July 29, 2014
MORE MIRACLES and MORE PEOPLE to pray for!!!!! Haha!!!! THANK YOU!!!! LOVE YOU!!!!!
So, to answer Vallan’s question right off the bat, we weren’t able to find D this week, but we are still working with her!!! Keep praying, I feel that she can for sure progress and be baptized in the coming weeks with lots of care and LOVE!!!!
So, let’s just go on talking a little more about how I LOVE setting goals and seeing miracles and tender mercies from Heavenly Father!!! So like I told you last week we worked like crazy and we were Blessed with 72 lessons. This week was a little less crazy, so we naturally had less lessons, but we still had more than we had been having in weeks past. So we have those standards of excellence here in the Mission, how many contacts we should have each day and lessons with a member each week at least. And the goal is to have that and go past it. Well the standard of excellence of having people in church is 8, 8 investigadores. And I have NEVER had that in my Mission!!! NEVER. We usually have 3 to 5 on a good week and 6 if it is great. Well, WE HAD 9!!!!!!! What a Blessing and Miracle from our hard work!!!!!! It was completely The Lord, we seriously did nothing, well we passed for people, a couple of members passed for people, but we didn’t actually end up bringing people to church ourselves. But when we got to church there on the second bench was our Faithful recent convert with her neighbor and 5 children!!!! We have contacted them before, but always said that she attended another church and was not interested in hearing our message. But turns out she had a bad experience with their pastor in her church and Hna. M. invited her to come to church with her!!!! She came and LOVED it!!!! She felt the LOVE from the members and we were SO IN AWE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO GRATEFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously it was like the happiness that comes with a bauptism!!!!!!!!! Especially since I know they will be bauptized this next month!!!! Please pray for them!!!!!!!!!!! So the Mom’s name is E.S., but goes by S. and she has 3 kids that are old enough to be bauptized, A. (12), J. (11) y E.(8). The other two M. and S. are 5 and 2. It was amazing, she LOVED the church, she felt good and at the end we asked when we could visit her and she said, today! So we visited her later and we were thinking that maybe her husband wouldn’t be interested in listening to us as is the case a lot here. The wife wants to listen but the husband doesn’t. So we entered into her house, which is just this little home made of tin walls and a dirt floor. And her husband was PILAS!!!! He didn’t come to church but he too wanted to listen and they are SO POSITIVE!!!!!!!!! Please pray for them!!!!!!! Their last name is C.M. It would be GREAT if you could take their names to the temple!!!! Oh and how all y’all doing on your temple attendance? Every week at least, right?!!!! Please enjoy the temple for me!!!! I miss it SO MUCH!!!!!!! But I am very happy to be Serving the Lord with all my heart, might, mind and strength in the Service of saving the living right now!!!!
I LOVE YALL SO MUCH!!!!!! I am SO THANKFUL for all of your prayers. I know they make the difference, I know I would not be here, having such marvelous experiences if it weren’t for y’alls Fe, because you kept it strong when mine was being tested and I felt was broken!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for ALL OF YOUR LOVE!!!!!!! I know I will never be able to repay my Savior for all that He has done for me so that I will be able to be with you all for Eternity!!!!!! I LOVE our Savior and Redeemer Jesuscristo, I know that it is only by Him and His selfless LOVE that I walk each day and that I can even breathe, that I can repent each day and become better!!!!! That we ALL can!!!! And that is the message I am here to give!!!!
So I read a GREAT two verses the other day in Alma 4:13-14. The Nefitas began to be prideful and it was hindering the growth of the church, but through all that, there was still the members that were fiel and they kept working diligently, even though they had all the reason to be upset because they knew of and had complete Fe in Christ and His work, His Mission to save us all!!!! I LOVE it!!! I think it is the perfect example of Fe and HOPE!!!! We all need to walk every day with Hope in Christ in each footstep and that Hope comes from all our steps of Fe and obedience, all of our good works before the Lord!!!!! Don’t worry, be Happy, do the work of the Lord and continue on strong!!!!!
Well I am SO THANKFUL I am here Serving a Mission, I am SO GRATEFUL to be here in my area with my wonderful AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL companion!!!! I am So
GRATEFUL to be building eternal relationships, both with all those at home and all these precious spirits here!!!! I know we will have a FANTASTICO time in the Eternities!!!!! Live life in the way of the Lord, for I know He will come again and if we do all He asks cheerfully, we will see the miracles of change in our lives and when He is here it will be a Glorious and divine reunion!!!!!
I LOVE my area!!! We are doing so GREAT here and I AM SO THANKFUL!!!! Each day and its miracles is the pure LOVE of God being poured out upon His chosen people!!!! The Bishop mentioned last week that the goal of bauptisms this year for the ward is 48. Right now we have 15. I figure with A LOT of prayer, hard work, Fe and patience and LOVE for the people we can complete that goal with 7 bauptisms every month!!! So let’s do it!!!! I don’t know if I will still be here by the end of the year, but I am going to work every day like I am going to be and we will see where God sends me!!! I will be happy to go wherever it is He wants me!!! I will go and do what the Lord commands!!!!!
Well, I gotta go, but I LOVE YALL SO MUCH!!!!!! THANK YOU FOR ABSOLUTLEY
Hna Tarah Ray Sherrod!!!!!!!
July 22, 2014
So, this week was REALLY, REALLY GREAT!!! Our amazing and fearless and maybe just a little bit crazy Lideres de Zona put the goal to have 100 lessons for each companionship in our district which includes them. Well at first, I will be honest, I was not totally okay with this idea. We were worried that we would just be teaching lessons, not people. And well that would be bad. So,with a lot of prayer and discussion, Hna. Blackmer and I decided we were going to try to do it. I will go ahead and tell you straight out right now, that no, we did not have 100 lessons this week. We did however have 72. More than we have ever had in this area since I have been here; and as we were told by the zone leaders, it was the most the area has had for a long time in history too!!! I was VERY GRATEFUL!!! I have found that when the lideres (or life) places a high goal, from our bugs eye view seems to high, we just have got to break it down into doable parts. Like 14 lessons each day, or at least 2 lessons every hour. That is doable. It requires ALOT of work, and ALOT of concentration on your goals and the people and their needs, but I testify that God lives and as you do all you can, all that is required of you, He will ALWAYS make up for the rest and you will have peace in knowing that you can do all things with Him. It felt really good this week to come home tired each night, to feel that we had worked, and really worked. And I found that EVERYTHING else went well because we stretched ourselves. We were able to meet almost all of our other goals. We came really close on the ones we didn’t meet yet, and most importantly, we found more positive people to teach and we now have a good pool of progressing investigadores!!! Such miracles and mercy the Lord gives to us!! I feel even more love for the people as I feel the Lords, Love and gratitude for me and my companion and our district as we show love and gratitude for Him and His Atoning Sacrifice by Serving with all of our hearts, might, minds and strength!! I still feel like I have a LONG way to go until I am a completely a consecrated missionary, there is still SO MUCH to work on and improve, but that is what makes it fun, growing better each day! It is fun to put goals and then WORK for those goals! I Hope that is a lesson I never forget!
The thing I liked the most of this week is how the time becomes more precious, more sacred. I learned that as we looked for more lessons, I got more changes to testify of Christ, better opportunities to be a true representative of Him!! (After the first 6 months) the Mission really flies by! I am SO GRATEFUL I still have a decent chunk of time left!! And I am
SO GRATEFUL for every opportunity I have to testify, and the cool thing is
I don’t have to stand there and wait for them to come, I get to seek them out, dig them up, it is only up to my dedication how much closer I get to grow to the Lord throughout my Mission, by how much I seek and cherish the opportunities to Testify that He LIVES and LOVES US!!! I know that God LIVES!!! I know that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for us and I know that by Him and ONLY by Him can we return to live with our Heavenly Father for ETERNITY!!!! I am SO GRATEFUL that for at least a year and a half, that is my only job, to teach and testify of Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer!!! Come unto Him; be changed for the better by Him!!!
It for me is really hard to change. It hurts to stretch and it hurts to grow,but that is the only way and I testify that He takes the pain away. God will not let us suffer one moment longer than needed for our Eternal Salvacion. Just remember in those hard times that Heavenly Father is the teacher and it’s a lesson worth learning. Be obedient with exactness and as you do that you can stand cheerfully, peacefully in Fe to wait and just see the miracles of God!!!
We had a great chance to practice that this week as our two bauptisms came late to church. In order to be bauptized in this Mission, you have to come to church at least 3 times within a span of 2 months and you need to be there for the part of the Sacrament. Well, this week we were preparing diligently Javier and his little brother Josue to be bauptized and this last Sunday would be their 3rd attendance. Well they came just after the Sacrament. So we called the Zone leaders to see if there would be a chance still that they could be bauptized, because they have been attending the church their wholes lives with their aunt and uncle, it just wasn’t until now that their Mom, Dalila, had given them permission to be bauptized and we started teaching them and counting them as attending. So the Zone leaders said that they didn’t have too much hope that we would get permission to baptize them, but that we could have the Bishop call Presidente Markham. Well my sweet companion was a little worried and I just felt peace, cheerful even, I felt that I knew they would be baptized. That we were all on the same team here, that if Heavenly Father was willing to have them baptized this Sunday and not wait until the next, that they would be baptized. And that is when we got the miracle! We received permission to baptize them and it was one of the MOST powerful baptismal services I have EVER attended!!! Their Mom Dalila came and she had tears in her eyes, and well we don’t feel that that was just a coincidence, she felt the Spirit too!! We are Hoping, praying and WORKING diligently that in the next few weeks she too will be bauptized!! She hasn’t come to church yet, but I have Fe she will this Sunday for the confirmacion! Please pray for her!! The special thing too is that her husband past away, so the Plan of Salvacion will really help them as a family. Please pray that the Spirit will prepare her to feel the truth and LOVE from Heavenly Father for her as we teach it to her this week!!! We were wanting to somehow show her the Mormon Message of Essa’s Story if we can get it and they have it in Spanish. I think it would be really powerful for her and for me to bare my testimony!!! So yeah, just a shout out to HOW MUCH I LOVE THESE BOYS!!!!
JAVIER Y JOSUE!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!!! ALL I WANT TO DO IS HUG THEM, BUT I CAN’T!!!!!! Sorry,just a little venting from an obedient Missionary....
Hahaha!!!! Seriously though, this little Josue reminds me SO MUCH of Kannon
Man!!!! SO MUCH!!! He was even climbing up the door the other day!!! And if we’re not teaching him, he is out playing fut (soccer)!!! I really can’t wait until they can meet in the future!!! And it is SO SWEET to see how these brothers LOVE each other, it too reminds me of Vallan and Kannon!!! I am going to come back to visit, just so I can give them hugs!!! And then I am going to write them all through their Missions. They are going to change lives!!!! They are totally little stripling warriors!!! The Spirit is really strong with them!!! Okay, ya praising completed. I just feel so proud of them!!!
It says in our Mission calls that we are promised to experience more
Happiness than we ever have yet experienced before! And even though I can tell you I have had a heck of lot of EXTEMELY Happy moments with my family that it is really hard to compare, I can tell you that that promise is being fulfilled!! And I know that only more Happiness waits as I continue on here in the Mission, and in life as I am reunited with my family here on
Earth and then more in the future reunited Eternally with all those who have passed on, and with all of those a taught here and their familias!!!!
I just want to say HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! (Family and friends)!!! I could never of had this much Happiness and all these GREAT experiences if y’all hadn’t prayed and fasted SO MUCH with ALL your Fe for me!!! I am SO GRATEFUL for ALL you ALL have done for me!!! Especially you Mommy and Daddio!!!! I LOVE YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!! Thank you for being the PERFECT parents for me!!!! THANK YOU for teaching me to stand True and Strong!!!! And THANK YOU my AMAZING sibilings (and yes Morgan, that now includes you!!) for ALL YOUR LOVE AND PRAYERS!!!! I miss you all!!!! Have a GREAT WEEK!!!!!
Hna Tarah Ray Sherrod!!!!!!
July 15, 2014
Okay, so this week has been REALLY good. We didn’t get our goal of 25 with a member, we only had 17, but I am grateful for that 17!!! I know this week we can reach that 25!!! We will do it!!!
Hna. Blackmer and I are doing GREAT!!! We are really open and are able to talk really well with each other, so I have absolutely NO complaints about her! She is a GREAT leader and doing well being a senior companion and retention leader!!! And I am happy to help her always with whatever she needs, so I know we will be having more trials of Fe and more success!!!
We had a few AWESOME miracles this week!!! Last Sunday, I contacted a girl in the street. She was really open and nice and said that we could come by the next Sunday and share more!!! Turns out she is old friends with the return Missionary that just came home. So we took him and another member with us to visit
her!!! It was a GREAT lesson with the Spirit really strong!!! She was participating, commenting and even taking notes!!! She is the CUTEST!!! She is 20ish... I cant remember her exact age right now... I will get on that! But it was really cool teaching with the members. That is why we need lessons with members!!!! It is something powerful when your friend can teach and testify with such power and you know that they care about you and so the Spirit of truth is right there testifying to every word!!! I really have GREAT Hope that she will progress!!!! But of course we need to have those GREAT prayers of Fe to help her along. When we challenged her to be bauptized she said she couldn't accept the date yet, because she doesn't feel she will be able to change religions. But oh how we know how the The Lord has all power to soften and change the hearts of any who will come unto him!!! So the battle and hard work against Satan is on!!! And we know who will conquer!!! Miracles happen everyday!!!
So then we also found a REALLY positive hermana. We found her last week and just had a second visit with her last night!!! Way to go following the Spirit on a unplanned visit, Hna. Blackmer!!! The first visit we taught her all of lesson 1, about the Restoration and Joseph Smith. She was really humble and accepted all we taught!!! People like that are ALWAYS an example to me to be more willing to learn, to be more teachable, more humble, more Christ like!!! Last night she said, I will be honest I have not read in my pamphlet, but I did pray, every night. We taught her over a week ago, so the fact that she has been praying to know it was true every night is pretty impressive!!! She said that she hadn't received her answer yet, but she knows that that is because she hasn't read yet!!! PILAS!!!! She wants to know its true!!! I know she will receive her answer SOON!!!! She said she was going to read last night!!! She remembered all we had taught
her about prayer and how we pray to the Father, not to Christ and she said she really felt a difference, she feels more direct talking to Him and feels her prayers are more full of love and stronger!!!! I am SO GRATEFUL FOR HER!!!!
July 15, 2014
Hermana F. is AMAZING, she lives in a house, more of a shack really... Made out of tin walls a roof, but she feels good when we teach her and really feels love in the church. I know that the Gospel is for everyone, EVERYONE. It doesn't matter if we are old or young, live in a mansion or under a tree, the LORD LOVES US!!!! He created EACH OF US INDIVIDUALLY and put us here on Earth where we are meant to be, to have the best option of growing our Fe in Him and receiving His Eternal Blessings!!!! Trust me, wherever you are in you life, make the best of it, as long as you are living the Gospel, you are where you are suppose to be and the Lord will always lead you to where He wants you!!! If you don't like where you are at, don't give up, make it better and don't worry, just be Happy!!! That is probably the lesson I have learned MOST on my Mission and I am SO THANKFUL, I hope I NEVER forget it!!!! The Lord Blesses us SO MUCH!!!! Be GRATEFUL for everyone of them!!!! Hermana Blackmer had this BRILLIANT idea of putting a List of Miracles in our house. We have a paper that has a scripture from Moroni and everyday we write something that happened that we were really grateful for, a miracle from Heavenly Father!!!! It has really helped me to be more grateful and see the Blessings and hands of the Lord in our lives each day!!! It is really fun! Y'all should try it!!!
July 15, 2014
And that is sweet Hermana A.at her bauptism!!!
This picture does NOT do justice to how pretty she is!!! She actually has
done work as a model! She is the sweetest!!! She has a lot of friends that
drink and smoke and party and she was really sweet and asked for our
counsel of whether or not she should go to a party last weekend, because
she figured there would be alcohol, we taught her about how to listen to
the Spirit and that there are some activities and places that the Spirit
won’t follow if you go, so we shared how she can use the Gift of the Spirit
to avoid, physical and Spiritual danger!!!
Me and my pizza the Elders were SO sweet to surprise me with on my
July 15, 2014
I did feel the earthquake. It was pretty strong. It woke us up at like 5 in
the morning, but nothing fell down or anything, nothing broke. I was up on the
top bunk and my companion was in the other twin bed we have in our room and it
was really a blessing, because I was totally calm, maybe a bit too much...
I just woke up and was laying there for a second like, what? And then Hermana
Blackmer was like, there is an earthquake. I just said calmly, yeah there
is.... And after a second I asked, what are we suppose to do if there
is an earthquake? And she was like, um, I think were suppose to go outside.
Isn't that what you do when there are earthquakes? I was like, well I
know in school they told us to get under desks and stand in door ways... But
keep in mind I still am not even sitting up in my bed at this point. I am
still just laying there. So I was like, well what should we do? And then it
stopped and well I hadn't even looked at the clock to know what time it was
yet, so it stopped and we just went back to sleep. Yup, pretty much. Like I
said it was a really big Blessing. It didn't do any damage in my area, but
in other areas, it did. It was pretty strong, but I didn't feel scared at
all, you know me, I thought it was a really cool experience! Not as cool as
petting a jaguar, but you know! Yeah, I think the Spirit is just really
strong with us, so He calmed us. I didn't feel in danger and I have NO DOUBT
that God protects us. As long as we are exactly obedient to His
commandments we will be protected and if something happens, its because we
need to experience it. Well, I hope that helps you feel better! All safe
here in Guatemala!!!