Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blast off!

Biggest surprise of this week: this transfer is only 5 weeks long! Apparently our missions are being shortened by a week in order to accommodate the change in MTC stay and the high influx of missionaries coming out. This Monday we went to NASA! NASA is located abou 15 min from Pasadena, hence the phrase "Houston we have a Problem." We went to Space Center Houston to learn about what it takes to be a NASA astronaut, all there is to know about past missions, and how wonderful the galaxy really is. It was so much fun, I felt a little bit like I was on tour with Living Legends all over again though because we were all dressed in our proselytizing clothes touring the museum in groups of missionaries. I also may or may not want to be an astronaut now. I think it would be amazing to just float in outer space in the silence for a few, see the earth from a distance and just be filled with wonder.
   Hna Tonga and I have been hard at work this week putting into motion a wonderful inspired idea that came to us on how to find people to teach. Our story begins about a month ago. It was around 8:30 at night and we had exhausted all our back up plans, so I said to Hna Tonga, "let's knock Griffin." We knocked one home where a woman yelled at us "WHO IS IT?" Try as we might, we explained to her we were missionaries, but I think she was hard of hearing and so we ended up moving to the next house. However, a neighbor one house down came out and said, "Were you knocking the door of that house down there?" Apparently, the woman from the first home had called her neighbor because she was scared. We explained to the neighbor,Lisa, how we were missionaries. Lisa was adamant on telling us she was catholic and so we explained to her that we were Spanish speaking missionaries, and asked if she knew which of her neighbors spoke Spanish. Lisa said, "Oh, Pete does, but he's a Mormon, so don't bother talking to him."
   Hna Tonga and I later thouht, "who is this Pete, and why don't we know him?" Two nights later we met "Pete." Pete turned out to be an Hno that goes to one of the English speaking wards. He's a sweet man, and he gave us a great referral! During weekly planning session that next week, I told Hna Tonga, "Hna, I have a crazy idea. What if we meet all the members in our area, even the members from the English wards and ask them for referrals?" My train of thought was this, practically 75% of Pasadena speaks Spanish, and the Lord is most certainly preparing people in all parts of his vineyard. It is quite possible then that a member from the English congregation knows someone who speaks Spanish who is prepared to hear the message of the gospel.
  We quickly got to getting copies of the ward lists, using my GPS to locate the members that live in our area, and putting their name on a giant map in our apartment. So far we've gained a service opportunity that could potentially lead to a new investigator, and really good referrals! We're really excited to keep moving through the list. There is no way that I could have come up with such an idea on my own, and so I know that there is someone we are supposed to find throuh this list. Somewhere out there is a person who has been prepared to hear the gospel who Hna Tonga and I have to find.
   Finding is definitely the toughest part of missionary work. The work doesn't really begin unless we have people to teach. Finding can be a little disappointing at times though, especially because our finding efforts don't always translate to numbers that can be reported to our mission president. I came across these verses in my Book of Mormon reading today, "...Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
   Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught and in vain; surely my judgement is with the Lord, and my work with my God.
   And now, saith the Lord--that formed me from the womb that I should be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him--though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.
   And he said: It is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth." ( 1 Nephi 21:3-6)
  I know that this scripture is talking about the Messiah, and I am no way comparing myself to the Messiah, but I felt a comfort while reading this, a comfort that my work here in Pasadena is not in vain. I labor in a noble cause, and my glory is in my God. Hna Tonga and I both feel that we will have a baptism in February, though I couldn't tell you who it's going to be. We are working harder, and correcting our mistakes, because we both desire to be the best missionaries we can be.
I love you all!
Pray for a baptism for us!
Con todo mi amor,
La Hnita Flores


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