And Happy Belated 4th of July!! WHAT A GOOD WEEK!! I LOVE Mt. Woodson, I love the people, I love Sister Stirland, I love our investigators, I love our area. I JUST LOVE LIFE!!! It feels like home here, I have just been blown away this past week. WE HAVE BEEN SEEING SO MANY MIRACLES!! It's literally unreal, and they are just falling right into our laps! I must begin because the time is far spent. :)
SO Tuesday, I was finally with Sister Stirland. And a little bit about her, I don't know if I told you already but she is from Highland Utah, she came 1 transfer before me but she is also extending! She's awesome. She has been a Sister Training Leader for A LONG time, so she is amazing! She can sing, play piano, and she has the cutest curly hair ever! I just love her, and we talk about how we are very similar all the time! (And we even have the same first name! And we spell it the same way!! :)) ANYWAY so Tuesday night was awesome where I got to meet Westin, an amazing recent convert who was once an atheist but now is a strong Latter-Day Saint, and he comes out with us! He's awesome! I got to be stampeded by Valissa who came in and gave me a huge bear hug! (I went on splits with her in Santee when she was going to Grossmont college) We then also met with this super cool recent convert who went against her family but is in LOVE with the church. A family in Arizona introduced her. It's hard for her to come to church because of her family life and work but we will get her there! YSA, I'm so lucky to be in 3 different YSAs! And the Bishop is the nicest man ever! Bishop Tengburg, just a nice man. They let us do laundry at their home and study there and basically open their pantrees to us, they rock!
But the coolest miracle happened on Wednesday morning. Right before we start studies we get a text from a YSA, Rodrigo. He said this girl, Mia Moore, who just showed up to church last week and became friends with him texted him. And she basiclly said that she knows the church is true, she reads and prays everyday, she found out where the nearest church for her was and the only thing she is missing is baptism. Her family has made it really hard but now that she is 18 and moved out from Nevada she wants to be baptized!!!!! She wants the Gift of the Holy Ghost!!! WE WERE JUMPING UP AND DOWN!! And Rodrigo told us we were going to have dinner with her tonight with him! SWEET!!! (And PS isn't her name the coolest? Mia Moore, Mi amor! SO COOL!!) So we meet her at a Chick-fil-a, I know classy! Mia is the most calmest and chill person ever! She acts like a member and sometimes she even admits she lies to people and tells them she is a member! Her friend introduced her to the church in Arizona and she would literally go to everything!! She's been through all the lessons and has been taught for years. She wanted to of been baptized 2 days ago! She wanted to be baptized this past Saturday but as we prayed with her the spirit was teling Sister Stirland and I that it just wasn't right. But that July 23rd would be the right day. When we finally solidified that day, holy cow! The spirit was so strong and Mia almost cried. I love Mia, I'm so excited for her! We were able to bring her to a baptismal service on Saturday, (MARCOS BAPTISM, I will get to that later :)) and teach her a lesson. She's very different and very humble in lessons then when out of lessons. It's very cool. And this week we are going to the Mormon Battalion with her and since Sister Stirland served there she is going to give us the tour!! So excited!! But Mia also came to church which made me happy and for the 4th of July shes going back to Nevada for a little bit and sent us the nicest text right before she left. I just love this girl!! She's like my little sister. :)
We also got to teach another one of Mt. Woodsons investigators, Cameron. He has cancer and has many health problems, so he seems very gentle and fragile. And yet he plays electric guitar, it makes me smile. :) But his Mom is a member and he knows he'll become a member but he just doesn't want to come to church. Not even for the first hour, but we will get him there! The spirit will tell him to go! And I also got to teach the famous Greg who many Sisters have taught before me. He is a recent convert, almost coming up on a year now! He use to be in the army so is a very tough guy. But this very tough guy loves the gospel and loves to share it with everyone! In fact when he came into church on Sunday he asked us if we had any appointments after church and we said no and then he said, "Well now you do, I found 2 people for you to teach." WHAT? SO cool! We taught his 2 friends Mike and Zack. They were the nicest guys and just really wanted to hear what made our church different. We gave them a Book of Mormon but weren't quite ready to set a return appointment. Ah YSA. Hopefully we'll be able to meet with them again, they said they would talk to Greg about it. But I've never received so many referrals from members and then been able to teach them instantly! It's amazing!
That also happened to us on Thursday where we got this random text from an active member asking if we had any dinner plans. We did not and then he goes on to tell us that he wanted to have us over so we could teach his friend Regina! SO COOL!! So we go over and it turns out another YSA, Spencer, was there with his friend, Christina! SO crazy! So we had a nice dinner and then taught a powerful restoration where, the original member, Randall Sutton, and his family all bore powerful testimonies of the Restoration. And then at the end Regina asked amazing questions and she apparently already had a copy of The Book of Mormon. It was very cool! She as well wasn't quite ready to set up a return appointment, but these members will be getting a lot of follow up from us to see how their friends are doing! It was SO cool!! :) We also taught another investigator, Chad, who we will probably not teach for much longer. He is very analytical and when the spirit comes he gets scared of it and chases it right off. It can be quite an exhausting experience. We are just going to put him in to the Lords hands.
Then Friday was MLC. Missionary Leadership Council. A very good one where President Schmitt got a call and church headquarters told him that our mission has been hand picked one of twelve to be a pilot mission for online proselyting. Oh boy! I'm not sure how I feel about it. Looks like I might be getting a facebook soon after all! Once again, oh boy! But afterwards Sister Stirland and I saw the coolest miracle during power hour. We were in an apartment complex and we decided to walk behind this random building up this random staircase to this random floor, (which of course by now we all know that nothing is done by random) and their was a door open and we could see some people. We walk by it but then we both feel as we need to ring the door bell on that open wide door. So we did and the Mom came and just looked and smiled and laughed and said, "Oh Sisters! Hello! Let me get my daughter. She has been looking for a church to go to and I haven't been able to bring her because I work on Sundays. Ashley come here!" And this 15 year old girl walks up and pretty much starts crying. She then tells us how she's been wanting to go to a church, we exchange numbers and tell her some other sisters will come over soon. Coolest experience ever! I love it, I love God!
Then on Saturday, MARCO GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!! Wowie wow wow. Who would of thought, but it happened! And Eddie did such a good joy performing the ordinance, it might of taken him 3 times to get him all the way under but he did it! And when he stated the words he looked Marco right in the eye, very powerful! Nearly 40 people attended his baptism, it was awesome! And then during Marco's testimony he talked about the first time we met him and how after he came back from the hair salon he felt prompted to call us. And we came right over! And the rest is history! SO CRAZY!! And also it was Sister Purcells birthday. HAPPY BIRHTDAY!!! Best birthday gift ever. :)
Sunday was literally so crazy and so fun! It was literally a YSA extravaganza where for the 3 hour block we were combined with 2 other YSA wards, one in Palomar and one was Black Mountain! And we were at the Black Mountain building! It was so fun! :) And it was so awesome to see so many people that I love in Black Mountain. And the YSA in Mt Woodson are just so nice, they came right up to me and introduced themselves and asked when they could go out with us or what they can do to help. And Mia is just swarmed with fellowshippers! This is going to be awesome. :) But we all know why they have these YSA combined activities and thats why I am so grateful I am a missionary! At the end of the 3 blocks they had a munch and mingle and to mix it up they had all the guys take off their ties and it put it on a table and all of the girls had to pick one and then the guy had to find the tie and they had to eat with each other and get to know each other. Nice.
AND AMERICA DAY!!! It was a great day. Apparently it was also the day of hugs because we received many awkward hugs from different potential male investigators. Awkward!! So the first one was the first house we stopped by, we woke him up and we were actually looking for his brother but hey! He was YSA and he was there. So we started to talk to him and right away you could tell he was either under the influence of something or getting over something. He then pointed out to us how he had glass in his foots for about 3 weeks and the puss told you it was true! So not only did we commit him to an appointment but also to go to the hospitail. He then went to hug Sister Stirlands waist, HILARIOUS!! And then when we were power houring and talking in spanglish to this this man who we gave a Libro de Mormon to and he decided to awkwardly side ways hug us. Good times! We then had to go in early at 6 pm for safety reasons. We studied faith and boy was it enlightening. It was awesome! And then Sister Stirland and I played with bubbles and saw fireworks from our door. It was an awesome night. :)
But I hope you all had the best 4th as well! I love you all and miss you all! This is just going by too fast! I hope you are all happy and continue to turn to the Lord for that happiness. I LOVE YOU!!!
Love, Sister Whitcomb