Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!! And Happy Anniversary to Roger and Kristine!! That was fast. :) And Happy Early Birthday to my favorite Bop!! What are you now, like 25? You're awesome regardless! I hear everyone is gathering for Thanksgiving. I hope you all eat a ton, walk around the golf course and take lots of pictures! I love you all!
This week was great. The international trip is great. Lots of laughs and me trying to explain very simple things. American things. It's quite funny.
They noticed I say "I'm PUMPED!" a lot. So they asked what it meant, and now that I explained it they like to say it occasionally to pick on me. ;)
Did I mention that both of my companions are converts? Sister Leyva was baptized when she was 14 and Sister Espanto was 12. They are sooo cool!!! Sister Espanto's laugh cracks me up. I'll have to send you all a video with it. She's so funny!
Do you want to hear something funny? We were getting out of the car and we see this guy. He's painting the inside of his garage. We asked if we could help, and he was a little hesitant. But he asked us questions about the gospel! So you know what Sister Espanto does? She just walks up to him and says she wants to try, grabs the roller and starts painting the walls. I died!! It was so funny!!! We even taught him the whole restoration. We talked about a lot with him. And we even invited him to be baptized and he said yes! We have to pass him off to other Elders becauswe he lives in Chula Vista. (Where "The District" was filmed, btw...) And Sister Espanto got ALL of his contact info, down to his email! She's legit. :)
That same day we were also able to contact a referral from some Elders in LaJolla. Her name is Chala. We met up with her at a McDonalds with a member who is a RM who served in Salt Lake City. She's awesome. Anyway, we met with Chala and she has a scary background and she's paying for it right now. But she so needs a change, and she recognizes this is it. And she's grateful for where she is now because she believes without it she would be somewhere much worse! Talk about gratitude right there! We invited her to read from The Book of Mormon and her response was "But I don't have one." It was cute. So we of course gave her one! And then we invited her to be baptized and she said yes!! She talked about how she was almost baptized in another church but it just didn't feel right so she didn't. But she's feeling good with us so far! We set her with a date of December 19th. Sooo cooooolllll!!!!!!! And also that night we found a YSA in our area who is being taught by other Elders. But it's okay, forgiveness is real. And they were totally fine with passing him off to us. Thank goodness we walked on that street and had the courage to talk to him or we never would have found him!
Then we had a lesson with our investigator Bharat at our Branch President's house. He was a lot more serious this time and we were able to teach more. Amazing what the presence of older people can do! ;)
And unfortunately Rodney stood us up.... again. But that's okay! I'm gonna keep trying and maybe the Lord wants other missionaries to contact him. I'm grateful I was able to have a part in it, but don't worry, I'm not defeated! Never will be! But guess what? We have four investigators with a baptismal date!!!! Only one is truly on his way but the rest will be soon!! Rodney, Chala, Tony and Alexis all have baptismal dates! They have all got a glimpse of the gospel and love it!!! So many people need it! And it's our responsibility to share it! :)
And we texted a potential investigator, the one we taught at church last Sunday. She said God answered her prayers in a way she was not expecting!!! How cool is that? We haven't been able to meet with her and she wasn't able to come to church but I'm excited to meet with her soon so we can figure out what exactly happened!!! Yeeeeee so much anticipation!! We had a relief society activity where we all split up and tried to reach out to some sisters who we haven't seen in a while. It was so fun and so nice!
Then on Friday we added a new investigator! His name is Narish. He's an Indian man we met in the parking lot. He really wanted to come to church, so we invited him. He didn't show up, but everyone deserves a second and third chance so that is exactly what we are going to give to him! :)
We have an appointment with him on Thursday. I'm excited to teach him! :) And this week president asked us to invited 10 people to be baptized and we were invited again to do it this week! So you know what that means, being bold in street contacts!! It happened. It was legit! Baptism is the greatest gift we can give anyone so might as well let them know the greatest blessing they can get!
On a funny note, you know what foreign companions tend to say when they have to use the bathroom: "I have to go poops." IT CRACKS ME UP.
I know that might not be completely missionary appropriate but I love them so much I had to share! :)
On Saturday we went to a baptism in Sister Leyvas old area. We got permission. I love baptisms! Tony was supposed to come see but it didn't work out. It just made me more pumped for his baptism! We reset him with a date of December 5th. He had a cool experience with the word of wisdom too! I'M PUMPED!!!! :)
And we also got dropped by Raj.... Oh well. She'll be ready soon!!!
And then of course my favorite day, Sunday!!!! And it was great. Before Sister Chan left one of the counsellors in the branch presidency asked if my new companion and I would give a talk on this past Sunday. I said of course. And he also asked if we would stand at the pulpit together and speak. Okay. Little did he or I know, that I would be getting TWO companions!!! It was so fun, I stood in the m iddle and we gave a talk on adversity on and before our mission and how our faith in Jesus Christ helped us get through it. We just took turns sharing our experiences and go figure, I cried a little.
When I was done with my part Sister Espanto was supposed to go next, so she turned and whispered to me if I needed a tissue. I said I was good, and then she turned to the congregation and said "My companion is crying." SHE'S SO FUNNY!!! That put a smile on her face. I love my international companions. They make me laugh. :)
We only had one investigator at church but one is soooo much better than none!! Bharat came, and when he saw me cry he was so concerned and confused. Oh well. Haha. We also had a firmer investigator come as well. Sure, he slept through sacrament meeting but he was there!
Good times in the branch. :)
THEN we had MTEs (Missionary Training Experience) where we had some training from our Mission President and his wife and some of our other leaders and then we switched up companions so we could go apply what we were taught. Then this morning we talked about the miracles we saw from it and got some more training. So I stayed in my area with Sister Espanto. Sister Leyva left and guess who joined us.....
SISTER STEWART!!!!!!!!!!!! MY TRAINER SISTER STEWART!!!!!!!!!!!
And Sister Espanto made it even more fun. :)
It was a great day.
Sister Stewart is so bold, and it was so fun to teach with her again!!! We had some funny times, too... So this guy was at a mail box; we got out of the car and said hello, he ignored us, we gave him the benefit of the doubt and thought he might not have heard us, so we said hello a little louder and he kept walking. I thought he might have been Chinese, so trying to make Sister Chan proud I yelled "NIHAO!" Nothing.
Haha, just a door slam. We laughed. Good times.
Then when we were planning the night before, Sister Leyva felt impressed to go visit this less active member. Well we tried, he wasn't there, but a really cool girl was!
Her name was Ann. We taught about the Book of Mormon, we invited her to be baptized and to a Thanksgiving church-sponsored party. She said yes to both! She's so cool and sweet.
That was definitely a tender mercy and a miracle!
The funny thing was when we were trying to contact her these sprinklers kept on attacking us, and when it first happened Sister Stewart and I both freaked out. We thought it was a snake!!! Ohhhh Sister Espanto laughed at us. Good times. Then when we were teaching Ann they came on again! And then when we were getting into the car they came on again! Those sprinklers had something against us Haha but it was so fun. I loved it!
Some of the things I took from the training was that it's important to be grateful. When you are grateful your faith increases, they are interconnected. When you show more gratitude in your prayers you're showing Heavenly Father that you recognize him in your life more, therefore faith increases. And also how I fear no man. We all walked up to president, shook his hand, looked him in the eye and said I FEAR NO MAN. So now, miracles will happen. For sure. I just made a commitment with President! And the Lord! I'm not backing down. :) Oh and also they had me bear my testimony at this big mission meeting; heart racing but testimony strengthened for sure!
I LOVE YOU ALLL SOOOOOO MUCH!!! I miss you a lot, I think about you a lot. I'm so happy to be where I am, I hope you are too!