Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Weekly Novel - Week 23

Man, I think I have a lot to write about today! Ok, so first off two
weeks ago at church two people from Papago were there! They are YSA
age but they never felt comfortable going, the other sisters told them
it is where I got transferred to and they came! I was so surprised, it
was amazing, like seeing family :)
        A couple of weeks ago I had my first Missionary Leadership Council
meeting as an STL! Those are some really long meetings! So, in
meetings like this I usually, and by usually I mean like 99.999999% of
the time, don't talk unless I get called on (which would be the other
0.000001%). During the meeting President Sweeney was giving a training
on how we always need to be looking for ways to build people's faith,
even in street contacting situations. So, we were asked what we would
do in a certain situation that an elder had experienced a couple weeks
before. They met a lady on the street and she told them that she
doesn't believe in organized religion but in worshipping alone
outside. Many elders and sisters suggested ideas and then were asked
to role play exactly what they would say in front of everyone. As they
were talking I just kept thinking, the best way to help someone grow
their faith is to invite them to DO something. As soon as I thought it
I wished someone else would say it so I wouldn't have to go in front
of everyone. But no one did so I slowly raised my hand... I said what
I was thinking and immediately President was nodding enthusiastically
and before I even finished was asking me to come to the front of the
room...When I did, I'm not even sure what I said anymore, I just
remember inviting her (aka Sister Sweeney) to come to church with us
and she gladly accepted. I am glad that the Spirit gave me enough
courage to stand up and say what I was thinking. It was a good growing
experience, maybe I'll talk even more next time.... Haha probably
        I went on my first exchanges two weeks ago! I went up to Cave Creek
with Sister Oldham and we had a blast! We stayed pretty busy even
though we didn't have any set lessons. In the morning we went to do
service at this bird rehabilitation place, it was cool but kinda
smelled like decaying birds... Which I guess makes sense... Anywho,
the people were really glad that we were there and we were happy to
help out! After lunch we went out contacting until dinner! Whether it
was potential investigators or less active families, we did it all!
Sister Oldham is so sweet! She came out the transfer before me and
already knows so much! I really admire her!
        We had FHE at our bishop's house for Chaparral with our investigator
family the Scotts. The missionaries have been working with them for
some time and they are finally coming around! Danielle (the mom) told
us that she prayed a long time ago about the Book of Mormon and got
her answer that she knows it is true! She was trying to tell us but
didn't know how. She and her kids are just building up the courage to
tell her parents who are really strong in another faith. We also got
to see an investigator that we have been scheduling and rescheduling
to see since I have been here! His name is Danny and he is so cool! He
is working three jobs and taking 18 credits at school all right now so
he is really hard to get a hold of! But he is really open and
receptive to the message that we have. He had a lot of LDS friends
growing up and their examples mean a lot to him.
        This past week we were able to go to the temple with our recent
convert John for him to do baptisms! It was so cool to see him glow
just like the day he was baptized. He absolutely loved it at the
temple! He even brought 13 family file names to do! What a rockstar!
While we were in the baptistery there was this really old man and him
probably great grandson. With every name he spoke the gentleman geared
up. It was the sweetest thing to watch.
        We had some really awkward street contacts this week... I didn't
think I was a good enough or old enough missionary to be this awkward
with normal people yet! It hasn't been THAT long.... Haha
        We had a really good lesson with CJ this week. We had a few of his
friends from the ward there and it really helped. He gets in these
funks sometimes where he gets angry and doesn't want to pray or read
his scriptures, or do anything good really... And he was in one of
those moods before our lesson. But it was cool to watch his
countenance change as we talked about Christ and the gospel. We texted
him later in the week and asked him how things were going and he told
us that he was having such a great week! He committed to living all of
the commandments to see what a difference it would make and he was so
happy! He knows that baptism is his next step now we just have to put
a date on it!
        We saw our not really progressing investigator Edward. HE HAS CHANGED
SO MUCH! When I first got here he was kind of mean to us and just
wanted to teach us what he believes but in a mean way. We were just
getting ready to drop him but we invited him to read the Book of
Mormon and he has! He is already in 2 Nephi and it has been amazing to
watch his attitude change. He is so much nicer now and really listens
intently when we come over. He actually is starting to ask us to stay
longer! I don't know if he recognizes the change yet or even what that
change may bring but he is really enjoying reading and having us come
teach him now.
        We are now teaching a part member family, Alisha and Dax and their
little two year old, Mack. Dax is the nonmember and he has a lot of
questions! Her family are all members and actually has a little
brother on a mission right now! He has also begun to read the Book of
Mormon and really likes it when we come over.
        We had a mini missionary with us over the weekend and she was the
cutest thing! She is from Phoenix, she is 16 and she really wants to
go on a mission when she turns 19. She is so ready! She really amazed
us with the spirit she brought and her willingness to just jump in and
teach with us!
        One day this week we were baking cookies before we went out to give
to people. That's pretty normal for us. What wasn't normal was when we
came home that night it smelled like burnt cookies and Sister Colina
freaked out! She had left the oven on all day, the worst part, WITH
COOKIES IN IT!!!!! We were so lucky that our house didn't burn down!
Now it just smells slightly like burnt cookies and we are very aware
of when we leave to make sure the oven is off.
         We taught another new investigator this week, her name is Theresa.
She has 2 young boys who are very rambunctious! While we were there we
played a picture matching game with pictures from the Restoration
pamphlet. It was perfect to keep the boys entertained and teach at the
same time. They are so cute! The littlest boy, Andrew is three, every
time we would ask him is he knew what something meant he would say yes
and when we asked him what he would just sit there with a concerned
look on his face tapping his chin with his pointer finger. It was
        Lastly, yesterday I gave a talk in church, taught Sunday School and
we had the musical fireside! It went so well! I was in a special
ensemble with a few other missionaries. While we were singing I looked
out and people were crying. It was really sweet. I am so glad that I
got to participate in something where I could express my love for
Jesus Christ through song.
         Well that has been the last couple weeks! I gotta run, but I love y'all!

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