I’m a week late posting due to many things but here it is!! Enjoy-Audralyn
Friends and Fam,
Another week of miracles here in Cali! At this point I think we’re starting to get a little spoiled. The funny thing is that, honestly, I can’t think of anything that we did differently than in weeks past. Still working hard, talking with people, teaching people, preparing investigators for baptism, the usual. No biggie. But I suppose the Lord decided to tip the bucket of blessings just a little more than normal! I’ll get right to it then.
The crowning jewel of the week was that we found another family to teach! Well sort of, when we went to the first appointment the mom turned out to be a less-active member, but none of her 3 kids (all older than 8) have been baptized yet. We taught the message of the Restoration to them using the pictures in the pamphlet we have because they’re all still young, and they told us they want to be baptized! So we were like, “Okay sweet we can do that”. We taught them 3 times this week, an unheard of feat in this area, and brought them to church this past week. One of the kids told me yesterday, “Aww, I wanted to be baptized today!” when he found out he had to wait a few weeks. Yeah, that all happened in one week. And we found them just by knocking doors one day! The Lord blesses us in the craziest ways sometimes. So basically they’re getting baptized in 3 weeks and we’re super pumped to teach them.
During our weekly District Meeting last Tuesday we discussed different ideas to find people to teach, just to make it a little more interesting. So I wanted to share a few fun ones to show off our fun, creative side:
1. “Fruit Finding” When you notice a house with a fruit tree you knock the door to ask if you can take a few fruits and sneak in a Gospel convo at the end
2. “Smiling Competitions” As you talk with people on the street you have a competition to see who can hold a smile the longest (we don’t keep score because that’s against missionary rules)
3. “Interesting Complements” During street conversations each missionary tries to complement the most interesting aspect about the person
Try out a few for yourselves sometime and see how they work for you! Even if it’s super awkward, that’s what makes it fun. My favorite one so far has been the smiling one, mostly because of the weird looks we get haha.
Elder Varela and I went on an exchange a few days ago with our District Leader and his companion: Elders Bowman and Otto. Elder Otto came to my area and Elder Varela went with Elder Bowman. Elder Otto is seriously so hilarious. The other day he provided the quote of the week: “Okay so cherubim with a flaming sword? Yeah, definitely a Jedi. A child could figure that out”. He cracks me up sometimes. If we were permanent companions I feel like we would be the least productive companionship in the mission because he would keep me laughing all day and we wouldn’t get anything done. But the exchange went really well actually. We didn’t get much done because of some weird scheduling stuff and we had a meeting to go to but we taught Emerson, our other baptismal date. As of now he’s scheduled to be baptized on the 8th of March but we’ll see. He’s progressing in every possible way other than the basics…which basically means he’s not progressing. During the lesson he looked really sick, and sure enough he couldn’t come to church yesterday because of illness. But we’re praying that he’s at least been reading in the Book of Mormon during all this down time he’s been having. Now we know he won’t have any excuses when we visit him this week haha.
This week was also crazy in regards to finding new investigators: other than the kids we found several other new people to teach, almost all coming from member referrals. I hope all you members out there recognize the power and potential you have! Share those people you feel are prepared to receive the missionaries and the blessings will come without end, I can promise you that firsthand.
Quick note: yesterday, it rained. A lot. And we were on bike. And I don’t have a rain jacket (yet haha). The thing is that the weather was looking all fine and dandy when we headed out, a little cold so I decided to wear my sweater. Not 2 minutes after we left it started the sprinkle a bit, but nothing I couldn’t handle. By the time we were halfway to our appointment we were soaking wet haha. Honestly it was fun for me, but poor Elder Varela was miserable haha. But then it just got sketchier from there. After the lesson and the other one we had fell through we decided to head home to send our weekly numbers to our District Leader. But on the way home we found out the power had gone out for like 3 blocks on our usual route home so we were biking on the sidewalks without any sort of light other than our little bike lights. And I forgot to mention this earlier, I had my first experience with the hoodlum crowd in this area a few weeks ago: my front bike light got stolen haha. I’ve been borrowing one from Elder Bowman since, but it’s essentially useless so as we biked home I had to hold a mini-flashlight in my hand haha. At one point we had to cross an intersection, but all the lights (streetlights, stoplights, the works) were out so it was way intense trying to weave through traffic. Just kidding, it wasn’t that bad but cars were honking all over the place. But it all turned out okay so don’t freak out mom.
Still having exciting times over here! We’ve got 2 weeks left in the transfer and it’s very likely I’ll be getting a new companion. Elder Varela’s been in El Camino for 6 months and that’s usually a sign for moving areas. But who knows! God does, I can tell you that. To close I wanted to share this sweet scripture I found the other day while studying being “anxiously engaged” as a missionary and overcoming hardships in life.
“And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;
And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.”
If you’re going through hard times just remember that the most perfect man that walked the earth wasn’t perfect all at once either! Have patience (especially with yourself), rely on grace of God, and keep moving forward until everything is alright. Because I know there will come a day that everything will be alright! Commit yourselves right now to change yourself in a way that will put you on the path our Father wants you on. Have a great week everyone.
PS: Our Zone went on a hike last week so I’ll include so pics below
PPS: It’s a pic overload this week, sorry haha
1. Selfie with Elder Bowman and the backs of the zone
2. Our rattlesnake friend we made on the hike (no worries, no one got bit)