Monday, January 26, 2015

Week #23 - A Week of Miracles!


The wonderful Honduran Girls that I mentioned last week have finally progressed to the point of getting BAPTIZED! One was struggling and would not BUDGE until receiving an answer that she was supposed to get baptized. We tried everything. Lessons explaining her progression, pointing out the commandments, her testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, going to the temple, and having FHE with our ward. Nothing seemed to work; she was firm. Then our DL asked us if he could give the 3 their interviews and to prepare, with faith, for the following Sunday. In the interview...I don't know what was said but after the interview the 3 girls told us that they will be getting baptized this upcoming Sunday. They decided to be baptized in the ocean which was a little sad because we can't go BUT they committed! Nancy just received her answer, I guess. We were over the moon!  

Victor calls us his granddaughters! We had the wonderful great opportunity to help get him a job. Now, he is so much happier and busier and feels included. One of our members gave him clothes the other day. I LOVE MY WARD! They are so precious. I almost burst into tears when she handed us the clothes. You know that you have become a missionary when you feel more loved by the ward when they accept, love and revere your investigators instead of you. That is the greatest gift I might have ever been given. To have them love someone I love so much. YEAH :)  
This is Victor and his fence that we helped to build!

Ft Lauderdale Temple at night
This week has been one of a lot of finding.

Love you all! You're the best!  

Hna Lake

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week #22 - THe Light of the Lord, and the Darkness of Sin

Hello Family!

Here is a little bit of Latin culture for all of you white people that know next to nothing about them (just like me BEFORE me mission ;D) Every single night around 7 or 8, Latin families (with access to a TV) will stop everything they are doing and watch their Novelas. These are TV dramas that have been jacked up to include 10 times the drama. Let's just say, our week this week has been something out of a novela :)  This week have been so much fun! Truly, novela and all :)   We have 3 different couples we are working with right now and ALL THREE of them need to be married. Phew...I'm very grateful for the Law of Chastity! How can we hear something as profound as this and turn away? How can we ignore the GIFT of the gospel that has been placed before us? Do we truly understand what we actually have? As I have had my eyes truly opened to what I have been given, I have also had my eyes opened to Satan's influence.

We also have been working with 3 amazing girls from Honduras. We call them the 3 Amigas. It's been so much fun because they were Pentecostal before and so they have a quite large store of Biblical knowledge. Being able to complete questions that they have had about biblical verses and open their eyes has been one of the most fulfilling experiences ever. This is their testimony: "Without the gospel, it was like there was a wall in front of our eyes. We could see a little bit in front of us but BARELY. But with the gospel, it's like we now have 360 vision and can see everything so much clearer. The gospel is perfect, without fault. Everything clearly makes sense and answers those deep questions of who we are and why we are here. There is nothing bad in the principles that we have been taught. Our lives have become SO much better. Fuller and happier, the complete opposite than the life we were living before."

This week we also knocked on the door of a lady who was so overcome by her addictions to alcohol and cigarettes that she could not function. I just wanted to hold her.....She was shaking and trying to talk to us as her eyes darted to the fridge where the beer was kept. Her house was in shambles, her face was gaunt, her eyes were hollow, scared and frantic, her mouth was almost toothless....she was falling apart. The word of wisdom is NOT man made. I look at her and know without a doubt that I have a loving Father in Heaven who is all knowing and knew we would need a commandment to keep alcohol, cigarettes and drugs out of our lives! Do not doubt! 
Elder and Sister Zwick came to our mission!

This is Victor!

When I read the Book of Mormon and Bible and come to a part when an evil person  is speaking against the prophets or righteous people, I literally can hear the evil, sinister, twisted voice of the devil saying the words. I shiver as I read the words coming from their mouths and want to just shut the book against the evil I read. He. Is. So. Real.  Why people don't PAY ATTENTION.....I don't know. Scary movies? Why not just chant a satanic prayer and open the door for him? Gossip? He is standing in that circle with you, planting those feelings of insecurity and hate. Don't LISTEN! Stop the thoughts. Push. Him. Out. Yell at him in your head if you need to! Just, protect yourself. This is a PLEA from a missionary watching people's lives torn apart by this evil person who literally LOATHES us. Look at your life, see your actions, WATCH YOURSELF. Now is the time to put on the armor the Lord has given us through the gospel. Just do it. Please.  
I love you! Sorry for the mildly depressing upload. I swear I am loving my life, my mission and the changes the Lord continues to make in me :)  

Hna Lake

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week # 21 - Be Ye Doers of the Word and not Hearers only!

Hola all ye fair people of the outside world!  

This week has been the BEST. One of our sweet 73 yr old investigators named Victor had us over to help him build his fence and eat some lunch. We sat down and he brought all the food to the table and then stopped, walked over to Hna McGrath with a look of such tenderness and sweetness and kissed her on the top of the head. Then he walked over and did the same to me. Then he says, "God knows how much I love you two." He always prays that God would protect us because he needs us and needs the message we have. Precious :) Then we were building the fence and he starts teasing us call us his "ayudantes" and explaining that Hna McGrath is a terrible one and I'm the good one because I'm tall and have long arms...I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. :) Victor found a lizard and we were looking at it when Victor took it and stuck it on his EAR!  So funny. He then took it off and stuck it on mine! Then when he tried to put it on Hna McGrath's, it just laid there limp. IT DIED. I was looking at so concerned that we had killed it and Victor just goes, "It's okay, it's okay. It's not dead, just sleeping! Let's put it over here and it'll wake up soon." For the record: Definitely dead. Victor is just a gem. I hope and pray that he can get baptized within a year but it will likely be 2-3 because he needs the First Presidency's permission...He wants it so badly. I have gained so much more appreciation for the gospel through his eyes! 

Some of the most amazing miracles have happened this week. We had Elder Zwik, of the 70, come and talk to us and change things in the mission. Yikes. The Lord is so in this work! We have been applying what he has taught and have seen amazing miracles because of it. I have no doubt that the prophets and apostles are called of God and PREPARED by God. I have such a firm testimony that the Lord will never leave us alone because we will always have these inspired priesthood holders and their wives. I am counting on the fact that they are inspired as Elder Zwik told all of the Hermanas that we "will be happily married after our missions". I'm counting on it! ;) 

One miracle has to do with Robert. We actually aren't sure if he is already a member or not. Anyway, Robert grew up in a family that did NOT mention the name of God within the home because of the bitterness of his father. Quite sad, really. Anyway, he is a miracle because the sister's found him about 6 months ago, he got busy, and then out of the blue we ran into him again! He stopped his car, parked and came over to talk to us in the street :) Pretty good sign of being elect when he immediately asked to take lessons again. Anyway, life has been getting harder and Satan has been really stretching him. BUT we got a lesson in with him yesterday and taught the principle of how commandments bring peace. Then we showed him "The Refiners Fire" on Mormon Messages. We explained how it may be hard to follow the commandments and to do the things that we had been asked to, but that we would ALWAYS come out on top.  

I've been reading a lot about Nephi as I have followed Elder Bednar's challenge to read a Proselyting BoM with a specific topic in mind. I chose to use the scriptures to find out Who I Am.  Nephi often bears testimony of how the Lord will always prepare a way for us to complete the things that He has commanded us. Laman and Lemuel were put through the same challenges as was Nephi ....the difference was the way in which they handled their circumstances. I want to have more faith and more trust in the Lord that I won't complain or get frustrated when appointments fall through or when I can't understand people. I want to be a Nephi - strong, stalwart in the faith, and willing to all he has been commanded/asked to do by the mission president. I WILL GO AND DO. Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only. James 1:22 

I love YOU!

Hna Lake

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week #20 - A Tender Lesson Learned

Hello family and all who read this tale of happiness and conversion! 

So this week has been glorious. I'm learning so much from Sister McGrath! We have a TON of progressing investigators right now. The Lord seriously is trusting us with so much.  

Know that I am well, VERY happy, loving my mission and learning a lot.

Mom....I am so happy. Words cannot describe! I cannot imagine not being on a mission right now. This is changing EVERYTHING about me. I feel so peaceful, worthy, clean, and excited to share my testimony. I understand better everything that you have been trying to teach me now!! :) :)
Happy New Year!

We found an discarded Christmas tree and put it in the other Hermana's shower! 

One of our sisters broke her ankle this week and so Hna M and I have been going on a lot of exchanges with them. One day, we weren't sure who should go and who should stay with Sister Ulin. I had been struggling within myself all day long because I wanted to stay home but knew that I shouldn't and would deny it. I NEEDED to go out. But the Sister's prayed and felt that I should stay home. As I sat there watching a video with Sister Ulin....I was struck at the example of the early pioneers. They gave everything!! They lost their lives for the gospel. I have gained a few lbs and have had to walk from my car to houses or down a street! I just started to cry as I realized that the Lord was reminding me of my purpose. This gospel is SO PRECIOUS. How could I be so selfish as to want to stay home instead of leaving to share it? The Lord taught me a powerful lesson of gratitude and determination in that I cannot, nor will not forget. I'm so grateful for the day I stayed home. :) 

Hna Lake