Tuesday, January 5, 2016

WEEK 9: Hey Arizona, How you likin' the rain girl?

Hola!!! It's raining in Mesa today, hence the title... haha but I kind of like it! The weather is starting to warm up, especially these last few days so that's good. Everyone keeps warning me about the summer, and I don't think I know exactly what I'm up for. So I guess we'll find out! But this week was such a great one and full of miracles and great things!

So on Tuesdays and Thursdays a member who has gym does fitness classes in the morning for sisters. So we decided to go on Tuesday and we worked sooooo hard! I was sore for literally three days. But we're going to try to go more so we can be super fit. But we found 4 new investigators that day which is really good for us! It's amazing how if you pray and are dilligent in your work they Lord will prepare those people who need to hear the gospel. So we found on lady named Isida. She from Mexico but was staying with her daughter Monse for the holidays. And we had a really good conversation about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. It's interesting because we would keep going to visit Monse but she's never home, but we always find someone new to talk to when we go to her door. I think we've met about 3 different friends at her house. So we actually decided to drop Monse as an investigator because she's difficult to contact, but we think we're still going to keep stopping by her house.

On Wednesday we had a lesson with Socorro! She is probably one of my favorite investigators because she is sooooo prepared. But we taught her about the Plan of Salvation that day and I think she loved it. We asked her what she thought about the plan and she said it was a perfect plan. And it truly is. We're going to try to get a date set for her to be baptized sometime this week! We also had our last night of Christmas lights on Wednesday. It's both good and bad, because I loved getting to know and here from different people at the lights every night, but at the same time now we have more time to find and teach new investigators. And something cool is that for the month of December our zone had a goal of finding 90 new investigators, and we ended up finding 123! That was pretty amazing. So for this month our goal for just the district is 93. And I know we'll be able to find those people who are prepared.

On Thursday we met with a girl named Jocelyn who is 8 years old and the younger sister of Osmond (one of our investigators), and she is progressing so well! She told us that she was reading in the Book of Mormon and that she read it in the car on the way to something! And she's also really understanding and getting things from her readings! Which amazes me, because I know when I was reading the scriptures at her age I was not nearly that advanced. But we didn't have many more lessons that day because it was new year's eve, and we also had to be selective on the area's we would go because some can be a little more dangerous.

On Friday was new year's day! HAPPY NEW YEAR! So that morning the Beltran Family from our ward invited the missionaries for breakfast. And we had tacos with this really good meat, and then later they told us it was cow tongue! So kind of interesting, but it was sooooo good. Oh yeah, I also ate menudo in new year's eve, that one I didn't like as much, but at the same time it wasn't terrible. But on New year's day since it's kind of a hard day to get appointments, we had a party with the whole mesa mission! It was super fun! We played games, sports, made skits.

On Saturday was a great day! So we decided to drop a few of our investigators and really focus on the one's who are progressing. So that meant we had some time to do some finding. But we decided to visit a former investigator who had been taught before and been to church 4 times but didn't come to church. So we taught her the restoration, and the spirit was sooooo strong! I guess she had some issues with her daughter being a member but yeah. But also she works a lot so she can't come to church most of the time. And that's how it is for most people here, we find them one day, but then every other time we try to come back they're working.

Something scary that happened on Saturday was, we were driving to a lesson and we were stopped at an intersection. And this car was turning left and another car was running the yellow light and smashed into the car. It was super scary, but I'm just so glad it wasn't us!
But after that happened, we went to go do some more finding, but we had a member with us, his name is Jose. And he is AMAZING! So he got baptized about 5 or 6 months ago, but he is sooooo strong in the gospel. And that's how almost all of our members in the ward are. Most of them are recent converts and only got baptized about one to two years ago, but every time we take them out to teach with us they are so great and they bring the strongest spirit ever!!! So I love the ward members. But we found 5 new investigators that day. Also Jose is so amazing, because we taught someone named Emilio who was taught all the lessons previously, but he thought some people in the church were hypocritical so he didn't get baptized. But Jose was able to talk to him and share why we don't need to worry about the other people. Another reason why the members are so great is that they know how to speak spanish WAY better than we do, so they explain things really well if we're struggling.

Sunday was also such a great day! We now have church at 12:50 which is a really weird time. We also start with sunday school, then relief society, then sacrament. So church schedule is a little weird, but still great! So Socorro came to church again! She is so great and loves church. She likes the songs, taking the sacrament, and all the ward members have been really nice and welcoming to her. But the Cervantes family didn't come. We decided to kind of give them a break from contacting them for about a week. And then we'll try to go back. We had some great lessons that night thought too! So we've been trying to meet with a family called the Pacheco's for a while now. They haven't come to church ever since the elders that baptized them left the area. But Sunday we were finally able to have a lesson! We kind of talked about church and she let us know she hasn't come to church because she also has a problem with some of the members being hypocrites, which seems to be a really common problem with some of the members and non members here. But it sounded like they were going to come back to church! Personally I was just glad we were able to have a lesson with them.
So we also had a great lesson with a lady named Nadia. My companions told me that she used to open the door to them all the time and have lessons, but then one day she just stopped letting them in and would look out the window to see if it was them so she could know to answer the door or not. And they had no idea what happened. But on Sunday she let us in! We started out by singing "A child's prayer" which is one of my favorite songs ever. And then she just kind of opened up to us and told us that she tried going to other churches, but something inside of her kept telling her to come back to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So that was just amazing to hear that. That was the spirit! We didn't really teach much, just kind of listened, but the spirit was honestly so strong. And I was so glad she had a change of heart. So she hasn't been baptized along with the rest of her family, so hopefully we can work on that and help them out!

So basically it was a week full of miracles. It amazes me everyday how the Lord prepares people to cross our path. I can't wait for these next few weeks and months! As a zone we have this goal or vision called miracle march. They did it last year in the mission, and they had 100 baptisms in the month of March which is amazing! So what we're trying to do is find a lot of people in the month of January, teach a lot in February, and then have baptisms in March. I'm so excited and I know the Lord is going to help us as long as we are diligent and faithful in our work.

Everyone's been telling me about how they miss me and that means so much to me! I miss you all as well but I'm so glad to be finding these amazing people everyday and witnessing miracles that happen. But just want to challenge you all to somehow try to bring someone closer to Christ this week. It can be a member or non member, friend or stranger. But I promise that if you pray for that opportunity the Lord will make a way and you will have an incredible experience! Hope you all had a great new year's and I can't wait for what this year has to offer!

-Hermana Brown

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