Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Is Your Joy Full? - Week 24

 The weeks really are flying by out here! Plenty of good things
happened this week, I'm so excited to tell ya'll about it! Ok, so
Tuesday was pretty boring; we spent almost FOUR HOURS at Pepboys
getting our tires replaced. Neither of us have ever had to get tires
changed before but we didn't think it would take that long! They had
our car, so we were stranded. We did get some good planning in for our
lessons that week and practically told our lie stories but we got new
tires! Yay!
       Wednesday, we spent most of the day going through our area book and
finding people who haven't been contacted for a long time, or ever,
and seeing if they were interested in meeting with us again. We still
haven't seen too much success with that yet, but some other really
great things happened this week! We had exchanges again, this time
with the sisters that serve in the Larkspur and McDowell Mountain
wards. I was with Sister Fisher in her area this time around, and I
must say, she is hilarious! She is so outgoing and really loves the
people that she is serving. We got to meet with a less active member
named Constance that the sisters tracked into on the street. She has
been through a lot the past few years and really didn't know where
else to go. For the longest time when the sisters would teach her she
would say she kinda just wants to have her records removed from the
church because she doesn't know if she trusts God anymore. Well last
week they had the bishop of their ward go over and talk to her and she
told him about wanting to get her records removed as well and he
suggested she waits just a little longer and see in a few weeks. When
we went to see her she asked for the address of the church! She wanted
to go to Church! Constance hasn't been to church in like 15 years, at
least. Such a big step! I am going to have to follow up with Sister
Fisher to see if she did end up going, I hope so. The church can help
anyone, whatever their situation.
        Thursday, we had district meeting and I was in charge of giving a 

lesson on how we can use time more wisely. This is something that we
have been talking A LOT about lately so I felt really unsure about
what I would say that would be different or that anyone could learn
from. I did lots of studying and in Preach My Gospel it refers to the
parable in Jacob 5 about the Lord's vineyard. Versus 74 and 75 say,
"And thus they (us) labored, with all diligence, according to the
commandments of the Lord of the vineyard... And when the Lord of the
vineyard saw that it was good... He called up his servants (us) and
said unto them: Behold for this last time have we nourished my
vineyard... And blessed art thou for because ye have been diligent in
laboring with me in my vineyard and have kept my commandments ....
Behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard."

So we talked about being diligent workers and how we can best use our
time so that when the end of our missions come we can have a fullness
of joy with Christ. It went pretty well, there was a lot of group
discussion and that is when you know you have done good cause people
feel comfortable enough  to share experiences and ways that we can all
be better. I even made these cute little hand outs to remind them to
stay focused on receiving that joy, I'll attach a picture :)  

        We did quite a bit of work in the YSA ward this week. We got three
referrals so three new investigators! The first is Joshua. He is a
really sweet guy! He grew up with 16 brothers and sisters! He works as
a manager of a continence store and he also does freelance animation
on the side. When we ask I'm questions he always says yes ma'am or no
ma'am :) We taught him the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ
this week and invited him to be baptized and he said yes! He knew some
people in school that were members of our church and really looked up
to them and decided to look into what we believe. He loves learning
and we love to teach him!
        We had dinner with our recent convert John and he told us that he
wants to go on a mission! We knew this was something he was thinking
about but we didn't know he was really serious about it! He is going
to be such a great missionary, he has really let the gospel change his
life and he loves who Christ has helped him to become the past month
or so.
        This letter just keeps getting better and better; WE FINALLY HAVE AN INVESTIGATOR ON DATE TO BE BAPTIZED!!!!!! CJ is someone that the sisters have been working with for a long time and he is finally ready to take this next step of faith! He was feeding us dinner this week
and we asked him to share a spiritual thought with us this time
instead of the other way around. He shared a scripture in Alma 34 that
talks about letting not our hearts be hardened. This scripture really
spoke to him because he has literally used that phrase to us before,
he tells us that he isn't ready, that his heart is too hard. Well when
he read that scripture he said, "well with that said, I'm ready to be
put on date now." How often do investigators put themselves on date?!
So CJ is going to be baptized on the 19th of March! WooHoo! It is
about time. Haha.
        This week we also go to meet with a former investigator, Will. He
told us about how he has been trying other churches but he just
doesn't learn as much at the other ones and he likes that he gets to
take the Sacrament here. He wants to start meeting with us again but
we are going to have to go at a slower pace than before because he
said he really wasn't understanding when the had been taught in the
past. But yay! He is willing to learn and he could notice or himself
the difference he feels in our church. Progress people, progress :)
        Sundays here always tucker me out! Granted I am tired like all the
time anyway, such is the life of a missionary, and an adult, but the
first of those is way more fun :) We are at church for seven hours
between out two wards and all the meetings we have to go to! Luckily
they can go by pretty quick. The ward council gave us some new names
of people to visit and potential investigators too! Our wards are
really amazing at getting involved with the missionary work! After
Sacrament meeting for Chaparral, Sister Colina and our mini missionary
left to go to the YSA meetings and I was with one of our ward
missionaries, Sister Gaisford. She is such a sweetie! Right before
Sunday school she leaned over to me and said, "I like to think of you
as my adopted daughter, but seeing as we have grandchildren older than
you maybe it's more like adopted granddaughter." AWWWWW! It has only been 4 weeks and I already have a new ward family! This is what they
don't prepare you for in the MTC! You go into a mission knowing you
are leaving your family behind and that is hard enough. But they don't
tell you about the family you gain while you are out and it becomes
just as hard to leave them too. (Not that you guys can be replaced,
but you grow a special love for the people you serve).
        So as you can read, all is well here in sunny Arizona! It is only the
end of February and it has been in the upper 90's! But at least I'm
not cold :) I love you guys!

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