Sunday, April 19, 2015

February 23rd thru April 13th 2015

February 23rd

As with every week this past week was simply marvelous!!!!!! I have never felt so happy and sad in the same week haha it was insane. I can also say that Satan really is there, he is always trying to bring us down and make it so that we can't fulfill our purpose. And we can't give in to that!!!!! I have never felt Satan trying to beat down on me in all of my life as he did this past week. However!! I had God on my side and that is the only reason I was able to make it through :)
I am so grateful for the power of the Priesthood in my life. Because of the Priesthood we were able to witness 2 of our investigators, Arthur and Ramona, be baptized!! They were so happy and completely clean from their sins. They glowed with brightness and happiness and they were ready. I know that many lives will be touched because of their examples. All of their families came and supported them, even though they didn't know anything about the church or what baptism meant. I know they'll one day become members as well!
Another amazing thing I was able to see because of the Priesthood was the blessing that I received!  I had been worried about something very seriously for 2 days. I was sad about it and  could not stop crying. I could feel that Satan really was wanting me to leave the mission and just go back home.  I was really confused and just  not myself at all. Finally, yesterday I received a blessing. I know without doubt that it was God speaking to me. I have never felt so much peace in my life. I went from depressed to ultimate joy in seconds. I know that we don't have all of the answers  to the questions that we want right now. We just have to trust that God is just and knows more than we do. We have to remember that we are special and unique in his eyes. All he invites us to do is pray and speak with him from the bottom of our hearts. I know that the power of the priesthood is real! It is soooo real!! I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who cares enough about me to save me from Satans grasp. Because Satan really and I mean really does not like missionaries...We need to learn to depend on God every second of the day. If you have doubts, don't seek answers from man, but go directly to God. He will NEVER lead you astray.
Con Amor,
Hermana Buys :) :) :) :) 

March 2nd 

THis email is gonna be a bit different than all of my other ones ha. I honestly can't remember all of the big things that happened this past week. What I can say though is that I have been so happy!!! Ever since I received the blessing I just have really enjoyed doing missionary work! I haven't gotten discouraged as easy, but really just wanted to keep on going. I think one of the things God taught our companionship this past week was patience, haha. We worked so hard and tried to visit 8 homes and we didn't receive any lessons from that experience. It just re-confirmed to me that numbers don't matter! It's the work that you do!

Last week I forgot to share the cool experience I had with an investigator. So I was on exchanges and our service fell through. I looked at my planner and I had Judy planned for later at 5. The other people I had planned for were potentials and I just kept looking back and forth at my options. After a minute I looked back and Judy's name and said Yes! SO we went to her house. As soon as she opened the door she was crying for joy! She had been praying that someone would come to her home and help her. Her mom was stuck in bed and had lots of pain in her leg, so Judy couldn't lift her out alone. My companion I was on exchanges with was Samoan and so she was super strong! She just picked up the old woman super easy and put her in the wheel chair. It was such a cool miracle to see!! Judy was crying and just so thankful! I never thought that I'd done anything that was really inspired before, but because of this experience I can see that God really does inspire me as a missionary. It just may not be exactly how I thought or I just didn't notice. I'm so glad that I could be following the spirit and be there to help her. 

I just want to share my testimony that God lives and watches over us. He gives us the commandment so that we can avoid the miserable cliffs and drop offs in life. The only reason that people are not happy is because they don't keep the commandments God has given them. It all comes back to that God knows SO much more than we do. Just put your faith and trust in him. If you are stuggling with the commandments, just try living them, see what will happen!! :) I know that this is the only church that has the Priesthood! The exact same Priesthood that God had on the earth when he established the church. Please, let us all remember what that signifies for us today! Live the gospel and love it :D Enjoy everyday and live in the moment.
Les amo!!!

March 9th

Today I'm just feeling so blessed and happy to be here in the mission field!! Last week went by so fast and it feels like a month has passed haha. So I can't remember everything that happened. Something cool that's been going on though is that we've been having this thing in my ward called the 40 day fast! It means that everyday someone in the ward is fasting and the fast is for missionary work. Already we are seeing blessings from it and it's only the 9th day! Yesterday at church there was over 11 investigators at church! My companion and I have 30 investigators and Arthur received the Aaronic Priesthood!!

I have to say that one of the coolest experiences I've had was Saturday!! We went with the Chavez family to the temple and they did baptisms for the first time. We couldn't do it with them, but we were there to help them. Even though we didn't do much it was so neat and we were SO happy!! As soon as we got to the temple I felt the spirit so strongly it hit me like a brick. There really is no greater joy than seeing a family go to the temple and do that work. I was really thinking about it and when we ourselves are converted it really is not just us. We are bringing several people with us. So imagine what an impact one person can really make!

Also Arthur received the priesthood! I've never seen someone so ready! He brought all of his family to see it and he told us before, "I want to bless everthing." haha. I know that the blessing he received really was from God. He was promised some amazing things and also told about how his family in the spirit world was so proud of him and were ready to accept. That was actually the biggest reason Arthur knew the church to be true because he wanted his family to be taught the gospel in the spirit world! I know he's going to be such a rock to sooo many people!! 

Oh and concerning Moises, he has moved to another town for now. There are other missionaries that are going to be visiting him! I know he'll be baptized one day! Also I will be getting transferred next Tuesday. I have so many things I'd love to say about the area here, but I will wait to say that next week haha :) DOn't want to get too emotional about it already! And good news we will be getting ipads on May 15th!! An exact date now, yay!!! Thank you all for your support and love!!!!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Buys

P.S. my companions birthday is tomorrow and I'll be giving a talk in church on Sunday :O ahhh wish me luck :D 

March 16th 

Well the time is here...haha. It's not a surprise that I will be getting transferred! Although it still is a shock to me. This past week was the perfect week to end it though! :) I honestly can't remember a lot of things because I was so worried about preparing my talk for Sunday haha. It went great though!! I was asked to speak on Discipleship!! I talked about how we need to develop Christ-like attributes and that one we don't focus on enough is diligence. Then I related it to Repentance and that we need to use both hand in hand. I think it went good haha :) I was just happy after because it is SO SCARY to speak in Spanish and not be reading your talk from a paper. THe greatest thing though was seeing Arthur pass the sacrament!! He did such a great job and I know he's going to keep progressing and being what God wants him to be.

Yesterday was kind of a deja vu moment for me and I felt like I was giving my farewell talk again haha. It's so crazy how where you serve and love people becomes your family. Even though it's sad I am so excited to go and serve somewhere else. I know that I have so much more to do and become. I can't do that here because I've already learned what I needed to here. And I have to move on :) One great thing I realized this week as well is that obedience to Gods commandments really does make us free. We have our personal agency and when we choose the bad things we are taking away the agency and giving it to that. However, when we obey we keep our agency and we have so many more options! I wish that people would understand that more haha. I guess that is why we are here though right?? I will be transferred tomorrow so I will let you know my new address next week!! SOrry that this email is a little more about my experience...hopefully it is interesting to you all :) haha. If not, sorry!! THank you for still keeping me in your thoughts even though I'm not there right now. Love you soooo much!!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Buys

March 23rd

March 30th 

Wow! Last week was such a great week!! I did my first full day of biking and it actually went super well. We dug into the closet and found old skirts that past sisters had used and we found the perfect one :) haha. We both had a lot of fun biking and at the end of the day we just crashed on our beds, it was good though. It was a lot of fun as well because we met with one of our recent converts whose name is John Baptist. He doesn't really know how to read well though, so we practiced the Spanish alphabet with him. It was good for me too :)

The best part of the week though was Saturday and Sunday! On Saturday we were able to watch The General Womens Broadcast from the church. I always loved conference before the mission, but now I love it even more. As we were sitting in the church and waiting for it to start I could feel the spirit so strongly there. When it started I had the same feeling but even stronger. I don't think I've felt so happy than this time, and I've had many happy moments! Isn't it so amazing that we can hear the words of the Prophet and his apostles? We hear direct words from God! Specific to our needs at this time, incredible!! I loved how the conference was focused on the FAMILY! It is so true that the father and mother are the most important things that we can can ever be. As I was watching I thought of you mom and dad. I am so blessed to have parents who have established a home where the spirit is. I couldn't help but want to sit beside you and watch it. Since I couldn't give you guys hugs I just hugged basically everyone in the church afterward, haha. 

Sunday we had a baptism!! Maribel and her son Daniel were baptized. Maribel has another son that was going to be baptised, however he needs to go to church another time. So! In the near future he will be baptised too :) It was such a crazy day cause we were running around everywhere! haha. We did the baptism right after church and my companion and I sang a musical number for it. It was such a great experience! And after the baptism Maribel was just glowing. She said, "How can I contain what I'm feeling right now?" Have all the members not felt this before." I was just in awe after she told me that. Even though there are so many behind the scene things we do as missionaries and people don't notice it's okay because we get rewarded by the feeling after the baptism. The feeling that you have helped someone come to know who their Savior is!! 

Well, I am quickly learning to love my new area! Sometimes I forget that I'm not in Santa Clara anymore haha. Here things are slower and people are just so loving! I don't think I've ever felt so much love in my whole mission. I think that's the best thing about this area! Oh and We spend most of our time in Redwood City! Well, I am so happy and excited to see General Conference this weekend and learn the things that I need to apply to my life. I'm so grateful that we have Easter as well! We celebrate that he Resurrected and lives so that we may live again, like him! Please check out the church website! There is a video that is called #Becausehelives Watch it! It will change your life!! And invite all of your friends to watch it too :) I love you all and am so grateful that we will all be able to live again and not only that, but with each other!!!!!

Con mucho amor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 6th

Hello Family!!!!

Wow, this past week was just amazing! So many fun and crazy things happened that I don't even know how to explain haha :) Well! we picked up a potential investigator and we shared the Restoration with her! Her name is Maria Chavez and she's been taught about the gospel through friends. After we shared the message with her we invited her to pray. Usually people pray and then instead of waiting afterwards they start talking. This time though, she just sat there silent. Then she began to cry. wow, the spirit was so strong there. We testified to her that she had just received her answer from God that this is the path she needs to take. In all of my mission I haven't seen anything happen so fast! It reaffirmed to me that I do have a strong testimony of God and his gospel!! 

Another thing that happend last week was that I cut my finger while doing service. It was pretty deep, but not bad enough to need to go to urgent care :) I've never dealt with anything like that before so it was a little scary for me. It is all good though! It reminded me of Jesus Christ suffering in the Garden and it just made the experience more real for me. I realized that I could never do anything for him compared to what he has done for me. 

Above all General Conference was my ultimate favorite! It was so perfect having Easter on the same day as well! My  companion and I felt so loved and blessed by the packages. We also tried our best to go to conference with a question! The neat thing for me was that not only my questions were answered, but I received even more direction than I had asked for haha :) 

My favorite talk was on Saturday when the Sister talked about the role of husbands and fathers, men everywhere. When I saw the photos of the first presidency with their spouses it made me so happy. The family really is the most important thing and that is all that I want. THe family is what matters to me and I will do anything to protect it! :) I also was reminded by the talk from one of the 70 that "we are never done working." Just because I'm serving a mission now doesn't mean I will go home and stop living the gospel. If we are not living it, we don't have the spirit and we are lost. Everyone please remember this! THe spirit is SO crucial!!! 

Well, I can't say that it wasn't really hard to be away from the family on Easter and for conference. However, as I was watching I could feel all of you near. And I knew that God was and is watching over you! Easter ended up being really great and were fortunate to eat breakfast and dinner at a members home. My companion and I are so excited for tomorrow as we have the opportunity to go to the temple! Please don't forget the things you have learned in conference. Follow the prophets council and remember something you learned and apply it to your life. Change!! 

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Buys :) :) :) 

April 13th

Well, this week was so great!!!! On Monday we went to a trampoline place and that was a lot of fun! I had some videos but sadly they won't upload ha! It's funny how out of shape you are on the mission. Because for the whole rest of the week I felt so sore that I could hardly walk. We sure had a lot of fun!
The best day last week was Tuesday though! We went to the temple! We were able to do a session with a member and it was incredible! I was worried that I had forgotten everything but I learned so much more than I had before. When the session was over I just sat in the room for a long time and prayed. I felt so  much at peace that I didn't want to leave. As I was pondering I realized that even though I don't know very much about the temple I really would like to work there someday. There is just no greater feeling than the temple. I want to make that more part of my life when I return.
Another great part of my week was that we had Zone Conference!! I saw my last companion Sister Turley!!! It was so  great to see her and remember all of the good times we had. Everyone in my last area is doing great, so that is comfort to me! In this conference it was different than normal and I really liked it. We didn't focus much on teaching skills, but applying the atonement to our lives. We also focused on 10 steps to becoming a better missionary. It was super neat because it's things that I didn't really think about before.
Saturday was also an amazing day! We had the baptism of Jesus Ortiz. He is 29 and has been taught by missionaries before me but he wasn't really ready until this transfer. It's really neat because his mom and dad are members. We are teaching his brother and sister in law as well. They didn't come to the baptism but that's okay. Well, the baptism actually went super well!!! He was really happy and in peace. I think of all the baptism I was at peace most in this one. He received the holy ghost on Sunday and so now he is an official member!
Oh and I almost forgot that we went to visit Maria and Jose Clemente in the hospital. She just had shoulder surgery and was in a lot of pain. Her first thought was to call the elders to receive a blessing before going to the hospital. So she did and they came over. After she got the blessing all of her pain was gone. It was so cool! She told us the story 2 or 3 times! Even though a day or two after she ended up having to go to the hospital it still shows that she has a lot of faith. When we went to the hospital we sang her hymns and we prayed together. That was such a strengthening moment for all of us and I could just feel that God was near.
I think the thing I have been thinking about the most this week is the covenants that we have made with God. When we are baptized we promise to be disciples of him. When we go to the temple though the commitment is bigger and in doing so we promise to give our lives to him. Our lives! Wow! The gospel is who we are and if that's who we are we must spend time doing things that draw us closer to the spirit. I guess that is my thought to leave you with today! I love you all so much! There are definitly times like this week were I missed home. I am comforted though in the fact that I will be seeing you all very soon. And I couldn't be happier to hear from you every Monday :)
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hollie Buys

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