"Honestly I have no idea where to start. This week has just been crazy and now as I reflect, it's crazy to think everything happened in just 7 days.
So last week I told y'all how my area changed. We practically doubled in size and so we were going to use this past week to explore, except for the fact that we have so many appointments in our original area. So it was a week of exploring, budgeting time, budgeting miles, praying or patience and just having awesome missionary experiences.
Our p-day last week. We had a productive p-day and it was really nice. That night we had a FHE with a family. Since it was 3 Kings day, we had rosca (the cake/bread with baby jesus in it). And then we had member help and a lesson planned with a former investigador. Well, he wasn't home and so we turned to the member and said, "we think we have your brother as a referral, is he home?" She was super surprised but said yes, and we followed her to her house and had a lesson with her brother. It was incredible! We get in and start teaching him and tell him that we had received his name from a member of barrio 12 and he told us "Oh I already know why you're here, I told my mom to call the missionaries." So with his information, Hna Callaway and I are just sitting then kinda shell shocked wondering what just happened... and we go on to teach about the church, and a little about the Book of Mormon. We ask him (A) when we can come back and he says "how about tomorrow?" And of course we say yes!
Mostly planning, since Monday was p-day. We were planning on visiting Albert at, but we got out of dinner on time and as we were driving to his house, we swung by C's to see if she was home. She was, we didn't have much time, but we wanted to see if she was reading the Book of Mormon. And she said she hadn't been. So we read it with her. And it was incredible to see the change that happened as we read together. It was obvious that she was feeling the Holy Ghost and the influence and power of the Book of Mormon and I am so glad that we followed the impression to stop by in the short time that had between appointments. We haven't had a chance to meet with her yet since then, but I'm hoping she continued reading.
Because of C, we were late to see A, but we still got there! And once again, it was an amazing lesson. We had given A a Libro de Mormon, but were bringing him an English one because he said he'd prefer to read it in English. But when we got to the lesson, he said he'd stick with Spanish (yay we don't need to pass him off to English). And not only that, but he read the introduction to el Libro de Mormon 3 or 4 times so that we could understand it better. We read through again and talked more about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings changes and how we will become closer to Christ through the book of Mormon.
And then we had a lesson with a less active family and talked about goals for this year. The Hna said that her goal this year is to start praying with her husband. It was a really cute lesson because they haven't been active in a while, (and when we taught him goals, going back to church was not one of them) but the fact she wants to start praying is a good one. Strength begins with prayers and we truly can strength families by praying together.
We had an economia activity Wednesday morning (um... it's a relief society activity, I don't know what it'd be in English...). And we invited all of our investigadores, all of our menos activos and none of them showed up. Well, hna and I were already there so we stayed and learned a lesson on goals and then learned how to make really cool jellos (I will send you the pictures with more details). Basically though it's clear jello with a jello flower on the inside. It was so much fun, but really a bummer that we couldn't get anyone there.
Later that day we were trying to contact other referrals and so we stopped by this house. And met the family just as they were running out of the house to go to the hospital. So while we didn't really have the chance to talk to them, we were able to say a prayer with them before they left.
And then we explored our new area-Vista del Sol. And we found a less active young adult. We thought we were only going to have a 15 minute lesson with her, but she talked to us for close to an hour. It was crazy, but she's really sweet! And she's excited to finally have sister missionaries.
Thursday we received a call from the mission office, that they needed baptism records from a couple recent converts. We were really really shocked about getting this call, because they should have been turned in a while ago, and because they other elders had left (home) or had been transferred (up north). So that was a fun experience to try and figure out, and I believe we're still trying to get everything sorted out today. Lessons Thursday were good though.
District training in the morning. Spent the afternoon driving around the Vista del Sol area, trying to figure out where people lived and who was active/inactive. W
Then we had another lesson with A and his girlfriend R. And they are just INCRECIBLE! We started the lesson off asking if A had read and he then explained to us the whole section in the beginning of the el Libro de Mormon, about the testimony of Joseph Smith. He taught us what happened, and then he explained to us what happened, as we sat there and listened with probably the biggest, goofiest smiles on our faces. We then taught the beginning of the first lesson (the restoration) because it was R's first lesson. And about halfway through, they asked us what "laws of the church" they needed to follow to be baptized. And then we talked about the baptismal interview, the word of wisdom, the law of chastity, the law of tithing and following the laws of the land. And their response was incredible. They sat there listening and afterwards said "well, those make sense. They're not that difficult to do." Something every missionary wants to hear, it was incredible.
We had an awesome lesson with one of our recent converts using President Uchtdorf's first presidency message from this month's Ensign. It's called "The Best time to Plant a Tree" and I recommend that everyone reads it.
We had appointments Sunday night that fell through and so we went around trying to contact formers and less actives. Probably the best experience we had that night was running into Ch, a less active teen. We went to see his mom (and the rest of the family), but he answered the door and then spent 2 hours talking to us. It was amazing. Part of our purpose as missionaries is to be interested not interesting and this clearly came into affect that night. We were able to invite him back to church, help him feel comfortable talking to us, but also we found out one possible reason on why the family stopped coming to church. It was awesome and a trust testament to why we, as people- not just missionaries, just sometimes need to listen.
Yesterday was planning again (can you believe that? The week went by so fast!) Our dinner was with Hna G and it was interesting. We ended up being late to our next appointment, but it was an experience that was important to me. I had received the feeling to ask her about her family history work throughout dinner, but kept pushing it back. Then as we were about to end, she had a phone call, her friend showed up and we didn't quite know what to do. So we stayed and talked to her friend, about her genealogy (she's from barrio 12) and when Hna got off the phone, she brought her family photo album over and started sharing it with me. That's when I realized I actually had to ask her about her family history. And she shared that she hadn't really been good about doing it. But when I told her that she could now save pictures onto familysearch.org she got really excited and now, at some point in time, Hna Callaway and I will be helping with her family history. Luckily for us, the family history center has a scanner :)
And Monday night we also had a noche de hogar (fhe :)). We had received a call earlier in the day inviting us to it, because it was a member family who was inviting one of our referrals. So we rearranged our schedule to go and we showed up and they announced that we were going to eat dinner and then have a lesson. I think I was more full last night than I was on Christmas or Thanksgiving... it was painfully full too. And then after we ate, we were informed that the Hermanas will now be giving us a lesson. Uh? Really? Luckily, we had through about the possibility that we would be giving the lesson and had briefly planned a lesson on goals. So it actually went really well."
she sent the link to a video she said y'all should watch:
and some pictures:
The Jello flower she made with the relief society
The baby Jesus from the Rosca cake