Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Caesar Chavez Day!!! 
(Lol, only in SoCal.)
Korean BBQ

It was Spring Break in this California college town, so you know what that means... it was SUPER WILD!!!! ...jk-- everyone was out of town so we didn't teach as much but we still stayed busy and picked up a new investigator that wants to go to BYU! 
But mostly this week consisted of watching out for one of our less actives.  He just moved back in the neighborhood and woof, this kid. We met with him every morning to read the scriptures and start his day off right but he managed to get himself into all sorts of trouble throughout the day. Mostly in downtown LA (not a place you want to get into trouble). On Saturday when we went by, he told us he wouldn't come to church because of something he did the day before. I got a little assertive and said firmly, "J,  you WILL go to church tomorrow. It is Easter Sunday! You WILL go and you WILL remember what Christ has done for you! Even if we have to come over and drag you out of bed and walk with you to church!!!" Sunday morning we walked with him to church!!! About a mile walk and a bus ride later, we made it to church!! Haha, these people stress me out, I'm going to be bald by the end of this thing..but I love them.

Me, Sis B, and Eda sang Redeemer of Israel during sacrament meeting. Sis B and I had to fill in real last minute for Relief Society and decided to teach about the Three Gardens of God mentioned in The Purifying Power of Gethsemane by Bruce R McConkie. It surprisingly turned out really good and WOW if you haven't read the talk, read it! Actually listen to it because it's amazing.
Then we made cookies and watched Meet the Mormons at a member's house so that was way fun. 

Easter has really taken on a different meaning for me this year. With the reality of the resurrection, I not only am incredibly blessed that we can live again and see the ones we love so dearly, but I am so grateful that we can find new life in Christ TODAY. There's no way to understand the resurrection without understanding the Creation, Fall, and Atonement. 
This Easter I am so grateful for the Savior that redeemed us from our faults and broke the bands of death. But this Easter season I am also grateful for Adam and Eve in the Fall. I am grateful they partook of the fruit to enable us to come to earth. To partake of mortality and to learn and grow and progress. I am grateful they obeyed God's commandment to multiply and replenish the earth in order for us all to eventually feel the enabling power of the Atonement. I am grateful for the struggles and challenges of mortality to help me grow and illuminate the good and joyful things of life. Life is so so good and I know it's always possible to be happy NOW. Christ already felt it all and paid the price. The Atonement already happened. We just need to turn to Him and let it heal us.
I'm really happy that Christ rose on the third day so I can rise from death someday and see Josh and those that I love once again. 
The resurrection would be irrelevant if death wasn't a thing, so I'm also grateful God's timing is perfect and He knows when we are ready to move on and attain all the eternal joy He has in store for us.
I could talk forever on the Plan of Salvation haha but my heart is just filled with gratitude :')
Thanks so much for all the love the past couple of weeks! I love you all so so much! 

Have a good week babes!! 
xoxoxo, Sis D

Monday, March 21, 2016

Yeet, good day babes :)

First of all, mad thanks to everyone that sent Easter packages, cards and money. My heart is so grateful.. THANKS SO MUCH I LOVE YOU!! :,)

Some Easter Suga
This week was way cool. So our singles ward is doing a "40 day fast" where someone or multiple people sign up to fast one day out of a 40 day period. They're fasting for us and any other missionaries and the missionary efforts in their lives. IT'S BEEN AMAZING!! We seriously can tell the difference in our work. People are just popping out of the wood work and it's unreal. Also members and other missionaries are finding so many more people for us to teach... Fasting paired with sincere prayer is real. :)

Just one of the many many cool things this week was finding this fellow named J! He was a system referral from missionaries that taught him in San Diego like a year ago. We got it a few weeks ago and had a hard time contacting him until this week. We met with him at the institute building and there were 3 members there. Wow-- it was the coolest lesson. He just kept saying how much he needed this right now and can't keep fighting it. He said he wants to be all in. We taught him the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the members bore strong testimonies of the divinity of it. We asked him to pray at the end. He was nervous but said the most humble and real prayer. He got choked up in the middle of it and shed a couple of tears. After he opened up to us about a few things and the spirit was so strong. He is SO prepared. He came to Institute the next day too and loved it :) He's a homie for sure.

A big thing I learned from him was just how much harder it is to be half in. I think a lot of times we like to pick and choose how and when we want to do what God wants for us and that isn't happiness. Our mission president said a while back, "Are you all in, or in the way?" And that's really stuck with me. It's so much easier to not fight it, but just follow Him. Because His plan is far greater than the one we have for ourselves.
 As we were knocking doors yesterday, we knocked into a man who said that we were sent from God as an answer to his prayers. He had been wanting to talk to someone about God and about how he could strengthen his relationships in his family. We had a wonderful lesson with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We showed him the new Easter video, and it was so powerful. The video took on a whole new meaning for me as we watched it together with his situation in mind. The spirit is so real, and I know that it talks to each of us!

The other day I got talking with some missionaries that are going home soon just about where to go to school and what they want to do with their lives and all of the craziness of decision making and life in general. (Which is super relatable because everyone goes through the uncertainty of the best decisions to make for their lives over and over.) It just assured me even more how bad it is if we try to do it all on our own.
 It's so much easier to just put ALL our trust in God and let him carry us through. It's hard to put into words, but I just know full happiness and success is ONLY attained by making God first in EVERYTHING. 

FOOD TRUCK FRIDAY!! We are trying to diet- but our self control is seriously lacking--                                                YOSO, right?!  (You Only Serve Once)
I seriously love life so much and I hope you all do too! Enjoy Easter and show the Easter video to everyone you know! Link:

Love you all almost as much as Cadbury Eggs :)

xo, Sis. Chels D

Monday, March 14, 2016

Another week in the life :)

Went to a funeral, planned a wedding, and turned hearts to the Atonement in between... this is the life we live out here in LA! 
I don't have much time so I will just talk about last night! 
C and J didn't come to church... waaaah BUT we hunted them down after church and had a lesson!!
 It was so, so good and then they came to ward prayer/dinner at one of the member's homes!
We go into so many peoples houses out here and it's just crazy how big of a difference you get when a home has the spirit in it. The boys were taken back. 
We had a way sick dinner with the people of the ward and then at the end we showed the new Easter Video: ( and it was so powerful. One of the guys cried real tears. We gave everyone a pass along card that goes along with the video and invited them to share it with someone that could use a message of hope at this time. C took 3.
It's crazy to sit back and to see people's hearts completely change when they turn themselves towards Christ.
I think the biggest thing I learned this week was that being a disciple of Christ requires sacrifice. It isn't convenient all the time. But anything we sacrifice for God is nothing compared to the sacrifice He gave in sending His Son to Atone for us. My mind can't fully wrap around it all but I do understand that the blessings that come from Him far outweigh the sacrifices we give.

I hope you all have the best week and watch the Easter Video and share it with all yo friends :)
Much love babes!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Holy WOW. This week was not real...

This week was actually so busy and a little wild. Like you never know what you're going to get here in YSA lul.
We had a big meeting with some people from the missionary department Wednesday for Mission Leadership Council so that was super super good! It was 8 hours though so my brain almost exploded.
At the end of that, a missionary in my Stevenson Ranch told me that one of my old investigators there died in a car accident over the weekend. So that was really sad. I cried a lot of tears, but it's okay. We're going to the funeral Tuesday. 
MLC Training Meeting

So many crazy amazing things but I mostly want to talk about C.
A couple weeks ago we were going to meet with one of our investigators in a complex. This side of town is predominately Hispanic and the complex is like the ones you see in movies, like the Blind Side. Run down. Little kid's bikes laying around the lawns. Rough guys standing around looking for trouble. Waves of weed. Cops in and out. It's quiet for the most part- but not peaceful.

We were walking past this car full of dudes smoking and listening to some rap; so we stopped and talked to them and invited them to church. Nice conversation but we didn't really think much of it. That following Sunday, they didn't come but it wasn't a shocker.
On Saturday, we went back for a lesson with our investigator there and we ran into them again, but this time just C and his friend J. They said they were bummed they didn't make it to church last week and they were talking all this past week about how they wanted to go... And sure enough, yesterday they came!!! :) ...
In black snapbacks, button-ups, Jordans, and big diamond earrings; they came. 
They stayed for all 3 hours, break the fast, and then we had a lesson in the chapel after. J is partially deaf so he was mostly just taking it all in but C kept saying how much he loved it. How it's disturbing at other churches that they all go and say they love God but they're all on their phones or talking the whole time and once they leave-- they're back to their dirty lives. But that there's something different here and he'll keep coming back. 
He's going to take the lessons and wants us to help him clean up his life and prepare for baptism!! :) AHHHHHHH HE'S SERIOUSLY THE COOLEST. Everything he said I just couldn't stop thinking about how much God had been preparing this young man and what a change is about to come to his life.
We taught lots of lessons and yesterday was one of the best days of my life! We had 5 investigators at church so I almost melted out of excitement. That's unheard of in the mission!
Then we went to the LA Temple visitor's center with one of our girls scheduled for baptism and she cried the spirit was so strong. 
LA Temple at night
I think about all the different circumstances people are born into in this life. The people I've met from Honduras that would wake up every morning living in fear hoping they'd live another day. I think about the people I've met from the Philippines that had to wash their clothes by hand in buckets of cold water they had to fetch and warm up coals to iron them for church. I think about all the broken families without a deep belief in anything trying to find purpose in life. And Families that keep trying every day to have peace and follow Christ.
I know the gospel doesn't totally change circumstances or fix our problems but I do know everything can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I seriously am taken back every day by the miracles before my eyes and the message of hope that we share so freely with everyone we meet. People everywhere are searching for SOMETHING and we give out a blue book of answers to people for free. It just blows my mind.

We were going home last night from the visitor center with our investigator Michelle and my heart physically hurt I was just so happy. I just love these people so much and love this gospel I have no words. 

Love you babes! Expect miracles :))