Monday, June 26, 2017

Finding Miracles - June 5

Let's go TWINS! They actually did really well the first 7 innings, we're just not gonna talk about how the Astros scored 11 runs in the top of the 8th. Other than that, best district p-day ever!!⚾☉
This has been the slowest, craziest, hardest, worst, and best week of missionary work. I wish I had time to share every little detail of everything that happened this week, so this might be a little long this week. 

We had the coolest finding miracle this week. The first part of this story actually happened last week, we were in the not so safe part of our area where we're only allowed to go during the day time, looking for this address that apparently does not exist. So we started knocking others doors in the area that kind of looked like there might be people who spoke Spanish living there either from the names on the mailboxes or other things we look for. We walked past this house, and Hermana Shepherd and I were both like "Yep, we need to knock on this door," even though we were 100% sure that there were not Hispanic people there. So we knocked, and this sweet lady named Cassandra came to the door, who definitely does not speak Spanish, but we share the gospel with everyone we can anyways. We talked to her for a few minutes, and shared a short video about Christ with her. She told us her mom was going in for surgery for cancer that next day and she was so grateful we had shared that message with her. we asked if we could come back in a week to see how her mom was doing. So fast forward to this week, we stopped by and she was so happy to see us again, and her mom's surgery went well. we shared the restoration with her and we asked her what she thought, and she told us it made perfect sense that God would continue to call prophets in our days, and wouldn't stop revealing his truth to his children. She also told us that she knows we are messengers from God because she had been praying the day before we knocked on her door the first time, asking for direction and asking how she could start making God a part of her life again. She was raised Catholic, but doesn't go to church anymore, but still prays a lot. she has a son who just turned 9, and she feels really bad that he wasn't baptized when he was a baby. And she was asking us what we believe about repentance and baptism, because she has a lot of burdens and guilt she has been carrying with her for years, and she told us she really hopes she can go to heaven, but she doesn't know if God will ever be able to forgive her. We were able to testify to her of the power of the Atonement, and how we have all fallen short of returning to God in our own efforts, but through Christ we can be made clean and have those feelings of guilt completely washed away and know with a surety that God has forgiven us and wants us home. And she was crying, and we were crying and it was an incredible lesson. She is so prepared for the gospel! The only sad part of this whole thing is that she doesn't live in our area, because we ran into her at her mom's house, and she doesn't speak Spanish, so we have to refer her. But she wanted the missionaries to come as soon as they could so she could learn more. It was a huge testimony builder to us this week that God is preparing people and that there is so much work to be done here in this area. 

This week was pretty slow and hard because we had a hard time getting any appointments. Even Jonathan wouldn't text us back or answer our calls, and no one was answering the door, and nothing was happening. Our ward is in transition between Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders right now and they're trying to figure out how everything works, so it's a lot of coordination meetings and it's been really slow going. But Sunday was awesome! Jonathan showed up at church, and was talking to people and seemed right at home. And he came up to us and apologized he hadn't gotten back to us, and asked if we can come over Wednesday night, so he made the appointment with us, which never EVER happens. And after church yesterday we stopped by to visit Sandra. She hadn't been able to come to church, but we had an incredible lesson with her, and read Mosiah 18 and talked about the doctrine of Christ, and she committed to be baptized on August 5! Wohoo!! That's the first date set for our area in months, and now our ward has 2 because the Elders in our district have one too. We are so excited, she was testifying of the importance of baptism herself after we read those scriptures and it seemed to make perfect sense in her mind and the next logical step would be to work towards baptism. 

We are trying to talk to all of the less-actives in our area and figure out their stories. We got one families address out of area book, and we got there, and it was a bagel factory. So, probably don't live there, but we said "well, we're here, might as well ask if they know who these people are" So we went in and talked to the shift supervisor, and he said "Oh yeah! I know Erik, he'll be in on the morning shift all next week, you can come see him then." So we are definitely stalking someone at a bagel factory now, but it smells really good there, and hopefully we might get free bagels by the end of this. 

We play soccer every Saturday night at the church, and invite all of our investigators and a bunch of members, and we usually get a lot of people there and it's really to help people have an easy thing to invite people too. This week one of our young women brought two of her cousins who aren't members. Were were playing the four missionaries vs the three of them, and they were talking to each other in Spanish trying to tell them who to pass it too, and then 5 minutes in after we kept blocking them they were like "Ah! I forgot they speak Spanish too!" 

I also finally have my dream calling fulfilled and I get to be the primary pianist for the next couple of weeks until they call a new one. The teacher, Hna Cisneros, only speaks Spanish, and the kids all speak Spanish and English, so it's bilingual chaos in there, but being in Primary seeing the powerful testimonies these little kids have of the most basic and beautiful gospel truths is really powerful.

These past couple of weeks I have gained a huge testimony of priesthood power. It's real friends, and I am so grateful that there are so many worthy priesthood holders we work with who will humbly step up to that duty whenever called upon. Even when things are really hard, I am so grateful to be a missionary, and I am so grateful for all the things I am learning. 

Thank you for all the love and support! Have an incredible week full of lots of miracles! 

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