Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Week 19 - Milagros en el calor! (miracles in the heat)

This week, I learned how to jump start a car! (Kind of embarrassing that I didn't know that before.....My dad has taught me before but I obviously didn't listen very well.) but anyways our car died twice this week because the heat was destroying the battery, and so the zone leader, Elder Burt, that had to drive a half hour to come rescue us (bless his heart) and he taught me a bunch of stuff about cars so that he and Elder Castillo don't have to drive out every time something happens to the car. The things you learn on a mission ;)

Wednesday when we went and got the car fixed, we walked about 3 miles to this smoothie place, and that was when I realized that if I was on a bike in the Imperial Valley I would die. Just walking out in that heat I was so hot! It is getting really hot here. This Monday its supposed to be up to 122. Also on Wednesday during power hour we had a guy just stop and give us all of his information and walk away. So we went and saw him on Thursday and he is really prepared! He just got out of prison and is ready to let God into his life.
Thursday a really neat miracle happened. We were finishing our power hour, and it had been a pretty crappy one where we had had lots of doors slammed, but we saw this guy like squatting down on the road. So we went to go talk to him and turned out he was a member who was from Idaho and he was here working going door to door for Vivint. Then his partner walks up, and he was a member too. So we talked to them, then all the sudden they were like well let's see who we know that you should go visit. And so they gave us 5 referrals that day! It was so awesome.

Friday we had District meeting with our new district leader Elder Baldwin.  He really cares about us as missionaries, not just the numbers were putting up on the board. So that's super cool. And Friday we had a lesson with Jasmin!! She had a baptismal date then like stopped contacting us all of a sudden. But we were able to get a hold of her, and we finally taught her again! And Hermano Anduro came with us and he is like the best member in the world. And it was such a good lesson! She's going to have a baby boy in November, and her and Ruben have to get married before she gets baptized. They said they were still thinking about marriage, but they would let us know. And we told them we would plan the wedding for them if they decided to get married ;) that would be SOOOO fun. Sister Garcia and I would have a party. Speaking of Sister Garcia, I love her so much. Like, I didn't realize how much a companion that is loving like her could change the mission.  She's starting to adjust to the heat, kind of haha. But she's got a really positive attitude and I like that :) can one really adjust to 122 degrees? I don't think so!

And then on Sunday and Monday it was pretty toasty. I didn't know I could sweat so much. But it's good!   But we had a zone wide power hour. And I wasn't sure where to go for it, so we decided to go to Holtville. Come to find out, that isn't even in our area! Oops. But we saw a bunch of miracles!

If you haven't read the introduction to the Book of Mormon recently, I invite you all to read it :) it truly is inspired!

I love you all!! Les quiero!
Hermana Fowlks

Sister Garcia and I after the sweatiest hour of my life.         Sunset in the farm, we love it here!
The new Imperial Valley Girls
Picture of the temperature on Sunday June 19, 2016 (just in case you thought I was being dramatic about the heat)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Week 18 - Transfers and Tremors

Well, here in the Valley, it gets really really hot. Like, 120's during the day. And in zone meeting on Wednesday, we talked about how we're going to really be "unfailingly optimistic" as Elder Hamula said last week. But, there is a promise of being in the Imperial Valley in the summertime! MIRACLES. So I'm really excited to excercise my faith and work in this heat because I know Heavenly Father will help me to be more sensitive to the Spirit and help me find more prepared people.  (Even if I'm literally sweating buckets as I find them). And it could be worse! We could be on bikes like the Elders in Calexico and El Centro! Haha. 😁

Tuesday we played a nasty game of basketball. I'm actually getting decent because we play every week haha. Sister Tuia and I always guard each other and she is so competitive so it's kind of fun. She's really rough too, like if I didn't outweigh her by like 30 pounds I would be in trouble! But it's still fun. The Elders treat us like we're just other players (I guess they kind of have to when we play 3 on 3) but it's fun!
Then Wednesday we had ZONE MEETING! I love our zone. They're so great.  We talked a lot about goals, and we set a goal to have 25 baptisms this summer. Because miracles happen in the Valley. It's like a common mission knowledge that when the summer comes, the Valley lights on fire. Spiritually and literally.
Thursday night was an exciting night. First of all, for some background information: Sister Tuia and I have beds that have wheels at the bottom and our house is all hardwood floor. And in the middle of the night I wake up to my bed shaking back and forth. And first I was like seriously Sister Tuia it is one in the morning! But then I just hear, "Esta bien Hermana?" And I realize that we are in an earthquake! I've never been in one like that before. So it lasted about 5 minutes (maybe it was shorter I'm not sure) and then it stopped. Then Sister Tuia and I established that we would make  emergency earthquake kits just in case there was a big earthquake and we had to run out. (We would definitely need some snacks in that situation ;) and then we went back to sleep! So that was pretty exciting, and I'm sure it was not the last one we will feel since the fault line is right where we are and the weather is apparently earthquake weather. So I get to experience something new and exciting!

Saturday Maria got baptized!  We got there in time to fill the font, make the programs, and decorate and set everything up. So the service went well, then it came time to have Maria be baptized. And they opened the doors, and the font was only half full! I guess I didn't put the plug in all the way or something and the water had been slowly draining out. But she got all the way under and that is what matters haha. She was so nervous, but it went really well. She has been investigating the church for over 8 years and finally made the decision to be baptized. It was a really special and spiritual service and I felt so blessed to be a part of it.
Sunday we had lunch with the entire family of brother and sister Gow.  And their son apparently served his mission with a Trevor Fowlks.....all you Fowlkses out there do we know a Trevor Fowlks?
Anyways, that was good.  Monday we found out about transfers and got a new car! Who hoo! I will be staying here in Brawley (🎉🎉🎉) and Sister Tuia is going to Sweetwater.  I'm really really happy that I am staying here (also because I really really didn't want to pack up all my stuff) but also I feel like I still have a lot to learn from the people here in Brawley.  And my new companion is named Sister Garcia, she's from Chihuahua, Mexico and she usually serves in the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center in San Diego so that's kind of fun! She came to melt in la Valle. Pobrecita. And then we got the Sister Training Leaders' car because they're going to sell ours. And their car is soooo nice and the air conditioning works way better. So that's awesome.
Les quiero mucho!

 Hermana Fowlks
The Sisters in the District.  Sister Sanders is going home.
Maria's Baptism 
                 New Companion Sister Garcia

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Week 17 - Just Keep On a Goin!

Hello family and friends!

This week was pretty normal. 

Wednesday night we had a really special day with one of our member families. They are called the Gows.  Brother Gow called us earlier that week and asked if we would come over for dinner on Wednesday. So we did! And when we got there we found out that it was Sister Gow's birthday. She was turning 82! And she made us the most delicious teriyaki burgers.  But she got kind of emotional during dinner. We asked what happened and she said that this was the first time in their life that they had the missionaries over. Brother Gow had never invited missionaries over to eat before, and that this was the best birthday she had ever had.  I wanted to cry!  It was so nice.

Thursday was pretty good, we had weekly planning and a way solid lesson with Maria who is getting baptized this Saturday. Then on Friday we drove to San Diego again! This time Elder Hamula of the 70 spoke. He was awesome. Here's some of the notes I took:

Casualness is the gateway to disobedience. This war is not casual.  If we are not ready, we will become a casual missionary. And in the heat of the battle we might become a casualty. You study the BOM and if you hold on to that testimony, I assure you that heaven will guide you carefully and hell will have no power to take you off that course. And believe me hell will try.  When there is too much noise, you can't hear the spirit.  Develop the attribute of quietness and soberness.  Rarely does the voice of the Lord press.  You have to understand who you are before you can understand the gospel of Christ.  The best trees grow slow. Now why is it that the Lord has you grow slow?  He's got His purpose, to have you grow.  He wants you to understand something else.

Then, I was studying in the book of Moses, and when Satan comes to tempt Moses. But because of the spiritual experience  Moses had previously had, he was able to resist the temptation. And then I read this quote from Elder Holland: "In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. … When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what
you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. …The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue--it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do
have and the truth you already know"

So, if you are struggling at all with your faith, I ask you, don't give up! Hold on and love the Lord,
and good things will come. As President Uchtdorf said: "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters--my dear friends--please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”

I love that. :) and I love all of you! Keep going, God is good.
Love always, Hermana Fowlks