Sunday, December 13, 2015

August 2015

August 3rd

Well, as you all know this week was super crazy! I don't have a ton to report on this week as mostly all of you already know a lot about what happened haha. I really believe that I experienced all of the emotions this week. The sadness, happiness, loneliness, and all of the above. With the death of Jencie it's been hard on me. I feel her absence and I was really longing to be there at home for the funeral. What a blessing it was though to be able to talk to the family. I think that is the reason that I've been able to stay calm thus far. As this tragedy happened it's made me realize that I really do have the spirit with me. I've been sad but not to the degree that I've expected to feel. I have felt this overwhelming sense of calmness with me that I can't even describe. It's really just like a blanket of peace, and it sure is amazing. Along with this the tragedy has taught me that I really do have a testimony of all the things that I teach here in the mission field. And I believe that the thing I have the strongest testimony of is eternal families and life after death. I used to be scared of death even though I knew the plan. However, now that I know someone who has passed away it's strengthened that assurity, that knowledge that they still live.

During the week we had the opportunity to pick up our mini missionary!! Her name is Natalia and she is from Mtn. View!! Its been super fun having her here with us. I think I've already become super comfortable with her because I forget she's not a missionary. I have to remind myself to explain some things because she doesn't know what they are. I really imagine it is a little bit of what it would be like to be training a new missionary haha. She's been a help thus far to our companionship and as well to the lessons. We all have a good time together and are able to laugh. 

This Saturday was fantastic day because of Kenya's baptism! President Mella came and I was able to talk to him face to face. Of course I cried when I talked to him but it made me feel a little bit better. I'm really glad that I'll be able to talk to him a little bit longer tomorrow because we have interviews!! Anyway, the baptism was fantastic! Kenya was super prepared and she was just so happy. Her dad was able to baptize her and when she came up out of the water they just hugged one another so tightly. On Sunday she was confirmed a member of the church! And even before she was confirmed she helped a young women visiting for the first time. She took her to young women's with her and was already being like a missionary! It made Hermana Blanco and I soooooo happy!! It's been a miracle to teach Kenya and it's going to be hard when she goes back to Mexico :( 

I know that my emails been kind of backwards this time ha but in truth I really did have a good week. I think that it was definitely a week of learning of which I am glad! My Heavenly Father knew that all of this was going to happen and he gave me this opportunity to strengthen my testimony of him and in him. I'm so excited for this week as we have a special training from President Mella along with Zone Training Meeting. It's going to be even more learning this week :) 

I love my Savior and I love that he gave me the best family EVER! You are all so dear to me and I love you :D xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

La Hermana Hollie Buys

August 10th

This week we had a Zone Conference and as well a Zone Training Meeting so it was packed full with meetings! You would think that as a missionary you would get tired of meetings, but I actually really enjoyed them. :) Our Zone Conference was with President Mella! We talked about the importance of having a professional relationship with all missionaries. We also talked about handling stress and using technology appropriately. I really thought that they were and are necessary things that our mission needs to do better on at this time. As well though I learned something very valuable that Sister Mella said. And that lesson is that the primary, the main reason we are here on a mission is to help other people. If you put it into few words that's exactly why we are here. To bless the lives of others! How cool is that?? I think that sometimes people make it too complicated, but when I remember that it helps me really to stay focused.

 I was also lucky to have an interview with President Mella! We talked about a lot of things and one of them being where do I want to serve?? ha I was happy about that. And don't worry Dad, I told him Livermore/Pleasanton/Monterrey! So we'll see what happens in 2 weeks for transfers! :O I also was really happy when at the end of the interview he told our companionship that he wanted to adopt us into his family ha. I think that means we are pretty close to President and Sister Mella ;)
Well in addition to all of those meetings this week was completely different. Having the mini missionary was super fun! We didn't have a hard time teaching together and it just went very smoothly! I think because of her addition to the work we kind of changed our work a little bit. Last week we weren't able to teach many people but we went to a lot of houses! ha-ha. We also talked to a lot more people on the streets and it was super fun! We were walking down the street and I said hi to someone in Spanish. After I said that they turned around and said, "What you speak Spanish?" I said, "YES!" ha-ha Then they asked me why and we were able to give them the address to the church and as well get there phone number! It was such a neat experience and I was in shock the whole time. I think that's one of the reasons that God helps us learn a new language. It's another example that his work will go to all people and in all languages. That it really is his work and not just some random classes that Adults are giving.
Well, as you all know we have 2 investigators named Maria and Jose! They have a baptismal date for August 29 and we are still praying that they will follow through with it. Maria can be very stubborn and doubt herself a lot and so her husband is trying to push her a little bit instead of us doing all the pushing. Anyway, we had a lesson with them last Monday and we asked them the baptismal questions without them knowing that it was for baptism. They answered all of them and knew basically everything! Now we are just going back over the things they don't understand as well :) So if you can please keep them in your prayers, that would be fantastic!! :)
If I could put a theme to last week I would really say that it would be Faith!! Everyday as a missionary you have to first believe that you were called of God by the prophet to come here and serve his children. You have to have faith that you are in the specific area that you need to be in and with the companion that God wants you to be with. You have to have faith that you've prepared enough in your personal and companionship study in order to teach people throughout the day. On top of that, you have to have faith that you will find those who are ready and when the time comes have the faith to invite them to be baptized. Then you believe that they will remain active in the church. As you can see, it's a lot of faith!! ha-ha. Sometimes I feel like my faith isn't as strong as it should be. But I know that as I keep trying to believe and have the positive attitude and desire in my heart that I will see miracles.I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Hermana Buys xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

August 17th

Hi family and friends!!! This week was super busy and fun as usual :) The saddest part of the week was when our mini missionary had to leave :( I was so sad! And am still adjusting to her being gone. The great thing though is that we are still in contact and she has already started working on her mission papers!! Nothing greater than to hear that news :) On another note, this Thursday we have leadership calls and then Saturday they do transfer calls. Transfers don't happen until Tuesday morning though and that's when we find out where we will be going and who we'll serve with. I'm not exactly positive that I'll leave next week but if my transfers are still on track then I'm thinking so. So next week I will let you all know whats going to happen :)
Last week though we had a super great miracle! If I already told you all this, sorry! ha. So when Hna. Villanueva was here we taught a man named Arturo. We only had one lesson with him and then he wouldn't text us back or anything. We tried about everyday and if we talked about the gospel he'd stop texting. So we stopped texting him completely. When Hna. Blanco got here though I texted him again and we invited him to eat dinner with the Ruiz's. On Tuesday he came to dinner! He was super happy and is completely back. He's really excited about learning now and we met with him twice last week. This was a testimony to me that everyone will hear the gospel in the time that's perfect for them!
Another miracle we had was with a referral we received. We received a referral about a month ago and we tried contacting her. Her number didn't work and her house wasn't real. We were super disappointed. But! Last week we got another referral from a different comp. of elders and it was on the same street! We visited with her and she's super less active. She was in jail for five years and just got out a month ago. Her emotional, physical, and every other state is not so great. But! She needs us so much right now and she just livens up when we come to visit! After the visit with her we looked up her name again and realized that it's the first referral that we received! So it was the same person! Again, another testimony of the exact time that these people need to be taught!
We also had another big miracle with a less active! There's a man named Javier and he is less active because he is pretty ill. When we go visit him he sits outside on a chair with a smile on his face. He doesn't talk a lot but is super happy! So, on Saturday we really felt like we should go visit him. We showed up to his house and he was gone. So we went next door to his sister in laws and she told us that she was praying that we would show up. She gave us the address of the medical office and went and visited him that night! We sang him songs and also read 3 Nephi 11 of when Jesus comes to the Americas! It was such a wonderful visit and his family was there as well. He is the only member of our church, but still they allowed us to teach a lesson. When we got there they told us he wasn't speaking at all. When we were about to leave though he spoke and said that he remembers us from before and recognized our voices. Wow! What a beautiful experience that was. It taught my comp. and I to just follow the spirit no matter what! If you have an idea and you aren't sure if it's you or the spirit, just act on it. Because everything that's good comes from Christ!
Along with all of these miracles I was able to see many more! And I wish that I had enough time to write them all :) I can happily say though that I finished reading the Book of Mormon for the 2nd time on my mission! And my comp. and I were able to finally, really talk and clear EVERYTHING up! It felt so great! Even though we probably only have one week left together I'm so grateful that we can put the past behind and leave with a clean slate :)
I just want to leave with my testimony that I know that this is God's work. He puts people in our paths and he gives us the strength to do what he commands. He has a specific plan for each of our lives. And a great way to make sure our plan is in line with his is by reading our patriarchal blessings every week! That's something I've been doing on my mission and it's strengthened my confidence and my testimony. So I invite you all to do it! You will be amazed by how much more guided by the spirit you be! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Con MUCHO amor,
Hermana Hollie Buys

August 24th

Wow it sure was quite a week. I literally cant remember hardly anything. However I will say that we got transfer calls and I will be leaving :( I'm sad but I know that it's the perfect time. I know that I have other things to learn and different people to learn it from. I'm super excited as well to get a new companion!! I'm hoping at praying that it's one of my comp's that I've already had, ha but we'll see what happens tomorrow. It's my last day in Redwood City and tomorrow morning we'll go to the meeting and find out. So I will let you all know next Monday :) As well...I got called as an STL a Sister Training Leader! A little scary but also awesome. As an STL I will be doing exchanges with the sisters in the zone and make sure that everything is going alright. So I'll be doing that with new people which is super awesome. Its so crazy as well because my companion is training a new missionary and so we both got the call at the same time. We were both so nervous that we couldn't eat well for a few days. ha. STRESS! But excitement as well!! 

Another great thing that happened last week was that we had a ward camp-out! We got permission to go up to Santa Cruz for a day! Unfortunately we weren't able to stay all day because we had to return to receive special training. However, the time that we spent there was super great! I've really come to love the members in the ward here a lot! There is definitely a lot of work to do here with non members. However, there is even more work to do with the members. They need so much help!!! SO I feel so blessed to have been able to help them :) I think by far they have been my favorite members, as you can see in the pictures! ha. And they will always have a special place in my heart :) 

We were also really lucky to go to another baptism in my companions last area. And the baptism was in English!! I loved it! The spirit was so strong and it was just a good reminder of the huge role that the Holy Ghost plays in our lives every single day! As well, we went to the outgoing fireside for the missionaries leaving and that is always a special treat! For each of these events our investigator Jose was there! As I've said before and I'll say it again..he is so prepared!! ha. His wife has gotten sick recently and there baptism is planned for this Saturday. So we are really praying a LOT! If it doesn't happen I know that it will happen soon enough, and in the time that God wants it to be :D 

Well...I guess just to sum up my experience of Redwood City I would say that I've learned a whole lot about service. I've really learned that not everyone is going to be kind or love you the way that you love them. But, you still have to keep serving them because even though they don't recognize it, they are children of God and we are all brothers and sisters. We have to treat each other with love and kindness! I've also learned to be a lot more confident! Taking over the area was really hard because I felt so lonely and that my efforts weren't enough. God gave me the strength though to do it and enjoy it. Because I know that if I didn't trust and love my Savior like I do, then I would have already left and gone home. I've loved all of the people that I've been able to teach here and I'm so excited to be able to come back soon and see many of them enter the waters of baptism. I also know that in the years to come I will still be able to see their lives continue to change for the better! 

I love you all and I look forward to hearing from you next week!! 

With love,

Hermana Buys!

August 31st

Well.....I wanted to surprise you all with a picture, but I'm at the public library and my camera isn't working on the computer. SUper bummer! So I just sent some pictures that are from my Ipad mini. SOrry! BUT! I got transferred to LIVERMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I also cover PLEASANTON AND DUBLIN!!!!!!!!!! hahaha. I'm soooooo excited!! When I was at transferred meeting I was so shocked because I was positive that I'd be going to San Jose. ha-ha. Best surprise ever!!!!!!! My comp. is Hermana Gilvarry! And one of my old companions Sister Turley served with her in the MTC so it's pretty great! It's her last transfer in the mission though, so I'm super sad! I will be her last companion in the mission, so I really hope that it's a great time for her here! Well we live in Livermore and we are covering a Branch! We also cover 2 English wards but only if it's necessary, so basically just the branch. There are about 20 or 30 people haha. So insane so we have a lot of work to do. It's such a change for me because it feels like I'm in Utah and not a huge city ha. There is also only 12 missionaries in the Zone instead of 22. As well I will be going on exchanges with 3 zones which means I will have about 6 ZTM meeting in a transfer ha-ha. INSANE!! As soon as I arrived here though I felt instant peace and happiness. I really do love it here and I'm excited to work super hard with the members and in FINDING :) I really haven't felt this much at peace in all of my mission! It truly is a miracle.
The sisters here have been doing such a great job and they've really livened it up a lot! The week before I came they had a baptism and last week we had 2 baptisms in the same day, so great! Julia was baptized and Jorgelina! They were both so ready for baptism and are just joyful, loving, amazing women. I already feel so much love for them and I can't wait to see how much they will be able to help our little branch :) As well, Julia is the only member but her husband and youngest son are also investigating the church. We are going to try and work hard with the kid and start teaching him the lessons again but in English instead :) His dad wouldn't let him get baptized because he didn't think he knew enough. So our new tactic is to change the language and we really think it will help! Even though I've only been here for less than a week I've seen many miracles!
A mother and her 3 kids attended Julia's baptism on Saturday and were able to make an appointment to teach them for Sunday! We went over to there house and had a lesson with them. I had actually thought it was a horrible lesson ha but I was wrong! Even though I made many mistakes the spirit was there. And when we invited the daughter Samantha who is 14 years old to be baptized she began to cry! We couldn't believe it! We asked her to pray and ask God if she should be baptized on the 19th of September!! I know that it's going to happen because she is so ready! You can just see the light of Christ in her eyes :)
I've also seen many little miracles just dealing with my allergies. Two times already people had almost put gluten or nuts in my food. The first one we texted at the exact time when she was going to put it in. And she told us that God was watching over me :) The 2nd one wanted to just bring pasta to our dinner on Sunday and then she felt strongly to bring beans and tostado's. WOW! At first I thought I didn't really think much about it, however now I realize how much my Heavenly Father is watching over me.
I know that Gods plan is perfect and that he is in the every little detail of our lives. He puts so many miracles right in front of our faces! We just have to open our eyes and see the miracles that he's given and is giving to us. I really have a testimony of change and that it's so great! The only way we can grow is if we change and get a little out of our comfort zone. We can't progress if there isn't change. And that's why in the gospel we have so many different callings and responsibility. We don't keep a calling for our whole life. But we learn new skills and abilities that are there to help us and everyone around us. I invite you all to look for the miracles that God is placing in front of you. There are many everyday! I'm super excited for the chance to serve here and I know there are great things to come!!
Heres my new address: ( PLEASE WRITE :)
3819 East Ave. #64 Livermore, CA 94550
Hermana BUYS :) :) :)


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