Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,

During the year, 2015, we would like to share with you some of the spiritual experiences our Missionaries have had here in the Florida Orlando Mission. We look forward to you reading them and sharing in the spirit of missionary work.
We love and thank you for your prayers and support.

Our love, President and Sister Berry

 

┬íHola a todos! I’m Hermana Jewel Marsh from Joseph, UT.

The first time I met John Vega was at a member’s home. Hermano Mejia was having a big group of friends over for dinner, and he insisted that the missionaries be there to teach, so over we went. That night we taught a varied group of active members, less-active members and non-members. We taught them about the restoration of the Gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith, testifying of the Book of Mormon and the divinity of this work. At the end we invited John to learn more, and he accepted.

Over the next six weeks, we taught John the Gospel. Hermano Mejia was there every step of the way. He opened up his home so that we could teach there and came with us when we went to teach at John’s home. He was there to answer John’s questions between lessons, calm fears as they arose, and testify of truth. One of the happiest lessons I remember was when John accepted a baptismal date, and Hermano Mejia was right there to share in that pivotal moment.

The day of John’s baptism arrived and standing in the font, right by his side, was Hermano Mejia. After the ordinance, there was an opportunity to bear testimonies, and Hermano Mejia stood up and bore a very heartfelt testimony about the truthfulness of the Gospel and the wonderful step that John had just taken. The Spirit was so strong!

A week later, Hermano John Vega was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. That was one of the most spiritual moments of my whole mission. While listening to the blessing, I received a powerful witness from the Spirit that I was exactly where I needed to be and that I was doing exactly what I should be doing. I knew that Heavenly Father was there, taking in the scene, and that He was very pleased. It was a moment I will never forget. And it all came about because a member of the church reached out to a friend and offered him the Gospel.

The power of member missionary work is real. I saw it change the life of a searching soul, and I also saw it change the life of the member who reached out to rescue. It changed my life as well, and I know, without a doubt, that more lives will be changed from it in the future. “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God…. And if it so be that you should labor all your days… and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father” (Doctrine & Covenants 18:10, 15).

Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,

During the year, 2015, we would like to share with you some of the spiritual experiences our Missionaries have had here in the Florida Orlando Mission. We look forward to you reading them and sharing in the spirit of missionary work.
We love and thank you for your prayers and support.

Our love, President and Sister Berry

 

Hello I am Elder Tucker and am from Salt Lake City!

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to share with you an
experience I had with some of the greatest People I have met on my
mission! I will share with you briefly the conversion story of the
Lopez family. A family of 9 that I love so much and have changed my
life, and testimony forever! The Lopez family is a very lively bunch!
We loved going over to their house and spending time with them and
discussing the gospel! They were coming from various religious
backgrounds which caused them to have lots of questions about specific
topics that we discussed! All of our lessons with them were very
exciting, and we developed a very strong bond with them! It felt like
we were family!

Before heading over to their home to teach, we would always discuss
what do we need to teach them now? What is going to help them progress
in the gospel? Each time we felt like we were preparing lessons that
were directly to their needs and concerns. Visit after visit, laugh
after laugh, lesson after lesson, question after question, answer
after answer, testimony after testimony, experience after experience
something was just not clicking! We were puzzled. They were coming to
Church and enjoying very much. But we knew we needed something to get
them to take the next step, and enter the waters of baptism! One day
it hit us, we need to put more of an emphasis on The Book of Mormon
and so we did! Our next few visits the lessons were not as lively or
entertaining but the Spirit was there as we read chapters from The
Book of Mormon. No magical experience took place but slowly they were
gaining their own testimonies. A few weeks following, the Father and
two of his girls decided to take the leap of Faith and be baptized! It
was an amazing experience! A few weeks following that we were able to
watch the recently baptized Father, baptize his wife and son! Then a
few months following, the son who was 7 at the time had turned eight
and entered the waters of baptism along with one of his older sisters!
It was a joyful experience to see the difference that the gospel
brought into the Lopez family’s life! In the words of Brother David
Lopez himself (The Father) he said, “The Book of Mormon really opened
up our hearts and brought our faith back. After all we went thru at
other places we finally found the true church!” The Lopez’s are
currently serving in the scouting program along with other service
they are apart of! They are working towards going to the Temple and
being sealed as a family for all time and eternity! I love them so
much and will be forever grateful for the Impact they have had on my
life! I know there is power and truth that comes from The Book of
Mormon! It truly is the keystone of our religion! I know that no
matter someone’s age, race, concerns, background, trials, or overall
life that it can be the key that unlocks every conversion! I leave
that with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Elder Tucker

Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,

During the year, 2015, we would like to share with you some of the spiritual experiences our Missionaries have had here in the Florida Orlando Mission. We look forward to you reading them and sharing in the spirit of missionary work.
We love and thank you for your prayers and support.

Our love, President and Sister Berry

 

I’m Hermana Jackson from Provo Utah.
I had just gotten to a new area and we were weekly planning. As we were seeking more people with whom we could share the restored gospel, I mentioned the idea of going through the list of former investigators. My companion had been in this newer area for a while and had been through the short list of “formers” many times. Toward the top of the list, I still remember quite vividly the name “Denise Brown” popping out at me.
It turns out we came at a pivotal moment for Denise. She had been struggling to decide if fully embracing Judaism after a long journey of searching was what would finally feel like home. In the beginning she often shared with us a feeling of being a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. She had even met with missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 11 years ago, but it had ended unpleasantly. After this Denise had thought her name would be crossed out with a bold red “x” in our records. Although that wasn’t the case, we were glad to at least have her address. It was a blessing that her sister and brother-in-law were members of the church and happened to be in the process of moving to an area close by. They became a huge part of Sister Brown’s conversion!
The real turning point was when she attended church! Denise recounts, “I felt the spirit immediately as I walked into the chapel and my decision was made.” The following Sunday my companion and I were worried as she had to stay home due to some health concerns. We stopped by later that evening and when the door opened a peaceful spirit hit me! I recognized the Mormon Tabernacle Choir playing while she explained that she had been listening to General Conference all day! I will never forget how her home lit up that night and how excited and changed she seemed to be. I received a confirmation of how special it is that we have a living prophet and apostles chosen by God of whom we are privileged to hear from often! When we do listen it brings a spirit so tangible and sweet.
Denise Brown was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in December and continues to be excited about her new journey. In fact, she recently bought her temple dress so she has something to remind her daily of the real goal! What JOY this gospel brings! As Sister Brown says, “it FILLS me”.

Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,

During the year, 2015, we would like to share with you some of the spiritual experiences our Missionaries have had here in the Florida Orlando Mission. We look forward to you reading them and sharing in the spirit of missionary work.
We love and thank you for your prayers and support.

Our love, President and Sister Berry

 

Florida, Orlando. Home to sunshine, theme parks, the sand and surf, and so much more! Most people never would suspect just 45 minutes North East is one of the Nation’s smallest cities, Lake Helen. This city does not contain a single traffic light. It is also home to central Florida’s only horse arena. Being so quaint it is the perfect setting for the Holy Spirit to be felt and followed. I met a family of five in this small town who made the move from the state of Illinois last spring. God prepared this family to receive the gospel. The wife was open and immediately accepted the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. She was baptized a couple of weeks after their move and the landlord invited them to church for the first time. When I met this family, the husband was still learning and overcoming the obstacles in his path. They invited my companion and I over for their youngest son’s birthday party. At the party, of course chaos reigned with kids running through the home and people crowded everywhere. The dad started serving pizza and unprompted by anything noticeable to anyone else, he all of a sudden stopped and loudly announced to the chaos and fun “We need to have a prayer.” Immediately people quieted, gathered the kids, and bowed their heads. The Dad shocked a little by the response then bowed his head. He looked around, glanced over at my companion and I as we sat with smiles on our bowed faces, and offered a heartfelt blessing. Chaos immediately erupted following the prayer. The dad stopping his actions to offer a blessing on the food and to give thanks was a testimony builder to all in attendance at the party that this family is taking the small steps needed to change and have their family come closer to Christ. They are developing the habits of a Christ centered home. Almost all in attendance at the party were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know they noticed the dad unprompted by anyone who could be seen. I know they noticed the difference in him and his family as they learned and accepted the truths of the restored gospel. In early fall, he overcame the obstacles he faced and was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (This experience is shared by Sister Daphne Lynch from Kearns, Utah)
Sister Lynch and Hermana Fisi

Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,

During the coming year, 2015, we would like to share with you some of the spiritual experiences our Missionaries have had here in the Florida Orlando Mission. We look forward to you reading them and sharing in the spirit of missionary work.
We love and thank you for your prayers and support, may you all be blessed in the coming New Year.

Our love, President and Sister Berry

 

I’m Sister Kreiberg from Denmark, Europe.
I would love to share with you a spiritual experience I had as we prepared one of God’s children to be baptized. I had just arrived in a new area, I was filled with the spirit and a certain sense of urgency. My companion and I talked to everyone we saw and prayed to find those who were prepared.One day as we were checking the mail we met, Richard. It was a short encounter, but there we were able to testify of the happiness of this message. We scheduled an appointment to share more. When we returned, Richard explained that he had a desire to obtain the happiness he saw in us. After a couple of months of learning and making necessary changes, he still didn’t feel as though he was ready for baptism. We struggled to know how to help him, but we continued to testify that if he asked God, with a sincere heart, God would answer him.
One day as he was driving he saw a beautiful white building and was impressed to take a closer look. As Richard arrived he noticed the church’s name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and remembered what we had testified of. He offered a prayer to God asking if the things we had taught were true. Richard received an answer to his prayers, he explained, “Never in my life have I felt such an overwhelming and warm feeling, I knew it was true! I couldn’t deny it. My heart was filled with such love, that it even brought me to tears.”
I had never felt such joy as I did when Richard recounted his experience. Two weeks later he was baptized, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I know with all my heart that Heavenly Father answers all of His children’s prayers. I’m thankful to be an instrument in His great work and witness such beautiful miracles! There is no greater joy! :)

Dear Family and Friends of the Florida Orlando Mission,
As the Holiday Season approaches, we extend to each of you our love and gratitude for all the love, prayers and support you continue to give to each of our Missionaries. Please accept our wishes for a wonderful Christmas season with our love and thanks!

“This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and speak it again. Christmas is a celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning – with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself unselfishly in the things that matter most. ”

President Howard W. Hunter

This Christmas season may we remember that Christmas means more than packages, boxes and bows. May the true meaning of Christmas reside in our hearts and change us.

Merry Christmas,
President and Sister Berry