The Mission Call

The Mission Call
Salem Oregon Mission - Spanish Speaking


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Called to Serve

Called To Serve

Called To Serve

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gobble! Gobble!

Hello mom!

Wow what a great week! And sounds like such a great week for you!  How fun that the whole family is together and that you guys got to go to the temple!

Is Andrew loving his new room you painted? How is it having all the cute nephews together? Baby Abe looks so dang cute!  First, happy late birthday to Abby!  I remembered her birthday was this last week right after Pday was sorry I am late but I hope you had a great birthday Abby! And Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble, give everyone hugs and kisses for me!

Please use Helaman 5:12 for my scripture plaque :) I forgot to tell you last week, Hermana Phelps is headed to Salem Oregon as well. So there is about a 90% chance we will be companions again in the field.

Saturday! We had TRC again!  It happened to be the most enjoyable experience I have had in the MTC.  We got to teach 6 primary kids that live in Mexico city. Ages 5, 8 and 10.  So dang adorable!  We taught them how families can be together forever and they knew so much about the church. They were all at the MTC for a mini mission so they had cute little fake name tags on!  The spirit was so strong while teaching these little kids, because I know that families can be together forever! And also it made it so great because I haven’t seen any kids in so long!

I know, Sarah, you’re reading this going, “she doesnt even like kids” haha but believe it or not I miss my cute nieces and nephews more than a lot of people! But anyway it was a great experience teaching them and they asked us a bunch of questions and we were able to have a conversation with him! When they left they gave me huge hugs and it just melted my heart.  I hope I get to teach some Latino families in Oregon with sweet little kids!

A few hours later we had a lesson with our progressing investigator.  It was so strange while Hermana Phelps and I were planning, we weren’t arguing but we had totally different ideas of what we should teach and what the needs were for our investigator.  And then our teacher told us it was time to teach...The lesson went terrible because we were on totally different pages…we got our feedback from the lesson and it was very negative (which it was, it was our own fault we didn’t work harder together).  We went back to the class room and the frustration got us....Everyone else had had a break down in our class but me... So I guess it was my turn haha so my companion and I both started crying basically just due to frustration.  

Our amazing teacher pulled up a video.  I think it’s called the Atonement and Missionary work by Elder Holland and Elder Eyring, if you want to check it out. What an AMAZING video. The spirit was sooo strong in the room!  My favorite part Elder Holland said was, "Why would it be easy to serve a mission when it was NEVER easy for Christ? Salvation was NEVER easy. As representatives of Christ we shall feel a token of what Christ felt." That was probably the best thing I have heard these four weeks I have been out. Why would it be easy? It SHOULD be hard!  But it is so worth it! My testimony is strengthened every day and I feel so incredibly blessed that the Lord trusts me to be a representative of Christ.

Back to my story… The elders were sick on Saturday so it was just the Hermanas watching the video…And you can probably guess...All of us were crying haha. Our teacher just looked at us...and walked out...hahah he has never seen that much estrogen in his life.  He went and got an hermana teacher that shared a similar experience she had on our mission.  We all pulled it together and now we laugh at how emotional we were but the words of Elder Holland really strengthened my testimony.

Sunday we had our leadership meeting on charity and virtue. It was a great lesson; charity is the pure love of Christ!  Our branch president challenged us whenever we have a negative thought, whether it be frustration or bugged at our companion that we quote a scripture in Spanish in our head.  I have been working on that this week and it has helped!  In Sacrament we did the musical number, “I Need Thee Every Hour”.  It was great to sing and the spirit was so strong.  We really do need the Lord every hour!  

For our devotional Sunday night it was from Elder Holland from a few years ago. He told us that one of the biggest things that missionaries have issues with is obedience.  Missionaries need to be completely obedient!  I had been completely obedient except one thing...Getting to personal study right at 7:00. It tends to be a little tricky when there are four girls sharing a bathroom to get ready in 30 minutes. But I decided if I am obedient to all the other rules I need to be exactly on time!  So this past week we have been waking up at 6:20 so that we are exactly on time… Its only ten minutes, but now we are on time every day!

We got to have TWO live devotionals from members of the Quorom of the Twelve in one week!  We are so lucky!  Our first one was on Tuesday.  Elder and Sister Oaks spoke to us. One of the best things I got from Elder Oaks talk was that we are not serving to be thanked, we are to serve the Lord.  He taught us that faith and performance are the two most important ingredients in missionary work. Using these two ingredients will help us become better missionaries.
Occasionally our teachers will split up our companionships for lessons. Yesterday Elder Wilks, Hermana Christensen, Hermana Jenkins and I got to teach a lesson together! Our "investigator" was a catholic priest that read The Book of Mormon and said he had a testimony about it but had never really prayed about it.  We taught him how that we can receive personal revelation. I know that we were led by the Spirit to help him understand how to receive his own revelation… best lesson I have been a part of so far!  And after!  Guess what?  He said that he had no feedback for us!  He felt our love and he said we could not have applied to his needs better than we did!  What a great feeling that was. We as a district learned so much this last week!

Today!  Yay its Thanksgiving! And we got to hear from another apostle!  Elder Bednar! It was quite an interesting lesson! This was broadcasted to all the MTCs in the world (so was the devotional with Elder Oaks). They had a bunch of cell phones that they passed around to missionaries and the missionaries could ask any question they would like.  The questions would appear on Elder Bednar’s iPad and then he answered the questions. (They showed Sydney Sands using a phone).  Elder Bednar was talking about our baptismal covenants and agency to answer a missionaries question and he said... “People think that they have the agency to just not pay their tithing or not follow the word of wisdom”.  “Yes you have your agency but if you aren´t paying your tithing or something like that you are breaking a covenant you made with the Lord”.  “You promised to keep the commandments when you were baptized”. He said, “You are not using your agency there, you are breaking a covenant you made with the Lord”.  I thought that was super interesting.  I have never thought of it that way.  Another thing he said that I enjoyed was that now I am a full time missionary, when I return home I will be a life long missionary. This work will never end! 

Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Mexico so we weren’t expecting anything.  But we got to hear from an apostle and they had a Thanksgiving lunch for us! With pumpkin pie!  And we ate with real utensils instead of plastic!  We were all super excited about that haha.  Well Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I am so very grateful to have an amazing family that is so supportive.  I am so incredibly grateful for the Savior and the Atonement. Before coming here I thought the Atonement is only for when you sin.  But we should be using the Atonement all day every day!  I am so grateful that I get to be a representative of Christ and I can’t wait to share it with the wonderful Latinos in Oregon.
Something I really enjoyed that Elder Bednar said today was, "If you feast on the words of Christ every day and pray sincerely and consistently you will NEVER fall away. I promise!"

I hope you all of a great week! Love you lots!

Hermana Gifford

While you feast, we feast on the scriptures!

My family for today!

Hermana Unga, Me and Hermana So´oto. We go to choir every week together but Hermana Unga heads out to Virginia this next week.

Less than two weeks left with these hooligans! that I love!

It's Thanksgiving!!!!

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