Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Transfers....the good and the bad

From April 21 (yesterday)
Hello Everyone!

So we had transfers on Tuesday..... Sister Halversen is in my old area
in Bradenton. Which I'm happy about but also super jealous about
because I love those people so much! I can't tell you how much I love
them and think of them as family. They are amazing! So I am happy for
her but she better take care of them, ha ha ;) Sister Brough and I are
actually still together but we are white washing an elders area. We
are in Apollo Beach. It is an English ward so that's really hard. It's
a giant ward. We cover 6 cities of Spanish work and 3 of those 6
cities we do English work in. They are definitely pros and cons and
mixed emotions. White washing is really hard for one. Two we are in an
English ward so there is only Spanish translation, so Spanish
abilities decrease. But the good parts there are tons of people that
we are teaching, the ward is on fire with missionary work and I am
still with Sister Brough. So there are definitively mixed emotions for
me here. But it's going to turn out great. I know I am supposed to be
here and where have already been people that we have met that we know
we were meant for. One being the Saunder family. They are this
adorable black family. There are 6 daughters and 2 sons. Most of the
girls are teenagers and a couple in there twenties. They are little
spit fires, I love it so much! They ask amazing questions and you can
just see they are so interested. It was so fun being in a full house
like that again. It made me feel like I was home. I have realized in
my mission that I end up teaching a lot of youth. They are definitely
so open and are always looking for truth. There is another teenager we
met, her name is Courtney and she said in the 5 minutes we talked with
her she wants to be a member of our church. Apparently her grandfather
is a member and he has been a really good example for her and her
sister. It's super cool. She is awesome!! We have another
investigator, Nick. He is super cool. He has such a desire to follow
Christ and change his life, so this week we are trying to help him
quit smoking, because he wants to be baptized and he wants to quit so
our goal is to really help him with that in the coming weeks. He is
praying about a baptismal date as well. So this area has a crazy
amount if potential we just have it get it rolling.
    Easter was a beautiful day yesterday. It's always so great to
celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Because of Him anything is possible! We went over to a members house
with some other members and less actives for an Easter feast. It was
great! And they were so sweet and bought me a chocolate cake for my
birthday yesterday and signed a card for me and I literally had just
met these people when we walked in there house to eat with them. It
was so sweet and really made my day that they would do that for
someone they didn't know.
    I know that Christ lives and he our older brother. If we rely on
Him we can get through anything. I love this gospel and I love being a
missionary, good times and hard times. I know this is the true church
of God on the earth today. I love you all so much and thank you so
much for all the love and support.

My new address is 12305 Foxmoor Peak Dr. Riverview, FL 33579

Have an amazing week full of love and happiness!!! Rely on God!

All My Love, Hermana Daines

Fulfilled Purpose!!

From April 14.
Hello Family, Friends, and others!

This week was quite the week. It was a very long week but really great as well. On Wednesday we had a lesson with Pedro. And it was a really bold, spiritual lesson!! I was just really straight forward and blunt with him, and asked him to pray about a baptismal date. It was incredible! Well after it, I felt as I did in Sarasota when my work was complete. I felt after that lesson that my work was done here. But it didn't make sense to me because I had just gotten here. So I pushed it to the back of my mind. Well the days after that I felt as though I was in school and all we were doing was "busy work", you all know how that feels. Thats how I felt. One of the days we even had 6 lessons in one day and I didn't feel fulfilled, it just felt like a normal day. Well transfer calls day was Saturday and I started freaking out a little bit that whole day. I didn't know what was happening but at the same time I knew I was leaving even though I had only been here six weeks. Well calls came that night and its a conference calls, so all the sisters in the whole mission are on the call. So they AP's start going through people and I am just freaking out completely by this time. He gets to us and he says my name and I know I am going, I can just feel it and he says, "Sister Daines you are being transferred and Sister Brough you will be transferred as well." In that moment my heart sunk. I knew I was going but I never knew both of us were going to leave. I thought one of us would stay especially since we have had 2 baptisms in the last 3 weeks. It was heartbreaking to realize neither of us would be here with our converts. We were super super sad, but I was more mad then sad. I was so angry! I know this area has been super hard but these 2 converts are what made it amazing. We had to say goodbye to members yesterday and though I was only here six weeks I grew so close to some of them they felt like family. Our investigator Manuel got baptized yesterday and it was probably the best way I could ever end this transfer. It was BEAUTIFUL!! We had a lesson with him later that evening and it broke my heart. This big guy who acts tough bawled when we had our last lesson with him. He told us we have changed his life so much and he's a way better man because we took the time and had the patience to help him. It literally broke my heart. But also I know that my work is finished and being here only six weeks made me realize why God sent me here. It was for Manuel and Ulises. They are the reason I was sent here. I have been trying to figure out why I would get sent to such a hard area and now with me leaving after they just got baptized I know without a doubt I was sent here for them. It is so incredible how God knows. God has a bigger vision then us and though sometimes its hard and we can't see why we are going through something, later the bigger picture comes and you know why you went through that or in my case why God sent me here. I know that I am needed somewhere else and God has people there for me to meet. I know God loves us and knows us perfectly and knows exactly what we need. Sometimes we just have to be patient in our trials and the bigger picture will come later. But sometimes we have to remember that the bigger picture may not come in this life but in the next. I know God lives and loves each of you! I am so grateful to be a missionary in this time and I am so grateful to have a beautiful wonderful family that loves me and supports me!! Thank you all for everything you do for me and my family!! You are all amazing!!! I hope you have the best week ever!!!! Know God loves you!!! 

All My Love, Hermana Daines 

God Is there!! :)

From April 7
Hello Everyone!!!

Well This week I don't really know what happened..... Sometimes your week just blends together and you don't really know what happened at the end of the week. Everyday is starting to blend and mush into one GIANT day. Its crazy!!! 

We did do a service activity this past week with a Methodist church. It was so much fun. We made 10,400 meals for people in other countries who didn't have anything. It was really humbling to be there and to see how many people are so willing to lend a hand and help people in need. There were so many people that came to volunteer that they didn't have enough jobs for everyone there. They had to create jobs for us. Sister Brough and I had the job of counting the boxes and ringing to Gong everytime we made a 1,000. Our job was to motivate and keep the people going. It was so much fun and really built my testimony of service and what we can do to make a difference in the world. Of the people that volunteered there were 14 members of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was so beautiful to see. We had a blast! :) 

Manuel is doing amazing! He came to conference yesterday and he really liked it. He is really changing and you can just see and feel it in him. And with him you can see when we have lessons or in church the spirit work in him. He told us the other day after I had asked what difference has the gospel had on his life so far, he told us that he is way more emotional. He said I am a man but I have been so emotional. It was really awesome. He then told us that he knows its because of the spirit. But I did give him some comforting words and let him know that my dad is 6' 2" big man and he is the biggest crier I have ever seen, but I told him that my dad was the most amazing person I have ever met and so close to the spirit. So it is ok to cry even when you are a man. ( Hope you don't mind dad that I said that to him. ;) ) Anyway he is getting baptized this coming Sunday and we are so excited for him. He is so ready for this!! :) 

One thing I do know and loved that happened this week was General Conference. It was incredible!!! It was such a testimony builder for me. Going into General Conference I went in with 5 questions hoping and praying would be answered. The very first talk was Elder Holland and one of my questions was answered within that first talk. And every question I had was answered within General Conference. Not necessarily with the answers I expected but were answered in the way God wanted me to hear them. It was absolutely incredible. It helped me reailze that God is aware of us all. He knows us perfectly and knows exactly what we need when we need it. Sometimes we may feel as if God is not there or that He is never going to answer us, or that he doesn't care about little old me. Well I am here to tell you that is false! God loves us and wants so much for us to be happy. He doesn't want us to be sad or think He doesn't love us. But we must do our part, we must ask Him for help and pray and have the faith that answers will come in His time and in His way. He loves each of you and is aware of the struggles you go through on a daily basis. He knows how it feels to be sad, frustrated, not appreciated, or to feel unloved. He knows us PERFECTLY!! We must turn to Him when we are struggling and rely on Him and trust Him enough to know that everything will work out, that He WILL strengthen us and He WILL make our burdens light. I know God lives and that He loves us. The only way we can be happy is if we rely on Him and trust Him enough to LIVE THE GOSPEL! I know this gospel is the key to happiness and if we but live it we will be happy!! Try it out, I promise it works!!!! I know my Savior lives and loves each one of us. I know the power of the atonement. I know we can be cleansed through that power. It is never too late to repent, use the atonement and feel of the Saviors love. Its a beautiful thing!! 

I love you all you so much and hope and pray you will have an amazing week this week!! :) Keep your heads up high and know God is watching over you!!! :) 

All My Love, Hermana Daines 

Friday, April 4, 2014

A trying week but ended BEAUTIFUL!!!!

From March 31
Hey Everyone!! 

This week has definitely been a trying week. I got sick at the beginning of the week and was sick for a few days with the flu. It was not fun! It was just a super big struggle. We didn't have very many lessons and one day we spent the whole day pretty much driving everywhere but doing nothing. Those are the worst days I think, that and the ones where nobody wants to listen to you. It was a really rough week for us. Well Friday comes and we had our movie night planned. We had invited everyone to a movie night where we were going to play the movie, "The Testaments". We invited investigators, members, recent converts, people on the streets. EVERYONE! And we actually had an amazing turn out. The relief society room was really full, it was an amazing sight. We had past investigators show up. That was cool. And everyone loved the movie. Of course the end part with Jesus healing Jacobs father, everyone was crying. Ulises and Manuel were crying, and they told us they really loved it. I think Ulises put it perfectly,"Porque sentir como sus ojos lloran por algo hermoso como es el amor de Dios por todos." Which means pretty much that when we cry for something beautiful it is because we feel God's love for us all. And I love that. I think it is so true especially since I am a cry baby, it helped me realize that crying isn't a bad thing it just means that I am feeling God's love for me and for everyone around me. It was an awesome night that night! 

For the last 4 weeks I have wondered why the Lord sent me here to Sebring. It is a really hard area and I have been in pretty tough areas my whole mission. Up until yesterday I had had only one baptism in the last year. The last one I had was last April. It has been really really tough. Especially always thinking well maybe its me, maybe I am not doing enough. Because my first area was super slow, I go to Sarasota and there is so much potential you can feel it but nothing ever came. I come here and I wonder oh my gosh it is getting harder and harder as I go to different areas. I kept thinking why would the Lord send me here? Why can't I be one of those missionaries that has so many baptisms and gets sent to an area like Naples, which is like the land of milk and honey. The last 4 weeks I have been questioning why He put me here and why I have been in hard areas with zero success especially when I have been exactly obedient and working so hard. Its been really hard. Well yesterday I had my first baptism in almost a year. So this was only my second baptism my whole mission. I realized yesterday as Ulises was getting baptized that this was the best feeling in the whole world. Not having a baptism for so long and then finally after 11 months of hard hard work I finally get one baptism. It certainly made me appreciate it way more and love every minute of it. I still don't know exactly why I have been in hard slow areas my whole mission, I don't know why the Lord put me here but at the baptism yesterday I realized I have a purpose and it doesn't matter how many baptisms I have. It only matters that I know I am doing and have done all I can as a missionary. I have been exactly obedient. I have done all that is required of me and a lot of baptisms haven't come from it but I know that I am a stronger and more grateful missionary because of it. I know how to see the little miracles because sometimes thats all you have. This week was a giant struggle, getting sick for a few days with the flu and not having as many lessons, it was just a struggle of a week. Then yesterday happened and it was the most beautiful thing I think I have ever seen on my mission. And I am so grateful that I was able to teach Ulises and help prepare him for the step he made yesterday. I can't describe the joy I felt. :) :) :) We had a lesson with him later that day and we usually do them in the park. We pull up and he is sitting on a bench and literally he is seriously just glowing. He is so happy and just amazing! He is such an incredible example for me in my life. He is literally like a brother to me! He is awesome!! So yesterday made this week....No.. made this last year all worth it. It was hard but yesterday was the most BEAUTIFUL day of my whole mission!!! :) 

I love you all so much and thank you so much for all your support and love!! Remember to be the missionaries that God wants you to be. You don't have to be called and set apart to be a missionary. We are all in this together and we all must share the gospel and hasten the Lord's work!! I know without a doubt this is the Lord's work. I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that the gospel blesses families!!! :) So do all you can to share the gospel! Tomorrow never comes, the time is today!!! 

All My Love, Hermana Daines 

Another Amazing Week!! :)

From March 24
Hello All!!! 

This week was another incredible week. Let me first off say that sometimes you think nothing is going to happen and nothing comes and even in the moments you are doing things you don't think anything is going anywhere....then you look at your numbers at the end of the week and you realize you have found 8 new invsetigators this week. It was soooooo cool!! I didn't even realize that we had found that many people this week until I looked at our numbers. It was incredible!! And it was such a blessing from heaven. I know this area is going to explode. It has already started. I know that if you have a vision of where you want the area to go and you are obedient and you are diligent and have faith in God, an area can change around from being a slow area to an exploding area. Its starting here and its a beautiful thing. This transfer we will have two baptisms. One next Sunday and then another one two weeks after that. We are being blessed for our obedience that is for sure!! 

We were invited by President to go to dinner with him and all the other sisters in the zone. It was going to be in Sarasota so I got to go back there for a little while, It was beautiful there!! So President took us out to Leroy Selmons. It was delicious!! But my favorite part was that I got to see Sister Halversen, Sister Kenagy, and Sister Ochsenbein. That was the highlight of that day. I really needed that. It was so awesome!! :) They are just such incredible missionaries and I love them so much! They have made a huge impact on my mission and on my life!! :) 

Ulises is doing amazing, he had his baptismal interview yesterday and its was AWESOME!! We are so excited for him. He has changed so much in such a short amount of time and he is just so much happier. I will probably cry at his baptism, ha ha. But really!! One of our investigators he is doing amazing as well. He had a really hard day yesterday just having some problems with his girlfriend. He ended up giving us the flowers he was going to give her because he didn't want them anymore. So we gladly took them off his hands. And we had a really amazing lesson with him where the spirit was the strongest its been with him and it was just a powerful lesson. It was really cool!! 

Well sorry everyone this email is really short but just know that the gospel is true and literally the secret of the universe is--- to be truly happy we must LIVE THE GOSPEL!!! I love you all and grateful for all of you!! I hope you have an amazing week and know that GOD LOVES YOU!!!! 

All My Love, Hermana Daines 

A week full of Miracles!!! :)

From March 17
Hello Good Morning Everyone!!! :) 
      Today is a beautiful day to be alive isn't it!! :) This week has been AMAZING!!! Way better then my first week. We have seen miracles this week and its been a beautiful thing to see!!! :) One in particular that happened is we were actually on exchanges so I didn't actually get to meet this guy but his name is Juan. And Sister Brough and Sister Westberg were walking and they heard this biker come up behind them so they turned around and Sister Brough started speaking to him in spanish. And he said oh good you speak spanish. I saw you two and the way you were dressed and knew you were Christians and had to come talk to you because I want to learn more. It is absolutely incredible to see that when people really want to know more they come up to us. We have an appointment tonight and he is so awesome. He has actually been a Seventh Day Adventist preacher for 20 years but really wants to learn more. We are excited! :) 
       One other story was yesterday. We had a potential investigator named Pedro. He seemed interested the first time we met with him because we asked him how he would feel if Christ's same church that He had on the earth was again on the earth today and he said that would be really interesting and then we set a return appointment with him to talk with him more about it. By the way I love leaving people with wanting more its been really cool to see that they just want to see you more when we do that. Anyway so our appointment was last night. Here at the church, and we actually decided to do a church tour and teach lesson one with the paintings that were here on the walls at the church. At the beginning he seemed a little weird just a little flirty maybe anyway we got to the picture of Joseph Smith's first vision and I did the first vision and he completely changed. It was incredible to see how the 1st vision just changes people. We asked him how he felt afterwards and he said he feels curious and wants to know more. We gave him the rest of the church tour and he really liked it, especially the chapel. He couldn't put his finger on what he was feeling and we said Peace and he said exactly. Its really nice and reverent. It was just an incredible experience for me to see him change and want more. He is amazing and we can see that he really wants it. He said he has been searching for a good church that he likes and we invited him to church this sunday and he said he will come. We are super excited about both of these new investigators. And I know that miracles are happening in this area because we are being exactly obedient and its a wonderful thing to see!! :) 
       The first week here, I'm not going to lie I wasn't really happy to get transferred and to be in some small town that I didn't know. I missed Sarasota and just wanted to go back. But this last week was really amazing. We started to see miracles and have experiences with investigators that I wouldn't trade for the world. There is one investigator we have his name is Ulises and he is amazing. They met him right before I got here and I only missed the first lesson and then I came. I have felt a couple times in my mission when I meet someone that they were meant for me to find and teach. Well I came in and met Ulises and I know that he was meant for me. That I promised him in the pre-existance that I would come to him and give him this wonderful gospel. I know without a doubt there are people put in our path just for us. To help us and for us to help them. God's plan is beautiful and wonderful and perfect. I am so grateful to be serving here and get sent to this area to be able to teach Ulises. His baptism is also in just a couple weeks. Its on the 30th of this month and we are so stoked. We are actually running out of things to teach him, he's progressing so fast. Its....AH...the best feeling in the entire world!! 
     I have grown so much in this last week it has been mind blowing. I didn't necessarily realize it when it was happening but as I look back on it I learned so much and am so grateful to be a missionary. This is the best work anyone of us could be doing, The Lord's Work. And I know that the only way this work can truly hasten is with the help of the members. I have seen it when members get involved that the work explodes. Don't be afraid to open your mouths, don't let your brothers and sisters fall because you didn't open your mouth. This gospel is GOOD NEWS and we need to share it. I know without a doubt this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ, That this is HIS church and HIS gospel. I know that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ and because of a question and a prayer we are able to have the restored gospel on the earth. I love being a missionary, I love teaching people and see them make changes in their lives to become better people. I know Christ lives and that He loves us so much! This is the most amazing thing in the whole world and the best knowledge anyone could ever bring. 
      Thank you all so much for your love and support. You are all amazing!! :) Have an amazing week!! Make sure to see the Hand of God in your lives! Because He is there!! :) 

All My Love, Hermana Daines 

First week in my new area

From March 10
Hey Everybody!! 

Well this week was definitely the longest week ever. I got to my new area on Tuesday. We cover a pretty big area, 3 cities actually. Sebring, Avon Park, and Lake Placid. And they are all small towns. Its really weird to go from Sarasota which is pretty big, to here where its all just these small towns in the middle of nowhere land, ha ha. This week has been a trying week. I have felt like I am back in transfer one of my mission where I don't know anything. I don't know the area, the people, the branch, its just been super overwhelming. But I am excited to be here and our goal is to make this area explode. My new companion is sooooo awesome. She is such a big sweetheart and has so much patience for me. Her name is Sister Brough. She has only been out almost 6 months. She is so awesome and we are going to kill it out here for sure!! 

There are two amazing investigators that we have here. The first is Ulises. He is the coolest person ever!! He was so prepared and he just soaks everything up like a sponge. He has a huge desire to follow Jesus Christ. He said he hasn't been interested in other church because he just doesn't feel comfortable around them and doesn't trust them but he loves our church. He started reading the Book of Mormon about a week and a half ago, maybe two weeks and he just finished Jacob. Isn't that incredible? He has a baptismal date for April 6 but we are going to try to push that up a week because that is the day of General Conference. He is just golden and he has had a really hard life but he has really turned to God for help and guidance. He is amazing! I love him so much. I just love the people that have the desire to just do things and follow Christ. The ones where we don't have to keep nagging them to read or to come to church. The ones that just do those things on their own. Its just wonderful to see. And that is who we look for, the elect!! We have one other investigator who is awesome. His name is Manuel. He is super cool too. He came up to the sisters in Walgreens and asked if they were the sister missionaries. And told them that his girlfriend is mormon and he really wants to learn more. He also just soaks things up like a sponge and he also has the same baptismal date as Ulises but we are going to change that as well. But he wants to follow God and he just wants that happiness in his life. He is super awesome!!!!! So yes there are great things happening here. I just feel like I am the greenie all over again, ha ha. 

Well one thing I really learned this week is to cherish every moment because you never know what is going to happen. Sometimes a random challenge comes or something pops up that you never thought would happen to you. We are tried in this life so that we can learn and grow and sometimes growth is painful but it will be worth it. There is a quote that was said in the MTC it was, There is no comfort in the growth zone and there is no growth in the comfort zone. We have to go through hard times so we can be better and when we get comfortable thats when change comes or hard times come. But we have to keep going and keeping praying and hoping and trusting in God that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. I love this gospel!! I love being a missionary!! I am so grateful to be out here and the learn and progress and grow so that one day I can live with my Heavenly Father again. Thank you all so much for your love, support, and prayers! You are all just incredible!! Don't forget how much love God has for each one of you!! :) :) 

My new address is :
3210 Lakeview Drive Apt.#78
Sebring, FL 33870 

Have an amazing week!!! 

All My Love, Hermana Daines