Wednesday, June 22, 2016

We found a guy named Flaurencio who told us that because of all the stuff that has happened in his life he doesn't believe that God exists. He wanted to know how we seemed so sure that He is there and that God loves us. We were able to talk to him for a bit and near the end of the contact we asked if there was anything we could do for him before we left. He looked at me with the most sincere and desperate look, with almost tears in his eyes and said "Si.... orar." He asked us to pray for him even though he didn't believe in God. That shows so much faith, faith that he didn't know he had. It was incredible. We then offered a prayer right there with him and went our separate ways. I really hope we get the chance to find him again and teach him more. I can feel that we were led to him for a reason. 

Sorry, not a lot of time today! Wish I had more time to tell you all about the incredible things that happened this week! We witnessed lots of miracles this last week, thank you for all of your prayers! :) I love you all!

So, after being in an english area for a few days with Sister Moody, I got transferred to Burlington with Hermana Baldwin! She is from Springville and just got out of training. It was a little sad though because I didn't have a lot of time to say goodbye to the branch in Monroe. However, I am growing to love this area as well! We cover a lot of the islands and it is so pretty!! :) The branch and people we have met are pretty great too!

We have had a lot of success this last week and Heavenly Father led us to 7 new investigators and a lot of new potentials! Plus, with all the parades and fun stuff coming this summer we have a lot of finding ideas that we are going to try! I can't wait!

This week at church we were talking about faith, and a question that was brought up was " Why does Heavenly Father want us to have faith in Jesus Christ?" It is kinda an obvious question to answer but at the same time it made me think.. He wants us to have faith in Jesus Christ because it is only through Him that we can return to live with Our Father again. Only through HIm. I can only imagine how Heavenly Father feels, Him having all power being able to do anything he wants, yet knowing that only if His children accept Jesus Christ and keep the commandments can they return to Him. He loves us so much, and He wants us to be at His side once again. All He asks of us is to believe and never stop believing. 

I hope you all have a great week! I would love to hear about any missionary experiences that y'all are having back at home! I love you!

Hermana Spackman
Well, I just found out that I am getting transferred :/ But, also found out that none of the other Spanish sisters are getting transferred.. haha so I have no idea what to expect! I might be going english or three packing it again! haha a ver que pasa! (We'll see what happens!) But I will go wherever the Lord needs me! 
Speaking of that, haha yesterday I was put with Sister Moody! Who is here in the english Monroe ward, her companion went home early and she needed a companion. So, I will be with her the next couple of days until transfers. Which is fun, but then sad because I won't be able to say good bye to families in the branch... 

We had Stake Conference yesterday and I really liked an analogy that was shared by a returned missionary. She talked about how when she was younger she really wanted to learn how to play the piano. Her father brought her a baby grand piano, lots of books to help her learn, and signed her up for piano lessons. She had everything she needed to be able to achieve her desire of learning to play the piano/ However, as the time went on... piano lessons didn't interest her, she never read the books and hardly practiced the piano...She had forgotten her desire to learn. She now cannot play the piano. She related this story to the Plan of Salvation. Before coming to earth, we all were so excited to come and to learn. We really really wanted to be here, to get a body, and to become more like our Father. So, Our Loving Heavenly Father created this world. He gave us everything we would need. Physically as well as spiritually. He has given us prophets, scriptures, families, and commandments. We have so much potential, but it is all up to us. We have the tools. We need to always keep in mind our desire to become like Our Father, because it's when we forget that we fall away. 

I know that Heavenly Father truly does love us and wants us to return to Him. 

I hope you all have a great week! :) 

Hermana Spackman 

Luke 7:37-50 
This week we have had so many experiences that helped my testimony grow on how people really do  notice how happy we are as members of the true church. 

Our recent convert has a neighbor that has always made his opinion very clear about the church and missionaries. However, we have talked to him a few times and set appointments but he has never been home, so we stopped trying to visit him for awhile. We saw him this last week just out in the street so we talked to him and just had a quick "hows it going" talk. Then, when we went to go teach our recent convert she said that he came up to her later that day and asked "why are the missionaries always so happy even though all day people are mean to them and slam doors in their faces?" She was then able to talk a little more about what missionaries so and how we are only there to share about Christ. He later told her that he would like to learn a little bit more! It's crazy how simple things can touch even the hardest of hearts! :)

We went and visited the Martinez family again. We just showed another quick, powerful video and ended up again with everyone crying haha. Hno Martinez, after the video, shared a very sincere testimony on how he knows that we truly are messengers from the Lord. How whenever we come over, we bring something. How we always knows just what to say to help lift their spirits. To be honest, I didn't feel like we did anything special, we just pressed play on the video haha. However, I know that we can truly be instruments in the hands of the Lord as we are worthy of the spirit. That He knows each of his children personally and what they are going through and what they need. This was one of those experiences that makes me feel like I am fulfilling my purpose as a missionary. Experiences like that make everything worth it. 

A lot of our friends at the food bank this week were also commenting on how we always have smiles and are so happy to do any job they give us. 

The little things matter. People notice and wonder. 
I am so incredibly grateful for this gospel and all the happiness it brings. 

I love you all! Happy Memorial Day! :) 

Hermana Spackman
We have been able to have a few very powerful lessons this week! 

One was with Juan. We taught him about the role that the Spirit is going to play as he continues learning about the church. And by the end of the lesson we said a kneeling prayer and he set a baptismal date! 

We also taught Delilah and her daughters basically about the same thing, and we had our Branch President's wife there who was really able to help her see the importance of all this. She agreed to bring her daughters to Activity Days this week! :) She is so awesome, you can really see that she wants the best for her daughters. I know that she is going to find what she is looking for!!

Another strong lesson we had was with Santos. He and his wife have been coming to church the past few weeks and the other day we really taught him about the Book of Mormon and shared a mormon message about it. He said he felt good, learning about it and we were able to testify that those feeling were from the Spirit, it was really cool! He, his wife, and his son all came to church and stayed all three hours! :) And this week we are going to do a Family Home Evening with them!

The "Meet the Mormons" movie night went really well!! Hno Ramirez, took his TV and put it in the garage, set up a few tables, and made carne asada! Lots of people showed up!! A lot of his family and friends who aren't members and also a few other recent converts from the branch came! We had to leave early because of curfew, but we dropped by later in the week and Hna ramirez was watching the video again with other friends who didn't get to see it the last time! So incredible. Member missionary work is the best. 

A few of the Relief Society also had some great experiences sharing the gospel this week, one of them was at a family party on saturday but had to get all the kids home at a decent time to be able to be ready for church on sunday, as they were leaving her uncle asked why they were leaving and she was able to explain church more with him, which then led to him asking her to say a prayer for his cousin who was in a car crash.. Another one was talking to a friend who lives in mexico about Priesthood Blessings, then she asked if she would like that the missionaries passed by her house and she agreed! So, we were able to send a referral to the Ciudad Juarez mission! :) Amazing what a simple testimony or example can do!

Hna Martinez (an amazing member of the branch, one of the first people I met here) was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago and started Chemotherapy this last week. We dropped by to visit them, we shared a quick video and left them with a kneeling prayer...during the prayers, I couldn't stop myself from crying.. I love these people so much, I have known them for over a year..and there was literally nothing I could've done to fix it, to make things better. I kept thinking... What do I say? What can I do?  The only thing I really can do is love them, pray for them, and never lose faith. God has a plan for them, and I know that they have been prepared for this time. It was just hard, not being able to help in some way. Life is hard. The trials come. And it hurts. Even though we have the gospel in our lives, it still hurts and its still hard. And there is not much we can do but endure. Trust in God and His plan, rely on the Atonement, and never lose faith.

I have just realized that this email was super long, I have lots to say but I will stop there. 

I love you all. I love this gospel. I love the knowledge we have of Heavenly Father's plan. It truly is a plan of happiness. God really does know us and love us. Through Christ we can find light. Keep going! :)

Hermana Spackman

Well, good things happened this week!

We moved into a new apartment.

We found Delilah! She is so prepared! She talked to us about how her and her family have been going to the Catholic church for as long as she can remember, but she has always had the desire to look into other churches. She also told us about how she knows that her church teaches a lot that they should believe in the Virgin Mary but it has never really clicked with her, and she doesn'[t believe a lot of what her church teaches. At the end of our lesson we had a kneeling prayer with her and all of her 4 daughters! It was so awesome! :)

We tried a creative finding idea! We took a box of chalk and went to an area where lots of kids and moms are usually outside and we asked for their help. We wrote the question "What blessings have you received from God?" and invited everyone to draw pictures of all of their blessings! It was so sweet to hear what all the kids came up with :)

Santos and Sol came to a fireside last night. The mission does something called "Come See for Yourself" where they invite recent converts to share their testimonies and how they came to know that the church was true. It is always very powerful, and this one was even cooler because it was all in spanish! There were some really cool stories and I think it was good for them to hear from other people! They are so sweet, and they have been listening to the scriptures in their car together! :) I am so excited for them! We were also just told this week that Sol is pregnant again with her second child! Yay! :)

Tonight, one of our branch missionaries is hosting a "Meet the Mormons" movie night! He has invited a lot of people! :) and so we can't wait to see what happens!

This week I have also been able to read a lot about the Plan of Salvation from the Book of Mormon! I am so grateful for the knowledge that Heavenly Father has given us. We know the plan. Now, it is our job to help others also find the happiness and assurance that comes from what the scriptures teach us! :)

I hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Spackman

This week was awesome!! We hit standards!! It came so naturally, it surprised me! 

We were able to talk about "After-burners" at Mission Leader Council, and how we should really be working hard these next few months.. We, as a companionship, were able to talk about what we can do together to be able to really work hard. We are all close enough to the end of the mission that we  can really start the final sprint without wearing ourselves out. I am super excited!

We found the ELECT!!! Their names are Jorge and Juan. They are brothers who just moved here a few weeks ago. We met them Wednesday, then had a super solid lesson with them on Sunday! They were waiting for us outside with their Book of Mormon. By the end of the lesson, we asked them what it would mean to them if the things we had taught about Joseph Smith were true, and their  first response was that they would get baptized! :) Then, they told us that they wanted us to come over everyday so that they could learn more!  Ahh... There really are people who have been prepared. You can tell. The Spirit is different and everything just goes smooth. :) 
And actually we just got a call from the Assistants saying that we are moving to Sumac's the same complex as Juan and Jorge haha so that will be good!

Feliz Cumpleanos shout out to my Dad!! :) He truly is an example to me. So much of his advice plays through my head and helps me a lot, especially as a missionary! He is the smartest, kindest, most talented, and most loving person that I look up to. Soy quien soy gracias a el y todo lo que hace. He always takes the time to just talk, which means a lot.

And Feliz Dia de la madre shout out to my beautiful mother! Who always teaches by example and has an endless supply of patience! She taught me how to be confident and how to do my best. She never fails to show her testimony, whether it be by words or actions. I couldn't thank her enough for all that she does. 

Life is good. The Church is true. Christ lives. Families truly can be eternal.

I love you all! 

Well, lots happened this week! First off, I am now in a trio!! They closed another spanish area due to lack of spanish missionaries and now both Hna Jensen (who was with me in the MTC) and Hna Hubner (who is from Missouri and in her last transfer)  are mis companeras!! :) It has seriously been so much fun! :) 

We were able to see a lot of great things happen in our area. I am so grateful fo rthe guidance of the Spirit and for the chance we have to talk to everyone and meet so many new people! 
Quick story, we were passing by this lady who is always working in her garden. I had talked to her before and offered to help her but she had always been super stand offish and never let us help her, she even almost ran us over with her lawn mower one time haha but needless to say, when we walked passed her I just said good afternoon and was going to keep walking. But, my awesome companions stopped and started talking to her more and I was a little scared just cause of what has happened in the past. She was a little annoyed with us talking to her at the beginning but then really opened up and asked us a whole bunch of questions! It was awesome! It helped me strengthen my testimony of how people's hearts can be softened... no matter what.

I am out of time! But I will tell you all more next week! 

Hermana Spackman
We just found out that Sister Bell is getting transferred and I am staying in the area. This past week I was questioning what my purpose was here in Monroe and I wasn't sure if I was going to get transferred or not, but hearing that I am staying feels right. I know I am here for a reason, now it's up to me to figure out what that is and do my best to be someone the Lord can trust in to do his work here. 

So, for those of you who remember Hugo Ramirez who was baptized last time I was in the area, he is on fire sharing the gospel! He has two friends Santos y Sol ( they are a couple and have a 3 year old son ) who he invited to a fireside last week and then to church this week, and they came!! They are so sweet and so prepared to accept the gospel. They don't know too much about Jesus Christ so it has been great to teach them and seeing them realize the importance of the little truths that we grew up knowing. Like, the other night, we showed last year's Easter video and Sol didn't know that Christ had resurrected and lives today. There was such a powerful feeling as we testified of Him and Our Heavenly Father!

We had a very successful Cinco de Mayo party on the 23rd of April haha. It was soo much fun! And we got to help the Branch President's wife make hundreds of tacos! But, now we don't have fingerprints because we had to roll and fold the tacos when they were steaming hot!! but it was definitely worth it. We invited EVERYONE and had a great turn out! around 20 nonmembers showed up! :) including our friends from the food bank! yay!

Here are some pictures from our hike last week, sorry I didn't take any this week!

I love you all! 
Hermana Spackman

Time is flying by...and I'm not sure I'm okay with that. But I can't really control it I guess I better be okay with it. Next week is already transfers. I feel like I should be just getting to week 3 in this transfer! Who knows what next transfer brings. I'll probably be leaving Spanish. Kinda sad about that. But that's okay because I'll go where ever the Lord needs me. 

Last Monday we went hiking to Wallace Falls! It was beautiful and super fun. We also went to our rama's family night where they taught us how to juggle....I didn't really ever figure it out, but it was fun to try!

We had a beautiful and amazing zone meeting this week. It was da best! Elder and Sister Salmon gave some amazing instruction about comp unity. We figure they were asked to teach since they have had the most experience! They finished their mission on Friday. They should be back home in Canada now! I love them so much! They are so awesome!

Juan (the cowboy hat guy) came to church again this week and then he came to Come See For Yourself also!! So awesome. A recent convert, Hno Ramirez also came and brought two friends. And those friends are so prepared!!! They want to come to church next week! The husband has been really reading the Bible and BOM lately! The fireside didn't have a the AMAZING Hermana Spackman translated for them. It was awesome. I have the coolest companion ever! 

There were tons of miracles that happened this week. The Lord truly does watch over us. He truly cares. I love being able to see His hand in my life and in the work that I do. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to be His missionary.

Love, Hermana Bell