So this week we were starting to get SO stressed out because one of our goals for our companionship was to involve the members WAY more in missionary work, and we feel like we've been trying SO hard to do that and like no one ever answers their phones, or if we leave messages they never call us back and it's just really really stressful.
So we were having this stake activity this week and we really wanted our investigators Diana and Jorge to go. They had even made food to take for the potluck dinner and they were really excited, but no one was answering our phone calls or returning any of our messages. I think we tried almost everyone on the branch list and like half of the people on the Lancaster ward list that I know, and hadn't heard back from anyone and it was just really dumb!
Basically we were just feeling really frustrated so we decided that we needed to pray about it. So we took it to our Heavenly Father, and he just gave us the peace and comfort that we needed. We knew that we had done all that we could do, and so we just left it in his hands. So we started getting ready for bed, and all of a sudden, a member called us back! Not only was she willing to take Diana and Jorge to the activity, but she wanted to come to the lesson that we were having with them right before the activity started! It was amazing! And she is the perfect fellowshipper for them because she is bilingual! It was amazing!
|Diana and Jorge|
The most incredible thing was that she was absolutely key in the lesson that we were having with Diana. Diana has been struggling with how she feels about Joseph Smith, and honestly she really just didn't understand that there is ONE church. So we knew that we needed to go back over the story of the restoration, and to talk about the importance of sincere scripture study and fervent prayer. The member was able to come in and boldly testify that the things we were saying were true. We knew that things were finally clicking with Diana. We were so bold that sometimes I worried if it was too much, but it ended up being exactly what Diana needed, and the spirit was so strong! Then that evening at the stake activity we watched Meet the Mormons. Diana came up to us afterward and told us about how much of a blessing the whole day had been for her. In regards to the movie she said, "I really felt something, wow. This makes my decision to join the church so much easier."
SO SHE FINALLY GOT HER ANSWER!
Which is really awesome because tonight we're teaching the word of wisdom hahaha so just keep us in your prayers! ;)
We had a SUUPER awkward dinner appointment with them this week. The food was really good and everything was going great. We were "No Spanish" at the dinner table and Jorge was practicing his English and he's actually really good! And then Diana is like, "Oh I made tiramisu for dessert, so I hope you saved room!" and luckily Hermana Davis was like, "Oh, what's tiramisu?" And then Diana told us it had coffee in it and she just went off on how delicious it is and how much she loves tiramisu and how it's her favorite desert and she made it for her birthday but made sure to make enough so that there'd be some leftover for our dinner appointment and how she likes it with extra coffee and Hermana Davis and I just got all quiet and awkward and changed the subject. I was just praying that I would know what to say because at that point, we knew that she didn't have a testimony of Joseph Smith. So I was just praying and praying. Then she says, "Anyone ready for dessert?"
So then I just explained to her a little about the word of wisdom, and how we don't drink coffee because of it and she was just really shocked and had a lot of questions. But it ended up being really good, even though at the beginning it was super awkward. We talked about what was really important was that she needed to get a testimony of Joseph Smith and to understand that he was called by God as a prophet, and once she got that testimony, then she would understand why it's so important to live the word of wisdom. So it ended up being really good. But at first it was just soooo awkward. hahaha #missionprobs
This week was also awesome because we were able to pick up two new amazing investigators. Reilin is probably 14-17 years old. He is so amazing! We just street contacted him and he said he was really interested, and hopefully we can start teaching his whole family as well! They are all super nice. Reilin is a super sharp kid and he totally picked up on everything we were teaching really quickly. The next step is just to find someone who can be his friend!
The other one is Rosie! So we were working in Columbia one day, tracting doors in this apartment complex and we knocked on Rosie's door and her first instinct was not to let us in. We told her who we were and why we were knocking on her door, and she went off on this whole schpeel about how her brother had just passed away and she really didn't want to hear it. But instead of giving up, we bore our testimony about how this message was exactly what she needed in her life right now and how we know that families are forever and that the gospel will help her find greater peace and her countenance changed completely and she cut me off mid-sentence and said, "Come on in." and we had an amazing first lesson and we've got a team up to go back Tuesday night! So hopefully great things will come from that!
This week we were also able to do a lot of service! We helped one of our less active members clean her house because she is taking care of her granddaughter and never has time to do it.
We also volunteer on a weekly basis at the hispanic center where we make food and prepare lunches for poor and homeless people and it's always so amazing. This week was super crazy cause we just kept running out of food and they had to keep bringing different things out! It's so sad to see all of the people who are suffering - especially all of the children. The hard thing is that like all of them have these smart phones but they can't afford to feed themselves! It just breaks my heart to see these people who don't know how to take care of themselves. And like quite a few of them that we've talked to never even graduated from high school so they don't have educations and they can't get into a university or get a good job... it is seriously heart breaking!
It just makes me realize how important it is to have strong families in today's society. The prophets and apostles are SO inspired! (Obviously!!) They talk so much on the importance of establishing strong families and basing them on the principles of the gospel. I am so grateful for my mission and how it has taught me how blessed I am to have parents like mine, and just especially to have the gospel in my life because I receive SO many blessings from the teachings of the church and being a member. I am so blessed.
Something that has just blown me away is the love that I have for these people. I did not know that I was capable of loving anyone as much as I love the people we're teaching and the members in this branch. Like last night I was just saying my nightly prayer and I seriously started crying because I was just overwhlemed with love as I thought about the incredible individuals that I have the opportunity of working with and...wow. I am the luckiest son of a gun out there.
Funny story for the week. AND IF THIS DOESN'T SHOW MY LOVE FOR THE BRANCH, I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL.
So something that the branch has been struggling with is finding people to play the piano every week. Like I am the unofficial branch chorister and so I get up and conduct the music. Usually at the last second, they'll scrape something together so that we have audio. But this week nobody showed up and we didn't get audio hooked up or anything. So the first councilor in the branch presidency just asked if I would conduct and just sing really loud. I was super nervous because I DO NOT LIKE SINGING IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. Haha. But I told him that I would do anything for the branch! So I got up. The first song wasn't too bad cause everyone knew it.
Then came the sacrament hymn....
Nobody really knew which hymn it was.
Heck, I didn't really know which hymn it was. So I tried to hum it out in my head and then I thought that I had figured out which hymn it was, so I indicated to the congregation to start singing and I just went into it whole-heartedly, fully expecting everyone to join in.
But no one did.
So I was literally just singing a solo.
In front of everyone.
For like the first two lines.
Cristo el Redentor murio will forever be my least favorite hymn because of that.
But Hermana Davis laughed about it throughout the meeting and for a good five or six hours afterward, so at least someone got a kick out of it.
I love you all.
Lancaster is amazing. I never want to leave.
I'm talking to President about it this Friday during our interview.
I'm really excited!!