The Mission Call

The Mission Call
Salem Oregon Mission - Spanish Speaking


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Called to Serve

Called To Serve

Called To Serve

Monday, July 27, 2015

Miracle Week

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had a great week. We had an amazing week, one of the best weeks I have had in the mission. So since it was so good I will start with the bad news :)

So we have 3 investigators in our apartment complex. We have just met them in the parking lot.  We got a call from the mission office on Friday saying that there have been multiple complaints about sisters knocking doors in our complex.  We were like what in the world??  We haven't knocked any doors! Anyway the manager of the complex said that we aren't allowed to go to any of their apartments again or "it will become a serious matter".  Well there are a set of English elders in our complex so we thought we would talk about it with them.  Low and behold they had been spending time knocking doors in our complex! The mission office said that we have to respect what the manager said and drop those investigators for now. Pretty lame :(

For our lesson with Socorro we did something called a Restoration church tour that some Elders came up with awhile back.  So what this is, is that you teach the Restoration but teach it throughout the church.  We started in the hall and had the hall all dark.  We had pictures of prophets on the wall.  When we would talk about a prophet we would shine the flashlight on the picture to represent dispensations.  Then when the light would go out it was a time of an apostasy.  It was really cool to help her understand the dispensations.  We then went to the baptismal font and talked about the Savior's baptism and the importance of His perfect example. We then moved to the chapel and talked about the Sacrament.  We then talked about the Atonement and showed Because of Him.  It was amazing.  Then we talked about the Great Apostasy and all the lights went off in the chapel.  We walked to the back foyer and started talking about Joseph Smith.  We had a flashlight on a picture of the first vision.  Then when we talked about how we are in the last days and the priesthood will never be taken again we opened the curtains to the gym where all the lights were on and we had pictures set up of President Monson and the twelve apostles.  It was so powerful.  I have never felt the Spirit so strong in a lesson.  I know the Spirit we felt in that lesson is undeniable.  It was so powerful as we testified of the Restoration of the gospel. I know with all my heart the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith.  I know that President Monson is our living prophet today.  I can promise that as we follow his guidance and the guidance of the twelve apostles that we will never go astray.

Another miracle:  About 3 or 4 months ago (around Easter time) Hermana Aubrey, Meise, Barrios and I went to get some churros for our dinner.  As we were sitting there I noticed the cutest little Hispanic family. They seemed so happy and I could tell that they loved each other.  I had the prompting to talk to them but I kept ignoring it.  As we were leaving I knew that I would regret so bad if I didn't talk to this family.  So I said to the Hermanas, “Let’s go talk to that family”. They all said, “Okay you go talk to them. If you need help with anything to say we will help you but you get to take this one”.  I was so scared! I had been out less than 6 months so I wasn't feeling too comfortable just going up and start talking in Spanish. But I did it anyway. They were about to leave so I just gave them a pass a long card to He Lives (the video the church came out with for Easter) and invited them to watch it.  And that was it.  Now fast forward to July.

This week we got a referral from some Elders.  We went to go meet Marcela and she let us in right away!  It is crazy how friendly and kind she is.  We were getting to know her when she said looking at me, "I know you!"  I was like do? haha.  I was just thinking about all the people we meet everyday and I just figured it was just someone we had met in the street.  Then she explained to me, "No I met you around Easter time at the churro stand you gave me a card. I remember you so well!"  Marcela is awesome!  She loved learning about the Book of Mormon.  We feel that she has a lot of potential. My testimony was strengthened so much on the importance of acting on every prompting.  In April I didn't understand why I felt so prompted to talk to her when we didn't get a return appointment.  But now here in July I totally understand why I needed to talk to her.’

Those are the most exciting things from this week.  I am so grateful to be serving in this area.  I am grateful for miracles we are able to see every day.  I know this gospel has been restored and that we have a modern day prophet that can lead us every day.  I hope you have a great week.  I love you all!


Hermana Gifford

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Rock

Hi everyone!

Sounds like it was a party at Cascade!  I am sure you were all devastated that I wasn't there ;)

Well I don't have to much time to write today…and there is a reason why...and it goes along with the subject.  So I will just start with that.

Tuesday after our dinner we were driving out and we had to drive through this narrow alley thing.  Well a darn car started driving right at us. There was nowhere to go except for the right.  So I pulled over to the right...and there was a nice boulder there...that scratched the car up real nice :) haha!  So, we have been at the mission office getting things figured out today.  Don't worry folks the rock didn't hurt us.  Oh and also wasn't my fault..Haha!

Right after we were at the mission office we played soccer for zone pday. Well so I got a little competitive so I shot the ball...and it went in...but there was an Elder sitting on the stage that didn’t want to play.  The ball went a little high and hit him in the face and knocked his glasses off.  I think he might have started crying.  I feel really bad. This is why the handbook says don't let things get competitive.

There was a baptism in the ward yesterday and Socorro came!  It was a super spiritual baptism. Socorro seemed really happy this week. We weren't able to teach her this week because of her schedule but when we went over to see Nazario and Oscar, she seemed really happy.  It was fun to see!

Ruth and Lissandra didn't come to church this week :(   We stopped by their house again to try to help them get up.  After pounding the door about 5 times we decided they weren't going to get out of bed.  We went over later in the afternoon to invite them to the baptism.  We saw them outside as we pulled up.  We said a prayer in the car and then we got out they were gone.  They hid from us.  If I had a dollar for every time people hide from us….

When we taught Lissandra earlier in the week someone knocked on the door. It was a Jehovah witness missionary (they are everywhere) she came to see Hermana Avalos.  So how lovely is this….Hermana Avalos started studying with her.  I had a very distinct impression to give the missionary a Book of Mormon.  She declined and told us that we don't believe in Jesus Christ and some other things.  At first I wanted to argue back, obviously that isn't the answer. We testified of the Savior Jesus Christ and the power of the Book of Mormon.  We invited her to church and then calmly walked away.  I hope that one day that missionary will have an open heart to hear the message of the Restoration.

We had interviews with President Samuelian this week.  He is so awesome.  I love President and Sister Samuelian so dearly.  In my interview we talked a lot about the importance of having charity.  He talked about how important it is that I have charity for my future family.  Then he told me that he feels I will marry someone that is empathetic and compassionate.  I told Hermana Bunderson this. Her reply was," Sounds like you are going to marry a sissy!" Hahah!  I thought it was pretty funny, sounds like something I would hear from my siblings.

We weren't able to see very much success this week but I know that no effort is wasted.  I love every opportunity I get to open my mouth and testify.  I am so grateful for the Lord Jesus Christ.  I know that He lives.  I know that He suffered for every one of us. I can promise you that He wants to forgive.  As we strive to have Him in our life we can feel the greatness of the Atonement. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love always,

Hermana Gifford

My last exchange with Hermana Aubrey :( she goes home in 3 weeks. Love her so much!

Best thing about not having AC in the apartment...having AC in the car....

A member canceled for dinner. So of course we went to mcdonalds...

Just a flesh wound...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Getting People to Church


Well well, I hope you are having a fabulous time at beautiful Cascade Lake. Hope someone can practice the diving off the dock for me ;)

It was a great week here in Hayesville! The best news of this week is that we had 2 investigators at church! We really worked hard to be able to see this miracle this week.

The two investigators that we had at church were Ruth (As well as her 2 children) and Lissandra. Lissandra is 10 years old.  Her mom is a less active and the only member in the family. We visit Hermana Avalos (Lissandra's mom) quite often. We recently have felt that we should focus more on Lissandra.

Tuesday night we were teaching Lissandra the gospel of Jesus Christ when Ruth came over! Ruth is their neighbor.  She sat down and listened to the lesson.  After the lesson Hermana Avalos invited her to church!  Ruth's answer was," Oh perfect, my husband will be at work so we can go!"  Her husband is very catholic. We went to teach Lissandra again on Saturday and once again Ruth came over!  We didn't get to teach a super long lesson but we invited them all once again to church.  We offered to come over at 8:30 to help them get ready, and they accepted.  

Sunday morning we went to help Lissandra first. She was still in bed...By about 8:45 we got her out of bed. Then we ran over to Ruth's house and knocked on the door.  She came to the door with the look like, "I just woke up why are you here so early..."  She said she didn't have enough time to get ready.  I had a distinct impression, "you can't let her off that easy".  So...we helped her understand how great of opportunity it is to come to church that specific Sunday since her husband works next Sunday.  And then I also told her Hermana Avalos was waiting for her so she better go get ready...haha.

They showed up late but they stayed for all 3 hours! Sacrament was focused on eternal families, Sunday School was about working hard, and Relief Society was on temples!! It was a great week to have investigators. We will be seeing Lissandra and Ruth tomorrow. Keep them in your prayers por favor.

We taught Nazario and Socorro this week about the Sabbath day. The ward mission leader was able to come to the lesson and his testimony was so helpful!  Before the lesson Nazario called us and told us Socorro told him that she wants us to stop talking about baptism so much.  Well it’s not like that stops us from fulfilling our purpose or anything.  So our lesson was focused more for Nazario.  We may be focusing on him now for awhile until Socorro lets us talk about baptism again. 

Nazario went to do baptisms for the dead the very first time this last week! He loved it. He said he had a burning in his chest the second he walked into the temple. He is planning on going in a few weeks again to baptize his dad and grandpa.

Because of transfers this last week we now have 10 missionaries in the ward.  A good chunk of our area was cut out which took away 6 potentials we were working with. But that just tells me that there are more ready investigators in a smaller area!

I love Oregon so much. I love the people here, and mostly the Hispanics :) White people here are a little cuckoo. I know that I am here Spanish speaking for a reason! I am grateful for every single day that I have here. I hope that you have a wonderful time at the lake and don't miss me too much ;)


Hermana Gifford

Monday, July 6, 2015

My Child is Now Six Weeks Old

Hello hello!

Well Hermana Bunderson and I have been together for a transfer now.  She is doing awesome!  We have at least 6 more weeks together :)  

I hope all of your Fourth of July was fantastic. We had to be in our apartments at 7 pm for safety.  Well, when the fireworks started going off we got really excited.  So we ran to the window….But the darn Oregon trees are too tall.  So we got to hear the fireworks :) Better luck next year haha.

It was a great week!  We had two lessons with Mariana this week.  We taught her the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation.  I was in another area with Hermana Aubrey on Friday for exchanges when they taught her the Plan of Salvation.  They invited her to be baptized on a specific date but she said that she wants to know more before she gets baptized.  And when she was invited to church again she said that her husband wanted to go to their church. We have a lesson with her tomorrow and I am super excited that we can help her understand that we don't need to know everything before baptism, and the importance of church attendance! We feel that she is really sincere.

We were also able to see Diana this week.  We taught her the Restoration.  We feel that she really takes in what we teach her.  Sometimes teaching people it’s like teaching the wall, but we felt like she was really listening. We invited her as well to be baptized on a specific date but she also said that she didn't know enough.  We tried to help her understand how it’s just important that we receive an answer of the truth prior to baptism, and that she could receive her answer at church!!  But, she worked on Sunday :(  Darn McDonald’s.  She said that she might not work this Sunday so we are hoping that we can do a church tour with her.

The update for Socorro…. We were able to teach her twice this week!  The first lesson we read Moroni 10.  We helped her understand the importance of real intent.  Her husband, Nazario, explained to her how Heavenly Father knows of our desires, if we are willing to act on the answer and it was perfect for her.

Socorro has never prayed in a lesson with us.  We feel like we have taught her every single possible thing to get her to pray but she tells us the only reason why she won't pray in front of us is because, "that’s who I am".   So low and behold our second lesson this week was on prayer.  She has been taught prayer multiple times.  We felt reading straight out of preach my gospel would help her.  She really liked it.  We learned that she only asks about baptism in personal prayers about once a month. And she doesn't pray very more often than that.  We really urged her to say her prayers and especially to pray about the things we have been teaching her.  Not too much progress that we were able to see, but we feel that’s what she needed to hear.  And she gave us cheesecake on the Fourth of July so that’s some progress.   ;)

We taught Oscar about prayer and scripture study this week.  When we were talking about prayer we asked him how he received and answer to prayer about baptism.  He told us that one night when we had invited him to pray about baptism, that night he had a dream that his whole family was dressed in white getting sealed in the temple.  

It is so amazing how Heavenly Father answers all of our prayers.  He loves every single one of us, no matter how old we are or what we are going through. I truly feel that one day his family will be united in white at the temple.  What a blessing it is to have been born in the covenant.  As long as we follow the Savior and repent daily we truly can be together forever.  I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has given us this blessing.  I am so grateful that the Lord has called me in this time to serve the people in Salem Oregon.

I hope all your weeks are fabulous! I love you all!

Hermana Gifford

Well when you have to return to your apartment at 7 pm on the Fourth
of July you make home made flags and  sugar cookies..

The picture of the little boy is a boy from one of my favorite
families in the ward! His nickname is Chamuco-which is a name for the
devil hahaha!