Sunday, June 2, 2013

Monday, May 27th, 2013 - Miracle Week!

This has been one incredible week. There are just so many tender mercies from the Lord that we have seen (1 Nephi 1:20). We have taught at least 2 lessons every day this week. We had 15 teaching opportunities. This is the highest number of lessons that we could see that the area has ever had in a long time. I keep on thinking of the very first week we had when we only had three teaching opportunities.

On Monday we stopped by Jennifer's house and taught her a lesson and invited her and her family to our Bishop's house to have a BBQ. They said that they would come. Bishop was inviting people that know how to speak Spanish, so that we could have people who could actually communicate with the family there. We also invited the Spanish Elders to come to the dinner since they are teaching the grandparents and parents of Jennifer.

On Tuesday we contacted a lot of people and actually shared a message with a less-active woman who had literally just gotten home from work (the Lord's perfect timing). Her husband is not a member, but he wouldn't come down stairs to meet us.

In one of our wards there is only one former investigator. Since we've gotten here, we had been trying to get into contact with her and it just seemed like we could never catch her at home. Well, this past Wednesday was when it all changed. It was almost the end of the day, about 8:15, and I had an impression to go try Roberta's house even though she wasn't in our plans. No one answered the door, so we were just biking out of her driveway when she pulls up. We start talking to her and she tells us her religious background and how she does want to take the lessons again. We taught her right there on her driveway  She said that she wasn't going to be as busy since it was summer and set up a time to meet with us. Since she hadn't been taught for 6 months, she counted as a new investigator. 

We also taught a less-active couple who we're helping come back to church and have him prepare to receive the priesthood. Also we read the scriptures with a lady, Sherry, who came back to the church about two years ago. She's had a rough life and needed some missionary support. Her two boys are not members of the church and the one boy who lives with her runs away into his room whenever someone from the church comes to her house. We actually got to meet him and talk with him, to which Sherry said he has never done. Sherry had just been called to be the Relief Society secretary and felt very overwhelmed. While we were talking with her and getting to know her, I felt impressed to read Ether 12:27. She just starts bawling and the spirit was super strong in the room. I had just read the scripture earlier that day. We also taught Rae, the lady with alzheimer's, about keeping the sabbath day holy, baptism, and following the prophet. This really has been great to see her change her knowledge increase. Also this has been great for Sister Holcomb to practice the lessons and really know how to teach each of the lessons. I've seen a great improvement in her teaching ability since we started teaching Rae.

Also it was nearing the end of the night and Sister Holcomb had to go to the bathroom. We were near our ward mission leader's house, but I was determined to have this bathroom break turn into a teaching opportunity. The Moores, recent converts, live right next to our ward mission leader. Luckily Sister Moore was home and we were able to get to know her better and share a message. They're really a great family. They've been members since last September and they are solid in the gospel. 

The next day, Thursday, we again taught Rae. This time we taught her about the 10 Commandments and the Law of Chastity. While we were riding around Sister Holcomb had to go to the bathroom. Just like the other night, I was looking for a way to turn this into a teaching opportunity. It's great to ask active members, but it's a little less productive. I was looking in our plans and this less-active family who we were going to go by at that time kept on coming back to my mind. We went over to their house and the wife answered. From the very moment she opened the door we could tell she wasn't having a very good day. She said this isn't a good time and was shutting the door, when we asked if we could at least use the restroom. She then let us in and while Sister Holcomb was using the bathroom I chatted with her. She has three little kids and all of their friends over and she just kept saying how she was just having her "me" time. While we were talking the scripture I had read in my personal study kept on coming into my mind. We asked if we could share a scripture with her before we left and she agreed. As I started reading Ether 12:4, about hope, she started crying. She said, "This is exactly what I needed to hear. You must have been inspired to come to my house today." The spirit again was really strong. We asked if there was anything we could do for her (her house was a mess with 2 little boys and a baby girl), but she wouldn't let us help her clean. We didn't want to be overbearing and just start cleaning. After we left, Sister Holcomb and I promised each other that next time when someone said no, even though they really did need help, that we would just do it anyways. 

Later that night, we were in one of our investigators neighborhood's, Sarah, trying to find a potential investigator's house. We soon realized that we were in the wrong neighborhood (the streets are wacked here. The streets don't connect, but it's the same street. So you have to know where the house number falls to know which of the streets it's on). I had this thought that we were in this neighborhood for a reason, so let's not go to the other neighborhood to follow our plans. Sister Holcomb had this impression to go to Sarah's house. We had been trying to contact her for 2 weeks since we had actually first met her. We could just never catch her. Sarah's mom, Jan, opened the door and told us Sarah wasn't available. We start talking with her and she invites us in so she can get us waters. As we're about to leave, Sarah walks down the stairs having just got out of the shower. We started talking and answering their questions. Jan is not very open, but Sarah is very opened minded and really wants to hear what we have to say. Apparently, she had dropped her phone in the toliet 2 weeks ago, so that's why she hadn't been replying to any of our messages. It was a great lesson and Jan agreed to listen to what we had to say! We set up another appointment for today (Monday). We had another new investigator. 

Friday we had weekly planning and we had a lesson with Jennifer. We had had a lesson set up with Yaqueline and Paco, but they canceled last minute. We taught Jennifer half of the Plan of Salvation and invited her to be baptized. She didn't accept the invitation, but she did agree to pray about it and to continue to read. We then went to the Bishop's house for dinner and waited for Jennifer and her family to come. They came 45 minutes late!!! I was so embarrassed that they would be that late. Only Jennifer and her mother came to the dinner. Como se awkward. The Spanish Elders really didn't talk with the mom. They were too busy talking with the Bishop's kids. I kept on trying to make eye-contact to get the Elders over to talk with Jennifer's mom. There was only one other member there who spoke Spanish (a RM who had just gotten back), who would talk with the mother and translate for us. It was pretty bad. We all felt uncomfortable. The dinner really didn't go as planned. We tried to talk with the mother, but it wasn't the same with having Jennifer translate for us. We did teach a lesson to them with the Spanish Elders. The lesson went well- the spirit was present. This was only the second time teaching the family. We have to decide what's best for the family and if the Spanish Elders really can make the time to meet with the family. What a mess. We have another lesson set up with Jennifer for this Tuesday. 

Saturday. Oh, Saturday. What a funny day. We like to refer to this day as The Underwear Day. Saturday is the day when we deliver all of our progress records to our Bishops, ward mission leaders, and high councilman over missionary work. We were just biking, minding our own business, and see this teenage boy (about 16) mowing his lawn in just his briefs. Yes, briefs. Nothing else. Okkkkkkkk. Didn't need to see that. Then we went to one of our Bishop's house and while we were waiting for Bishop to come down, his son (who's leaving for his mission on this Thursday) was in the kitchen walking around in his underwear! WHHHHAAAATTTT?! Definitely didn't need to see that. Scarred for life. The Bishop came down the stairs, saw him and exclaimed, "Get some clothes on! The Sisters are here." We didn't know whether to laugh or cry. We ended up just laughing hysterically. He then ushered us outside to hear our update. At least the day got better from there. We finally contacted another former investigator and ended up teaching him a lesson. We weren't able to set up another appointment, but he did say he was still interested in learning. He's from the Phillipines and lives with his son. His family isn't very supportive of him learning. That's why he had stopped learning. We hope to go over again later this week.

Sunday was good. Jennifer, Yaqueline, and Sarah were going to come to church, but all three bailed at the last minute. We were so close to having them come to church. One of the Bishops approached me before sacrament meeting and asked me to bear my testimony because the youth speaker was sick. Yikes! Luckily they didn't need to fill the time since there was a baby blessing and other business. It was funny that what the sacrament meeting was on, that I was going to bear my testimony on those same topics.

This week has been a testimony builder for me. When we open our mouths, He really does fill them. I have really refined my personal study to let Him direct me to help those we are going to talk with that day. The Lord works in mysterious ways. I'm excited for this area and how well it's doing. We have been trying our best, and we have been seeing the results of our hard work. I hope that we keep on seeing miracles and tender mercies of the Lord. I have really been making an effort to thank the Lord for every blessing that I see that the Lord has given me. Being grateful in our prayers really pays off.  I know Christ lives and He's our Redeemer. I have been reading 3 Nephi when Christ came to the America's. He really visited the people in America.


Sis. Collins