Hello family and friends!
This week was great! Many miracles, as always, and fun experiences as well. First news first - Marlene dropped us. It was sad to hear, but came as no surprise. She wasn't really engaged in the lesson, and Sister Udall and I realized we didn't love her enough. We should have been more understanding of her situation (old and alone) and have gotten to know her better before shoving doctrine down her throat! So even though she said no more visits - we are going to drop by flowers this week! Hope she likes them.
I went on exchanges this week with Sister Erika Woodbury, a Sister Trainer Leader (it's like a Zone Leader, but a Sister). She is from Murrieta and knows the Darrel and Patty Payne family well! I went to her area and we taught a lesson to this 18 year old boy named Chuck. It seemed interesting that he'd rather have the lesson out in his backyard rather than inside, but we complied. We start teaching and things are going really well. Sister Woodbury starts talking about the Spirit and how he has felt it before, then all of a sudden, "CHUCK!!!!!". Startling, to say the least. Next thing we know, his grandma comes out and yells at us "You've been here TOO LONG and had no appointment. GOOD BYE!" Sister Woodbury says, "Actually, we did have an appointment." She says "No you didn't. This is the second time! Good. BYE!" Ooooohhhhh man. Hahahaha I've never seen anything like that on my mission! I realize now that I've been blessed to encounter VERY nice people in my own area. That grandma needs some stress relief in her life!
So we received many referrals from ward members this week! Most are just to go knock on the door of someone they know but HEY, it's a start! Sister Parker, the infamous ward missionary I've told you about, actually felt impressed to go look at this old abandoned nursery along the highway. Because she's so bold, she walked right past the locked gate and found this woman living there! Her name is Michelle, and when she found out Sister Parker was Mormon, she mentioned how she received ALL of the missionary lessons at 17, but never got baptized because her father was Atheist and forbid it. However, she did gain that testimony of the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ. MIRACLE! It is no coincidence that Sister Parker found and met her that day! We hope to meet this wonderful, nursery-living woman soon!
I challenged myself to read a conference talk everyday, and read what I think is my favorite yesterday: "Stand Strong in Holy Places" by Elder Robert D. Hales from the Priesthood Session. He said this quote and it HIT me hard:
"As we diligently live the gospel, we become strong in the Lord."
Simple, yes? But so profound! As we keep the commandments and live are lives in harmony with what God has asked, THAT is when we can say we are strong in the Lord. It's funny that as you keep these things and gain a testimony of them, you sometimes forget where they come from and who established them (or at least I do). How comforting is it to know that as I do my best in following Christ, my strength WILL be in Him! I love that.
And I love all of you! Thanks for your love and support - I'm a blessed girl!
Sister Udall and I trying Lychee (sp?) at a member's house. It's an Asian fruit. I LOVED it. Google it!