Can I just say how much i LOVE December? Its truly the best time of this entire year you guys. Especially on a MISSION. I wish that my entire mission could just take place in December around Christmas time! It's so amazing to see how many miracles happen every single day. People's hearts are definitely softened and they have a willingness to listen! I really feel like Christ is here walking the streets with us every day. The Christmas spirit is real!
At the beginning of last week, a guy called us with FOUR referrals for us to contact. That in and of itself was a great miracle to start the week off. It is so hard for us to get referrals sometimes, so we were so excited to be able to go contact them! We were able to meet a couple of the people and they were so awesome! So i am way excited now to continue teaching them!
Not a lot really happened on Wednesday
Thursday we went on exchanges, Sister Richmond came with me and we had so much fun. Also, another huge miracle day. We only had one set lesson in the morning, who ended up dropping us when we went by. BUT later during the day we had so many finding opportunities, i swear i really have not talked to so many people in one day in my entire mission! We are able to share the 'He Is The Gift' video that the church made (which by the way if you have not seen it then you NEED to watch it. it's really good) so we shared it with TONS of people. It was really cool, because a lot of the people that we showed it to, even though they were not interested in having us come back and teach them,talked with us about Christ. I am so touched to see that they all have the same beliefs in Christ! And plus, we probably planted some really great seeds. And that's what matters!
But also we found some old investigators that we have not seen for weeks, and set up return appointments with them as well. So yeah, it was just great. One of the ladies we found is named Porfidia. We haven't taught her in almost a month, but we saw her on Thursday and she told us how excited she was to come to our church on Sunday! Mainly only because she is mad right now at the catholic church, but hey whatever it takes to get them to church right? haha
Also Thursday was a great day because it was the 1 MONTH mark until my birthday. Just to help you guys not forget :)
Friday we had weekly planning and that night there was a baptism for one of the elders investigators. His name is Ernesto and he is so cool! It was a really good baptism. Roberto came, and the entire time he was tearing up and feeling the spirit so hard, even to the point of squeezing my hand so hard i thought he was going to break it hahahha. Anyways point of the story, he came, loved it and totally wants to get baptized. He was planning out his baptism, what songs and everything. He told me that he wants me to play the piano while he sings. lol No i can't guys. You have no idea how hard it is for me NOT to laugh when he sings! I know that is horrible because he is just a cute old man singing, but really--- no way!!, that is the funny part! One time in a lesson we tried singing a song with him and it was the hardest thing both of us have ever done. We could not stop laughing! so yeah, never doing that again.
The only thing is that I am just so confused by him. He really wants to get baptized because he knows its a commandment, but he is just really struggling right now with knowing that there is only one true church. So PLEASE please please keep him in your prayers. He is the best old man ever, he just really needs some help right now.
Saturday was the WEIRDEST day of my entire life. Basically i don't think we did anything and it was a huge waste of time. We had a lot of car problems and bike problems and ended up spending over an HOUR trying to fix the hole in my bike. Oh my gosh it was pretty hilarious. Then there was this huge parade that occupied over half of the city. Clearly they did not know the difficulty that the missionaries would have by closing off EVERY street in Casa Grande. So we got stuck in this huge mess of random streets throughout our entire day. Although we did get to have a lesson with a recent convert in our ward which actually went really well. We are hoping we can go by her family tonight and have family home evening with them, they're awesome!
We also had a lesson with one of the referrals that we got. It's a girl named Julia, who was actually baptized a few years ago, and her boyfriend Jose. They are the sweetest people ever! It was a really good lesson, I love teaching them! She just won't come to church yet because she said she is not ready, whatever that means!??
Yesterday was such a great Sunday! Roberto and Porfidia and her mom came to church! Porfidia absolutely loved every single class in church, and all the woman in the branch were so nice to her. It was perfect, she asked for a Book Of Mormon because she wants to start reading it right away. Also it was fast Sunday which can be kind of scary with investigators there, but it was the BEST fast and testimony meeting I have ever attended in my life. Everyone that got up bore their testimonies on Joseph Smith restoring the church and on the Book of Mormon. It was perfect for Porfidia and exactly what Roberto needed to hear.
IT'S DECEMBER!! IT IS BASICALLY CHRISTMAS, ALREADY, RIGHT NOW!!
Holy cow! I am so excited, for reals I don't think I have ever been so excited for Christmas in my entire life. So this entire month will probably fly by!
Also, remember how I said that it was cold in Arizona, maybe just scratch that out because I guess it just decided to be cold for one week or something. The weather is so bipolar and I am so confused every day, seriously. kind of annoying but whatever.
So last Monday we tye dyed shirts with our district. We have the best district EVER.
Seriously we have so much fun together. Even when we do like nothing it is always such a great time. Anyways, i made the SICKEST tye dye shirt i have ever made in my whole life. (pictures are coming)
Wednesday morning we had our Spanish class with Hermana Crockett in our branch. She used to teach Spanish in school (and apparently we need the extra help) so she volunteered to help us learn Spanish. It is actually really nice and helpful, so i'll take it.
Thursday was Thanksgiving! We weren't allowed to go out and do ANYTHING on Thursday unless we had dinner appointments. I think before my mission I would have been so happy to sit around and do nothing, but wow I felt so unproductive the entire day, I was going CRAZY. Luckily we went with the elders to eat lunch with Roberto at his house. We wanted to take him out to eat at a restaurant, but seriously it took us three days just to convince him that he is able to be seen in public with us. hahaha so we just had a little picnic outside of his house and ate peanut butter sandwiches. It was so cute and he is so cute. Also it was nice having some extra time during the day because we made cute little turkeys and sugar cookies to take to some of our investigators, you would be so impressed with our creativity. I would totally show you a pic but i am really bad at remembering to do stuff like that so.. sorry. We made little turkeys out of paper and wrote all the things we are grateful for. For Roberto, we stuck them all over his door. It was so fun and he was SO excited to find them the next day!
That night we got to eat dinner at a family in our wards house. It was so great only having to eat one dinner. Although i will just say that it was the weirdest thanksgiving dinner i have ever eaten in my life? Definitely got a little homesick but not bad so it's fine. It was good, but.. yeah anyways, i survived! (also ate the best flan ever made in this world so that was good).
The lessons have been going pretty good with Roberto, we are still just working with him and preparing him for baptism! Lessons are always so hilarious with him, I really feel like we are teaching an 8 year old. the lessons get very easily distracted, but it's okay we are working on it! They're the best. Side note: He can never remember our names so he told us he is going to call me reina (queen) and hermana doty princesa. hahahah he is so great. so i guess you can just start calling me that too, might as well.
We had a really awesome lesson with this guy named Eugene and his wife and daughter. They are probably like the nicest people I have ever met. We brought hermana and hermano Mejia with us last night to teach the Book of Mormon. and guess what?? THEY ALREADY KNEW EACH OTHER. They are long lost friends from 50 years ago guys. FIFTY YEARS. It was definitely inspiration. So it was a great lesson with them. There is so much potential with that family! but also, I don't know why but this week at least once a day someone we talk to (including Eugene) will ask us if we are the mormons that have 7 wives. POR QUE!?! seriously maybe i am missing something huge in the news right now but we aren't doing that anymore right?
Ok so seriously I think this has been the fastest week of my entire mission so far. TIME IS FLYING BY. I cannot believe that it is almost December, it is unreal. But I love the winter so i am SO EXCITED.
By the way, who even knew that Arizona was cold? If you didn't know, you probably would have been like me and expected it to be 80 degrees all year round so you probably would have packed ZERO warm clothes. But hey guess what? it actually DOES get cold in Arizona.. Wait actually, IT IS FREEZING in Arizona. So the past couple weeks I have been relying on basically my only sweater I even brought on my mission. Really, it has even gotten to the point where our investigators make fun of me because of how under dressed I look. But like who even cares right? I'm surviving so thats all that really matters here.
So the main reason why this week probably went by so fast was because basically every day was a really weird out of the ordinary day.
So to begin with, last monday we went shopping and it was just great. We went to some old little boutiques downtown and went and got lunch. After Pday was over we went to eat dinner with a family in our ward that is moving. They are the best family ever and I am going to miss them so much! Especially because she always makes the best food i have ever eaten in my entire life. Definitely going to miss her cooking. Also sad that they are moving, because a lot of people in our branch have been moving or just randomly going to mexico and not coming back, so now we are going to have to start meeting in the relief society room for sacrament meeting. Which actually I am pretty excited about, I like small little branches!
Tuesday and Wednesday we had zone conference and zone meeting. They were both really really good. Meetings are the best. But they both lasted basically all day and after that we didn't have too much time to work. We have been seeing Roberto basically every day this week. He is probably the best investigator I have ever taught. Seriously, he is always just so interested in learning ALL that he possibly can about our church. We invited him to be baptized and he said yes! HE SAID YES!! He is so excited! So that is coming up in a couple weeks, i am SO happy. It has been such a great blessing to be able to teach him!
We helped the familia Seibring move Wednesday night. We were there for THREE HOURS. Solely moving food storage. Yes that is right people, food storage. they had SO MUCH food storage it is ridiculous. They really probably had enough food to feed all of Casa Grande, I have never seen so much food in my entire LIFE. My arms are just barely recovering from being so sore from lifting so many boxes!
Thursday was such an AMAZING day, we taught FIVE LESSONS! It was the best day ever! We found a couple new investigators and had a couple less active lessons, which were actually really good. And not only were we able to have a lesson with Roberto in the church that night, we had one of the best lesson I have ever taught with him! We taught the plan of salvation, and he just understands it all, it's the best!
Friday seriously not too much really happened. Friday night we went to help a less active family set up for a yard sale they were having Saturday morning. It was nice and everything, but seriously we drove 20 minutes to get there. Then when we got there, they only needed us for like 15 minutes. hahaha but hey service is service right?
Saturday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn (5:30. but it felt like it) to help our branch with ANOTHER yard sale. I guess people really love yard sales here. But this was GINORMOUS. we helped for about two hours and then had to leave and by the time we were leaving they were still setting up tables and unloading stuff. It would have been such an awesome yard sale to shop at. But yeah, early in the morning=freezing your butt off. SO hopefully we never have to do that again.
Saturday night there was a baptism for the English ward. We had to go because I had to play the piano for the musical number. Roberto wanted to go so bad even though it was in English. He said he would learn through the spirit. haha so we brought him with us! For some reason our mission president just decided to show up at this baptism so i was like freaking out because i had to play the piano and everything but don't worry i survived. Apparently Roberto started crying during the song... how freaking adorable right?
This week absolutely FLEW by. and it twas a veeerrry great week.
To start off, last pday we went bowling with some of the missionaries in our zone. In case any of you forgot, I am basically a pro bowler. Me and Hermana Doty both got first and second place.. guess you could say i taught her well.. jk--- she's better than me anyways. But we were pretty happy about it.
Quick funny story: one of the other sisters went to throw the bowling ball and somehow accidentally threw it backwards and almost took out her companion, it was hilarious.
Tuesday we had this little zone meeting thing, one of the guys from the stake came to talk to us. It was really good, he basically just trained us on how we are supposed to be working with our ward council and ward mission leader. It was much needed. The only problem is that we had just barely got a new branch mission leader and he was SUPER AWESOME. He had so much work for us to do and he was so determined to help us. But then, a week and a half after he got called as branch missionary leader he decided to go to Mexico and then decided that he was just not going to come back.. POR QUE. So we have been branch mission leader-less for the past few weeks. Hopefully that will change soon!
We had another lesson with Roberto and Hermana Montelongo. Remember how I said I suffered through the longest lesson of my entire life last week? Well that one does not even compare to this one! We were planning on teaching the Plan of Salvation and it actually started out to be a pretty good lesson, but it's seriously impossible to say more than 7 words without him interrupting you and going on about something else! This lesson lasted an hour and 45 minutes! yes!!! i am serious guys. It was horrible. Half way though I was just sitting there and literally just could not pay attention. And the really sad part is that out of all of that time we only taught up to the fall of Adam and Eve! Don't even ask me how this happens because I have no idea. The good thing is that he loves meeting with us though, so we will figure out a way to eventually have a normal lesson with him!
Tuesday night we met this guy named Ramon sitting outside of his house. At first he was not wanting to talk to us at all. I guess he has had missionaries in the past and it was not a good experience. But then the more we talked to him, the more he just started pouring out his feelings. It was crazy! We stood there for 40 minutes as he talked about EVERYTHING in his life (idk why people like talking to us for a long time) then said, "but I'm not an open book.." We both sat there and we were like uhhh..sure!!! it was funny. But yeah he is super awesome and actually wants us to keep coming by and talking to him!
Wednesday we went to visit la familia Habana. They are so great! For sure one of my favorite families here. She absolutely LOVES us. She is always giving us food, it's great. That night we had this guy from Salt Lake come and basically just observe us plan, then Thursday morning he came back and 'observed' us study in the morning. All four hours of study! It was the weirdest thing of my life, but he was really nice so that's good. I think it's because of this new program they are doing for missionaries learning a new language, and hermana doty is part of it.
Friday night we went to a thanksgiving dinner for our branch. It was super fun and everything was decorated so cute! There was actually a lot of people there, we almost ran out of food. Bad because we almost ran out of food, but good because yay!!! we love people!!
Saturday was such a crazy day. So funny story that you will probably laugh your head off. So we are about to go into a lesson and we are parked sitting in our car praying. Then out of literally no where something hits our car, pretty hard, our entire car shook! So we both open our eyes and we are so confused because we really both thought that another car just hit our car! Then we look and see this guy just chillin in his wheelchair! He just decided to start wheelchairing backwards for whatever reason and then smacked into our car! We both just sat there and were like uhh what the heck.. then the guy just turned around and continued on his way down the street. We seriously could not even stop laughing long enough to finish the prayer! Like that does not just happen. It was so funny.
So we had a super awesome lesson with a girl named Maricela. She is pretty young but she is married and has a little girl. She is SO nice and really loves talking to us. and the best part? SHE SPEAKS SPANISH. you may not think that is a big deal, but trust me. It is a STRUGGLE to find people who speak Spanish! So we are really excited about that.
Saturday night we went to a birthday fiesta for a little boy in the branch. IT WAS SO FUN! They literally had three pinatas and so much food! (keep in mind this little boy is turning 2). I just love Mexican fiestas because everyone is so happy all the time and the food is just so good. They had menudo, and it was hermana doty's first time trying it. hahahaha it was quite hilarious. i don't think she is a huge fan of it.
Sunday was the temple dedication! Which was so great and spiritual in every way possible! I love temple dedications. I wish we could have our investigators there, because it would be such a cool experience for them! But the whole time I was just thinking of how incredibly lucky we are to have temples here! Especially when we have a temple so close to us, i miss not going to the temple as often as I want! I definitely took that for granted before my mission. So to family at home, you better go to the temple! and you better be going TWICE, once for you and once for me! :)
Anyways, this week we have had such a great week with finding people. We haven't had a TON of lessons, but we definitely have found those people that are prepared and waiting for us! It was so cool to be able to meet so many new people who are all interested in learning more about the gospel! And by the way, hermana Doty is doing so awesome. Seriously she speaks SO MUCH Spanish, so much more than I did in the beginning of my mission!
I love having her as my companion. I can't believe how fast this transfer already seems to be going. crazy! I love the mission, I love Arizona! And I know this is truly the Lords work!!