Friday, October 17, 2014

My first birthday out on the mission!

Hey mom! So I just opened my birthday package and it is awesome!  I loved the cardigans and the card! The birthday package was perfect! Can you believe I'm 21?? Gosh, I'm getting old ;)
I love and miss you so much!

Ok, so we just left the apartment and realized that our house key and the car keys are locked inside...woops! 
Now we can't use the car to get around! 
Anyways, we called our manager and he didn't answer so we decided to just walk around town trying to find people to teach. We did some tracting in some apartments nearby and found Jessica who speaks English. Jessica is 20 and she has a 7 month old baby girl named Avery. She also has a boyfriend named Dakota but he was at work. 
Anyways, she was really nice and let us into her home to share our message. She was also really honest with us about her feelings and her past experiences with church. Then at the end of the lesson she asked us both a really good question. She asked us how the gospel has changed us and how it felt to be so devoted to the gospel. It was a really good question that I wasn't expecting but it showed that she had a genuine interest in our message.
So then Hermana Mitchell and I bore our testimonies and it was so great! The spirit was definitely there! Jessica also said that she would pray to know if our message was true and you could tell she really meant it. She also said she would be willing to hear more from the missionaries! 
The only sad thing is that since she only speaks English we have to pass her on to the English Sisters. 
We also found another Hispanic woman named Ruby that said we could teach her at another time. 
We walked all the way downtown so we were able to talk to a lot of people. It was pretty cool because we would have never talked to any of those people or found Jessica if we hadn't locked ourselves out of our apartment without the car keys. 

Luckily we were able to get into our apartment around 5:30pm or so which was great because we had an appointment with Adan at 6:00pm. The lesson went really well.
Also we had a lesson with Juan, Rosa and their son Bryan tonight. 
The lesson was more for Bryan but it was still really good! One of the things we talked about was the word of wisdom which we have taught his parents before. Juan and Rosa have been living the word of wisdom and stopped drinking coffee but they weren't aware that there was still some in the house that Bryan had been drinking. Bryan said he only drinks coffee on Saturday mornings. I guess it's just become part of a routine or habit for him. 
Anyways, we asked him if he would like to receive a priesthood blessing to help him not have the desire to drink coffee and he said yes. He really wants to follow the word of wisdom so he can be baptized but he was nervous about being tempted and drinking coffee. He was especially nervous because the next day was a Saturday. 
So Brother Sugihara and Brother Corbit came over and gave Bryan a blessing. Rosa also found the last of the coffee and threw it away so now there's no temptation. 
It was really neat that Bryan knew that Heavenly Father would help him keep this commandment and that he wasn't afraid to ask for help.
Then after the lesson guess what?!
Juan, Rosa, and Bryan had bought me a cake for my birthday! How sweet is that!
So then they sang me happy birthday, I blew out the candles, and we all had cake. It was great!
Also Hermana Mitchell made me breakfast for my birthday and had all of these birthday notes around the apartment for me to find. She also wrote me a very sweet note and gave me a card with her favorite quote on it.
It says, 
"Tabernacles and temples are built with more than stone and mortar, wood and glass...They are built with service and sacrifice. They are built with trials and testimonies. If any...within the sound of my voice feel unprepared, even incapable of responding to a call to serve, to sacrifice, to bless the lives of others, remember the truth: 'Whom God calls, God qualifies.' He who notes the sparrow's fall will not abandon the servant's need." - President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 1987 

Isn't that such a GOOD quote! I love it! And I know I have heard this and many quotes like it before but things are tough sometimes so it's a great reminder that with God we can do amazing and sometimes hard things.  
So even though we were locked out of our apartment for most of the day it was still an amazing day and a great birthday full of miracles and opportunities for me to grow!
I've only been on my mission for two months and I am already learning so much about myself and how I can improve. I'm learning more about my strengths and weakness. I'm learning a lot more about faith! 
I'm learning that I do, indeed, have some pride that I need to just get rid of. I'm learning that I need to have more confidence, especially when I try to speak the language. 
I just have so much to learn and do out here! I hope that through helping others learn about the gospel that I too can grow closer to my Heavenly Father and return home a different and a better disciple of Christ. 
The message we share as missionaries is extremely important and life changing. As missionaries we really should invite every person we see to listen to our message. Everyone needs the knowledge of the gospel in their lives. 
Some people we talk to are not interested at all. Some people don't like organized religion. Some people don't believe in God. Some people say they believe in God and that they're "good" so we should go try to help other people doing worse than they are. Some people don't even say anything, they just look at you like you have some sort of disease. 
However, some people do listen. Some people have been looking for absolute truth and peace in their lives. With some people you can just tell that God has been preparing them to hear the gospel and then he leads us to them. 
How awesome and amazing is that?!
Missionary work is just the best thing ever!

Sending you all my love!

Hermana Soliz 

Finally got out group pic from when we arrived on Sept 18th!


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