I bet you're getting tired of me saying another great week in SoCal but... Another great week in SoCal!!!! It's been hot and sunny every day, about 92 on average.... so I can't complain!
Last Monday we had an awesome zone activity in the park. We had hot dogs and hamburgers and we played sand volleyball... but of course I forgot to take pictures until the very end.... But it was so fun :)
After Pday, we had a lesson with Liz and her boys, her daughter Crystal and her husband Alfred were even there! It was great. After that we went to go and see a former investigator named Salai that we still stop by. She loves missionaries and she likes a lot about our religion but she is still searching and she wanted a break to do it on her own... but we still go by and see her every few weeks so that when she is ready, we will be there!
Tuesday we had a lesson with a woman named Rosemary first thing in the morning. she is an older widow, her dad was LDS but she had some negative experiences with the Church at a young age. We offered to share a message about the plan our Heavenly Father has made for us, she accepted! It breaks my heart when people ruin others' experiences with the church. We hope we can help her see that we believe in strengthening families, not tearing them apart.
After that we had a wonderful lesson with Demel. He hadn't read the Book of Mormon so we read the introduction with him, Justin Ibarra came with us, he is so great! He is going to be an amazing misisonary! Justin was baptized just last October and he was able to share his testimony of how he came to know the Book of Mormon was true and how because of that he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this is Christ's church! It was amazing to watch the change that came upon Demel. He promised to read and we will be returning with Justin this week!
Tuesday was also the 4th of July! We didn't have any dinner plans and I felt bad that Sister Nicol's first Holiday away form home would be so boring, so we went to IN-N- Out (even thought it's got yucky fries haha), so that made her happy! But then just after dinner we went to see a less-active family, Vaiola's family, and they invited us to join their dinner and some of their neighbour's even had fireworks. It was really such a huge blessing!!! I could tell that Sister Nicol really needed it, God certainly does work in mysterious ways!
Wednesday we had a lesson with Calvin, a less-active member named Scott and we found 2 new investigators; Karen and Kelvin, her son! They are very sweet and have met with missionaries before. We also found another investigator named Al. We had been seeing some potentials in one of our areas and Sister Nicol felt impressed to knock on one of the neighbour's doors. Just as we were about to do this, I noticed the other neighbour, who turned out to be Al! He is really awesome, has a strong faith in Christ and is open to learning more. We knocked the other door after and they were not interested but I know that if we hadn't stopped to look around because of Sister Nicol's prompting, we would not have found Al. God is good!
On Thursday we had another lesson with Calvin, we saw Jeremy, which is really good! he hasn't been doing so well for the last week or so, but he is doing a lot better now! Seeing him happy makes me so, so happy! I can't help but grin every time I see him. Later in the evening we saw Dice, we talked to him more about baptism and confirmation and the qualifications for it and the covenants we make, it was really great!
Friday we had another new missionary training! It was wonderful, as always! So glad to get reminders of the basics! Later that evening we had basketball and Edward, his son Eddie, Glenn, Jeremy, Alyssa, and Justin came! It was really great, especially to have Eddie there since he is not really an investigator right now, we are hoping we can get to know him a little better and maybe he can start coming to church with his dad.
Saturday was CRAZY! First off, we had a lesson with Oscar, Justin came with us. It was very... interesting. It was pretty clear about halfway through that we was not interested in being taught but in teaching us... so we moved on! After that we had a lesson with Edward, going over the baptismal interview questions, Justin was there for that as well! After lunch and studies and stuff, we had a lesson with Mattie, and Ethan Vaughn was there for that. The spirit was really strong in that lesson and I had the opportunity of experiencing giving a strong promise from our Heavenly Father as one of His representatives, it was awesome! I think she is getting closer and closer to baptism! After dinner we had a lesson with a sweet older lady named Mollie, we taught her the restoration, Sister Nicol took the lead and she did a really good job!
After Mollie we had another lesson with a guy we found last week named Jesse. Jesse has tattoos that cover both his arms , one of his legs, and that go all the way up to his jaw-line on his neck, but man does he have faith in Jesus Christ. We can never know who will or will not be interested in receiving our message, it is just not our call to make! I'm glad I didn't listen to what I thought when we approached Jesse for the first time, but that I listened to the Spirit.
That being said though, he was drinking with his friend outside when we went to teach him on Saturday haha. We decided to try and teach him a 4 minute restoration but about half-way through the cops pulled up behind us! hahahah I think Sister Nicol just about peed herself. The cop was very nice and just asked Jesse and his friend that was with us, Isaac, to go inside to enjoy their beverages. So we said bye to Jesse, but we will be seeing him again!
Right before we went home, we stopped by Dice to remind him about church the next day, we told him we were meeting with someone who was struggling to accept the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. He said, "Well, tell him to read it! It will blow his mind!" All I could think of was, you're telling me, Dice! Satan knows the power of the Book of Mormon, and he is good at his job.... so no one wants to read the Book! I know, just like Dice, that if we have a question or doubt about the gospel, it can be quickly and thoroughly resolved through acquiring a testimony of the truth and divinity of the Book of Mormon.
Sunday was a sad day. Despite our many efforts, we were unable to help anyone get to church. I was pretty discouraged actually. I thought for sure this week. We had put so much time and effort into each person we were hoping would make it. I was very glad for the sacrament and the part it played in giving me comfort from my Heavenly Father that day. I was still pretty down until we stopped by Jeremy! He wasn't able to make it to church today because he is still recovering from his hardships last week, but he took us out to see some of his neighbours to talk about the Gospel! He is also going to be coming to a lesson with us this evening! Seeing people like Jeremy always brightens my spirit! It was definitely a good way to end my day, and week!
Well, I love you all dearly!!!
The Church is true,