After the fireside
Family and Friends,
Time is racing by! I had a wonderful realization this week that was just additional proof that God knows exactly what he's doing. Sister Schiel was asking me to explain to her what exactly Vocal Union was. How big, what style of music, do they tour? etc. I told her that I actually wanted to wait and leave on my mission in May so I could tour with them but for whatever reason I couldn't shake the feeling that I just needed to leave. Well, I'm sure there are a myriad of reasons that the timing has worked out how it has, but what I realized this week was that Isaac is getting baptized in August! Obviously I have to be there! I don't know what I was thinking, but I'm glad that God took control of the situation and sent me on my way. That will be a wonderful day, and one that I wouldn't miss for the world.
This week has been a roller coaster. It started out with all our investigators either avoiding us or breaking up with us (that really is the best description of how it feels). Jason basically told us that he has too much going on in his life to do this too. It was a phone call break-up (the worst) and I think he actually said, "It's not you, it's me." Hopes dashed! Dreams crushed! Bernardo stopped answering our phone calls as well and Tristen (the girl who didn't take the money) wanted to reschedule. Rough week. But then we had a miraculous weekly planning! We called some potentials that we had more or less given up on for a time and set appointments with two of them! One (John) said that he has been to our church on the east coast and just lost contact when he moved, and the other (Crystal) is pregnant and we're getting our foot in the door by taking her dinner tomorrow. We met her on the street and gave her a Book of Mormon, but haven't been able to get a hold of her since, so we were pleasantly surprised that she has been reading it every day! I'm really excited for both of them. We also have an appointment with an Iranian man this week. He went to church with his friend who goes to a neighboring ward, but lives in our boundaries. It should be interesting because I honestly know next to nothing about Islam. I'm also excited to teach a less-active that we met this week. He is probably one of the cutest humans I've met on my mission, possibly ever. When he came to the door I asked how he was doing and he responded with, "fat, dumb, and ugly... and how are you?" He's just the sweetest thing. One of those big, burly, teddy-bear types. He told us that as the years went by his kids all left the church and he just couldn't bring himself to go alone. I thought about how hard that must have been and then I thought about how amazing recent converts are! Everything is so foreign and in most cases they investigate and convert on their own. Maybe Richard can be his friend :)
Speaking of Richard! Just when you think he can't get any cooler... he is up and teaching Gospel Principles!! He taught the class for the first time this Sunday and did an impeccable job. Everyone was involved and I just can't get over how much he knows already. I definitely learned something from his lesson and I'm sure everyone else did. He also spoke at the missionary fireside that was held at the Visitors' Center last night. He shared his conversion story and testimony. Don't worry I filmed it. I had to. One of the highlights was when he shared that the night he attended a similar fireside was the night he quit drinking cold turkey. He did so well. It was one of those moments when you hear or see something and you just think, "THE CHURCH IS TRUE."
We had our zone conference this week and I was called on randomly to speak. When those scenarios come around I just plan on it because somehow I'm usually one of the lucky ones that gets to go up. I talked about how no effort is wasted and and how I have experienced a lot of disappointments, as all missionaries do, but that it was worth it to meet Richard, Angel, Enrique and others. The Lord has a plan and sometimes we have to be patient. We can't see what it is or how it will all work out, but it always does. It was good that I talked about Richard because it was a perfect lead-in to the assistants' training. They talked about helping our investigators invite people to their baptisms and used Richard as an example because they were impressed by the formal invitations he sent out. I'm with him. He said, "Well, if you got married wouldn't you send invitations? it's an important day!" He just gets it!
More exciting news! I went on team-ups with the Malibu sisters this week! None other than my bestie Sister Jones and the lovely Sister Kim who I came out with. We taught Richie!!! Do you remember Richie?! Sister Jones remembered how much I loved him and decided to pick him back up. I LOVE HER! For more reasons than just that but I mean isn't she awesome? Anyway, the lesson went well. They teach really well together and I learned a lot from them. When they invited him to be baptized he used the excuse that if I couldn't teach him he didn't want to do it. I got bold at that point and (nutshell version) told him that he felt so comfortable with me because I cared about him, but that God and Jesus Christ care about him more and that these sisters are representatives of Christ. I told him that he felt good when we taught him, not because of us, but because of what we taught him and if he kept those things in his heart and will read and pray he can feel that way even when we aren't there. He said he would pray about being baptized in March. I'm pulling for him! I know he can do it, he just has to decide to step into the darkness a little bit before he will discover the light.
I'm out of time, but one last thing. we were so spoiled on Valentines day. Our ward mission leader got us flowers and Richard gave us gifts :) Best single awareness day of my life!
Love you all!