Feb 24, 2011

February 24, 2011 Letter

Oh man this week has flown by so fast!!!   I feel like so much has happened.  First and for most we set another baptismal date!!!!  Here name is Marie Ramos!  She is just this cute little lady! She heard about the gospel years ago, but then became very sick.  While she was sick her husband scared the missionaries away. She went years without hearing from the missionaries.  One day I was going through old teaching records and found her and suggested we check to see if she still lived in town.  Well we stopped by, her anry husband had passed away, and she was so excited to see us!  We taught her a few lessons and then asked her if she would get baptized.  She promptly said, "Yeah...I'll go put it on my Calender."  Ha Ha she is so cute I just love her!!! 

Our date with Bro. Parks fell through, so he won't be getting baptized on Saturday.  He is so close though and so we are hoping for maybe the 5th.I think he is just waiting for a "lightning bolt" answer.  We just need to give him time, I know he is so close and I am sure he will get baptized in the next month.

This week we have been asked to not ride in our cars until after dark.  This means BIKES all day long!!!  Let me tell you...it is quite the adventure riding a bike in a skirt!  I may or may not have flashed Roswell a number of times this week.  Opps. Ha Ha. Luckily I went and got some longer skirts and some shorts to wear under my skirts, so hopefully I can keep everything covered up this week. :) It has also been about 70 degrees everyday this week.  I have some pretty sick tan lines!!!  Who knew you could get so burnt in February?!  I think sun screen is going to become my best friend very quickly!!!  The plus about being on bikes is that you get the opportunity to talk to so many different people!!  We have met so many people who are just straight up crazy!  But I love it!  I love sharing the gospel with everyone.  In real life it's hard to share it with everyone, but here it's my job and so I can go all out and tell people everything! :)

Although it's been a great week, we have still had to deal with a lot of "Anti."  There was one night where we went to visit and old lady from our ward.  We had parked across the street on a public road, not in front of any ones house, but when we were finished with our appointment we saw that our car had been boxed in.  You literally couldn't fit even one finger in between our car and theirs.  We saw some people looking out the window, so we walked up to the house to ask them to move their cars.  Low and Behold, our hater friend from last week comes to the door.  He started to harass us and kept saying, "are you really still Mormons?"  Him and his six other gang friends were with him.  Finally we just told them that we WERE going to leave and that they WOULD move their cars!!!  Eventually they let us go, but is frustrating to know that this group of "Street Preachers" knows what our car looks like and that they are constantly trying to break our faith down.  It's these little things that makes you really appreciate and realize how important the gospel is in your life.  You don't realize how strong your testimony really is until you have to put it to the test!  Luckily we haven't run into them since that incident, but if we do I know that we will be able to stand our ground and defend ourselves and the faith.

It's so weird to think that next week I'll have been out here for two months.  Time really does just fly by!  One think that I have been trying to work on a lot is that of trying to be a "servant, and not a worker." That is kind of the saying out here on the Field.  Many times we do what we are supposed to, but it becomes a chore and we only do it because we know we are supposed to. That is when we become a worker.  To become a servant we must have that strong desire to serve with our hearts, and not just because we have to.  When we want to serve because we know it's what we love and because we love God things become so much easier!  My hope is that all of you can find something in your life that you can make a little bit better.  I hope you can all try to become servants rather then workers! :)  I love you all so much!  My prayers are still with you!  I think of you all the time and hope that life is amazing for each of you!  I miss you and hope to hear from you soon!

Love, Sister Tracy!

Feb 17, 2011

February 17, 2011 - Letter

Oh man!!!   I can't believe how fast time goes by!!!  I'm with Mitchell when he says that time is just flying by!  Sometimes I have a hard time remembering what we even did in the mornings, but then I realize a whole week has gone by!!!  I can't believe February is almost over!!!  A lot has happened in the last week!  We got another Baptismal date yesterday!! YAY  :)  Her name is Carlynn Sisk!!!   She is an older lady that we ran into a few weeks ago.  She is such a sweetheart and tells us how she has felt such an amazing difference in her life ever since we started coming to teach her.  She is planning to get baptized on March 12th.  We still have tons to teach her, but I know that eventually she will get baptized, even if it's not on the date we have set right now. 

This week has been good on many things.  We have two baptismal dates set, and have gotten many new investigators but we have also had a few really rough days!   I have heard all the "Mormon" rumors about how we don't cut our hair and how we are polygamists, but I have started hearing other things that I had never heard before.  Like how we don't get to choose who we marry, and that they ex communicate us from the church if we don't marry someone of the same faith.  Just silly things.  None of those things ever get to me, but yesterday we had a crazy experience!!  For Confidentiality, we will call this man, "Joe" Joe was referred to us by a member in the ward.  Every week there is a Book of Mormon institute class that the ward holds and I guess Joe showed up.  He had many questions about the bible and so they referred him to us.  We went over and within seconds we realized that he was very well versed in is biblical knowledge!  We told him straight up that we weren't scholars but that we would try the best we could to answer his questions.  He would ask us a question about why we think we have to get baptized.  If there is more then one god, if Jesus is the same in the book of Mormon and the bible. We tried the best we could to answer his questions and to find the proof he was looking for.  This happened for a little over an hour.  We then told him we'd love to come back but we had to run to another appointment.  Well he refused to let us leave!!!  He told us that our prophets had said that the Jesus in the Book of Mormon is a different Jesus in the Bible.  Within second it switched from him "wanting to learn more" to telling us how wrong we were and trying to tell us we knew nothing.  He said he found the article where the prophets said that.  Then he ran to get the article when he came back he was on the phone with his ex-Mormon friend.  He started yelling at us through the phone,  Talking about the temples, and other things like that.  About how wrong we were and how we were such liars.  The whole time we stayed very calm and nice.  Well in the end many things were said and debated.  He told me that there were demons inside me and that I was being deceived.  Ha Ha Through it all, i saw how strong my testimony really has become.  You say you have a testimony till you really have to put it to the test!  I know with a surety that this is the true church today!  I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that we have living prophets today!!  I would just say to you that you never let anything shake your testimonies!!!  Stand up for what you believe and don't let the world tell you otherwise!!!

I love you all so much, and would just tell you to hold strong to what you know to be true!

Love forever,

Sister Tracy!

Feb 11, 2011

February 10, 2011- Letter

So my mission has been great so far!!!!  I don't know if I already told you this but I've got my first Baptism date set for Feb. 26th!!!  I am so excited!  The Parks are a part member family, and so it's cool to see him progress!!!   Bro. Parks has come so far.  I've seen him go from not wanting to read even one verse, to reading whole chapters and loving it!  I love that I am helping people change their lives for the better.  I love being able to see their testimonies grow right before my eyes!!  I know that this is the word of God, because I see how dramatically it changes the lives of those that it touches.  I've seen families grow stronger just by doing the simple things like praying together!

This week has been kind of slow because of all the cold weather!  Many of our appointments have canceled because they don't want to go out in the cold.  Roswell has had many problems with the pipes freezing up.  Many homes were unable to get water and the gas has run out in many parts of the state.  But the work must progress!  :)  We have been able to find many people who are ready to hear the gospel.  I just love being a missionary!

It's weird to think that I've already been out for a little over a month.  Time sure does fly by when your having fun! :)  I really love the gospel so much!  It has changed me completely had made me into a better person.  I would just tell all of you to never loose your faith!  Life get's hard and many times we don't understand why things are happening to us. Just Keep going.  I know God will carry us through all of our struggles, pains, and conflicts!  I know he loves us so much and has prepared a way for us to return to live with the ones we love the most.  He will never give up on us and so we must never give up on him!  I love ya all so much!!  Keep going strong!

Love, Sister Tracy

Feb 4, 2011

February 4, 2011 - Letter

This week has been really good but also really cold!!!!!  It has been an average of -5 degrees all week!!!  I might not make it home cuz i think i'm going to freeze to death! ha ha  Other than the cold life has just been great!
We went to teach a lady named Norma last night.  She was a convert years ago but doesn't remember anything about the church.  As we were talking to her she just seemed luke-warm about us. But her daughters were soaking it all in!!!!  Her daughters are 16 and 13. Their phones even kept ringing and they just ignored them, they were so excited to hear about the gospel.  When we were trying to set up another time to see them. The oldest daughter Neira (pronounced Neida)  wanted us to come back so soon!  Ha It was just so great to see their excitement written all over their faces!  I love being a missionary! 

One thing that I have learned on my mission is to really follow the spirit.  Sometimes we ask ourselves if it's us or the holy ghost.  I have come to discover that it really doesn't matter. If it's a good thing just do it!  God will do the rest!  On Monday we went over to a referrals home.  We had all intentions to teach the couple, but as we were invited into their home we discovered that they were "celebrating" because the wife had gotten a new job.  They couple was semi-drunk. ha ha  we told them we would come back but they insisted that we teach them right then and pretty much dragged us inside.  As we told them about the gospel and about the church the couple had many questions.  Most of which I'm sure they didn't remember our answers to, but they had a friend over (who wasn't drinking) and he was sincerely interested.  He asked us about the book of Mormon, and told me he couldn't wait to hear more!  He asked his drunk friends if he could borrow their copy to read.  Well I whipped out a spare copy and told him that it was his.  His whole face was glowing!  We went over with intentions to teach a certain person, but as God would have it he placed their friend there at that precise time so that he could hear the message he had been waiting for.  God really does work in mysterious ways!

We are also teaching a part-member family.  The wife is a member and desperately wants to go through the temple.  Her husband was ify about getting baptized.  He felt like the previous missionaries were trying to shove it down his throat!  In our last lesson with him, you could see the change in him. We taught him about the plan of salvation!  He became so excited.  I feel like he is so close to being baptized!  We are going to challenge him next week to get baptized on Feb.26th!  I know that it will be because of the faith of his wonderful wife that he will get baptized!  She prays so much for him and is committed to never loose the gospel from her life, even if she has to do it alone.  I know God doesn't ever leave us alone. and I can see her husband coming around. I know that he has been touched by the things we have shared with him and because of it her sincere prayers will be answered!

Some times I see young men and even women who are questioning about going on a mission.  To the young men, I'd say just suck it up and go!!  ha ha And to the women I'd say that it is the most amazing thing you could ever do in your life!!!  but one thing that I would tell them is to just take that step.  Years ago I watched a movie about a woman who was an amazing diver!  She was training for the Olympics when she had an accident and became blind.  She knew how to dive and she knew what she had to do to make it perfect, but that fear of not being able to see below her was scary.  Eventually she got the courage to climb that huge ladder and dive.  She ended up winning a medal at the Olympics!!  I think that's how life is sometimes!  We know what we should do and how to do it, but we cant always see below us.  We know it's going to work out, and it may bring us eventually a Gold medal but talking that first blind step is hard.  We know where to start and how it will end...You just have to have the faith, and let God carry you in between.
I am so thankful for the support and the love that has been shown to me!!!  I love you all so much!  I am so thankfuly for your letters!  I really look forward to getting them.  I still pray for you everyday and hope everything is just going great!!!!  The church is still true! :)
Love ya forever!
Sister Tracy