Monday, June 30, 2014

Let The Adventures Begin!!


This has been another great week here in Simi Valley!! It has been great especially because my companion Sister Snow and I were MTC companions, so it is wonderful to be back together! 

Sister Snow and me at the MTC
(click to enlarge)

We have both grown so much. It is great to see how different we are but how well we work together. She is so great in so many ways and I really have to try hard not to compare myself to her. She works at a very fast pace. I have to consciously realize that we have different talents and that is why we were put together here! We have really been learning a lot from each other this week. We have been working really hard and have seen such great things!

Thank you President and Sister Castro!
Welcome President and Sister Felix!

We had a meeting this week to plan our exchanges. It is honestly really strange being a Sister Training Leader and seeing what all goes on behind the scenes! Tomorrow we have Mission Leadership Council with President and Sister Felix! This will be an all-day event and we'll be able to spend time with them and get to know them in a small group setting. 

President and Sister Felix just arrived in the mission last Friday and I am really excited to meet them! We will even be able to have breakfast with them before our jam packed day of training meetings. (I forgot to tell you last week that I sang another a cappella duet in a zone meeting that was a farewell to President and Sister Castro. What has become of me?)
The Sister Training Leaders
(in companionships, from left to right, back to front)
Sister Hegstrom, Sister Cox, Sister Randall, Sister Hiatt,
Sister Mason, Sister Snow, Hermana Siddoway, Hermana Schmidt,
Hermana Cannon, Hermana Brown, Hermana Higgs, Hermana Faletau

We also will be going on exchange with Sister Hiatt and Sister Randall (the Sister Training Leaders in Ventura) this week to give us a little more advice about exchanges. It is pretty interesting being with Sister Snow because both of us are brand new to this assignment so we will be figuring out everything together! I am up for the adventure though! 

During this transfer we will be going on exchanges with 16 sisters around our area, so starting next week we will be going on 2 exchanges a week! I am really excited for the exchanges to start so I can work one on one with the sisters and see all the miracles that exchanges bring! Our mission now has 93 sisters and we are getting more and more each transfer! The past several transfers there have been more sisters than elders coming into the mission from the MTC. Crazy huh?

Sister Snow and me with Hermana Linford on her last day here in
the great California Ventura Mission. I couldn't imagine my
mission without her! She was one incredible missionary!
(Luckily I'll be able to see her again back in Mesa)

We had a lesson with recent convert Gianna this week. The lesson was on priesthood, missionary work, teaching and learning in the church, and enduring to the end. At first she had many questions, and she was a little sad that she will not be able to have the priesthood. Haha, she is so cute. We explained to her how women and men have different roles, and one of the men's roles is priesthood responsibilities.

She was so sweet when we talked to her about missionary work and how she can start being a missionary now. She told us that she has been inviting her friends to different activities, but hasn't had much success yet. She also told us that she is still really excited to serve a mission when she is old enough! Gianna's father is not a member, but now he keeps talking about Gianna going on a mission and that he has adjusted his long-term plans so that she can serve a mission when she is older! It has been incredible how this family has changed in just the last few months!

We had a missionary sacrament meeting yesterday. Sister Snow and I both spoke, and Gianna's mother spoke about Gianna's baptism. I was having a really hard time trying not to cry the whole time that she was speaking! I was trying really hard not to be a complete cry baby sitting up there on the stand. She even mentioned in her talk that Gianna wants to go on a mission and she wants "to be like Sister Mason." That's when I almost lost it.

The mother was completely inactive about 4 months ago and is now very active and on fire about the church! Gianna is now a great addition to our ward's beehive class and her father comes to all the ward activities. It is just incredible to see this change in these people's lives in such a short amount of time. I just feel so blessed to have been a part of it! The mother also told us that her husband is now asking when the next ward activity is so that he can come. He is such a great man and maybe when the time is right he will join the church as well!

The District!
Elder Eagan, Elder Eggleston, Elder Jones, Elder Davis,
Elder Cheade;, Elder Crapo, Sister Snow, Me, Hermana Shepherd,
Hermana Player, Hermana Faletau, and Hermana Higgs

 We had a couple of great lessons on fasting this week. One was with an investigator L and the other was another investigator S. In our lesson with L she wasn't very excited about the idea of fasting. She was worried that she wouldn't be able to do it, but we invited her to start studying about fasting and prepare for fast Sunday next week. She said that she will be there next week and fast with a purpose! She is still not sure what she thinks about baptism, but we are not going to give up on her. 

When we met with S it was wonderful because her older daughter (a member) was in town and was able to sit in on the lesson with us. We taught her about fasting and tithing. I feel like she still likes to learn about the gospel, and how her kids live their lives, but she still doesn't understand how the gospel applies to her. 

It was so great to have her daughter there with us. She said something like "Mom, you should try to fast to see if you should keep learning about this gospel. We want you to keep learning but you need to find out for yourself." It was perfect, and is exactly what she needs! S would be such a great addition to our ward, but she really needs to get to the point where she absolutely wants this for herself.

Mike, a member we're meeting with. He is a crack up!

Another wonderful lesson we had was with J and B. We began to ask J about how his reading of the Book of Mormon has been going and he told us that he has really been studying the Word of Wisdom pamphlet that we left him. He told us about a month ago that he wanted to quit smoking, but we haven't been able to have much contact with him while he was going through so many problems. He told us that the night before, he drank his last alcoholic drink and smoked his very last cigarette! He told us that he has been taking it very seriously and has been cutting back over the past few weeks! He also told us that he is also cutting down on coffee so he can completely quit that too!

Throughout the lesson he kept mentioning how he is going to be a member of this church very soon. He is such a great man! He will be going in for surgery this week and has at least a month-long recovery, so he is putting off scheduling another baptismal date until he is better. We really hope and pray that everything goes well with his surgery, but he is actually really looking forward to having more time to read the Book of Mormon as he recovers. Pray for him!!

Happy 4th of July! Some people really go all out for holidays!

We have met so many incredible people this week too! We met some Hindus and they were such great people. We even got to experience a 19-year-old girl pray for the first time in her life! Some days are tough, but it really doesn't get any better than being out here doing the Lord's work! 
Me and Sister Snow!

Great things are going on here in Simi! I love this ward and all the people we have met here. I am really excited for this assignment to be a Sister Training Leader with my wonderful companion Sister Snow!

Much Much Love,
Sister Mason

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