Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25th, 2010 Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello Everyone!!! So Alba was baptized and confirmed this week!!! She was crying before she was baptized. The spirit was really strong. She was baptized by the Second Counselor in the Bishopric. Then she was confirmed on Sunday by the First Counselor in the Bishopric. She is officially a member. It is weird to plan her lessons and think of her as a recent convert instead of an investigator. She and I chatted while we were eating the refreshments after the baptism. I think she really likes me and feels a closeness to me. It makes sense since I have been there for all her lessons. President Cue who did Alba's interview was there and said we did a good job organizing everything. I sang at the baptism in Spanish. Yeah for me!! Now Valerie (one of the youth in our ward) wants me to sing in sacrament with her for Christmas. She likes to sing Alto. We practiced a few hymns while we were cleaning up the baptism and we sound really good together so maybe. I am pretty sure I will be here for Christmas. Thanksgiving is in this transfer so I will be here for that. I heard during Christmas we eat a lot of Tamales (spelling?).

We have another investigator that we are working with who committed to be baptized. We will see how she goes. She recently had her first child. This usually means that she is more prepared to listen and accept the gospel having a life changing experience like having your first child. Hermana Hastings is a very good missionary. She is good at being bold and direct. She follows the spirit when it tells her to do something. She is more relaxed than my last companion and a lot more bold. I look forward to learning much from her. We joke around and laugh. And she is someone who takes charge. So she says we will not be having anymore boring P-days. Today, we are going to Old Town Spring with some other Sisters in the mission. It is just like a bunch of old fashion shops. It is where the main street in Spring use to be. I am still excited to go. We may also be getting to baptized our investigator who has been investigating for practically a year now. He has been out of town with his new job but is coming back we hope this next weekend. But you never know his job is crazy.

So a little about my companion. This is her last transfer. She served in this area for 8 months before. She trained my trainer here. So that means she is my "grandma" in mission lingo. She is from Las Vegas, NV. She is one of 6 children. She is the fifth child. There are four sisters and two brothers. So just like my family only switched on genders. In her family it goes; boy, girl, boy, girl, girl, girl. She went to BYU before her mission. She wants to be a Social Worker. She decided she is going to change schools and go to UVU when she gets home. She is very close with her sisters and her Dad. She is 22 yrs old and her birthday is in March. So we are basically the same age. She likes to watch movies and play sports with her family. She comes from a family of attorneys. Her Dad is a attorney. Her two brothers are attorneys. And one of her brother-in-laws is an attorney. I like her alot.

I pray everyone is safe and happy. I miss and love all of you. But I am grateful to be on a mission right now.

Love, Hermana Alaina Mills

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18th, 2010 Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

Hola from Texas!! So this week is a very exciting week. It begins the start of the new transfer. Transfer number 3 whohoo!!! Well, we have a baptism scheduled on the 23rd of Octuber for our investigator Alba. She has already passed her interview. We have pretty much everything organized. This has sure been a challenge I will have to tell you. Many phone calls and coordinating. Making handouts for the ward to invite everyone. The bishop had Alba stand up during Sacrament meeting so she could be recognized. She was just beaming from ear to ear. She is all set to go. She has had the whole anti-mormon junk thrown at her already and came back with a testimony. She reads and marks up her scriptures every night. We have it all worked out on who will be doing what for the baptism. I am very excited for Alba. She has become so special to me. I guess that is what happens when you spend so much time serving someone. You can't help but rejoice when they are doing well. So next week I will have lots of news about Alba's baptism. Alba is from Honduras.

As for transfers, if you haven't guessed already I will be staying in my area here in the Woodlands, now called Spring. But,.... My companion is changing. My old companion and trainer has finally been moved. She has been in this area for the past 7 transfers. She is headed off to Fairbanks which is in the Katy area of the mission. I have heard you do a lot of knocking in these areas. But I have heard Fairbanks does okay with the Spanish. My new companions name is Hermana Hastings. Funny enough Hermana Hastings trained my trainer Hermana Stephens in this same area. She knows this area really well. She was here for 5 transfers the last time she was here. This will be her last transfer in the mission. So in mission lingo I am killing off my grandma. We think she may have been sent back here to help us reactivate one of the families she baptized while she was here. They have slowly been coming to church less and less. And we have a hard time getting in contact with them. I am excited to learn from this very experienced missionary. It will be weird to not be driving everyday. Since my companion right now can't drive due to a health condition I drive everyday. How weird it will be to share the responsibility again.

I also now understand why they don't call you about transfers until like two days before transfers. When someone is moving it is really hard to focus on the missionary work. You have to think about saying goodbye to members. And what last minute things you want to do in the area. We are eating the amazing Blue Bell icecream tonight after planning. Blue Bell icecream is the best icecream I have ever tasted aside from homemade icecream. But it is also a lot more expensive. But as a tribute to my icecream eating companion we bought some. Hermana Stephens eats icecream any time she is stressed and needs a reminder of home. Icecream reminds her of her Dad. I haven't quite figured out what I do when I am a little homesick. I think I look at pictures of my family and re-read their letters. But I don't do this very often anymore. I just focus on the work. I even dream about missionary work. I eat, breathe and live missionary work.

Well, I hope everyone is safe and happy. I hope everyone is being a good example for others. Because trust me others(non-members) notice what you do. So be a friend to everyone. Live the Gospel. Keep your family safe. (This is possible as you live the Gospel.) I love and miss you all.

Love, Hermana Alaina Mills

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday, October 11th Letter

Hello Dear Family and Friends,

So this week we had a very exciting thing happen. One of our investigators passed her baptismal interview!!! Her baptism will be on the 26th or the 30th. We are still trying to everything scheduled. Our ward mission leader is out of town for a month and a half for work. Anyone who has been on a mission knows how long a time that is in a missionaries time-table. (A whole transfer) He was always so helpful and he really was the only way to get in contact with the bishopric. So now we are working directly with the bishopric and they work really slow. And they always tell us they need to check with someone first and then they forget. Sigh... But its okay we will get it all worked out and our investigator will be baptized. Hooray!! Also our other investigator who had his interview like a month ago and passed, but then got a new job and went out of town is coming back. We have been in contact with him over the phone alot. He goes to church wherever he is. And we have mini lessons over the phone. He wants to get baptized already. So he is looking to get sometime off work so his parents can come visit him and he can get baptized. So maybe we will have 2 baptisms this next transfer.

Oh so this Monday begins the last week of this 2nd transfer. Can anyone believe that my 2nd transfer in the field is basically over? Crazy how time works on your mission. So much happens in a day that you can hardly believe you are still in the same week. But the weeks you don't know what happened to them. Anyway, transfer calls will be on Saturday, this Saturday. I predict that my trainer will be transfered. This is her 7th transfer here in this area. Her entire time on her mission has been spent here. She will hit a year on her mission the end of this month which is next transfer. That is a long time to be in one area. There are actually quite a lot of other Hermanas who are the same "missionary" age as my companion who have never left their first areas. So I really see a lot of changes happening this transfer. I plan on being greenie broke. But I will have news about next transfer in my next letter.

This week is temple week in the mission. So I will be at the temple this week. I am excited to feel the peace and tranquility of the temple for a bit. This last week we had a tri-mission (Houston 'my mission', Houston South, and Houston West) conference with Elder Costa. Yes, the same one who spoke in conference. He gave us some great tips on listening to the spirit. Specifically he wants us to spend less time at investigators houses and go over more frequently. That way they will feel the spirit and think about what we testified to them right before we left. So we are trying to do this more. He promised us there would be more baptisms if we did. Elder Costa is over the South West Area of the United States Missions. He is a wonderful man. What great leaders we have to guide us. I am so grateful for them. When I watched conference I watched the entire thing in Spanish. So I understood the jist of what the speakers were saying but I definitely missed a lot. I am looking forward to the Ensign probably more than the rest of you. So I can read what I missed.

I pray you are all safe and happy. I love this Gospel. I love the Lord. I am grateful for this opportunity to walk with the Savior and see what he sees. May we all better commit ourselves to share the Gospel with those around us.

Until next week,

Hermana Alaina Mills

Friday, October 8, 2010

Monday, October 4th Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

Hooray it is more like fall weather here!!!!! We have had weather in the 70's and 80's. We still get some 90's but I am use to the weather now so I hardly notice it. The missionary effort keeps going forward. We knock on those doors. We talk to people in the street. We teach lessons and invite people to come to find the same happiness we all have. We give them Books of Mormon and ask them to read and pray. We had a neat experience with a new investigator. She and her husband have been married now for 2 years. They both work really hard and are really wonderful people. They are Seventh-Day Advantist(Spelling?). So they have some really good habits. We had a lesson with them about the Restoration. Well, they had both read. But where the story gets really good is what happened. They each had there own Book of Mormon and where reading in separate rooms. The wife started reading and she didn't know why but she just started crying. Even though she didn't realize it at that precise moment her spirit was feeling the Holy Ghost. Her husband also liked what he read. They both said that they have both done a lot of reading. They have read many other churches material and studied a lot. But they feel something different when they read the Book of Mormon. We helped them recognize that it is the spirit that they felt. We taught them the Plan of Salvation. They said that everything we teach them makes them feel good. We have high hopes for them.

Also it never ceases to amaze me how the spirit works. We have been working with a less active member. She hasn't been to church in many many years. She forgot basically everything so she is just like an investigator when we teach her. Well she came with us to conference on Sunday morning. On the way back to her house, because we rode with her, she said that she has been thinking about inviting her daughter to come to our appointments. She lives with her non-member daughter and her family. In the past they haven't been interested. But the mom said that she has really noticed how she has started to change as she reads the Book of Mormon and prays. I think this would really be great for their family. Also, it would help our less active member to come to church more if her family was coming too. It is a slow process but the Lord knows best and is preparing people. I just love when people really feel converted how they want everyone they love to have what they have.

The church is true!!! I love being a missionary. I love how I am growing and changing as well. I love what I am learning here. I love being the instrument of the Lord to reach out to others. I pray everyone is safe and happy. I hope everyone is working hard and loving this life. I love you all and miss you all. Let us all keep the faith so that one day we may return to our loving Heavenly Father, together. May God be with you.


Hermana Alaina Mills