July 24, 2017

Nuevos investigadores, pero no fechas

Dear Friends and Family,

Thanks so much for your support!

I had some eye-opening studies this week, and I think the part I want to share is the prespective of 3 Nephi as a lesson in parenting. God demonstrated by His actions that the Nephites behavior was wrong, AKA mass destruction. Then he gave them time to recover before he spoke to them, but when he did, he taught them the principle of repentance and forgiveness, and he allowed for silence. Then later, as a reward for their changed behavior (3N11:1), Jesus Christ himself came and ministered to them. Anyway, it's a cool parallel with mortal parenting, not that I have any experience.

We are great finders! My companion and I find new investigators like crazy! It's a lesson in balance, though, because we have only 2 people on date. Sometimes I wish I could be the finding missionary and someone else could do the teaching and baptizing. That's not how it works though. 

Gloria came to church! Hooray! She always surprises me at the last second. I still think she's going to be baptized. 

Elda's sister came to visit and they haven't seen each other for 6 months, but Elda still walked to church by herself! It was her first time! The amount of faith this woman has is incredible! 

Also, there's a homeless transgender woman who lives in my area. Yesterday she crossed the street to talk to us! That's like a 6 lane street!! What an adventure! Anyway, now Erica is our new friend!

Hermana Sleight

Charcoal facial day! 

Hermana Pfeil's family has a Sunday tradition of pancakes. Carmen loves stuff like that. 

July 17, 2017

Oh no! Me quita el tiempo

Dear Friends and family,

Sorry for the quick email. Thanks for all of your support!

Please ponder the power of the Book of Mormon and look up the video, "The Book of Mormon speaks for itself". I don't know if it's publicized, but it's really good.

So many miracles I don't know where to start. How about a devote catholic coming to church with her whole family? I love being a missionary! Watch out for Miriam, Jose, and Alondra Salinas. 

I love you all!!

From her Mom: She's so busy trying to do regular missionary work and be an STL that she only washed her laundry and it's sitting in her car,waiting to be hung dry. The photo is her zone. Her mission president is to the right of the photo, President Henrie. 

July 11, 2017

Como se dice whitewash?

Dear Friends and Family,

I sure appreciate all of the love and prayers! You're a great support to me!

What a crazy week! I love being a missionary! Hermana Pfeil and I are whitewashing Van Nuys 5to! There are luckily 4 companionships of missionaries in the ward and we're all plenty busy! We've been able to get important information from the other companionships.

Deep pondering on Christ being in the Father and the Father in Him: If my friends happened to come home from their missions this summer and find my little sister hanging with their little siblings, they might observe that she looks just like me, and that she acts just like me, and that she says the things that I used to say. If all this hypothetically happened, my friends might say "I can see Carmen in you." This doesn't mean that I am literally inside my sister nor that my sister and I are the same being. I simply means that if I were there, I would do the same thing she was doing. When I think about this in terms of Christ and Heavenly Father, I realize that Christ perfectly represented Heavenly Father. Everything he did and said was exactly what His Father would have done and said. His teachings are God's teachings. I may just be making up doctrine here, but this is the way I understand the scriptures right now, and I thought I'd share. Maybe it will help you understand it too.

Stories!! Let's see, we were on the way to knock out, but there was no way we could get to where we planned anytime soon, so we went to the next apartment complex and started pushing buttons hoping someone would let us in. The manager came and let us in, then told us he'd been praying for someone like us. That's how we met Josue. He's had a member present lesson and a church tour since then. BUT wait there's more! At that moment we asked for a referral, and he sent us down the gold hallway, where we met the referral and set up a return appointment plus 3 new investigators and a referral for the missionaries in the other valley!! That's the story of my first full day in Van Nuys. 

I've heard so much about Alondra from the hermanas that used to work in this area and she's a YSA investigator now that I'm not, but we're trying to teach her family. The best part of the lesson with her and her mom was when her Dad walked in to the house and while he was cleaning up so he could come join us, she looked us in the eye and told us "You're going to like him. He's a good Dad." with all sincerity. I love hearing that. I love that families are a part of God's wonderful plan. 

One time we were trying to find a family on the ward list that we hoped was part member, but then the address didn't exist, so we tried the complexes on either side both had the right apartment number. At the first one, we knocked and no one answered, but we knocked on both sides and found 1 potential and 1 new investigator! What a life! God always takes us to the elect. We just have to stick around long enough/get there soon enough to find them! Be brave, missionaries! Be brave, member missionaries! 

Okay, I love you so much, have a great week! 
Hermana Sleight
Hermana Pfeil blowing up balloons for Obispo's kids

Carmen and her new companion, Hermana Pfeil, whom Carmen says is a very happy person
and gives lots of pep talks! 

Obispo (Bishop) of Van Nuys ward

July 3, 2017

Cuan Rapido!

Dear Friends and Family,

Thanks for all of your love and support! Sorry I haven't left myself with sufficient time to write everything here. Hopefully you like all of the pictures.

As for studies this week, I found a verse in 3 Nephi 18 about Christ being the light and the example for us. There are a lot of parallels between light and examples. It's important to remember that many people have no idea how to be or do good until they've seen it done. Much like light shows us where to go, example shows what to do. Ye are the light of the world. Follow Christ's example, and be an example for others. Don't hide.

I'm being transferred out of YSA already!! I'm very sad about that. I love this little branch. It's been such a fun transfer of figuring myself out. 

On Tuesday, Luis (a recent convert) brought his cousin Roberto to FHE. Roberto responded well to learning about the Book of Mormon, and we've had several lessons with him since! He is awesome. When we told him we were being transferred but we'd be at his baptism, he said, "I think I will get baptized." What a champ!

And we found Geo! He gets it! It was the boldest I think I've ever been with a person. The Holy Ghost filled my mouth with words about Christ's mercy and justice and how we must live the Gospel, or we can't be saved. I love being a missionary!

Love you all! Have a great week!

Temple - E. Kerr, Rivera, H. Talbert, S. Parker, me - the quints!(we 5 were born in the same zone at the same time)

Whoa, super dark picture with Estuardo and tia.

Hermana Arenas and Carmie Shmarm
Hermana Monarrez and Carmie Shmarm

June 26, 2017

Bromas y Chistes

Dear Friends and Family,

What do the missionaries of the great California San Fernando mission do when it's 110 degrees on a Sunday afternoon and Knock Out is canceled?

Trick question:) We don't cancel knock out.

Anyway, thanks for all of your help and support. Thanks for all you do, really! I sure do love you. 

The Book of Mormon is true. 

Yesterday for personal study I tried to study the sacrament in Preach My Gospel. The only entry under sacrament in the index is Sabbath Day observance. For the first time yesterday, I realized that that's ridiculous. Lesson 3 is literally the gospel of Jesus Christ. The sacrament represents all 5 steps of the gospel of Jesus Christ for members of the church. I switch my focus to Repentance and Baptism, and I had a much more meaningful study on the sacrament. If you're ever looking for a good study, no matter how many times you've done it before, focus it on Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and/or Enduring to the End. 

We had a great week and an investigator came to church because we got him out of bed. That's what it takes sometimes. He loved it. I love being a missionary!

We picked up an awesome investigators named Mayra who has met with missionaries before because her member friend referred us to her. Refer the missionaries to your friends! This might be their time!

Okay, I love you, and I hope you all have an awesome week!

Hermana Sleight

Note from Mom: I think she writes down funny moments on post its and puts them on her wall for memories. I though this one was hilarious! 

June 19, 2017

Pila Llena...No bautismo

Dear Friends and Family,

Thanks for all of your support. I really needed it this week.

I am learning not to be so controlling. I am very nervous about this goal. In fact, I have nothing to say about it.

On Wednesday, we saw Jessica watching a bird die in a tree. We couldn't reach it or help it, and she loves birds. We were sad, but we had a dinner to get to. 
If only I had known that that would be the last time I'd see her until she was scheduled to be baptized.
She doesn't have a cell phone so we couldn't text her. She does have facebook and messaged a member that something was wrong, but we didn't know what it was. 
We went to her house. We went to her aunts house. We walked around and around that block!
Her mom said she works in a Pet Smart. We went to every PetSmart in the valley.
She wouldn't answer the phone.
Finally as Omar was headed to her baptism, he saw her walking, and he stopped to ask if she was coming to her own baptism. 
Font full, no baptism.
We finally found her and talked to her. I wish we could have discerned her need sooner.
I'm so sad. I relate to all of the prophets in the Book of Mormon, who "sorrowed for the sins of their people". 

Still, next week can be better. We have a whole valley's worth of God's children to teach.

Thanks again, and read again next week! I promise it will not be so sad. If it's that bad of a week, I'll tell jokes:) 

June 12, 2017

Jesus es mi Luz y mi Guia

Dear friends and family,

I love you so much! Thanks for all you do!

At MLC this week, an Elder shared this important piece of wisdom: What you learn on your mission definitely applies to your life after the mission. Take it seriously. I loved that. Sometimes we wonder why we do weekly planning or have to work with paper planners and phones that don't always get the job done. We don't see how learning to teach with a pamphlet or extend a baptismal date will benefit us post mission. But it always does. That goes for high school essays, sports, and sunday school too. Sometimes we can't see why we are required to learn a skill, but God is always preparing us for something better.

It's been a week of miraculous finding. With faith, all things are possible. YSA is sometimes tricky because theoretically we can't find our own investigators. But when we let the Holy Spirit guide, we are led to those in our stewardship.

Last Sunday we found Cynthia who turned out not to be interested, but on our way back to the car from her house, we opened our mouths and our new investigator Eric accepted a baptism date and a return appointment. How wondrous and great... He even kept the return appointment!

Patrick is a referral from our friends in Canoga Park, which it always takes forever to get there, so I don't like going. Then when we got there for our scheduled appointments, no one was home. So, we went to Patrick our back up, and now he has a baptism date too! God is great.

Jessica is going to be baptized this Saturday! Watch for the pictures next week! Love you all! Have a great one!
Hermana Sleight