Friday, December 23, 2016

Las Palmas & Warm Springs: October 20-26

We found a ton of new investigators this week! It was absolutely amazing! Cindy and Hailey (a mom and her daughter) were former investigators in our area book. We felt like we should visit them and see how things are going, and when we got there we met Hailey, her uncle named Gary, her grandpa, and someone named Jackie. Cindy wasn't there. Gary and Jackie were visiting from California and they have tons of family members who are LDS. Jackie had a lot of questions for us and after we answered them, we read a part of the Book of Mormon (from a copy that I was carrying around) that was extremely relevant to her life. We then gave her the copy of the Book of Mormon and she told us she was hoping we would give it to her! Jackie and Gary were heading back to California that night. Please pray that the missionaries in their area will stop by if they haven't already!
A few days later, we stopped by Cindy and Hailey's home and Cindy was there! Even though we were completely unexpected, Cindy invited us in and we taught Cindy and Hailey about the Restoration. It went PERFECTLY! Cindy told us about how she always looked forward to Sundays so she can go to church because it always makes her feel better. Cindy and Hailey both accepted the invitation to be baptized! I suspect this is because we have been praying to find the elect :) I'm so excited for them!

We met another group of people named Chuck, Tim, and Leslie. Chuck is a super nice guy who had all kinds of misconceptions about Mormons. It's crazy to hear what some people think! For instance, he thought we aren't Christians. Tim used to be a preacher but hit a rough patch in life and pretty much lost all of his worldly belongings, so you could say he's significantly more humble than he was before. They have a lot of potential and hopefully we'll see them soon! Chuck had so many questions that we tried to answer the best we could, but even simply answering one question in the most basic way we could think of brought on a new wave of questions.

We visit a really sweet sister in our ward each week and this time when we went over we got completely lost on our way to her home! There are at least three different streets with the exact same name, which made it pretty hard to navigate to her house with the map app that we have. This sister is awesome! She's preparing to receive her endowment in a few months and this week she received her patriarchal blessing!

We had the coolest experience! There was a mystery name and address written on a whiteboard in our apartment (we have lots of whiteboards...) that we couldn't find in the area book. We went to the address and discovered that that individual had moved and now a girl in her 20s and her mom were living there. That day we met the daughter (named Lexi). She's been though just about everything there possibly is to endure and she used to struggle with some serious Word of Wisdom issues. She's had some events in her life that have led her to contemplate whether God really is there or not. We caught her when she was busy, so we set up a return appointment that she later cancelled. We stopped by again a couple days ago and met Sabra, her mom. Sabra was not happy that we came by without calling ahead and used a few choice swear words, so we apologized and went to our backup plan. A few minutes later, we got a call from Sabra and she apologized for what she had said and invited us to come back in 10 minutes, so she would have time to clean her home. We went back and she told us the highlights of her life. She's been though even more than Lexi, as far as we can tell. Sabra told us she had no hope left and seriously doubted that God existed. She told us about how she was in a car accident that left her with brain damage and how no one could relate to her because she looked fine on the outside but she struggled a lot with the effects of the accident. Well, guess who else had some brain issues? I did. It was amazing to see Sabra realize that Heavenly Father loves her beyond comprehension, in part because I was able to relate to her more fully instead of only teaching that because of the Atonement, Christ knows exactly how we feel and what we are going through. We both learned how God sends missionaries to certain places at specific times for a reason! He sees the whole picture and is able to guide us to where we need to be if we are willing to listen to Him!

We also taught Matt, our golden referral! He is amazing! He maintains such a positive perspective despite what has happened in his life. I am so grateful for the members who participate in missionary work! Matt is going to be baptized soon!

One night we planned to visit a family that had been investigating the Church a while ago. We planned to see them at 7:30 but it was 7:55 and we felt like we should go visit them anyway even though it would be pretty late. It was great! They invited us in and we discovered that the wife is actually a less-active member and she wants her eight year old son to be baptized! What a miracle it was to meet with them that night. God influences our plans so much and I bet we don't even recognize half of it!

While I was typing this today a really sweet 5 year old boy came up to us and said he was lost. We think he got off at the wrong bus stop. Internally we were both thinking what do we DO?? so we took him inside and the lady at the front desk made some calls and we could tell she was freaking out too. No one was answering the school phones so we almost ended up calling the police. Thankfully this little boy's dad came in and picked him up before the police were sent out!

I love how my mission has enabled me to see others through Heavenly Father's eyes much more than I was able to do only a few months ago. It's so worth it to make the effort to take our clouded lens away so we can see the world clearly!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

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