MIRACLES!! MIRACLES!!!!! MIRACLES!!!!!!! MIRACLES!!!!!!!!!
If I had to describe this week in one word it would be insane. There were so many crazy things happening right and left that were polar opposites that it was.... insane, but good in many ways as well. I don't even know where to begin... I guess I'll start at the beginning of the week :)
I was not feeling well at the beginning of the week and I was not getting better quickly, so I asked for a blessing from Brother Mangum and Hoopes in the Adobe Villa ward. The Priesthood is miraculous; that's all I gotta say. I received very specific counsel as to how to get better and heal and what to do after I am better. Listening and doing what Heavenly Father has asked has brought miracles. I am no longer sick, look sick, or sound sick! It's a miracle that I am so well that I can barely remember being sick. Miracles right there! This is the fastest I've ever gotten better from a sinus infection.
After that we spent a lot of time visiting the members in the Adobe Villa ward trying to find a place to even start working because there was NOTHING. We were able to help these families and individuals create mini mission plans and set goals of when they're going to reach out to their friends and neighbors and how they are going to do it. The members were excited and many needed the extra push to get out and be a friend to those who have reached out to them. We're going to start doing the same thing for Vista Peaks and help the members really step it up. Right now we don't have many progressing investigators and we want to find more, but because of the very... affluent area it is people are content with their lives and won't really open the door for us. But if members can get in they can help soften their hearts to accept the gospel. That is our plan in that ward and we're going to be getting it going this week. We've tried everything to find in Vista Peaks and aren't having success. We feel we need to focus on the members to get the work moving forward in the ward again.
Adobe Villa is great! I don't see how the previous missionaries couldn't find people to teach! People are so humble here and guzzle the gospel like their life depends on it! I will say that most of our area is a little leery if not sketchy, but we try and be as careful as we can be :) When we were on our exchange with Sister Evans she was dying because she loves the ghetto with all her heart. She just went to town and went crazy talking to people. We even tracted... good, old-fashioned tracting. I really hated it, but it made us stretch and talk with people! It made me really uncomfortable actually, and not in the good kind of uncomfortable either. The experience made me really rely on strength that was not my own. I really got to see my strengths and my weaknesses and where I need to improve. I am not great at talking with everyone. When I first started my mission talking in general was a hard thing, but now I feel comfortable and confident to talk to people in their homes and to teach them. Going up to someone and just starting a conversation is EXTREMELY difficult for me. I'm ok at it but it takes a lot for me to do it, so tracting was hard for me. I know there's a better way to do missionary work (which is through the members). Needless to say that we were really blessed afterward for being diligent! We found 5 new investigators later that evening!
We were going to this super sketch apartment complex and a group of kids came up to us and we asked if they wanted to learn about Jesus and they all exclaimed yes! We taught them all about prayer and showed them how to pray then we asked them if their parents would be interested and they all ran to their homes to ask. One boy, Tommy, got his mom and sister (Kathy & Ashley) and we had an opportunity to bear testimony about eternal families. Ashley took a Book of Mormon and her mom said we could come back and teach them more! We thought that was awesome until Kathy came up to us and said that her friend Charlene wants to learn as well and we got to teach and testify about eternal families along with her husband Raymond! We set up appointments with them for the next day. When we went back Kathy and Ashley (especially Ashley) had really great questions about life after death and why bad things happen to good people or why God lets people die. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and they had a lot of their questions answered. We also invited them to be baptized and they said yes! We're planning on June 21st. They are so humble and are looking for truth that will strengthen them through this hard time in their lives. If this is great it gets better. After this lesson we went to Charlene and Raymond's and taught them the Restoration. They kept making comments about how this all makes sense and this is what they were looking for and that they feel they can belong in the church. Holy canolie! Talk about prepared! We also invited them to be baptized and this was their response: "Wait, you guys baptize people? We wanted a place to be baptized! We want to be baptized together!" They agreed right on the spot and as we talked about what we taught they said that they knew it was all true by the feelings they were having. Everything inside of them just... clicked :) They're amazing! We also found some kids who want to learn and got permission from their guardian to learn so we hope to get something going with them. Miracles!!!!!!! This is what I've been waiting for my entire mission! We also have two new investigators in Vista Peaks and we hope to set baptism dates with them tomorrow :) Good things are happening in our area! Patience brings blessings! Four baptism dates and six new investigators, not too shabby for a weekend! I am in shock with what the Lord has blessed us with. I'm going to take this and learn and progress and not disappoint the Lord.
Training is going great! We're working on teaching A LOT and vital teaching skills. We're also working on testifying of restored truths with everyone! I'm going to do it until I find it bearable! Go street contacting! Reading the Consecrated Missionary talk has been a big call to repentance for me. I'm working on developing stronger faith and the talk told me very specific to get uncomfortable, give up my fears, and go out and do to grow my faith. Reading it was a big slap in the face by the Spirit and I recognize more than ever how important it is to truly give everything I have to the Lord. We promise to consecrate our all in the temple and if we aren't doing that then we are not fulfilling our temple covenants and are denying ourselves of those blessings; blessings that will, in the long run, bless us eternally. I am going to work hard everyday to consecrate my all to the Lord. I know it will be hard, but it will be eternally worth it!
I can't wait for Zone Conference! We're encouraging, very strongly but with love, everyone in our ward councils to come and receive some training. Our Ward Councils need this so bad! We didn't even get to talk about the work in either ward on Sunday. The Lord's plan revealed through Elder Perry is what they need... and they need to do all the steps rather than just one :) Great stuff! We got to speak in Adobe Villa and the members are super excited to have us there. We talked about what the members can do to be better member missionaries and many came up to us afterward and complemented our talks and that they were the motivation to get out and be better friend to their neighbors and coworkers. Good stuff is happening!
|Sister Dunn with Sister Hamberger|
|Sister Evans and Sister Dunn|