Monday, September 20, 2010

Ft. Myers Week 19

I guess I must have learned some Spanish since I’ve been here, I translated for stake conference and it was sweet! I was pretty proud! :-)

Sister Lai and I went to early morning seminary this morning! It was great! I loved it! It made me a little sad to think that I missed the opportunity to attend during high school, but I really hope I get the opportunity to serve as a teacher. That would be SWEET!!!

The work is going so wonderfully well. I honestly don't feel like I deserve it. We are teaching amazing prepared people that are at the edge of their seat to accept the gospel, but we are also teaching some people that have huge obstacles in front of them that they have to overcome. Oh but what joy it is to see them change and start partaking of that fruit that is, oh so divine.

I have been really impressed lately with Lehi's dream. It’s interesting that in the very instance that he partook of the fruit, this joy the gospel brought him, his first desire was to share it with the people that he loves. This has been a truth woven through the time I have been serving the Lord. The times where I have felt the atoning influence in my life, are the times where I testified with more vigor, when I would want to run from door to door and pretty much scream from the roof tops the message we bring. It’s the most important message in the entire world. However, a truth that I have also learned, from hard experiences, is that our purpose is to bring the word "unto" the hearts of the people, but it is up to them to allow the word "into" their hearts. This is a gospel truth for the rest of our lives.

As I have seen those that I have helped come to the waters of baptism, and I look at where they are now, I wonder, "What was the difference?" "Why did some stay strong and others not?" "Did they really come unto Christ?" Then I asked myself, how do we come unto Christ? For me, four and a half years ago, I didn't know who Jesus Christ was and as I reflect on how I came to know my Savior, it really isn't all that much different than how I come to know any one of you that are reading this. It is by passing time with a person, by talking to them, by sharing experiences, tears, heartache and joy.

We need to spend time with our Savior one on one. Surely, we can study the scriptures, and learn everything "about" His life and ministry, but I could read all about anyone and their history, but I really won’t get to know them. If we rely too much on our teachers or other people for our spiritual edification, then we will never "come unto our Savior" and really partake of this joy that we could have to REALLY know that He is there.

I know without a single doubt, no less than if the Savior was standing beside me that He lives. That He is my brother and best friend. There is nothing in the world that has more value to me than my journey of coming to know my Savior. I want EVERYONE to feel the peace and security in this. I wish I was the missionary I am now in the beginning of my mission. I might have done things a little differently, but now, my entire focus will be on helping them feel that atoning power and truly come unto Christ and have a personal relationship with him so that they can know with a surety that they can turn to Him even when they feel alone. That is how they will stay strong and that is how we can help them.


Hermana Vaughan-Schultz

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ft. Myers Week 18

I had the best Sunday I think I ever have had on the mission...

We are teaching a family that is just absolutely amazing! There are not words to describe the love that I have for this family. The mother, Elia is 25 and I feel like we are best friends... she is like a sponge. Whenever we come over the first thing she says is, "Do I need my books?" Oh, I love her so much! She is living with her boyfriend. At first we thought he didn't like us all that much. He is very spiritual and has a lot of knowledge about the Bible. But after a week of teaching Elia she accepted a baptismal date. Well, then he completely opened up, and guess what we found out! He is a MEMBER! He was just keeping his distance so that Elia could make the decision on her own. She didn't even know he was a member. She has 3 children, none with him. They have only been together for about 6 months but they are so in love! He is 18 and he didn't finish school because he had to go to work at the age of 14 to support his family because his mom was dying of cancer. It is just an amazing story of how these two found each other. The lesson that we taught Elia about the law of chastity made me a little nervous because she is living with her boyfriend. Well, it went amazing, in fact right when she realized that she was breaking one of the commandments, she was like "Oh, I need to change." So she prayed about it and she wants to get married. The only problem is that they want to wait awhile, but we are working on that! :-)

So yesterday, we were anxiously waiting for their family to get to church. I was nervous... really nervous because they hadn't called and they were late. So I called her and she said, "We're on our way." When I got off the phone I screamed, “YYYEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!” Then I jumped up off the couch and danced around! The members of the Haitian branch got mad at me and closed the doors to the chapel. I felt bad for maybe a second... Maybe ;-) but oh boy... I couldn't have been any happier!

While we were sitting in the church we filled an entire row with her family. I was sitting next to them and I looked over right in the nick of time and managed to see Aldair, her boyfriend take a ring off of his pinky finger, and put it on her ring finger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man! HAVE ANY OF YOU EVER HEARD OF THAT!!!!! A PROPOSAL DURING SACRAMENT MEETING???!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!! So we will be having a wedding here soon and a sealing in a year no doubt in my mind!!!!! We know that Satan will bring out the big guns because this is a very special family. I have no doubt they will become very strong leaders in the church. Satan tried this morning. We got a call from Aldair and Elia got pulled over. She had an expired license and well, got arrested. So the ward pulled together and got bail and got everything figured out. BRING IT SATAN! WE WONT GIVE UP! :-) OH I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!

Hermana Lai is amazing! We are having a lot of fun! She is definitely a lot shyer than Sister Baum but it is a great experience working with her. We are exact opposites but definitely united in this great cause to bring the Gospel to EVERYONE! We both want that more than anything!

Love you all!

Hermana Vavughan-Schultz

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ft. Myers Week 17

Well, I believe I am killing my trainee! Her name is Hermana Lai. She’s a little LITTLE Chinese girl from Vancouver Washington. She’s a little shy and timid but I know we'll have a great time working together. It didn't help that when we arrived back from Tampa that our car had a flat tire. In my head I just said, “Alright bring it Satan!!!” Well, we got the spare on and drove it to Firestone. I had really itchy feet and just wanted to work. The mall was behind the store, so we decided to storefront contact. Oh she looked so scared. :-) but all was well and we found a man named Pedro to teach. We gave him a church tour just two days later. I prayed so hard in the days leading up that we would find someone to teach and baptize the first day we were together, y alli esta! :-)

So, yes I think I’m killing my companion. We were in the heat all morning, so I thought I would treat her to an ice cold Slurpee. Well, on our way out she rolled her ankle in a pot hole and we spent the next three hours in the hospital. Again in my head I’m thinking, “Alright! Is that all you got Satan!?” This work is not going to stop! :-) And yes, I carried her into the hospital.

Kind of funny, but while waiting for her in the waiting room, I talked to the most wonderful family from Guatemala. We just laughed and laughed together. Especially when the dad wouldn't tell me his real name, he just said, “My name is ugly,” and all his kids would laugh so hard. I love the Spanish people so much. I have never been happier than to sit there and just talk to them. When they first walked into the waiting room their mouths dropped open to see some white blonde girl talking Spanish on the phone. They loved it and I have gotten so that I can depict the different dialects from the different countries. It’s so funny! What was really great is that last night while planning we got a call and all I heard is, “Hola, soy ugly!” He called US! Whooo hoooo! His family is coming to English class and we are teaching him the gospel after the English class! It is a testimony to me that the only way to be a disciple of Christ is to love the people. I loved them so much sitting there. I love being a missionary! I love my job and who I work for! :-)

I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on ugly! :-) He has a wife and 5 kids.

Hermana Vaughan-Schultz