Monday, December 5, 2016

Letter 6 Gila Bend, AZ December 5, 2016

Hi everyone!

This week has been insane, and I have loved every minute of it!

My testimony has really been strengthened this week. A few days ago, we received a referral for a woman in Ajo. We met with her on Thursday, and turns out that she is Muslim! It was so interesting to listen to her and learn more about her religion. We shortly found out that we were not there to give a lesson, we were there for her to give us the first lessons in the Muslim religion! She gave us pamphlets, and tried committing us to read the Quran after our missions! It was quite crazy haha! She talked about how she does not believe in the Atonement. I was shocked and didn't really know how to respond. After the lesson was over, I kept thinking about why the Atonement is important.

That weekend, we went to Stake Conference, where we met 2 members of the 70! All of the talks at the conference were about the Atonement!
In that moment, I realized why the Atonement is so important. The Atonement is what changed everything! We have the ability to change our ways, and come back to Him. "The Atonement wipes away every tear, heals every wound, and cures every disease." (A quote from Stake Conference). I am so thankful for my Savior, and all He has done for me, is doing for me, and will do for me.

I am so excited for what the Lord has in store for me next! No matter what comes, I know the Lord is carrying me on His shoulders.

Have an amazing week!

Hermana Abigail Valenta 💕🙃

One of my FAVORITE families ever! This is the Geottl Family! (Pronounced like gettel). Brother Geottl is our branch mission leader for Gila Bend! He and his family live in Maricopa, but have been called as a missionary family to the Gila Bend Branch! They're amazing! (He is the head engineer at the Mesa Temple, and is in charge of the Christmas lights!)

Abigail with some of the Geotll children

Ivan at Stake Conference! He got to meet Elder Cornish (of the 70)! He just recently spoke at General Conference! He's amazing! He knows Spanish as well because he served in Guatemala! Ivan was SO SO excited!

For Stake Conference this past weekend, we spent the night in Maricopa instead of driving around everywhere! We stayed with the Patriarch and his wife! He is such a wise man, and gave us amazing advice!

We handed out hot chocolate during the Gila Bend Christmas parade!

Sister Edmondson and I right before the Christmas Parade.

One of my FAVORITE families, the Harwood Family! 
Brother Harwood is our ward mission leader in Ajo! We watched the Christmas Devotional with them! The kids are constantly begging to have us over every single night haha! Sister Harwood is the RS President in Ajo! They are a powerhouse family, that is for sure!

Us with Ruth! She lives in Ajo, and has been like a 
best friend/aunt to us! She's incredible!

I am including part of the letter she sent to us as she gave more insight into her time as a missionary and the mention of her possibly facing her first transfer. 

Hi Mom!

This week has been crazy! We have had Meeting after meeting, in Maricopa like every day haha¡ crazy stuff. In my interview with President, he told me he might transfer me... 😔 I am probably going to be starting PT sometime soon, and there aren't any trustworthy PT places around Gila Bend or Maricopa. So then we would be wasting miles to drive to another city every week, so they'll probably transfer me on Wednesday. We will find out on Tuesday night!

We were eating with a recent Spanish convert named Ivan! we eat with him every Tuesday and Wednesday and Tuesday night.

I am so glad you invited the missionaries over! That is one thing I will do consistently when I am older. It really helps missionaries to go to a good family who loves you and just distress from the day for a second. I'm glad you took a picture with them as well! I bet their moms loved it!

I did get to watch the devotional! It was soooooo good, and I loved President Eyring's talk too!

We had a Stake Confernece in Maricopa Saturday and Sunday night, where the Stake presidency was released. We were very, very close with the Stake President and his first counselor. The Stake president actually lives in Ajo, and we always stop and say hi to their family. He even comes out teaching with us as well! He is amazing! He is the one that we always go to his house to grab ice cream too haha!

I have a lot of pictures this week! We took a lot of pictures because I might be transferred 😔

Questions from Mom

Did you get to see the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on Sunday evening?
Yeah, I did! It was so enlightening, and taught me so much about the Atonement!

What kind of a week did you have?
It was a crazy one! We have had meetings and interviews all week because transfers are coming up this Wednesday!

How is your arm doing? Any news on when you might start PT?
I can bend it a lot more now! The problem is that I am clumsy, and run my elbow into a lot of things like walls haha. Not for sure yet, but I sure hope it starts soon!

Are you teaching any investigators that you feel might be baptized?
We have 4 on date right now who will be baptized this month and next! They're all Spanish except for one!

I wondered how far away from the chapel area you? Is it in Gila Bend or in Ajo?
We are about 20 seconds away from the chapel in Gila Bend.
Is it weird getting ready for Christmas in Arizona where there is no snow and it’s relatively warm? :D
It is SO freezing here!! I had to buy a winter coat today! I sure am going to freeze and die in Rexburg, Idaho in 2018!

What are you studying in your personal studies each morning?
We study things that our investigators need! So it changes every day! But right now, our President has challenged us to read the Book of Mormon by Christmas and mark all references to the Savior! So I work on that as well!

What has been the best thing about the past week?
I have seen the power of the Priesthood over and over. My testimony has definitely strengthened about the Priesthood!

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