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Monday, August 25, 2014

Espero que todos están bien!

Hello family and friends!

I hope all is well and that everyone had a great week, especially with the first week of school. This week was really unusual, but really, really great. 

We had two ward activities this week which were phenominal. The first was on Wednesday night; we actually had scheduled it for last Friday but literally no one showed up. It was a total flop. But this Wednesday we had a decent turn out, which was great! The purpose of the activity was to help the members feel comfortable sharing the Gospel. My companion and I taught a little ten minute workshop on how to present yourself to someone you don't know and how to obtain a reference for us to visit. The other companionship taught another ten minute workshop (I can't remember what their theme was) and then we sent the members out onto the streets to use what they had learned! We had selected streets in our area where we haven't had much opportunity to work and the members spent 20 minutes contacting people on those streets. It was super successful- my companion and I received five references from this activity alone! And now many members are excited to accompany us in lessons and try to give us more references. This activity was a missionary's dream!

During the activity we also gave out fliers for the activity we had on Friday. Although not as many investigators showed up as we would have hoped, it was still a very special activity. It was centered on the Plan of Salvation, and the members moved from room to room in the Church to learn more about the degrees of glory. My companion and I got to talk about the Celestial Kingdom and why baptism is necessary to enter the Celestial Kingdom, and wow, it was powerful. It's an activity I'll never forget. 

We also took a couple of our investigators to a Family Home Evening last week with a family in the ward, which was so fun. It's the first FHE I've had since entering the MTC, and it felt so good to be in that setting again. We played a game where we were asked questions about the Book of Mormon and had to find the verse that answered it. My favorite question was, "This scripture, which is only six words long (eight in English), is what you should say if you don't know what to do." The answer is 1 Nephi 13:22, which says, "And I said unto him: I know not." Ha ha. The hermano who came up with the questions told us he would use this scripture on his mission when an investigator asked a question he didn't know the answer to right away, promising that he would return with the answer the next time. Pretty clever, no?

We also had a special conference with Presidente Ramos this Friday. I love learning from the President- it is always such a blessing when he comes. He talked about how to use the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement to help investigators overcome challenges with the Law of Chasity, and it was a great conference. He also spoke about how we should work with the members (as always) and mentioned that everyone should be studying Preach My Gospel, and how the manual for missionary work is the same whether you are a full time missionary or not.

We also had a funny moment this week when we tried to contact a woman on the street. She was very friendly, but not really interested in the Church. She was however, adament that I should marry her son who lives in Kentucky. Like, completely serious. She kept going on about how she was going to tell him that she found an American girlfriend for him. My companion was dying. 

I sang "Called to Serve" in Spanish for the first time this week; I don't know how I haven't sung it before. There are four verses in Spanish, and my favorite line is about how we are called to bring light to a world in darkness. As members of the Church, we have what the rest of the world needs. It is a priviledge to be a full time missionary, but so many people have told me that the real mission begins once I return home. It's true; we really do need to stand as witnesses of God in all times, and in all things, and in all places. I have no doubt that this Gospel is true, and that it blesses our lives in ways we don't even realize.

I love you all so much! Thank you for your good examples and support. Have a great week!

Hermana Southard

p.s. lo siento, I didn't take any photos this week.