Monday, July 27, 2015

Mon, Jul 27, 2015 "This is good." -Connie

Hola mi familia y amigos,

The only way to describe this week is by saying Connie's favorite phrase that she says to everything...This is good. Haha.

Born again!! The church is so true! 


Connie was baptized!!!:D Oh, my heart and soul are filled with joy. This week has been absolutely incredible. It has been amazing to see how the gospel really does change lives. Connie just radiates the light of the gospel. We were able to teach Connie every day this week to prepare here for her baptism. My favorite lesson was the night before her baptism. We had the lesson at the Schafer's home, they are the most incredible family you will ever meet, and had a little testimony meeting. It was really special to feel their home being flooded with the Spirit as we sang, prayed, and bore sweet and simple testimonies. Connie shared the sweetest testimony about Jesus Christ. She told us that for her whole life she has been searching for the truth, and now everything has finally come together. She knows and loves her Savior and is so thankful for the gospel. Everyday, I give thanks to God for allowing me to be part of this amazing work. If Jesus Christ wanted to, He could just convert a second...just like that. But instead, He allows us to be His hands. He allows us to reach out to others and share the truths that we have found. Why does He do this? Because,  when you "see many of (your) brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is (your) soul filled with joy; then do (you) remember what the Lord has done for (you), yeah, even that he hath heard (your) prayer; yea, then do (you) remember his merciful arm which he extended towards (you). (Alma 29:9-10) I am so honored, humbled, and joyful to be an "instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy." The Lord offers us the opportunity to have perfect and complete joy in this life. That joy only comes through the gospel. How marvelous is it that we have a calling to preach the gospel, each and every one of us. Don't believe for one second that the gospel isn't for everyone. It is for everyone. God has promised that He we bless us in abundance. Why waste the opportunity to filled with joy and see those you love come unto Christ? :)

The baptism was one of the most spiritual moments that I have had on my mission. I have to tell a quick story that happened right before the baptism started. So our investigator, Laura, has become really good friends with Connie, so she gave her a ride to her baptism. I love it. Then our other investigator, Christine, was able to make it to the baptism as well. So the 3 most amazing women were all there for one of the best experiences of my mission. It was really neat, as Sister Wright was braiding Connie's hair, Laura and Christine decided to join us. So for 5 short minutes, I was in a room with my awesome companion and 3 amazing women that I have served and loved and taught. It was incredible to realize how different each of our stories are, but that at least for one page of our life stories, we can be written in each other's. The Spirit was so strong in that moment.

Wow, the rest of the service was absolutely incredible. The talks and the violin musical number were so heartfelt and special. Sister Wright and I were able to sing "Glorious" with the singing-Sala-family. Connie loves the song glorious and had to have it at her baptism. Haha, she is so cute. Connie sent us the sweetest messages about her baptism. She said this before her baptism, "I had a wonderful time tonight and all this week with our meetings. Thank you so much for educating me and bringing joy back into my heart." Then the morning of her baptism she said, " I think the word that best describes how I feel today is peaceful. And most amazing to me is over 3 weeks without a cup of caffeine tea. I was given the strength to do that. Definitely part of my testimony." 

Connie with Bishop at her baptism

me with one of the Salas at the baptism

Christine and Sister Snarr . . . I  love the senior couples in our area, they are like my parents here.

And just when you thought the night couldn't get any better...our investigator, Christine, comes up to us and says "I've prayed about a baptismal date. September 22!!!" We were so happy! Christine is such an amazing women and has been through so much! It was funny, just before the baptism we were out tracting. We knocked on Christine's house without knowing it was hers. She opened the door, screamed, and then slammed it in our face. Haha...then she opened it again and invited us in. We were able to meet her husband and her dog...she's obsessed with her dog!;) Haha it was such a tender mercy to be able to see her!

Sister Hoth & Sister Wright--Lunch Break?!

Quick funny story. We had a dinner appointment with Laura one day this week. She was telling us that her boss was super shocked when Laura was talking about church. Her boss said, "You don't seem like the church-going type." Laura replied with, "Well, that's because I can't get Sundays off!" Haha, the main thing that is holding her back is her job on Sundays. But we know the Lord works we are praying for one!

So this is life in Sidney. It's truly remarkable to be serving the Lord in such a beautiful place. The people here are beautiful. Haha, Sister Wright and I have so much fun. We are constantly laughing. I taught her how to serpentine the other, actually. Haha...we thought there were some creepy people following us...they weren't. I'm telling you...if you're not having fun on your're not doing it right. 

Testimonies are truly remarkable. All of us that have testimonies know the same truths, but the neat thing is, that each of us have a unique journey and unique experiences that we go through to receive these testimonies. I know that God lives! He loves us and has a perfect plan for us! Truly we each have a part in His plan. I'm so glad that Connie has been able to find her part in this wonderful life. I feel like it's appropriate to close with Connie's favorite song, "It's like a symphony just keep listening. And pretty soon you'll start to figure out your part. Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies in each one of us. Oh, it's glorious." I pray that each of you will have the chance to see just how glorious the gospel is this week! Love you.

Love, Hermana Hoth 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mon, Jul 20, 2015 "When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky."- Buddha

Hello everybody, 

So you might be is my English coming along? Let me tell you. The Lord is working miracles here and I can speak English fluently. Haha.

Oh my goodness. I don't even know where to begin. There have been so many miracles that we have seen this week. God is so good. So I guess I will start with the end of the week since it's so fresh on my mind...and because it was amazing. 

So we have goals in the mission set by our mission president called the standards of excellence. These are goals that we strive to hit every week. It includes lessons, how many people we talk to, new investigators, and so on. Sister Wright and I worked so hard all transfer to hit these and every week we have been so close. Last night, we were so close again. All we needed to hit standards was either 1 more baptismal date or one more investigator attending sacrament meeting. It was such a bummer to find out that Connie wasn't able to go to church while she was dog sitting in Victoria. Sister Wright and I just looked at each other an wondered how in the world we were going to hit standards? So...we got to work. We felt like if we gave everything we had to the Lord and just gave Him all of our diligence, we would see a miracle. We felt prompted to go to Laura's and set a baptismal date with her. Now let me tell you, this is not an easy thing. Laura has loved progressing slowly. And it's actaully been frustrating for us because the only way she is going to progress is if she has something to look forward to...or a goal. 

So our game plan for this lesson was to go in, invite the Spirit, help her realize what her goals and desires are, and then set a baptismal date for her. Wow, this lesson was intense, but it was definitely guided by the Spirit. We shared this quote with her to start off, "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living o reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our potential. When on learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in life."-Elder M. Russell Ballard.  I also love the line in Preach My Gospel that says, "Goals reflect the desires of our hearts and our vision of what we can accomplish." So then we asked Laura what her goals are. She said to be a Christ-like person. I love that....and we helped her realize that we are giving her all the tools she needs to do that. Then we tried to set a baptismal date with her. She is just so worried about her job and not being able to come on Sundays. We tried to resolve her concerns, but she just kept going off on all of these things which really can be resolved. I mean anything can be resolved if we put our faith in Christ. So I said to Laura, "So basically what you're saying is you need a miracle?" She said, "That's exactly what I'm saying." Then I paused for effect, then said, "Perfect!! I have a scripture for that!". Haha Sister Wright and Laura died laughing. We read Mormon 9:19-20. "And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being?" I know that God truly is a God of miracles. We weren't able to set a date with Laura, but it helped her take a few steps in the right direction. I really should have kept those verses in mind for the rest of the night. 

Sister Hoth and Sister Wright in Sidney June 28, 2015


This is Theresa . . . Sister Johnson taught her when she was when she was here! She has a solid baptismal date . . . the elders are teaching her. Sidney July 3, 2015

Sister Wright & Sister Hoth

Lunch at the Woodshed Pizzeria July 6, 2015

Laura and me! Those ice creams were supposed to be smalls. Ha!

A visit to the famous Butchart Gardens! July 13, 2015

We did everything we possibly could to hit standards. And we didn't hit them. Wow, the disappointment hit me. We did all we could, worked hard, and put so much faith in God. I hate to say it, but I was wondering why it was even worth it to work so hard and to have faith if it didn't produce anything. Just then as we were having our little pity party, the elders in our district called us. They asked if we had so and so on our list of investigators...we looked...we did. Then they said, "Well awesome, we set a baptismal date with her tonight and we talked to the Zone Leaders and they said we could give it to you." We hit standards...God hasn't ceased to be a God of miracles. Boy, was I called to repentance. How could we lose faith so fast. This whole experience reminded me so much of life. 

In life, we give all we have. All our time, energy, and heart to the Lord. We do this, hoping for eternal life and trusting that we will receive it. It's so hard though because all of us fall short. We make mistakes. We distance ourselves from God. Then on that glorious judgement day, we feel as though we haven't made it to the Kingdom of God. We remember all we did in life and how we didn't reach all of the goals God set for us. And just as we begin to question why we worked so hard and why we had so much faith, we hear the voice of our Savior, "You've done it!" "Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father." -Enos 1:27. We made it because of Him. Because of His infinitive, atoning sacrifice we can make it. We do all we can, and He fills the gap. So you might ask, has God ceased to be a God of miracles?" I say to you, "he chageth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles. Mormon 9:19.

I love my mission so much! I love the opportunites to become the person God needs me to be. One of the greatest blessings of all is to be a part of someone's journey in coming to know God. I have had such a small time with Connie, but I have seen her change so much. She is getting baptized this Saturday and my heart is so full. She just glows. I love how much she has changed. She has such an amazing Spirit and is looking forward to her baptisms. (As soon as she finds earplugs...she is so funny). Please pray for her and for all the missionaries! 

Hermana Hoth

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mon, Jul 13, 2015 "All the hard roads lead to the awesome."

Hey there everyone,

So to explain my title. We were visiting one of our recent converts, Kristine. I mentioned her in the last letter. Let me tell you, she is so spunky. I love her to death. Right now, she has been going through some hard times with her job, house, and just everything. It has been so discouraging for her, but at the same time, she still has so much faith. She knows that the Lord will provide a way for her. We have been visiting quite a bit in the last few weeks, and each visit she likes to say the prayer. Her prayers are so sincere and so sweet. In her prayer from the last visit she was telling God about how hard everything is right now. As sad as that was, she ended her prayer with saying "I know that all the hard roads lead to the awesome." I just want to add my testimony to Kristine's. I truly do know that no matter how long the road is or how steep the hill may seem, if we endure it well, our reward will be greater than we can imagine. God never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it. I know that it is all worth it. Choosing God's way is going to be hard but it "is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God." (2 Nephi 31:21)

This week truly was incredible. Sister Wright and I have seen so many miracles. 1st miracle- Connie is still doing awesome. She is still really solid for being baptized on the 25th of July so continue to pray for her. Oh, and tea still taste like mud. One of her main concerns was how she was going to pay her tithing. Well turns out, when she went to the store, her medicine was a fifth of the price it used to be. So now she has money to pay tithing and then some. She texted us telling how happy she was and how the Lord provided a way for her to pay tithing. It is so remarkable to me how the Lord literally paves the way for us. At times it may seem like He gives us so many commandments, but I absolutely know that "the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." This was the Lord providing a way for Connie to pay tithing. So neat. 

2nd miracle is with Laura! She came to church for the 1st time yesterday and she loved it! It was actually really neat, the night before we asked her what she wanted to learn next...tithing or temples because we had no idea what to teach. She chose temples. Then, in relief society, guess what the lesson was about? That's right...temples! Sister Wright and I just started laughing. Then that night we were able to answer all of her questions about temples. Laura is really taking her time with lessons. Sometimes, I feel like she just needs to have more faith. She gets stuck on little things and then takes a long while to overcome her doubts. I always remember what President Uchtdorf says, "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." But, the good thing is, she is reading so much from the Book of Mormon every day. If she's doing that, it's a given that her faith will increase. A testimony based on the Book of Mormon is exactly what she needs, in fact, that's what all of us need! I pray that each of you will evaluate how your reading of the Book of Mormon is, then if necessary, fix it. Dive into everyday and I can promise you that you will have more faith, more hope, and more peace. Follow Laura's example!:)

3rd Miracle! The Elders in Victoria passed off an investigator to us because she's actaully in our work boundaries! Her name is Christine and she is a fireball. Haha, she is super spunky. We met with her on Friday and went through baptismal questions to see where she's at. She is so ready for baptism and already considers herself a Mormon. The obstacle with her is that she needs to give up smoking. It will be so hard, but God is so good and He will provide a way.

So, we had a really neat experience yesterday. We were working so hard to find new investigators so we were stopping by all of our potentials. The Lord blessed us with one new investigator. Her name is Selena. She is first nations and is such a sweet heart. So first of all, I want to explain where Selena lives. The first nations people live on reserves of land up here. You always know when you're on a road and then all the sudden you're on the reserve. There is dust and just stuff everywhere. The people are incredible. So we knock on Selena's door and she come barging out with 3 otter pops, my favorite, and takes us to these 3 random chairs in her neighbors front lawn. One wood chair and two coach-type chairs. Then and there we teach her the Restoration of the gospel. In that moment, I realized just how blessed I am to be serving her. Surrounded by people I love, stunning mountains, and the peaceful ocean. I just took it all in. The best part of that peaceful moment by the ocean and my mission in general is the opportunity I get everyday to testify of Jesus Christ. My heart is so full of gratitude for everything He has done for me, for you, and for each person I talk to everyday. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He died for us, and He lives for us. We can be healed through Him. I encourage you all to take a moment out of your day to really remember Him. Let Him fill your day with goodness. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true. How blessed we are to have it. I love the words that are written in Alma chapter 19 which talks about the light that Christ can put in our lives. It says, "this light had infused such joy into his soul. the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul." I pray that we may all feel this in our lives! I love you all and pray for you everyday! 

Love,          Hermana Hoth

Those 3 chairs are where we taught a lesson on one of the reserves

Monday, July 6, 2015

Mon, Jul 6, 2015 "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Hey friends and family,

Okay, this week was absolutely incredible. Sister Wright and I decided that we want to work on really having faith this transfer. And let me tell you, faith works. Prayer works. And fasting works. We were able to see so many miracles with our two amazing investigators, Laura and Connie. Both of them are progressing so much. I know that these miracles have come from the faith and refocus that we had at the beginning of the week. In President Burt's newsletter, he asked these 3 questions, "What is your focus? Where is your heart? Why are you serving?" He is so inspired. He invited us to all ponder about these questions and figure out how we can improve. Who knew that I could be so far from the missionary I want to become? It was definitely a humbling experience, but with those questions in mind, I was able to develop a greater understanding of why people change on missions. I feel at times, I have been so focused on making sure that I'M changing, that I'M being the best teacher, or that I'M learning where every scripture in the Book of Mormon is. Well with that mindset, I will never become the missionary I've dreamed of becoming or the missionary that God wants me to be. Each of those questions shouldn't be answered with "I", but with basically "everyone else". When you focus on God's children, love them with all of your heart, and you live to serve them...that is when you can see miracles. That is when you become the exact person God needs you to become. When you aren't thinking about yourself or living just for yourself, you are actually refining and redefining the person you are. 

Wow, I don't know where to begin. Laura and Connie have both progressed so much throughout this week. Okay so first we'll talk about Laura. We met with her almost every day this week. She loves the Book of Mormon and is constantly texting us, asking for more chapters to read. Every time we met with her, it seemed like she had just experienced a miracle. One of our lessons with her really didn't seem to be going anywhere and the Spirit just wasn't present. So we went out to the car to grab a book and discussed what we needed to do. We decided to just take it down to the basic, simplicity of testifying of the Book of Mormon. Immediately, the Spirit was in the room and we were able to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon and the reality of our Savior's life. Another lesson we had with her was probably one of my favorite experiences in my whole my mission. She brought up the concern of us just wanting to convert her. So I was able to bear powerful testimony of being a missionary and what it means to be a representative of Christ. I told her that we just want to give her the best gift she could ever receive because we know God loves her and we love her so much. By the end, we were all in tears. I'm a baby, but the Spirit was so strong in the room. Then, just last night we gave her a tour of the church. One of the main concerns that we've had with her is that she can't come to church on Sundays because of work. We have being praying and fasting and praying some more for a miracle. At church, people told us that they were fasting for both Connie and sweet. And then, during our tour, Laura just slipped in that she would be able to make it next Sunday! Sister Wright and I were thrilled. We probably had the biggest, goofiest grins. What a blessing. We know that this will be a huge step for Laura!

Okay, now Connie! So Connie has been working so hard to give up tea. She has drunk 10 cups a day for basically her whole life. About a month ago she got it down to like a cup and a half. She has been working so hard to been completely done with tea by the 4th of July so that she could make her baptismal date for the 25th. Well on the 2nd we had a lesson with her and asked how everything was going. She told us that tea tastes like dirt now. We just started laughing...we had been praying that tea wouldn't taste good to her anymore. Such a miracle. Haha, then in the closing prayer, I asked that the Lord would continue to make tea taste like dirt for Connie. Everyone got the giggles. So, Connie is working on for the 25th and we are so excited. 

Something that has been on my mind this week is what a difference it makes to be a spiritually minded person. This is something that I really learned from Sister Johnson. She set a great example for constantly treasuring up the words of eternal life. Like it says in 2 Nephi 9:39, "Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal. As I have treasured up God's word and focused on the work instead of getting distracted by wordly things, I have noticed such a difference. It is possible to have the Spirit with you at all times and this is exactly how we do it. I have come to know that thoughts and words of light and truth, when in frequent use, will deepen one's conversion. I have felt a deepening conversion to the Lord as I focus on what matters most. 

The ward here in Sidney is incredible. All of the members are so focused on missionary work. They are literally willing to do anything for us. They are all so helpful with lessons and getting our investigators involved. Haha, oh my goodness. We have two recent converts that are absolutely hilarious. Their names are Ellie and Kristine. We saw Ellie on the street the other day while we were talking to people. So she just comes right up and helps us with our conversation. I think the man thought it was a bit odd. Haha...she told us that we had to go and get some water with her because it was so hot. Then yesterday at church, she brought an icepack for my neck because I didn't look well the other day. Don't worry mom, I have like 50 moms out here. And Kristine is just as hilarious. She says she needs a 12-step program for her and thrift stores. So funny. I'll have to tell you more about the members later. But I pray that each of you will be member missionaries and look for every opportunity to share the gospel! I know the Lord loves each of you and will help you as your share your testimonies. Remember, "be a missionary at all times, and when necessary, use your words."                    Love,Hermana Hoth