Monday, March 30, 2015

Because He lives!!!

 Life is full of changes and a lot of times those changes are unexpected. It turns out that Hermana Williams is getting moved to Renton to be companions with Hermana Sasagi. :(
I love Hermana Williams and she is so awesome! Hermana Singer and I are both sad that we won't be companions with her anymore but we know that she will do great things in Renton!
Hermana Singer and I will stay together here in Auburn and President Eaton gave me a heads up that Hermana Singer might leave this next transfer because she's served her whole mission here so far. So I need to take advantage of these last two weeks of the transfer and learn the area and as much as I can in case Hermana Singer gets transferred.
I'm pretty sad about the whole change but I'm putting a smile on my face and being optimistic because life is good and God is good and there is always a reason to SMILE! :)
Speaking of smiling I couldn't stop smiling on Saturday! Partly because it was my parents' 25th wedding anniversary but also because Rosalio was baptized! :)
After a year of learning and coming to church he was baptized! The font wasn't super full so He had to kneel in order to be completely under the water but he did it!
The baptism was so beautiful and Rosalio bore his testimony which brought the spirit. He is so great!
Also Yesmin, who is Betty's little sister, is getting baptized on April 5th after conference!!! :) I get to go back and see it because I taught her!!! I am so proud of Yesmin for making the decision to be baptized and I can't wait to give her a huge hug!
God has really been blessing us in our missionary work for our obedience! We were able to have members with us at nine lessons this past week and we also have some new investigators.
Now with Easter coming up I hope you ALL check out the short video called, Because He Lives. It is so beautiful! You have to watch it! It's perfect for this Easter season and will remind us all to remember Christ. The link to the video is below this email.
Also I invite you all to watch General Conference this coming weekend! It is going to be just what you need to be spiritually uplifted!

"And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible."- Mark 10:27

I know that my Savior lives and because He lives there is always hope! :)

Les Quiero!
Hna Soliz, Rosario, Hna Singer, Hna Williams

Our awesome trio!

With Bro and Sister Allan and Hna Sasagi before leaving Renton

Monday, March 23, 2015

Yo quiero ser misionera para siempre!

Milagros estan pasando en Auburn!

WOW! God has blessed us so much this past week!It's been so great to recognize the Lord's hand in missionary work every day!

I love being a missionary so much! I just hope that I am taking advantage of every day that I have to serve the  Lord as a full time missionary because I know that the time is going to go faster than what I want it to.

One of the investigators we are teaching here in Auburn is Rosalio and he is so cool! He's been learning about the church for a whole year and has committed to baptism about six times but hasn't ever actually been baptized.

We decided to have a lesson with him and to invite President Layman, who is the first councilor to our mission president, to come with us. We taught a short lesson and then President Layman talked to him alone about baptism and went over the interview questions. At the end of it Rosalio committed to be baptized May 27th!! For real this time! :) He is so READY and I am so happy for him! :)

Another family we have taught is Monica and Eduardo. Eduardo isn't super interested but he has potential and Monica is golden! We have had two great lessons with them so far and we went this past week for our third appointment with them.

Sadly, they weren't home so we couldn't teach them BUT this led us to another miracle!
Since Monica and Eduardo were not home we decided to try to have a lesson with a Venezuelan family that we had met on the street a few days earlier.

Luckily, both the husband and wife were home and they let us in to hear our message. They showed so much interest in our message and they want to come to church to check it out!
They said they couldn't come this past Sunday because the husband, Juan, already had a commitment but they want to come! :)

At the end of the lesson with them we asked Juan to pray and ask God if our message was true and he said that he didn't have to pray because he already knew it was true. He said that he believed we knocked on his door for a reason and that we were sent by God.
I couldn't believe it! We still had him pray but I was just in shock that this family was so accepting right from the beginning.

Also Hermana Singer and I both felt prompted to leave the Restoration video with them so hopefully they'll watch it before we go back!

Another miracle out of the COUNTLESS miracles that we've had is Pablo and his family. He's a new investigator that was found about two weeks ago.

Hermana Singer, Webb, and Williams taught Pablo and his family about the restoration and then I came here to Auburn and taught him the plan of salvation with Hermana Singer and Williams.
The lesson was awesome and the spirit was really strong!

Then on Sunday they ALL came to church for all three hours! Pablo, his wife Maria, their kids, William (15 years old), Frank (12 years old), Guyel (under 1 year) and Pablo's parents Jose and Adela. :) After Sacrament Pablo said they would come back next Sunday! Yay! :)

Our investigators Rosalio and Daniela were also at church so we had 8 investigators there! We were so happy! :)

After church Rosalio had his official baptismal interview with our district leader, Elder Kim, so now he is all ready to be baptized on the 27th!!

On Sunday we had another Spanish devotional and it was in ENUMCLAW! :) I was so happy! I was able to see a lot of the members and some of my investigators! The Sugihara's, Garcia's, Ungez's, Mejia's, Betty and Leo, and a whole bunch of other people! I also saw some members from Renton too!

I was so unbelievably happy to see everyone that I don't even have the words to describe it. I will always and forever have a special love for the people I have met here in Washington!

Earlier this week I was studying more about my purpose as a missionary in Preach My Gospel and also in the scriptures. I love that in Preach My Gospel it says,
"The Lord will bless you as you teach the message of the Restoration to a world that desperately needs the gospel of Jesus Christ."

I know that as I do all I can to teach and share my testimony of the restoration with others that I will be blessed and that the people who are ready to accept our message will be blessed too.

I also know that there is a power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon that is like no other. I love reading the Book of Mormon and I urge all of you to read it! The Book of Mormon truly is another testament of Christ and it really is evidence of the restored truths of the church of Jesus Christ. When we read the Book of Mormon we learn more about God and Jesus Christ and what we need to do in this life. Reading the Book of Mormon is like taking a test and your teacher tells you that you can use your notes. It literally makes things so much easier! So again, I invite you all to read it!  

This past week I found a lot of scriptures that I just absolutely love so I'll share a couple with you.

Alma 27:6-7
"Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls."
I love this scripture because I know that I am inadequate and that without the spirit I would be so lost but with God anything is impossible. Even though I am just my imperfect self, I can be an instrument in the hands of God and "great things" can be "brought to pass."
Also remember to always trust on God. Not just sometimes or when things are going good but always.
Alma 38:5

"...I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day."

Everything in the teachings of Jesus Christ and in this church invites us to act. Invites us to pray. Invites us to read the scriptures. Invites us to have faith, repent, be baptized, endure to the end, be more Christ like, and to come unto Him.

This reminds me of a hymn, Come Follow Me. Here are the lyrics.
1. "Come, follow me," the Savior said.
Then let us in his footsteps tread,
For thus alone can we be one
With God's own loved, begotten Son.
2. "Come, follow me," a simple phrase,
Yet truth's sublime, effulgent rays
Are in these simple words combined
To urge, inspire the human mind.
3. Is it enough alone to know
That we must follow him below,
While trav'ling thru this vale of tears?
No, this extends to holier spheres.
4. Not only shall we emulate
His course while in this earthly state,
But when we're freed from present cares,
If with our Lord we would be heirs.
5. We must the onward path pursue
As wider fields expand to view,
And follow him unceasingly,
Whate'er our lot or sphere may be.
6. For thrones, dominions, kingdoms, pow'rs,
And glory great and bliss are ours,
If we, throughout eternity,
Obey his words, "Come, follow me."
I leave you my testimony that there is always more to do but that with God we can do all things. I know that the challenges we go through are just to make us stronger. I know that we all have divine potential even though we all have weaknesses. I know that too often we settle for less and we underestimate our potential but when we put our trust in God we will grow and change for the better. God is real and He lives. Jesus Christ suffered and died for us and He was resurrected and lives! He can give us comfort and guidance when we feel like no one else understands. He always gives us the invitation to follow Him. We just need to act.

Les Quiero Muchisimo! Hasta Luego! Les Dios bendigas!

Hermana Soliz

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Change of plans...

Hello everyone!
So...I have some news.
I'm not serving in Renton anymore. I'm now serving in Auburn/Puyallup.
Yeah...this past Tuesday I had a car accident with a wall.
So yeah, this guy named Jose called us and wanted us to teach his mom who is not a member but he wanted to meet us first. We had just arrived at his apartments to meet him when I had the accident.
There wasn't any guest parking so I was going to park on the other side of the street in this tiny parking lot behind some businesses.
Well, turns out I missed the entrance by a foot or two and went right over the curb. The road was higher than the paved area so on the other side of the curb was a slope of dirt. The car went down that and started rolling towards the wall. I freaked out and accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake and BAM! We smacked into the wall.
It all felt so unreal. I felt like I was just in a movie and that it was all make believe.
Then I backed up the car to see the damage. That's when I saw the big whole that I made in the back of the OReilly's building. Through the whole you could see their office space on the other side.
I was literally thinking, "Are you kidding me??!! Why me??! So much money!"
Luckily, no one was hurt though and the police man who came to check it out was kind enough to not give me a ticket.
So yeah, because of that I lost my driving privileges for the rest of my mission! It's probably safer that way! I don't want to risk anything. For a couple of days the May Creek Elders let us borrow their car so we could get around and I was so nervous to drive it especially because it was one of the nicest cars in the mission.
So because I lost my driving privileges and because Hermana Sasagi doesn't have a driver's license I had to switch places with Hermana Webb. So Hermana Webb returned to Renton to drive and I came to Auburn/Puyallup where my companions are now Hermana Singer and Hermana Wiilliams. Hermana Williams is actually the one who came to visit Washington before her mission so I met her while I was in Enumclaw.
I was really sad about it. I miss Renton and I feel like my time there was cut short. I'm sure I'll go back at some point though.
Hermana Singer and Hermana Williams are awesome though! We also cover Auburn and Puyallup so I'm sure I'll be kept busy with lots of work.
I wonder if President Eaton is going to leave me here or if he's going to try moving me back to Renton. I have a feeling I'll be here in Auburn for at least two transfers.
Goodness, it's been a crazy week!
My spiritual thought for the week comes from the Doctrine and Covenants.The Doctrine and Covenants are revelations for our day given to the prophet Joseph Smith.
D&C 98:4 -  "And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them."

 D&C 121:7- "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;"

 D&C 122:7- "And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."
I love these scriptures because it reminds me that no matter what we go through in this life it is only a very small moment compared to the eternities. It also reminds me that all of our afflictions and everything that we go through that is hard is for our good. That is God's promise to us. Everything we go through, in one way or another is for our good because we learn and grow from our afflictions.

I also LOVE this scripture from the Book of Mormon,

2 Nephi 4:18-20- "I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep."
Nephi is so awesome! Remember that no matter what, put your trust in God and you will not be led astray!

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Lord's Hand

This first week in Renton without Hermana Peackock and Hermana Webb has been different but good. I don't know the area very well and neither does Hermana Sasagi so we are learning together. Travis Merrill has also come out with us once so far to help show us where some Hispanics live.
Also there is now a new Relief Society president and she's really excited to help us with missionary work and to also have us help her find some less-active members. I have a feeling that a lot of good things are going to happen in Renton this transfer!
So my new companion, Hermana Sasagi, is Samoan and is from America Samoa. She lived in America Samoa for ten years and has also lived in California. In the Samoan culture the oldest granddaughter is the Princess of the family and I don't know all the details but it's a big deal. At big events and family gatherings the princess dresses up and dances. It's a whole cultural tradition or something.
Also, Hermana Ah-Hong, who already finished her mission was also a princess and before she came out on her mission her grandfather told her that he we give her anything and she asked him to allow missionaries into their village. He agreed so now people in her village can learn from the missionaries. How cool is that! Samoan Princess Power!
Hermana Sasagi has been out for 8 months so she's only a transfer ahead of me. Even though she's senior companion I'm driving because she actually doesn't have her license. She didn't want to get it because she didn't want to risk getting in a wreck on the mission and having to pay for it.
Hermana Sasagi is a good missionary and she's not afraid to talk to people. Spanish is a little more difficult for her but my Spanish isn't perfect either. I think as long as we both work hard together everything will be fine!
It's only been a week but we have already seen the Lord's hand in our lives helping us. We've even found a few new investigators!
Thank the young women in the ward for the pillow case they sent me! It's super cute!
Also I looked up the scriptures that some of the members wrote on it and it was so funny because the one Bro. Enright wrote down actually helped me the day I read it.
It was Heleman 12:1-3

"And thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him.
Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.
And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him."
It was during a lesson with our investigator Miriam and she said that she has a hard time believing that there is a God sometimes and that if there is a God why would He allow bad things to happen.
As soon as she said that Heleman 12:1-3 came to my mind! I was like this is so perfect! I shared the scripture and Hermana Sasagi also shared one and we had a good discussion and Miriam's question was answered!  It was awesome!
This transfer I really want to focus on realizing God's hand in my life every day! I invite all of you to do the same and to write down your experiences!
This past week I also read John chapter 21. I love that chapter! It's so good! Here is verse 17:
"He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."
If we love Jesus Christ we will do the same and feed His sheep. We will open our mouths and share the message of His teachings that we have grown to know are true. People cannot accept something they do not know about so it is our job, as disciples of Christ, to open our mouths and share our testimonies. Being an example is awesome but we also need to do more to show people who we are. We need to share our testimonies and invite others to learn.
I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on the earth that has the FULLNESS of the gospel. I know that God gives us challenges to grow and make us stronger. I know that the things we learn within in the church have eternal value. I know that at the temple we can make promises with God and come to learn more about Him and His plan for us.
Keep your hearts centered on Christ and the temples and you find an unexplainable joy and happiness in your life!
Love, Hermana Soliz
Me and Hermana Sasagi

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Voy a quedarme en Renton!!

Alright everyone, this email is going to be a little different so get ready!
There was just so many things that happened and we don't have a lot of time to email today so my companions and I decided to each write about parts of the week so we could email faster. So you will be getting their accounts of some things that happened this past week.

First, let me say that this past transfer has been absolutely amazing with Hermana Peacock and Hermana Webb! We're going to be friends forever! Also with transfers, Hermana Peaciock will be going to Kent, Hermana Webb will go to Auburn, and I will stay here in Renton. Also my new companion is going to be Hermana Sasagi. I don't know her very well yet but I'm sure we will have fun!

So on Thursday the Ayala family had their baptismal interviews at the church. Elder Russell interviewed them all and everything went great! While waiting for everyone to be done with their interviews one of the English elders, Elder Kelly, played the piano. It was super great because he's a really good piano player!
Then it was finally Saturday!! The day of the Ayala's baptism! We had to get to the church building early to get everything set up and to fill up the font. We met the Elders at the church building at 4:00 and we had dinner at the church. They ate their panda express at one table and we ate our food at another. Total segregation. It was funny!
While we ate Hermana, Peacock, Webb, and I started to fill up the baptismal font.
After eating we practiced the song Cuando Me Bautice with the elders. Elder Russell was super nervous about playing the piano in front of everyone so he wanted all the practice he could get.
After awhile we checked on the font to realize that it was full which was great but it was also FREEZING cold! We had accidentally been filling it up with cold water instead of the warm.
So then we tried to drain the font, which involved Heramana Peacock actually getting in the water and was just taking way too long to drain. We weren't going to have enough time to drain it and fill it back up in time for the baptism.
So our solution was to get trash cans and dump the water out. It actually worked and it didn't take to long. We got small trash cans and set up an assembly line. Hermana Peacock and Elder Russell were filling the trashcans with water and then Hermana Webb and I were passing them to Elder Spilsbury who dumped the water down the sinks in the men's bathroom. A little later Hermana Webb saw that there was a shower in the men's dressing room that we could dump the water down. That was so much easier!
So ya, then we filled the font back up with WARM water this time and the day was saved!
After that we set up chairs, got the programs ready and took pictures with the Ayala family.
The baptism was so unbelievably great! The spirit was really strong and I just felt so warm and happy inside! It was also great because not only were a bunch of people there to support them but so was President Eaton. That hardly ever happens! There was probably about 50 people there at the baptism that night.
After the baptism Audon, Maria, and Bryan all said something. While bearing his testimony Audon invited all of the investigators in the room to be baptized. It was awesome!
Then on Sunday the whole family was confirmed and they received the Holy Ghost. Maria and Audon bore their testimonies again since it was testimony meeting and it was really special.
Later on in the week we visited Maria by herself and she has a special gift or something for reading people because she read all of our personalities. She described us all and the crazy thing was that she was right! Especially about Hermana Webb! Maria described her perfectly!

Hermana Webb-
"Soooo as all of you may know, my birthday was on Tuesday! :) The big 20! No longer a teen, woo! Haha. My day started off by Hermana Peacock jumping on my bed and singing me all of the happy birthday songs that she knows. That was lovely. :) Then we had to go to District Meeting. We got a text before from the Elders asking me what my favorite flavor of cake was. So I had a little hint. But we walked into the room where we were having district meeting and there were pink streamers everywhere, balloons, and a "happy birthday" banner! I was so surprised! It was so nice of them! :) Then the other companionship of Elders in our District brought me a present. It was in the box of some protein bars and they had all signed a card because they forgot to buy one. I opened it and they got me some sweet pens! I never thought I would ever be so happy to get pens before! Haha. It was all just so nice of them! And then the Elders in our Branch got me a little red velvet cake! After that, we went to go get frozen yogurt from Menchies. So yummmmy. :) Then our Mission President and his wife called and sang me happy birthday! It was so funny. They're great! We had a lesson with Norma after that and she had bought Hostess cupcakes for us! Then we had a lesson at Erika Perez'. We had no idea that she was planning on feeding us, but when we showed up she had huge quesadillas waiting for us. We weren't hungry at all. It was terrible, but at the same time, so delicious. Haha. We didn't want to eat too much because we had a dinner appointment with the Ayala's right afterwards.But we had no other choice! It was okay in the end. Lol. When went to the Ayala's and we ate fried chicken and rice and yummy stuff. Then we brought out the cake that we had made that morning and they sang me "las ma├▒anitas" a spanish birthday song. It was so cute! And Maria put cake on all over my face. Haha. Couldn't break their tradition. Then! Sister Merrill, branch president's wife, called us and told me that she had something for me too! She ended up dropping by our house and she gave us....Seahawk Jerseys!!! We couldn't believe it! :) I had been wanting one for forever! It was seriously such a good birthday. And the best birthday present of all, the Ayala's getting baptized!!! :)" 

Hermana Peacock-
"This week was one of the craziest weeks on my mission. First of all, The branch president's family decided that they were so happy with us this week (because we worked really hard these last two transfers) and they bought us and the elders seahawks jersys!! How crazy is that? not even knockoffs either. The real ones. Man, Renton has been so much fun. I really am going to miss this place. I have really come to love it.

The Ayalas are so great. So we got the Ayalas all ready to be baptized. They went on their trip and we were so proud of them. They stayed away from coffee and everything and they didn't even find a coffee substitute until a day before their baptism. They are so strong. So we had baptismal interviews with them. That was super awesome. We played the piano and sang songs to them as we were waiting and it was awesome. I really just felt like I needed to go over and talk to Maria, so I did. I felt like I needed to pull out my book of mormon and start reading with her. I was showing her some cool stuff and how I marked 1 nephi 11 (we went over yesterday and showed me how she marked hers the same) I don't know why she loves me so much but she is so awesome. Well so I was reading with her and she went on to tell me of all the times she had really felt the spirit. How the first time she came to church, she finally found the peace that she was looking for her whole life. She knows it's true. While this was going on, her kids were drawing pictures of the temple on the whiteboard with their family inside. Man, it was so special. That is the destination. To go to the temple and then to the Celestial Kingdom. She was telling Daisy (her daughter), 'hey daisy, I am going to get married again soon' They are so excited to go to the temple.

She told me all about how now that she was going to be getting baptized that her mom came over and was super angry. Fought with her and now won't talk to her. She cried really hard telling me that her mom probably wasn't even going to come to her baptism. I just put my arm around her and I cried too. It was so sad.... but she told me that no matter what, she was going to stay strong. She was going to be a good example. She knows that satan was just trying to put obstacles in her way to make it so she would not want to be baptized anymore. She stuck with it though. I am so proud of her.  It was a super awesome night. Everyone got their interviews. They were super excited. Maria told me that Audon can't swim so he was super scared and I don't know how many times Daisy asked us if the water would be warm.. but they got soooo excited and wanted to see the baptismal font that all the kids ran inside and they were so happy. They were getting used to the font and we took a picture because it was just so adorable. One of the most special moments ever. We all just watched and were like awwhhh...
So then comes the baptism. We got there three hours early because for some reason we felt like we needed to be earlier than normal. So we start filling up the font. We could not figure out which one was hot and which one was cold so we chose one and thought it was right because it was warmer than the other. after a half hour, we went back to find the font like halfway full of Cold water!!! we were like crap! what do we do now? So i had to step into the font and unplug it and the water was freezing! and I was in a skirt! then it started to drain but not really... we waited a half an hour and it wasn't doing anything. another 15 minutes and it still was hardly draining. So at this point, we are like oh no.... The elders had  set up the chairs at the church and were practicing the piano so we were like... umm... we don't know what to do.. we told them they would have warm water. So we gathered all of the trash cans that we could find in the church and had to scoop out the water bucket by bucket out of the font. hahah probably the funniest thing ever to watch. Then we didn't even have time to empty the whole thing. So we started the hot water. man, I am going to remember that forever.... "

Well I love you guys so much!

Hermana Soliz

At our training meeting with the Mission President and Sister Eaton

With one of our investigators

Surprise! Happy Birthday Hermana Webb!

Best thing this transfer!  This lovely family got baptized!

Days before baptism...excited kids!

Sweet children we get to teach!

Thank you Renton members!! Got us some Seahawks Jerseys!