So it was another one of those really slow weeks where everything kind of fell through.... and ended in a huge miracle.
But I'm not going to tell you about that, yet! And no skipping to the end. Cheaters!
We taught Stefanie and Chuck again. Chuck is a little tentative on making solid plans for baptism because he's afraid he'll slip into old habits again afterwards. Don't worry--we'll help him develop that faith himself and the Atonement he needs! Both of them. It's what we all need, really. Faith in our ability to access the Atonement is the same as faith in the fact that the Lord can make us whole. We need faith in ourselves--who knew?
Levi and her grandparents were visited by the Stake President and Bishop last week and talked a lot about family history. Ace is SUPER into family history, turns out, and he's way more open to the Church again! Let's hear it for inspired church leadership!
Janet and Max let us pick a bag of plums from their plum tree in their yard. I think I've eaten my weight in plums this week--which is hovering around the same as when I came out! Or at least that's what I like to tell myself... No scale, no worries.
We're teaching some kids--did I tell you about them yet? Karolina, Dominique, Vicente, and Israel. Karolina's super into it, Dominique is pretty into it, and Vicente and Israel are meh... but like the lessons! We went to their house to walk them to church yesterday, but they didn't come out, which is a bummer, but they said they'd do it next time. They'd better.... or we might have to go all Mom on them.
We met a girl on campus who was baptized at home about a month and a half ago. Her boyfriend contacted us and asked us to teach the new member lessons, since she didn't get them at home. Turns out, she was having an uber hard time the past few days and didn't know we were coming over until a few minutes before we came, so she really didn't want us there, and to top it off, she broke her leg the previous day and it felt awful. However, we talked about trials, faith, growth, and showed her the "Mountains to Climb" Mormon Message (I've already invited you to watch that, but go watch it again. It's just.... just so good). She said at the end of the lesson that because the Spirit was there, her leg didn't hurt anymore. She said that it was actually a blessing that we were able to come. Funny how the Lord leads us to where we need to be, especially after a day where not a lot went according to plan.
Saturday we went to contact a former investigator. A man named Matt opened the door and said they JUST moved here. None of them are members. They were in the middle of dinner, so we had to leave quickly, but he said we could come back any time! I swear.... I feel like our miracle level has saturated my worthiness level ten times over. And that's not even the miracle I was talking about at the beginning of the email.
And I guess I could tell what that is now--you've waited long enough. So besides what I've told you so far, not much happened this week in the way we would have liked. We only taught 21 lessons, which is really low for us, but that's partly because we've been thinning out who we go see. We've been placing priority on teaching those who are willing to change instead of beating our heads against the brick wall of less penitent people, so instead of seeing people who don't desire to better their lives after a few meetings with us, we've been out trying to find others who want to change. As a result, we didn't teach that much. But we fooooound.
And right before church yesterday, a man came up to us and told us of a young family that JUST moved in a few days ago, where the mom, Lili, is reactivating, and the dad, Paul, and nine year-old daughter, Jocelynn, are not baptized (and they have a super cute 7 year-old girl (Arianna) and 2 year-old son (Donovan)). They had been taught a little bit in another area, so they already had felt the Spirit and talked about baptism. So we went over there that night and, before we even really taught anything, set a day on which they want to be baptized. He even talked about wanting to receive the priesthood so he could baptize his younger daughter when she turns 8 a few months from now and getting sealed a year from now! They are such a loving, wonderful family. Truly amazing people. I'm really looking forward to working with them more!
The Lord truly makes up the difference. We wanted to use our time more effectively, so though we taught fewer lessons, those lessons counted for much more, and we were able to find more of God's children who really desire to draw closer to Him. And it's like that with ourselves; we're nowhere close to perfect, but through the Atonement, we can become so. We have to constantly keep trying, but through Him we can do anything. ANYTHING. Just ask Him. I have to every day, and I can feel His strength and love and wisdom pouring into me! So ask Him to help you overcome your weaknesses and trials. There's a huge reservoir of blessings waiting to be unleashed, and prayer is the dynamite that breaks the dam. (The longer I've been on my mission, the more I've realized you can make a Gospel metaphor out of pretty much anything.)
I love you all more than words can describe.
1. Our district!