September 18, 2017

Baptismo para Kevin

Dear Friends and Family, 

Thank you for all of your love and support!

This week I've been reading about the last dispensation in the Book of Mormon and its degeneration into apostacy. What a sad topic. So I'll try sharing my happier thoughts on the subject: 4 Nephi 1:16-17 is a list of "do nots" that make up Zion, but in reality, it sounds like the best place to live. From old English to Hermana Sleight's personal translation, it says there is no jealousy, no fighting, no wild parties(Hna F was sad to hear that one), no vulgarity, no lying, no killing, no lust, no stealing. I would add a sign over the door that says "Be one. Be happy." I've always taken those lists for granted. In the same study, I read the list in the Family: A Proclamation to the World, and I thought it matched pretty well. When we build our families upon gospel principles, the fruit is a Zion-like home. "faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreation activities". 

We were driving around rounding up investigators for church when we saw Angel Escamilla who we had to drop because he's an alcoholic. We made a funny joke about putting him on the bike rack and taking him to church. We stopped by Martin's and he said he'd come late. We called Victor and he said he'd come. Neither of them did. Agency, am I right?

Kevin's baptism. I was privileged enough to knock on his door a few days before being transferred away. He's basically a stranger, but I got a hand in his salvation. What a blessing. Oh, yeah, and did I mention his other missionaries are my former companions Hermana Arenas and Hermana Pfeil?? I love them all!!! 

Love you guys! Thanks for all of the support!
Hermana Sleight

September 11, 2017

Bautismo de nina

Dear Friends and Family,

Thanks for your love, prayers, and support! This area and I really need it. 

Insight from this morning: I have seen all over the scriptures that the difference between sin and righteousness is black and white, and the chasm between the righteous and the wicked is growing ever wider. Thinking of earthquakes and Lehi's dream, the river is growing ever wider and deeper. It is more difficult to repent and be baptized now than it ever has been, and those who fall away fall harder than ever before. I was reading 3 Nephi 28 and the footnotes in Matthew 10 and John 7:43 when I had this insight. But what I love most is that our job is to declare the truth clearly and without apology. (PMG 211) 

This week Luisa got baptized, and since neither of her parents on members, she's technically a convert, but since she's been going to primary, we didn't really see it as our baptism either. As a result, we didn't ask anyone to preside and Bishop couldn't even make it. :/ We also left the baptism record in the car and they didn't use her second last name. Bishop said we might have to do it over again, and that was just the cherry on top of a terrible day for me. That night I knelt and asked Heavenly Father what we needed to do. Out of respect for the priesthood, we organized a rebaptism for Saturday even though it was inconvenient for everyone. I hate feeling like an inconvenience. Then Bishop did his research and everything was okay, so she just got confirmed and that was that. Lesson learned: always take everything seriously. I wish I could stop learning this lesson while simultaneously learning that I need to loosen up and laugh more. I'll figure it out though:)

Thanks again! Love you!
Hermana Sleight

September 5, 2017

Purificados en el Horno de aflicción o sea 113 grados de gloria

Dear Friends and Family,

On what I hope was the hottest week of my mission, your love support and prayers were definitely appreciated.

Cool insight on forgiveness of sins: Often in the scriptures, our sins are compared to stains on a white robe. The blood that Christ shed for us is metaphorically the infinitely strong stain remover. What I learned as I read 3 Nephi 17:29 is that Christ has done His part by shedding his blood(providing the stain remover), but we are the ones who scrub at the stains (repent) and wash it clean (are cleansed from sin by living the gospel of Jesus Christ). I love that this biblical metaphor demonstrates so well the necessity of living the gospel of Jesus Christ beyond just faith.  

Stories! I have no time. I'm so sorry.

Angel went to ARP and we can't provide the kind of help he needs. So sad...

But we found a super awesome goldmine and he's an investigator now! For pictures, see last week's email.

Hermana Sleight

August 28, 2017

El dia semana mejor

Dear Friends and Family,

Thanks for all of your love and support! I really appreciate it:)

Today in personal study, I drew a picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ as represented by the analogy of a gate and baptism. This week I finished memorizing 2 Nephi 31 in Spanish, and it's become a great asset. Basically, once you know what it says, you realize that it applies to everyone. I'm going to send a picture with it of what I drew. Please, just take it with a grain of salt. I'm an aspiring engineer, not an artist. Anyway, baptism is how we enter the path. At baptism we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. As we endure to the end, we find ourselves in the temple. But the most important thing to know is that we MUST have faith in order to repent in order to be baptized in order to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost in order to endure to the end in order to receive eternal life. Eternal life is life with God and our families in a fullness of joy. Basically what are you all waiting for?? Get to building your faith and living the gospel of Jesus Christ! And key to maintaining our faith in Jesus Christ are sincere prayer, meaningful scripture study, consistent church attendance, willing service, and worthy temple attendance. That, my friends, is the high five!(say it with a southern accent. It's Sister Marriott's idea.)

We showed up for Angel's lesson on Friday and he had definitely been drinking recently. I'm not familiar with the symptoms of heavy drinking, but I think he was hung over. We taught the word of wisdom, but I am 100% sure he doesn't remember a thing. :P 
Same day, we went to share 1 Nephi 3:7 with Ricardo in a quick 5 minute visit, and he told us he had smoked weed and not read. It turned into 1 million excuses and 0 commitments.  He made us miss curfew. ... But to make it worth everyone's time, I'll add that he tried to explain who knows what to us by starting with, "It's like how you know how drunks have this moment of clarity?" *blank stares* "What? You've never been drunk before?" "No..." And he went on to explain that it doesn't even happen every time. Ha! But it gets better.
When we got back to where we had parked our car at 9:27, it had been towed. Rough... 13 hours and $223 later we got the thing back, but still... I feel bad for the security guard. What a rough job he must have ruining our already really tough day all over again. 

But! There's still a lot going on here in El Camino. Luisa is going to be baptized on the 6th. We taught her everything in 5 visits. She's technically a convert, but she's turning 8 this week, and her grandma has been taking her to church for a long time. 

Love you! Thanks for everything!
Hermana Sleight
 Zone Conference!                                                                         And getting a ride to the tow yard!

August 21, 2017

Las Poderosas

Dear Friends and Family,

Thanks so much for all of the support and love!! Your prayers are being answered in my area. 

Moroni 7:33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. (from Mom)(sorry you'll have to search it yourself, unless my mom is nice enough to copy and paste it for me:) We've been sharing this scripture with all of the members. Faith is the spark that sets everything in motion. Expedient means convenient or advantageous, and you better believe that it is advantageous unto Christ for you to spread the gospel. Lesson learned: You most definitely can do missionary work even if all you've got is faith. As President Henrie would most certainly say, Go, and Do.

What an awesome week! First up, Ricardo. We just taught Ricardo for the 2nd time since I've been in the area yesterday. He also made it to church! We are extremely stern as a companionship. Sometimes me toca to be the good cop. I'm sure any of my former companions would have a hard time believing I'm ever the good cop, but seriously, Hermana Figueroa and I are very stern. What can I say? Now he's progressing. Anyway, last night we taught him the Word of Wisdom, and the only thing he doesn't do more or less on a regular basis is drink tea. It might be a long road, or he might never touch any drugs, alchohol, tobacco, or coffee again. I have the faith for the latter:) Please pray for it to be that way as well. If everything goes as planned, Ricardo will be baptized in September.

Luisa is almost 8 and neither of her parents are baptized yet or even investigating, but her grandma takes her to church, and she's about to be baptized. She's SO CUTE! She reminds me of my sisters, which is to say, I love her so much. 

First Day we knock on Doris's door and set a baptism date with her. I love being a missionary!

Another time Hna Figueroa taught the whole lesson one and extended the baptismal invitation while I was talking to Carlos who claims he's batman. What can I say? She's on fire!!

We walked into a non-progressing part member family's home where the Christian church lady already was. Spirit whispered: "No man can serve two masters." Boldest message I think I've ever shared. Commitment: Family council to choose which church because they can't go to both. Hopefully the Spirit wins out. I still can't believe we did that.

Different non-progressing part member family, we literally were like, "did you know you're an investigator? do you know what we expect from investigators? are you going to read or what?" He downloaded the app and I think things are about to start moving there too:)

We've been trying this Book of Mormon Challenge where we invite everyone we meet to open to any page and read any part and look for something beautiful about God and Jesus Christ. One girl opened up to Mosiah 3 and I had completely forgotten about that part. It was like hearing it for the first time, which she was, and it was SO POWERFUL (poderoso). We did it with this other YSA girl who doesn't actually live in the mission, but she started with that, heard the restoration, said she agreed with it more than any other religion she's learned about, and set a church tour! What!!? Love it. 

Judith is almost 15 which is really crazy for me because so is Meredith and she's way too old to be the same age as Meredith, but asi es la vida. She loves learning about the gospel and going to church. She investigated and wanted to be baptized 2 years ago, and her mom wouldn't let her be baptized, but we're going to try again now that she's older and we walked with her to church yesterday. It was awesome!! 

Hermana Figueroa is so awesome. I love her so much!! We have 3 past wards in common and I feel like I can just be myself and she laughs and gets me. I love it. She's from VA close to DC and I love talking about east coast cities with her. We have no shortage of conversation, and even if we do, it's comfortable silence:) 

I love being a missionary! Thanks again for all of your love! Love you all!
Hermana Sleight

Hermana Figueroa, the new companion, look how little she is!

August 14, 2017

Muy corto

Record short weekly email:

Moral of the week: Love the Savior. Everything else will work out.

Yesterday this man was giving my companion the up-down, but she paid it no mind. We picked up his 3 buddies as investigators. 

Thanks for all of your support! Love you lots!

Note from Mom: They've been crazy busy. She is getting transferred this week to Canoga Park. Her new companion will be Hermana Figueora. Still driving, still an STL, and even though her year mark is August 24th, she'll be celebrating a year on September 14th, the day she got into the field. (Her president told her that her time in the MTC didn't count, so she'll come home in March instead of February) One of the best surprises we had was to get a text message with photos from our old bishop who was on vacation down there and saw her! 

August 7, 2017

Bautismo de Roberto

Dear Friends and family,

Thanks for all of your prayers and support! Time flies. I can't believe transfers are next week.

3 Nephi 15: 7(ish) talks about how we are a light unto "this people". This week I realized that if we could put our spiritual goggles on, the faithful disciples of Christ would actually be shining bright! How can we lift the veil off of our friends and families eyes so that they recognize the light we have with us? We have to reach out and talk to them about spiritual matters! So open your mouth! 

We met Roberto through his recent convert cousin, Luis. Luis brought him to a sports night, and since then he's come to church every Sunday and become one of the "muchachos" in YSA. Hermana Monarrez and I got to go to his baptism because we found and taught him before we got whitewashed out. It was a special experience. :)

Last week we went looking for a less active possibly part member family that turned out to have moved, but when we knocked on the manager's door to find a forwarding address, we found a less active family with an unbaptized 8 year old behind the door! Hooray! This 8 year old is so sweet and so faithful:) She reads the BOM every day.