Monday, February 18, 2013

Missionaries Increasing

Hello Everyone!
This week has been awesome, we accomplished a lot.
On Thursday I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish and I have to say I think it's more true in Spanish than in English.  I loved the experience and I love the Book of Mormon, and can't wait to do it again!
On Friday we had zone conference and it was very spiritual and uplifting. We were notified that right now our mission is about at 200 elders and sisters and it will be going up permanently to 250 elders and sisters.  The additional 50 missionaries will be 20 English elders, 20 English sisters, and 10 Spanish sisters.  There is no increase in Spanish elders but that will make the few of us there are that much more special.  It was really interesting because the number of sisters in the mission has already increased a lot and we could see at zone conference.  There were 4 zones together and about 1/3 of the missionaries there were sisters.  Zone Conference was great and we learned a lot.
Yesterday we had an awesome lesson with our investigator Heriberta.  She has been taught for over a year and yesterday we decided to take her to see a baptism at the Mormon center in a YSA ward even though it was in English.  The baptism was great a very spiritual.  She didn't understand most of it but she did feel the spirit.  Afterwards we went out and started talking in front of the temple.  We talked about how she felt and helped her recognize the spirit and challenged her to be baptized.  She said she still didn't know and her doubt is that her kids don't like church very much yet and she has to force them to come and she feels like if she got baptized she would keep having to force them and wouldn't like that.  At the same time she recognized that she needs to set the example and take that first step.  We decided to say a prayer right there and Heriberta said an awesome, very heartfelt prayer.  I suggested that we start walking around the temple in silence and listen for the spirit and see if it says anything to us before we got back around to the front.  When we were about 3/4 of the way done a YSA girl came up to us and even though she didn't speak Spanish started walking with us and trying to say a few words to Heriberta.  She kept looking back and forth between Heriberta, my companion, and I until right when we had almost returned to the same spot that we were before.  All of a sudden the girl grabbed Heriberta's hand and said "come with me".  She led her to the doors of the temple were the stood for a few seconds and then started to walk back to us in front.  When the passed by the big fountain she stuck her hand in the water and said "I love touching the water, put your hand in and feel how nice it is".  Then they came back and the girl gave Heriberta a hug and said she loved her and then took off for the YSA fireside that was about to start.  I thought it was an amazing answer to Heriberta's prayer, and that it was definitely interesting that she led her to the water and told her to touch it.  Heriberta's response to all that was that she thinks Heavenly Father wants her to make the decision and that she needs to just decide.  She said she was going to dream on it and tonight we are going back to see what she decides.  I can't wait to see!
We also had a crazy experience this week.  I was on exchanges with one of our zone leaders and we were going to find an new address because one of our investigators was moving.  It was the middle of the day and when we finally found it no one was home.  We decided we had driven all that way for a reason so we decided to knock around to find out who was there that we needed to find. We decided to knock on the neighbor's door.  When we knocked on the door I saw car rims and tires, bikes, and Spanish beer cans so I began to get excited.  The door opened and it was a Spanish lady.  She immediately invited us in but there was no guy in the house so we couldn't.  We talked for a little bit and I felt prompted to ask her if she knew any members of the church.  She told us "yeah, my sister in law is a member".  It turns out her sister in law is Heriberta! It was a crazy coincidence.  She had already seen how much Heriberta and her kids had changed since they started coming to church and already had a testimony of the power of the gospel.  Since then we have started teaching her and her husband and kids.  They read a little bit of the Book of Mormon and weren't able to pray but felt the peace of it as they read.  I can't wait to keep teaching them and help them progress.
I got a call yesterday and found out that Juan Carlos is getting baptized this Friday back in Lodi.  I was just there for a baptism last week and I am very happy to get to go back again.  I am seeing a lot of blessings in this work in seeing lots of people I care about come into the waters of baptism.  I just am getting happier happier seeing all these changes people are making in their lives.
That's all for this week.
Les Quiero,
Elder Gaskill

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