Hola a todos vosotros extremos de la tierra!
Well, this week has been a roller coaster. Here's what went down:
Monday: Contacted some referrals, found a new family to teach, ate chocolate.
Tuesday: Had an awesome district council. See the end of the email for a take-away. Found some new people to teach, got our oil changed, taught Claudius, and tried to contact a referral that doesn't exist... Awkward...
Wednesday: We got to go on exchanges with Hermana Dungan and Hermana Campbell today. I was with Hermana Campbell in her area. Their area is thriving! We did a lot of finding, and did our best to kill it, so to speak. I got to participate in every aspect of the work with her, which was awesome. So funny story about Sister Campbell, she's terrified of exchanges for forever. She said that she had a curse--that something went wrong every exchange she had, but nothing went wrong with this one! In fact, it was awesome. We exceeded all of their daily goals, and had a wonderful, joyful time! During the last 20 minutes of the night, we needed 2 more OYMs to achieve all our goals. So, we started walking. She looked at this one house, said "it's white" and as we were about to leave (because it's an only Spanish area), she turned around and said "let's knock on it!". So we knocked on it. 1 OYM. Not interested, but we asked them for a Spanish referral. We received one. Knocked on the Spanish door. OYM. Other lesson. A new investigating family. MIRACLE!!! Pretty great exchange. Plus, I got to be reunited with one of my MTC companions! :)
Thursday: Service. Got down and dirty with some sawdust. Dusted some pianos too. I just couldn't touch them. :( Taught Claudius again. He's slowly getting all of his questions answered, but we're going to give him some time to find the desire in his heart to start acting and coming to church again. Saddest lesson ever. :(
Friday: We finished our weekly planning in 3 hours. Miracle! Other story: this week we've been finding a lot and focusing on less-active work. We made a goal to have 8 RC/LA lessons this week, and we had 7. So, not too bad. We had a lot of miracles pop up of less actives we had never been able to see before suddenly letting us in. One, for instance, was a woman, V Hernandez. She's a mom of 6 kids and is the only member of her family. #PMF. She let us in and told us her crazy life story. Since the missionaries have last been able to see her, she's had vertigo severe enough to hospitalize her, had a baby, and had a hemorrhage. Crazy, right? But she let us in this week and told us that she's missed us and she wants to come back to church. We even set up a family home evening with her and her whole family! We also found a less-active who actually saved us from being eaten by his dogs. Turns out he's trying to recover from drugs and his wife isn't a member. She's a former actually. They normally don't let us in because they live with her mother who's super Catholic and hates missionaries. Well, we stopped by around 8:40, and the mother wasn't there, so they let us right in and agreed to take the lessons together AT THE CHURCH so that her mom wouldn't get offended.
Saturday: We tracted. And found 2 super golden people! We had also made cookies for Valentine's Day, so we dropped them off for some members, recent converts, and less actives. Speaking of less actives, we found a less active that we had never met before. She knows needs to come back to church. And, she is the cousin of a less active/ part member family we're teaching who are cousins with another less active family that we met on Sunday. (We'll talk about them when Sunday comes). All of our other lessons fell through, but we did get to see Natalya and find out why her mom doesn't want to come to church. Concerns are totally being answered, and she should be coming to church soon!
Sunday: We met a less active family that lives down the stairs from their cousins who are also less active. The mom was covering strawberries in chocolate, and she gave us some. Valentine's Day miracle! But yeah, it turns out that all our less actives are related. Reactivate one family and you've got them all. That's the beauty of Hispanic work. Oh, and the person we ate dinner with gave us a referral for a less active member that she used to visit teach that lives just down the street from her. #miracles We also taught that family of 7. We met the mom, and she was like "I'm Catholic and I worship Mary. You guys don't." So, we asked her if we could teach her kids the 10 Commandments with hand signs. It was really fun, and the mom was completely softened and let us set up a return appointment. :)
So, things that I've learned this week:
District Council: Something that our district leader, Elder Wilde, said was that if we're not 100% committed to our investigators, then they can't be 100% committed to what we invite them to do. So, I'm going to work on that this week!
Regional Stake Conference: We had a broadcasted stake conference where Elder Renlund, Sister Oscarson, Elder Hannula, and Elder Grow spoke to us. I loved it because it focused a lot on hope. As I was reviewing my notes from stake conference, I felt a confidence that if I gave my soul to the Lord, He would fight for me and be there to support me ever step I take in my life. Miracles can't come until after we act in faith, so better start now! I really loved Elder Renlund's talk. I don't know if I got any of it right because it was in Spanish, but he spoke about the plan of salvation. He said that we need to fight against anything that holds us back from following His plan. We fought against Satan in the pre-existence so that we could have this plan. We need to continue fighting for the plan right now, and we can do that best by living the doctrine of Christ. By so doing, we show our Heavenly Father that we are willing to be obedient to His commandments--to be a disciple of Christ. It's my prayer that I will be able to do so cheerfully, with a smile on my face.
Hymn of the week: True to The Faith
1. Shall the youth of Zion falter
In defending truth and right?
While the enemy assaileth,
Shall we shrink or shun the fight? No!
True to the faith that our parents have cherished,
True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,
To God's command,
Soul, heart, and hand,
Faithful and true we will ever stand.
2. While we know the pow'rs of darkness
Seek to thwart the work of God,
Shall the children of the promise
Cease to grasp the iron rod? No!
3. We will work out our salvation;
We will cleave unto the truth;
We will watch and pray and labor
With the fervent zeal of youth. Yes!
4. We will strive to be found worthy
Of the kingdom of our Lord,
With the faithful ones redeemed
Who have loved and kept his word. Yes!
But, I love the second verse in Spanish because it talks about exactly what Elder Renlund talked about, so I'll include it para patadas y risitas.
Cuando veamos a los inicuos
atacar el plan de Dios,
¿Estaremos sin valor? ¡No!
I encourage each of you to keep fighting for the plan of salvation and living in such a way that you support it everywhere you go!
Well, that's about it! Have a miraculous week, y'all!
1. Yes, mom, I drove a minivan with 6 sisters in it...
2. Our chocolate covered strawberries.
3. Natalya gave us Air Heads.
4. Sister Campbell and I reunited again.