Monday, August 11, 2014

Temple, Birthday and Amazing Investigators!


First of all, I AM STAYING HERE IN SIMI WITH SISTER SNOW! All my dreams have come true! I love this area more than everything.Yesterday I couldn't even think about leaving this place and these wonderful people! 

This has definitely been one of the craziest but most incredible transfers of my mission. It's been such a whirlwind with everything going on, but I feel so blessed to be in this assignment as a Sister Training Leader. I just know that Heavenly Father has kept reaching out to me to show me how much he loves me and is there to help me in this assignment.
The English-speaking Sister Training Leaders
Sisters Mason, Snow, Hiatt, Randall, Cox, and Hegstrom
The Spanish-speaking Sister Training Leaders
Hermanas Brown, Halliday, Schmidt, Taylor, Faletau, and  Higgs

The blessings have been incredible to say the least. I feel like I have almost been forced to progress at a faster speed because of this assignment, but I am so blessed for that. I absolutely love working with the great sisters of this mission! I have truly learned so much from every sister I have gone on exchange with. I am excited and honored to continue to be a Sister Training Leader, and I am more than excited to stay here in Simi Valley! I can't wait to see what miracles this next transfer has in store for us!

Sister Snow, me and Christina at the Los Angeles temple!

We had such a great day at the temple last Wednesday. It was honestly one of my best experiences at the temple! The Spirit was so strong there, and I feel like I learned so much this time. Sister Snow and I came back from the temple fully spiritually exhausted. I love the temple more and more every time I go. I am so blessed!

I think I may hold the sisters record in the mission for the number of
times getting to go to the temple. I've been able to go 5 times so far.
We get to go when we or our companion has a birthday. I've had 2
birthdays while here, and 3 companions with birthdays. Lucky me!
(Here are pictures from my 4 earlier temple trips)

We had a great first lesson with one of our new investigators J. She is incredible! She is best friends with a young woman in our ward. She told us that she was telling her mom this week why she started reading the Book of Mormon. She told her mom that if it was more of God's word, she would want to read it. She also said that she gets the chills and feels at peace when she reads the Book of Mormon. 

She is doing so well! She just had shoulder surgery so she is basically bedridden for a few weeks, but she is so strong. She is 17 and is one of the most prepared investigators I have ever met. Her friend was there with us for the Restoration lesson and it was incredible! Her friend has been such a great missionary to her and is really supportive.

Matching hair and red skirts!

This week we also met with J and B. We were able to have dinner with them at a member's house, and have a lesson afterwards. It went really well. The members were so excited to have them over. It was a great lesson on fasting and obeying and honoring the law. All the members here are really supportive and ask us how they can help us in the work.

A few days later we had one of the best lessons we have ever had with them! We read Alma chapter 32 and compared faith growing like a seed to how they can get a testimony of the Book of Mormon. They soaked up that chapter. 

Until recently, B has been at the lessons, and has just been listening, but mostly she hasn't been too interested. Now she is reading the Book of Mormon and she even came by herself to our Relief Society activity last week! She is getting more and more into the gospel and she has really come a long way in just the last few weeks! 

One of our investigators took us out for a
birthday sushi feast this week! Mmmm

We started teaching a new investigator C. He moved into a house with a less-active member we are teaching. The member was there for the lesson. We had such a great lesson on the Restoration! He is willing to read the Book of Mormon to find out if it is true. He is excited to start going to church to get his faith back. 

Left - My birthday lunch! Cake #1 of the day!
Right - My 3rd birthday cake of the day! All thanks to Michelle

I honestly had the best birthday of my life. What made it so great was having a less-active sister come to church for the first time in years, and having one of our investigators with us also. The less-active sister has been in the ward for a few years now, but this was the first time she has come to church! Everyone in the ward was so sweet to her and welcomed her! The investigator said she came to sacrament meeting because she knew it was my birthday. 

Michelle at church! I honestly never thought I would see her in
a dress AT CHURCH. That was the best birthday surprise!

I was trying really hard not to cry sitting in between these two wonderful women in sacrament meeting! I really do not know if I have ever cried out of pure joy before, but I was trying really hard to keep the tears back. That was such a special experience and one that I will ever be grateful for! 

Left -  sweet pork for my birthday dinner! (I miss Costa Vida)
Right - my delicious peanut butter chocolate birthday cake

The members were also so cute. Everyone sang happy birthday to me and people in the halls at church made sure to say happy birthday to me! We even went into Primary for all the little kids to sing happy birthday and it was the cutest thing ever. All the members spoiled me and I just feel so blessed!

So Much Love,
Sister Mason

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