Monday, July 27, 2015

Bendiciones de la vida feliz

Hey Fam! 
Not too much happened this week, but I do want to share a really cool experience I had this week. 
The other day we had a lesson with Martin and Fatima. We were talking about diezmo y ayuno and the bendiciones que a persona can receive in their lives. They accepted it full heartedly. Sometimes Martin just says things sometimes that just throw me off a little. We were talking and he said something about how God answers our prayers in weird ways. I asked what ways he was talking about and he told us about what was happening in his life before we started teaching them. He said the week before we walked into his store he was really depressed with his life and that he felt like he needed a change. He told us that his friends were a bad example and that they were just bad people, he didn’t know what he was going to do with his life, if he should study or just keep working. Basically, he just said he felt lost and that he needed to change his life. Three days after this, Hermana Hoggan and I walked in to buy us some Reca; it’s this really good juice. We started talking to them and got to know them, and here we are now with him going to get baptized next week! He just said how it was funny how God works and how he can send us our answers is different ways that are a little weird. He was funny, he said “it was like God was writing it all out of what was going to happen. And then the two Hermana’s walked into the tienda and changed everything." When he told me that I just got that big burst of energy and reminder for why I am here. I don’t know where they are or who they are, but I know that there are people waiting to be found and brought back to this gospel. It really confirmed to me that we really are directed to where we need to be when we need to be there.

Another thing that happened on Tuesday: We had about 3 hours left and our 3 appointments fell through real fast. We had 3 hours of nothingness. We went and said a prayer to have people to find that need our help. Afterwards we went and sat on the stairs so I could find a direction in my bag. This guy walked by and we started talking with him and he accepted us real quick. We went back yesterday and found out that he wants to better his life and get away from his drinking problem. After we talked to him on the stairs we found 3 more people that were really great and one we found that we had been looking for, for about 2 weeks. I really felt the love of the Lord in that time. 

I know he will be there to help us throughout every bad and good day we have. I know that He lives and that He lives here with us. Not only missionaries can find people to help, but everyone. I love this gospel and all of the great blessings that can come from this knowledge that is in it. I know we can receive blessings every day and through those blessings that we can live with more happiness. I love you all and hope that you can look for those opportunities to help others and share the blessings and the happiness that you have in this gospel! 

Love, Hermana Velasquez

PS: I didn’t take pictures this week; sorry...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bananas, baby birds, bonding and blessings...

With Martin and Fatima. We teach them in this little tienda and it takes awhile because we have to pause when people come in, but it’s worth it! They are super great.

Jose Juan Santos de Dios.  He is the convert that got baptized in May.
A baby bird! He's just a tiny thing!
I got to cut down bananas from a banana tree the other day!

Que honda Fam?
I’m learning some pretty good "slang" from my new companion.

So this week lots of good things happened! As a mission we are trying to focus more and more on the menus activos in the areas. I really like working with them a lot! We found some menus activos this week and they have a lot of need for help, but they are wanting to come back so this is good! 

My new companion and I are still doing really well together! She is teaching me lots and I hope I’m doing the same for her! I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m out to get her though. In this week I hit her in the face with a door, jammed her hand in a desk, and here’s the bad one: sprayed perfume in her eyes -- directly into her eyes. It just came out and I felt soooo bad! She just went screaming to the bathroom “Mi ojos! mi ojos!” She came out and couldn’t open her eyes for like 5 minutes. I just sat there in silence staring at here. I felt so bad! Afterwards she just laughed about it so we’re all good! 

We had a good lesson with Martin and Fatima this last week. We taught them about the plan of salvation. Hermana Fatima got a little freaked out by it and was saying that she thinks that she won’t get to go to the reina celestial. We calmed her down and she accepted it! Martin is pretty great; every time we go he says. “So when I’m a Mormon....” or “when I go on my mission...” It’s pretty great! He’s a golden boy. His dad is catolico and doesn’t really like the missionaries very much, but he will come around! I love teaching them so much. I can always feel the spirit so much in the lessons with them. They are always so interested in what we have to tell them, and are just progressing so well! People like them just make me love being a missionary! 

We also went and contacted this reference and she was a lady with about 80 or more years and she was kinda crazy, but the sweetest thing ever. She was telling us how she had visions and would start talking in other languages. She called it the gift of tongues. After she told us that, she started to pretend like something was talking through her to us in a different language, and then her daughter came out and was like “mom, why are you doing this again?” With an annoyed look on her face, like her mom does this all the time to people or something...  She just looked at her daughter then at us and just smiled with shrugged shoulders. I just started laughing, ha-ha! 

Yesterday we had this member come out with us. We went looking for a reference for like an hour, cuz this lady was so determined that we were going to find this reference. She was like “okay, chicas, let’s go find this person.” She would go up to people and ask them if they knew this direction (the direction we had was really bad and it wasn’t complete so it was impossible to find them) and then if they didn’t know she would just walk away super-fast and go find a different person to ask, then that person would tell us a street, we would go to that street, then it ended up being the wrong street. We then went to this tienda to ask someone. There was a table and chair where the person was sitting. She pulls up another seat and sits with him and asks the direction and if he knows where it is. He didn’t know either, so she got up, but I wanted to contact him. We started contacting him and telling him about the church, then she just says with her strong voice “oh my gosh, you girls are so cute -- you’re contacting him -- that is so funny.” We all just kinda looked at her and then she felt a little awkward, ha-ha - it was all fun and funny. She was a great help to us, and she would make a good determined missionary! Ha-ha! 

This week was great and we are working hard here, and I am just loving it all so much! I hope you are all doing so great and are enjoying summer! I love you all so much and hope you can all continue to feel the love that the Savior has for you! Thanks for the letters! 

Love, Hermana Velasquez

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 13, 2015 One of the hardest, but best at the same time...

My zone with Elder Valenzuela, one of the Seventy that came at last transfer.

My 4th of July popsicle!

Me with Hermana Vera... she feeds every Monday. She's great!

Hermana Vera buys us pizza!

Me and my companion, Hermana Diaz!

We ate with the bishop and he and his family made us dress up and they took our pictures.
On Septemer 15 they have all the kids here dress us like little war Mexicans
 with fake bullets across their chests and guns, and the little girls have it too!
Ha-ha, it's pretty funny! 

I got burnt pretty bad...

My agenda.
I am not going to lie; this week was one of the hardest, but the best at the same time. I really felt the love of my Savior and the prayers from you all! In the beginning of the week I was on a high level of stress. I was sick, and tired all the time because of the bugs in my stomach, and I was stressed about having a new companion. This was the first time for me to be with someone who has less time than I do. With Hermana Hoggan we have the same time and we knew the same things and all. If one of us didn’t know something the other one did. With my new companion, she depends on me to know everything and really that’s how it should be. I was nervous because 1: she is Latina and 2: she is newer to the mission. I was nervous that I wouldn’t understand everything she said, and 2: that I was going to have to do everything with the lessons and all. After the first two days of being stressed I realized that’s not how it is at all. 

The Lord is not going to let me fail, I am here to do His work and He will ALWAYS be right here along with me. I was given my companion for a reason in this area and boy, do I love my companion! She is so great! At first I didn’t know what to think about it all, I was just mostly scared. Everything is great and she is funny and makes me laugh so we get along good. She talks like George Lopez and it’s really funny and she knows how to do the Mexican laugh and is currently teaching me how to do it. She is from Acapulco, Guerrero Mexico and has 22 years. We work together really well in the lessons and everything. I learned that I can rely on her for things and I don’t have to do it all on my own and it shouldn’t be that way. Companions do things 50/50 that’s why there’s two of them (that can also apply for marriages -- remember that) She is learning a lot and so am I. She has been helping me on my Spanish lots and to better my accent! 

This week we had LOTS of work and we saw lots of success from our hard work. We found a new family and they accepted us really well and they came to church this week and loved it! We have also been teaching this boy and his mom who work in a tienda in our area but live in a different area and they are super great and are getting baptized in the next few weeks! They will be getting baptized in a different ward, but we are the ones who have been teaching them because they are never in their house. So we teach them and the other elders in the other ward are teaching them on Sundays. They are both really great and I just love teaching them! I always just feel super happy after every lesson! 

Thank you all for the prayers and the support always! I really can feel the love from you all! I am doing well and my health is back to normal! I love you all and hope you can continue to feel the love that our heavenly father has for you and for your families! Look for those blessings in your life -- always look for chances to share them with others! 
Love you all and have a great, safe, fun week! 

Love Hermana Velasquez

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 6, 2015 Bugs in my stomach...

Daniel's baptism!
Daniel is such a great kid!
My new companion is Hermana Diaz.

When Hermana Hoggan left  : (
Well this week has been quite the week. 

This week I got sick...I got a parasite. I don’t know how to spell that, but I just have little bugs in my stomach right now. I’m okay, I’m not in any kind of pain I just have a little rash and I’m just dead tired! I have pills to get rid of them and all will be good! Don’t worry mom; Hermana Garcia has the down-low on what’s going on! We went to the doctor with a member and she helped me a TON! She was asking good questions and making sure I was fine! 
I wasn’t able to go out much this past week because of it, but I’m all good now and ready to go! 

On Saturday Daniel got baptized and it was so great! He was so happy and I have never seen a bigger smile on anyone! He was so filled with the spirit! We had a little party for him after and it was just so great seeing him so happy and to really see his personality! He is really, really shy; we got him to open up with us really well, but this was the first time I saw him interacting with other kids! Ha-ha!

We had combios yesterday and Hermana Hoggan left and she was heartbroken and so was I! I didn’t think we were going to change at all! We both thought we were going to be together at least one more time, but no. I am here with Hermana Diaz, she is from Mexico, and she has about 6 months in the mission. I’m kind of nervous to not be with an American again, but it will be really good I’m sure! We still have lots and lots of work ahead of us here in Alameda. I’m excited to get working with her, it will be a lot different, but we are both going to learn a lot together. 

I loved seeing all of your pictures and all from your trip to Cali! Looks like you all had so much fun! I hope you all have a great week and keep loving your families and your lives! This mission is going crazy fast and I’m really trying to cherish EVERY minute here! I love it with all of my heart! It’s the hardest, but best thing I have ever done! 
Love you all so, so, so much! 

Con Amor,
Hermana Velasquez