So my new companion is Sister Maas! She is from Colorado, loves cucumbers, has been out about a year, graduated from BYU with a degree in Psychology (so perfect for me, I know), and loves people like no one's business. She is awesome, she's exactly what I need right now, so that's a huge blessing!
So right now we are teaching a LAs boyfriend! He is in their band, looks like Mozart, grew up in the Brethren, has a strong, passionate testimony of Christ, and loves holding hands during prayers. He is quite the character and we love him. He is so excited to learn about the Restoration!
One night we had dinner with some solid members and at the end, we asked them if they knew anyone that could use an uplifting message and they told us to go deliver cookies and visit their LA visiting teachee. So we went and she was so happy to see sister missionaries! We have been visiting with her ever since and she is working on coming back to church! What if we didn't ask those members if there was anyone they knew that was ready?
We also dropped by our investigator whom we haven't heard from in a while and as we were praying before going to knock on her door, she left! haha crazy... but then the next day we were with a member going to the Relief Society Enrichment activity, but she had to stop at the grocery store to get some food for the activity. Just before we left, we saw our investigator! We stopped the car and said hi to her! She expressed how busy and stressed she has been with her new job and her kids and her boyfriend and the issues they're all facing. As she expressed her struggles, we got out and just gave her a big hug. She started to cry. It was one of those moments that made me grateful to stand in place of the Saviour at that moment.
We also dropped by this restaurant owned by members downtown and decided to stop by and say hi! As we did, we met another woman who helps out there and long story short, she invited us to come mow her backyard the next day! So we go and she left a note on the door saying she had to run and we could come back another day! So what do we do? We go around her house, hike through her forest of grass, break into (it was open) her shed, see a couple lawn mowers and just start cutting that jungle down! We got some battle wounds but it was worth it when she came home right when we finished and was shocked. Her heart is for sure being softened.
Saturday we cleaned Lucy and Julia's restaurant and they made us yummy delicious food!
Okay, so this is cool! One night we are driving past our investigators house, whom we haven't been able to get ahold of, so we decided to turn around and knock on his door. He wasn't home, but turns out his prepared roommate Mike was! We came back the next day. As we taught him about the apostasy, he says, "Is that why there are sooo many churches today?" As we taught him about the Book of Mormon, he was able to learn about his ancestors that met Jesus Christ. And as we taught about Jesus Christ, he cried. He is excited to be baptized! How cool?
We also had the most beautiful day at church. It was Father's day. Brian came and was so happy. I felt the spirit during the sacrament and was filled with gratitude for our Saviour. Returned missionary Mac gave a powerful homecoming talk. We had dinner with Bishop and his family. And the church is just so good and true.
So this week we started it off by doing some service of pulling weeds for a member's neighbor. She is being prepared for the gospel, how exciting?!
We also did some family history with the family history consultants! I love it. I'm excited to get into it more. Those on the other side need us! And we need them. The cool thing is that we are CREATING our own family history right now!
We also went to mow another neighbor's yard (it's mowing season) and on our way, our investigator called us. He is in a rough spot right now (court, kids, money, etc.) He basically called to apologize saying he didn't think it was a good time in his life to meet right now. But as we know, times of trouble are the times that we need to turn to God the most. We testified of Jesus Christ. We sympathized with him. We encouraged him to stay strong and not give up. And we told him that the message we share is exactly what he needs more than anything right now. Prayers!
So a long time ago, we contacted downtown, met a woman, she turned out to be a less-active, she wanted us to teach her niece, we did for a big, she ended up not really being ready just yet, so we felt like dropping by just this past week, we did, her mom was home, her mom is also friends with a member, and now we are teaching her! pretty cool! We also met some kind neighbors of hers, too!
This week we visited the sweetest member that we have just failed to get to know in the past. But she is wonderful! Her husband is a nonmember, but he sure does feel the spirit that she brings to their home, to his life, and from the Temple. She even gave us a whole loaf of delicious banana bread! MMMM.
OH man, so this week we had dinner with a recent convert/less-active/part member family and they STRUGGLE with testimony and other things. But after dinner, we decided to read from 3 Nephi 17 with them and discovered that the incentive for participation is M&Ms!! Woohoo! We have an in now! They are coming along, slowly but surely!
and this is Brian-- bad angle haha
So Brian. He is doing better. Things were kinda rough this week. Long story short, Brian is preparing for baptism in September. He has truly been experiencing godly sorrow. He is making progress and we are so proud of him. He even came to a dinner party at a member's house and had a great time. We shared a spiritual thought that ended up being led and guided and directed by the members and the spirit as they shared what their baptisms have meant to them. Tears were shed and the Spirit was felt. I love such tender, beautiful moments I'm blessed to experience as a missionary.
Rick and Brian came to church yesterday! They know they love it. :)
Yesterday, we went to teach our investigator and his girlfriend (LA), but they had to go, so we worked in their area a little bit. There was a certain street that we didn't realize was the sketchiest part of town, but their we were, just knocking on the doors, putting ourselves in danger, and so Heavenly Father probably rolled His eyes and sent Gord out to tell us that we really shoudn't be over there. We spoke with him. What a nice man he was, he had such kind eyes that you could just tell had seen a lot of things throughout his life. He has come to develop a love for Jesus Christ over the years and he has found a lot of happiness from it. I know his happiness was real.
|yummy juice with chia seeds made by sister Lofters|
That evening we decided to tract a street of our investigator. We knocked on some doors, but no one was really interested... until we got to Ali and Stu. They are SWEET. We had a really great contact with them at their door and broke the ice right off the bat. As we asked if we could come back this week, Stu says, "Do you want to just come in?" So we do and we teach them the Restoration. Throughout, they asked questions, they said they felt joy, and Stu even prayed for the first time at the end. It was beautiful. They just had a baby, too! I truly gained a stronger testimony last night of how important families are. As parents, they are able to feel just a glimpse of the love the Heavenly Father has for us! And with them having this opportunity to learn of the gospel now, they are allowing their newborn son to grow up in the gospel. And if they get baptized, Stu can baptize his family. How beautiful is the plan?!
Afterwards, before we even asked if they knew anyone that could use an uplifting message, they were telling us their moms would love to learn more, too.
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY IT IS JUST SO HAPPY.
So we had Zone Conference this week. We talked about the importance of daily contact with the people we serve, role-played applying the fundamentals of missionary work into teaching the Restoration, and the departing missionaries bore their tesitmonies... so that was me.
My heart was pounding harder than ever before, but as soon as I stood up, I was calmed. Kelly shared a great quote with me that pretty much describes how I felt. That sometimes "we can feel His handprints on our backs".
I love being a missionary. I haven't always been able to say that, but I can now. I have a testimony of the Atonement and how it changes us, because it's changed me. I'm sad that my time being a full-time missionary is coming to a close, but as my trainer once said, we are always full-time disciples and that calling doesn't end for a while. I know the Lord loves us and is grateful for the service we render to Him. God lives and so does Jesus Christ. And I love my Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I had the blessed opportunity of going on exchanges with a brand new sister. She ended up giving me some great commitments at the end. She invited me to get excited about going home as well as to "accept the situation." When she said that, it just really hit me that life moves forward and it's a beautiful thing! That's the way the Lord designed it to be. I know that accepting the situations we are alloted will allow us to not always ask "Why?" but rather, "How?" --- this takes more faith. Which is what I'm working on right now :)
I know this work is true. He lives!