Thank goodness I have more time today! Last week was really stressful and I'm so sorry I didn't get to send all the emails that I wanted. Crazy times. But this week is back to normal which is a relief.
This week has been without a doubt the craziest week of my mission. I know I probably say this like every week, but yesterday I decided that I was going to tell President Bonham that I need to go to a service mission or something. Because everyone is like "The mission is like a roller coaster but you love it!" The mission is like a rollercoaster and you don't have a seatbelt! Gah! I'll tell you the crazy story of yesterday and then end with the good. Okay?
So we have this former investigator who is like "I don't want to stop being a Catholic but I like talking with you." Which is just a waste of time. But we accidentally called him the other night and he was like "Why haven't you come over? I will come to church!" So randomly he and his family came to church. They left after the first hour, but that was cool. He wants to come again. Who knows.
Bonus crazy story: There were not one, not two, but THREE cop cars in our parking lot the other day. We watched a guy get arrested. The cops let him smoke a cigarette with his hands cuffed. Pretty funny. We told our district leaders so we might move apartments sometime.
I hesitate to tell this because then you will ask about them and I'll be so sad to say if they are dropped. But I pray that doesn't happen! A couple weeks ago we knocked on a door because there was a sign outside the apartment that said "se habla espanol" (there was an apartment in the building for rent). So we met Ricardo. He LOVED eternal families so he had us come back when his wife was there. We met her and set up a return appointment, but she wasn't there. That happens a lot to us. So we were sad, but went on. The next week she texts us (that NEVER happens) and sets up another appointment! We went over and they had cleaned their whole apartment and were waiting for us! Ricardo had talked to a mormon he works with and had heard about all the humanitarian work we do and about the Book of Mormon. So we taught them the Restoration and they LOVED it. Loved it. They loved the Book of Mormon, too. It was like a picture-perfect lesson. The lesson you always picture missionaries having. The spirit was there and there weren't distractions and the investigators were interested. And then a couple days later we text Daniela (the wife) and she says "I am LOVING the Book of Mormon!" What?!?! And she's a Catholic who goes to mass every. It was so cool! We had a Plan of Salvation activity on Saturday. We did a walk-through. Prison, paradise, judgement, and the 3 kingdoms. And Daniela and Ricardo came! With their son! And they brought Daniela's sister! What?!?!?!?!?!! The Celestial Kingdom room felt like the celestial room in the temple. We decorated all in white and had white christmas lights all over. I wish I took a picture! Daniela said she teared up and wants to be there with her family!!!!!!! I love them so. much. On Wednesday Daniela is teaching us to make enchiladas and I am so excited! Please please please please pleaseeeeee pray for them because they have SO much potential!
So yesterday was rough. There are definitely highlights in a week, but you have to work through a LOT of muck and rejection to get there. So yeah. I pretty much was done yesterday. I simply did not have enough faith. Who knows what this week is going to hold. I felt like that pioneer who said "I can only pull my handcart to that hill and then I must sit down and die." Then he did all he could and pulled to the hill... and then angels pushed him up the hill. And then he had to keep pulling until the next hill. Constantly. Yesterday was my "sit down and die" day. But missionaries don't stop moving! We went out and did the work. And EVERYONE we tried to see was home! And they all let us in! What?! We taught 2 lessons and met with some other investigators. So please pray for Sandra and Kevin and Martin and Rosa and Juan. They need to start keeping their commitments! Also McDonalds needs to let Sandra come to churchmorning. And she has to make the sacrifice. AND: I lost one of my really nice gloves a couple of weeks ago. I was so sad about it. The cherry on top of yesterday: Rosa was like "Is this your glove? We found it in our driveway." TENDER MERCY. There were definitely angels pushing me. I can't tell you that I'm going to be totally happy or not want to give up again. But my faith is increasing little by little.
What kind of shift in you priorities have you noticed?
Instead of asking how I can make the time pass, we try to make the time be effective.
How has your heart been molded recently?
I think my story of yesterday is the best example of that. When they say do all you can and leave the rest to the Lord, they mean do ALL you can.
What is one of the toughest challenges you have been through on your mission so far and what have you learned from it?
I think my own discouragement. I get so sad. Not because we haven't had baptisms, but because I still get scared to talk to people and it makes me so sad that people hate us without even knowing us. And it makes me sad to see investigators who don't even try. Who don't want this. I'm still learning from this challenge. But basically, the Spirit is the teacher and I have to do all I can to invite Him. I just have to bear testimony and explain the importance of this message. Sincere people will read and pray when they truly want to know.
Anyway, I love you all! Have a great week!
Guess what restaurant is coming to the mall?! Cafe Rio!!!!! What are the odds?!?!?!??!