Sunday, 18 May 2014

Shannen's week # 8

Hello Family!!!

This week has been amazing!! So many great experiences I want to share with you all!!

In answer to your question mum, the dolls are so expensive!!! We were told that they cost at least $500!!! So i don't think it would be worth it to buy one haha!! 

Thankyou for the letter I received from you too!! I did receive the SD card and I will be sending my other one soon without forgetting to put the return address on it! 
tell abuela and tata thank-you as well for their package and letters!!! And also say hi to M, C and L for me! I saw the photos you sent of the dinner you had together! Also i'm sorry papi for not sending my email to you to at the same time as mum's I just had thought that mum would send it to you straight away when she received it but i guess it would be easier to add your adress to it too. So today I am!!! (dad was jealous that sister valdes only sent me her emails and not answered his emails, but I have always forwarded her emails to him as I received them)

This is a street they were tracting in last week 

Some exciting news first! So this week we had interviews with President and Sister H and I can not tell you in words how much I love and appreciate both of them! Sister C was telling me before hand that in president's interviews they are a great time to ask any questions you have about anything and that his prayers he gives at the end of the interview is truly said like a blessing! To be honest, i was a little nervous to sit down with him but straight away those nerves went away and we had a really great conversation! I felt the spirit so strongly in the room and he gave me some great suggestions for me to work on to help me become a better missionary! His prayer/blessing for me at the end was truly amazing as well. My interview with Sister H. was great too! We just talked about my family and looked through my information that she has of me in her missionary data base. While i was talking about you all I mentioned that J was soon to recieve his mission call and what was exciting was that she told me that you could have the permission to call her to let her know when and where Jaysen got his call to on the day so that they could call straight away to give me the great news!! How awesome is that!!

The baptism we had last Tuesday was amazing as well!!! The person who was baptised is the sweetest person ever and I am truly glad to have met them and to have become really good freinds with them. The service was nice and small and the spirit was literally in all of our hearts that night! 

Two zones together in a special meeting with one of the area presidency member and mission president

Now, I remember telling you that last Wednesday we were going to have a conference with Elder H. and his wife and wow was that an amazing conference!! Our zone was privileged enough to sing a musical item, the song"Come unto Christ" which is the new youth song for this year and it was so much fun to have sung it for them!! because we sounded so good haha he even asked us to sing it again at a fireside that he was going to be at that night so it was really special to have done that!!! I was also able to see Sister D YAY!!!!!!! When we saw each other we literally ran and gave each other a massive hug!!! She is doing well and I m so happy to hear that she is having a lot of success! If I heard right, just the other week they had a baptism in their ward too so miracles are truly happening every day!!! I also got to see Elder R which was good and he seems like he is having a great time as well!
reunion with best friend  for the first time after 5 months of saying good bye at home .serving in the same mission
Reunion with a friend from the MTC

Well I better rap up but I love you all so much! Thankyou for all your support and love! 

Con mucho amor,
Sister Valdes xx

Hi President H!
This week has been quite a good busy week for both Sister C and I. We had set up some great goals at the start of the week that we were fully prepared to do our best to achieve them, however with the things that was planned for the week didn't quite allow us to reach up to our mark. This didn't keep me down though, I guess the reason why is because I have felt Heavenly Father with me all throughout the week encouraging me to do my best and helping me feel that each day was a success even though the numbers didn't show.  
My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught during the week was during the lesson we had with B. She is a Hindu lady from I and she was our new investigator we found during tracting the week before. We had set a date to visit her for last Wednesday and it was such a miracle for us to have arrived at her house that day and that she was home because she was a bit weary if she would be able to have us over for sure. Nevertheless she was excited to see us and we taught her the principle God is our loving heavenly father which went great. For B most of the things we were sharing with her was quite new and I was glad that I was paying attention to the spirit and teaching her in a way that she could understand. Teaching the principle as if I was teaching it to a little child is the way the spirit would have been able to be felt by B and after our lesson the next miracle was that she wanted us to come back to teach her again this week! 
The Elder Haleck Conference we had last week I found to be amazing! I was able to have a lot of the questions that I came with answered and it was wonderful to have strongly felt the spirit with us. The best tip or idea that I picked up was the ways we can help the members in our ward to be more missionary focused. I know that for both Sister C and I we definitely took away the idea you gave, president, about giving the idea to the members of having their friends over for a BBQ or family home evening that they could invite us over too and where we could supply the 1kg bag of sausages to cook and eat! That same day we actually visited with a family of ours in the ward and we suggested this to the brother and he was really enthused about it and is currently working out a time where they can invite a particular family that we have been trying to  meet with for a while. So we are super excited to see how this goes!

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Shannen's week # 6 in the field

Mon, 5 May 2014 12:30:09 +1000
It has been a wonderful week!!!!
Hi family! 

I'm so sorry that you didn't receive my email last week! I had written it all out and I did press send but because the computer soon crashed minutes after I guess the email didn't send after all! Please forgive me!!

So this week has been amazing!! We have had a busy schedule everyday and have been killing ourselves to get to appointments on time haha!!

So one of the best experiences we had this week was with a new investigator called R! She is a friend of a member from the K2 ward who she met through facebook. They are both mothers that have lost their children at a very young age through the same medical condition, which is really quite devastating! The sister who is friend's with her had at first asked the elders to come over to her house to teach R but because of certain circumstances, that being that the elders couldn't find any priesthood males to come along to the lesson they then asked us if we could go instead of them to teach! Of course we said yes even though it was on Monday, our p-day so we had to quickly rush from our flat to the appointment. It was quite funny at first because we later found out after our lesson that this sister hadn't told R anything about church or the gospel and we even think she didn't quite mention that missionaries were also coming over. So R got quite a shock to see us there and at first looked like she was going to back away haha! The spirit was there though so she stayed and we were able to teach her the plan of salvation! I guess this was the best lesson to teach her first to really let her know that her daughter is now in a happy place and that she can be comforted to know that God didn't allow this death to happen because he wanted her to suffer but that he has a greater purpose for her and her daughter. Once we had taught her she says "Who are you people? What church are you from?" We both look at each other and say well we are from 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". Haha we couldn't stop laughing afterwards that she said this but the lesson was amazing and it was great that she actually wanted to meet with us again on the Friday! On Friday we planned to teach the restoration but that didn't really go as planned but the good thing was we are seeing her again next friday so we hope we can get a lot more out the time we will have with her!

If you remember i mentioned that we had found 3 new investigators on the same street during tracting about 2 weeks ago and one of these investigators is called k! K is amazing and she is on fire! She is wanting to know the truth and is absorbing everything that we have been teaching her! So as you will read at the bottom she had said yes to be baptised!!!!!! Wooooohoooo!! We were jumping for joy once we got home (and we still are haha) and are really excited to be helping her on her way to receive more of heavenly father's blessings! We have only taught her twice now and at both times we have really felt the spirit in the room! This coming Saturday the K2 ward is having a baptism and so we have invited her to come to it and to have a chapel tour before hand so we are crossing her fingers that she will still have the desire to come!

the picture below is how we act when we get a baptism!! haha 

Well i love you all heaps! I'm praying for you all everyday and I hope you all are doing well! 

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes!

P.S the picture below is how we act when we get a baptism!! haha

Hello president!
My core experience with god this week was yesterday! I had a great experience with one of our investigators called K! She really is one of those people that has been prepared by the lord to be taught the gospel! We had a wonderful lesson with her, teaching her the restoration and at the moment where we were to teach about Joseph Smith, I felt the Holy ghost beside me the whole time, especially when i recited the first vision! It was such an amazing feeling where the words just flowed out of my mouth and everything made sense and i wasn't nervous at all! K just looked at me and i could see in her eyes that she knew that Joseph Smith's first vision was true! She later told us that everything we had taught her wasn't even crazy at all but just made a lot of sense, she said that basically our beliefs were her beliefs! My heart shouted for joy! K was also very excited to read the Book Mormon and committed to read a little every night! And what followed all these miracles was that she said yes to be baptised!!! We are super excited and know that the Lord will continue to bless her in every way possible for making this choice! I really could feel God's radiant beam of a smile shine on us from above, to know that we found one of his choicest daughters and to have invited her to make this choice to be baptised so that He can now bless her even more!

My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught, i feel was my improvement in being bold! This week i had built up the courage a lot to just say whatever came to my head to anyone we were teaching or talking to while tracting! Especially during K's lesson last night, Sister C and I were a bit nervous before hand to ask her to be baptised during the lesson but the spirit was there the whole time and so when i felt it was the right moment i just asked her and as you now know she did say yes!

One thing that i have improved during this last transfer would have to be asking inspiring questions. This was something that i had a lot of difficulty with at the MTC to know what questions were inspired or how to ask inspired questions for that matter. So I now feel that I understand a lot more on how to ask inspired questions and what has benefited me the most is having my companion giving me this feedback that she has felt that i do ask some really good questions that she feels have been inspired.

Nothing confidential to share.

Much love,
Sister Valdes

So the 1st picture is of elder g and elder h (district leader) who are serving in K1. but now elder h has been transfered and our new district leader is elder w! How funny is that! 
The 2nd picture is of my habichuela that I made a couple of weeks ago and it was so good! you'd be so proud of me mum! 

Love you!!

shannen's week 5 in the field

Hola hola!! P.S (this should have sent last week but the computer died!

Hello Family!

Thank you so much for all of your emails! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY D!!!!!!! I hope you are having a wonderful birthday and enjoying your 2 room present hahaha!!!!
Also thank you Aunty P and T for your package i received it yesterday! It actually was quite funny but over the Easter period Sister cluff and I were trying to find those cadbury chocolate eggs to eat and we couldnt find some anymore, i think they were all sold out haha and then i opened your package and we both screamed in excitement that we actually got some cadbury eggs haha!

Well there is so much that i want to say that has happened this week! I wish i had the time to describe it all but i have to be selective because time seriously doesn't allow for it!

First Mum, sorry it has taken me a while to respond to this question, I always seem to forget to answer it! I would love to give you my home address but because we live with the member family i feel bad to have them receive my letters and packages in their letter box. Sister C has told me to not give out the address but to let you use just the mission office address only because of this situation. I'm Sorry! I hope that this won't be too much of a hassle. 

So this week has been pretty jam packed and exhausting but totally amazing at the same time! Sister C and I have met so many new people and have gotten to know more of the members in both wards. 

There is this one member that i would like to share about with you who is just so kind and gracious. Really, i never ever imagined members loving their missionaries so much! I am always shocked and surprised every time a family would just invite us to dinner or how much they trust us with sharing their personal experiences and stories. This one member however, is all so loving and more! He is an elderly man who just turned 65! Sister C and I celebrated his birthday a little by giving him a card and some oreos and he was really grateful that we had remembered it and even given him this little present! Each week we have a lunch appointment with him and the elders and he makes sure that we do come each week to spend some time with him and share a message. Our appointments with him are usually at Hungry jacks (Australia's Burger's king equivalent) or recently it has been at his home where his daughter comes to prepare lunch and join in with the discussion. He is quite slow of speech too so we always have to listen intently to understand what he says and frequently it is to share a joke or make a funny comment! I really appreciate his love and kindness to us!

Oh no my time is run out and there was more i wanted to say! Just a heads up though but one of those new investigators we found the other week is now what we can call a progressing investigator! She is amazing and has so much faith! We just had an appointment with her yesterday and it really went so well that she was excited for us to come and teach her more this week! I'm so excited and i think i will share more about her next week!

I hope you all are well! Thank you for your love and support! This work here is amazing and i couldn't be happier in my life right now than serving the Lord in the Sydney North mission! 

Lots of love

Sister Valdes

P.S Thank D and Brother R for their emails!

I also wanted to set a time that is best for you to call you on Mothers day! I know J will be calling too so i want to make sure that there will be no problem's. 

And J thankyou for your email I'll make sure to respond to it! Love you!

Hello President H,

Throughout this week i have been studying diligently the questions of the soul that are listed in Preach My Gospel.  Each day i have chosen a different one to study and ponder upon and it just so happened that a lot of the lessons Sister C and I taught this week have been all centered around these specific questions that i chose to study each day. With that I felt Heavenly Father's guidance a lot, leading me and helping me throughout my day to be prepared for the questions I may be asked by someone. I have seen the reality of the importance of personal study and when using this time wisely and effectively I now know that Heavenly Father's hand will always be there to bear us up when we feel were are unable to answer someone's question or teach a certain principle properly because with what we have studied, does indeed, as promised, come to our remembrance in the very moment when we need it through the Holy Ghost. 
My best practice for teaching as Jesus taught would be the times when i have built up the courage to approach someone and share even something little about the gospel during finding. As i now reflect upon those moments I know that Jesus Christ wouldn't have missed any opportunity to teach someone about the gospel and as described in the scriptures Jesus would immediately stop on the side of the road or on the footpath to help someone who was in need and then he would even share something little about the gospel that had touch those people's hearts. I want to continue to have this courage wherever i go to speak to someone so i can be that little more like Jesus.
One of my greatest joys of the mission so far would have to be teaching people about the Plan of Salvation. I have seen the light that has come into people's eyes when they receive this new knowledge and understanding about this beautiful and perfect plan we have been given. It brings me so much Joy to see this and to also then feel the Holy Ghost touch not only my heart but to see it also touch other's heart, letting them know of the truthfulness of this plan, even if it is just a small portion of it.

There is nothing confidential to share.

Lots of love,
Sister Valdes

P.S the 1st photo attached is the street we normally go out for our morning runs! 2nd picture is both of us before our zone special conference with president and Sister H and the assistants