This week has been incredible! On a Monday we had a lesson with Eugene and his friend Ryan was there. We decided to drop Eugene because he just wasn't willing to act on what we've been teaching him and what he knows to be true (especially regarding the Word of Wisdom)...plus he kept saying that he felt like it was okay to [fill in the blank for disobeying any commandment] as long as he did something good afterwards to make up for it. Life just does not work that way, and at the time he refused to accept it! We told him that we were going to discontinue the lessons until he showed us that he was making changes in his life. I felt bad for him as we dropped him, but I knew it would help him in the end!
We had a lesson planned with Tristan but when we got to their house they were about to head out the door to a doctor's appointment so we were able to visit our backup plan instead! It was for a guy named Marcus who lives in the same neighborhood as Tristan with high security. You have to get a visitor's pass from the gate guard that says who you're visiting and when you came inside. We didn't have Marcus' number to call ahead and plan a time to meet, but we went through the guard again and they called Marcus for us and Marcus said to let us in! Marcus just got divorced from a member and he knows just about everything about Mormon culture. He's awesome! I hope we get to teach him more, and I'm grateful we were able to catch him that day!
Later we were able to teach Tristan. We taught them about eternal families and the temple and invited Tristan to be baptized. It sounds like he really wants to be, but he just doesn't want to leave his dad as the only nonmember. Tristan's mom was there and let him know what the dad was currently thinking, which was fantastic because the dad is growing more supportive of the Church and Tristan didn't seem to know that until his mom told him!
Then we taught a part-member family and the member's name is Peggy. She has been less-active for decades--the last time she went to church until about a month ago was back when they had sacrament meeting, Sunday school, and primary all at different times throughout Sunday and would go home between meetings! She's been coming back and she told us that it was because of her home teachers. Never underestimate the power of home or visiting teaching!
One of the guys from Elders' Quorum came out with us to a lesson that fell through and he told us that we had him for a whole hour and said he wanted to take us to the store to buy gifts for our investigators! At first I thought, "no, we won't be able to teach anyone at the store" but then realized how much it would mean to our investigators! He bought TONS of things and told us that he'd pay as long as we could come up with a holiday note that incorporated every item. Here's what we came up with:
The holidays are NUTS (almond roca) but we hope your hearts can be WARMED (hot chocolate) in this CHILLY (ice cream) season by the LIGHT (candle) of the Good SHEPHERD (candy canes), Christ, and the SWEET (apple pie) message of His restored gospel. Let's NOG (egg nog) forget to be thankful for our Savior!
We dropped off the packages to several of our investigators. I know they all appreciated it and I'm so grateful for that generous member!
We had another member out with us and as we were walking back to his car, he stopped unexpectedly at a house and we decided to try it and found a new investigator named Denise! She told us they were looking for a church to go to but were busy then (it was the day before Thanksgiving) and her husband called out, "please come back! We need to get back to church!" So we should be teaching them soon :)
One day we felt strongly to plan to see a former investigator named Kristi and so we went over on Thanksgiving day and were able to catch her! She's studying sonagraphy and is trying to pass the test in January. She took it before but didn't pass and we had a good talk about accepting God's plan for us because she told us she was trying her hardest but wasn't sure anymore if that was what she's supposed to do.
We received a call from the YSA sisters and they told me that Ruby, one of our investigators from the Foothills YSA ward, moved into their area and they're teaching her now!
For Thanksgiving an older couple from our ward took us to dinner at their grandson's house in the Black Mountain stake just next to the stake that we're serving in. They have a granddaughter who is living with them and she isn't a member. Their grandson just happens to live in our STLs' area. We rode in their car to save our miles and planned to work in the STLs' area after dinner so we wouldn't be member camping. After dinner we left the house and immediately found a lady named Meredith who told us that she was in town for Thanksgiving visiting her in-laws because her dad just died a few months ago. She always had Thanksgiving dinner with her side of the family and was noticeably having a hard time. Luckily, right before we left our area we felt prompted to stock up on Plan of Salvation pamphlets, since we didn't have any before that! We taught her briefly about the Plan of Salvation and gave her one of the pamphlets and a copy of the Book of Mormon. I'm so glad we met her! We walked for at least an hour and a half talking to people along the way and then thought it was strange that the family we came with hadn't called us yet because they said before we left that they were planning to stay for about an hour. We realized in that moment that we forgot to check the address that they were at, so we needed to retrace our steps and we pulled out our iPads to check the map and make sure we would go back in the right direction. Thank goodness this area was part of the Foothills YSA ward that I served in for three transfers, so I knew my way around better than other areas! As we were looking at the map the STLs pulled up and offered us a ride! They told us that the family we had dinner with was their ward mission leader and they were actually headed over to their house right then to use their ironing board! I have no clue why they needed an ironing board so badly at that time on Thanksgiving, but whatever the reason was it was incredible because of Heavenly Father's timing! We arrived at the street and saw several ambulances and police cars with the lights on. We had been hearing tons of sirens all day, but now we were worried that something had happened with the family we were just with! We drove up and discovered that it was indeed their house. A lady came outside and told us that her dad, the member that we drove with, had blacked out twice. They gave him a priesthood blessing and then called for the ambulance and we just happened to be outside proselyting. The paramedics carried him out to an ambulance and we told his wife not to worry about taking us home. The STLs offered to take us home but had a lesson right then, so we planned to continue working in their area while they taught and then go back to our area. As we were walking we called a member from our ward to pick us up and she was able to come! We also let the Bishop and Relief Society President know about what happened. Fast forward to Sunday--yes, the brother that passed out is okay. I'm so glad about that! What a crazy thing for them on Thanksgiving!
So a while ago we street contacted a guy named Dan who spoke only Romanian, so we tried to tell him that we would bring him a book soon that was in his native language. The Romanian copy of the Book of Mormon that we ordered finally arrived, so we went by Dan's house to deliver it and we met his wife named Angie and their kids named Dennis and Leo! Angie speaks English pretty well considering she's only been speaking it for a few years. She asked us what she could help us with and we showed her the copy of the Book of Mormon and she got so happy to see something in her native language! I can't even imagine how wonderful that would be! We taught her about the Book of Mormon the best we could and planned a time to come back and teach their whole family. We were wondering how we would teach them and decided we'd probably have to use Google Translate for all the gospel words. But then on Sunday a couple of returned missionaries gave their homecoming talks AND ONE OF THEM SERVED IN ROMANIA!!! My jaw just about dropped to the floor when she said that over the pulpit. I know Heavenly Father loves each of His children so much and provides them with what they need when they lack something they cannot do for themselves! This is incredible! Allison, the returned missionary, was so happy to hear that we had a Romanian family that we wanted her to teach with us! Allison is only here for a month before she goes to school, so I'm expecting some amazing things to happen with that family!
Steve and Lois were sick this week so we weren't able to teach them much, but they're still reading from the Book of Mormon and loving it!
We found out about transfers on Saturday! I'm staying here with Sister Cheyne and I guess we'll have to find a mini missionary for when I leave, since we're not in a trio! Our zone did something where each missionary would read the next missionary's transfer doctrine for the zone to hear and I read Sister Wilde's--she's going BACK to Kingman to TRAIN!! I'm glad to be staying in my area and I am so excited for Sister Wilde! We were talking about all the people we taught together there and we feel like many of them will be ready to be baptized!
We found a new investigator for YSA named Cake. Yes, his name is Cake. He even has it tattooed on his hand. Whether that's his given name or a street name I don't know, but his name is Cake. He said he's "Christian but also kind of atheist" and we asked how that worked and he said that he believes in aliens and that when we die, we go on to live on another planet and wonder if earth even exists. Pretty interesting. I'm glad we met him! We had a member out with us when we met him and she was out for an hour, but I had a recurring prompting to ask her to come to our next plans too even though they were in a completely different part of our area. One of my biggest fears is what would happen if I ignored a prompting, and since that prompting was repeated you know I was procrastinating for a bit. But I finally acted on it and she said of course, she would come with us! So we went to the plans and didn't meet anyone with her. I wonder why I was prompted to ask her and I guess I'll never know for sure. Maybe it was a test of obedience or maybe she would have been in a car accident had she not come with us. I don't know. But it sure is cool how the Spirit works!
We taught Michael about the Plan of Salvation in a member's home and their 9 year old son was sitting in with us. This kid knew so much about the Plan of Salvation! He kept raising his hand after we would teach a principle or two and then he would tell Michael all about Adam and Eve or the Millennium or the final judgement. It was pretty cool! Michael doesn't want to be baptized yet because he wants to explore all religions, but he's progressing in every other aspect!
On Saturday we called Eugene and told him we were looking forward to seeing him at church. He asked if we had a ride set up and we gave him the phone number of our ward mission leader to call and arrange something, so we could help him be more responsible and accountable.
Later that night we had a ward missionary coming out to a lesson with us but the lesson fell through and right as we started walking down the stairs, Eugene called! He asked if we could come over for a prayer, which is his way of asking us to come over for a lesson. He told us he realized that before, he was trying to make excuses for sin but now he really wants to change his life around and is willing to act! That was an awesome lesson with him! He is so excited to be baptized on ! Then in our gospel principles class, he made a comment about how he's here on earth to follow the example of Jesus Christ and repent. It made me so happy to hear him say that!
Have a wonderful week! I love you all!