I now officially know how to change a bike tire- my tire got a hole in it and so did Sister Holcomb's twice just this week. The members here are wonderful and they really do spoil us rotten. I'm surviving the heat with drinking lots of water, popsicles, and getting the mist from people's sprinklers. :)
This past week started out with a bang. After our P-Day was complete we went over to Sarah's house to see how she was doing since she didn't come to church on Sunday. When we got there her mother was rolling cigarettes for her. Fitting since we had planned to finish up our lesson on the Word of Wisdom. So while her mother, Jan, is rolling the cigarettes we're talking about the blessings of living the Word of Wisdom and asked her if she would quit smoking THAT night. We have a program laid out from the church that helps people get rid of their physical cravings in 7 days if they follow this 15 step program exactly. I don't know if I mentioned this already about Sarah, but she is also bi-polar. With this element in the mix it makes things about 10 times more difficult . She also has been smoking since she was 10 years-old. Yes, 10. She's now 30, so she's been smoking for about 20 years. Crazy Town. She really does want to be baptized, but since she's been smoking for so long it's going to take a lot of faith and hard work for her to quit. She said she does want to quit, but she wants to wean herself off of the nicotine. She went to the doctor already to get the nicotine gum to help her stop. She said that the next week she would stop. Part of the program is us getting her vitamin C, cinnamon mouth wash, and healthy snacks IF they give us all of their smoking instruments. Because she is bi-polar, having to think about giving up her smoking right away made her have a lot of anxiety. Which is completely understandable. When Sis. H and I went in we had no idea what to expect since neither of us had had an investigator with a smoking problem before.
We had our Ward Mission Leader and another man come and give her a priesthood blessing. Sarah said that once the oil was placed on her head, she had this peaceful feeling come all over her. She was very emotional and thanked us for coming and said that she'd be in touch with us. Unfortunately, we have not been able to get back into contact with her since the middle of last week. She won't be ready for her baptismal date this Saturday, which does sadden me, but I totally want her to be 100 percent committed. She has to make the choice. I really hope we get into contact with her today, since she is in our plans.
We met with Jennifer five times this week! She is progressing, but she still is praying about whether or not to be baptized. We told her that He will answer our prayers when we are doing EVERYTHING we can to receive the answer. She still hasn't come to church yet, but she has been reading the Book of Mormon. She did come to Young Woman's this past Wednesday which was fantastic! We also went for the first half, but we had an appointment so we couldn't stay for the whole thing. She seemed to bond with the girls. She's very shy though.
Yaquelin and Paco came to church this past Sunday! We weren't able to meet with them this past week, but they came to church. It was exciting to FINALLY have investigators come to church (Sarah did come last week). Her fellowship got her to come for their baby blessing (there were 5 in this one ward on Fast Sunday since we had stake conference last weekend). They said that they enjoyed coming, but they were only able to stay for sacrament meeting (her fellowship was having a lunch-in right after sacrament meeting...okayyyy). They did say they would stay for all three hours though. We have been fasting and praying for them to start progressing since they have been investigating the church for over a year now. We hope this is a step in the right direction. They just need to get married and then be baptized! lol It would be perfect to go to their wedding then go to their baptism. :) It would be a perfect day for sure if that happened.
We also had all the families who are less-active come to church this past Sunday! It was great to see them and hopefully we can continue to help them come back to church and to become active again. It was also really neat to hear the testimonies of some of the members. Missionary Work was talked a lot about and several of the testimonies talked about us! I really do not like praise and it's even more embarrassing when you're sitting right there listening to it being publicly announced. I'm thankful for the Lord's hand in everything we do. It's not us, it's Him. The Holy Ghost is the one who converts. I'm also thankful for the fire of missionary work some of these members have.
We actually have a great story about some members. We had a lesson with a part-member family so we had a couple go with us to the lesson. The family wasn't home, so the husband said, "well we have some neighbors we could go by and have you meet!" We were like awesome! Let's go. We went over to their neighbors house, Jared and Nicole, who they really don't know all that well. We knock on the door and Jared lets us in! We ended up having a lesson and they said they would want to learn more! The power of the members is incredible! We will now never contact referrals from members alone- they will be coming with us. I'm pretty sure Jared and Nicole would have never let us in if their neighbors hadn't been with us. We're excited to start teaching them this week hopefully.
We had our last interview with President Howes this past week. It's going to be really sad when they leave. We had training by the Zone Leaders and Sister Howes while President was interviewing each of us. When I sat down with President he just looked at me and said, "Sister Collins you are just an excellent missionary. I hope you know that." He talked about obedience and how we need to live Celestially in order to receive the Celestial blessing we ask for in our prayers every day. Then he started talking about marriage. WHAT?! I'm only 7 months out, I don't want to think about that yet. I'm sure because he's leaving he wanted to leave his advice with me. He really is a great President and I'm going to miss him and his wife.
I love this gospel and I know this is where I'm supposed to be. I love reading the Book of Mormon every morning and getting the spiritual strength I need to go throughout the day. When we go to church, read our scriptures, and pray every day we are spiritually uplifted.