Monday, January 6, 2014

First P-day in First Area...

Raini's Mission President sent us a short "generic" letter last week after she had arrived with these pics.
But, more importantly, we received Raini's first letter from the mission field today!! She was able to get online for a while this morning, and if you don't already know, she's also allowed to FB for proselyting purposes. So cool!!
Also, Just to update everyone on her new area and some of the demographics:

Hermana Weller is assigned to serve in a small town (pop: 4,000) called Wallace, in the middle of nowhere, NC. The main state highway (2-lanes) goes through the town and turns into "Main St." for a while, then picks up again after you blink. Wallace is a farming town and has a pretty hefty population of Hispanic people. The Church is very small there (though there are many other big Christian denominations like your typical southern towns) and it seems Raini and her companion will be working mainly with the Spanish-speaking folks.

Hello! Oh man. I am so glad today is P-Day!

So this week has been pretty great:) I love it her in the little town of Wallace. It is SO small haha.. very very country. Luckily we do have a car so we are actually able to get around.. Our area is HUGE geographically but people that came to church.. very small. The ratio of people who come to church to people on the branch roster is about 1:3. So we feel a huge responsibility for us here to get those inactive members back to church!! There are SO many. We have been trying to get out and see them during the time we have to go out and do stuff, but we have only actually talked with a couple of them. And most of them are hispanic! woohoo!
We opened this area for sisters--it's been an area for elders (the male missionaries are called "Elder ___"), so this is also why it has been a bit of a tough week..we had to start from ground zero of knowing absolutely no one. 
It was so great though...when we got to our cute little house and it was all decorated from the ward with a banner and some chocolate and Martinellis! And then we got all settled in and then a young couple from the ward came by and were like, "oh come on over and eat dinner with us!" 

There is just one branch here in our area. It is combined Spanish and English.. which is kinda tough because I think there is a bit of an imaginary boundary drawn with the people... the Hispanics have translation throughout sacrament meeting. I guess it used to be two separate branches but it wasn't working very well so they combined. There is seriously so much work to be done here it is great!! 

Lots of "work to do", like the stories below indicate:

So let me tell you a little bit about some of the highlights of this week. Oh. before I start. My companion is Hermana Moore and she has been out a year this month. Although this is the first time she has ever been a Spanish sister... she is not fluent, but she grew up going to a bilingual elementary school.  She used to be fluent, so it is just a matter of having it come back to her. But that has been tough because neither of us know exactly if we are saying things correctly or not! haha.
So, we went out one day to visit some of the less-active members of the Church.. we went out to Rose Hill "home of the worlds largest frying pan" (which I didn't get to see :/ yet.) and started knocking on doors. No one would answer their door!!  We could even hear people inside and they didn't answer the door. Then! we got to this one lady, Hermana ___'s house. Luckily, we had a member of the ward with us who is 19 and a convert for about 2 years.. she is Honduran! so she speaks Spanish! haha. Hermana ____ answered the door and she let us right on in! She only speaks Spanish. So we started just talking to her about her family and then I asked, "Can we share a scripture with you?" She said yes. So, I opened up to Alma 32 and read verse 21. 

"21 And now as I said concerning faith—afaith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye bhope for things which are cnot seen, which are true."

I asked her how her faith was lately and how she would define faith.. we discussed faith. Then she shared how she loved the Church when she used to come but then someone in her family died and then she started falling away.

But. Let me tell you. I know that the gift of tongues is real. Wow. When we were there I felt the spirit SO strongly as I was talking about having faith in Jesus Christ. I could feel the Lord using me as an instrument in his hands to speak to her. And after we left I was just like woah! I taught in Spanish.. and although I didn't understand everything she was saying back to me, ___ the 19 year old member with us, was there to help us understand what she was saying and she was helping us teach her! The Lord has prepared people like her to be here to help us help his lost sheep!
And, ___ told me that my Spanish was really good. So I was so happy.. all this work for the last 6 weeks in Mexico finally got to be used!

Next. Yesterday was such a good day. SO GOOD. It was Fast Sunday first of all.. (once/month we purposefully go without food and water to practice the Law of Sacrifice and to draw closer to the Lord; it is alos our Testimony meeting each month on these Sundays) which is always great. But also we had an investigator there with us! The other day we went to this house of a previous investigator and her nephew answered the door. He told us that he had met with her with the missionaries in the past but lost interest. His aunt was super interested, tho! Her only issue was baptism.. she felt her baptism a long time ago in a different church should be fine. So, at church we had a Sunday School lesson about the importance of the Priesthood and it clicked for her!! She got it! 

Next. Testimony meeting was so good! I loved it. And when they blessed the sacrament they did it both in Spanish and English.. and when I heard it in Spanish this time (even though they always did it in Spanish in the MTC in Mexico) I got this overwhelming feeling of love for the Hispanic people. Mom, I remember you telling me about this on your mission! But honestly. I suddenly just have this love for them and all I want is to speak Spanish fluently so I can go find those who need us..who need the Savior in their life!! 

Next..there is this cute older couple, Brother and Sister _____. They are like my new adopted grandma and grandpa haha. They speak both Spanish and English, but it was so cute during testimony meeting.. Sister _____ got up and said, "I have been really sick. But I didn't want to die right now..I'm not ready. Because I want to be a missionary!! Quiero a ser una misionara!" 
So, then we came by their house and she was just so happy because now she can be a missionary with us there now she can go out with us to help bring lost people back.. I just started crying because she is so ready to help us and go out with us and do this work that needs to be done so badly!

Next. After church we studied and then went to visit some more people. This time someone answered the door! Sister ____, a member of the church who we are hoping will come back soon, was taking down her Christmas ornaments so we offered to come in and help her.. she has two little girls but her husband is not a member and he is not very into the church. She told us she has been wanting to come back lately!! 

Finally.. ugh I don't have a lot of time but this is the best story of the week!!

After we left Sis. _____ house we went to the next people on our list but apparently it's not their house anymore. haha. But it was an interested family.  We started speaking Spanish to them and they let us in. They are the ____ family. It was just me and my companion this time though so we had to just go for it by ourselves in Spanish!! It went well.. we didnt teach a whole lot of stuff, but we are going back on Saturday to teach a really solid lesson to the whole family!:) They seemed receptive and I am just so excited. We were so amazed and just so grateful when we left. We were amazed at what just happened. How did we find them? How did we teach in Spanish and actually have them want us to come back!?? hahah..we know it's the Work of the Lord. He is preparing people who need His gospel and we are here for them! So that was the miracle of the week. I am so excited to teach them. Pray for them, please!

The members of the ward are so excited to have us here.. so many people at church told us yesterday that they want to help us get people back to church and go on exchanges with us! So it is great here. There is much work to be done.
Ok. Today is SO cold. I am probably gonna die soon haha.. but its all good. This little town is so adorable! 
I love you guys soooo much and I miss you tons. But now  you can send me letters throughout the week! I will write you on 

I know this is the true Church of Christ! and I know I am a child of God. This week, try and pray as a family during family prayer for someone who you can share the gospel with.. also you might try and make a family mission plan with goals on how to help bring others to the Lord. :)

Con Amor,
Hermana Weller 

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