Week 11 in the Utah Orem Mission

We went to Costa Vida as a zone before transfers happened.

We went to Costa Vida as a zone before transfers happened. I will miss Hermana Bonilla.

I love taking pictures of my favorite animal!

I love taking pictures of my favorite animal!

This week has been crazy, but we have seen miracles despite the stress.

Monday we visited the “D” family. They enjoyed their temple prep class on Sunday, and they had a few questions for us about what they learned. Afterwards, we shared the video “The Blessings of the Priesthood,” and after the video Hermana D turned to her husband and said that she wants to go to the temple. Hermano D said he wants to receive the priesthood and looks forward to that day when he can give blessings to his children and baptize them, but he feels that the path is difficult and he is not perfect, and he doesn’t want to receive it unworthily. We shared parts from President Eyring’s talk and President Monson’s talk. We invited them to start one step at a time, with prayers, reading the scriptures, going to church, etc, and testified of the power that will come into their lives as they do so. Hermana De La Cruz also said that she wants her husband to receive the priesthood and will support him in these efforts. As Hermana D offered the closing prayer, she began to cry as she expressed her gratitude for us in her life and prayed that the Lord would protect Hermana Bonilla in her travels. Tuesday morning we received priesthood blessings, and in them the Lord reminded us that changes are part of His plan for our growth. I miss Hermana Bonilla. She is the sweetest, and we went through so many things together. We are writing each other, and I look forward to hearing about those miracles she continues to see throughout her service in Saratoga Springs. The Lord’s work continues onward.

Now I am in another trio — Hermana Peterson is my new companion, and Hermana Segle is staying with us for a few days. Hermana Peterson is from a military family (Air Force) and is most recently from Nebraska. She is helping me realize that I can have fun while serving the Lord. She has also been helping me through this stressful week – she just gives me a hug and lets me cry on her shoulder.

Writing emails in Taco Amigo. Sister Richell and Sister Diuguid (our new Sister Training Leaders), me, Hermana Peterson [my new companion], and Hermana Segle.

Writing emails in Taco Amigo. Sister Richell and Sister Diuguid (our new Sister Training Leaders), me, Hermana Peterson [my new companion], and Hermana Segle.

Wednesday afternoon we in our new trio went and visited a sister. We read the first couple paragraphs from the Gospel Principles chapter on Faith in Jesus Christ. The sister shared with us her experiences with prayer and how she is now practicing her prayers every night with Leila (their little girl) before going to bed. She has faith in prayer and has seen blessings from it in her family, and she is excited to learn more and become better at saying prayers. She wants to do it. 🙂 We invited her to keep praying and to come to church.

Thursday evening Hermano Chacon went with us to visit a family, and they let us in. We shared the second to the last paragraph from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “Nadie Estuvo con Él,” and The father shared how he has seen the truth of that in his life. They shared their appreciation for our continued love, even though they have to do some things before they can let us come visit them more often. They appreciate that we are always there and love them and care for them — which we leave them notes and pray for them. Hermano Chacon invited them to the farewell of his son on the 20th and also talked to them about having their two youngest children blessed. I hope to one day go to the temple with them.

Saturday night we went with the Munoz family and visited a family, and they let us in! They thanked us for all our love, and expressed their desires to come back into activity. It’s just hard when they get out of habit. We shared Elder Holland’s words with them and testified of the power of the Atonement to help us start anew.

We found a mailbox with my family name: The Billings. I wonder if the family who lives here is a relative?

We found a mailbox with my family name: The Billings. I wonder if the family who lives here is a relative?

Sunday night we received a referral from a family, and we went right away and contacted them. The family has a son who is a minister, and for the next hour or so he went on preaching to us and telling us what he feels we believe and what he believes and such. When we tried sharing our testimonies with him, he wouldn’t let us go further than a few sentences without beginning to question us on what we were saying. It was hard to listen to all of that. As he was talking, I felt a great love for him, as the love God has for him, and many truths of the gospel came into my mind, and I felt a great surge within me testifying of the truthfulness of these restored gospel truths. Just that morning I had been reading the experience of Joseph Smith and had prayed pleading for a reaffirmation and strengthening of my testimony of his experience, and I felt that happen through this experience we had.

Afterwards, I felt sad for him, but I appreciate the testimony building I had even when he was trying to pull us down. I know the Gospel is true, not just because I have been taught it by my parents, but because I have sought the truth for myself and have asked the source of all truth, and the spirit has testified to my heart of the truth. The Truth has been restored to the earth once more. We have living prophets and apostles who hold the priesthood and direct Christ’s Church through revelation from Him. He is the Christ, and we are following Him. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He has prepared and spoken to His children throughout the ages and has guided them to write the Book of Mormon for us in this age. The Book of Mormon works hand in hand with the Bible, adding another witness of that Jesus truly is the Christ and helps us come to know Him and develop His character.

The ward missionaries threw a goodbye celebration for Hna Bonilla and we ate arrepas.

The ward missionaries threw a goodbye celebration for Hermana Bonilla and we ate arrepas. Hermana Chacon told us she can teach us how to make them.

I feel all stressed because this morning we moved houses, and now we are living outside of our zone. We have to ride our bikes to go to our area. It’s pretty crazy. But I’m going to continue walking forward trusting in the Lord.

God’s love is real!

¡Cristo vive! Lo sé y lo testifico ¡con todo mi corazón!

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