family in the Dominican Republic that are all members and have really big callings or something over there. Yilsa Ramona brothers name in the Santo Domingo is Jorge Dominguez. She called him the president of the church so I just asummed a stake president or something. We thought was really cool but I was a little bit just thinking how I was going to help this family in New York obtain interest in church and going back to the gospel. Hopefully baptizing a few more in the family would be awesome etc. Anyway so we left they told us we could come back whenever we want. They love the church, the missionaries, and their home is our home. Super way awesome Domican chillens. Love them. Anyway so that was that. We were excited to see what type of potential could be there and felt that must have been one of the reasons that we were in the area for the day that we were to meet Miguel. So a few days pass. Miguel jukes church doesn't come. Then Monday comes around (Preparation day) and we had finished emailing and doing clothes and food and everything. We were back at the pad when the phone rings. Sister Nelsen didn't get it and we missed to calls from the same number and so when I came into the room she told me someone had called and that I better check the telephone. So I pick it up see that we had a couple of missed calls no message from the same number so I try to call it back. It won't let me call out becuase the number happens to be international from the Santo Domingo (DR). Strange.... so I try sending a text. "Que lo que? Nos Llamo? " Stupid text to send but I was curious and I didn't know what to say so i just sent that. I don't know if it went through but once again the call came through and I picked it up and I would have never expected to hear what I did on the phone. Ended up being Yilsa's brother, Jorge Domingez from the DR. He said he had been talking to Yilsa on the telephone earlier in the day and they have been talking. He told me that Yilsa wants to get baptized in 3 weeks on the 21st of April. He is going to be in the states and wants to baptize her on the 21st of April before he goes back to the DR. I had him repeat it probably 3 different times on the phone just to make sure that I understood him right because I couldn't believe how blunt and how strait forward he was saying it. I mean I speak spanish but sometimes dominicans can speak really fast and the rest gets cut off sometimes. Keep in mind that I had just talked to Yilsa probably 3 days before that and tried to ask her if she wanted to be baptized and she had told me she still wasn't ready. So after Hermano Jorge Dominguez repeated himself I then said ok, entonces si entendi bien, you are telling me your going to come her to baptize your sister on the 21st of April and that your sister told you she wants to get baptized.? Yep you got it hermana! Ok then. Lets do this! Hagalo! Woot woot! Haha I told him I thought it was amazing and great that his sister wanted to get baptized and we would prepare her in every way that we could but she would have to do the work by coming to church and keeping her commits etc. He told told me that he knew that and that he was going to be in Utah for general conference this weekend and then he was going to be doing some training and stuff for his "new calling" and that he would be in touch because he wanted to come to New York before he went back to the DR. Then come to find out his "new calling" is that he is being called as one of the quorum of the 70. That we had to keep it on the DL until after conference. Then I really thought I was having problems understanding spanish so I went and put him on speaker phone where Hermana Montes (the mexican sister that lives w/us) could help me clarify what I was hearing. Nope that was what was going on. So ya that was how my conversation went with the General Authority. lol.

So we decide it would probably be a good idea to go visit Ylsa.... again. So we go over to her house the next afternoon. Don't have her number and Miguel doesnt' pick up so we go over unannounced. They let us in. I ask to use her restroom. (always a good tactic to get in the door) While i'm in there Ylsa pulls my comp in the kitchen and starts talking to her 90 miles an hour. "Did my brother call you?! What did he say? Are you ready? Question after Question and Elder Dominquez had definitely changed her mind and she was planning on getting baptized for the 21 st of April. We told her that she needed to come to church to prepare herself and that we wanted to come over often to teach her etc etc etc. So crazy man!So that was that. But of course once the good comes you are always going to have it be equally matched with opposition. Right after that she got sick so she didin't come to the Noche de Hogar at Miguel's house we set up for her. We got terribly lost because not only do dominicans not speak clearly often they also can give bad directions. He texted me a st but it was spelled basically opposite of what it was so it took us way to long to get there. We should have left earlier just in case that had happened but it was good. We asked Miguel lots of things and we started teaching his nephew Jailot who is 19 and he is really awesome. What if their whole family gets baptized? wouldn't that be awesome? Ya i think so so then we set the commitment to go get all of them for church on Sat for General Conference. Guess what, they don't show up. We had them tell us they were going to come every single session and it was not going well until the last session through miracles, lots of prayers, and faith. Yisla came to church with hermana Nelsen and I yesterday afternoon despite the fact that she felt aweful and still sick and none of her family would come with her. So she is still on track. Yeah! We have an appointment with her tonight. She is really an awesome lady. Full of love and faith in God. So pray that we can teach with the spirit. Pray with all your heart that her desire continues to grow and that her family's hearts will be softened as well. Pray that we will be able to teach with power and spirit to help her gain a lasting conversion. I feel like God has blessed us so much. It's a miracle in and of itself. When you listen and do the right things at the right time by preparing yourself it really is the time you are able to be a part of the miracles god has in store. It's a miracle we met Miguel right where we did and that he fearlessed us. It's a miracle he gave us his moms address instad of his because otherwise we would have given his information to the elders becuase he doesn't even live in our area and then we wouldn't have ever met his mom. Then his mom wouldn't have ever met us and Jorge Dominguez would have never called us and everything else wouldn't have worlked out or been even close to the same situation. Interesting no? So pray that everything goes how the lord has planned in his grand mind. We'll see and there is definitely some cool stuff in store with the hand of the lord. I got to go but take care this week. Conference was a mazing! I though of my little sisters when President Monson was commending the youth that go to the temple weekly in the morning. I thought to myself! Hey that's my sisters he is talking about! Then I thought of my wonderful mother who has hung a temple in each of our rooms and drew pictures of her girls and their favorite temples. Anyway, love you all much!


Hermana Lewis.

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