Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I though it'd never happen

I sit here with mixed emotions on my last full day in Bradenton. I've been here since March, 6 1/2 months. I've come to love it, the members, this area our branch. As i gave my piqueno departing testimony yesterday I realized this is like my home. I loved everyone sitting in that chapel and although i'm happy to go exactly where the lord sends my i'm going to miss my family in bradenton. I want to set the stage, Bradenton is my first area, I've had 5 different companions here. With each different companion brings a different teaching styles, a different pace of work, different strengths and different weaknesses. We've been weeks or transfers it seems like, without investigators. I've had some of the most powerful spiritual experiences here and some pretty big let downs. The emotions you feel often all in the same day is indescribable. I've made best friends. I've felt a love for people that i never knew before those two minutes on their door step. I've grown, A TON! & here I've really come to know and love my savior, to recognize the way that the spirit speaks to me and act on it. I've seen miracles and my life has been changed in the sweet time that i've spent here. A lot of people have impacted my life, and they might not even realize how much. I know that this is just the beginning and I couldn't be more grateful to my Father in Heaven. I've litterally worked the soles off of the bottom of my shoes. I've tried my very best to work hard in this Area of the Florida Tampa mission. I'm so happy to be able to see the working picking up and progressing so quickly before i had to leave. When I first got here some of the other missionaries told me this is the land of milk and honey. It really is, Bradenton is blooming. My two companions will do amazing here without me. I feel like I can say that Future missionaries that get to server here are lucky/blessed. I can honestly say that I tried my best to leave this area stronger than i found it and i think that i have. We had an amazing lesson with antonio this week. Tuesday, it was a family night at the partidas. they are amazing. they fed their whole family, then the missoniaries, then antonio and his 4 kids. After wards we, the missionaries, were teaching the lesson. Antonio is our new investigator and this is his first lesson so we taught lesson one. the restoration of the Gospel. It was a powerful lesson. when asked what he thiniks about joseph smiths experience Antonio responded, I believe it. I believe that he saw God and Jesus, I've had a similar experience. He believes it. He's amazing. The lord is amazing and prepares people in such an individual way. Things are Changing out here, president Cusick is "cleaning up the mission" I like to say. Not that our mission isn't good but he is helping us see and reach our full potential. the mission as a whole. I know that this man is called of God to lead us and I love his council. We aren't permitted to eat dinner with active members unless there is an investigator, less active or part member family present. My first thought. "no more member dinners, DANG, i'm gonna be broke." My second thought and maybe not immediately following ;) "How amazing is this going to be. What a way for members to be doing missionary work, helping strength their brothers and sisters that have gotten a little lost and what better a place to teach our investigators than in a home already filled with the Holy Spirit of God." Oh i am on board and so excited! After this change I was offered a going away dinner. Before, if it was under an hour it was definitely not a problem. Things are a bit different now and so I rolled with the punches. I told hna Calvillo of the new situations and then we arranged for us to teach her very less active father. This man has been present at dinners before but often over looked when it comes time for the lesson. He's always sitting on this chair at the table right when you walk in the house. I've sat down beside him many times to help him grate cheese, slice onions. He's taught my many spanish words and phrases. he's become my buddy. Last night I grew to love grandpa sedillo more! we gave a lesson on the gift of the holy ghost and how blessed we are to have this gift, the guide, the comforter, this teacher, after baptism as long as we live worthily. The lesson got in to a discussions and this cute grandpa shed some tears. I love him, and i can't wait for the future letters from my sisters here telling me he is attending church again. It's president Monson's new focus for us from now till December, called "to the rescue" David came to a baptism in sarasota this saturday. AH, it was beautiful, of all the baptisms i've attened growing up i've never payed attention to that sweet spirit that is present as much as i've payed attention to it out here. It's so speacial to wittness someone make that promise to God to live as an example of our lord and Savior. David felt is and "tuvo ganas de llorar" It was so special for him. And although all of these wonderful people that we are currently teaching don't have set baptismal dates I know that in their time and the lords time they will make the decision. I'm so happy for the way the gospel has already blessed and changed their life and for the impact they've had on mine. I've been looking back and pondering on all that i've learned in here in bradenton. number one, SPANISH! compassion, how to be a missionary, really. love, how to be a companion. How to serve. I am so blessed. One Chiste from this week. Friday the 13th, even exists for the missionaries. we left Hna montanez's house and loaded all three bikes and ourselves up in the eleveator. W've done this before, many times but this time we Got trapped in the elevator. litterally. i've never experienced that before hahahhaha. We spent an hour in there, it was hot, stinky because we were biking and only hna Daines cried. Hna Montanez called 911 after 40 minutes of waiting for the elevator technician to get us out of there. She is so cute and cried the minute we stepped out of their because she felt so bad for calling us "mentiras" she thought we were just playing around when we told her. I don't know where i'm going yet. also a new thing president does. we all meet in Tampa tuesday and are told then who our companions will be and what area we will be serving in so I will let you all know next monday. les amo mucho, que tengan un buen dia! Hermana Hafen

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