Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 64! Reflections....

Through all of the ups and downs of this past week I have seen the blessings of God in my life! God lives! He loves us so much and just wants the best for us! Many times we just need to set aside our pride and remember Him. I'm in Helaman right now in the Book of Mormon and I've read a lot about how the downfall of the people was their pride. Every time it's pride that gets in the way and causes them to forget God. So I am making it a goal to be more aware of my pride so I can more fully set it aside and become more like the disciple of Christ that God wants me to be.

I just watched the new mormon message called Reflections and I loved it so much that here is the link. Watch it! It goes right along with what I've been learning in the Book of Mormon. 

Sunday we had the Primary Program and it was so cute! I loved seeing all of the little kids give their testimonies and sing! The Hispanic children even gave their parts in Spanish so it was really cute! Between us and the Elders we had four investigators there to watch it! It was great! 

Also...great news! We had a church tour with Esteban and he is committed to prepare to be baptized on November 28th! :) Yay!! I'm so excited to help him recognize the Spirit and his potential! Pray that we will be good teachers and help him progress! :) 

Also I hope you all enjoy and are safe on the dia de bruja this weekend! I still can't believe that it is going to be Halloween! And then before you know it, it's going to be Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years! Then I'll be home!! Yikes! 

Love you all! 

Hermana Soliz 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Week 63!

This past week was jam packed of things to do! And I loved it! Missionary work is always the best when you're busy! For the first time in a while we literally had to run to get from appointment to appointment.
We had interviews with President Eaton and I always enjoy those so much! I always come out of them with more spiritual strength to keep pressing forward! 
After our interviews President Eaton had a referral for us and she just so happened to live down the street so he walked over to her apartment with us to talk to her. On the way President Eaton started talking to this 15 year-old boy that looked way older about families and the gospel. The whole time I was thinking, "I'm contacting with President Eaton! The pressure is on!" Haha! That doesn't happen every day! 
We also had Elder Lawrence and his wife visit our mission and we were able to receive some amazing counsel from them! But before I get into that I'll answer some questions my mom sent me. 
So my biggest challenge this week was probably...eating two dinners in the same day. Haha! Yeah we'll communicate better next time to make sure that doesn't happen. 
My biggest success was probably having more members present at lessons with us! We had more this past week than we've had in a while and we plan to keep working on it! 
My favorite person this past week has been our investigator Lodes and her husband Rojelio. They are Catholic and they are just now learning about the gospel. They are not committed to being baptized but they are so open to learn and they both understand that baptism is a promise  and commitment with God so they want to take it seriously! 
My favorite tender mercy this week was when Sister Eaton sent us all the talk entitled, Becoming Perfect in Christ by Elder Gerrit W. Gong. It is such a great talk and I really needed to read it! She also sent a document about perfectionism and the healthy and unhealthy stages of being a perfectionist. It was super great of her to do! 
My goal for this week is to have a bigger focus on baptism in every lesson.
This coming week I am excited about finding people that will accept the invitation to prepare and be baptized! 
The scripture that has the biggest impact on me this past week is Alma 57:25 when it talks about how all of the stripling warriors survived the battle,  however still received many wounds. This reminded me that as long as we are on God's side we will find success and we will be saved. It also reminded me that we will all receive wounds in this lifetime. I'm talking more so about spiritual wounds rather than physical wounds. But I know that through Jesus Christ we can all be healed! 
Now, on to the most amazing part of this week! Training with Elder Lawrence! We started off the meeting by listening to Sister Lawrence talk about the House of Israel. She talked about why one of the names for Jesus Christ is the Holy One of Israel and how he preached the gospel first to the Israelites. She explained what it meant to be an Israelite and a Gentile which led her to talking about "believing blood." I had never heard of that before but it was all so interesting to me! She explained the lineage from Abraham on down, so it was a lot of history information. It totally fascinated me! I learned so many new things and was reminded of other things that I have learned but forgotten. She talked about the different tribes and how the lost tribes are scattered but predominately in the area of Russia and those countries. She also explained that before this life many of us promised to serve missions and to help gather scattered Israel. I literally have pages of notes from her talk! I loved it so much! I can't even begin to describe it all to you in detail. Because of the meeting,  I now have the goal to study more about the gathering of Israel and to learn all of the names for the twelve tribes.  I also learned that the symbol of the tribe of Ephraim is an ox! Haha! Oxen are hard working and stubborn so maybe that's why I can be so set in my ways sometimes! 
When Elder Lawrence spoke to us he mentioned how he was really impressed with how all the missionaries handled themselves, so that was a nice compliment! :) He also taught about the importance of finding Israel. He said that we have been preparing for this from before this lifetime so we have no time to waste. The time we have to be full-time missionaries is so precious! He talked about having a
better focus on baptizing! We shouldn't just expect miracles, we should expect baptisms! He and the leadership of our mission met and they made the goal to have 40 baptisms in the month of November! How cool is that! The whole mission is focusing on this right now! We have all committed to pray for 40 baptisms in every prayer we say, to think about a verse of scripture about either baptism or the doctrine of Christ each week, and to prayerfully sacrifice something so that we can more fully focus on bringing others into the waters of baptism! I'm so excited about this goal because the whole mission is going to be more unified and working hard to achieve it! Elder Lawrence gave us excellent advice on having faith and being fully believing instead of doubting. If it is a righteous desire it can happen! 
There are a lot of things we need to do in order to reach our goal but I know that as we all pull together and try our best, that God can provide the rest, and we can help 40 people on their way to receive salvation! 
There was also a lot of talk about being born in the covenant at our meeting. Before, I thought being born in the covenant meant you were born in the church, but I learned, or was reminded, that it actually means that you are born to parents who are sealed in the temple. I have always wanted to get married and sealed in the temple to a righteous man for eternity and Elder Lawrence talked about how we all need to have that be our goal. Talking about marrying outside of the temple he said, "You were not prepared for that." He said that the saddest thing would be that we return home and marry outside of the temple and that is so true! We are eternal beings and we need to be sealed to our spouses for the eternity! We are the kind of people who strive our best to become like God and we do that by making promises with  Him in the temple! 
I love this church because I know that it's God's church and it provides us with the way back to Him! 
And on a completely unrelated note here are some funny pictures of us! I love the different colors of the trees! 


Hermana Soliz :) 
Me and Hna Lewis
Happy Fall Everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2015

I am so lucky!

Just so you all know I am so extremely lucky! Life is good and I am so happy to be a missionary! :)
I love being able to serve God and serve the people here in my area! 
This past week I had my 22nd birthday and the members here made sure it was a special day for me! 
On my birthday a few of the members, the elders, and my companion and I got together for dinner at the church. We had enchiladas and rice and then cake and ice cream for dessert. Hermana Valle even bought me some socks and perfume as a gift! It was so sweet of the members to do! :) I love them! 
After I blew our my candles for "mi deseo" they all wanted me to take a bite out of the cake. Apparently it is a tradition of theirs to do that and then usually someone will push your face into the cake. 
I was so hesitant to actually do it but I finally took a very small bite of the cake. It's a cool tradition but I didn't exactly want cake all over me. Haha! 
Needless to say I had a very great day on my birthday thanks to my family and the members! 
So finding new people to teach here in Auburn has been a bit if a struggle for the past few weeks or so but we have been trying so hard to find prepared people! We have also been knocking more doors than before! And well finding is still difficult. 
We receive a lot of blessings from God each day but we just weren't finding anyone new to teach. It seemed like more so than before that every set lesson we had was cancelled. 
During this tough time of not having very many investigators Alma 26:27 came to mind and it says, 
"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."
This scripture brought me great comfort when I was having a hard time and I really know that God is in control of spreading the gospel to all the world! 
My spirit was lifted when we went to check on a referral we received named Esteban! He is amazing! He actually thought he knew me from before. He saw me on his door step and was like, "Whoa! What are you doing here?!" 
And well, I was so confused! But it was kind of nice because even though I didn't know him from before it was almost like we had this relationship you have with the people you teach right from the start! He already knows so much about the church and has been to Salt Lake. He still wants to learn more but in our lesson he said that he wants the spirit that he sees that the missionaries have and he has a strong desire to be baptized!!! I am so excited to teach him and I will definitely be telling you all more about how things go with him! 
I love you all and have a great week! Also thanks so much for the gifts mom!

Hermana Soliz
My tiara mom sent and cake from my companion!

Monday, October 5, 2015

My new companion is so great!


So I'll start by telling you all a little bit about my companion, Hermana Lewis! She is So great! She finished three years at Weber State studying accounting. She also had a scholarship to play the drums there. She plays a lot of different instruments and is super talented! She didn't want to take a picture today so sorry but I don't have a picture for this email. Haha, I tried! 
She likes to speak Spanish ALL the time! Even when we are inside the house so that has been cool! She has really good Spanish for someone who is just now learning. 
Training her has been a lot of fun! This past week was really slow so we haven't had the chance to really teach anyone yet. Training is definitely helping me to be a better leader! I'm excited to help get her involved in the work as much as possible so we can be 50/50! :) 
It is already getting darker earlier here and it is just going to keep getting worse so we hope we can set lessons for the evenings so we are not walking around in the dark. 
Let me tell you about a miracle we had the other day! 
So we chose to spend our finding hour in a neighborhood close to where we live. There aren't a lot of Hispanics in that area as far as we know but it's where we thought we should go. 
There was actually one house where I knew some Hispanics lived so we started with that house. In the past they had never answered the door so we were hoping that we'd be able to talk to somebody this time. 
A boy in a high school answered the door and told us that his parents weren't home and the he didn't know when a good time would be for us to try again. He did not seem interested at all but we left him our information and then asked if he knew of any other Hispanics in the area. He told us of one house where there might be Hispanics so we went and tried it. 
And we had a miracle! A man named Kelvin from Peru answered the door and he was super nice! We had a really good conversation with him! 
The only thing is that I was kicking myself in the butt because before when we were getting supplies out of the car I had a feeling to get a family proclamation but I just brushed it off for some reason.
Then as we were talking to Kelvin he started talking about how the importance of families is getting lost in the world we live in today...Ugh! I was so mad at myself! It was the perfect opportunity to give him a copy of the family proclamation and I didn't have one because I was in a hurry and brushed off the prompting the Spirit had given me!  
If only I would stop and listen...I'm working on it though! :) 
We didn't teach Kelvin that day because his wife was a the park with their two kids but we set an appointment to come back and teach the whole family!!! :) I am so excited!!! I have high hopes for this family! :) 
Also I just loved General Conference! Every second of it! All of the talks were so inspired and I learned so much! I really like Elder Lawrence's talk and he is the general authority that will be visiting our mission this month! I'm super excited for that! :) 
I am also accepting the challenge to "ponderize" a scripture each week! I'm starting this week with Doctrine and Covenants section 50:40-42. It reads, 

 "Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
 Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;
 And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost."

Isn't that beautiful! :) 

Well I love you all and thanks for the Birthday wishes! 

Hermana Soliz