My new area is awesome! They're very missionary minded and have given us many referrals! There were actually two baptisms on Saturday that we went to, and one of them was for a 17 year old named Donavan who was dating a girl named Jade who just recently got baptized. Jade's conversion resulted in six more converts to the Church in our ward alone! First her mom, who wanted to know why her daughter was meeting with two guys a few times every week. Then her mom was baptized and many of her friends noticed a huge change in her and joined the Church themselves!
The area here is honestly so incredible! The people are amazing and on one day, just about everyone we talked with became new investigators! Something that stands out to me every day is that the faith that missionaries have and the expectations they have for their area is what happens. It's the Pygmalion Effect at its best! So it kills me to hear missionaries say their area is dead or members say no work happens in their ward/certain missions. It's not true! "The field is white, already to harvest" all over the world, in every place!
We had a wonderful experience yesterday! Since it was Father's Day, we had a goal to share the Mormon Message "Earthy Father, Heavenly Father" with everyone we saw. In addition, since the temple is SO CLOSE, we always try to bring up the temples too. What results from that combination is usually an awesome eternal families and Plan of Salvation lesson! When we finished our dinner appointment, we saw some people in the garage next door and talked with them for a few minutes and then went on our way to contact some referrals that have been sitting in the Area Book Planner app as uncontacted for a long, long time. We arrived at the street and got out of the car and saw some more people in their garage! There was one guy who spoke only Spanish (there's a lot of that here, so I'll probably have to download Duolingo or something), another guy named Luis, and a 10 year old girl. We asked them if we could share a video and watched "Earthy Father, Heavenly Father" with them. The Spirit was so strong! Luis thanked us and told us that's exactly how he felt about his own family. He had moved here with his family a few days ago and they felt like something was missing and they were looking for a church to go to, but they felt pretty lost. We testified that this was what he's looking for, and he said that it seemed to him like members of the Church had all the pieces of their puzzles put in place, which was something he desperately wants. He then told us that the other guy's wife just passed away, so we pulled out our brand new "Families and Temples" pamphlets and taught him about temples. Interestingly, just the day before I felt like I should go on lds.org and screenshot a bunch of pictures of temples I've been to (it helps that the zone vision we created is all about the temple. Promptings are the best! I hardly ever realize it's a prompting until afterwards.), so we showed him the pictures on my iPad and he said he wanted to go there! He asked if we had any literature to give him, so as gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he was SO grateful for it! I've never seen someone so happy to receive a copy! My heart was filled with so much love for Luis and for his family that I felt like I couldn't contain it all!
So this zone is pretty interesting for several reasons, like how there are a ton of Spanish speakers here. I'm not too used to that yet, so I'll have to get on top of my game! There's only one other set of sisters, and they're serving in a Spanish ward...which means that exchanges will be unusual.
We're teaching some awesome people! There's a guy named Lewis whose wife is a less-active member. He's the manager at a motel and is literally always on call, so our lessons are usually punctuated by people visiting the office. He's progressing really well! Sister Campbell has a ton of Church-related movies like 17 Miracles and the Work and the Glory that she leaves with them to watch.
There's a family who just moved here from Salt Lake City. The dad is Lonnie, his wife is Dawn, and they have a daughter named Alison. They've come to church twice and are pros at it! They are the sweetest
Sister Campbell and I decided to set a goal to find a family of 5 to bring to the waters of baptism this transfer! I know it can totally happen! So now we get really excited whenever we find out that someone has a family, which is something I forgot can happen after serving in YSA for so long! It makes teaching quite a bit different when you teach a group of people, because we usually move slower to accommodate everyone's needs.
Anyway, this week was great! Miracles happen every moment of every day, and I'm trying really hard not to grow complacent about them and to really appreciate all the miracles! Which reminds me of something amazing: there are a ton of gated communities here that we don't have the codes for (same in Foothills YSA) but all we need to do is pray and someone will come and open the gates! Or they'll open on their own.
I know that we're doing the Lord's work! I know that God's plan is real! Strangely, I've been meeting a ton of atheists recently. It's never happened so frequently before. But each teaching opportunity with them helps me realize how much I believe in God's plan!
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Picture: our zone leadership meeting about the zone vision!