|Temple Service - My last one!!|
Richard hand hug
Brother Kennedy hand hug
Sister Isquierdo and Sister Vasilopoulos(mission mom)
Friends and Family,
The phone call came in last night and drum roll... I'm staying! At least six more weeks in MDR with Sister Schiel! I've never been with one companion for more than two transfers so this will be a new experience. I'm really relieved that I get to stick around and be here to see the Ethan and Tristen saga unfold, continue with Amir, help Crystal(she is having her baby this Friday!) and whoever else the Lord puts in our path. I called Richard last night immediately after planning to tell him that I got to stay, since we were all prepared for and expecting I'd go, and I couldn't resist teasing him a little. What's new? I talked to him in a high-pitched voice and told him I was Sister Davis' replacement and that she told me to call him as soon as I got to the area. He asked if he could call back in a few minutes and when he did was very polite and welcomed me to the area. He asked how Sister Davis was to which I replied, "you know how she is... but she'll be ok" He then said, "Well, you know she feels very deeply about people, and she get's attached..."(true) That's where I stopped him, returned to my regular voice and through a little laughter said, "Richard, Richard, I didn't get transferred!" Ha ha! It was too good. Also a little terrible. I think he'll forgive me though in time.
A bunch of great things this week that I'm lucky I get to stick around for. We taught Amir again and it was great. He is super humble and ready to learn. We are still unsure if he will end up in our ward and have to make sure that his family won't murder him in cold blood if we baptize him, but other than that he is doing awesome! We haven't been able to meet with Crystal because she is about to pop, but we had another miracle with her. We asked if there was anything we could do for her and she asked if we knew where to find a cheap car seat. We looked through the ward list for people that might have an extra one she could borrow or have and the first family we called did! We're taking that over to her tomorrow and will conveniently share a message while we're there. When we told her we were just bringing her one for free she said she was so happy she could cry and that it was nice to see Christians that are not only religious on Sunday.
Angel and Enrique update: They are still doing awesome. So proud of them. Angel blessed the sacrament last week. We missed it because we were at the VC, but it has been amazing to see and hear about all their progression. I can't wait to see all that the Lord has in store for them in the future.
Two street contacting stories. One is funny/a little sad and the other a miracle. So we met this young man named Clarence. We said hello and introduced ourselves, he asked if we were Mormon, we told him yes and that we were the missionaries! I was not expecting this but the next thing he did was call us devil worshipers, flip us off, and then run away from us in a full-speed panic! I mean I've been told before that I can be a little intimidating, but I never realized I was down right scary! His loss I suppose. The second one is a little more uplifting. From time to time the Spanish sisters that cover our same area give us referrals and I was thinking that we rarely give them any simply because we don't speak Spanish. So, I said a little prayer in my heart that we could find someone for them. Literally less that an hour later we ran into a Hispanic woman with her three children. The youngest had just hit his head on the cement so I started talking to him and said one of the only things I know in Spanish, "lo siento" he immediately stopped crying and I talked to the mother briefly about the Book of Mormon. She gave me her info and I sent it to the Spanish sisters. Prayers are answered!
We have a new investigator now, Diana. She was a former that we went to visit. She said that she had met with missionaries before, but hadn't been all that interested. Not much to go off of, but somehow she ended up telling us that she had lost a few family members this year and had given birth to a full-term still-born baby girl a few years ago. I was able to talk to her about my mother and family having a similar experience as well as my own losses. I don't think she was expecting me to respond that way and she started listening. I shared Alma 40 with her and talked about the peace that a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation can bring. Now we're seeing her again on Thursday. It's amazing how you can just feel like your wandering around with no direction trying to find people and then WHAM! There they are.
It's crazy to me that I've been in Los Angeles for over a year now. I was reading a journal entry from when I first arrived and I have changed so much, thank goodness! There were all these things that I wanted to become and characteristics that I wanted to develop and it's interesting to look back and see how the Lord has made that happen. I don't know how to explain this exactly, but many of the changes have not come from a conscious effort on my part, but rather a series of experiences that the Lord knew would help me get there. Some, actually most have been difficult experiences that made me stretch and sometimes even question "why?" It's humbling to learn that sometimes God allows us to experience difficulties and suffering not because He doesn't care, but rather because He loves us with an infinite love and understands more so than we do, how much potential we have. I love Him and am learning to trust Him.
I love you all! Have a great week. Write me... :)