Monday, April 30, 2012

April 24, 2012 - A pair of my shoes received an honorable discharge last week. They fought valiantly and almost made the two years.

I felt my first seismic tremor yesterday! I have been waiting almost two years to feel some sort of earth-shaking, and I was worried that my two years of California would come and go with nothing. It lasted all of 3 seconds and most people didn't notice it (not exactly a seismic Armageddon), but it was sweet!

 We are still working with the man who has been an investigator for 35 years. We are hoping to baptize him on the 12th of May! We have gotten him addicted to family history (although it is somewhat difficult to do since he is from Colombia).

 On Thursday we had several appointments fall through in the morning, so as we were taking home Pablo (the bishop's son, who helps us with appointments), we took a different route home from that which we usually take, and in the process ran into MarĂ­a, the Peruvian sister who was baptized a few weeks ago, and we were able to go to her house and teach her! She said it was a miracle that we found her because she was having a rough day. Somewhere along the way, I had forgotten that God controls even whether appointments fall through or not. Appointments falling through doesn't mean that our schedule is shot--it could mean that God has other plans for us.

April 17, 2012

Last week I spent an unusual amount of time in Rancho Santa Margarita. Our district leader went to a meeting in Carlsbad for two days last week, and so we had his companion, Elder Hunt, with us and we worked in both areas on Wednesday and Thursday. Then, on Sunday-Monday we did our normal exchanges and I went with Elder Hunt to Rancho again. Rancho Santa Margarita is like an island of rich people isolated from the rest of Orange County (probably intentionally) by vast wilderness. Nonetheless, we were blessed to be able to find a lot of awesome people. We were able to contact someone that Elder Chavez and I had met and passed to the Rancho elders last transfer, and it turned out that I had also already met his wife back when I worked in San Juan Capistrano. Miracles! I am grateful, however, that I live on a ground-floor apartment. The Rancho elders live on the third floor (no wonder they are skinnier than we are).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 10, 2012 - Evelyn's baptism, with her mom and her uncle (who baptized his wife and daughter a few weeks ago).

Wednesday of last week was absolutely insane. Our entire day consisted of driving from one appointment to the next, teaching lessons, and eating (we were given no less than three meals that day.....). We were exhausted by the time we stumbled into our apartment at 9:30pm.

We have been blessed with great new investigators. We started teaching a woman who invited the elders over to tamales on Christmas and who has been going to the English classes at our church building since December. She said she reads our Church's pamphlets ("The Restoration","The Plan of Salvation") in English to practice. We also set a baptismal date with a man who has been an investigator for 35 years. (Just so you know, that wasn't a typo). He has finally decided to get baptized!

So, we were given a tender mercy of the Lord this last week. As you know, we have been battling to try to get one of our investigators to come to church here in Mission Viejo instead of in San Clemente, and she really hasn't been progressing much. On Friday, after unsuccessfully trying to convince her son to come to Mission Viejo, at 8:45pm we were walking down the street in his neighborhood trying to figure out what to do to help them. We were a little frustrated because we felt like we had been running into the same brick wall over and over. Then all of a sudden, a lady who was driving by in a black car pulled over and yelled, "Hey! I have something to tell you two!" We looked at each other and my first thought was "Great. She's going to tell us that there is no soliciting in this neighborhood."

To our complete surprise, she looked at us and said, "I don't have time to talk right now, but I love you guys. I wish my sons had turned out more like you. Every time I see you it just reminds me that there are still good people in the world." And she drove off, leaving two stunned missionaries in her wake. I don't know why she decided to pull over, but I'm sure it had to do with the Spirit. God takes care of missionaries, especially in our scattered and short moments of frustration.

April 3, 2012 - Our District

So, we have been teaching the sister from Peru who was just baptized, and she has been struggling with having a desire to read the Book of Mormon on her own (like everyone). Last Wednesday we decided to just sit down and start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning with her. We read 1 Nefi 1 and she said she liked it (I made sure to point out that in 1 Ne 1:11-12, Lehi is given a book and commanded to read it, haha). We kept going in 1 Nefi 2, and when we reached the end, she said, "Can we keep going?" We read 1 Nefi 3, and afterwards she said again (more excitedly this time), "Can we keep going?" By the time we finished 1 Nefi 4, she was sad that we had to leave but very excited to keep going on her own. It seems like Satan's biggest tool for limiting the Book of Mormon is keeping it shut, because once someone opens it and starts reading "all heaven breaks loose."