Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Coincidence--I think NOT!!

First things first...
Congrats to my brother Bryce for receiving his call to serve in the "*name of city I can't pronounce and already forgot* Russia" mission! This whole week I felt like I was getting ready to open up my own mission call again I was so excited haha I practically ran to the computer this morning. I don't think you could be going to a mission more completely opposite than the one I am Bryce! I'm so proud of you for making the decision to serve. There's no doubt that you are called to that specific mission for a reason - being that it's the biggest mission in the world and there are only 20-50 missionaries there at a time. Hate to break it to you though...but I don't think you should plan on the family vacationing there post mission haha.

-Let's see, what can I tell you about that was interesting this week...I have some followup book of mormon stories for you! By the way the give at least one book of mormon away every day for the rest of my mission goal is going really well. It's been a month and I haven't missed a day! God's made it possible every day. We have given out more this past month than I have in my entire mission. We almost ran out...that was a close one. One of the very first ladies I gave a book of mormon to out in the street after making this goal was named Francheliz. She is from Puerto Rico and is 25 and has a cute little 5 year old. She said she would want to learn more about the book so we got all her information but since giving her the book of mormon we haven't really been able to have contact with her. So we "dropped her" (meaning we stop trying to contact her, drop her information from our area book) and literally minutes after doing that, she responded to the voicemail we had left her right before dropping her, saying she wanted to learn! So we met with her last week and she is really prepared! I have such a big testimony of dropping people...I know Heavenly Father won't let anyone who is actually ready get away. She wants to be  baptized and now has a date for october. She has been reading in the Book of Mormon and came to church on sunday! So that was pretty exciting. The only discouraging thing about Francheliz is that she's not married to her husband. That's always the hardest thing to find out. She calls her boyfriend "esposo" which is actually normal, everyone calls the person they live with their husband, but she was wearing a ring so I thought that maybe there was hope. hahha nope. But they do want to get married so there is hope!

- Another neat thing was one day it was about 8pm and I realized we still hadn't been able to give away a book of mormon. I was a little worried that we wouldn't be able to do it that day when before our last appointment for the night we ran into a man named Ino we had briefly met and taught about the restoration a few days before. We had given him a pamphlet and he agreed to meet back with us in a week so we could teach him the restoration for real. Well anyways we ran into him and he said "hey! I finished that pamphlet you gave me...it was too small! Do you have a bigger book I can read?" Did you just ask me that? Well of course I do! We were able to give him the book of mormon and explain it a little bit and challenge him to read and pray about it. He is now in 2 Nephi! He came to church sunday too, but is going to north carolina for a few weeks so we won't be able to teach him:( but he said he brought the book of mormon with him so he will probably be finished with it by the time he gets back haha.

- Hahaha funny thing that happened this week. So we left to go on an exchange with some other sisters in Tampa on Thursday. We were both going to be working in their area that day. Hermana Gibson was driving and on the way to the exchange a car swerved into our lane so we had to swerve into the other (while Im honking the horn- Hermana Gibson won't honk a horn for her life!) and hit another car. The lady who caused the crash though stoppoed and took all the blame. I felt really bad for her. But can you guess who was in the other car we had crashed into? The nonmember daughters of one of the members in our ward. Pretty funny how God works sometimes-- of all the people in Tampa we could have hit it was them! Coincidence, I think not! (insert edna mode voice here.) Luckily the crash wasn't our fault so we were on good terms with them and got to know them pretty well. And now we have ALL their information- phone number, insurance, address, you name it haha. Hopefully we can visit them soon and hit them with the spirit and the restored gospel this time around. hahah other funny thing that happened that day? So we finally get to the exchange and I was with a sister named sister rivers and we were biking through this neighborhood and i was following her, obviously not knowing where we were going and she made a turn and I completely crashed into her and we ended up in a ball with our bikes in the middle of this intersection in this neighborhood. Two cars were waiting at the stop signs and saw it all hahah it was pretty embarrassing. Two crashes in one day...pretty exciting.

- We also had the opportunity to teach the family members of a few members of the ward this week. One hermano, hermano Marin invited us over to eat colombian food and to teach his wife and his suegros ( parents in law) while they were visiting from colombia. I love colombians. They are some of my favorite people. And they have the best spanish in my opinion-- Sorry other countries! We were able to teach them about the book of mormon and they were excited about it. I was also able to teach hno Marin and his family how to use a dishwasher...hhahahah none of them had ever used a dishwasher in their life before it was pretty cute, they were so clueless.

- We were also able to teach hna ulloa's husband. She is a sweet older lady from the dominican republic that has been helping us a lot and coming to lessons. Her husband was actually the first one to be interested in the church and invitied the missionaries over but she was the one who actually got a testimony and was baptized and he hasn't wanted to since! It is really sad, being on my mission has made me see how incredibly hard it would be to marry someone who does not have a testimony of the same things you do. You spend your whole life just waiting to see if one day they will have and interest in learning and will do what it takes to gain a testimony of the gospel. We were able to share a message about prayer and hna ulloa wants us to start coming back more and more to see if now is his time to accept the gospel but he didn't seem too interested to me:( She just has so much hope, faith, and patience though I really admire her.

-ahh there was another cool miracle I wanted to tell you about but now there's no time..guess I will just write about it next week and pretend it happened then haha. love you!!! have a great week!!
Hermana Va

Monday, September 14, 2015

Omar's Baptism

Okay that's enough I will start with my email now.  Basically I'm just going to talk about the very best thing that happened this week. OMAR GOT BAPTIZED!!! Omar is 26 and from Mexico. He was an investigator that Hermana Phillips and I taught all the lessons to in Sarasota, one of the ones I mentioned that I knew would be baptized soon when I left. His story is a miracle. Ill tell it again so I can tell it all together. So maybe in June, we received an online referral from a member that was living in Ohio that we should go teach this guy named Omar who lived in our area. There wasn't much information though, just his address. and no contact information for the member who referred him. So we went by several times, trying different times of day to see if we could catch him at home. No luck. We left a few notes and pamphlets different times but didn't hear anything back and so deciding we had done all we could, we dropped the referral and stopped trying to contact him. Days after, our phone rang during studies and I picked it up and it was this Mexican lady from Ohio saying that she knew someone in Sarasota named Omar that we needed to go teach! This lady's name was Betty, and Omar was her sister's boyfriend. But her sister lived in Mexico so she put Betty up to finding the missionaries so Omar could be taught. So she gave us his phone number and more info about his schedule and when we could go by. It was so crazy to us that right after we had dropped him, Betty happened to find our number and give us more information. Heavenly Father always finds a way to get those who are prepared to the missionaries. So we met with Omar for the first time and he knew absolutely nothing about Jesus Christ. He had never even seen a bible before. He had never prayed before. That first lesson with him, we taught him about the gospel of Jesus Christ. And we taught him how to pray. It was from that first lesson on that I have seen his faith grow so much.  First, he started praying every night on his own.That first lesson with him, we taught him about the gospel of jesus christ. And we taught him how to pray. It was from that first lesson on that I have seen his faith grow so much.  First, he started praying every night on his own. Then he and his girlfriend started praying together over the phone. Then he finally got comfortable enough to pray in front of us. He works two jobs as a cook and works crazy hours, so didn't read the book of mormon the first week after we taught it to him. but after we showed him how to download it on his phone he read the book of mormon every day!! Every spare second on work breaks he would read it. He said his coworkers would look at what he was doing and say What is that? The scriptures? Omar, reading the scriputres? What has happened to you!  I've seen him change so much, he has so much faith now. He had a hard time being able to come to church because of work, and when we suggested doing a fast with him to get work off he did a full 24 hour fast with us and refused to stop even one minute early. When we taught him about the word of wisdom, he stopped smoking and drinking coffee IN A WEEK.  After leaving sarasota, the elders have been continuing teaching him and trying to help him get to church. He was baptized on Saturday and asked that I come to speak at his baptism. I got permission to go and it was such a great experience. He came in a white shirt and tie, the full get up. And know what else? He said he had broken up with his girl friend, the member, a few weeks ago. So his decision to be baptized was completely his own and between him and God. I feel so blessed to have been able to be a part in helping omar gain faith in Jesus Christ. It's people like him that make everything worth it.

Book of Mormon Stories

I can't believe school and college is all started up again. We live right across from the USF campus and I forgot what a pain college students are sometimes haha. When we are on bikes we have to ride through them and every single one of them has head phones in with music all the way up so no one hears us! This means we awkwardly have to wait behind them until they realize they are being stalked by strange people biking in skirts and actually wearing helmets. Its a wonderful thing.
- Sister Gibson had her birthday this week! I used all the cooking skill I have and made her a good breakfast and birthday cake. I swore I had gotten some brownies or something to make her but the morning of I realize I hadn't and had gotten blueberry muffin mix instead. I put the muffin mix in a cake pan though and played it off like I'd created this fancy new blueberry cake masterpiece- turned out pretty well. Sister Gibson's a great missionary and friend though, we got transfer emails this weekend and we are staying together here for at least another transfer so I'm excited to keep working with her.

- So this week I really got to witness the power of the Book of Mormon. A week ago at our zone conference, I decided to set the goal for myself to always carry the Book of Mormon in my hand no matter where we are or what we are doing and to give out at least one Book of Mormon every day for the rest of my mission. Every since I made that goal, I have been able to keep it and see a lot of miracles. There were several occasions when we would meet with a potential investigator, they would see the Book of Mormon out and say hey! I have that book! some missionaries I met in my country gave it to me years ago! It's so amazing when you meet someone who has already had contact with it. It makes me want to do even more to get the Book of Mormon into every ones hands because it just means they are one step closer to being able to receive the fullness of the gospel-- even if it just sits there in their book shelf.   One 17 year old we met though said that he still had the Book of Mormon some missionaries gave him once and he still tries to read it every day because it helps him learn about god. so cool. Throughout my mission I have really seen how the Book of Mormon helps us build our faith in Jesus Christ, and is a tool by which we can receive revelation. There was a lady named julissa that we met with in the hospital this week who is going through so much with her husband and kids, the court, drugs...you name it and she is going through it. She was absolutely defeated when we saw her. We weren't able to have too much time to talk to her, just enough to mark some chapters in the Book of Mormon and promise her that if she read them she would be able to start feeling the love and light of Christ in her life again. She texted us the next day saying how she had read and it had helped her a lot. Another woman that is from honduras named alba we are teaching we briefly introduced her to the bom in like 10 minutes, saying we would come back the next day to explain more. We came back and she had read all the way to 1 Nephi 4-- including all the introduction and the witnesses in front. She was so amazed how everything she was reading was in exact accordance with what the bible taught her. We teach her purely by using scriptures from the Book of Mormon and bible and she is so cool because we share with her one scripture, and then she won't stop reading to listen to what we were going to say about the scripture because she loved the scripture so much that she just wants to read the whole chapter right there.  She said she couldn't wait to get to Ether to see what happens with the Jaredites! hahah its so rare that you meet someone who truly comprehends the Book of Mormon and the divine role it has. I started the Book of Mormon again in spanish a few weeks ago with the goal to finish it in 3 months. I'm already half way through and I can say this time through it there are things that are clicking that have never clicked before. This book is truly amazing. The stories and experiences that the prophets and families and missionaries went through can strengthen and inspire us. I have never felt that so much before as I have felt it going through the Book of Mormon this time. Its amazing how much we can read it but still learn new things every time. Do everything you can to strengthen your testimony of this inspired book, I know it was translated from plates of gold to paper--but its still gold. Love you all, have a great week
hermana Va

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Im Walking on Water

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday, apparently everyone was too busy not laboring on labor day that we couldn't get to a computer yesterday. So instead we went out and labored in the vineyard and get to email today instead. We just got back from district meeting where we did a training on obedience. We read Matthew 14:26-30 where it talks about peter walking on the water to Christ. We focused on the points of how first, Peter created for himself his own opportunity to be obedient and to show faith. The Lord didn't command him to come first, Peter first asked the Lord to tell him to come unto him and then when the Lord said come, he obeyed and showed his faith by jumping. I love this. How our level of obedience and faith are completely within our control. If there is something that I have learned on my mission it is that. That I can create my own opportunities for my faith to grow. I don't have to wait. I create my own opportunities daily to grow my faith by finding different ways to put it to the test. Sister Gibson will tell you, that's one of my favorite things. Finding different ways to test my faith. I love thinking, waiting for the first inspired number or goal to come to mind and then saying ok. We have 40 minutes. I feel like we need to give out 3 Book of Mormons. Lets pray for help and get out and do it. And you know what? Me and Sister Gibson have NEVER had a time when we have prayed and done that, and it hasn't happened. And because we "decided" to put our faith on the line, we are able to see these things happen, our faith grows and we see miracles. We could use that 40 minutes of time, and just happen to give out 3 Book of Mormons, get back to the car and say hey we did some good work and just happened to give out 3 Book of Mormons. Or we can pray before, say we want to give out 3 Book of Mormons and ask God, will you help us? Go out, do it, and see it as a miracle. We miss those miracles in our every day life if we are not constantly searching for ways to test our faith. hope that all made sense.

- We also talked about how it was when Peter started to get distracted that he started to slip-- but that his immediate reaction was to cry out to the Lord for help. The lord stretched forth his hand, then gave him the opportunity to point out his own faults, the things he could do better next time, by asking Where did you doubt? We talked about what distracts us, what things we start to slip in in our obedience. About if our first instinct is to cry out for help and do something to correct ourselves when we notice a problem and on how to act on the promptings the spirit gives us of things we need to do better. We asked everyone the question-- If God came to you and told you to walk on water, what is the first reponse to come to your mind? If it is yes, good for you. If its more of a no, what can we do to change that?

- Bet you're all glad I don't normally write my letters after district meeting haha or I would just always be telling you what was learned and taught. I liked this one though.

-This week we got to go to transfer meeting--even though we weren't being transferred. I have to say it was kind of nice going just to watch the show and find out where everyone was going and not have to worry about getting moved ourselves. I was really tempted to bring some popcorn to eat while watching it all but...Sister gibson said no haha. probably for the best. We got some good training after the transfer meeting though. This week we also had Mission Leadership Council, which is when all of the xzone leaders and sister training leaders come together with the mission presidency and assistants and we talk about ways that we can improve the mission, and president speaks about different ideas and plans he has.  (Sister Phillips is now an stl with her companion, and also Sister Paulsen is in her area so that was neat being able to all see each other again. Elder Knowlton got transferred to a different area and is now a zone leader for a different zone. the new zone leaders are elder mendoza and madsen who are the both elders in my ward in Tampa 5. So all of our zone leadership is in the same ward haha its pretty funny) I learned a lot from this meeting though.

- Neat miracle for you all. A few months ago in Sarasota, Sister Phillips and I taught a man in jail named Zeferino who is from mexico. He had been taught by sister paulsen and mathis a few months before, but had been dropped because he still had a long time of being in jail. We heard that he was getting out soon though so phillips and I went to visit him. He was so sweet, and had been reading the Book of Mormon and all the lesson pamphlets in jail that whole time since the missionaries stopped visiting him. Oh yeah by the way, teaching in jail is sweet. We did it a few times in Sarasota. Basically you go to the jail, then you go back to these rooms where there are chairs and computers screens and a telephone next to each computer. Then you and the inmate basically skype over the computer but have to talk over the phone. Its fun. Anyways so we go visit him and he was going to get out a few days after. He said he still wanted to learn with the missionaries but would be staying in Tampa. So I sent his record to the tampa 5 missionaries. I guess the elders here had gotten it and not had too much luck being able to contact and teach him. So they sent the record to me when I got here. We were able to contact him and teach zeferino this week and he was so happy to be able to keep learning. We were even able to set a baptismal date with him. It was really special to be able to see a little bit of Gods plan and how all the pieces get put together. Hopefully we can help him keep progressing. (hahah mom I know what you are probably thinking, dont teach a man alone who just got out jail. ITs all good don't worry, he's a good person and we teach his family too:) ) There is always so  so much more that happens and is so significant in a week and I never get to say it. One day I will be able to tell you all all about serving my mission. Love you all and hope you have a great week.
con amor
Hermana Va

El Templo

I feel so off having pday on a Thursday today...but it's because I got to go to the temple in Orlando this morning! Each missionary gets the opportunity to go once in their mission...in the past they have done it right before the missionary goes home but now they are trying to get it so that everyone goes at their half way mark. So we went today with a few other companionships of sisters that have been out for about a year or so. It was a nice redemption moment today. No one besides maybe my family and then Hermana Newbill will remember this story...but back when Hermana Gibson, Hermana Newbill and I were in a trio last November we received a call saying that we would be able to go to the temple (because Hermana Newbill was going to end her mission). So we get all dressed up and excited, make the trip up to Tampa to meet the group heading up together and I open the door to the van and there is only one seat--- the senior couple taking us turns around and looks at me and said "oh I'm so sorry....did I not tell you that only  sister Newbill would be going?" Haha so instead of going to the temple we hung around Tampa for a few hours just two lil newbees thrown out into the streets of Tampa until they got back. Well fast forward like 8 months and here we are again together, in Tampa, and we actually got to go together! So that was cool. Not going to lie, in the back of my mind I was still waiting to open the van door and have her look at us and say "oh I'm so sorry, I meant to invite the other sisters!" But luckily that didn't happen. The temple is such a sacred and beautiful place. It always amazes me the things that we can learn when we got there, no matter how many times we've been. I look forward to going many many times in the future and learning something new every time.

- This week was a busy one. We had zone conference on thursday. Sister Gibson and I gave a short training on how important it is that we "master the fundamentals" such as the book of mormon, preach my gospel, and other tools we have been given to do missionary work. We related it to 1 nefi 17 how the lord called nefi to build a ship, something that he had never done before. He didn't question his calling though but instead asked where he could find ore to make the tools to fulfill his calling and god provided it. God has called each and every one of us to a specific mission, and its something that we have never done before. He has also given us the materials, or "ore", that we need to do this work but its up to us to actually apply them and make them into tools. If we don't apply what we study, then its just words on a page. If nefi hadn't done his part, that ore would have just been rock on the ground instead of a tool to build a ship.

- We also went on two exchanges this week, back to back! Sister gibson went to one area on wednesday, then we switched back, talked for a few minutes and I went to a different area with some other sisters in Tampa. It was a really good experience, I learned things from both of the sisters I got to work with.

- So one of the older ladies that I mentioned we started teaching the other week, her name is Carmen. She is the sister of one of the members here. She is actually progressing really well (hahaha despite the fact that she still can't hear hermana Gibson's voice!) When we started teaching her, she said I was born a Pentacostal, and I'm going to die as one! But this week, we had a really spiritual lesson where her brother was there and he bore his testimony to her of the power of the priesthood and how he has the power and authority to baptize her. As he was saying this, Carmen couldn't stop smiling and had tears in her eyes and said "I just feel so happy, I don't know why!" We explained to her how the spirit speaks to us, and she was able to recognize that. We felt inspiried to invite her to be baptized again, on the 26 of september, by her brother, and she said yes and that she would prepare for that day. That lesson strengthened my testimony of the importance of members baring testimony to their friends and family, because that is what is going to touch their loved ones most. Also it taught me that the spirit can still be felt, even when we have to yell during a lesson so that our investigator can hear us haha:)

- alright well Im going to get going so I can send some pictures, talk to you again soon on monday, que les vaya bien,
con amor
-Hermana Va

La voluntad de Dios

So zone pday last week turned out pretty well. We played ultimate frizbee, some other games, had the most amazing dinner ever (hahah we didn't quite coordinate actually getting the spaghetti people had brought into the croc pots other people had brought well enough so dinner might have been a little colder than anticipated but hey it all tastes the same right? haha im learning) and then we watched the saratov approach. By the way, Saratov Russia is exactly 100% opposite from my mission. I liked the movie though because It reminded me of how special and important it is to be serving a mission. So special that people will kidnap us. Just kidding mom, that only happens in movies about real life stories.

This week 3 people, yes on THREE different occasions by new investigators, told us that they thought that I was "la mama' and hermana gibson "la hija". People are thinking that I am hermana Gibson's mom! Im not sure who this has been more insulting to haha But if I hear it from one more person this week Im taking my daughter and walking out.

We taught two really cute old hispanic ladies this week. One was a member referral and the other her neighbor. We discovered though that old people literally cannot hear hermana gibson when she speaks because of the frequency of her voice. It was slightly sad/hilarious because she would say something, they would look at me and say....what did she say? Then I would say the exact same thing hermana gibson did and they'd be like oooohhhh ok. Haha we might have to stay away from that teaching pool for a while.

Funny experience of the week- we were going with a member named hermana horn to visit  our ward mission leaders wife who is a recent convert. We missed the turn to their house so we had to do a uturn on the side of the road. We cleared it but hermana Horn's car got completely stuck in the mud on the side of the road. We took off our shoes and got down to about shin deep mud (this is at like 830 at night mind you) and were trying so hard to push it out...I mean we are pretty buff but two hermanas in skirts vs. car doesn't turn out too well. We called our WML who looks like a dominican hercules, and he came to the rescue and 45 minutes later and completely covered in nasty mud we finally got it out. Did I mention that this happened on the lawn of a lonely old 95 year old man? I know because he came out with his cane and said "You destroyed my lawn!! I am a 95 year old man!" That made us feel great.  Definitely one for the journal.

So. I'm getting a little...farther along in the life of a missionary...And I've been distracted a little bit about knowing when I should go home. My release date is January 5th and school at BYU starts up a few days before that and my brother will probably leave for his mission days after I get home. So i had this conflict...it would work out so beautifully for me to go home a few weeks early, spend some time with family, get everything organized for school and start on time...but I don't want to end early if Heavenly Father needed me here more. I fasted on Tuesday to know what I should do. And that day I had a really powerful, spiritually led study. I learned so much that helped me receive my answer. One thing was that I came to the very clear realization that Heavenly Father would not have called me when he did, if he did not expect me to cross the finish line when I'm planned to. He wouldn't call me on a mission that He didn't have the intention for me to finish all the way. That would show that He didn't have faith in me! And me finishing even one minute earlier than what He has already planned would show that I don't have faith in Him. As I was studying the atonement that day, I was really touched by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Before Christ performs the atonement, he asks Heavenly Father if there would be an easier way. If he could take the bitter cup away. But he said not my will, but yours, and then performed the single most important act in the history of the world. Christ lived a perfect life. He did a lot of good things. If he would have just lived, then not done the atonement because it was hard and uncomfortable, then died, he still would have accomplished a lot of great things. But He would have missed the point of His entire purpose of coming to earth. I have been able to do a lot of good things on my mission and have learned a lot. But if I went home early just because it's more convenient for me, I will have missed the point. i wouldn't have learned faith and the ability to completely submit my will to God's.I cant make decisions in my life, just based off of what seems best according to my own understanding. If I want to fulfill the potential and mission heavenly father has for me, I need to follow his will. I finished my fast telling Heavenly Father that I am completely, 100% His. I have faith that if I completely love the Lord and get rid of all distractions, that Heavenly Father will make sure that everything works out with the things that are important to me when I return. So January 5th it is.

another miracle I couldn't help but include- last night we had an hour to find. I prayed that we would be led to two people who would accept the baptismal invitation. The very first door we knocked, the woman let us in into her home where her family and friends were sitting on the couch and she said these missionaries were just telling me they believe that Christ restored his church through a prophet (this is in spanish). For the next 30 min or so, we stood in this room and testified of the restoration of the priesthood. It was probably one of the most heated discussions I've had...They were completely opposed to it and were throwing everything they had at us to tear us and our beliefs down. It was pretty brutal. We invited them to pray, then politely excused ourselves. We walked out of that first door knocked pretty roughed up. But we kept going and received rejection at the next few doors. The hour was up and we still hadn't found the two people. We looked at each other though and said it didn't matter because we weren't going to stop until we did. and what do you know? The next door, a cute hispanic couple opened up and immediately invited us in when I said we shared a message about how we teach families how they can become eternal. We taught them the restoration and I've never taught anyone so genuinely interested in what I had to say. They accepted the baptismal invitation with ease. My testimony of the reality of my savior and father in heaven grew yesterday. I know He answers prayers.

Love you all. Que Dios les bendiga.
Hermana Baugh

Hermana "Vaugh": B's and V's sound the same in spanish

Well I have approximately 6 minutes to write this...we are having a zone pday today that is starting pretty soon and we have to get there to set things up. Hermana Gibson and I had to get the dinner together hahaha I feel like a relief society president.... I'm too young for this!! I'm excited though,  I get to play ultimate frisbee again! Promise I wont give myself heat exhaustion again mom, don't worry. Weekly highlights weekly highlights....ahh I dont even know what happened now that I'm writing this!

- I biked up a HILL! I had to change my gears on my bike for the first time in my entire mission. It was glorious.
- Ive realized that there is actually a very large population of people from the middle east here in Tampa. Over the past year, I have attained the instinct of just naturally starting to speak in spanish the minute I meet someone who is a little darker, and has an accent.  Usually Im right and they are hispanic. I have had to change that since being here hahah too many times have I started to speak to some innocent person in spanish here that just stares at me, waits for me to stop then says- Im from Iraq. Oh. Im so sorry.

- So the area that we had spent the majority of our time finding in last week is turning out to be too far to travel to... so basically we started our whole teaching pool over again this week. We discovered 15th street, this street that is right by us that is LLENO  of people who speak spanish!! There are a ton of apartments, in one of them we have yet to knock on a door and speak english. There have been so many nights where I don't want to stop talking to people because I just love how many people we are finding that are so willing to learn! We found 19 new investigators this week, I was able to share my testimony about the restoration with every single one of them. I have been praying to be able to strengthen my testimony of the restoration, and I know being moved here was an answer to that prayer because I have been able to share the message of the restoration I feel like at least 40 times since being here. How better way to grow your testimony than by sharing it? Im so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the gospel truths that have been restored and feel so blessed for the opportunity I have had this week to share that message with so many.

- Update on Ambar, John and Bryan. Not good----- all of them are moving this week!! Ambar is going back to the dominican republic a month earlier than she had been planning, and john and bryan are moving out of tampa. Haha hopefully these other people we have found will actually stay in Tampa!

- Cool story of the week. There is a high councilman that came to our ward this week. He is from cuba, is a doctor and I was talking to him and said I liked his tie. It had a scripture on it. He said he had a ton of them and he wears his scriputre ties to work every day, just as a simple way to do misisonary work. I turned around during sacrament meeting and behind me there was a lady who had never been to church before. I went and sat next to her and turns out she was one of these high concilman's patients, and because of one of his ties they had started talking about church and she came today to visit! She ended up loving church, and said we could come teach her this week. So cool how doing simple things like wearing a scripture tie is missionary work! Challenge of the week: Everyone get a tie with a scriputre on it and that is where the true hastening of the work will come from. Welp ended up taking more than 6 minutes to write this. oops. better go now, love you all have a great week!!!!
hermana vaugh
*funny side note, this is actually how the ward spells my name in the sacrament meeting programs. I find it pretty funny and love it. Vs and Bs sound the same in spanish.