Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ceeeelebrate Good Times! Come on!!

August 18, 2014

Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!!!!!!
Where do I even start with this past week???? It has been NUTS!!! 

Okay so to start.....CARMEN GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My joy is unreal right now...still....the day after. However, I will write about that a little bit later. First I’ll start with the beginning of the week.

Hermana Van Wagoner with Carmen
Soooo Monday was great, p-day, soccer and other fun stuff as usual. Then that night I woke up at 1am and my stomach hurt, and it was the kind of hurt where you KNOW you’re going to throw up. So, to make the story short, that’s exactly what I did. And continued to do the whole night, every hour on the hour. So like 8-10 times in total during the night. It was a blast. So I didn’t even go to our district meeting last Tuesday. Then Wednesday we had interviews with President so I mustered up all my energy to get ready and to go by bus to the chapel. Interviews were super awesome. I LOVE President!! Like literally there isn’t a greater mission president in the world. Of that I’m sure. So I received super great advice and then I went back and rested some more. Last week I had to rest a lot, which was really rough because we were supposed to be preparing for a baptism!! Ugh, it was rough. 

Okay so that’s pretty much it for the week that I want to say. We can now fast forward to THE BAPTISM!!! So to be honest I was on edge all morning Sunday morning because its like, ANYTHING can happen. Not to mention when we talked with Carmen a little on Saturday, she told us not to pass by to pick her up and that she was going to go solo with her family. Um okay....máteme!!!! So we were praying super hard that everything would go well and that she would actually show up. Well luckily she did show up!! With her whole family! But some of them didn’t know that the baptism was at 1:00 (even though we gave them invitations) so a couple of them left early and then one returned for the baptism. In Gospel Principles, Carmen bore her testimony about how she knew God existed. The joy I felt was unreal as I was able to see how I was able to be an instrument in God’s hands as she developed her testimony. She also admitted in there that she had told her whole family to tell us that she wasn’t home whenever we passed by. So yeah, that was pretty funny. The perseverance that it took to get her to baptism was unreal. But not to"get" her to baptism, but to have her want it! I thought she was super ready in June to be baptized, but now I see that was just me wanting to drag her. The change I see in her now is REAL. And it’s the most incredible thing I have witnessed. I love this work!!

Hannah loves being a missionary!

So, next week we have transfers (I’ll be writing on Tuesday) and I told Carmen, Malena and Fiorela that there’s a good chance I won’t be here next week because I’ve been here for 4 and a half months. (In this mission 6 months in an area is rare.) They were all super surprised and were asking me if I could still visit them and what not. It was super sad. So then Fiorela started REALLY thinking and pondering about whether or not Malena should be baptized next week. Because she wants to be baptized while I’m still here. Like, she is really thinking about it! After the baptism she was SUPER happy! Like she 100% felt the spirit!! She was saying things like "These are hermanos de la verdad" referring to the members. And she wants us to come over on Thursday for my comp’s birthday to have a family home evening and teach them how to do it! She also signed up to give us lunch! Ah, I could go on and on. Basically Fiorela is REALLY changing! It’s incredible! The change the gospel brings in people is the most incredible thing I have ever seen! I seriously love being a missionary! Seeing the change makes all the really really hard times worth it!! So yeah, there’s a big chance we will be baptizing Malena next week too! Please please pray lots for her and Fiorela!! 

Okay wow, this email is getting long. Ah, I wish I could just call you all and explain it all because there’s just so much to tell! Just know that I know this is the work of the Lord! I don’t have a single doubt. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve my Heavenly Father and Savior for 18 months. This work is real. I encourage you all to be apart of it! The missionaries need the help of the members!! Together we build Zion and find the lost sheep. I love my Savior and I know He lives. Thank you all for your support! I love you all so very much! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

Hermana Van 

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