Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"ive never had anyone call me a stud before"

Eddie, my little nine year old. We went over to his house and all the little children flocked to his house and we had a lesson with about 7 kids outside. We read in 3 Nephi 17 where Christ prays with the multitude and blesses the little children. Then we all made prayer rocks. I adore all those little children, even though technically we are only teaching Eddie.  Well, we went over the next day and he said he wasn't so sure if he wanted to be baptized. Usually when people tell me this, I feel like my heart has turned to cement. But this time I just knew it wasn't true and to keep teaching. We asked if he had any questions and he's like "Ya...how is there a God? and did he really make us? and why are we here? and how did Jesus get here?" BASICALLY EVERYTHING IN THE PLAN OF SALVATION. He was blown away that we lived before this life and that we are all brothers and sisters. Obviously, we only taught a few things, but it was way cool how that's our message exactly. Afterwards we had a long coversation with his mom, and she said "if I would have known the church before I was married, my life would be completely different. but since finding the church, i've been given the patience to deal with the things I have. And I know that this church has the truth because I've studied with other people. And something was missing. I asked God to please show me what I needed to do. I asked him to show me how I can know him better. And then I met the missionaries. And they taught me the plan of Salvation. And I knew. I want this for my family".
We invited Eddie to the baptisms on Saturday and he was super nervous. He would only sit and talk to me. During the actual ordinance I asked him if he wanted to go closer with the other kids. He said no and that he felt weird, like everyone was watching him. I eventually convinced him to come sit on the front row with me. Then when all the kids starting running up, he asked if he could go up too.
After all the ordinances he runs back to me and said, "so maybe I kinda really wanna be baptized."
I introduced him to more kids and his primary teachers and he asked if he could be baptized that day, he said "remember how i told you I felt weird in the church? well...I feel good now. I really like it. I get to come tomorrow right?"
biggest smile ever.
The next day I call his ride for church and he told me that Eddie's dad said that he would take him to church. That sounded fishy, so we went to go visit him. As soon as Eddie saw us, he ran out and said, "I don't wanna go to church today".  When we asked him why he just kept making excuses. I reminded him of what he said the day before, and he just looked down and said, "my dad wont take me". I told him we had a ride, and that if he asked his dad we could all go to church. (the mom is working, so she wasn't there). Eddie runs inside to tell his dad, and his dad starts screaming and telling him he can't go. Eddie comes out, almost in tears and says he can't. I wrote the dad a note, and he started yelling again saying no and a bunch of other stuff. One of the neighbors came by and asked if we were taking eddie to church (that whole complex just observes us teaching the kids) we told her the dad wouldn't let us. So she goes in and tries to talk him into letting us. More yelling. Eddie is now crying. The neighbor comes out and said that the dad "doesn't want that kind of responsibility"
So I'm sitting on the steps, not knowing what to do. My little sweetheart eddie  is inside helpless with his crazy dad and the mom is gone.
Then, one of the girls who made prayer rocks with us, saw us and came running over to give us hugs. She asked if we were going to church and we said "ya, we're here for eddie"...just a little distracted by what was happening, that we didn't even notice her run away. She ran back to us and said "my mom said I could come to church!"
what the? never met the woman in my life.
I told her that we would want to ask her mom permission first, and so the neighbor (who helped us before) was like, "hey, I'll introduce you!"
So we go across the complex, and tell her what was going on. And the mom, Dulce said, "ya...I guess you can take her to church".  (why someone would trust two complete strangers to take the 8 year old is beyond me...but whatever)
We took Noemy to church and she said, "this is the best day of my life!"
When we brought her back, the mom asked all about it and we explained who we are, what we do at church, our purpose...and to make a long story short we are teaching the whole family now. (The parents and three kids!)
I guess that really shows how such a messy, crazy situation can turn into an unexpected blessing!
Onto Transfers. I'm still here in East Tucson. We got the call on Sunday night, and Sister Miller got transferred. I'm now with Hermana Hallett. She's from Seattle, Washington. She's majoring in Dance at a school for the arts in Washington, and has been a member for a little over a year. also, I may or may not be training. what? But yep, I'm super excited for this transfer. I little on the surreal end and not really knowing what I'm doing. But hey, God sure knows what's going on...so I'm banking on that. but enough about that.
On Saturday there were four baptisms, and there was this one moment that just completely had me in awe. I wish I could have recorded it. My two buds, Elder Serrato and Elder Rusk were both in their white baptismal clothing, sitting next to all these people we love. Almost the entire branch was sitting in the primary room. I had Eddie on one side of me and Victor on the other, and we started singing "families can be together forever". I just looked around the room, and I saw these familes I love singing to their little children this song, the teenagers I joke around with just smiling, and the ones being baptized smiling and crying. I just had the most distinct thought in my mind that "THIS IS THE GOSPEL. right here.". And it was the best feeling in the world.
and to finish up with a kinda funny story. At least it is for me. There's this lesson where we teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ by using a tea bag. At the end you light it on fire, and it floats (signifying baptism by fire and making it to heaven). Elder Serrato and Elder Rusk both voluteered me to show it to the members we were having fhe with (millie). while they were eating I tested it out, just to make sure it was the right kinda tea bag. I tried it like 5 times and it didn't work. So I broke the news to them that we would have to do it another time.
Elder Serrato then said, "you just don't have enough faith. let ME try it".
So they make a HUGE demonstation about it. and they even place the tea bag directly on his hand to set it on fire. They light it, and it's burning...and not floating.
still burning...not floating. It's about a cm away from engulfing his hand, and it still is floating and eventually he freaks out and blows it off his hand (onto the members carpet mind you! no worries...no fire damage). I stand up and say "SEE! I HAVE FAITH!". we all just keep over laughing because we almost had a minor disaster, but you know..it's part of missionary work.
moral of the story. Listen to Sister Waters.
anyways. I love you all. Outta time. So glad Millie sent you that pic mum. She told me you wrote her back and wants to show me the email later today!
LOVE you! Pray I don't completely implode this transfer!
-Hermana Aguas

Monday, July 23, 2012

"he has a smile like a ken doll"

Welcome home Summer! her homecoming sounded awesome, and I'm glad you all had a good time. And mum, I know her room was redecorated while she was gone, but I'm pretty content with my room...so no drastic changes please :P
Lots has happened this week that has really made me think about you guys. The other day I had a random feeling to make cupcakes for a few people. (What the random? I did that when I was home..not here) But during dinner I made them and brought them to those people I thought of. One of them was having a super bad day and completely turned his day around, and the other just completely opened up and told us all about her marital problems. She had no one to talk to, and completely alone.
I wont go into details but she did say, "it's one thing if he's sick and he actually treats you well or is grateful for you. It's another if he goes the opposite way"
It really made me SO grateful for the relationship that mum and dad have, and that no matter what has happened, or what will happen...that there is selfless love involved and that through the sealing power of the temple, it can only become stronger.
We also had a lesson with Victor talking all about repentance, the spirit completely engulfed the room and he said that's all he wanted. He finally decided he wants to be baptized! The next day we didn't hear at all from him. We were both super worried, but after all our plans fell through and nothing was going right he sent us a scripture Alma 4:33 and asked if he could see us. Luckily all our plans had cancelled so we had time to see him. (God makes some things fall apart for better things to fall together) We had a long long talk and he said, "i'm willing to give everything up. I'm willing to keep going. I just want to know WHY I'm doing all of this."
and it made me think, why am I here? why am I part of the church? why do I stay? what is my motive.
When Kelsey wrote me about Brian Cook, it was a huge blow. but the KNOWLEDGE I have about the Plan of Salvation is my answer and comfort. I know that we are all children of God. That we lived with Him before this life, and though we knew we would have to come to this world and face hard things...we were sent with our own support. Our families. We knew that was the only way we could become like our Father in Heaven and return back to him in a state of eternal bliss.
We are on this earth, and amongst trials and difficulties we are able to find faith, and use repentance. We show our willingness to follow our Savior Jesus Christ through baptism, and have our constant support through the Holy Ghost. and we need to constantly be accessing all those powers.
And even with all those things, we need something more. Someone more. We have Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came down to this earth himself to take care of us. He felt all our pains and our weaknesses just so he has the right to encompass us in his arms and let us feel his infinite love. Because we came to earth we know there is a physical death. We don't know when that time will come. For some, it's a full life. For others, like Brian, it's a little shorter. But because Christ was resurrected, he overcame death...and made it possible for us to overcome it as well.
We have the knowledge that through priesthood power and promises we make in the temple, that we can be bound here on earth, and more importantly bound in Heaven. We can stand at the judgement seat of God, with Christ at our side and a power that will help us achieve our highest Glory. We know that if we do everything we can here, we can live in the presence of God and Jesus Christ once again. But because God is a loving Heavenly Father, that's not all. He knew heaven wouldn't be a heaven without our families, so he can give us that too.
God restored His one and only church again on the earth, so we could access the powers of heaven, be sealed as a family in the temple and have peace of mind that no matter what appears to be unfair here, will be nothing in comparison to eternity.
This is the reason I am here. Because I know I can live with all of you, all those I adore, and those whom I will adore....FOREVER. only here we can obtain that.
Brian is now a missionary, and helping others find that. He's happy and in a state of rest and peace. I hope everyone else here can find that same peace.
I love you all, and hope you have an excellent week!
good luck Kenzie leaving on your mission!
hermana kaitlyn clarissa waters 'aguas'

Monday, July 16, 2012

Heavenly Father. Please bless the food. Er, I mean the people. and Please bless the people who are old. Amen

Hi family.
So to kind of explain the pictures...we were walking around a neighborhood right after a huge rainstorm. The streets were slightly flooded in a few places, and we start hearing all these weird noices. Kind of like a suffocating duck or something. Naturally, we follow it. I didn't see anything, but Hna Miller was like "IT'S A FROG!". it went right past me, so I get the grand idea that I want to catch frogs. (you know, one of those things you wanna tell future posterity) I didn't even know there were frogs in Arizona. Anyways...so I ditch all my stuff, and wade through the water and caught a frog. I'm pretty sure I blinded it with the flash of the camera, but it seemed to get along just fine once I let it go.
also, I taught primary yesterday! One of the little boys was running all around the room and suddenly crashed and fell asleep next to all the chairs. It made me miss those little sunbeams.
Victor is still doing awesome! everyday he opens up just a little bit more. And he told me yesterday that ever since he met us he's never felt better, and he doesn't know how he can ever thank us. He's reading el Libro de Mormon and loving church. The members love him. Now...he just needs to get baptized!
So have I told you about the Zazueta family yet? alright...I'll tell you anyways. They are a family that just moved into the branch about 3 months ago. They have three kids (one is married and lives in pheonix, the girl is 16 and looks like chloe waters and the youngest is Eduardo who is 9). The parents are members, but the kids were never baptized and they havent been to church in a little bit. We've been visiting them and usually Eduardo is all over the place. He barely listens cause he wants to play with his friends. He also has this weird fascination with my eyes. He's tells everyone "Waters, when she wears blue her eyes are blue, but when she wears green they turn green!" anyways... we went over the other day and he invited all the neighborhood kids to come in. We sat in this huge circle, and his sister (16 year old) came and listened for the first time. It was an awesome lesson where the kids asked lots of questions, and we said, "Eduardo...do you want to be baptized?" he immediately said, "ya! except that means I cant drink coffee, tea or soda!"
I'm thinking to myself "you're 9! why would you drink that?" but then I told him he could still drink soda, and he said, "really?! then ya. I'm ready! Can I get baptized tomorrow?!"
Finally. someone EXCITED about baptism :P
Then he said the closing prayer. once he finished, all his friends asked if they could pray too. I swear there were like 18 prayers by little kids said that night. Then, his sister who says "I'm kinda doing the whole catholic thing" asked if she could pray. She told us she had never done this before, and she gave one of the most beautiful prayers I have heard. She is one of those 16 year olds who lives the life of a 21 year old, but her prayer was all about how she's so grateful to be back with her family, and for her moms example and for her little brother having the chance to be baptized. She is SO excited for him. And then at the very end she just started crying and said, "wow...i've NEVER done that before".
I have faith that once she see's the example of her little brother, she'll start learning too.
well, I'm out of time. but i love you and miss you all!
tell Frank, Stormy but especially Summer hello for me!
hermana kaitlyn aguas

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Elder Deere is Racist" "Even though Deaf isn't a Race

Hey hey,
Sounds like 4th of July was great! Were you able to watch the parade with grandma and grandpa...or is that the 24th? I don't even remember. President Killpack invited our zone over for a barbeque and to watch fireworks. With 16 elders and 2 sisters, President had a little too much fun with the grill and basically torched everything. Then we had this awesome training all about desires and how we can have faith like the brother of Jared. We then went onto his back porch, which looks over the entire city and watched fireworks. Last time I was on that deck was my first night in the field, and now i'm hitting 7 months. It was super cool. Definitely a good fourth of July.
I also got to speak in a deaf branch on Sunday. (made me think of you Kels!) It was all about charity, and it was just so peaceful being in a room where the spirit could speak so strongly. Everyone was so nice to us and  I loved watching them pray and do hymns in sign. I told them my sister learned a little bit of ASL in high school and they just lit up...hear that sister. keep it up, deaf branches are awesome.
The Elders also had a baptism on Saturday in our branch.There's a less active family, who the elders started teaching their 9 year old daughter. She completely fell in love with everything and was baptized. Elder Serrato and Elder Rusk spoke, and then I was able to play the violin with Sister Miller singing. President Killpack and Sister Killpack even showed up...Evie, the little girl got up at the very end and bore her testimony. Pretty sure every single person in that room was filled with tears. It was probably the purest, most sincere testimony I had ever heard..and right after she came up to us and gave us a big hug. Sister Killpack turned to me and said "and THAT is how you establish a church."
as for funny things that happened this week, I ate soggy indian donut holes...at least, that's what they told me they were. tastes worst than it sounds. wait, it sounded gross? ya...it was.
we passed a car full of nuns on Saturday. I turned around just to make sure I wasn't imagining it. Nope. definitely nuns. I may or may not have stalked them. I found way too much joy in that.
door bell ditched elders with mormon.org cards asking if they wanted to be baptized.
a bakery had to get rid of a ton of bread, so they donated it to the branch. they had giant breadstick loaves, so elder rusk, elder serrato, hermano gonzolaz and I all got into a sword fight after church. the church is true.
I was helping arrange flower arrangements at a funeral, and the elders asked if they could be my flower girls. They then put flowers in the hair, took flower petals and frollicked around the church.... OH KELSEY!!!! ONE OF THE ELDERS IS A KASJA KOLSTE CLONE IN MALE FORM...... it's the weirdest thing of my entire life.
he does magic. and it's incredible.
This branch is incredible. We are working with some awesome people. Especially Victor. It's just helping them find faith and forget fear. There's people here who I know are ready, it's just finding them...but the joy is there. Especially through the book of Mormon and the plan of Salvation. and all it takes is a step of faith. Love you all! talk to you soon. Party hard on Saturday. It's my 7 month mark and my miracle family from my last area is getting baptized!!!!
love you!
-hermana kaitlyn waters

Monday, July 2, 2012

I wanna give president killpack the kim possible ring tone...he's prez kp

I just have to get this out of the way...McKay I'M SO GLAD YOU LOVED EFY and said Hi to all my friends and kids :P I expect you to write me all about it, send pictures (real ones) and send the cd por favor. ok great, that's out of my system!
This week..blew my mind. Besides seeing miracles here and there, I don't think I've ever felt so much sucess in my area before. Sister Miller and I worked like crazy, which included sweat seeping through our clothes (it's a miracle people let us in), getting kicked out of complexes, and following a deaf guy for two blocks to give the asl elders a referral. let me tell you, tracting in 110 degrees makes you a little crazy. Sister Miller has already started a quote book of all the things i've said, and Im not sure I can be held accountable for all of them.
good news is, it's totally worth it. There was an accident on the road, and instead of waiting in traffic, I turned another street. We found these hidden apartment complexes of GOLD. We didn't have time to tract them just then, but we went back with a member later. When we got there, we found out it was a gated community and only residents can get in. Nobody was in sight to piggy back in, so sister miller said jokingly "we can't expect miracles to happen without praying". So I say a prayer. We turn the corner. A woman Gloria opens the gate at that exact moment, and was holding it open for us...JUST WAITING FOR US TO COME IN. She didn't even know we were going in. The member who was with us got all wide eyed and said, 'you have powerful prayers Aguas"
We also had some crazy awesome lessons with Victor. We watched the Restoration video with him (request from him) and focused on prayer. He then was telling us that ever since he's been meeting with us, he's felt like things are finally good. He wasn't sure if that was a coincedence or not, and we're like 'DEFFFFFFFFFINITELY NOT!"  He invited us to dinner for that friday,  and we gave him a Book of Mormon. Sister Miller was  a little nervous because all the other times they tried he wouldn't accept. But he took it! The next night we did a follow up and invited him to be baptized. He said yes, but wont say a for sure date yet until he goes to church first. He then showed us a text that he supposedly sent us that said, "I took you to dinner to give you something in return, but instead you gave me something better. The word of God". We got him to church after a dramatic phone call, and our phone going off in church, running out during testimony meeting..and getting him inside the chapel all in one piece (he fainted last time he went to a church). He told afterward that he thought we were gonna be all strict and uniform in the church..but that we are actually fun, friendly and loving. and He loved it!
also, our other investigator ran away during church. and we never found her.
not so sure what to do about that...
Well, i'm outta time. have a VERY HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY. I've already gotten offers to blow a little kid's foot off with a bottle rocket, so....we'll see how mine goes :P
love you!
love, hermana aguas