Hola. We had such an incredible week. But before I go any further I am just going to put this in bold:
SARAH GUNNERSON! WRITE ME A LETTER! Love you.
Now that we're done with that :]
So. Monday night we had dinner with this less active family that, for some odd reason, the mom really doesn't like me. Which is lame, but it's helping me to learn that "my salvation doesn't depend on whether or not she loves me, but it does depend on whether or not I love her."
Tuesday we had dinner with the Gallachers - the ones that just graduated BYU and are so cool. And I think they're really starting to trust us. They gave us some LA referrals to work with, which is just a step away from investigators, referrals, right? We also met with Lauro and Maria. Lauro was baptized a year ago and his wife Maria is a Catholic. But they are awesome and we love them. Lauro is teaching me spanish haha. It's cool. He seems to have the mentality that he just changed churches so we are going to try teaching him the lessons again and see how that goes. I know it will be powerful. We had some cool experiences with the lessons this week, but I'll get to that.
Wednesday we had new missionary training. I can't BELIEVE that I'm not a "new missionary" anymore. I remember my new missionary training so well. It was the first time I met Bouwhuis and I REALLY didn't like her cause she corrected me in front of President and I felt so dumb haha. It was really good. We focused a lot on role plays and on teaching to the investigators needs. Teach People, Not Lessons. So inspired. Then after that, Sister Crawford came with us to teach Berenis. It was INCREDIBLE. Members make the work go so much better. It's a little more work to get them to attend your meetings, but the effects are so important. They are a second witness to what we are saying. Sister Crawford, who I love so much, came all the way from Kingwood to teach with us. And it was great. We were able to ask her why they thought the missionaries that pushed her into baptism wanted her to be baptized. She said she didn't know, so we were able to explain to her why we want people to be baptized. So they can have the gift of the Holy Ghost, and a remission of their sins. And she really liked that. We are excited about teaching her. We had dinner right after that with a Part Member family that is so cool - the Prigmores. Another situation where the investigator felt pushed by missionaries in the past and stopped meeting with them. But they liked us and we shared a message about Jesus Christ, about how He is the center of everything we do as missionaries and how all we are called to do is bring people clsoe to him. It was cool and they invited us back for dinner this week. Now what I have to focus on is how to be bold without being overbearing. I think charity has a lot to do with it, If you really desire to help the people because you love them, it will trickle out of what you say. And people will be able to tell. Boldness is so important. Confidence is our message.
Thursday we had weekly planning and it was a bear. I kind of don't like weekly planning. It takes FOR.EV.VER. But it's so necessary. I just wish it wasn't so laborious. But We had dinner with this member, the Edwards, and I LOVE THEM. They had this pasta salad and guess what dressing they used? Cafe Rio creamy tomatilla. OH MY GOSH. I miss cafe rio with all my heart. Yall should go this week, since I can't. Eat a pork Barbacoa salad for me. :]
Friday was our cool district meeting and then our interviews with President. Can I tell you how happy I am that I'm not a "problem child" anymore. I don't think I ever really was, but I always wanted to be a strength to the mission and sometimes I didn't feel like I was. I'm at a point where I feel like I'm actually doing the mission good. So it was cool to tell President how I got to that point. We then met with our investigator Robert who reminds me of the guy from the Lovely Bones (yuck right?) so we brought a member with us. I am feeling a lot better about him, I prayed about it and told Sister Crawford about it and she said that she thinks he's fine, and safe, just kind of odd. We will ALWAYS bring a member with us. But he wants to get baptized a lot. Which is cool. We also had dinner with the Ruiz family, who had me over on my birthday. We talked to them about how the book of mormon is the keystone of our religion and asked them about sharing it. Sister Ruiz said she already had someone in mind and planned to share it with them. I have discovered something - did I already tell you? Living in "the mission field" is becoming more and more and more attractive to me. I always thought I really just wanted to end up in Utah, and I still do, partly. But there is something so cool about being where you can actually help build the kingdom and share the gospel with people who've never heard of it before.I know you can do that in Utah, too, but lets be honest. There's a lot more people outside of Utah. So anyway. Now it's cool because whereever I go, I know I'll be happy. Except I'll miss my mountains. And my mommy :]
Saturday was the Ward Luau and Elder Brown did a fire dance. Robert came so we were able to do a church tour with him. It was fun and well attended. The Prigmore's came. I think a lot of people came to see the firedance. I got a video - I wish I could send it on to you.
Sunday was a cool day. It was ward conference and President and Sister Crawford came for all 3 hours of church. It was wonderful. I love them so much. And then last night we taught Jonathan. This is where teh power of the missionary lessons is evident. So. Jonathan is cool and he knows LDS doctrine probably better than I do. He's been investigating for 3 years. So we've never really tuaght him the lessons cause I was like "well, duh he's already heard them." But we told him, "okay. all we can do is teach you these 4 lessons. we've been called to do that. and if those don't get you anywhere..." so we started last night. And the power of the spirit was incredible! I felt it!! It was awesome and Jonathan, who said he was planning to tell us he was done meeting with us, was way softened. That's the word he used "softening" when we asked if he sees changes in himself. I see them too. I pray he will allow God to speak to him. It was incredible though the power of the lessons. Then we taught Sister Paris (whose house we always teach at) and she is not a member. We just taught her about faith and the promised land (I love the idea of the promised land in the first 6 chapters of Ether. It's mi favorito).
On our way home last night we got a call from a sister in our ward. She said "I don't know if you're aware of this but my daughter has never been baptized and she's made the decision to be baptized and will you come and teach her?" AH!! that is so cool. We are so grateful so we are teaching her tonight. It's gonna be so awesome. The lord is really blessing us as we work with the members.
It's safe to say I still love being a missionary. It's still the best thing I've ever done. I'm still just thrilled that I even have the opportunity. And I'm thrilled that I feel this way. We were talking to sister Paris, I think, about faith. And about how we know that we've asked for something and if we ask for it, we better believe our Heavenly Father is working on it. We just have to press forward and meet our challenges with an attitude of trust in God. And that is faith. Knowing that though we don't see the promised land, God will take us there. Even though we are being "dashed upon" by "mountain waves" the winds have gone forth fromthe Lords mouth and He is pushing us toward the promised land. That the wind is never ceasing to blow us toward our promised land. And we will eventually be there, just trust Him to take you. Stop getting out our oars and rowing against it. Trust Him who knows all things, and lvoes us perfectly.
Aint the gospel cool? I love it.
Mom, thanks for your letter. I'm glad that you and Julie got to spend some time together, I know you love doing that. I'm glad Grandma is doing fine, I'm sorry she's not happier :[ Old age must be tough. Thanks for your letter about your week, I love those. How was this last week? I hope it was good. Did you get my email about my retainer? Any luck? Let me know.
Dad, thanks for your e-mail. I would LOVE to write a little thing about my mission. Maybe just 5 sentences or something. I will get to work on that today and send it off next week. I love being a missionary. It's the most difficult and best thing I can imagine me doing. It has changed me to be a little more like the Savior. It has helped me to be things I have always wanted to be. THE. BEST. Hows this last week been for you? I'm gla dyou got to talk to the Weavers. CAn we go visit them when I get home? Like for a day or two? PLEASE? :]
James, how are YOU? finals are upon you I'm assuming? Are you taking summer school? Hows your major? How's church? Hows everything? You can write me a letter. I love em. You need to let me know if I can set you up with bouwhuis friends??
Jonny, what up? I really think you should write me. It will take you like 10 minutes. You can even type it. Nike. Just Do it. Hows the end of high school? Fun? When is prom? are you going? I hope you go! Did you go last year? Was I home for prom last year?
Family. I just love you. I finished the Book of Mormon this morning. It is such a wonderful Book. I know it can change your life. I know it can bring you closer to Jesus Christ and God. I know that it is divine. I have a testimony of it. I asked God, like it says in Moroni 10: 4 if the book was true. And I got an answer. I have faith that God answered my prayer. Will yall do the same? I know that God will answer you. You may still have questions and doubts, but you can have an answer. And a knowledge that someday you will understand perfectly and know perfectly.
LOVE YOU. Have a good week. It's gettin ghot here :[ I HIT 11 MONTHS TOMORROW! And we talk on the phone two weeks from yesterday! YIKES. Or skype. I kind of want to skype. We'll figure it out this week. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Have a grand week. Bug sar to write me. :] hah.