Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 42 - Diligent December

Hey everyone! 
This week was great!
Tuesday was fun, all the missionaries at P day were telling me happy birthday all day and they even let me win at chair soccer. (Which I'm really bad at.) then we had dinner with Elsy, but it was actually like a surprise party and 2 other families from the branch came and it was crazy! Like it was good, but you know how I feel about being the center of attention.....and with Spanish parties it's like..woah. Crazy. So anyways, that was good. And that literally took up the whole night.
Wednesday we had district meeting, which was good. We talked about the Christmas initiative and how we can apply it. Our district leader is SO AWESOME. He's just such a good example to me about how we can completely dedicate ourselves to the work and put everything we have into it. But he also has a good balance, and teaches out of love for the Lord and other people. He's just really a good missionary. Hooray for awesome leaders!
Thanksgiving was pretty much a normal day but we ate dinner at 3 instead of 5 and we ate way much more than we should have haha.  We ate with the Hayne family.  So we went there, and wouldn't you know it, the only two open seats were at a table filled with teenage boys! It actually reminded me a lot of when all of the teenage boys in our family sit together. They were very sweet to us though and took good care of us.
Then after district meeting we went and visited a new Familia. They're awesome, super nice, they just need to come to church! Then we went and visited our friend in the hospital,  and he was with one of our old investigators! So we taught them both! And he bore a powerful testimony. Hooray for surprise member presence!  And then we had a good lesson with another one of  our investigators. She's cool, we had to  kind of force our way into her house, but after we taught her and got to know her a little bit, she became more open. 
Then we had dinner with the family Varela, but wouldn't you know it, they were just having Thanksgiving leftovers at Elsy's with the Martinez family! And so we hung out with all of them, again! It's okay because they're cool. And we planned with Hno Varela about how we were going to present the Christmas initiative in Sunday school. Then later that night we had a lesson with our sweet recent convert Eva, who is just so cute. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation,  and the spirit was so strong, it was so cool!
Saturday we had a lesson with a less active sister, who just had a baby on Tuesday! My same birthday! And we got to see her.....it was so special. Just this cute little newborn baby who came right from Heavenly Father! Then later that night we went and visited (and said goodbye to 😪) the Familia Bravo. I seriously love those guys so much. And I was so sad to say goodbye to them, I started crying during the closing prayer! It was so sad. But I will come back to visit them! 
Sunday was literally one of the most stressful days of my life. We had to go to the church early so I could practice the hymns, because Sis Valdez was out of town and asked me to play the piano. But we couldn't find one that wasn't being used. So we went to find Hno Varela, to help Plan because we had to give the lesson during relief society/Priesthood with him so we planned for that. Then we realized we forgot my Bluetooth speaker so we had to rush back home, and got back just in time to teach the Sunday school class. Then we had to teach the relief society Priesthood class, then, wait for it, I had to speak in sacrament. And play the piano. But it's all good! I survived! 
Then Monday we got a call from President in the morning telling me I was being moved to Santee to be a sister training leader! I was so nervous (still am) and I was like shaking because it made me so nervous! But I feel better about it now. Then we went to Mira Mesa and found this super cool guy! And we taught him the restoration and he totally accepted the restoration, didn't accept the baptismal invitation but hey it's all good. And we referred him to the Tagalog elders because he's from the Philippines. And then we had dinner with the Valdez family and it was super sad to say goodbye to them. 
Also as a mission we're focusing on diligence. The Savior was the perfect example of diligence, and we can all continue to strive to become like Him by being diligent in our church duties and love for those around us. ❤
I love you all, I hope you're having a wonderful week! Also, go check out the Christmas initiative and do everything you can to do it! Here's the link: 
Hermana Fowlks 
Mailing address:
Sister McKell Fowlks
California San Diego Mission
7404 Armstrong Place
San Diego, CA 92111-4912
Birthday Celebration with La Familia Martinez
 Birthday with La Familia Varela
 Birthday selfie with Elsy
 Birthday with la Familia Mahecha
 Last District Meeting in Poway
 Chicken selfie!
 My new Companion Sister Kopfler

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Week 41 - La Mesa


Anyways, I hope you all had such a good week! My week was super. The  highlight of the week was MTE's! It's like a big giant exchange and we receive a bunch of training President and Sister Schmitt and the AP's. And I got to go on an exchange with a Battalion sister! It was awesome! I didn't get to actually work in the Battalion, which was a shame, but we went to an area named La Mesa and it was awesome! It was cool to experience that area because that's only a visitors center area so I would have never been able to work there if it wasn't for exchanges. My companions name was Sister Brosio and she's just the sweetest thing! She's from Argentina, but she lives in Orem, UT.  Also my Spanish improved a lot because I was talking puro español all day. But but the end of the exchange I was starting to talk like someone from Argentina because that's where my companion was from haha. But yeah exchanges were really cool. And since I was with a battalion sister we got to run around old town the next morning! It was fun to see all the shops and smelling them making tortillas at that really yummy restaurant we went to before the mission.  We  had so much fun and saw so many miracles. I also got to see my old companion Sis Garcia and also another Sister named Sis Castañino and say goodbye to them before they go home next week. It was sad, but I'll just have to go visit them after the mission. :)

Tuesday we played some flicker ball which was super cool because it's pretty much ultimate Frisbee but with a football.  I did get clobbered by one of the Elders, but hey, it happens.  I also scored 2 of our 3 points though when we played to win.  Tuesday all of our appointments fell through except for Francisco.  But Francisco is just so awesome.  Like I love that guy.  It breaks my heart to be leaving him.  But ah well.  Such is the mission.

Then on Wednesday we did weekly planning and we had dinner with the family Reyes. They're really cool, we helped her move in to her new apartment a few weeks back so we were able to get to know her then. So that was cool. Then we taught a less active named Angel. We were actually looking for his dad who is also named Angel, but his 14 year old son answered the door and we talked with him for awhile and he said he wants to come to church! So we set up a return appointment and told him we would find him a ride. Then we had a lesson with Elsy, where we pretty much just talked about the Relief Society Christmas dinner that she's like super stressed and excited about because she's the new activities coordinator. It's actually really cool to see her grow in this calling. And then we were going to have a cita with the Familia Bravo, but we got there and we could find no parking. And it's a gated community so like it's so impossible, and it was so frustrating and we ended up wasting a ton of time and not even seeing them. 

Sunday we had ward council, which was good. We've been seeing a lot more support from the members lately so that's been cool! And we had to do stake packets with Presidente but it was all good because even though it's like long and boring we were able to set some good goals for the end of the year for the branch with mission goals. Then we had church! Which is always good. And then we had a mission presidents devotional! Which is pretty much a bunch of missionary musical numbers and recent convert testimonies then President speaks at the end so like it's just a recipe for a very spiritual night. I sang in the choir. :) oh and it's all in Spanish (well at least this one was) so it's even better! So yeah that was awesome.

I know that God is directing this work! And that we are all His laborers in the vineyard. Or in other words, we are all needing to help our brothers and sisters return back to Him. And I'm so grateful that I am here giving 100% to this great cause.

Please have a wonderful week everyone and make sure to tell everyone how grateful you are for them! Eat an extra piece of pie for me! 😉
I love you all!

Hermana Fowlks
PS thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Birthday selfie in my new shirt!
 Birthday dinner with the Morales family.

Exchanges with Sister Brosio!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 40 - So Sorry!

Hi everyone,
So sorry about not sending an email last week. I was playing an intense game of chair soccer and totally forgot. So please forgive me for that....but this week you'll get to read what happened for the last two weeks. :) 
Two weeks ago, Tuesday night we went and visited Arturo, our less active. He's a cool guy, but he's pretty much just waiting for like a sign from God that he should go back to church. But, the whole lesson with him I just kept getting the prompting DONT FORGET TO ASK HIM "WHO DO YOU KNOW THAT NEEDS A MESSAGE ABOUT JESUS CHRST?" So finally, the time came, and I asked. And he goes, "I don't know anyone in specific, but I can give you all the numbers of apartments of people that speak Spanish." WHAT. So yeah we got like 20 referrals that day and it was awesome.

Friday was district meeting, and we talked about how we are apostles with a little "a", and we watched a cool video by Elder Bednar where he explains what Apostles do.  And we literally pretty much do the same thing, but they're in charge of the whole world and we're just in charge of a little tiny area.  But it was cool.  The only bad thing was that the other sisters straight up forgot about district meeting so it was just me and Sister Speigner and Elder Byington and Elder Wilson.  Kind of awkward.  Then we finished weekly planning for the day, and went and saw Bonifacio.  We're focusing on preparing him for the temple, so we talked about temples and how important they are and what goes on in there.  He's so cool.  He told us that his dream is to do an endowment session in the Salt lake Temple.  And  I really, really want to make that happen for him.  So when I finish the mission I'm going to see what I can do to get him over there to the temple.  He's just got to, you know, actually get endowed first.  But all in good time!
Last Wednesday we were able to teach José with Hno Ahlstrom. Hno Ahlstrom is a really good fellowshipper for him, and it's been cool to see the Spirit work through him to help José progress. Sadly, he has not come to church for a long while so we might be dropping him soon. I really hope not, but we will see. Then we had a lesson with our less active Bonifacio. He's such a cool dude. He's going to try to ask for permission to leave the hospital to take us to the restaurant where he used to work and buy us tacos which is very sweet of him. And he wants to go before I leave at the end of the month.
Thursday we did some good weekly planning, and then we had dinner with Hna Wagner and her son Samuel. They're so cool. Then we went and visited Eva, she's a recent convert and she's so sweet! She has a really strong testimony, and we're trying to help her understand the scriptures more. She just wants all of her family to get baptized so bad but only one son has gotten baptized. And all of her kids are not interested right now, so it's hard, but eventually I think they will all come around. Then we went and visited Elsy, and she made us some salad to eat and we also talked with her about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a really good lesson and the spirit was there super strong. And then she gave us all of Leah's halloween candy haha.
Then Friday morning we did power hour with Jordan again and we were able to teach a woman named Minerva and I don't know if she is too interested but she accepted a pamphlet and said we could come back on Monday so that was good. And then we talked to another cool guy named Dave who told us about all of his adventures in the marines and it was crazy. He wasn't very interested, but we gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet anyways. Then after that we had district meeting, which is always good. We talked about being one with the spirit because that's pretty darn important as missionaries.
So a really great thing that happened was we were able to meet a man named Raheem. He's actually from Iraq, and we've talked to him a few times before, and we've prayed with him, but never really taught him because he doesn't speak very much English. And I don't speak any Arabic. So we were talking to him, and I just said "Here's a picture of Jesus. And we have a friend that speaks Arabic, can we bring him with us next time and teach you more about Jesus?" And he started to cry and said yes! It was so special. So we prayed with him, and I shook his hand before we went, and as I was getting ready to walk away he grabs Sister Speigner, gives her a hug, and kisses her on the cheek! Yeah I about died laughing afterwards. But that's just how that culture is, they just love everyone.  But yeah it was pretty funny. :) 
And the week before this week was sooo good. We weren't able to add any new investigators, but I feel as though we had a successful week. We worked really hard and we showed people that we and Heavenly Father love them. 
Speaking of love....so I had an epiphany last Saturday morning while we were exercising, and I realized that I had not been loving people as much as I should be. I don't know what changed or what made me realize it, but I realized that if I am not doing this out of complete and total Christ-like love then there is literally no point. None at all. So I made a goal, that I would talk to every person out of love, no other reason at all. And I can't even explain the difference. It's not like people were any nicer to us or anything, but I found a joy and peace that I can't explain. And it's just completely changed everything. 
Also during Noche de Hogar on Monday we sang a "Jesus es Mi Luz" and these lines really hit home for me: 
"Jesús es mi luz; Él es mi poder, 
y con Su amor podré yo vencer. 
Mis faltas, con gracia Él puede borrar; ⬅️ that part right there. (My shortcomings, with grace, He can erase.)
andando por fe fuerzas he de cobrar." 
I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ and that we can learn from and try to become like Him, and I'm so grateful that I can help others become closer to Him too. I love Him, and I love His teachings. And I love all of you! Have a good week! 
Hermana Fowlks 
Pictures from our FHE Scavenger Hunt with the branch.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Week 38 - Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Last week was awesome!  We were able to teach Vanessa and set her with a date for the 26th of November and taught her through skype. And then by chance, we went and knocked the door of this referral we got like ages ago, and I was like okay if she doesn't answer then this is it. We're going to drop her. So we knock, and someone answers!  And she's like hey I know you!  And I was like um, no you don't!  And she was like yeah I do and starts explaining how she went to church and all this stuff.  And then it hit me!  We did meet when she came to church one time with one of our members!  So we went in and taught her the restoration (we taught it backwards which was interesting but hey it works) and we were able to set her with a date for the 3 of diciembre.  Which was cool.  I'll be gone, but hey!  At least she's getting baptized! The only problem is her work.  She works like every single Sunday. I feel like this is a recurring theme with all of our investigators except Vanessa. So if you have room in your prayers, you can pray that we'll find people to go to church! So that was Wednesday
Thursday we had weekly planning, and all of the rest of our appointments fell through. But we worked hard. 
Friday we had district meeting, which was so good! Elder Wilson (my district leader) is a pretty cool dude.  He's really inspired and district meetings are always like super uplifting and edifying with him. But that was literally the only good thing that happened on Friday.

Then Sunday we had a devotional which was supposed to be with Elder Rasband but his wife broke her shoulder like the day before so he had to fly home and Elder Hallstrom from the Presidency of the Seventy talked to us instead. It was so good! He's a really cool guy and I felt the spirit really strong. Then we also did a musical number in church on Sunday and sang Love One Another in English and Spanish. Then we had dinner with the family Valdez. 
And yesterday we went out to Mira Mesa and tried to teach a few people, but there were some very hard hearts. Then we came back and studied from 6-9 PM since we weren't allowed to be out. It was actually really good and there are a couple things I will be doing differently in my work here and hopefully that will make a difference. Also Sis Hayne brought us dinner to our apartment while we were on lockdown which was super nice. 
One of the cool things that happened this week was with a YSA member named Jordan. He came out with us to what we call a power hour, where we walk around for an hour and don't go back to the car until we find someone to teach and the hour is up.  So Jordan was with us, and we found this guy named Jerry. And we had been talking with him for a while, when he asked what the difference was between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. And I was about to explain, when something made me pause and I heard the Spirit say, "Let Jordan do it." So I did! I handed the Book of Mormon to him and he explained it and it was really cool, because Jordan is thinking about a mission.  So, lesson learned this week: Stop talking for long enough to let the Spirit speak.  

I'm so grateful for all of you and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Thank you for all your love!
Hermana Fowlks

Selfie with our investigator Vanessa via Skype!  Look close... Sister Speigner and I are in the upper right hand corner!