Monday, August 31, 2015

"I'm Beautiful Because My Mission President Says So"

Hello all!
Ah! I cannot get over how amazing this week was. We were able to meet with quite a few former investigators, and with a couple of them, we have return appointments. All throughout my mission, my testimony of the Lord preparing His people has increased. He is preparing people to hear the message of the Restored Gospel, and to accept  it.

Friday, we had a most AMAZING Sisters Conference. We heard from President and Sister Slaughter, as well as the lead Sister Training Leaders, and some of the other sisters in the mission. The spirit was so strong, and you could just feel the love that our leaders have for us.

President Slaughter began by talking about beauty. He told us we are all beautiful. When he was talking about the beauty we have, he began to tear up... Which is a rare sight. Never before in my mission have I seen him cry. He said sometimes we don't see that we are beautiful because we "aspire to the honor of men", and use the standards the world has set for us. We become enslaved to the definitions of the world. But this should not happen. We are agents. we are not objects that the world can define.

He then talked about what things are the most beautiful.
"How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel and bring glad tidings of peace.
"Have ye received his image in your countenance?"
--Beauty of Holiness ( 1 Chronicles 16:29, Psalms 29:2 96:9 )
for this one, he had a picture of the former Young Women General presidency. They just have this glow. This beauty of holiness. They might not be considered "beautiful" to the standards that the world has set, but they are truly beautiful.

President Slaughter doesn't want us to quote him, but to rather quote scriptures. But on Friday he did give us permission to quote him on one thing. "I'm beautiful, because my mission President says so"

Sister Slaughter talked about our purpose here. We are here that we might have joy. Eternal joy. Joy in the ups, in the downs, in the midst of everything we go through in this life. Sometimes to have this joy, we need to change perspective a bit. We need to have a positive outlook, and see the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us.

The other trainings we received from the LSTL's and other Sisters were amazing too. I'll tell you about them in another letter, at another time.

After finishing with the Conference, we were able to do a session in the temple with President and Sister Slaughter. Being in the temple with them was so amazing. Having the time to sit in the Celestial Room with them, and the other Sister Missionaries I have gotten to know on the mission was so amazing. The temples truly are the houses of the Lord, and we can feel so much peace and comfort there. They are wonderful sources of answers, as well.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a fantastic week, full of miracles.


Monday, August 24, 2015

24 Agosto 2015

Hola! Como están??

Well, this week was transfer week. Can you believe that???? This last transfer just flew by so fast! Time flies when you're having fun doing the Lord's work, I guess. Jaja. But yeah. I stayed here in Lake Austin C, but I received a new companion! Hermana Cannon is my new companion! Hoorah! She is from American Fork. She is super great! We met when we were both down on the border--I was in Eagle Pass, and she was in Del Río. We never had the opportunity to work with each other there, but Hermana Cannon did give some wonderful trainings in Zone meetings. And then, when I got up here to Austin, she and Hermana Vorwaller were my Sister Training leaders, and I got to go on an exchange with Hermana Cannon. So, we've pretty much just followed each other around. Jaja. Fun stuff!

So this week has been really great. I have loved every minute of it!
We were out in Manor this last Tuesday, going through some potentials and formers, and we went by one, Eric. His dad let us in, and we started talking with him and his older daughter. Soon, the mom and other son came home, and joined us as we started talking about how they have seen the blessings from Heavenly Father in their lives. We soon started talking about how Heavenly Father shows us His love, and blesses us through His prophets. They love the bible, and the history that is there. They want to do the best they can to follow Jesus Christ. We have another appointment with them this coming Thursday.

So as part of my studies, I am reading through the Book of Mormon, in Spanish. It has been really wonderful to read it in a different language, and even to understand it a little better. This morning, I read in Mosiah 28 and 29. In chapter 28, it talks about how the sons of Mosiah wanted to go and teach the gospel to their brethren, the Lamanites. Of this we read, "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish". Even the Lamanites, who hated them and wanted to kill them. They knew that they were also sons and daughters of God, and deserved a chance to change and learn the truth. "And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them." The Spirit of the Lord can change us so drastically. Before, Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah were the "vilest of sinners", but through their effort and the way the Spirit worked upon them, they were able to change, and all became some of the greatest missionaries we read about  in the Book of Mormon. Their example is amazing. This transfer, and for the rest of my mission, really, I want to focus on becoming more like Ammon, Amulek, and the other great amazing missionaries we read about. Those who were strong in the Lord, and worked for the rest of their lives to accomplish His work.

I love you all so much. I hope you are all healthy and doing well. :)

Hermana Dean

Aww. Cuties. I'm gonna keep you.

​I wonder how long that drive was...

Monday, August 17, 2015

17 August 2015

Hola Todos!! 

How are you all doing? This week has been pretty good.
We have been searching for a family to teach. We did have a lesson with the Raudales Family. That was really good. They still haven't come to church though. So, for our next lesson, we are going to have a church tour with them. They are so great. I know this gospel will bless their lives. They just need to act on it. :) They really are so great, and they have SOOOO many family members. I hope we can help them come closer to Christ.

SO. This week is transfer week! Gahh! Where has the time gone?? But. They are changing how they let us know about it. Instead of calling each of the missionary companionships the Sunday before transfers, they are now just sending out one email on Tuesday at 5 ish with all the information on who is staying and who is leaving. So. I won't know until then. (Since we have our ipads now, we can check our email any day during the week, but only can respond on Mondays.)  So. Next Monday, I'll for sure let you know. :) 

Ahh. So, on Tuesday, we got a call from Elder Presser, our Vehicle coordinator. He told us that our gas card had been compromised, and that we couldn't use it. He will be getting us our new card on Thursday(this coming one), and until then, we would have to use our Zone Leaders' card or another missionary's card. We had enough gas to get us through to Saturday, and we asked the Zone Leaders if we could use their gas card to go fill up, but they didn't have theirs either, because their car was in the shop. Oops. Bad on our part for not checking sooner. So we were trying to figure out another person. We were going to meet up with the Mt. Bonnell Sisters up in Pflugerville, but then, Hallelujah! The moving Elders called us and said they were at our apartment to pick up our old mattresses. So, we met up with them, and then they helped us fill our car up with gas. Hoorah! 

We are also able to use Duolingo on our Ipads!! hooray! I love it. It helps a lot with vocabulary and retaining all the stuff I have learned. It has been really great. I am so very grateful for the tools Heavenly Father has given us to help the work move forward! I love you!

I love you all so much! I hope you are having a good last few weeks of summer. Gahh! Where has the time gone??
I love you!
Hermana Dean

That Texas Pride....

Monday, August 10, 2015

10 Agosto 2015

Hola todos!! 

This week was pretty great. We had a lot of super fun adventures. Right now, we are really trying to find more people to teach. We are praying and working to be able to find a family. I know with out a doubt that there are famlies here that Heavenly Father is preparing people for us to be able to teach.,.. we just have to find them..

So, we got new mattresses. Hallelujah! They are so nice. But it was really funny. The moving Elders didn't have a key to get into our apartment, so they just left them out front with a pass along card stuck to them that said "For the Sister Missionaries, Do not take" we laughed pretty hard about it, and then we played "The Missionary and the Pea" jaja. Good times. 

We also helped Enedina paint her living room. It was so much fun! 

Also, we had Zone Meeting this last Friday, and President talked about our nature. That as we are, we are lost, fallen, sinners. But through the atonement if Jesus Christ, we can overcome our natural man and become saints in Him. He also talked about how we know if we have been forgiven. Now, a lot of people think you are forgiven if you can feel the spirit in your life, which isn't necessarily true. Yes, when you are doing good things, you feel the spirit. But sinners feel the spirit. That doesn't mean they have been forgiven though. In D&C we read that if "a man repenteth of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord remember them no more." So once we have repented, we are forgiven. Ok well then how do we repent? The next verse tells us. "By this Ye shall know if a man has repenteth of his sins, he will confess them and forsake them". That is it. It isn't a big long process. I think as humans, we have a tendency to complicate things. "Oh it can't be that easy"... I have said that to myself many times. But it really is that easy. We are the ones who complicate things. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is easy. Changing our nature can be hard at times, but it isn't impossible.

I hope you are all having a fabulous week!

I'll talk to ya'll next week!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Get Thee Hence, Satan

Subject line--one of Hermana Garner's favorite sayings. She tells it to me all the time.... Like when I offer her a donut. Doesn't she know if one companion eats a donut, so does the other so they balance each other out? Jaja. Good times. We have a great companionship. 

So this week! It was great, and it was also not so great. I'll start with the not so great. We had to drop Gloria this week. She just isn't progressing. She stopped reading in the Book of Mormon, and hasn't been to church since I have been here. She was supposed to get baptized in June, but then the missionaries found out she wasn't married, but is living with her "husband", as she calls him. She says he doesn't want to get married, and she doesn't want to leave him, because they have been together for 22 years. She just told us she would go to another church and tell them she wants to get baptized even though she isn't married. I just wanted to cry! She had completely lost her testimony of the Restoration. It is so sad! We will continue to pray for her, but we won't be going by as often as before...

Well, now to the good. We had an AMAZING district meeting this week. Elder Sandstrom is truly an inspired leader. He talked about change, how we change, and who changes us.  A lot of the time, we try to change ourselves. But we soon figure out that does not work. We need to be changed by the Master. 

How are we to change? Offering our whole souls unto the Lord.
     26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved(Omni 1:26)

How will this change come? Step by step, line upon line, here a little, there a little.  Taking away one bad thing at a time, and replacing it with something good before moving on to the next.
     65 And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.
     66 For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore ye shall clear away the bad according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard. (Jacob 5:65-66)

The promises:
     25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt 16:25)
When we forget about what WE want, how WE are going to change, what WE are going to do, and just hand it ALL over to the Lord, then we will find the person He truly wants us to be.

At the end of his training, Elder Sandstrom shared one of my most favorite poems, "The Touch of the Master's Hand" As you read this, think and ponder on how you can more fully give everything you are and everything you have to Him-to Him who knows how to make us more like Him. If you would like to read the talk, this was quoted by President Boyd K. Packer in his talk "A Touch of the Master's Hand" from the May 2001 Ensign.

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar"; then, "Two!" "Only two?
Two dollars, and who'll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—" But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!" said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand
What changed its worth." Swift came the reply:
"The touch of a master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He's "going" once, and "going" twice,
He's "going" and almost "gone."
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that's wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand. 
I sure love all of you. I know if you allow it, the touch of the Master's hand will change your life forever. 

I love you! Talk to you all soon. 

P.S. .. I might melt. No biggie.