Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hot in El Paso (june 3rd)

For starters, it's HOT down here.  Like we're talking 95+ after 8:30pm.  And I LOVE IT!  We'll see how I keep loving it, when we hit 107 or 110... but so far, it's great :)
 
So last week was an adventure.  We took the car in on Tuesday to get it fixed up for zone conference (the sun visors had fallen off... don't ask how) and it turned out that our water pump was broken.  So, the car stayed in the shop for the night.  But the shop was on the other side of the mountain, so we were stranded! Okay, so i'm being dramatic, the sister-training leaders drove us home, but we really were locked out of our apartment!  So we had to wait to get let back in, and then we walked to our appointment because we were carless, and the member who was going to help us was carless and because walking is good.  And it was a great lesson with M.  We read 1 Nefi 1 with her again and continued to answer her questions about the Book of Mormon.  And then the English sister missionaries were nice enough to pick us up and drive us home afterwards.
 
Since we were carless Wednesday, we walked to our appointment at 2, and now we're looking nicely tanned :).  It was with A and the Z family.  Hno Z was perfect for A, and A really felt comfortable having him there.    And it was just amazing to feel his wonderful spirit.  The Hondo Pass sisters then took us over the mountain to pick up our car and then we had a evening of lessons.
 
Thursday we started off with a lesson with Zu and it was amazing!  We've been debating back and forth on if she is really progressing and if she really wants the lessons, or is too nice to say no.  But this lesson was incredible!  She felt the Spirit really strong and we had several opportunities to testify and teach about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how not only is it for our sins, but also everything we've ever suffered!  Zu also shared with us, that she feels like if she every came to our church, she'd never want to leave.  But she hasn't come yet, so it's just getting her there :)  The rest of the day was spent doing missionary stuff!  We received a referral from the English sisters and decided to contact it.  We're not quite sure if she opened the door wearing clothes or not (she stayed behind the door)... but she told us to come back a different day, so we didn't really stick around.  Later that night we had an appointment and a member cancel and so we were just walking around the neighborhood and met this mom outside.  We asked if we could come by sometime to share more about our message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she invited us right in!  It was super exciting and the family is adorable.  We're teaching them again later this week, so hopefully everything goes well!
 
District meeting was on Friday, and then we had several lessons throughout the afternoon.  Then at 6 we had a wonderful lesson with the V family!  We found out that the 9 year old, likes church because he feels "seguro" (safe, secure, etc.)  And we asked him and his eight year old brother to choose a baptism date.  Well, the 8 year old said Sunday, and the 9 year old said in October (when his birthday is) and so we pulled out a June calendar and compromised on June 28.  It was such a miracle and so incredible! Our goal is to help the less active dad prepare to baptize his boys and then help the mom prepare to be baptized and well!  Dinner was with the C family and it was really good!  Don't worry, I have the recipe and will make it some day! 
 
We had a cancelled appointment and an empty tank of gas when we started proselyting on Saturday so we swung by the circle K.  Well, the pump wouldn't accept our card so we had to go in to get approval.  As we were walking inside, kind of annoyed because it was going to take more time, I joked around saying "maybe the cashier needs the Gospel, which is why our card won't work."  Well, we get inside, are standing in line and a girl turns around in front of us and asks "habla espanol?"  And we're like "Si."  And that is how we met W and K.  They moved from mexico probably less than 10 days ago and K had been studying with the missionaries there.  They did kind of a house swap with W's sister who we also met (and who also studied with the missionaries... a while ago) so that K can have back surgery and that W can have  her baby.  And they're just incredible and it was just a miracle finding them.  K wanted to go to church here, but her mom hadn't seen the church and was going to look it up online, when we walked into the Circle K.  Coincident?  I think not!
 
The topic in relief society was themed "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" and the relief society counselor focused on preparing children to serve the Lord.  So Hermana Biancardi and I sung "Llevaremos el mundo su Verdad" (we'll bring the world his truth) and then shared how our mothers had prepared us to serve missions.  (Thanks mom!  You're the best!)  It was a really powerful lesson.  Then we had dinner with a member.  We had planned to invite the N family to eat with us, and they backed out last minute, but that was perfect because it needed to be just us and the members.  The Hermana has been going through a really stressful time and so it helped her to just talk to us.  Then we had choir practice for stake conference, and ended the night with a great lesson with J and D, a part member family.  J is ex marine, but he's really opening up to what we're teaching.  It's great to see how the spirit touches him, and how he's learning to recognize the still small influence it has.  They're a really cute family!
 
Monday was ZONE CONFERENCE.  And we got lost going there, and almost ended up on Fort Bliss.  But we made it in time and the Spirit was incredible!  One thing that we've been focusing on as a mission is teaching simply and clearly so that the Spirit can have more of a role in teaching.  So that was a big focus of the conference.  It was just a wonderful experience to be with President and Sister Miller and to be trained by them and by the assistants as well.  We made it home safely, and then planned for the week, and afterwards had a wonderful lesson with W and K!  And our dinner and 8:00 appointment cancelled, but we were still full from zone conference lunch, so we decided to stay out.  And we stopped by a potentials house to try and get a hold of him, but he wasn't home.  And then we drove by a former investigator and she was outside, so we waved.  And as we were driving away, Hna Biancardi got the impression we needed to go back, so we did.  And L was so happy to see us!  She wanted to know why we had stopped coming (we thought she had stopped answering her phone/the door so she didn't want us), but we were able to teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it would help her through all the trials in life.  And then we invited her to be baptized on the 5th of July and she said yes!  She said that she could feel a difference in just seeing us drive by, and then we came back to talk to her.  And she's just amazing and wonderful. 
 
Quote of the week:
"Be miserable.  Or motivate yourself.  Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice"  -Wayne Dyer
 
                                        Emilys zone at their zone conference

End of May (may 27th)

Can you all believe that it's almost the end of May already?  Where did the time fly?
 
So Tuesday:  We had this appointment scheduled with this awesome investigator who we hadn't seen in a while, but we couldn't find someone to come with us, and we couldn't enter without another women, because he was a single man. So we called and called every body, and no one could help.  Then we called him and he cancelled his appointment and essential dropped us, so it's funny how things work out.  We spent the rest of the evening finding new people and visiting with M, another one of our awesome investigators.  She has so many questions and it's just amazing teaching her.  We started reading the Book of Mormon together with her and answering her questions.  We're going back tonight, so hopefully she read and has even more questions.
 
Wednesday: Exchanges, so Tuesday night I left my area and headed over the mountain to the Rio Grande area with Hermana Gubeli (fun fact: she was sister Callaway's MTC companion!!)  We had an awesome day together, trying to find people to teach and having a couple lessons.  It was a great experience to work out of my area and to learn from a different sister in the mission.
 
Thursday:  While I was in Rio Grande, the sister taught E (so on Wednesday), well he had left a hat in a member's car so on Thursday we went to drop it off at his house.  And the change in E was amazing!  The sisters had taught about having the holy Ghost and E really wanted it more in his life, so they talked about stopping drinking and smoking and how that will happen.  Well the change in him was incredibile.  Wednesday he was slightly better, but Thursday was incredible.  He was less drunk, understanding more, and just more there in general.  The sad thing is that he just moved to Midland/Odessa to try and find work in the oil fields... so we'll see what happens with him.
 
Friday: We had some really good lessons on Friday, and a lot of finding and talking to people.  We had a lesson at 7 with an investigator and he invited his friend, and we had 3 members out with us and so it was a lot of people in the lesson.  So one of the members and I, K (future missionary!!) decided to walk around the neighborhood teaching/talking to people/  We didn't find too many interested people, but we were able to find and comfort a lady who's son is in jail.  She said that he wants to join a Christian church when he gets out and so we gave her our card and said we'd love to come talk to him.  And then we had a lesson with the V family about the restoration and we watched the 20 minute restoration dvd, and talked about how we can get answers.  We invited them to be baptized on the 28 of June, but they're hesitant.  We had a lesson with them this Wednesday though, so we'll see how everything goes.
 
Saturday:  It's always a hard day when all/most of your appointments cancel, but we were able to make it all work.  We had the great opportunity of walking around and just meeting and talking to people.  And we had a really good lesson with one of our inactive families, the A family.  We talked about coming to church, and what was stopping them.  And we learned that they were embarrassed to come back.  Hno A had a stroke and his goal was to walk into church, but he's still in his wheelchair.  But it was good to talk to them, because every other time we've talked about church they've always said that they just sleep in or other things happen.
 
Sunday:
The A family came to church!  :)  And the N family too!  Earlier in the week we had scheduled dinner and a family night with the Ar family.  But when we visited the A family on Saturday, we also found out they were expecting us.  So we ended up having 2 dinners planned.  But the Ar family forgot about the dinner part and we just had the lesson part, so it all worked out.  We had a lesson based on jeopardy and missionary work!  So each category was a different part of the missionary lessons (the restoration, plan of salvation, gospel of Jesus Christ and the commandments) and we had questions that involved practicing.  So and example was "your friend's grandma just died, what would you say to comfort her?"  "your friend just asked you about the Book of Mormon, how would you explain it?"  and so we had them split into teams and practice explaining/answering the different questions together.  It was awesome!
 
One of the hardest things to do sometimes is just open our mouths to start the share the gospel.  It's hard for missionaries even because we don't always know how to navigate conversations or just how to talk to some people.  And then sometimes it's just plan awkward.  As a mission, we have a goal to do 140 OYMs (or open your mouths) a week.  OYMs consist of teaching, testifying and inviting.  It can be as simple as "We're missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Have you ever talked to missionaries before... well we teach about Jesus Christ and how you and your family can strengthen your relationship with Christ.  We know that our message will bring peace to your lives... is there a time we can come by?"  to a longer conversation.  Sometimes OYMS end in set appointments, sometimes with just giving people cards and talking to them for less than a minute.  But our goal is 140 a week or 20 a day.  Last week, as a companionship, we got 97!  So that's our record that we're trying to beat this week :)  And there's my challenge to you this week!  Look for experiences to OYM, using your own unique way/experiences.  Standing in line, on the golf course, waiting for meals at a restaurant.  Just little ways to somehow bring up the gospel!  Good luck!  I know you'll all do awesome :)
 
Have a fantastic week and happy almost june!
 
p.s. its getting hot in El Paso!