Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 11

This week was another slow week, although we were busy with other items of business.  We have been visiting at least one widow a week so that has been fun and we have been finding success in referrals from them!  So even though I am away from my oldies back home, I am finding joy serving our widows here! :)  Also, this week I extended my first baptism invite!  It didn't really feel like my first invite because we practice inviting people to be baptized all the time, but it was so cool!  They denied the invitation, but it was still very cool and they considered it!  She hasn't been to church yet, but he has so we will keep working with them!  It will be a slower process because she is a caregiver and works every day so we don't have lessons very frequently.  Anyway that was exciting!  It was hard to extend because we were already over on our time limit, but it was our third lesson with them and we needed to extend the invite and I felt the Spirit help me to get out the invite so that was pretty neat!  We were also able to meet with Maria this week!  She has a lot of questions that need answering, but we were unable to answer all of them in one sitting so we set up a time the next day to come visit.  We showed up with a member who lives in her complex, but she was sick so we couldn't teach her.  Cool note though, when we talked to her on Wednesday, she said that she actually came to church a couple of weeks ago!  She went at 8 though, so she missed church.  Since no one was there, she picked up a book from our wall of materials that people can take, then left.  So, she tried but we will have to wait for another week when she can actually come to the full three hours!  She was unable to come this Sunday because she was still sick, but we will get her there next week!  Then on Friday we had interviews with President Sweeney and weekly planning and District Meetings!  We were there from 8 in the morning till 4:30 in the afternoon.  It was a long day to say the least, but it was also very good!  My interview went very well!  I had to teach him the Restoration in 5 minutes, but only got through about 3 points of the Restoration in those 5 minutes!  5 minutes goes by so fast when you're trying to teach a lesson!  Then I told him about a "weapon of war" that I wanted to bury and a lot of it involves my thoughts and trying to stay focused on missionary work!  We have quite a bit of time where we can think to ourselves, and it is very easy to become distracted by thoughts of home and other such things!  Then Sunday our investigators didn't come again, but a recent convert of almost a year had her baby blessed this week so that was exciting!  The spirit was so strong!  The priesthood is amazing!  It makes me so sad when we teach people and they don't believe in the priesthood or that it has been restored, because it is such a wonderful blessing that we have!  I hope you are all inviting your friends and neighbors to listen to the missionaries and the wonderful message we have to share with them!  Don't let them miss out on what makes you so happy!  I love you all!!!
 Beautiful Arizona
Our mission car!
 I ran across a quote this week  that I really liked:
If you keep living your days for tomorrows, you're going to end up with a lot of empty I have been trying to apply that in my life!  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 10

This week has been very slow.  We only had 11 lessons in comparison to a usual 20 or so lessons in a week.  But turns out that these are the times that the Lord blesses us the most when we are given these trials and endure them to the end.  On Wednesday, we made a visit to an elderly widow in the ward and she gave us a referral for someone in her neighborhood who she thought was a less-active member.  We decided we would just head right over to visit this lady.  As it turns out, this lady isn't a member but has had member friends in the past so she knows quite a bit about the church.  We invited her to the Gilbert Temple Open House and she said that she would talk to the lady who gave us the referral and see if she can go with her.  So we left amazed and very happy!  I mean, in the past hour we had talked to an old lady who was so sweet and we gained an investigator!  Then Thursday was hard again but we pushed through it and on Friday we went to visit a former investigator.  Turns out it had been a very stressful week and she kept telling us that we came at the perfect time.  Her and her husband are Physicians and they had to let an employee go on Friday so the stress that led up to it coupled with three kids, two of them having ADHD, it was a hard week.  We talked to her for a while and they are very centered on families which is great because as Latter-Day Saints, we believe that the family unit is central to God's plan.  But as we were talking to her, she told us that she feels like there is something majorly missing in their family.  We secretly know that it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ but we will slowly but surely help her understand that too!  We invited her to the Gilbert Temple Open House as well, but she was going to run it by her husband before committing.  Then right after we visited a lady in the ward because she was on a Progress Record and we didn't know her.  Turns out, her roommate isn't a member but believes in God and lives his life in a way to be guided by whatever God wants him to do.  The member told her conversion story and it was very touching.  It got him interested in the Restoration video so we are going to have a lesson this week and watch the 20 minute video on the Restoration.  We also had some extra tickets for the Gilbert Temple so they are going to join us!  Sunday was hard because none of our investigators came to church, but we were able to have a lesson with a member present and also set up some appointments for this week.  I have been shown this week that as we endure to the end, our loving Heavenly Father can do nothing but bless us for it.  Being out here is hard and I have learned a lot about myself, but I know that somewhere out there is someone who loves me unconditionally and wants what is best for me. I challenge you all to please invite just one person to go to this week and just check out what our religion is really like.  You don't know who is ready to receive this gospel or not!  I love you all!  Thank you all for being such wonderful influences in my life!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 9

This week was very busy but y'all know what happened at the beginning of the week because my p-day was late!  Anyway Thursday was busy but we were only able to have one lesson.  We helped that member vacuum so we were happy to have some service!  She is a less-active that got baptized 8 months ago and she came to church on Sunday so we were very happy about that!  Friday we met with another less-active member and taught about going to the temple and the interview process to get a recommend.  She is trying to quit smoking and actually bought an electric cigarette to quit smoking gradually.  It is so good to see her actively try to quit smoking!  Some people don't even make steps toward quitting but she really has the heart to go to the temple and it makes me so happy!  We also met with a young girl who has had a really rough past and we tried to teach her about how there is a God out there and he is our Father in Heaven and he loves us.  Unfortunately some events in her life have lead her to become numb to feeling the joy that we feel from knowing that someone out there really does love us.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and hopefully she will gain a desire to read it!  We also had a very interesting lesson with a man who is Seventh-day Adventist.  We talked about how there is another testament of Christ and it's the Book of Mormon.  We also shared passages that show that God didn't just give us one book of dealings with one set of people.  We were able to extend an invitation to the Gilbert Temple Open House!  Saturday was busy with different lessons one of which was with a family who has been taught for almost 6 months.  We had a High Priest come with us and explain the Priesthood to the family which is a stumbling block for them.  He helped so much and I am personally so grateful for the Priesthood holders in my own life!  The Priesthood is a wonderful gift that we all get to partake of!  Then Sunday we had PEC and were able to discuss the needs of our investigators and less-active members and our auxiliaries are very helpful when it comes to them so that's always comforting!  We also met with our Ward missionary council about how to use the Gilbert Temple Open House as a tool to help invite people to learn more about our church.  This gospel is perfect and I know that it is true!  I challenge you all to find opportunities to just INVITE people to hear about the wonderful gospel that we have all been blessed with!  I love you all!!!
                               Cute boys we teach! One is 7yr. then there's a set of 6yr.old twins

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Week 8
This week was very bitter sweet.  Being a missionary of course is one of the sweet things!  Honestly, I'm so sad that I've already been out for 8 weeks and that my time will soon be up, but I try my hardest to make every day count!  This past week was very busy!  We had to do a few different exchanges and we had other things to take care of as well so we didn't get much proselyting done until Wednesday.  But on Wednesday we saw Maria again!  I know I mentioned her before.  She is a golden investigator!  We had a baptism set up and everything then she dropped us over text and hadn't been able to meet with her for about two weeks.  But Wednesday we went to visit her on a whim and she was there!  Yay!  We really were so excited!  When we started talking she said she actually missed us which is good to hear!  Then we got down to the nitty gritty about why she didn't want to get baptized and turns out her main concern is that she feels like she doesn't need to be baptized because she has been baptized into multiple different churches.  We talked her through it and she decided that she just wanted to go to church and keep listening to the discussions.  Problem was that she didn't come to church so hopefully next week!  We will be visiting her tomorrow!  Then on Saturday we went to the Seventh-day Adventist church!  We made a deal that if we went to the Hankin's church then they would come to our church!  So we went to their church for an hour.  It was a very interesting experience!  There was a lot of singing and different pastors talked.  The last pastor talked about what Christ has done for US.  It was really good and he shared a lot of good experiences that he has had in his life!  It was definitely a different experience going to a different church while on a mission but I'm so glad that we had that opportunity!  The people there were so nice and very welcoming to us!  Then on Sunday like they promised, the Hankins came to church.  It was Fast and Testimony meeting of course so they thought it was a little odd.  They stayed for Sunday School and the lesson was on eternal families and I think it was really good for them to listen to that lesson!  We also had some less-active members attend church who havent' come to church in the time that Sister Heap had been there!  So that was really good and it made Sister Heap happy to see them there.  Then Monday we went out visiting many different people because Sister Heap finally got transferred out of our area that she has been in for 9 months.  Then we had the opportunity to go out with the arriving missionaries to TTI in different areas.  We went down to Old Town Scottsdale and placed TWO copies of the Book of Mormon and got one referral!  It was amazing and the Sister that I went out with made a really cool connection with the last lady that we talked to for about a half hour!  Turns out that the lady had seen an LDS temple in Washington which happens to be the temple that the Sister had just received her Endowment from!  She was on a spiritual high after that I was so happy for her!  Then Tuesday we had transfer meeting!  I am really sad that Sister Heap left me but my new companion who will be finishing my 12-week training is Sister Fairbanks.  She is from California, is 23, and has been to 3 years of college at BYU.  She is really neat and was ready to just drop off her luggage and go proselyting.  We had a great day yesterday and taught two lessons to Less-active members.  I am very excited about this next transfer!  I challenge you all to read from the Book of Mormon every day!  I will promise you that you will have the strength to face any challenges that you face in life!  I love you all!!!!!

 My new companion - Sister Fairbanks