Happy Thanksgiving! (week 26)

This week has probably been one of the slowest in my mission.  It seemed as though all of the appointments we would plan for fell through.  But I’m sure next week will be a lot better!  Being in Anza, we have a lot of investigators with a little more than unusual concerns.  One believes in God and the Old Testament, but doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ.  Another believes that the Book of Mormon is true, but also believes every religion is true.  Another wants to get baptized, but doesn’t want to be active in church.  One doesn’t want to give up the casino life.  One of them asked if marijuana was in the Bible.  It definitely keeps things interesting!  But how I love the people of Anza!

This week I have been studying a lot on grace, to get a better understanding of what it is and how I can help others feel the grace of God more fully in their lives.  Grace is the divine help and strength we receive through the atonement of Jesus Christ (meaning his suffering, death, and resurrection).  Because of grace, we have the ability to repent and have our burdens made light.  We obtain grace after we have “done all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).  How can be continue to receive it?  By faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.  I love Moroni 10:32-33 which says:

“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sings, that ye become holy, without spot.”

If we love God with all our heart, might, mind and strength, it will be so easy to follow all of his commandments!  I love the Lord and being a servant in his vineyard in Anza and Idyllwild!

HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING!!!

Love, Sister Meza

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We got cute aprons for Thanksgiving! Thank you mama B! 🙂
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This is Lynn! We love her!
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Our 1 1/2 hour walk through the boonies of Southern California!
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The Anza church building
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The best restaurant in town, out of three..and members take us here at least once a week.
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Still in Anza! (week 25)

We survived transfers!  The Anza and Idyllwild branches are stuck with us again!  I am so excited that I get to stay companions with Sister Blanchard again and serve in the most beautiful part of the California Riverside Mission.  There is a lot we’re doing in this area.  We were supposed to have five people attend church last Sunday, but none of them ended up coming.  We have been teaching a lot of really awesome people though!  We had an experience this week that was a real tender mercy from the Lord.  We had two appointments set up in Idyllwild this past Friday.  One of them being with our investigator, Dorian, who was on date for baptism.  He ended up getting evicted and had to move out of the place he was living in by Saturday.  We were trying to get a hold of him and he would not text us back.  Meanwhile, we were having a lesson with the Ranger of the Boy Scout Camp down the street from the church building, when Dorian drove by and asked us for directions.  A few minutes later he came back and we were able to help him feel the love of the Lord through the Book of Mormon!

We also met a member of our branch who is currently less active.  She is a professional genealogist, specifically for Native Americans.  She told me that I was probably a descendant from the Mayans or Aztec because of the way I look and my last name being Meza.  How cool is family history?!  I can’t wait to go home and learn more about where I came from.  We have also had a lot of people we are teaching who are also interested in family history.  I wish I knew more about it!

We also had training this past week from our Mission President for the new Christmas video coming out on November 29th!  It is so cute and our goal it to share it with as many people as we can!

Also, if you would like a Christmas card from Sister Blanchard and I, please email me your address!….samantha.meza@myldsmail.net.

Hope you have a fantastic week!  :)….AND A HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WONDERFUL MOM!!!  I wouldn’t be where I am today without her!

Love,

Sister Meza

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Happy Birthday to my favorite person!!
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Studying at our favorite bakery
 

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A cool little home in Idyllwild
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Our trailer!
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My companion is talented!
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Taking Lynn, one of our favorite recent converts, to a lesson!
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The Zone
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Hemet from afar
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You can’t tell, but we climbed on top of this big boulder.
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Mi compa!

Big Homie! (week 24)

What a great week it has been!  Although I feel like I’ve only been out a short time, this month I will hit 6 months!  Wowwww it feels like a blur haha.  This is already the last week in the transfer!  These 6 weeks with Sister Blanchard has flown by!  She was so prepared when she came out, sometimes I feel as though I’m the trainee.  🙂  We have a lot of fun with the interesting people out here in the boonies of Southern California.

This week has been really cold!  Since we are living in Anza (“The mountain the Lord forgot” as people here like to say) the elevation makes it a lot cooler throughout the day.  It was mostly around the 50’s which I actually loved after spending the summer in Hemet!  It even hailed while we were walking on Thursday!

We have had a lot of success with the people we are teaching this week!  We just started teaching this guy named Randy who is a young father who moved out here from LA.  He wasn’t into the idea of church, but we gave him a tour and he said he’ll come on Sunday which we are excited for.  We also got one of our investigators, Dorian, to come to church.  He accepted a date for baptism on the 29th!  We also gave a tour of our church to one of my favorite people in Anza, Maria!  Maria is the relative of Jimmy and Santos, our investigators.  She also loved it and is planning on coming to church Sunday, along with Jimmy’s little sister, Carmen.  They are a great family and they live across the street from us in the trailer park!

We also picked up this older guy named Rudy as an investigator.  We taught him about the gospel of Jesus Christ in this old muffler shop.  When we asked him to give the prayer on our way out, he was not really into that, so we taught him that you start off a prayer with addressing our Heavenly Father then tell him what you feel and close it in the name of Jesus Christ.  He started the prayer out with “Big Homie”… it was really a heart felt prayer!

We also taught the close friends of a sister in our branch.  They were super eager to read the Book of Mormon because this sister had recently started coming back to church and they saw the amazing difference it has made in her life!  I love that!  I know that we will always be an example to those around us and the ones we love.

I’ve learned a lot from being Sister Blanchard’s companion.  For being such a new missionary, she is so focused on the work, which I am so grateful for!  She has taught me how to be more organized as a missionary and how to try to understand the people we teach in a better light.  We are always trying to learn how to be better and I love her for that!

Hope you all have a great week!

Love, Sister Meza

The color change in Idyllwild
The color change in Idyllwild

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“The Best Two Years” (week 23)

This week has been great, as always!  I feel so blessed to be companions with Sister Blanchard and to be around someone all day who has such a great spirit!

We spent Halloween in Hemet with the other 30 missionaries serving there!  We got a bunch of couches together at church to watch the movie “The Best Two Years” (about missionary work).  It was a lot of fun!

Last Sunday as we were talking with a man who was not from our congregation, we expressed to him about our struggles with getting people to church.  This brother told us about a son he had who was on a mission, who was faced with the same issue.  He gave us this passage of scripture that helped his investigators progress:

Luke 14:15 “And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. 16 Then said he unto him.  A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse.  The first said unto him.  I have bought a piece of ground and I must needs do and see it:  I pray thee have me excused.  19 And another said, I have brought five yoke of oxen and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.  20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.  21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things.  Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.  22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou has commanded, and yet there is room.  23 And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.  24 For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.  25  And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,  26  If any man come unto me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

I really like this because it helps people to understand the importance of taking the sacrament and taking the name of Christ as his disciples.

Have a great week!

Love, Sister Meza

Learning how to make sushi at a dinner appointment!
Learning how to make sushi at a dinner appointment!
Driving in Idyllwild
Driving in Idyllwild
Branch Halloween Party with the Merchants!
Branch Halloween Party with the Merchants!
Anza Branch pot luck
Anza Branch pot luck
How we spent Halloween
How we spent Halloween

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“The Best Two Year’s” is 10 times funnier as a missionary!

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Don, one of our investigators
Don, one of our investigators
One of our investigators...his last name is Meza!
One of our investigators…his last name is Meza!

Faith vs. Belief (week 22)

Wow so much has happened this week!  Wednesday we went to Riverside for a trainer/trainee meeting.  It took us two hours to drive there which felt like forever, but it was so cool to be around a bunch of missionaries and just get pumped up about the work!  Thursday we helped Sister Holcome (a woman in our branch) plant garlic and in exchange she gave us some eggs and pomegranates.

We got to see one of our investigators, Don, on Friday.  He is a 77 year old man who is currently living in an 8′ x 8′ shed while he is building a house (which is not much bigger).  He is an atheist, due to some events that happened throughout his life, but he reads the Book of Mormon and wants to develop faith.  Some investigators we picked up last week, Carol and Alexia, dropped us on Tuesday which was sad but that’s how missionary work goes.  We picked up a new investigator named Mike.  He has a lot of questions that we have been able to answer for him.

Today we got to go on a hike in Idyllwild with all the missionaries in Hemet!  We went to a boy scout camp close to where the church building is.  Once the path ended, a group of us kept working our way up to the top.  It reminded me of fun trips to Devils Lake, Wisconsin, just bouldering up to the top!  I love being in that area and always smelling the pine trees!

This week I have been thinking and studying a lot about faith vs. belief.  The definition of belief is to have a firm conviction about something and the definition of faith is to have complete trust.  What I have come to realize about the two is that you can’t have one without the other and that as you build one, you build the other.

I love the gospel!!!!!!…..and all the blessings it has brought into my life!

Love,

Sister Meza

Trainer/Trainee meeting in Riverside!
Trainer/Trainee meeting in Riverside!
Hiking in Idyllwild with the Hemet missionaries
Hiking in Idyllwild with the Hemet missionaries

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Our view from the top!
Our view from the top!
Love this Sister!
Love this Sister!

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Sister Missionaries! whoohoo!
Sister Missionaries! whoohoo!
Treat yo self :)
Treat yo self 🙂

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Working hard
Working hard

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