This is so not what I expected but I love it!!!
Hola!!! Coma Estas?! (No, I don't know Spanish but there are HISPANICS EVERYWHERE!) You guys know how much I love spanish and so this is perfect right?!?! Hahaha, seriously life is hard but so great right now:) I am currently serving in Terrace Height, and Moxee right now (mainly Moxee)! Go type in these area's to goolge images and then you can see what my life is like right now:) Haha.Let me describe to you what my area is like, in my eyes...It's COUNTRY, and there is farming EVERYWHERE! There are a million and 6 "hop fields" (beer), but many other beautiful orchards! Like I mentioned pretty poor area. We tract a lot in the trailer parks and yes i LOVE IT! I reminds me of Great Grandma June:) There are catholics galore, and they all are satisfied with where they are ,FOR NOW- We'll get them some time;)) Now I'll tell you more about my experiences!
So this week we had a couple of lessons and one specifically went SO GOOD- like, i have never felt the spirit so strongly! We were in a lesson with a lady named Mary, she has been investigating for a year and a half but is pretty much a member. She goes to church every Sunday, pays her tithing, has a calling, and has visiting teachers....but just doesn't want to get baptized... We talked with her for a little and I got to know her/where she is at, and after teaching a little, I invited her to be baptized! She thought for a while (silence is where the spirit can work the most!) and then we knelt with her to pray to know if this is what God wanted her to do! Long story short she KNOWS GOD WANTS HER TO BE BAPTIZED, and she KNOWS it is the only way back to God, but she wont commit! I think there is another concern (ex. maybe she promised her mom she would never join the LDS church) she just hasn't told us about...I have no idea but something is definitely going on becuase she KNOWS it's true- she even told us that! Well she commited to a baptisimal interview on April 21 (hunter and rocky's birthday) so PRAY SO HARD FOR HER PLEASE! God has his timing, and maybe it's just not her time but I hope and pray she has more faith to get baptized/endure to the end becuase she is such a valliant saint, she just needs to take a few more steps!
Sooooo... on Saturday we had 2 baptisms!!! Seriuosly, what better way to start my mission, right?!? Rose (mother) and Eliza(daughter) were baptized and confirmed members of our church, and it was soooo neat! I taught them about 3 times before their baptism, but we got really close! My companion and I helped them with everything at the baptism and being able to see them come out of the water, following Jesus Christ's example, they were just glowing! They said that no words could describe what they were feeling! After we had dinner with them at the Stake presidents house and they still were just so happy/ full of the light of Christ. They will make such amazing members and will contribute so much to the church. Rose is the mother of 3 ADORABLE kids and i know that becuase of this step (baptism) her family will be blessed so much, i am so proud of her! I know that God
wants all of his children to come back to him, and BAPTISM is the way (well the FIRST step) ;)
Being able to be around kids has helped me so much. It was killing me not seeing any at the MTC, but their light and smiles have lifted me so much, especially when times get a little tougher. I love children and I know that by following their example we can be more like the savior...loving, caring, humble, and happy are some of my favorite attributes, little children have! I have SUCH A STRONG DESIRE to help FAMILIES! i know that families can be together for eternity, and that is one of my favorite things to tell people about.
GOD SPEAKS TO ME!!! I have felt the influence of the spirit so strongly, and it has led me to some of the sweetest people ever. Our second day, the spirit was so noticable, told me to stop and talk to an older mexican lady in her yard....my compaion finally turned around and we went towards her house. As we pulled up to the long dirt driveway, another lady was there...we talked to her, and she expressed that she was not intrested, and so on we went...As we drove away I turned to my compaion and said, "Sister Cox, our work is not done there, we have to go back"...We went back the next day and met the sweetest Lady ,different than the one that met us at the edge of the driveway, named Otilia. She is an 80 year old woman with incredible faith, and such a strong love and desire to serve God! We talked for like 20 minutes and I shared the restoration with her, as well as a little bit of the Plan of Salvation. My compaion was talking to her two sons (right next to us) and that was another miracle in itself- becuase of our timing, her two sons had come to visit and were able to learn/share their experiences they've had with God...God's timing is perfect...but While my companion was talking to her sons, I was talking with Otilia. We cried together, and both shared special experiences. She has been through a lot, but is a humble and loving servant of God that I was able to learn so much from! She want's to learn more, and so she is meeting with the spanish sisters (since Otilia speaks better spanish than english). It was a miracle finding her, ...she is amazing and i've already grown to love her so much!
So i live in an apartment with 2 other sisters (one of the sisters was in my distric at the MTC so we're really close) and we have so much fun/ work really hard together. Sister Atkinson, the one I was in the MTC with, often make our compaions pull over after we pass people so we can go talk to those in their yard / in front of their house (who we feel prompted to go talk to) and we have had some really powerful expericnes doing that too!
I KNOW God is working thorugh us and that he loves us! I love being a missionary and LOVE TRACTING! LIFE IS GREAT AND I HONESTLY COULDNT BE HAPPIER!
much loveeee! Sorry i have to go!
Sister Diondra Ensign