This week has been AWESOME!!! Seriously I love my mission more and more and more each day!! SO many great highlights this week! (: Get ready!!!
I'll start with the biggest miracle! It was Thursday and we had a long list of people we wanted to try and visit (returning members, potential investigators, investigators, etc) and it seemed as if NO ONE WAS HOME!! Those days are just the worst but as we continued to try the people it got about that time where we could have stopped and gone early to our dinner appointment but both of us felt like we needed to try the LAST name on our list. (word of advice for future missionaries...ALWAYS try that last house). So we are driving around trying to find this house, its pitch dark at 5 o clock here, and it takes us forever to find but we don’t give up! We finally knock on the door and a lady talking on the phone answers and immediately waves us in. We are sitting in her living room for a few minutes waiting for her to finish the phone convo. We hear her say, "Child Services are here, gotta go." I'm like oh goodness, she thinks we are child services. She comes in and it takes her about 20 seconds to realize we are not child services. At first, she seemed a little nervous but then she couldn't fight back her emotion. She started crying and said how she was just barely praying on the phone with her mom for some miracle in her life, or some light in this darkness she was experiencing as we knocked on the door! (THANK YOU HEAVENLY FATHER) She goes on to ask us tons of questions and we basically taught the first lesson, gave her a BOM and told her to read and pray. She is having us over for dinner this week to learn more! She couldn't stop taking about how we were angels sent from God. She is really sweet and humble and really normal if you ask me. I am so excited to see her again! It was a sweet experience!!
Some more highlights....we've been teaching two 8 (almost 9) year olds the lessons to prepare for baptism for the past 4 months! They both come from pretty less active families but we have seen MAJOR improvement and testimony growth in the entire family since we've been teaching them! BOTH families set Baptism dates last week!!! WAHOO (: Cute little Hannah will be baptized this Saturday and Gabe will be baptized December 7th!! These kids feel like children to me! <3 I am so excited to see them be baptized! It’s funny cause when we first started teaching them, neither of them EVER wanted to pray, and now both of them fight with their siblings over who GETS to say the prayer! We teach Hannah every Thursday and Gabe every Monday night! This will be the last week of doing that though! SO HAPPY though (:
Another cool experience. On Thursday morning, we get a call from one of our ward members with a referral in JACKSONVILLE, FL. They wanted us to call and find missionaries there and get people over to their friends’ house ASAP! We obviously need to get permission to call outside our mission but after we did, we spent about an hour getting a hold of all the people to make this work. Last night, our member called us telling us how the missionaries got there within 3 hours of her calling us. These nonmembers LOVED the missionaries, are reading the BOM, came to church, got blessings, and are wanting more and more!! I LOVE being a part of the WORLD WIDE missionary work! It’s fun to be a part of something so amazing and uniting all our efforts and working together!
Every other Saturday "Panera Bread" gives our ward all the left over breads, treats, pastries and bagels from the week. The missionaries, with help from a few members, then go out Saturday morning and deliver things to needy families in our ward and community. It’s one of my favorite things to do!!! (and not just because we get to eat all the broken pieces ;)) haha! It’s great to see how happy the people get!
Teresa the lady we are teaching wants to be baptized on December 14th. She’s got to quit smoking before then but I really think she can do it!! Stella came to church again but says she needs one more week before any lessons. Carolyne won’t be baptized till December either...but she is still making slow progress. After we threw away all her coffee and tea she hasn’t had ANY to drink since (: mwa ha ha! The smoking is killer though. GAHHH!
A cool experience with an active member. We met with her. She’s been a member for 40 years and NEVER been through the temple!!!! Needless to say, now is the time...she wants to but we are going to help her prepare and motivate her! She's from Louisiana so I can barely understand her but it was very cool when she started crying talking about how badly she wants to do her mother’s work. She just says every time she gets ready to go, SOMETHING comes up. NOT THIS TIME!! Getting to know her was fun. I got to say I've been to New Orleans and walked on Bourbon Street (: Remember that!?! SO FUN!
Sister Sam and I have been given an added responsibility to our work. We are to help bring the YSA's back! There are like 80 YSA's and only like 4 active...so sad. We've already planned a sweet fireside for December and have some good ideas! Julie (the cute flag twirler) should be putting her mission papers in this week or next! SOOO pumped to see where she goes! (fingers crossed for Provo, Utah) (:
Yesterday we ate at the Simonds (the best cooks in the ward). For dessert they had cookies and ice cream and I made mine into a smart cookie (: They were like,,."That is Genius"! Hence, they all made smart cookies (: It reminded me of home how we always used to make those ice cream sandwiches! Miss that!!
Exchanges this week went fine! I like exchanges a whole lot more when I leave the area and don’t have to worry about anything. It was cool because we taught two people who don’t believe in God. In the South, we RARELY have that opportunity...so it was fun for a change to bear testimony of a God. We also got to try boiled peanuts at our dinner appointment. I don’t see the hype about boiled peanuts. They tasted like soggy, overly salty normal peanuts to me!!
Some funny stories this week, a dog’s tongue touched my tongue TWICE....nasty (I don’t know why all dogs here love me) on ACCIDENT by the way! haha! One night we were at a member’s trailer, eating pizza on the floor, watching Mormon messages...I was just like....this is the life (: I really do love the South man! There’s a family in my ward who has a son on a mission in Italy. Everyone’s trying to futuristically hook us up. I just laugh! These people are great!
Glad to hear BYU won BIG!!! Sounds like an awesome week of sports!! Can't believe the soccer team will be in TALLY!?!?!? What are the odds!!! So cool!! Thanks for your letters this week! Mom, the target memories are so great (: Speaking of that, Target and Walmart have my watch but say they can’t resize this one. I'm like.....yes you can....they did it in Utah......ps I'm so sad my letter didn’t get to you guys. I'll let you know about Cd's and CD players!! It might be cool. I might take you up on that offer to send me a coat! Some days are cold, some days are hot, I can’t keep track!! Our tree in our house is artificial! Thank you for the wedding invite!!!! MADE MY DAY!! Kara danced at Jive mom!! I'm really happy for her!! I wanted them to get married (: I am glad to hear all the missionaries in the Philippines are safe!! How scary is that???? Devastating.. but good to know the missionaries are safe!
I LOVE YALL SO SO SO MUCH!!!!!! Miss you every day!!!!! GOOD LUCK VS NOTRE DAME!!!!!!!!!!! We can do it! Think...next home football game...you'll see me right around the corner (: Crazy! Have a great week and know how much I pray for you and LOVE YOU! <3/ Sister LA GIRL!
Celebrating 5 months
Throwing away the tea and coffee