Guess what today is?
Yep, my FIVE HUNDREDTH DAY of being a missionary!!! Can you believe that?!?! Crazy huh?!
Well family, here I am, coming to you again from California (where else?). Hey guess what? Do you remember Bro McCullouch? He was the stake YM pres for a while when we lived in Rock Hill...his son, Pace, was one of Joseph's friends...anyways, they have another son who is serving in my mission right now, and we happened to be at the same library at the same time today! How crazy, huh?! Apparently their family moved to Utah about 6 months ago, so he knows and gave me a few little updates on people back in charlotte! So cool!
Hmmmm, let's see. What something cool has happened this week in the missionary life of yours truly?
Well, we went to the VC with some investigators this last Friday, which was really good! Probably the best part though, was having a few minutes to talk to one of the sisters working there who is in my old area of Marina del Rey. She was giving me a little update of some of the people there, which was SO GOOD!!! Most especially, I think, Patricia. I love that woman so much, and it is such a joyful thing to be one of the missionaries who has had the privilege of watching her grow and change so much! I taught her almost my entire time in MdR (6 months), and she got baptized shortly after I left. Anyways, apparently she did baptisms for the dead in the temple for the first time not too long ago, and told the sisters what an amazing experience it was and how much she loved it!!! AND she really felt the Spirit at General Conference, especially when Pre. Monson spoke. It's just one of the most wonderful things to hear that she's doing so well, especially because I know how far she's come! I think maybe it's a little like watching your children grow up...if so, I agree with the scripture that there's nothing better than to know that my "children" walk in truth! THIS is why I love being a missionary!!!!!!!
Earlier this week we tracted into a lady named Maria. She's a really funny lady. When she first came out and started talking to us, all she would talk about was how terrible and sad it was that we leave our families and go so far away to do this. She had met some other missionaries a while back, and that was pretty much the only thing she remembered. Anyways, we asked if we could come in and teach her, a she agreed. Catholic by birth, she attends a Christian church and goes to JW bible study classes during the week (I know, quite the variety, right?). As we began teaching her, she told us that the other missionaries had given her one of our books (the Book of Mormon), and then found and puled it off her shelf. Really dusty and definitely unread, but at least she had one, I guess :) Well, as we were talking, my companion all the sudden said, "Do you know what that is?!," which kind of surprised Maria. Then she (my comp) proceeded to tell her very excitedly what an incredible thing it was that she had in that book! Maria was really taken aback and surprised, but then got really excited too, and just thanked us and thanked us because she had this great treasure, this book that is so valuable, and she'd had no idea! She seemed so happy and just hugged the BofM, saying how valuable it was, which kind of surprised us! People don't usually react like that when we tell them about the Book of Mormon! So then we invited her to come to church, to which she quickly replied, "No, like I told you, I already go to a Christian church."
What's funny is that it wasn't mean or rude or malicious at all, just very matter-of-fact. So we continued teaching her because she was still very happy and excited about the BofM; we invited her to be baptized, and she accepted!!! She was so happy about it too! She told us how she'd been baptized catholic as a baby, but not as an adult, when she really knew what she was doing, and that she really wanted to. Sweet! So we talked a little about that, and then invited her to church again; we figured she would for sure, since she'd just agreed to baptism. Wrong! Just the same as before, she sweetly, quickly, matter-of-factly replied, "No, remember, I go to that Christian church."
If there was a word to properly describe the slightly deflated, shoulder-drooping, she-obviously-doesn't-get-it, uggh sort of feeling that comes at moments like these, I would use it here. I don't think there is though, so this description will just have to do.
Anyways, we talked to her a little more about it and set a return appointment, and we're going to try again when we go over tomorrow...IT was a pretty funny experience though!
OH!!!! Abraham got confirmed! FINALLY!!!!!!!! He's been MIA in Tijuana for the last several weeks, and we were getting a little worried. Something about your just-baptized, but unconfirmed investigator leaving town without a specific return date and no real way to get a hold of him makes a missionary worry a little bit. But he made it back safe and sound, was confirmed Sunday, and has an appointment to meet with the bishop about getting the PH this week!!!
All in all, life is good, and as always, I Love Being A Missionary!!!!!!! The church is still true, and I know it!
Hope you all have a wonderful week!!!!!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!
Lots of Love,
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!