Monday, February 23, 2015

Hola! Everyone!

I always have the hardest time figuring out what I should write to you all. There is just so many great things that happen ALL the time! It's impossible to write about them all.

I guess I'll start by saying that the Ayala family is getting baptized this Saturday!! I am so happy for them and they are really excited! They all love the church and Audon and Maria are in love with the Book of Mormon.

This past week our investigator, Miriam, fasted to receive an answer to her prayers. We also fasted with her. Anyways, we haven't been able to talk to her yet to see how it went but we're hoping she was able to feel the spirit during her fast and receive comfort!

We actually tried to see Miriam to see how her fast went but she wasn't home. However, we were able to teach her sister and niece who were home and that was a miracle! We also had a member with us, Hermana Hernandez, and she really seemed to click with them.

Miriam and her family also came to the Valentine's Day party we just had! She seemed very happy and so did her daughter, Pizza. There was good food and they played one of those couple games to see how well you know your partner. It was really funny to see what the spouses said about each other!

Another investigator that went to the Valentine's Day party was Erica. She is the one from Chile and she's been learning about the church from both us and the Elders. We found out Sunday that she has a desire to be baptized but she still has a couple doubts. She'll be going back to Chile in the beginning of March and she doesn't want to get baptized here and then go home and start drinking and smoking again. She also has a lot of family and friends back home who are Catholic so that worries her. I really hope that she decides to get baptized because I know she's felt the spirit.

We had branch conference this past Sunday and one of the talks was perfect for her! President Merrill gave a really good talk and one of the things he brought up was how we need to doubt our doubts before we doubt our faith. It was so great! Hermana Peacock, Hermana Webb, and I also sang the song "His Hand"  in Spanish.

After church on Sunday the Elders and us had to race down to Federal Way for the mission devotional. We always get there right before they start because we have church from 2:30 to 5:30. The devotional was awesome and I was able to talk to the Ramos' from Enumclaw.

Transfers will be next week and we found out the Hermana Peacock is going to go back to Kent and she will be training a new missionary.  My guess is that I will stay here in Renton with Hermana Webb, but we'll see what happens.

I love you all so much and my only advice for this week is to pray with ALL your heart and really apply the atonement in your lives!

Until next week!

Hermana Soliz

Eating lunch with Sister Merrill at a vegetarian Vietnamese place...yummy!

At the laundromat

With our investigator, Erica

Noche de hogar
Noche de hogar,

Valentine's Day Activity with Sister Merrill

Valentine's Day

Bun day!

Back seat driver!

Night view

Sketches of things I love

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Renton - Week 28!

This past week went by SUPER fast! At least it did for me.

We had a noche de hogar with two member families, the Ceballo's and the Tori's, and our investigators, the Ayala family. It went really well and the Ayala's are doing great! We did find out that they had both drank coffee but we cleared everything up and they're still on date for baptism on February 28th.
Apparently they were a little confused because they thought that they could drink coffee as long as it wasn't an addiction for them. So yeah, that was just our bad because I guess we didn't explain it clearly enough. But as soon as they knew they couldn't ever drink it Maria went into the kitchen, grabbed the coffee, and handed it to me to take it away. They are such an awesome family! Also the members who introduced them to the church gave them a picture of the Salt Lake Temple which they have in their living room. Audon was showing it to us and he told us that one day he's going to go there and go inside. It melted my heart! They all want to got to the temple to be sealed!
They are all also super excited for family history work! We taught them that yesterday and helped them set up accounts and get started. It really touched Audon because just a few days ago his father, Emilio Ayala, passed away. Audon is so excited to one day go to the temple and do the work for his father! He also said that he feels sorry for his brothers and sisters because he feels like they are more sad about their father passing away because they don't have the knowledge of the gospel in their lives. How amazing is that! They are so prepared! He then gave us his siblings information so we can send in a referral to have missionaries visit his family in Honduras. I just love this family so much!!
We also had an amazing zone conference this past Friday and it was amazing! I got so much out of it and I believe  it;s because I prepared and went with questions in mind and I expected to receive answers. Seriously, I wish I could've recorded that meeting because it was so spiritually edifying! I learned so much! The topic was the spirit and President Eaton talked about Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk entitled, The Divine Companionship. He also gave us an assignment to read Elder David A. Bednar's talk, Pray Always. Both talks were so great!
I love having the opportunity to learn and grow! I hope I don't ever find myself taking this time for granted.

1 Nephi 16:18-23
This is something President Eaton brought up in Zone Conference that a young man in one of his institute classes shared with him.
So in these verses Nephi breaks his steel bow and needs to make a new one so he makes a new bow and arrow out of wood. Did you catch that? He makes a new bow AND arrow. He only broke his bow though so why make a new arrow? The young man who shared this with President Eaton knew about archery and said that Nephi had to make a new bow and arrow because a steel arrow would not have worked with a wooden bow.
This made me think of how sometimes things outside of our control happen and God wants us to do the work to fix whatever it is. It also made me think of how we need to prepare properly first and then we will receive God's help. Nephi did his part by making the right tools and God blessed him that he was able to find food.
This made me think..."Am I making my bow and arrow out of wood or am I just doing part of it and expecting God to work His magic and do the rest?"
I had never thought of this and thought it was a pretty good insight I learned.

Hasta la proxima semana, Con mucho amor!

Hermana Soliz

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week # 27

So on Saturday Hermana Webb wasn't feeling good enough to go out so we took her to stay at a member's home for the day. Sadly, she's still sick. She stayed with an older couple that goes to one of the English wards and they were really nice! So when Hermana Webb stayed there Hermana Peacock and I went out to our set appointments.

One of the appointments we had set was at 8:00 with the Hernandez family. They are the members that introduced our investigators, the Ayalas, to the church! Which is awesome because the Ayala's are GOLDEN! Their baptismal date is set for February 28th!!! :)

Anyways, we wanted to help the Hernandez family continue with their missionary work and try out some of the tips we just received from training. BUT, when we got to their house at 8:00 nobody answered the door! No one was home. :(

We heard the neighbors talking and we decided to go over and talk to them on the porch. We ended up talking to Ricky and Jermaine who are father and son. Jermaine especially had a lot of questions and he already knew some stuff about our church. We ended up giving them the information for other missionaries and the address of the church. We also gave Jermaine a Book of Mormon. They also said we could come back and teach them any time. Hopefully missionaries can teach them real soon!

I can't tell you enough how much I am learning and growing on my mission. One thing I've learned recently is that members working with missionaries is the key! Please, don't be afraid to try to share the gospel with others. It really is part of our purpose to share the gospel with others!

Moses 1:39- "For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
I also want to share the scripture 2 Nephi 5:27 in the Book of Mormon,

"O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.

Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation."
When I read this scripture I thought of a lot of things but one of them was that we shouldn't just give up when we go through hard things. We need to always try to follow God and never give up hope. This scripture also made me think that we have the power to choose.
The scripture says, "Oh my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul." The enemy is Satan and he will try to get into our hearts but we can choose to not let him in. And if he does get in,  we can choose to allow him to stay there or not. I think this scripture says a lot about our personal responsibility for our own actions and persevering to the end.
I just love scripture study! There's so much to learn. Oh and I was asked to give my testimony in church this past Sunday. That was fun :)
Les Quiero Mucho!
Hermana Soliz

We're infected!! JK, Hope me and Hna Peacock don't get sick too!

This family is awesome!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

This has been a different kind of week...

So this past week Hermana Webb was really sick and she was throwing up several times per day. Here in the mission, if you throw up you're not supposed to go out. So we stayed in for a total of five days. That's right 5 days! That's crazy! But now she is feeling better! She's still drained but she hasn't thrown up!
Hermana Peacock and I were able to go to a couple lessons while Sister Allen watched Hermana Webb but for most of the time we were in the house too. We got to talk a lot and work on the area book!

The two lessons Hermana Peacock and I went to were both with the Ayalas and they were amazing lessons! They all want to get baptized soon and their daughter prayed that we would be able to go over more often so they can learn faster and be baptized sooner. It's so sweet! Also Adan who I was teaching in Enumclaw is committed to be baptized the end of February.

Everyone here was pretty depressed about the Sea Hawks losing the big game. Some of the members in our branch actually came to church with green hair. Yeah, they're hard core fans.
But it's okay. They have the gospel so they'll live.

I've been studying my patriarchal blessing and I encourage all of you that have one to do the same. It has brought me so much insight and you can always learn something new from that special blessing that is in every way personally for you. If we listen to and learn from our personal blessings they will, "chart our course and give us safe passage to our heavenly home."- Thomas S. Monson

I also love this quote! "In His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."- Dieter F. Uchtdorf. This quote is so true! It is never to late to start again. The key to happiness is to lean on Christ and to never lose hope.

I also want to share the scripture Alma 37:27,

"Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day."

Isn't that a wonderful promise that we are all entitled to?! And we receive the blessing just from praying morning and night! I'm working on improving my prayers and I encourage you all to do the same. I know you will grow closer to God and more fully feel His love for you as you do.


Hermana Soliz

New member from Kent ward!

Hna Peacock, Hna Webb, and Hna Soliz

Back to work!