Monday, November 24, 2014

This is a beautiful life!!

Absolute truth does exist!
We can all know for ourselves that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's ONE AND ONLY TRUE church on the earth today.
Jesus Christ established ONE church when He lived on the earth. Only ONE. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is that church.
Jesus Christ established His church with the power of the priesthood. The priesthood is the power and proper authority of God to act in His name.
When Jesus Christ was crucified and His apostles died the proper authority to act in God's name was taken from the earth.
The true church of God was no longer on the earth because the power of the priesthood was missing.
People became confused and started forming their own churches.
Some sincerely wanted to follow God and others changed the Bible to fit the needs of mankind.
Either way, all of these churches were missing important parts of the gospel, including the power of the priesthood. People were confused and they couldn't find answers.
We needed a restoration of the power of the priesthood and of the true church of Jesus Christ.
Through the power of God Joseph Smith was called to be a Prophet and restored Christ's church on the earth.

I love the gospel so much! I know with all of my heart that is true. The gospel is the way to divine happiness.

Here's a link to the video Because of Him from last Easter. I love it and I love it in Spanish too! Let's all try to remember Him more often in our lives each day. After all it is because of Him that we are able to live again with our Heavenly Father,

Being a missionary is hard work but it is a beautiful life. I am having experiences that I would have never had if I hadn't decided to serve a mission. I am so glad I decided to serve because if I hadn't I would have been missing out! I think of how much I love the people here and I can't believe that if I didn't serve I would have never met them! It really is a privilege to serve!

My trainer, Hermana Mitchell finishes her mission and goes home of December 8th along with three other Hermanas. It's really sad and I'm going to miss her a lot. I've learned a lot of great things from her and I hope I can apply the things she has taught me throughout my mission!

Right now we have 13 Hermanas in the mission and they are all just great girls! I love them all so much!

Since Hermana Mitchell will be leaving I started driving this past week. She said it would help me learn the area faster and that it would be good since I will most likely be staying in Maple Valley.

I hope you all have a fantastic and safe Thanksgiving this week! Know that I am thinking of you! Brother Blad invited us to have Thanksgiving with his family so that will be a treat!

Sorry there's no pics this time mom.

All my love,

Hermana Soliz

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Family of 3 baptized!!

This is so crazy! I never know where to begin with my emails because so much happens in the week! Haha and we always have plenty of miracles! :)

So this past Saturday Juan, Rosa, and Bryan were baptized!!! It was a beautiful service and the spirit that was felt there was really strong! I felt so honored to have the opportunity to be there with them as they took this step. I can't even describe the feeling of happiness in words...the closest comparison I can even think of is maybe how a mom feels proud to see her kids do the right thing.

After the baptisms Hermana Mitchell and I gave a short lesson of the restoration and showed the first vision. I was so nervous to speak in Spanish in front of so many people but with the help of God I did it and it felt so good! :) We then continued with the rest of the service which was beautiful. They were also able to have Hermana Wright on Skype and she talked to Juan, Rosa, and Bryan and bore her testimony. Hermana Wright is the one who found their family a year ago so it was really special that they were able to hear from her.

Seeing Juan, Rosa, and Bryan get baptized made me so unbelievably happy! I am so excited to work hard to try to have others come unto Christ through being baptized into this restored gospel of Jesus Christ! It is just an incredible feeling to see these people get baptized! There is nothing better!

On Sunday they were all confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Juan and Bryan also had their interviews to receive the Priesthood and they are so unbelievably ready for that. The gospel has really changed their lives so much. They all just glow with the light of Christ!

Being a missionary is great! Oh, also since you asked for a rundown of our schedule it usually goes something like this:
We wake up at 6:15 and work out at the gym at the church.
At 7:00 we get ready and have breakfast
At 8:00 we have personal study, companionship study, training, and language study all for an hour each. By the way at the the end of this transfer I will be done with training!
Then we have lunch for an hour and go out proselyting! We go to our appointments and try to find new investigators.
Every Tuesday morning we have a District Meeting. Every Tuesday night we have a Coordination meeting. Some Thursday nights we have a meeting with Spanish Group members and we go out proselyting. Every other Sunday we have a Ward Council Meeting. We also have either a Zone meeting or a Zone Conference every transfer. As well they have started having a Spanish Fireside every month that all of the missionaries go to with members and investigators.

We stay busy for sure! There is always something to do or prepare for! Haha!

Oh and a funny thing happened yesterday. So we had dinner at the Blad's home and it was really good! After dinner though I was full. I really didn't need the second piece of meatloaf but Bro. Blad insisted so I had it.

After dinner there we went to go try to teach Joel and Lucila who are some of our investigators. They had some family over but they still let us in. It turns out they were just about to have dinner so without even asking they just put hot chocolate in front of us and gave us tamales. So I drank the hot chocolate and ate a tamale. It was good but I just was not hungry. Joel tried to get me to eat more but I just couldn't do it. Lol!

Then after that we went to Juan and Rosa's to get their information for the paperwork for their baptisms. So we're there in the living room working on the papers with Juan and Rosa brings out two big glasses of this sweet milk with white rice in it. I don't know what you would call it...but anyways, so then I had to eat that. It's just so hard to say no, especially when they just put it in front of you. Lol!

Anyways, I'm not starving! Haha!

Love you!

Hermana Soliz

View from my apartment! Mt Rainier
Juan, Rosa, and Bryan
Javier Garcia, Juan, Bryan, Rosa, Bro Blad, and Bro Jepson
Hermana Soliz and Hermana Mitchell with Bryan, Juan, and Rosa

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fear Not, I am with Thee...

Hola mi familia bonita y amigos! Esta semana pasada fue muy bueno!Tuvimos un reunion con Elder Hamula y lo era muy espiritual! Elder Hamula darnos mucha ayuda para ser missioneros buenos y como tener exito. El dijo que algo missioneros tienen la fe servir un mission pero este es no bastante. El dijo que necesitamos la fe tener exito en la mision y no solomente la fe servir un mision. Necesitamos hacer mas.
Some things I really like that he said were that we need to not hold onto anything from back home when we are on our missions. We need to forget and not worry about home. We just need to focus on the work and our purpose here. Going along with that I also liked that he said we need to learn to give up everything that we are for the Lord. Until we do that, we are at risk of spiritual death.
Also as part of the preparation for this training with Elder Hamula we read Elder Uchtdorf's talk entitled, "Fear Not I Am With Thee." Go and read it! It is an amazing talk and very powerful! I had the whole thing marked up! There is a story about missionaries in it but this talk is not just for missionaries. It's things we all need to hear.
So when we were getting trained by Elder Hamula all of the missionaries cars were being inspected. We have to clean and wash them every week and then wax them like every month. Well Hermana Mitchell and I were really busy so on the same morning of car inspections we had to wake up early to go wax it. Anyways, the companionship that has the cleanest car wins the "Gold Plates". It's this frame for the license plate and it's literally gold and says, "Gold Plates". Hermana Mitchell has wanted to win them her whole mission and she finally did. Haha! We won the gold plates! Haha, it's pretty silly but it was kind of a big deal.
Hey guess what?! I went on my second exchange this past week! Except, instead of me going to a different area I stayed here in Enumclaw!I stayed here and Hermana Mitchell left. Also the missionary that came here was Hermana Webb who entered the MTC with me. So yeah, two "greenies" aka new missionaries were left alone. And since it was my area I had to take charge. It was pretty interesting and fun. I was able to practice more of my Spanish because Hermana Webb and I are basically on the same level with the language.
We also had the baptismal interviews for Juan, Rosa, and Bryan and those were great! They are so rock solid!
We also had a dinner with them at the Ramos's home and Juan told me that one of the times we taught them I was talking about how once we know the truth we shouldn't wait to be baptized. I talked about how when we wait that just gives Satan time to change our minds and that by waiting we're holding ourselves back from receiving promised blessings from God. I also talked about the importance of acting when we know the truth.
Anyways, Juan told me that it really touched him and it helped him make the decision to be baptized!! I was so happy! Seriously, it made my day! It's moments like that that make the mission and all the little frustrations of trying to speak the language worth it! I know that as I work hard in learning the language that it will come but until then it's nice to know that the investigators are still feeling the spirit through my broken Spanish.
Oh and hey....the wind here in Enumclaw is CRAZY! I was literally being swept away! It was so cold but luckily it wasn't raining too. That was a tender mercy from the Lord. But really, the storm lasted for 48 hours and it's still supposed to last until tomorrow. There's trees and signs that have fallen down everywhere! Hopefully the destruction of the storm will give us some good opportunities for service though! :) The storm also made like all of Enumclaw lose power including our apartment. Bro. Blad was kind enough to bring us a propane gas lantern and tons of blankets and jackets to keep warm! Luckily, in the morning the power was back on so that was good!
I have so many scriptures I want to share with you guys but I'll just share one...
D&C 68:6 - "Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come."
This scripture has given me a lot of comfort and has also reminded me of my duty as a missionary. So many people think that Christ is just far away watching over us from Heaven. Also so many people think the same thing about God or they question if there even is a God. This scripture says that Jesus Christ will "STAND BY US" and it also says that He is the son of the "LIVING" God. I testify that Christ lives and God lives. They are not waiting on some cloud waiting for something to happen. Their hands are in everything and they are at work trying to help us return to them. The Gospel is true and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church that contains the fullness of the Gospel. The Gospel is the only thing that will bring us eternal happiness. I am almost finished reading The Book of Mormon which will be the third time I've read it so far in my life but the first time finishing it on my mission. I love The Book of Mormon and would do anything to keep it safe. I am now understanding more about why the ancient prophets did everything to preserve the records and even gave there lives for it. Fear not, God is with you! Strengthen your testimony. Act and don't be acted upon. Share the Gospel with others, it's our duty.
I love you all and I hope blessings are sent your way!
I love you tons!
Hermana Soliz                                                                                                  

Me and Hermana Mitchell

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.......

Beautiful Enumclaw

Love the trees!

Mt Rainier

Surrounded by evergreens as we drive...
Can't do too much for ourselves during the power outage!

And we're off! Another beautiful day in WA!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Enumclaw is such a special place-Love it!

OK! So let me start off by telling you a story! So the Garcias are this really great and strong family we have in the group! They are amazing! Their son Javier has cancer so they are definitely going through their own trials but they still manage to be strong. I think something that really helps the whole family to be strong is Javier's testimony. He has so much faith and you can just tell that he tries his best to be a disciple of Christ. He also reminds me so much of what I think  Christopher would be like if he didn't have his handicaps. 
Anyways there was a Spanish Conference last week and for part of it members were able to go do temple work. Brother Garcia and Javier both went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. Brother Garcia baptized three women and then it was Javier's turn. Javier was really sick  though because of the cancer and the chemo treatments. He looked yellow and like he was about to pass out. 
As he got in the water people were asking who he was and saying that he looked so sick that maybe he shouldn't do the baptism. His dad, Brother Garcia, looked at them and told them that Javier was his son and that he was sick because he had cancer. He also said that Javier had the faith to do it so he was going to let him. Javier was really weak but he was able to baptize an elderly woman who had brought a name of one of her ancestors. 
When Brother Garcia told me this experience he was in tears and so was I. Brother Garcia has been a part of the Spanish group for nine years and he says that sometimes when our investigators don't want to come to church he feels like not trying to help them and quitting. He sometimes thinks it's ridiculous that his son who has cancer has the determination to baptize and to go to church and do all these things for the Lord but that others can't go to church on Sundays. 
Javier tells his dad that he can't quit though and that he has to keep trying.
I just wish you could meet this family! They are going through such a hard time but it is making them stronger and bringing them closer to God. It really is true that all things are for our good. 
I really hope that when I'm faced with my own trials and heartaches that I'll remember that. 
This past week we also had the Trunk-Or-Treat at the church and we had a good turn out with investigators, in actives, and members that showed up. It was a combined activity for all three wards plus our group so there was a lot of people there. 
The next day Hermana Mitchell was really sick so we stayed in. We had both not been feeling well for a couple days but Hermana Mitchell felt too sick to go out. I feel like I might be getting a little sick so hopefully I can keep it under control and get better. Hermana Mitchell and I both still need to get our flu shots. 
Some of the members found out that Hermana Mitchell was sick so the Ramos's brought us dinner. It was super nice of them! Also Brother Ramos and Brother Blad came over and gave her a blessing. 
While Hermana Mitchell was trying to sleep her illness off I studied, cleaned, updated the Area Book and looked for any potential investigators we could try teaching. So, eventhough I was stuck in the apartment all day I was able to keep busy so I didn't go stir-crazy.
Oh and just so you know the Juan, Rosa, and Bryan's baptism set for the 15th is still on! :) 
Also Adan is so unbelievably close to getting baptized! He is going to be such a strong member when he makes the decision for himself! 
Also Leo is getting closer and closer to proposing to Betty! I think they're planning on getting married the day after Thanksgiving so we'll have to see what happens there. I really need to send you pictures of all of these people! 
Sorry I haven't sent more pictures. I either forget or I'm not sure if it's an appropriate time to take a picture or not...So ya, I'll send you some in my next e-mail.
Which reminds me....our next P-day is Nov. 12th. I think it was changed to that day because we have Elder Hamula speaking to half of us on Nov. 7th and the other half of us on Mon. the 10th which would've been a P-day. Isn't that so awesome though?!! Elder Hamula is coming to our mission to speak to us! I'm going to be able to shake his hand! :) 
Oh and I received the letter the Ward sent me. It was really sweet and they even got President Brown to write a little note in it. Let the ward know I really appreciated it and that I love them! 

Until next time! :)

Hermana Soliz