Monday, October 26, 2009

St. Petersburg Week 4

What a week! It just keeps getting better and better! I don't even know where to start!

We have two more baptisms set. The first is Frank for Nov 12th. He has been a heavy smoker for a long time. and he is working on quitting right now. So far cold turkey and he is doing great! I'm so proud of him. His motivation is his family. They really want to have a baby. His wife Corianne is an inactive member. They got married a little over a year ago. The missionaries have been teaching him for that long, and finally he felt the motivation and faith to be baptized. Soooo cool. he wants to be sealed in the temple. He is soooo amazing! I've been craving hot wings for two weeks now and he got me some so today. When we visit him tonight he is hooking me up! I am soooo taken care of! He loves watching wrestling! He is sooo funny! His family will be life long friends. I'm reallly excited for him, AND I will get to go to the temple on my mission when they get sealed!

AND!!!!! for the Valasquez family that is getting baptized this next weekend they will be going to the temple as well. Yay!!! It is so amazing to see people change! Hector is from Puerto Rico and has been drinking coffee since he was 5. No joke! He just gave it up like it was nothing. Nothing is getting in the way of him going to the temple and having his family sealed to him. He is definitely a future Bishop! Their baptism will be very special!

Our zone has 24 people on date for baptism right now! We are on fire! we had a mission fast the other day and it has brought so many miracles! All we did was change our focus, that we don't tract, we find people to baptize. Every day we sisters go out with the mind set that we are going to find someone to baptize. Ever since we did that, we have! We have another baptism on Friday, but it might have to get moved to Saturday because of his work. Carmen had taken the first lesson like 3 times but wasn't motivated at all. Now he is getting married to a member, and he really really really wants to be baptized!!! he showed up at church yesterday and said, I'm ready to be baptized, when can I be baptized? We were like, “well, we can help you with that” with huge smiles. So we taught him the first half of the second lesson during the third hour of church. It was great. We stole the room where Spanish priesthood is and we just had one big conversation/lesson with about 6 other Spanish members. It was a great lesson. What was really amazing was Bro. Alvarez stopped and kind of got teared up and faced Carmen and us and said, in Spanish "It amazes me the dedication and energy these sisters put into learning Spanish. It humbles me, and it amazes me that i can see the face of Christ as they teach." Well that made my week! We don't have a Spanish branch yet! Yet! But, we do have an amazingly strong group of Spanish members, and it is growing quick!

We've had many miracles while tracting this week, but for lack of time I'm going to focus on two. First, a woman named Esmilda. She lived Honduras and was a very active member in Young Women's and Primary. She is the only member in her family, but when she got married and moved to the states she slipped under the radar. When deciding where to tract, we went to the ward list. There are roughly 750 people on the ward list, but only about 150 attend church. That is sad. :-( But out of that huge list we came to her name, and visited her. We stopped by her house, and found a huge neighborhood of Spanish people. It is a trailer park (we spend a lot of time in trailer parks) but she wasn't home. So we left and note and we had to leave for another lesson.

We were a little early for the appointment so we decided to tract for a while and we found a man from Cuba. His name is Hebereito. He is amazing! Sooo much faith, I was amazed. We talked to him for a half hour about really deep doctrine about the reformers. He knows that things were lost during the apostasy. He is going to love the message of the restoration when we teach him on Wednesday. He reads the bible every day for an hour. He has a doctorate and used to be a veterinarian in Cuba before he got an immigrant visa for the states. he calls his pastor from Guatemala every day to have scripture study. It should be really interesting to teach him. I am soooo excited though! It's a little intimidating to teach someone so fluent in the bible, because i m not, but i felt the spirit soooo strong while talking to him that i know it is going to be good! After this amazing experience we went back to see Esmilda, and she is excited to go back to church. we got her hooked up with the bus route so she can be independent in getting to church on Sundays and for Noche de hogar every other Monday. it is sooo exciting. her children are almost baptism age. Oh, i love this work!!!!!

Something has kind of surprised me. So many people here say they are really strong Catholics, but don't really know the bible. I think it is because so many people that we work with are so poor and don't have much schooling that they can't really understand the bible. They are just so used to going to church because of family traditions, that they really don't know that much of the scriptures. It is hard sometimes. When we give them reading assignments from the Book of Mormon they have a really hard time understanding what it is said. so we have to go over it very slowly. So a lot of the dates we've set have to move back a little bit because of this. It is so humbling to me and I feel so fortunate to have the education that I do.

Not many of the people we teach have phones or cars. We have to rely a lot on our Spanish group for providing rides for our investigators. Just the short while that I have been here has opened my eyes so much. So many people don't have employment. It is sad to see. We try to do what we can for them, but you know what, they are still happy. We have little Spanish kids running all around us when we go into some neighborhoods. They like us to sing "I am a child of God." or "Soy un hijo de Dios". A lot of them don't have shoes, but they are still so happy and their families welcome us with open arms. What makes them so happy when they don't have all of the worldly things that most people think they need to be happy? Well, they have their family, and they have a great faith in Jesus Christ. We give out pass along cards that have a picture of Jesus Christ, and the children love them. On some return appointments we see the pictures on the fridge and one girl put it on her fish tank. So funny! I love the people here so much!

Love you all!

Hermana Vaughan-Schultz

Monday, October 19, 2009

St. Petersburg Week 3

I just want to say, I hate Satan! I hate him with everything that I am! I have had a huge reminder of how much he works on people that are starting to know the truth. I know he sure worked on me.

Wednesday we were going to meet with Frida, and she opened the door and seemed a little reserved and didn't invite us in like usual. She said she had talked to her pastor, and she has been involved with her church for so long that she can't go back on it now. But what is so hard, is that I know that the spirit touched her. I remember how hard it was for me when I was investigating the church. Satan did everything he could to make me scared and not want to learn about the church. It is definitely a battle in heaven! I feel more conviction to bear strong testimony like Elder Holland than I ever have before.

Another heart breaker was yesterday, we stopped at Gemina's house (run away girl) to see when we could teach her again. She had a baptismal date for the 30th. Her family loves us!!! She invited us right in. she said she doesn't feel comfortable attending another church that is different than her family, which I can understand. She is the sweetest 16 year old I have ever met and has a lot of love for her family. They have really grown a lot closer in the last two weeks. She reads the Book of Mormon every day and feels the spirit when she reads it. Her family still wants us to keep stopping by and they really appreciate what we have done for their family and especially for Gemina. Gemina said, “I know I need to have God in my life.” She carries her Book of Mormon to school with her. I can not even tell you how much my heart ached. A lump grew in my throat as I hugged Gemina and especially her mom. Her mom wept and squeezed me really hard and whispered "gracias... por..." in my ear. I know we have planted a huge seed and some day they will be ready. Gemina has a strong testimony of the restoration. She knows what the spirit feels like and her mom has seen that difference in her. I will keep in contact with gemina for now on. I love that girl. I started crying when we went back to the car. I had a weak moment where I was just like, "I hate Satan. This is a war in heaven and so much we desire for the eternal welfare of these people, and we just have to let them go." But I’ll tell you what, these two experiences made my testimony grow. I do testify with more conviction. We have to let everyone know how important our message is. "Till Christ says the good work is done."

The food is interesting at times. IT definitely isn't Mexican. The other day we had pastilles, kind of like tamales. It has ground up bananas. potato things, some other stuff, with a piece of meat in the middle, wrapped in banana leaves and boiled. It just was very interesting. I’m not sure if it is my favorite thing to eat if you know what I mean. I don't want to hurt feelings because it is a huge delicacy in Puerto Rico. I ate some bones in it, and it was REALLY hard to not gag. But you really do have to eat everything on the plate or you will offend them. So I asked for some hot sauce to put on it thinking that that might burn my taste buds so I could get it down. We just really don't get fed that often but everything we do eat I ask how to make it. I have a killer recipe for refried beans and fried plantains! Mmmmm I love fried plantains and beans! It’s soooo good! We get three plantains for a dollar at the Saldivar shop and cook up beans and have it for lunch a lot!

Antonio is on date for baptism for the 14th of November. He has some WOW (word of wisdom) problems, but we're working on that with him. He is hard to understand a lot of the times. Portuguese is weird, but we do our best. He is a really neat guy. At our last lesson when we pulled up, he was dressed all nice and we didn't even get a chance to knock on the door before he was out and ready to go to the church for the lesson. Sooo much fun!

The Valasquez family is being moved back a week. I think Corina is realizing how much of a commitment it is, especially a time commitment. So she only wants us to teach their family on Fridays, so we have to move it back a week. Hector is sooo fired up to be baptized, so is his son Matthew. Even Elain, the 15 year old girl is growing in testimony. Last time we were over there, we gave her the assignment to read Enos, and told her to think about if God answers our prayers. When we saw her again she said she had that feeling that we talked about when she read. yay! She recognized the Holy Ghost! :-) She is awesome!

We have started to change our mighty prayer in order to be more selective in the areas we tract. We cover the whole peninsula pretty much. All of Pinellas county. That is a LOT of area. So whenever we think about the area we want to tract, this is what we do. We will both look at the map lying on the ground, and not say anything to each other. One person will stay there, and it is their job to select the area to tract, while the other person goes into the bed room and offers a vocal prayer for the other to choose the place where some one is prepared to be baptized. It is sooo effective! We have a goal of finding at least one inactive or person to baptize every day and it has worked every time this week! We found Juan and his friend from it... he took the discussions a year ago in Tampa and had to be dropped because of scheduling conflicts. He really loved it and we found him through this process. Also, we found a less active member not even a block from one of the areas I chose that was accidentally put in the Spanish list and would have been lost in it if we didn't go by and visit them. They are English but it is so amazing how you can truly be lead by the spirit so precisely. There are people out there that are ready. The only way to find them is to be lead by the spirit.

Hermana Murray and I are getting really close. I know it is because we work hard and really desire to do our best to find people. We have a lot of fun! Today the zone is going to Sawgrass Park. It is an alligator park! I get to eat alligator! Last week, someone’s dog got off the leash and got too close to the water and got eaten. Oh man! I won’t get that close but, before I come home I AM going to touch an alligator!

The members are amazing! There are three families I have gotten really close with. Friscos, Bangeters, and the Ross's. They take good care of us. The Ross's are Spanish and he is the 2nd counselor in the ward. His wife just had surgery. The Friscos are crazy fun! But mostly crazy! :-) They are so humble and happy. The Bangeters are awesome! Bro. Bangeter tries to give me a hard time, but I dish it back to him. He works for the anti terrorist stuff (don't know the details, probably shouldn't) in South America. He speaks fluent Spanish. So he flips us a lot of stuff. I have made a purpose of memorizing things in Spanish just for him. Just so i can flip him stuff back. His wife picked me up in Tampa when I first got here. So she got to hear my whole story as we were stuck in traffic on the bridges. So they really like me and I like them. They are having us over for dinner this Sunday. 4:00-4:55. :-)

The weather is nice. I like it. The last three days I have felt cold. It’s crazy! I just started to get used to the heat. Last week was warm though! One day all of our appointments had top be rescheduled. So we tracted for 6 and a half hours in 99 degree weather with a 100% humitity. It was the hottest day here yet and we tracted it the most. It was good though. I slept good that night and added to my killer sun tan lines. :-) AND we got 9 potentials from that day! And met an awesome guy that lived in Utah that I think will be taught by the elders!

The lady that we met last week, Anna Cortez whose husband we helped move chairs for, is loving the lessons. She is amazing. We have a soft baptismal commitment with her. We want to set a date with her this week. I know it will happen. She has a really good friend that is a member and that helps a lot.

HELP the missionaries there! They really need it. Fellowshipping is soo important!

I had an interesting experience this week. It was kind of scary. Evil spirits are soo real. We were tracting, and this lady just let us right in to her house and it felt really weird. She asked us to teach her, so we started to, but no matter how hard we tried to bear testimony and invite the spirit, it could not be in that home. I left there feeling disgusting. Something was wrong in that house. As she said a prayer I felt like something was behind me. We both had our back packs in hand so we could leave. She tried to place a lot of doubt and fear in us about the work that we were doing. She looked me in the eyes as we left and asked me, "are you sure you are ok?" I wanted to say "lady are you sure you are ok?!" It was the creepiest experience I have ever had. We quickly left and walked down a back alley and said a prayer. It helped a lot. There are a lot of satanic worshipers here. It’s kind of scary. We are safe with the lord.

I love you... I’ll try to write more if I have time.

Hermana Vaughan-Schultz

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hola de St. Pete!

So we were tracting the day before, down a really impoverished street and a man caught my attention, i started to contact him but he clearly didn't want anything to do with us. We were in the area yesterday for 4 return apts. Just after the apts, I looked over and a man was working on his Camaro. I said, "Hermana Murray, I really want to go to talk cars with this man." So, she said "ok" with a smile. I asked the usual... "What’s under the hood? What have you done to it?" Then the man who first denied us walked up. I talked to this man about cars. He was pretty surprised that I even knew anything. A blonde in a skirt. Well, we started talking about church... to make a long story short, we placed a Book of Mormon. He was so excited to read it. He was prepared and had an open mind. He is taking the discussions and it is looking really well. We find so many great people here. He was so shut off to us at first, but we just had to find that common ground and his wall was broken down and it was amazing! I really feel like he will be baptized!!! Isn't that amazing? It would have been so easy to say he doesn't want to hear and not try again.

Right before this, we experienced another miracle. The day before we tracted into Anna Cortez we taught her quite a bit on the door step and made another appointment. She opened up to us a little bit. We could really tell she was hurting. She told us that she and her husband were having a lot of problems. We felt like we should say a prayer with her. So we did right there, and I could tell she felt better. We promised her that our message could help her family, that faith in Jesus Christ could help her. SO, yesterday, for those appointments I wrote about above, we were running late from church, but as we were walking I saw a man carrying chairs, A LOT of chairs into the back of a trailer and I felt like we should help him carry them, so we did. We carried about 250 chairs for him. Now we were REALLY late for the appointments. but two of them ended up rescheduling. Anyhoo, as we were walking away, we stopped to talk to the man again. It turns out, that he is the husband of Anna. Just from that act of service he opened up to us too. Amazing! It is so important to follow the Spirit in the little things!!! yay! we are so excited to teach their family. I know we were there in the right moment. Heavenly Father is helping us so much!

The success in the area is incredible. We have 8 people that will be baptized in the next month and we started a week and a half ago with no one. We see the Lord's hand in everything we do. We go a lot of time without eating because we are so busy. We had an end of the year goal to have enough people for the Spanish branch to be established but we will have it before the end of the month! Oh how amazing!!!!

I laughed out loud really hard when Dad sent the letter about the gangs in St. Petersburg. OH THEY ARE HERE! That is for sure. We are around it all of the time. I have shook hands with people that have the tear drop tattoos on their eyes but I have felt protected. We've heard gun shots, in fact, there was a shooting outside of the Elder's apartment. They are trying to relocate them now. We don't live in a scary neighborhood, so that’s good. About the scariest place we go is Waterside apartments on the south side of St. Pete. One day, we were tracting there, and as we walked, and I could definitely smell drugs. As we knocked on the door, they opened it and everyone inside was running around because they thought we were the police. Oh funny! The "thugz" actually have a lot of respect for us. They keep us safe. They tell us where not to go and they are always looking out for us. Not sure if you like hearing this, but it is what it is :-). I think these are the reasons why they didn't have sisters here before. I have only felt unsafe once, and we left very quick!

So GEMNINA! what an amzing girl. That is the girl that ran away! She has taken a complete 180 in her life. I can't remember the last I told you about her, but her family loves us, and they are so excited to learn. I think it is because they saw the light in us. We took her on a church tour the other day and she loved it!!! We committed her to baptism for the 24th. However, she didn't make it to church this Sunday so we'll have to push it back a week. She had way too much homework from missing school, so her mom said it would be better for her to do that. Oh I am soooo excited.

I love the people here so much! I get excited to talk to everyone! The ward is amazing! This work would not be possible here without the ward's help. The missionaries need help! Our mission focuses on the members and using them. It has doubled our success. We always make sure in our lessons we have a member present, and I think that is why we are having so much success. So if you are not helping the missionaries, please do so. Also, DON'T let them stay at your house more than a few minutes UNLESS they have an investigator! They need to be out knocking doors! Quick spiritual message, and then kick them out! It will be good for them. We never stay long. I think it builds a lot of trust in the members as well! YAY for missionary work!

So last night we had a church tour with a man named Antonio. We had a lesson on his door step last week and it was my first time saying the first vision. He is from Brazil, so he only really speaks a little bit of Spanish. At the church last night, I felt the spirit so strong, and the Spanish was just coming. I was amazed. I was like, how can I speak like this? Well, only through the help of the Holy Ghost. At the end of the lesson, he said that my Portuguese was really good. Figure that one out! The gift of tongues is sooooo true!

Another ultra amazing investigator is Frida Perez from Peru. Her family is very poor in Peru, but she has organized a non-profit organization. She saw the commercial for our church, and thought it could help the people there... so here we are to share it with her. She loves the doctrine and soaks up everything that we say. She reads and reads. She is a very smart woman. In Sunday School yesterday, she spoke just as much as the members (Spanish Sunday School). I'm really excited. She has a soft commitment for baptism, meaning, when she prays and knows this is true, that she will be baptized. Oh, it is soooo exciting!!!!

I was called a potato yesterday by Hector. I was sharing my story a little bit with their family and talked to them about the temple and the meaning of temple sealing and work for the dead and he stopped me and said, "You are a potato. There are two types of people in this world, potatoes and eggs. If you put them in the boiling water of life or hard things, they either harden up, or they become soft and beautiful. You my friend are a potato." I thought this was amazing and I loved it. Not that he called me a potato, but that it is sooo true of an analogy and I am going to use it!!!

Well, I might get a chance to write more later. The zone is going bowling today! :-) so sorry if everyone doesn't get as many letters today.

So much to write. I can't wait to come home and tell you these stories in person. There is sooo much more to them.

Love you all soooo much!!!
Thank you for the support!

Hermana Vaughan-Schultz

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

First Week in Florida - St. Petersburg

October 5, 2009


Where to even start! :-)

Only send US mail, otherwise it could take a month to get a package.

My companion is Hermana Murray. She is from Bellevue. She lived a couple blocks from the temple! sooo cool! Mom, we want you to go on a temple trip with her mom. Her name is Pam. Isn't that cool? Hermana Murray goes to the University of Oregon, so it will be easy to keep in contact.

My first area is St. Petersburg. I have a lot of love for this area already. They only recently opened it to Spanish missionaries for three transfers, only 18 weeks. That is crazy. It is the last zone in the area that doesn’t have a Spanish branch, and it is not because of a lack of Spanish people. That is for sure!!! We didn't have hardly anyone in our teaching pool when I got here, but some really great and amazing miracles have happened. I thought about this as I sat in the chapel at conference with a family we just put on date for baptism that was sitting in front of us. In general conference when the area seventy talked about how he prayed that missionaries would enter Russia and how his son was a part of that answer to a prayer, well, I felt like I was a part of a lot of prayers. This area has grown so much in just the week that I have been here. I am really excited! When I heard about the area I was really surprised that they would put a greeny like me here when there is so much important work to do!

I don't even know where to start. I think I might just send what I have in my journal home... or I might make you wait.

The first day in the field was work! I LOVE TRACTING! Some missionaries don't like it. But I love it! In fact, the first Spanish door contact we did, and I did it by myself, is taking the lessons right now! They have a daughter that is 14, Juni. She is going to mutual now. It is great. I have a good feeling about it. We plan on committing them to baptism the next time we meet on Wednesday. :-) Yay!!!!!!! They have a family of 6. …but my first Spanish contact! Yay!!!

Next we went to the Saldivar shop. I’m definitely taking you to meet the Saldivars!!! They own one of those mom and pop’s stores on the corner with all of the weird Hispanic food; like pig heads hanging in there and everything. But they are really great to us missionaries. They were inactive before the Spanish missionaries got here, now they are actively participating. WE ARE SOOOO CLOSE to having a Spanish branch! We always stop by and they bring us in the back and we teach them a quick lesson. We laugh a lot. The first day I didn't understand them very well, THEY SPEAK FAST! But we stopped by there the night before last and I was doing really good understanding them. My Spanish has made a lot of improvement! It is amazing. It is completely the Lord helping. I wouldn't be able to do it without Him.

The first night was fun. We moved a family for four hours in the sweltering heat! 96 with 85% humidity! I’m pretty sure I got heat exhaustion. I have been soooo tired since and it hasn't been from lack of sleep.

I've lost 7 pounds since being here! It’s crazy. This is the most disciplined mission I have ever heard of. They don't pass around a dinner sign up at all, because from 5-9 is prime time for doing the work and we shouldn't be in someone’s home unless there is an investigator there. I think that is soooo awesome!!! So we can eat at 4, but usually we are so busy that we don't eat until we get home. I thought the members would be feeding us a lot more, but we are so busy we put them on the bottom of the list. Food is just food anyways :-)

So I know I said the teaching pool wasn't full when I got here, but we have been blessed so much. We have been guided by the Spirit so directly that that has changed A LOT!!! Dozens and dozens of times while tracting my companion and I have felt directly that we needed to contact particular doors and people. One in particular just amazed me! We walked up to the door and it was my turn to do the contacting. It was Spanish and something really amazing happened. I will never forget this for the rest of my life. I felt my heart leap as I knocked on the door. (It was in kind of a rundown area) the spirit hit me so strong that I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. A woman answered the door. She looked like she had been crying. I felt prompted to just bear strong testimony of the Savior and the atonement. I didn't even ask for her name or anything. I said (in Spanish… it just came. I haven't said this ever before) "Jesus Christ loves you, and He wanted us to come here because you need help. We are here to help you and to tell you that the Savior loves you. Through prayer and the atonement...” I didn't even get a chance to finish my sentence before she was sobbing in my arms. We were not planning on coming in this area, but we were directed by the spirit. We weren't able to say much to her other than bear testimony to her of how the atonement could help her. She talked to us for 25 minutes without us really getting a word in. Through her tears and speaking so fast I hardly could understand her... So instead as I sat there and looked into her eyes I prayed my heart out to Heavenly Father that the Holy Ghost would tell me the worries of her heart, how we could help her, and that she would see the light of Christ in us... and Heavenly Father blessed me with that. My companion offered for us to leave them with a prayer, and turned to me to offer it. Oh boy! I was nervous, but the spirit helped me. (at this point I didn't know what exactly was going on. I knew her daughter was gone, and had tried to commit suicide a few weeks ago. Can you imagine how scary this might be for a new missionary that has only spoken Spanish for two months!) but the Lord helped me. The spirit was strong when I prayed. I cried through the whole thing and so did everyone else. I prayed for a miracle. I felt prompted to say that that the daughter would return.

I didn't know what exactly happened until my companion and I left. We found out after they had invited us in that there 16 year old daughter had just ran way with her boyfriend. She said she was coming back today but she didn't show up. (this was all on my second day here...) We came to visit two days later, and the daughter was back. The father thanked us so much as he talked to us on the door step. They really want us to teach them I feel really good about the family.

OK! Now, the Valasquez family! So amazing! The mother is an inactive member (Karina), from Puerto Rico. They moved to the states 5 years ago. Hector, was a very stern Catholic. He’s not really active, but very against even thinking about any other religions. The family started looking into other religions. They really desired that their children would have a good faith in God and Jesus Christ. Once Karina’s mom in Puerto Rico found out, she quickly sent a Media referral. A month ago the sisters taught them, and Hector didn't like it. So they weren't able to visit again until last week. As we were going through our area book, we felt prompted to follow up with them. We prayed for a mighty miracle that would soften Hector’s heart. Karina desired to become active again. AND IT SOOO HAPPENED! We went there, and it was amazing! Hector and his son Mathew are on date for Nov 6th, but he is so excited that it will probably happen sooner I’m sure. When we got there he was so ready. He already knew Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, the Bbook of Mormon was true. He even taught us about the Urim Thummin. It reminded me of my first contact with the missionaries. "the teachers become the teachees!" Ya! Totally happened! It was one of the strongest testimonies of prayer I have ever heard. He had never prayed out loud in front of people before, other then scripted prayers, and before we left we wanted to pray. So we asked him who he would like to say the prayer. He said " I will. I need to set the example for my kids." He was so nervous, but he did it! I was soooo darn happy! I didn't even sleep that night.

During our weekly panning we set a very high number of 4 baptisms for this month. We prayed and felt strongly about that goal. They haven't had one baptism in 3 months in this area. Well, we have two right now so far, soon to be four. I talked to the ZL last night, and they said we've broken the glass ceiling on all of the numbers for the last year in just a week. WE WORK HARD! We never let a moment go by! Everything is in the Lords hand’s!

Hector loved general conference! Just after conference he came right out and said, “When can I learn more about prophets?” with a huge smile on his face! Oh man! We do church tours here... the first priority is to have the first lesson in the church building with a fellowshipper (member). The next lesson is at a member’s house, or at the investigator’s house with a fellowshipper. They really know what they are doing here. We only do what works. Bikes are more effective because you get more contacts. So, we bike a lot! It is great!!!

Yesterday we taught a man named Antonio. We gave the whole first lesson on the door step. I said the first vision for the first time. Yay!! The spirit was so strong. I know he felt it. He is from Brazil. I am really excited to teach him again. I just know he will be baptized. You just get this feeling! Yay!

Our teaching pool keeps getting fuller! Trailer parks are our friends! We have been in some REALLY scary areas with drugs and crime. Heard gun shots the other day, but I definitely feel protected and think of Elder Scott’s blessing often that we will be kept safe as we are obedient.

We had two little Spanish girls run out and give us some paper ring chains that said “we love you”. They like to follow us around when contacting. We have really built up a good reputation with some of the areas. I am just amazed on how humble the Spanish people are. I really have learned a lot of life lessons in just my first week. Also, I never realized until now that I have been preparing my whole life for my mission. I love it here. I love the people sooo much. My prayers have never been as meaningful as they are now when I offer a mighty prayer for our investigators and for direction.

I’m already sad to leave the people here!

Love you all

Hermana Vaughan-Schultz