This week has been a busy one! In different ways than anticipated, but busy nonetheless. All of our investigators have pretty much dropped us BUT that doesn't stop us! We are talking to more people and are acting in faith that God's prepared souls will be lead to us or us to them. Right now, we're focusing on getting the members on board with our missionary vision - getting THEM converted to the gospel so that they can "strengthen their brethren". Here are some experiences with that:
We met with our new less-active friend, Haley. The girl is gorgeous and I hope that these bug boys (pest control sellers) don't scare her away by asking her out incessantly (seriously, this would actually happen). We'll have to warn her that the singles Ward is a great place but can be a little... different. Haley told us she was baptized at 14, mainly to please her mom. But luckily she made good friends in active members of the church during high school that are back from college this summer. She definitely has a testimony of the gospel, even told us a cool story about tithing: Her mom told her that she needed to be out of the house once senior year was over (sad) and she didn't know what to do because she only had $20 to her name. She went to church that Sunday and knew she should pay $10 of it to tithing, so she did. Then within a few days she got a call for a new job, where she would eventually make $1200 bi-weekly. Typical tithing miracle story, but you can tell it meant a lot to her. I see great things happening for this girl!
I have come to terms with the inevitability of being late on my mission - it just happens. But one night was the absolute worst... roughly 20 minutes late to each appointment. Like a domino effect, really! We ended up driving to our less-active friend, Mary's, towards the end of our night, and Sister Kartchner and I were ZONKED. And it's not good to be that tired on a 30-minute drive to Manassas. But once we got to Mary's, we felt better. The poor girl got sick with strep throat then a flu or cold bug RIGHT after. She asked for her home teachers to come and give her a blessing, so it was cool that she wanted us to be there for that. A ward member, David, (who served Sacramento Spanish speaking!) gave it and I was quite surprised at how simple and beautiful his blessing was! He told her that Heavenly Father was thankful for her example to her family. She comes from a BIG combined family and they are always in need of her help and she ALWAYS willingly gives it. David doesn't even know Mary that well, but stated that in the blessing... God's power is pretty amazing. After the guys left, Mary told us she already felt a little better – so neat!
A member named Elizabeth told her member friend Kim that she wanted the missionary lessons. We weren't sure why or what she was looking to get from them - but OF COURSE, we were happy to start sharing them with her. It was a great lesson! Poor Elizabeth has been feeling a void of the Spirit lately and just wants to be reminded of her testimony. She mentioned that there was a time she just felt so out of tune with the Spirit that she couldn't get herself to read her scriptures, come to church, or pray (even family meal prayers - sad!). She got a little emotional, but it was great to see the friendship that she had in Kim and others who have helped her out! Thanks to Rafael (a former Brazilian member of the ward), Elizabeth now prays so that she CAN feel the Spirit (not necessarily needing to feel it beforehand in order TO pray). Love how that works.
And one cool miracle from the week (though there were many)...
Did some street contacting this evening while checking on two potentials in Annandale near where Konnie lives. There are SO many Hispanics, so sometimes we can't help but assume that the Spanish missionaries have got this area COVERED. But we saw a cute Latina who was about to walk past us. She had buds in her ears and her phone out, but we chose to stop her anyway. Her name was Maria and she was from Peru. We only got a little bit of our message out before she said, "Where is your church? I want to encourage my family to go." We explained that we were over a young adult congregation and she said, "Oh! My 19-year old niece needs God, I'll go there with her!" Loved her enthusiasm. As we kept sharing our message, she confessed, "It's really amazing that you guys stopped to talk to me because I've been in need of some uplift. I was even at McDonald's today and a Christian man talked to me about his faith, but then he didn't even give me his information! So I'm so glad I met you." GAH. Love having prepared people put in our way and thank Heavenly Father for these opportunities. We got her information and will be back next Friday! Told Sister K after we got in the car, "Times like these make me extra grateful to be a missionary." TRUTH.
Maria's cry for help reminds me that we ALL need to be a little better at opening our mouths. It can be hard and awkward, but it pays off SO much in the end. I love my plaque scripture - Moses 6:32, which reads...
"Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good."
This is SO comforting to me, knowing that it we trust in the Lord and open our mouths, we don't have to worry how the person will respond. ALL flesh is in His hands, and He will take care of it.
LOVE YOU ALL!
Photo 1: We went to Petland today, where you can play with puppies or kittens for FREE. This dog was an absolute MENACE... but cute anyway.
Photo 2: At Chuck-E-Cheese last week... you KNOW I love that cotton candy! Didn't get enough tickets though :( So I just bought it with money haha