Friday, 29 November 2013

Lloyds Baptism is coming up!

WOW! It feels like it has been FOREVER!
How are you all? I hope everyone is doing well!
We had a good week and a half. Lots of exciting things happened!
Last Tuesday we went on exchanges! We were with the spanish sisters. SisG was in Lodi with sister thomas, and I stayed in Galt with sister pitcher. It was a lot of fun! It was so weird though, I had to make all the plans, and it's really hard to plan the whole day out! But it turned out to be a really good day. First we did all of our studies, then we went and did some service for Sister Cook, haha we were expecting to do yard work or something outside like stacking wood, but we ended up cleaning crabs!! ahhaha it was so funny! The strangest service ever. But it was fun. Then we went to visit a few people and at 3 we met with Jim and Brother Bigelow at the church. (Oh I think last week I told you about how Jim didn't come to church and we were worried, turns out he just was really sick and fell back asleep, but then ended up at the hospital, but all is well now!) At 4 we had a lesson with Lloyd at the Nelsons, we taught the plan of salvation. It went really well! then we had dinner with the duncan family. and hahaha oh man I was telling sister pitcher all about the duncans son. He is less active, and one time when we went to try and visit him he just yelled at us. And then when we show up to dinner, the grumpy son was there! haha it was hilarious! After dinner we went to the yw/ym activity and talked about the importance of testimonies and how important it is to share them. The youth then were writing their testimonies in book of mormons and they are going to give them to their friends. After yw/ym we went home and received a call from Bro.Nelson, and he told us he was talking to Lloyd before we got to the lesson, and Lloyd shared with him that he is medicated for being schitzophrenic. so Bro. Nelson was all concerned, but we know that Lloyd is fine. But still we called our district leader and he said everything was fine because he is accountable and he is safe!
Wednesday we had ZONE CONFERENCE. Wow what a day. So on Monday we had cleaned the car because every zone conference they check how clean the cars are and see if you still get the privilege of having one or not. but it had rained! hahaha so there was no point in cleaning it, but at least we were obedient. So anyways, Elder Baxter of the Seventy was there at our zone conference. WOW. he is super scary! hahah if he wasn't an apostle I don't think I would like him very much... haha shhh don't tell. But anyways he is scottish, bald, and doesn't smile. (Don't be fooled by his picture in the Ensign) So he gave us a lot of council. Hahahah there were sometimes where he had people come up to roll play and then they would be doing their  thing and he would cut them off and say "stop. NEVER do that again. That was horrible" or things like "that is a PITIFUL way to ask for a referral" hahaahahah. He was terrifying! But all in all he gave us a lot of good advice, and new challenges and things to try! I said the closing prayer at this meeting, which was terrifying cause he already told me I spoke too fast. Hahaha. Oh and haha we were told to prepare a 2 minute talk on the doctrine of Christ, and to make 2 copies of it. Elder Baxter then chose 2 of the talks to come up and read theirs. Sister G was like ohhh i don't need to make two copies, I won't get called up. hahahah so she only made one copy and Elder Baxter chose hers! Luckily they put it on the stand for her, or else she wouldn't have had anything. hahah it was funny! It was an exhausting day, I know it was supposed to be motivating, but honestly it just felt like Elder Baxter was telling us we weren't doing anything right. 
Thursday was a super busy day!  We were out contacting so many people and getting so many referrals! We had a lesson with Lloyd, and then we all had lunch with the Bigelows. Hahaha we went to visit this part member family the Rivers and we hadn't met the husband before, but he was there and we finally met him, and he is sooo nice! So we were trying to talk to him and set something up so we could come teach him and his wife, but there was this man named Bill there who was sooooo drunk and kept telling us all his regrets! Hahaha he was like "Joseph Smith is my HEROO" hahaahah it was really funny. But really annoying lol. It was a super productive day though, so it was awesome!
Friday we had  a lesson with Jim at the Bigelows! It ended up just being a really good discussion about being a member of the church and about the priesthood. Jim was talking about how he wished he could have been a member his whole life, but then me, sisG and Brother Bigelow all thought of the exact same parable at the same time! Its the one about the labourers in the field and no matter when they started working they all get paid the same. This really made sense to Jim and it made him feel good that he wasn't missing out on any blessings from being baptized later! It was great. Then we had weekly planing and we were planning Lloyds baptism! wooohooo!  Then we had dinner with Judy at Dennys! hahaha always a good time. We played the crane game and got 5 more stuffed animals! Can you even believe it? haahha 
Saturday was a very unusual day for us! We went to a service project at 8am. We were helping distribute Thanksgiving Baskets, these giant boxes of food that different churches from around the city put together and then donate to families who are less fortunate. It was really organized and fun to help! the people were so thankful! It was great! Then at 12 we had a lesson with Lloyd at the Bishops home, it went really well! Hahahah the bishop offered to Baptize Lloyd  I'll send a picture next week.  Hopefully all goes well on Saturday. Hahaha then after lloyds lesson we went and visited a lot of other people, and then at 4 we had a Temple Tour planned! This is kind of cool! The Crosier family had planned this with Stacey ( remember her from my first couple weeks?) So we all got in the car and drove to the temple. So it takes about an hour to get there, and then the tour is at 6. hahaha sister crosier thought it was at 6:30, so we were running really behind. We were going to eat dinner before, but there wasn't enough time. So we went to the tour, which is just a tour of the ouside, and talks about the different things that can happen inside, and then a little bit about how temples came to be. It was cool, not like super spiritual, but still good. Then  we went for dinner after the tour. 
Sunday was good! Jim got the Aaronic Priesthood!! We were so excited for him! Lloyd and Lisa came to church which was great. In the evening we had fhe with the Curry family (this is a part member family, the husband is a member and the wife isn't...yet! ;) ) and the McFadyens. It was okay..... we were hoping it would have went better. We taught the lesson, and we decided to do the Restoration. We hope the wife wasn't bored! lol
Monday we had Lloyds baptismal interview! yayyy! He is all set for his baptism! woohoo! Then it was a day full of contacting people and wishing it was pday haha. Then in the evening we went and saw Peggy Munn, who is a LA member who is soooo sweet. We really wish she would come back to church! She gave me a pair of earrings! It was so sweet! 
Tuesday was another day of no set appointments, and just a lot of visiting people ( well actually we were supposed to have a lesson with Lisa, but she cancelled... haha not surprised) Hahaha we called Lloyd and i asked him how he was and he said "fat and sassy" hahaahahahah. It was so funny! Oh I love Lloyd, he cracks me up.
Wednesday(yesterday) We had district meeting, it was really good and elder gilray taught us some tips and stuff to help us out with our door approach. Then we went to see some potentials we never met before, and applied everything we learnt! It actually worked out really good! It was great! We've been applying everything we've been taught lately! Its great! Aw, we stopped by our house to grab some book of mormons after, and on our way back this man had a truck full of fruit and it all fell out and spilled all over the road! We pulled over and helped him clean it all up! It was so sad! haha but he was so grateful for our  help! Then we visited some more people, and we went to see Jim but he wasn't there but we ended up talking to his family members for like half an hour! Which is huuuuge because the girl, his niece, haaates mormons! hahaha But we talked to them let them know that we're not that weird, and that Heavenly Father really does love them! It was great!!!!
Now it is today!!! woohoo! Happy american thanksgiving! haha Tonight we have dinner at the bishops house! We are going to be verrrrry well fed! We also have all day pday! So we're pretty excited! woohooo!!!!
WELLL I love you SO MUCH!!!!!!!
I am so THANKFUL for you in my life! 
Keep on keeping on!!!!
Love,
SISTER LACUSTA :)

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Challenging Week!!

Wow! What a week. haha I'm pretty sure I say that every week, but it's true every time. This week was really challenging though. A lot of ups and downs! 
Tuesday we had a lesson with Lloyd at the church with Brother Hinds. We followed up on our lesson of the Restoration and showed the restoration dvd. We felt like it would be very important for Lloyd to understand that through Joseph Smith the gospel was restored and that only a man who has been given this authority is a prophet! The lesson went well. Brother Hinds wasn't tooo crazy.
Wednesday was an alright day! We had district meeting at 11:00 which was good, as always. Our district leader Elder Gilray always gives great lessons. This one was about keeping it simple. I feel like this is a problem for a lot of missionaries or a lot of Ward Mission Leaders!!! Haha I feel like SisterG and I have been pretty good at keeping things simple and not over complicating things. The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. He taught it simply and thats how it should be! there is a quote in preach my gospel, (I dont remember what page) that talks about how we need to teach simply not so that people will understand, but so that there is no room to misunderstand!! I love that and that is how it should be. After district meeting things went down hill....! All of our appointments for the night cancelled. Carly who has never cancelled before cancelled! Then our lesson with Karma got cancelled. And then!! We had a lesson with Beth the next day and she cancelled!!!! It was so sad! We were in shock!! But the silver lining was hahaha we had dinner at the Bishops house.
Thursday. Wow so we thought Wednesday was bad. So we are getting ready in the morning and then Lloyd called us! He said he didn't want to be a mormon anymore!!!! We were shocked!!!! He said that the mormon church was too quiet and he wanted a louder church! So we called Gilray and asked if he had any advice for us hahah. Basically he told us we just needed to go talk to him and find out if that is really his concern, or if there is a real concern and he's not telling us about it. Then we were supposed to have a lesson with Jim that morning (we need to teach lessons still after they have been baptized) We called him and he cancelled on us too! We were so sad!! So all 3 of our appointments that day were cancelled too! We didn't even know what to do with ourselves lol. So we kept driving by Lloyds to see if he was home and if we could talk to him, eventually he was home so we went and talked  to him. We asked him what happened! Then he told us his real concern. Our last lesson we challenged him to stop smoking until our next lesson. You know we were going to try and be more bold because with Jim we weren't bold enough and we ended up having to change his baptismal date. So his real concern was, he had been talking to his brother and his brother told him that if he didn't stop smoking by our next lesson we weren't going to let him get baptized!!! Oh my gosh we felt so bad! Basically Lloyd was just feeling like he wasn't going to be good enough, but we assured him he was! And we said we know quitting smoking will be hard but he could do it!! He also for some reason felt that God wanted him to smoke because, in the olden times they "cleansed temples with fire" so he felt that he was cleansing his body. I said Lloyd something like I think we both know that Heavenly Father just wants us to take care of our bodies because they are such a special gift from him, and we know that smoking is harming them. Joseph Smith received revelation from Heavenly Father called the Word of Wisdom that is a health code to keep our bodies clean and healthy. One of the things we're asked not to do is to smoke or use tobacco. Lloyd then said God is telling me that what you're saying is true. hahaah!! woohoo!! The Spirit strikes again! It was really a good little heart to heart with Lloyd. It made us love him a lot more. Now he isn't just another investigator, he is Lloyd and his needs are important! So we were so happy and relieved that we were able to find out Lloyds real concern and now he is still on track and excited to be baptized!!!! ahaha he called us after our dinner appointment and asked "I need to know what other things I need to take out of my diet" So we set up an appointment for friday to teach the word of wisdom
Friday was weekly planning and then we ended up teaching Lloyd about the word of wisdom with sister Holden. It went so great and LLoyd is so willing to follow the word of wisdom!  Then we taught Lisa the homeless lady with sister holden. Lisa talks soooooooo much! gah.
Then saturday was another crazy day. No set appointments, so that always sucks. We invited Carly-Ann to a baptism that the elders were having, and we invited Karma. So we showed up at the baptism and oh man! there were so many missionaries! It wasn't good. the zone leaders, the elders whose baptism it was, the spanish elders, president and sister lewis and then us!! It didn't look very good. Our investigators didn't end up showing up so we left. So hopefully president and sister lewis don't think we were being lazy!! cause we weren't! 
Sunday I gave a talk in church! haha luckily I had some notice and had time to prepare. I talked mainly about Jesus christ and his atonement and how that is the center or everything, and the reason we do missionary work is so that they can feel the grace that Jesus Christ has provided for us! then i challenged everyone in the ward to talk to their friends, or refer them to us. I liked it. hahaha someone came up to me after and said that wasn't your usual missionary work talk. haahh not sure if that is  a good thing or not! But a lot of people came and said they liked my talk so it couldn't have been that bad!
Well that was our week! Haha we survived! I haven't got your package yet :'( but I got lots of mail! :) I got a letter from Cherish, Grandma, Emily, Echo, Tiffany and an elder from the mtc! It was so great to hear from them all!!!!
Tell Echo she must have been inspired to send me the talk she did because i used it for my talk in sacrament meeting! :)
Well I love you all and miss you!!!!!!!!!!!
LOVE
SISTER LACUSTA

Friday, 15 November 2013

My Birthday Lunch!!

Package from Emily!!  Love the Sweater

Filling the Font

Jim, Sister Gutierrez and Sister Lacusta

Jim's Baptism


Me and Jim!
Galt Water Tower


CRAZY WEEK!

Hey everybody!!
Well this was probably my craziest week on the mission!
But it was really great! I loved it all! There was kind of some drama...! who would have thought that there is drama between missionaries!
Haha, well mom I told you this, but k last week on Tuesday we went to the flea market, and on our way out, we saw Jim! So we said hi and talked to him for a bit. The Spanish sisters asked who that was, and we told them it was our investigator who was getting baptized on Saturday. Then one of the sisters said that he was smoking..... Well, no one else saw this. And I'm pretty observant.. So me and Sis G we so concerned!! We were like, are you serious that you saw him smoking? Cause we really wanted to know! Cause I in order to get baptized you have to stop smoking (or any other habits) for a week before baptism. So if he was smoking, we would have had to change his date. So we were like thinking about it all day long and didn't know what to do. We decided that we would call Jim in the morning. So that morning (which was Wednesday) we called Jim and asked how it was going, and how not smoking was going. And he said it was really hard! But haha neither me or Sister G were bold enough to straight up ask him if he had smoked. BUT we decided to pray about it to figure out what we should do! So we said a prayer, and it was super amazing, instantly after we prayed we both felt really calm! We felt like we didn't need to be worried, and that everything was going to be okay! So then after we prayed, we got amormon.org referral!!!! Which was so exciting, and it was a man named Lloyd who said "I want to be baptized at the cross of Jesus' feet" we were like whoaaa!!!! So, we went right away to go meet this referral. So right as we arrive at Lloyds house, the district leader was calling us, so obvi we ignored it, but then he went a text that said "Call me ASAP" 
SO LLOYD. WOW he has had a really really rough life. He started telling us how he tried to baptize himself (?!), tried to make some healing ointment, and all these other things. He really follows the counsil from some online pastors. Anyways, so we got talking with Lloyd, and we invited him to baptized on November 30th! And he said yes! So WOW. Super crazy awesome. And then we invited him to come to Jims baptism on Saturday and to church. And we gave him a book of mormon. And he said something about some healing ointment, so we asked him if he wanted a blessing, and he said yes, so we said we would come back later that day with someone who could give him a blessing.
SO after we left Lloyds, we called Gilray back (our district leader) and turns out, the Spanish sister who "saw" Jim smoking called elder gilray and told him!!? So he was all concerned for us. So we asked him if we could go to their house and talk to them in person. So we went to the elders house and were discussing the whole situation, how we didn't see him smoking, but we're not sure and all of that. ( LOL in the middle of our discussion, we were just standing outside at the elders house, the MAIL MAN started like bible bashing with all 4 of us hahahaha it was so random and funny) So after our conversation we decided that we needed to meet up with Jim that night and figure out for sure if he smoked or not. So we set up an appointment with Jim and the elders for that night. Then we asked the elders if they would give Lloyd a blessing. So they did, and when we got back to Lloyds house he was already done 1 Nephi!! It was amazing!
So then we had the craziest day. We ended up seeing ALL of our progressing investigators haahhah! It was the best! Appointment to appointment to appointment! I LOVE days like that! But then we went to meet with Jim, and long story short, we asked him if he felt prepared and if he had smoked, and he said he felt very prepared and no he hadn't smoked! So the baptism was still on!!! WOOHOOOO MIRACLESSS!!
So i just can't believe the sisters did that.... Theyre not even in our area... let alone the same language as us! So its like they didn't trust our judgement as missionaries. I was super offended! And now they are our sister training leaders.... aweeesome. Lol, but nah its all good. I'm pretty much over it now, I just wanted to give the whole story!
Thursday we had district meeting and a service project! ( I never thought in my whole life I'd be excited about raking leaves!!) hahah Service projects are the best though! Put the missionaries to work at home! haha they'll love it! Don't even feel bad!
And Friday was weekly planning and we taught Lloyd the Restoration lesson! He is going to have a hard time realizing that prophets HAVE to be called of God and need to have proper authority! Not just any ol internet pastor is a prophet!....! haahah so that's going to be a lot of work.
Then SATURDAY! Wow, this was the greatest day! First of all, it was my birthday!! and then! It was Jims BAPTISM! woohoo!! So the day started out great and we decided we wanted to go to the taco truck for lunch! So we ordered our food and stuff, and then i'm taking a big bite out of my burrito and I turn my head and i see The Elders! woohoo! So awwww Sister G secretly invited them to have lunch with us. so nice. Then we went to see some people, but then went home to get some stuff for Jims baptism. When we got home I had a package from EMILY!! (Sorry your guyss isn't here yet! lol) So that was such a nice surprise!! She gave me such a nice gift! Lots of food and candy and the cutest california sweater!! It was so nice!! THEN off to Jims baptism!!! We made the nicest looking programs, set up chairs, filled the font and! We got a large print set of scriptures for Jim, so we wrote our testimonies in the front of it! Then the baptism. It was honestly just perfect!! We were a little worried something was going to go wrong, but it was great! The spirit was SO STRONG! We had this girl named Ayana Smith do the musical number, her and her dad sang Amazing Grace. And it was SO beautiful! Jim even started crying!! :'( so tender!!! But ya it was perfect! then when it was all done we gave Jim his scriptures and he started crying again!! He was so thankful!! It was really great! It was honestly the best thing I could have been doing on my birthday! I'm so thankful I got to be part of Jims baptism and conversion!!! It was so great to be part of! (oh and Lloyd came to the baptism!!!)
Then after Jims baptism the Williams took us out for dinner for my birthday! :) It was a lot of fun! The Williams are honestly the nicest people ever! I love them a lot! We had italian and just had a great time!
Then sunday Jim got confirmed!! It was perfect!!! And remember how I said we wanted to set Judy and Jim up??!?! They were waving at each other when Jim was on the stand! so maybe they've got a little connection!! Maybe next year around this time I'll be attending a sealing!!! ;) hahah jk, but can you imagine? That would be amazing!!
But ya, it was a crazy week! So many things happening, and baptisms are SO exciting!!!!
Now we should be having Lloyds at the end of the month, and Carlys at the beginning of December!! Yayyyy! Hopefully everything goes smoothly :)
Well, those were the main highlights of my week!!
Hope you are all doing great!!
Keep on keeping on!!!

Love, 
Sister Lacusta :D

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Playing the Harp!

The Circus is "For Sale"

Jim is getting Baptized on my Birthday!!

Playing the Harp!  

Sister Lacusta and Judy at the Sacramento Temple

My new friend Judy!

First Baptism on my Birthday!!

Hey Family!!
It feels like its been FOREVER!
But its just been one day more than usual. hhaha. So ya it was a good week, like usual SO many things happened!
On Tuesday (Moms birthday :) ) We had Jims Baptismal interview scheduled! So exciting right! So we planned to have the lesson at 10 then have his interview right after.... WELL Old Scratch (haha Satan) was working really hard on Jim that day! First, his alarm didn't go off, and he had to drive his niece to Stockton, then on his way back, he ran out of gas, then he realized he didn't have his wallet! So he had to call someone to come bring him money and to help with gas, and then after he got gas, his car had died so it woouldn't start!!!! Everything and anything happened to him! It was crazy! So anyways, he didn't end up getting to brother hinds house until like 12:40 HAAH. So by the time we were done everything we had been there for FOUR hours!! It was crazy. We had a really good little short lesson though AND he passed his interview!! woohooo! We ended up rescheduling his lesson for November 9! :) So its exciting!
I'm pretty excited that my first baptism on the mission is going to be on my BIRTHDAY! woohoo!!!
Thursday which was HALLOWEEN ended up being a lot of fun. In the morning we had these senior sisters, (who are actually sisters in real life and companions in the mission) come check our apartment for cleanness. They are so adorable! Then at like 3:30 we went to see Jonathon and Mirta ( I can't remember if I told you about them already, they are former investigators who had a firm baptismal date and everything, but for some reason they didn't get baptized) So we've been trying to set an appointment with them for weeks, but everytime something came up and we couldn't have the appointment. SO we actually got to go in their house and sit and talk with them, and we were kind of bummed out, it turns out they mostly just love hanging out with the missionaries. They had some elders before who they thought were really cool, so they didn't actually care about the lessons, they just liked hanging out. So, we are not going to focus on them for a while haha. But after that we had ZONE TRAINING in Lodi. it was awesome. We actually got to watch Ephraims Rescue the movie, and eat pizza! Then we had actual zone training. It was so fun! 
Friday we had another lesson with Jim at the Bigelows house, and it went well, it wasn't awesome or anything, but it was good. We just shared the talk by President Monson called Obedience Brings Blessings. And then we all talked about it. It was good. Then we did weekly planning and stuff, and we actually got to call people and make the plans for Jims baptism! Which was a lot of fun! After weekly planning we went to visit a few people, and there is this guy named Jonny who we met while tracting he is like 24. So he clearly doesn't understand what missionaries do cause he invited us to have a beer and to stay the night HAHAHA so needless to say we are not going to be visiting Jonny for a while. Then when we were leaving he gave us hugs and we both just like froze, it was so funny. We were laaaaaughing so hard. 
On Sunday I had my first experience with a total anti-mormon! HAHA oh man. So on Saturday we were tracting and we met this kid probably about my age, and he was on his way to work, but he said to stop by on sunday around 1 cause his dad would love to talk to us. So anyways we ended up talking to this guy for an HOUR. just in his doorstep. He told us his whole story about how he became a Christian and all that jazz and then we were like ya that is great, Jesus is awesome! But then he started telling us we're not Christians, we're going to hell, we're bringing everyone we're teaching down to hell, and all this stuff! HAHA oh my gosh, I was getting SO mad inside! This guy was suuuuch a jerk! Near the end I was just taunting this guy though hahaah. We asked him to pray about what we talked to him about, and he REFUSED to do it. So I was like "Don you seem like youre SCARED to pray about it because you know it'll be right when you pray about it" and then he didn't like that and totally was getting mad hahaha oh my gosh it was hilarious. And then I kept trying to end the conversation by bearing my testimony, and I was like "well I KNOW... bla blabla" and then he would be like "NO YOU'RE WRONG" hahaahah it was ridiculous!!!! But ya. He was telling me my testimony was wrong.... It was just so ridiculous. 
But through that whole experience it made my testimony stronger! Seems like a silly way to do that, but it really did. I'm so thankful I know the things I do! Why would Jesus Christ only visit one group of people? The Book of Mormon is just MORE proof of Jesus Christ. But according to Don we are not Christians even though if you read 2 Nephi 25:26 it says exactly what we do. We talk of christ we rejoice in christ, we phrophesy of Christ.and SO ON, but apparently we're not Christian hahahaah. What a nut job.
Then Monday was transfer calls! For some reason SisG was freaking out... lol even though it was pretty much set in stone that we're both staying. So annoying. But anyways in the morning we had a lesson with Jim at the Bigelows. We watched the Restoration video and it was awesome. We wanted to make sure Jim had a testimony of Joseph Smith, and turns out he had prayed about it on his own to find out! We were so proud! Then we had lunch there! Then we went home and washed the car hahha by hand (ooo la la ;) haha jk) and then went and visited people, and then had dinner at Sister Cooks house. She let my play her harp! Mom you should take up the harp! Its just like piano! I'm gunna learn how to play for reals when I get home!!!! we'll see, but that would be awesome. 
Then today, I got to go to the TEMPLE! Woohoo! It was awesome. I wasn't planning on going, but then I felt like I should go, so I did. Judy and I went, and SisG stayed with the Lodi Spanish Sisters. It was great to go, and then we came home and now we are here!!
So hopefully everything will go smoothly for Jims baptism! We are so excited for him!!!!

Well I love you all SO MUCH!!!!!!
Thanks for all of your support!
LOVE
SISTER LACUSTA