Thursday, July 4, 2013

It's a hard *knock* life for us!

Hahaha I'm sorry abour my subject titles. I spend pretty much the whole week thinking of them so I hope you appreciate them.

This week was pretty good, it was a little less successful and a little more discouraging than the past 2 but really not bad at all :) Gosh I never even know how to go about these emails. Mom to answer your question- my shoes are working out really well, my ankles hurt every now and then but not really because we have a car.

I realized that I've never really told you all who my investigators even are. We have 14 right now which isn't too bad for starting from scratch (the elders in our ward helped us a lot too). 0/14 are considered "progressing" and it is hard to get them to keep commitments but we are working on it :) I'll tell you some background on them:

-K.- she is the woman who lives in that sketchy apartment complex, 40's, we are having a hard time getting her to quit smoking and she just has a messed up life. I feel so bad for her sometimes. She came to church 2 weeks ago
-R.- K's daughter who is 13 but looks 16.
-S.- We met with this guy once, he is Hispanic and sometimes doesn't understand us. His wife is not super interested but we need her there to translate so she gets to listen anyways ;) They always have a lot of grand kids at home
-B.- 9 year old great granddaughter of a woman in our ward. Her dad is less active
-S., N., and N.- all children of Sister A. another less active member of the ward. She wants them to be baptized but they are really hard to meet with. They are all set to be baptized the 29th but they still need to come to church.
-B.- we haven't been able to meet with her yet but the Elders gave her to us and she seems super sweet from the times we have talked. She has a young daughter and her boyfriend apparently is a member
-The two B. girls- we've also only met with them once and then they've been out of town for the past 2 weeks. This is the daughter that had a son when she was 14
-F.- super awesome husband of a member of our ward, I'm excited to meet with him tonight! He showed up at church on Sunday and we hadn't even invited him so we were stoked out of our mind. When Sister H. pointed him out I was literally fist pumping in church.
-F.- Turkish lady, she is soooo sweet. The elders were meeting with her before- her husband is less active and they absolutely love the missionaries. They kind of just like to hang out with us and feed us food so sometimes it's hard to get around to the gospel, but we do it!
-B. and K.- I'll be talking about them later........................

ALRIGHT Y! on to the week :) This week I learned a lesson that I thought I knew but God didn't think so ;) This is the Lord's work and not ours, he is in complete control of what we do, who we find, what goals we accomplish, etc. On Wednesday we started out with a phenomenal zone meeting then went to do about 3 hours of weed pulling. The rest of the day every single appointment we had fell through, even dinner. Appointments falling through is pretty much a daily occurrence but at the very least we get to teach at least one lesson. We were supposed to have dinner with K. but she cancelled (I'll be honest I was a little afraid of what she was going to feed us anyways;) It felt like we were getting nothing done, we knocked on doors, no one answered, we knocked on more doors, more people didn't answer. No one was home. There are huge fires going on South of my area which you maybe heard about, I don't know a whole lot about it except that they are really bad and about 400 homes have been destroyed so far. So the sky was filled with smoke and it was covering the sun and I legit thought everyone was evacuated and we just didn't know about it haha. After every person we failed to see we would stop and pray asking where on earth are we supposed to go? Who are we supposed to talk to today? We weren't feeling very prompted and had no direction, finally around 8 we decided to go home and eat some dinner and share a message with Sister P. Boy do I love her, she could tell we were discouraged and she made us a quick little meal. Then we went back to work and again got nothing done. (Except inviting someone to be baptized probably at the doorstep because we still do it everyday) at 8:50, 10 minutes until the day is over we are driving home and all of a sudden cop lights come on and we get pulled over and Sister H. got a ticket for skipping lanes of traffic while turning. It was the perfect end to a perfect day <3 After that I knew that we pretty much had no control over what we get done, it is all in God's hands so I'm thankful he helped me recognize that.

It really wasn't that awful, we just hadn't had a day like that before. Throughout the week it was fairly hard to meet with our investigators and we ended up only teaching 19 lessons, 12 of which were active members haha.......

One day when we were teaching K. and R. we went to the sketchy apartments and of course the elders were already there, they love it there. The same people hang out outside so it was that little group. One girl's name is N. and she lives with her ex husband (yeah I don't get it either) They hate each other. So he was locked out of the apartment totally wasted and the elders were trying to teach him but N. wouldn't unlock the apartment for him so everyone was just yelling at everyone and us 4 missionaries were just like uhhhhhhhhh.......... Finally the elders got the drunk ex husband to go somewhere else and talk with them and Sister H. and I were able to pull aside K and R and teach them a lesson. During the lesson the cops came and arrested the ex husband. We live exciting lives eh? ;)

Lemme tell you about K and B. We found them yesterday because B was outside her house so we asked if we could share a message with her about Jesus Christ and she said "Oh, I'm Born Again Christian. My husband is an ordained minister and he could talk to you guys for ever." Sister Hsaid okay and Bwent in to ask K if we could come in, then she comes out and says "He says come on in! I hope you two brought your Bible!" and I'm thinking awh shoot....... thank goodness for Sister H.... I did not like talking to them at all, it was just starting to turn into a Bible Bash and he basically was telling us to leave the church and not waste our time because we don't know the truth. Finally I said "We could talk about our differences all day long and try to find proof who is right but we have other appointments to be at." Sister H asked if we could leave with a prayer and so I said the closing prayer and when I said Amen he said a prayer too. Not bowing his head, not closing his eyes, just talking into space he prayed that we would be able to find the real truth and not waste our time and some other baloney that I don't really remember. Then do you know what Sister Hsaid? She said "Can we set up a time to come back?" WHAAA. She gave them a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon about the God head because the whole debate was basically about the trinity. So we are going back on Wednesday. When we were far enough away I asked Sister H, "Why are we going back there?? They aren't going to listen to us" She told me we needed to give them a chance, they are God's children and they need to hear what we have to say. She asked me, how would we feel if God gave up on us after we ignored the truth once? I was so frustrated that I cried for the first time in the field (only like 3 tears don't worry). I know I should have faith that they can change and that God can soften their hearts but at the same time, they are free to choose.

I know that the spirit is the only thing that can convert people to the gospel of Jesus Christ. No amount of proof or evidence can convince people of the truth, only the power of God and his spirit. When the people are hardened to the spirit we can not do anything. I'm a 19 year old, I'm not a minister, I have studied the scriptures but I don't know them for memory, I can't provide archaeological evidence that the Book of Mormon took place but none of that matters. I know it is true by the spirit of God. That spirit of God is real, and I can never deny it. As M. Russell Ballard once told a large group of ministers "Even if I were to give you the gold plates to hold in your hands you still would not know the truth because the Holy Ghost is the ONLY thing that can testify of truth" (I paraphrased that a little). How can people be so quick to dismiss evidence from God with evidence made of man? That just doesn't make sense to me. I know that what K was trying to tell us was not from God because a messenger from God will make you feel love, peace, and comfort just as God would want his children to feel. The Book of Mormon is either true or it is not. It is either from God or it is from Satan and when you read that book with a sincere desire there is no possible way you can claim that it comes from Satan. A book the fills you with light, desires for goodness, and brings you closer to Jesus Christ is of God. The Book of Mormon is true and that is a fact. Basically I don't want to go back to B and K's because if they are not willing to listen to the Spirit than they will not be persuaded. Even if we were to counter every single scripture he showed us and find him proof, even if he saw Christ come to the people of America he would not believe unless he allowed the Spirit to testify that it was true.

So I didn't take notes of what I wanted to say this week until Friday.
One funny moment- we were talking to some neighbors of one of our members and they were very nice and Christian but aren't interested. The husband said "Oh yeah, my neighbor gave me a book about Joseph Smith." After I told Brother G (their member neighbor) he said "So he didn't read the Book of Mormon I gave him" hahahahaha.
Aly- Sister H. caught me saying ruff instead of roof. Just thought you'd get excited but don't get your hopes up ruff is still wrong.
With no one answering all week and it being so difficult to get a hold of people there were about two times where I just stood in the middle of the parking lot and shouted "I'm on a mission to tell people about Jesus Christ!! Please talk to me!!!" Unfortunately, I only got a few stares and no takers..... Also I have learned how to hide from peep holes so that people have to open the door to see who is there. That tactic still hasn't worked yet but I'm mastering it ;)
We have a new ward mission leader named Brother L, he is really young and SO AWESOME! I loved our old one too but Bro L is super energetic and stoked about helping us as missionaries. He makes me laugh, he would make you laugh too if you met him.

Okay I'm going to try and send pictures and stuff so I love you all so dang much!! This week really wasn't that bad don't worry, I'm ready to keep going and going for the next 17 months! People tell me that my "greenie fire" will go away but I'll prove them wrong. Thank you everyone who emails me I truly appreciate it. It would be so difficult if I didn't get to hear from you all every week.
Kenna-you are leaving SO SOON! I wear the bracelet you made me everyday and it helped me a lot this week as I remembered to be patient with the people here :)
Tash- um hi, are you alive?

Also, Sister H thinks I might be training next transfer. I would be scared out of my mind if I do. I will probably cry every night if I'm training after 6 weeks. That's an exaggeration but I really hope I can keep my trainer for 1 more transfer, you can pray for that if you'd like ;) Never stop emailing/writing me please! I'll never stop needing it!

I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
Sister Knowlton

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