Monday, July 8, 2013

this is what eternity feels like...

The happiest moment I have had on my mission happened this weekend. But before I get to that...just before emailing, we set a baptismal date! I mentioned two weeks ago about meeting Ashley--the young woman who was the girlfriend of a less active young man in our ward! Remmber how I mentioned that I saw the image of my companion and I knocking on her Mother in Law's door? She is progressing so well, and she agreed to prepared to be baptized. We extended a date, but just realized that we also have to somehow throw a wedding in there. She explained that she felt such peace as she read the plan of salvation pamphlet, that she is likening herself to the Book of Mormon (she wanted to highlight 1 Nephi 3:7, but didn't know if it was okay to mark scriptures :) ), and she is working with her boyfriend because she wants them all to go back to church. It was a wonderful lesson. And this story is very similar to the one I'm about to mention. I will elaborate on the abovementioned story at another time. 

This Saturday, our ward asked us to help clean the chapel. While we were cleaning Elder Jensen told me, "I got a call from California! Morgan (E. Hatch) is coming for a baptism." I asked who's baptism and he informed me that it was Hna Carrasco's daughter-in-law from Pasadena. I was instantly filled with frustration. The first thought that popped into my head was, "Another person Heavenly Father? Another person that we had to hand off got baptized?" I am definitely NOT immune to negative thoughts, I asked Hna Post if we could go to the bathroom, and I offered a prayer. The prayer wasn't instantly answered, but towards the end of the day my thoughts had changed from the above mentioned to, "How grateful I am to be a part of that miracle! What a blessing from Heavenly Father to be a part of that experience!"

The highlight of this week happened yesterday, and it was the happiest moment I have had on my mission. Last minute, I was asked to play the piano for a stake youth fireside. We went, and I felt so antsy, so not right that after I played the opening hymn I got down from the stand and went with Hna Post to make phone calls. When we came back I saw Hna Carrasco the very woman who's daughter-in-law got baptized. She was sitting there with the bishop and his wife from Pasadena. I asked if I could sit with them. I took Hna Carrasco's hand and just sat there. Hna Carrasco said, "Hna Flores! My daughter-in-law got baptized!" As I held that woman's hand, and heard those words come from her mouth, I was filled with a love, a happiness, and a joy that I have NEVER felt before. I looked around at the members that were there from Pasadena, and the impression came, "this is what heaven and eternity is going to feel like." Happy isn't a sufficient enough word to describe the feeling.

After the fireside, Hna Carrasco gave me a hug and proceeded to tell the bishop from Pasadena the back story behind Ana's baptism. Hna Carrasco and I had been planning for weeks on how to get Ana to listen to the message. For some reason, at the time Hna Carrasco had only been feeding us, the sister missionaries. We would plan family home evenings, and ways that Ana could listen in. One Monday, Hna Tonga (remember my first trainee?) and I came over for dinner, and we saw Ana before she had hidden to her room. We started talking to her, we got to know her, etc. After dinner was over, we invited her to hear the message. We shared the first part of the plan of salvation. It was precisely the lesson that Ana needed to hear, there were tears as Hna Carrasco bore testimony to Ana that night that she loved her so much, and that she only invited her to church out of love. The love felt in that lesson so many months ago was so strong. Hna Tonga and I taught Ana twice, but we knew that because she wasn't in our area, we had to hand her off to Elders Conan and Hatch. It was a tough experience for us, we had already handed off to the English elders another person who later was baptized. 

As Hna Carrasco told Obispo Forrero this story in her own words I was in tears. I was so happy! She hugged me and said, "Hna Flores it had to be you! You had to start things off. And I am convinced that if Elder Hatch wouldn't have been in Pasadena, you would have been the one to have taught Ana." I was a mess at hearing these words! A mess! Bishop Forrero stepped in and said, "Missionaries never know the full extent of the work they do. Sometimes you just plant the seeds, but you'll never know just how much you did, " he then said, "You need to come back to Pasadena. You tell your Mission President that I am requesting you back in Pasadena." What missionary doesn't want to hear these words? Oh I could have hugged that man! I am in tears as I write this. I will NEVER forget that night, that experience. I can go home from my mission happy. But, I know I have so much left to do here. And if that was the joy that I felt from teaching someone twice. I can't imagine how I'll feel when I see someone to baptism again. How great shall be my joy.

I love my mission. & I love you!

- I went on exchanges with Sis. Ochsenbein and Sis. Hansen, and we may or may not have completely organized their area book, area map, ward list, etc. I'm notorious for keeping organized area books. 
- We had a mini miracle. We were trying formers in an apartment complex, Hna Post led this week. We were leaving the apartment complex and had two options: walk past people or not to walk past people. Hna Post took one step in the walk-not-past-people direction, but then she took one step and said, "No! We have to go this way." We went and met Byron, a 17 year-old who just moved from PROVO,UT!!!! He called out to us. It was such a mini miracle. And, we're starting to teach him. 

p.s. last week of the transfer. Exchange calls are this weekend! The only thing better than staying in my area would be going back to Pasadena. :) <3

E.Davis' fortune from a Chinese buffet. 

Liliana, one of my favorites from pasadena works at said buffet. I just heard someone scream, "Hna FLORES!!!"

The area I "work" in is known as the "East-End." Kind of like East Los. What is it with Mexicans loving to live in the east part of town?


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