Saturday, May 30, 2015

April 20th 2015

APRIL 20th 2015 -

Hello Friends and Family!!!!

Well as with every week on the mission this past week was quite an adventure!! On Tuesday my companion and I challenged each other to only speak Spanish the whole day!! We did break during district meeting, but besides that we kept going for the rest of the day. It was awesome!! We are going to do it again this Wednesday! Also on Tuesday we had a lesson with Maria and Jose, our investigators. Marias caretaker was there as well. We were sharing the plan of salvation and then during the part we talk about our life on earth the lady started asking a lot of questions. She didn't understand why we need to be baptised in this church if they already have before. We answered it in like 5 different ways, but she still kept going at it. It was soon that I realized she just wanted to bring contention. It was frustrating because she just blocked them out. And in the end I brought out a scripture for her and she couldn't say anything after that. We testified and then quickly left. Even though it was kind of a weird way to leave I'm glad we didn't get into an argument with her. I think God is trying to teach my companion and I just to be super blunt with people! So now, that's what were doing :)

Last week we also found old investigators! They had not so great experiences with missionaries in the past. We just told them to leave everything behind though and start fresh. So! We started all over with them! I'm excited to see them start progressing! Their names are Javier and Maria! We also went on exchanges last week and I went with Sister Smith. She is in the English program which is super cool. I really enjoyed it because we taught a lesson and extended a baptism invite! Sometimes I miss just being able to teach it in English haha. So that was fun for me! As always though, it's nice to get your companion back! :) 

Towards the end of the week I got super sick one day and we had to come home during dinner. I slept until 9 pm and we just had to plan for the next day. It was super hard, but my comp. is amazing and just takes care of me! 

Sunday was super amazing because we had sacrament combined with the English ward! After church we had food and got to know other people. We also were lucky and had a member take us to the missionary farewell fireside. This was my all time favorite!! There was amazing musical numbers and the talks were just so motivating. I think the overall message that I got from it is that we can't really be happy when we know this message of the gospel and just keep it to ourselves. The only true joy is when we share it with others! And that's why I'm here now!!! Even though I may not be the best teacher or person to do that I know that God has called me to do it. I know that because it's his will he will help me. He also wants everyone of you to share this message too!! He knows you can do it and is counting on you :) 

Te amo mucho!!!!

Hermana Hollie Buys

P.S. We had transfers and I'm still in Redwood City! :)

APRIL 27th 2015 -

This week was such a blast!!! We went to our Family Histor Center and helped our recent convert do family history. The funny thing was though that my companion and I both havent done family history before and he can't read. So it was an adventure!! We figured it out though and he has a lot of work to do, so great!! I can't wait to do family history work when I return home :) 

Other great news is that we visited our investigators Gloria and her son Angel!! We took courage and invited them to be baptized! At first they had doubts and all of that but by the time we visited them at the end of the week they committed to baptism!!!!!!!! Its not going to be an easy journey for them because of their family situation, but it will help them soooo much! They will be getting baptized May 23rd!!!! 

Also! We have another new investigator!! We visited one of our less actives and found out that her husband isn't a member. So we shared the Restoration with him and it turns out that he was taught by missionaries before, crazy!!! He was taught for years, but he said that other missionaries were different than us. haha. He said they just shared messages and didn't make him do anything. He said we are super blunt! haha score!! We told him to offer the prayer and he objected for several minutes, but then he did it!! It's so neat how happy you can be from just seeing someone pray for the first time! To take that first step! It turns out that he had never prayed in his life! SO we can see a lot of progression with him! His name is Hermano Pech! 

Well, one thing I haven't shared with all of you is that our bishop has only been in for 4 months or so. He is a really new bishop and this ward is in need of quite a bit of help! We were having problems with our ward mission leader and we finally talked to the mission president. And now the problem is going to be fixed! haha. We are finally starting to have ward correlation every week. So I can see that the Ward is going to start doing so much better very soon! It has so much potential!!! 

As I was thinking about the week I was wondering what made it so good? And I realized that it was because we involved members in so many of our lessons. I really do believe that what preach my gospel says is true. Involving members really is the key to lasting conversion!! Another thing that is really helping as well is that we are trying to get to know all of the ward members! I'm also so thankful for my companion! One thing I noticed is that when we both set a goal we have our minds set on it and we accomplish it!! I'm so blessed!!!! Thank you all for your love and your emails haha ;) 

Con muchooooooooooooo amor,

Hermana Buys

MAY 4th 2015 -

Well...I don't have a whole lot to say about last week because I was basically sick the whole week. It was defintely a challenge for my companion and I. We started out going to as many appointments as we could and then would come back home and I'd sleep for like an hour. After doing this several times though we realized it didn't work out. Then finally I just had to stay home for the whole day. I was so grateful though to have my companion who did her best to take care of me! In the end I ended up getting a blessing and it was so neat!! The key word that stuck  out to me was that my sickness was to help me become a better missionary and mother. After receiving this blessing I was shocked!! It made me remember that everything we do isn't just for the moment right now. God has it in our lives because we are going to have things happen later in our lives and we need to be prepared! He's making us stronger for the battle :) 

The other thing that really made me SUPER HAPPY last week was that we finally met with an investigator that we contacted my first week in Redwood City. We were doing How to Begin Teaching with him and asked him his religious beliefs. He ( Rosalio) told us that he was just looking at the "Mormon" Church. We were shocked! It just so happens that he met the missionaries 2 years ago and then he left to Mexico and lost contact. He came back to the U.S. about the day or a day before I came to this area and God put him in our path. Literally, there are no coincidences! We shared the Restoration with him and committed him to be baptized! His date is the 28th of May!! The only thing that "could" be stopping him is going to church. So if you could...please pray for him! That he will be able to go to church and continue progressing!! 

Since I don't do this too often I want to share my testimony!!
I know that the priesthood is restored here again on this earth. Because of the priesthood the earth was created, we have eternal families, we can be healed, cleansed, made whole again! I know that God lives and he directs this church. This is his church. We are always learning and progressing and the knowledge about his gospel never stops. I also know that as we put our trust in him we will be able to have that true happiness and sense of peace. It doesn't matter where we are and who we are with we can be happy!! I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Con Amor,

Hermana Buys 

MAY 11TH 2015 - 

We had a ward party that was super fun! Here's some pictures of me, my companion and I, and the district!!!!!!! 

Wow! What an amazing week it was! Of course the best part was Mothers Day!! It was so great to talk to all of you :) I think the highlight was defintely when you sang happy birthday to me. Oh my goodness, I just have the best family in the entire world!!! I hope you all know how much I love and miss you. It's always hard to say our goodbyes...but it helps knowing that we are able to write every week and skype in not too many months ahead :) haha YOU'RE THE BEST!!!!

Well, this past week I feel like we really focused on the less actives. We went to doors we had knocked many times and by a huge miracle they were home!!! I didn't even realize it before, but there are so many of them in our area. So it's our new goal now to focus on these people! Our ward needs a lot of help! One of the neat experiences we had with one less active was that we went to her house not knowing if she actually lived there, haha. She answered the door and said that it indeed was her and she hesitantly invited us in. We shared a scripture with her and her husband and they just kind of looked down ashamed. By the time we left their house though they were smiling and laughing with us. They didn't feel ashamed and they were excited for us to come back! It was such a drastic difference because it was the spirit! We had the spirit with us and we didn't go to their home to chastize, but to invite them back. We went to show them that they are missed and loved. We are so excited to go back and visit them!

Another great moment of the week was an appointment we had with a potential investigator. We had actually forgotten about the appointment we had with him and were 45 minutes late. ( I know, pretty bad) When we got to the church to meet him he was sitting in front of the church looking up at the building. He smiled at us and we gave him a church tour!! He told us that he hadn't gone to church for over 10 years! And that he was ready for something different. He even told us the days we could visit him. Wow!! This is just another example that it's Gods work. If it were through our own merits he would have left and would've missed out on this great opportunity! We are just the tiny tiny part of this HUGE process of bringing souls unto Christ. 

When I get discouraged or feel like I'm not doing enough I just remember all of these miracles that we have. I remember that it's just a small moment of hardships and that it's necessary for my progression! If this work was easy it would not be work! I have a testimony that God calls us specifically and when he has a task for us he makes it possible so that we can accomplish it! 


Hermana Buys 

MAY !8th 2015 -

Temple Trip with investigators:

More picures!  Yipppeee!!!  The rain looks like here the past two weeks its rain just about every day all day on and off.

WOW!! This week was just quite a week!! As my companion continue to see missionary work is always spontaneous and unpredictable. We had a really neat experience this week as we went to go teach a lesson at a members home. On our way we saw a woman 2 times. We then found out that this family wasn't home and went on our way back to the car. On the way back we saw the woman again! We finally decided to talk to her haha. At first she was friendly but not really interested in what we had to say. After she made a comment about there being so many churches we decided to talk about the Apostasy! After that we continued teaching her about the Restoration. As soon as we got to the picture of when Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ she stopped us. This woman told us that she saw that exact light. She told us of how she believed that her son had died but that she knew she would see him again. We confirmed to her that she would! It was such a neat experience, and even though she doesnt have a telphone number we can contact her with I know we'll see her again. We just knew that she needed to hear the message that day! 

Another big miracle this week was that we went to the temple with a less active, recent convert, and investigator! It was amazing to see how our investigator was so ready to receive the gospel. He is very spiritually sensitive and loved the temple!! We are expecting to see great changes in him and hoping that he will start bringing his father to the lessons as well. He is from Guatemala and has only been here for 4 months! It's only his father and him that live here and so he is seperated from everyone else. 

Among the miracles we have seen we have also gone through MANY struggles! This whole month has been a testimony to me that Satan is real. That he does not want us to progress or have any bit of happiness. We've battled sickness for weeks, feeling so unqualified, 3 investigators dropping us, and much more. Another one of these trials we experienced was Saturday night. On our way from home we were driving and the person in the lane to the left of us didn't signal or check their blind spot. They started driving into our car and luckily there was a slight change in the road to the right of us. My companion swerved to the right and they hit the left side of our car. If it weren't for my companion though then they would have hit our car really bad. My companion and I felt a huge impact in our car but when we pulled to the side of the road we had a tiny scratch. This is a testimony to me AGAIN that God has his angels watching over us. There was no way we made it out of the car perfectly fine without him. 

My companion and I are so happy that we are okay and we are just really enjoying this area we serve in together. Even though we only have a couple of weeks left together we are really trying to make the best out of it. 

I just want to say that I know that God is so mindful of everyone of us. We have a HUGE plan in store for us. All we need to do is read the Book of Mormon, obey the commandments, read our patriarchal blessings regularly and continually pray to him!! 

- Life is Good :) 

TE AMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Hollie Buys

MAY 25th 2015 -

Hello Family!!!!!!!!!!
WOW! I think that every week just gets crazier and crazier haha. To start out..we took our car to the mission office and they said that we would have to return it today and they will fix it. It won't be fixed completely for a few days we are back to biking! Ha. The problem is though we have a flat hopefully the elders here can help us fix our bikes :)
Oh and the exciting thing is that we got 2 booklets on Wednesday that we had to read before this Wednesday. These booklets are like our "mini-training" to receiving the ipads! Well, my companion and I were so excited that we ended up reading them in 3 days haha! :) Now we are all prepared though for the training on Wednesday!

Well, last week was full of many miracles!! One of our investigators that just disappeared, reappeared! He came to church last week and this week. Not only that, but we had a lesson with him and know he has a baptismal date!! It's for August 8th, but we're going to bring it up closer :) 
In addition to him attending church we had 2 other investigators that came! It was Edwin and Maria! Edwin shared a comment in the lesson about fasting and it was so inspiring. He basically already has a testimony about it, so cool!!
As well, we found another investigator that disappeared! We ended up eating dinner with him and answered his questions about why he needs to be baptized again. He really understood and now he wants to be baptized!! We still need to figure out a date..but either way we are super pumped!! Along with this man another investigator named Hno. Peche is progressing a lot! As I mentioned in earlier emails he was taught by other missionaries for years! They never had him do any commitments so he hadn't progressed. Now though, we can see his progression! He gets really deep into reading the scriptures and when he heard about baptizms for the dead he got super excited! He always has lots of great questions as well :) We are expecting a baptismal date for him soon!
Along with the success we are seeing with investigators we also had a huge success story with a less active. The missionaries have been trying to get into her house for a long time (even before I got here) Well, on Friday we felt inspired! We went to her house were about to knock on the door and it opened!! We were invited in and we shared the video #becausehelives we even have an appointment with her on Friday! I'm so excited to see how things will continue progressing with her and her family :)
To end my email with a funny story....we ate dinner with a woman in our ward. A man in our ward came with us to dinner so that the elders could come eat as well. He was telling my companion and I the same story about his past and how his wife left. My companion told him that maybe now is the time that he needs to forgive her ( since it had been over 20 years ago) Then I said, "Remember the Atonement is real!" He got a good laugh at that and smiled and said, "Okay!" haha. I hope that made you all laugh! At least a little bit :) Well, I must say that I'm super excited for the exciting changes that we're gonna see this week and how the work will continue to move forward even more!! I love you all so much!! You are my greatest support!! Please remember how much I love you :)
Con MUCHO AMOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hermana Buys
P.S. I ate an oyster yesterday ( pretty gross!!!)

Email from Hollies companion Sister "V" -

This week was interesting! We have been doing so many visits to those who aren't so active in church and those who just recently got baptized. We are very happy because of that. This Wednesday we got 2 booklets we had to read because this Wednesday we will be getting Our Ipads. We will be getting trained on them and we are not sure if we will get them this week. We will soon find out. I love how much miracles we had this week though. Maria Chaves, Edwin and Raul came to church! Yeay for those who want to Learn and are progressing in the gospel! we were so happy for the first hr  is gospel principles. and then the 2nd hr is relief society and Priesthood. Maria Chaves couldn't stay for the 3rd hr which was sacrament and later we went to the Elders and asked where was Edwin and they had no clue. We were looking all over the place to the class before to sacrament and then we texted him and 4 mins later he texted us. He said he felt a bit weird and just left. Sister Buys and I were so sad. We were a bit down at sacrament. It was the strangest thing because he even participated in the 1st hr. He is very sensitive to the spirit. We know that because of the way he expresses himself when we are teaching him the restoration lesson and then the plan of salvation. 

Raul finally got a baptismal date for Aug. 8th. He knows this is true and we will see if we can move it closer to June. We will explain that it isn't good to leave so much space for the adversary to try to change his mind or do something. We also invited to baptism to Oscar Ramirez, someone who disappeared completely and now wants to change. The only thing is that he works on Sundays. So we will see if he will talk to his boss. 

We saw familia Gaminos!! they are less actives in this ward and ever since i have been here meaning December i never met her. we never found them home. and this week as we were driving i felt prompted to tell sister buys to go and visit and we parked the car and walked to her house and right when i was going to knock a little girl opened the door and we said "Hola Hermana!" she welcomed us in and we shared the video of #becausehelives. Also this Sunday, before going to the church we did a visit and parked at a less actives parkway. As we were pulling in he steps out! "hola Hermano Victor!" I say looking at him and then at Hermana Buys and begin to smile! I couldn't believe it. He was a bit busy but we made an appointment with him so hopefully we will see him this week. 

Members here tell us their personal stories. A brother told us the same story twice and I told him " Hermano debe de ya olvidarse y mover adelante" giving him a smile and saying it with much love! Sister Buys goes and say's "it's why the atonement is for Hermano!" We both smile at each other and continue to finish hearing the Brothers story. Looking at each other we said *we tried* hehe

Hermano Pech is a husband of a member in our ward. He is really interesting of learning more. We are excited to teach him and his family this week. 

We will be in Bikes today till Thurs. which i love because we will see miracles as we bike to our appointments. I am excited for this week!

I know that as we pray for specific things to happen, then it will happen! I know that We have a father who loves us! who knows us! who cares for us! I love this message in this time we are sharing it with those in California. I have grown to love these people with all my heart. I want to continue being selfless and watching for others needs. I love serving those around me. I love Sister Buys with all my heart. We have gotten so close we just look at each other and communicate what we need to say. So many news things happen EVERY DAY! *she would tell me* and I am glad that every day is different. Every day is a new start and a new beginning. I know that Jesus Christ suffered for us and it is because of God's perfect Plan we are able to return to Him, when our time comes. However, for now let us all continue to polish what we can and let Our prayers reach the Heavens so we can be better each day through Him. I love my Savior! Do you? I can invite you ^_^ to continue to search for Him and Learn of Him. Walk by His side and He will never let you go. I love this gospel and if we continue in this path, we will have eternal life. 

Have a beautiful day, week, and weekend!

Que tengan un Buen Dia! 

Hermana Villanueva