Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Laughing out loud- all day, everyday!

(note: names have been changed) 

Another great week? yep, another great week!

I'm going to try and jam pack it into this email.

On Tuesday we were on exchanges and I was with a sister from Samoa, we came out the same day. We got an idea from some other STLs that before the exchange you have the sister you aren't exchanging with come into the car and say "OKay I'm about to spend a day with your companion. What should I watch out for? What does she need help with? what should I focus on?" It is so helpful! It's so much easier to pick up on their needs thoughout the day.

We taught a lesson to our investigators Jane (21) and Cindy (mom). At the end of the lesson Jane said, "You know I've been wondering about being baptized and getting my daughter baptized and then you guys showed up right after that. Isn't that funny?" It just shows how much God really does guide us. We found her because a month ago(?) we were going to an appointment and it was FREEZING outside (around 8 pm) but there was a guy outside scrapping his car. We offered to help and of course he said no but then I said, "We don't have an ice scraper, can we borrow yours?" So we scrapped our back window and then talked with him briefly. Later we were in the neighborhood, tried his house, and that's when we met Jane and Cindy!

Wednesday was Zone Conference and it was really cool, we had a lot of training on how to be more effective teachers and the mission totally caught on! Things have improved even within the week. S May (her Tongan companion three times) gave her departing testimony, I thought I would be sad but I really was just so proud to be her companion :) She is probably one of the most influential missionaries in the mission. Sometimes it's hard to be her companion just because it's easy to compare myself to her but she is humble and does a good job of boosting me up.

At ZC, President Toombs did a roleplay with his counselor and they were pretending to be missionaries planning and they said "I think we could get 10 lessons tomorrow" and all the missionaries looked at each other like "uhhhhh do they not know what missionary work is like? You don't get 10 lessons in one day" So we all chuckled a little like "silly President...." But the next day, We got 9 lessons! So close ;) At the beginning of the day it was kinda discouraging because we had planned for 4 member present lessons and they all cancelled. It was Thursday and we hadn't found any new investigators yet that week. I was only getting discouraged because I feel a lot of pressure from President, since he put us back together, I feel like he expects crazy miracles and success every week. I asked S May, "Are we allowed to have a bad week?" I wanted her to say, "yes of course, everyone has bad weeks!" But she said "Nope." Haha. The next house we tried was a potential (Donna) that we have been trying for 2 months. She was finally home and let us come in. We have been learning to always teach God's nature first, they need to understand that before they can understand the Restoration and the BOM. We testified to her and her husband about God and His love. We told them that He is her Father and that He has felt all of her pain and was there with them always. Donna's eyes were filled with tears as she listened to the Spirit. I walked out thankful that we didn't give up and that my companion had enough faith to know that we can see success every week.
Later that evening we found two more investigators from a lady that we had talked to outside a couple days earlier. We decided to see if she was home and she was! We taught her and her granddaughter.
Then after that we went to visit our investigator Yesi (was on date for baptism till she didn't come to church /:), while we were there, her two younger brothers joined in and said they would want to learn more so we ended up finding 6 investigators that day!

Saturday we were on exchanges again, I was with a Spanish sister who has been out for about 2 months. During her language study she helped me read the BOM in Spanish, she said I was pretty good! Thank goodness for living in Escondido and hearing the accent all the time ;) While we were planning the night before we included in our prayer "Heavenly Father, we are planning to see these people tomorrow, please prepare their hearts and help us find people to be baptized." In the morning we followed our plans and went to contact a referral a member gave us. Everytime we try we always try the apartment across the hall too. Neither of them have ever been home, but as we were knocking on the referral's neighbor a woman walks up the stairs carrying a 2 liter Dr Pepper and smoking a cigarette. I asked "Do you live here?? I love Dr Pepper!!" She let us come in, not to talk to her but she said we could talk to her daughter. Cici is 15 and she is going througha  really hard time. I'm pretty sure Cici sleeps on the couch. The entire lesson, we taught of God's nature and love, she would try to hold back her huge grin. Every now and then it would slip out as we told her "God has a plan for you. He is there for you to help you get through these trials" We asked how she felt and she said "I feel so comfortable." We asked, "have you been feeling that this whole time?" and she said "yes!" We testified that the feeling was the Holy Ghost telling her this message is true. We are coming back and bringing one of the Young Men who is her friend from school. I know that we would not have been at that apartment at the right time if we had not asked God to prepare these plans.

At the end of the day we had about an hour left and our appointment cancelled. We went to our scheduled backup and prayed "Please help us find those prepared to be baptized and help us know the opportunity when we see it" We tried a bunch of potentials in the complex and no one was answering so we went to try an investigator there. As we were walking we saw a boy sitting at a picnic table on his phone. I got teh distinct impression that that was who was put in our path. He started to walk away but we walk faster ;) His name is Andrew and he's 12 years old. He was really shy and didn't say much but we asked if we could walk with him to his apartment and pray with his family. He said yes so we went in and taught his mom and her boyfriend the message of the Restoration. The mom said she had mormon friends in highschool and they always broguht her to activities. (Thank you mormon friends from forever ago!)
On the way to exchange back Hermana Boston said "I don't want to leave!"

Sunday we had 3 investigators come to church. Valerie (I talked about her a couple weeks ago), went to a different ward because she can't make it to our time. She works Sunday and is trying to get it off so we told her in the mean time go to the other ward (which happens to be President Toombs's ward) He texted us letting us know that she was there and that he had a nice talk with her! She is set to be bpatized March 8th. Then our investigators Mary and Sonny came with their fellowshippers/neighbors. The ward was AWESOME everyone was talking to them and helping them feel loved. In our lesson that evening they said they felt so welcomed and they loved it! Melissa also showed us how she downloaded the scriptures on her phone! They will be getting bpatized March 15th.

Sorry this was so stinkin long, I just am sad you don't get to hear all the miracles we see every single day, literally. S May and I are still having the time of our lives. Did you know that I snort when I laugh? Well yeah, when I'm companions with S Mailau, I discover that. It's super embarrassing but it just makes me laugh harder. The Hansons who we live with call me "the giggle box." Their cleaning lady came down to our room while we were planning and said "I just wanted to say hi because your laughter fills the whole house!" haha oops...... I love you all so much and am tahnkful for your love and support. It helps me so much. I know without all of you I would not be enjoying my mission as much as I am.
Her Zone

A recent convert gave them the pillows for Valentine's Day

With a family she is teaching. Sad because her companion smashed a cupcake in her face

Love you!!!
Sister Knowlton

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