NEWS (INVESTIGATOR'S NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO MAINTAIN ANONYMITY)
August 5, 2013 "Humility, Love, Patience, and Tender Mercies".
Hi! This week literally flew by! And papi don't be too surprised I actually understand a lot of things Mckay is talking about haha! But thank you for the translation:) I don't know if I will have time to get back on and respond to all of you today because we have a zone Goal presentation, but I was very grateful for the emails! Thank you for all the support and love form home!
This week we only had 2 nights in our area. Which means we spent probably a total of 15 hours in our area this week due to the VC shift, meetings, and the weekly 3 hour planning session. Yesterday we went to our ward mission leaders house to get online and see all the members in our area and I discovered we only know maybe 1/3 of them and the rest of them are all less active and we have no idea who they are.... There is so much work to do and NO time to do it! We can say yesterday I was feeling a little overwhelmed at the responsibility. But if the lord calls us to it he always provides a way. (Nephi taught me that;)
So I have to write about the sweet family we eat with every week the Olivares. They are literally my family away from home. So one day mom and pops you will need to thank them! They feed us every week and as much as we support them and buoy them up they do the exact same. Hna. has to give her first talk in sacrament meeting and she didn't know where to start so she asked us for help! It was so fun to help her with that! As we were leaving they gave us a bunch of left over Tomales (yum) and I mentioned something about oh good we can share with sister Petersen. (she had spent all her money from the last month and didn't have any food... she was living off a cucumber and some peanut butter...). It wasn't anything too serious though we all help each other out till the next week when we get new money for the month if that happens, but on our way home we get a phone call from the Olivares saying they are at the Visitors Center. They showed up with groceries of food. My eyes filled with tears. These humble people love the lord and they love us.. Hna looked at me and said (in Spanish I cant even imagine the missionaries with out food.. if there is anyone struggling you must tell us. I know they don't have a ton and they are extremely busy but they go above and beyond to serve others- They don't even really know sister Peterson.. It taught me a powerful lesson of sacrifices, humility, and service. Hno was cute too he says no hermana nos gusta hacerlo nos trae mas bendiciones!
So Saturday we went to visit another members home for dinner and before we left I saw an English book of Mormon and felt I should grab it. But then I thought to myself that's silly we wont have time to contact people and are going straight there and their family only really speaks Spanish So I shut the door but then I felt again I should take it. (I've learned by now to not ignore the spirit twice!) So I grabbed the Book of Mormon. When we got there they had family visiting. They had all eaten so it was just us eating and the family pretty much cleared out except for 1- She was 14 and spoke mainly English We began talking and we taught her the plan of salvation. The greatest part was she actually listening! And asking questions! she wanted to know how we knew this- that's when we gave her the Book of Mormon. She gave us her number and said we could call her and teach her more. (through the VC in the calling center. I love my calling:) ) She lives about 8 hours away, but I am going to call her and hopefully little by little help this family receive the gospel. As we handed her the English Book Of Mormon .. I am not sure how to explain the feeling, but I felt so humbled to realize the Lord was working through us and that if we hadn't had followed the prompting we wouldn't have been as prepared. Its incredible what can happen when you rely and listen to the spirit!
We then went to have our 2nd lesson with Susanna for the week. We were teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ the 1st half so Faith and repentance. As we began talking with her she shared with us how she had been sharing with her children her experiences and how she has this desire to change. She talked about how sometimes she will say something or do something she regrets and wants to be rid of that guilt and feelings. I almost jumped for joy! The Gospel of Jesus Christ was in action in her life! we explained to her that because she was increasing in faith and understanding Gods love for her and plan for her shew was having that desire to change. The desire to REPENT! It was perfect since we were teaching repentance that night. She understood it and committed to repent! At the end she offered a beautiful and sincere closing prayer. She has never prayed (besides the catholic rosary before in her life so to hear her praying sincerely to her Father in Heaven and see her end the prayer with tears in her eyes was an incredible experience. I truly love this woman so much. I never thought I could love people who I hardly know so much. I think its because I am catching a glimpse of what the Savior sees and feels for each one of us. I truly believe we don't have the slightest idea of how much He truly loves us. I don't think we can fully understand what he did for us that night in Gethsemane I am so grateful for the power of the atonement and the role it can play in our lives if we let it. And then after the lesson she volunteered to come with us to find the other people we had met the week before that came to church the last week.(we didn't know where they lived) So we walked there and no one was home, but on the way back to her house we met this cute family. They weren't really interested until Susanna opened her mouth and began to share her experience that she has had in these last 2 weeks. The spirit was so strong! Their families demeanor completely changed and after we said the prayer the mom had tears in her eyes and she thanked us and said they would come to church. Okay maybe I didn't see them at church, but I know it planted a seed in their hearts and I know that moment was also for Susanna. She told us as she bore testimony to them she felt in her heart what she was saying was truly true! Our investigator understands the importance of bearing testimony already and she hasn't even been to church~! speaking of which she bailed on church and I was way sad.... But we had a lesson at the VC last night and she committed to come.
So here is where patience comes in... we gave a temple tour to a youth group on Saturday for 2 hours out in the hot sun... that wasn't the hard part... The leader that came with us for the first hour took over and shared nonsensical symbolism and facts and statistics..Sis Foutz and I were so frustrated... We were not fulfilling our purpose. By the 3rd group I think he understood we were upset and we were able to share a lot more and something awesome happened! As we testified of the sacred nature of the temple and the Plan God has set for us-the youth listened and the spirit was felt!! Nothing can impact those youth more than simple and basic truths- doctrine with heart felt testimony. Tomorrow those kids wont wake up remembering how many squares are on the temple or how tall the angel Moroni is, but they will remember the spirit they felt and that's what makes the difference. Learning the Doctrines and the simple truths changes people and that's what people need to hear! I used to wonder why at church we always talk about the same simple things, but now I get it! If we were living them perfectly maybe we wouldn't need to hear it every day, but the thing is we don't live it perfectly.. not even close and that is why we have to pray, we have to read the scriptures (EVERYDAY!), that's why we have to go to church every week. Its because we forget- its because we get lazy.. If we don't continually invite the spirit in our lives how can we remain converted? How can we be converted? The Gospel is one of Progression. We never stop growing and learning. Even when we are 92 we will still learn and have to progress. From the moment we are born we grow and progress. That's why we go through hard times - That's the whole reason God sent us here was to gain experience and progress to be able to become like him. I think not only did Sister Foutz and I learn a good lesson about patience and the genius of the Gospel, but i think so did the leader.
The third was a tour I took in the VC. Sister Foutz and I got separated so I took one by myself. It was a member family and their son was preparing to leave for his mission in 3 weeks. That morning had been a frustrating and overwhelming one... Susanna not at church, Daniel didn't seem to care that his baptismal interview was supposed to be today... now wont be till next week, and the overwhelming numbers of less actives... Well I took this tour and everything they said was what I needed to hear. At the end of the tour they said thank you and that they had learned what they needed to hear as well. It's because I am not the teacher and neither are they... the spirit truly is the teacher. We watched Elder Bushche and the line.. put all hurt feelings, frustrations, and grumblings aside and put it into the eternal perspective of hope.. (okay it was something along those lines I cant remember it word for word.) But it fixed everything. Once I realized that the little things earlier in the day weren't that big of a deal. That God would help those people and he would help me and that if we press forward and endure to the end not only will he help us find joy now, but peace and eternal joy in the next life. I understood Gods perspective is a lot larger than ours. Sometimes we need to just learn to have a little more faith and trust him and not get so upset about the little details.
Anyway it was a great week! Lots of good work and learning experiences and also a lot of laughter that I didn't have time to write about. I love sis Foutz! We laugh and have a great time! You should all hear the song we made up. We wrote it for Sister Thomson. I will send you a recording fam :) Anyway love you all! You are in my prayers!