Oh what joy fills my heart. And thanks Dad for the video of Kayla opening her mission call! How crazy is that? I'm so proud of her and it definitely brought tears to my eyes! :)
But I love SanDiego, it also brings tears to my eyes.
Soooo Tuesday evening, we saw the amazing STACEY!!!! She's the coolest purple haired friend/investigator I've ever known! So prepared, even though she's in a lot of pain she's the happiest person I know! Super willing to live all the commandments and on Sunday I got to sit next to her. And guess what, she stayed all three hours!!!!! WOOOOHOOOO!!!
She usually just stays the first hour because it's usually too painful but she was so persistent. So she stayed, and even though some members gave a tight hug, too tight for her, she had a smile on her face the whole time! And man, it was a spiritual Sunday. Perfect for her!
Then I stayed in Santee on Wednesday on an exchange with Sister Chang! (pronounced Jong)
She's the cutest, she is from Taiwan and was serving there for three months till her VISA came and then she went to the MTC and it's her first transfer here!
It was the first day we were trying the booth. So we've been working with the institute director, there's an institute building right in our church parking lot, and it's right across from Grossmont college. Tons of traffic flows through here, and I'm sure as most of you know from previous emails, they are mostly nonmembers. We've even added a couple of investigators through it!
It's the most fun I've had finding on a mission, and it's been so fun because Eddie has been doing it with us! He's the coolest; great guy. He just walks up to people, tells them what we are doing and why we are here and then asks if they want to meet with us. Coolest guy ever.
We've done it three times thus far, it won't last too long because the semester is almost over and summer is coming BUT we will use it while we can!
Sister Chang and I also did service for our investigator Jeannie. We planted flowers for her. We found out she's moving. :( But we talked to her a little bit about the church. Unfortunately we didn't get to sit down with her. But she's still super awesome and sweet. Then we ran off to a lesson for Vanessa! I've never seen someone get so into family history so fast. She puts me to shame. She probably puts most people I know to shame. (Except you Mim, of course.) She's put in generations and generations with pictures and pictures! She said she's become addicted. :) I love her! She is bringing four male and four female names to the temple this Thursday!!!!!! We get to go with her!!!!! I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!! :)
And also we just met with her again yesterday and her little boy Sebastian sat in! He was participating and we gave him a children's Book of Mormon and Vanessa said they would read it together! YAYAYAYYYYYY!!
Also we invited Vanessa's brother to church. He said he's been thinking about it for a while and that he will! YAYYYYY!!!
But anyway, back to Wednesday. :)
We attended an institute class in hopes that people from the booth we invited would show up and a former investigator Julio showed up! WOOT WOOT!!! I can't wait for next week!
Now Thursday. We again were booting it at the institute! It was quite fun! Lots of seeds planted. Everything is still in the process of blooming but I will for sure let you know when it happens! So we were supposed to meet with our investigator Tina, but she cancelled. So her sister Debbie, a former investigator came instead! It was a beautiful day so we had the lesson at a park.
Debbie in the parkI love God's creations, especially the ones that provide nice shade. :)
It was cool to hear Debbie is attending church in the MCRD (Marine Corps Recruits). And yes, it is LDS. She's not quite ready to meet frequently with us but we can see the Lord is preparing her!
Then we met with a recent convert, DJ, he has neon green hair and is proud of it. Great guy, he moved from El Cajon area and during the lesson he had questions about dating. I totally gave that one to Sister Purcell. Take the reins! ;)
Then we had one of our favorite dinner appointments with the Whitlocks. I love them! Also get nuggets of knowledge from them. And they love doing missionary work, that's all we talk about so it's awesome!
We then met a less active YSA, so hard and so sad. But never anything to give up on. God loves them and so do we.
Friday, our district took on the jungle. Last week we street contacted someone named Dalina, she wants to come back to church. And she and her siblings that she lives with are disabled and so their yard hasn't been taken care of in many moons. So our district went over to help. So imagine these little plants that are supposed to stay very little, like cactus or aloe vera plant type things. They made me feel like ants, they were so big! I have no idea how that worked but we worked there for a couple of hours and it looked like we did nothing. Oh boy. Here we go! :)
We met with Jake Jake, YSA recent convert. Great guy. He makes me chuckle.
Then we met with Gail! Gail has not come to church yet so we really cracked down on that. So we did and it went really well. Did she come to church? Almost. But during the lesson Gail really opened up to us about her fears for baptism, and we were able to resolve them through the spirit. Can't do anything without the spirit. Then at the end we had her pray for a baptismal date, when she should be baptized. And she said she felt like May 28th. THAT'S WHAT I FELT TOO DURING THE PRAYER. The spirit rocks. She deserves the world, she just needs to see that so she will do some thing to get here.
We also met with Doug and Julie. My FAVORITE PEOPLE EVER! Doug had just gotten back from a funeral in Hawaii for a loved one. It was cool to hear him talk about the temple and how he felt at peace and he let go of burdens. I'm glad Julie heard it too. Julie just rocks. I love her a lot.
Then that night we were walking out of the church from a no-show appointment and there were these two guys walking back from class. One of them we had talked to at the booth earlier and gave him a Book of Mormon. He was reading it! He couldn't set up a time to meet with us but I have high hopes for him!
Saturday we met with Stacey again. She calls us "The Lovelies." I always feel very lovely in her home and it still smells like Christmas! :) We added a former investigator! Junior Ragland! A nine year old part member family! They just randomly reached out to us and the Mom and Junior met us at the church and Junior remembered a lot of what we taught last even though it was a while ago. He wants to be baptized! We taught the Plan of Salvation and Junior was really involved; very mature nine year old. He wants to be baptized on June 4th!!!! WOOT WOOT!!! Santee is just AWESOME!!! Now we just have to work really hard to make all these baptisms happen!
Sunday, definitely not a dry eye Sunday. Sacrament meeting was especially sacred for me as I reflected on my time here in Santee. I just want it to go on forever. I've never cried over an area, Santee must have something special. And I know it's the people. I love them all!
Also, not only did Stacey come to church, but a former investigator, who I have never taught, Rose Acebedo walked into church with members of our ward! Before Relief Society she tapped on Sister Purcell's shoulder and said "Um, excuse me Sister, I need to finish my lessons with you so I can get baptized?" So sweet. So we set up a time right after church to have Rose be taught in the Thornburg home. We had no idea how it would go, we heard a couple of things about Rose but besides that knew nothing about her. She announced to the whole Relief Society that she wanted to get baptized so we knew setting her with a date might be what the spirit wanted us to do. We said a very sincere prayer before that lesson. Walked in, it went great. We really asked inspired questions to be able to get to know her and hear her testimony. She loves the church. She's getting baptized on May 21st. WOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!! The Lord is truly blessing us! :)
Patience, Positivity, Persistence. My motto. :)
Monday, always a good day. Especially because it was my favorite Ginger Sister Missionary's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SISTER BENTLEY ARBON!!!!! You're the coolest. And we had a cool day in your honor!
President Schmitt had asked Sister Purcell and I to give training at a new missionary meeting. We talked about setting goals and purposeful planning. We just turned to the scriptures. If you want to see a man who can set goals and make plans? 1 Nephi 3-4. Nephi's the man. He's an awesome goal setter and plan maker! As well as Christ, Jacob 5. Boom. I love the scriptures!! And giving training makes me a better missionary so I'm grateful.
We also attended another institute class because Brother Price, the director, told us someone had walked into the institute asking for a parking pass and he told him he would have to take a class. So he signed up. His name is Max. We showed up to see if Max would show up and he did! And he brought a friend, Natalie!
Brother Price is so good and during the class he had us split up and discuss something so he put the two missionaries with the two nonmembers. Pretty cool. I was with Max discussing scripture and Sister Purcell was with Natalie. Afterwards Sister Purcell told me Natalie wants to come to church! All because of beatitudes! Sweet.
We then had the senior missionary luncheon, always a treat. And a nonmember came! Referral for the San Diego elders! We taught Eddie, a good guy. Progressing and growing in the gospel so well and is the best branch missionary EVER! And that night our back up plans ran out so we prayed where to go. Prompted to go to YSA FHE and we ended up talking to a nonmember and Stephanie, our investigator who we passed off to Alpine was there and we got to talk there too. The spirit cares and if you ask he will tell. It's just up to us to decide, and I'm glad I choose the right. My decisions determine my destiny.
I LOVE YOU ALL SOOO MUCH!
Transfers are next week, who knows what will happen! I just love Santee and I love Sister Purcell!