Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Week 29 - Laundry Miracle and Lamp Teaching

Hello all!
I hope you all had an awesome week.  Friday was a super interesting day. It all started with the morning.  We were role playing, which is where we pretend to teach an investigator so that we can practice it and it goes more smooth when its the real thing. We usually teach our lamp during these practices, which in this case, the lamp was our recent convert Hayrum. And we usually leave our door open in the morning because it's nice and cool outside. So as we were teaching Hayrum the lamp, all of a sudden we hear "um, sorry, but my cat is in your house." And we turned and looked and sure enough there was this giant white cat just hanging out! This poor girl probably thought we were crazy because we're sitting in there teaching a lamp that we keep calling Hayrum and then her cat came in our house.  And it did not want to leave. So that was an adventure getting him out!
Also on Friday, we had district meeting, where our district leader and his companion got in an argument in the middle of  the meeting. Super awkward. Then we had to go get air in our tire, but we couldn't figure out how to do it. So those same Elders that were fighting had to come help us get air in our tires. And when they came,  Elder Riley found a screw in our tire! So that was sad. Then we went and taught Hayrum, a recent convert (not the lamp). Then we had dinner with Elsy, she's super cute and awesome. Then while we were contacting in these apartments called Monte Vista, there's like these big scary bushes and someone starting running at us from behind them! So we ran away. And we were terrified, and now we don't go over there at night haha. (My fear of big bushes when I was younger was justified.)
Thursday was weekly planning, which took 5 hours. Because the area book (the book of all of our members, less active and active, current investigators, potential investigators, and former investigators with teaching records, addresses, telephone numbers, and other important stuff) is really messy.  Like there are so many partial records, or just stuff that doesn't make sense. Also we're trying to plan to teach an English class, so we had to try to figure out when would be a good time to do that. But then later that day we had a lesson with Ramon who is super cool, and we took a recently returned missionary with us, and we were able to set him with a baptismal date for Sept 24! It was awesome.
Then today, actually just like an hour ago, we saw a miracle and the power of prayer! So we do our laundry at this member's house, and she gave us a garage door opener because she's not home most of the day.  And the garage door opener is kind of a pain, it doesn't really work all the time.  But we went today, after we already had one load in, and we went to put in another, and the garage door opener wouldn't work.  We tried and tried and tried for like 10 minutes, and nothing! So I said to my companion, "Alright, let's pray." So we did, and what do you know, we tried again, and on like the third try, the door opened!  We were so grateful for that little tiny miracle.
We believe in a God of miracles, and I testify that He lives and knows every aspect of our lives. And sometimes He tests us, sometimes He tries us, but He always loves us.  I invite you all to find the little miracles in your lives.  Also, I read this quote the other day that I thought was really profound. Take what you want from it, then act on what you get. ๐Ÿ˜Š

"What a beautiful and happy world this would be if all of us would strive to live these [gospel] principles to the fullest. Our efforts and influence would affect millions. Examples improve society more than sermons. Most people would rather see a sermon than hear one."
-Elder Dallin H. Oaks
I love you all SOOOO MUCH and I am grateful for the love and support and prayers I can feel from, you all. Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Fowlks

Selfie with Sister Bartholomew and a singing bird.
Christmas Countdown!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week 28 - MILAGROS

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful week. This week was pretty good, we're working hard over here in Poway!  Wednesday we had zone meeting, President came so that was cool. We talked a lot about what we learned from Elder Arnold. We're working on working with the members more. Then we had a visit with Elsy, and we walked in and they were having a birthday party for their dog! He even had the cutest little birthday sweater. Max most definitely needs a birthday sweater. Then we visited and had a lesson with Miguel at Dialysis.  Then later that night we went and visited the family Bravo who are just so cute but they can't come to church because they work on Sundays.   But they're so cute!

Friday we had a lesson with Hyrum, a recent convert who is only 10.  And then we had service with Hermana O'Bierne. She has 5 kids and 4 of them are special needs, so we go over and help her clean her house every once in a while because she's so busy. And she bought us pizza which is nice. She's super cute though. Then we taught Miguel again. Then we taught Ramon and Hermano Martinez came with us. Ramon was in Tijuana for like 2 weeks so we hadn't seen him for a while. I don't know if he can progress, he works every single Sunday. But he enjoys the Book of Mormon and has desires to change so we will see!

Sunday this week was amazing. Saturday night we were feeling pretty bummed, because all of our investigators aren't terribly solid and none of them were saying they could come to church. We had made a goal for 3 investigators at church, and it didn't look like we were even going to get one! So the next morning, we went to church, and 2 of our members brought investigators for us! We have never met these people  before, they are both the kids of our members. One of them said she wants to get baptized, and she moved here from Tijuana to be with her dad and be baptized! It was super cool! And the other is going back to Peru in about 3 weeks, but we taught him on Monday and it was super good.

So, just when you think everything is the worst, don't worry! It's not! And even if it is the worst, it can only get better.  God's hand is in this work! And in our lives.

I love you all so much! Have a good week!! ❤️❤️
PS sorry I didn't take any pictures this week. Next week I promise!
Hermana Fowlks

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Week - 27 - Elder Arnold, Raccoons, and the Jungla

Hola mis amigos,

This week was a pretty good week, we added a lot of investigators! We will see if any of them will progress, but I think they've got some potential!  We also were able to hear from Elder Mervyn B. Arnold (for those of you that watched General Conference this last year, he gave the talk called "To the Rescue") from the 70. Wow. Everyone has those moments on the mission where they say "that it changed their life" and I could say that listening to this man speak was one of them. And the cool thing was is that he came to our stake conference so I got to hear from him a few times!

Tuesday was such a good day. We taught Maria (we're probably going to drop her, she's not interested in being baptized at all.) but then we taught David and Hernando. OH MY GOSH I love them so much. Seriously, the love I feel for them comes from my Heavenly Father, that is for sure. They are such wonderful people, and they have such a strong desire to learn. They were taught in Colombia, and they went to church and everything. They are super cool. Hopefully we can get them on date for baptism soon. We are going to teach them about temples in the next lesson, and hopefully that will make them want to get baptized sooner rather than later. But they are so awesome, seriously. And Hernando made us these delightful little pork potato fried things (so unhealthy) but they were so good. Oh my gosh. Colombian food is so bad for you haha but so yummy!

Friday we did exchanges, and I went to Santee with Hermana Castellanos. (We are the only Spanish speaking sisters in our zone so we have to go to another zone to do exchanges.) it was cool! She's super awesome, she's from Houston, TX. We set one of their investigators named Kenny with a baptismal date which was pretty cool.  Then Saturday was a pretty long day, but it finished out on a good note. We had to do weekly planning and that took almost the entire day. But then we had stake conference that night! And usually missionaries don't go to Saturday night sessions of stake conference but we got to go because ELDER ARNOLD CAME AGAIN. ๐ŸŽ‰ So we got to hear from him another time. It was super awesome! After my mission I am going to write him and thank him, because seriously he has said some things in the last few days that have quite honestly changed my life and how I view everything. Especially Jesus Christ and the Church. He is such an inspired man. We also got to hear from Pres Schmitt Saturday night, and it's always cool to hear from him because he's like our dad out here on the mission. He takes good care of us.

Then Sunday morning we had stake conference again, and Elder and Sister Arnold spoke again. It was as wonderful as ever. Sister Schmitt also spoke, and that's like hearing your mom speak so it was good. I can feel how much they love us when they speak, and I love them. :)

Then Sunday evening was very interesting. First of all, I almost fell down a flight of cement stairs but luckily caught myself. Then, we were walking and Sis Bartholemew smiled and she HAD A BUG IN HER TEETH. And then we found this super drunk guy, who was like standing really close to us and I almost smacked him when I thought he was going to touch my companion. But then, the highlight of the night was finding a family of raccoons! They were so cute. And we added 2 new investigators, Mikaila and Jorge. They both seem like they might have some potential, we will see!

This work is of the Lord, that I know. I love you all sooo much and am so grateful for your support! Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Fowlks
From left to right - Sister Bartholomew, Sister Howell, me and Sister Castellanos.

Me and Sister Castellanos when I went on exchanges to Sante on Friday. ( I got a bit of a sunburn)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Week 26 - CHEVERE

This week was a pretty good one!

So on Wednesday we had a lesson with a recent convert named Hayrum.  He's super cute, he's only 10 years old, and he got baptized about a month ago. His family is less active, but they are super cute. His grandma was there too, and she was cutting up this giant fish which kind of made me want to throw up, but that was okay. Then we had a day full of rejection! But it's okay, because that means we are doing our job. Everyone has their agency, and if we give them the opportunity to listen to the message that is the best we can do.

Friday was an AWESOME day. First we had district meeting, which was good. I'm getting to know the district a little better. Almost all of the missionaries in our district are leaving in the next few months.  It's crazy! There is one Elder who is really fun who's name is Elder Riley. And he gave me a heart attack because we were leaving and he goes "Bring it in" and acted like he was going to hug my companion!  But he was just messing around. So later we went throughout out day, and I swear all of our appointments started falling through. I was amazed that so many bad things could happen in one day!

Saturday was a long day. We didn't teach any lessons, and I felt like Satan was winning because it was hard for me to open my mouth and talk with people about the restored gospel. It has been hard for me here in Poway because everyone in Brawley would usually talk to you and hear you out and even if they didn't want to hear the message they would still be very nice about it. But here in Poway people are so mean!  So I was a little discouraged on Saturday, and also I got kind of sick so I skipped dinner. Which was a mistake because Sunday was fast Sunday and we didn't have dinner until 6 o'clock! Hangry took on a new meaning haha. But it was good. And we visited some members on Sunday, including the Valdez family.  And I love visiting them because they are seriously so sweet. Sister Valdez is so kind, she's like our mom out here.

I would have to say the best part of the week was meeting David and Fernando. They were a referral from the Tagalog Elders. So we went to meet them, and turns out Hernando read the whole Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price. And David really wants to read it! They also taught us a word for "cool" in Spanish which I have been searching for my whole mission. It's really not common among Mexican people, but in Columbia and Ecuador they say "chevere" which translates into cool! I was really excited when I found that out. And I was really excited to meet these two wonderful people that want to learn more about the gospel.
I know it's true.

I love you all, have a good week! ๐Ÿ’˜
Hermana Fowlks

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Week 25 - Poway week 1

My first week in Poway!
Life here is good! The weather is a lot cooler that's for sure. And though I do miss Brawley soooo much, there are so many people here to love.  On the first day, we actually didn't teach any lessons, which was sad. And you would think that would discourage me.  But actually when I know I am doing the work of the Lord I don't get discouraged too easily. Sometimes it's just hard. But our apartment is super nice! It's huge! And there's no bugs! The only bummer is the air conditioning doesn't work as well and there is clutter everywhere and that kind of bugs me. But we have wifi in the apartment because there is a member that lives beneath us! Who hoo! And there are 2 companionships of elders that live here too, and they live in a 4 man just a few apartments down. This area is so different than Brawley, but I'm already starting to love it!

Wednesday was a pretty good day, we had dinner with the Valdez family.  I was still kind of trying to get over my homesickness for Brawley. I miss that place a lot! The people there are sooooo much nicer. And I just feel more at home there, but that's probably because it was my home haha. This is my new home now and I've just got to learn to love it! Also running is harder here because there are a lot of hills.

Thursday we had the chance to help out with a youth conference from Saratoga Springs in Utah. We took a couple of Laurels out with us and took them finding. Poor things were super tired, and hot, and they realized that missionary work is not easy. But I also think they really enjoyed themselves because missionary work just makes you feel good! We also met the elders for the first time today....they are so awkward.  I miss the missionaries in the Valley haha. We don't ever do zone activities here! Ever! So sad! Not even like basketball or signs or anything. It's just me and Sis Bartholemew here. But her and I fall really well together. I think we'll be able to work hard together. We both really want to do work, so that's good. I really miss Sister Garcia though. Man, I feel like missions are called missions because you MISS so many people all the time!

Friday I woke up feeling a little better about things, starting to adjust to this new area and stuff. It was a little better! Then we had district meeting in which I tried really hard not to compare the two areas, but I was un successful haha. But I will warm up to these new missionaries soon! And then on Friday all of our appointments fell through, but we had some really good street contacts that hopefully will turn out good. It's hard because there are not a lot of Spanish speakers here, so we can find a super prepared person and we have to send them to the English speaking missionaries. Or something like that. But our area is huge because there are only 2 sets of Spanish speaking missionaries out here. Us, and the elders in Ramona. So we are over the whole stake, but there is just one Spanish branch in the stake.

Saturday we had every single appointment fall through. But, we did see a miracle! We were walking down the street, and we had been praying for an opportunity to teach a lesson to someone on the street, and a girl started walking towards us with her headphones. Then when we tried to talk to her she actually took them out and listened! It was a miracle. And then she said we could come back and teach her more. So hopefully that goes well! But it was super cool.

Sunday we had church. And it's very different from Brawley, but it was good. There are more people in the branch! But I'm used to everyone knowing us and smiling and waving and that did not happen. But it's okay, every area is different :) then later on Sunday we met with some members, who are sooooo nice. The Reyes family and the Bravo family.  The members here are great. And I already love them! I want to do everything I can to serve them.

This week, I really learned a lot about why love is so important. These people that I am here serving with can sometimes seem scary, and sometimes they are scary. ๐Ÿ˜…But as I try to look at them as my Heavenly Father does, I am able to show them that love that He would show if he was here. (Or at least I try to!) I've also learned about sacrifice from the example of one of our investigators named Ramรณn. He's an older guy, and has such a sincere desire to come closer to Jesus Christ. He loves the Book of Mormon, but he can't come to church because his boss won't give him Sunday's off. So on Friday we happened to find him, and he told us that he was going to quit his job and get another one because he wants to come to church with us! That's just such a good example to me of how we can sacrifice to show Heavenly Father that we love him. :)

 And last, but not least, I found a new favorite scripture! It's in 2 Corinthians 5:7
"(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)"
HOW AWESOME IS THAT. So I invite you all to take a leap of faith this week. Invite someone to church, go to church if you haven't been for a while, open up the Book of Mormon and ask Heavenly Father if it is true. And I can promise you that it is, and that Jesus Christ lives and loves you. :)
I love you all, thanks for all of your love and support!
Hermana Fowlks

Sis Fowlks and Sis Bartholomew at the San Diego Temple
Cute member family la familia Bravo

My hand and the biggest most terrifying spider I have ever seen!