Monday, April 1, 2013

"Well if you're telling me this book will bring me closer to God then why wouldn't I read it?"

     So you all mentioned you are fluent in Spanish now so hopefully you all understand what the email is called says.  It sounds like you had a lot of fun on your trip - I am so excited to see pictures and everything!!! The monkey story sounds HILARIOUS.  You can send videos to me if you would like to! I am so jealous you guys got to see monkeys AND sloths!!!!!!!! They are so cute! So anyway, I will tell you about my week now!
     I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but did I tell you church was cancelled last week? Crazy huh? Alright so anyway, last Monday we went to the botanical gardens and it was so awesome. They have an orchid show going on and it's Madagascar themed (the country not the movie).  It was really cool but then outside the main building they have something called the Climatron and it is so AWESOME! It is like this big dome shaped building that has like greenhouse type windows all around it.  You walk in and it's like you are in Costa Rica!!! hahaha well I've never been there but it was like walking into fiji.  There were trees and waterfalls and all kinds of plants all around.  It was so beautiful and warm! There was snow outside and it was freezing so that was our favorite place to be.  We walked pretty slow the whole time because it was so warm and just relaxing and humid and wonderful! I loved it!
     On Tuesday we had service and since transfers are coming up, one of the ladies that we do service with wanted to take us to lunch.  So we went to a mexican restaurant and they invited their pastor (a woman) to come with us.  She sat right across from me and was actually very, very quiet.  She was really nice and you can tell she has been through a lot but it was like one of those conversations where you learn a lot about them but they never asked you anything about yourself.  But it was still cool to get to know her and it's just interesting how woman are pastors! After, we had a lesson with Roger (did i tell you about him? He has Parkinsons and is older?).  Anyway, last time we had a lesson with him we gave him the Book of Mormon and talked to him about the Resurrection and he was pretty interested and said we could come back.  So we came back and this time his mom, Elizabeth, sat in! She is 96! She hasn't really gone to church for a really long time.  She's in a wheelchair and can't do a lot of things on her own.  We talked about the Book of Mormon again with her and she was like "Well if you're telling me this book will bring me closer to God then why wouldn't I read it? I will start reading tonight." Perfect, right?? So even though we kind of repeated our lesson that we had with Roger last time again, I think it was good! We also talked about prayer and we are going back this week to visit them again!
     On Wednesday we had a lesson with Robert about the Word of Wisdom and he is already living it so it was really pretty easy! However, he isn't really progressing.  We are teaching him lessons and everything but he isn't doing anything on his own and isn't calling us anymore and always has excuses for why he wasn't at church.  So he doesn't really have a baptism date anymore and we may have to drop him if it keeps going like this.  It's so sad though! He was doing so well for a long time and now it just doesn't seem as important to him anymore! Wednesday night we had a lesson with this lady that Sister Johnson tracted into when the exchange sisters were here.  Her name is Shufang and she has a daughter named Fay and an exchange student that stays there pretty permanently named Mi.  She is currently looking for a church! Her daughter Fay was home from college for spring break and she has roommates that are all different religions and she mentioned how they just don't seem very happy and they don't live the type of life that she would want to live.  She knows a girl from the ward and she mentioned that her and her brother always seem really happy! Shufang (the mom) was really interested in learning what happens after we die.  She has like a buddhist background but hasn't really practiced it for a long time.  She was also really concerned about what happens to animals after they die and I thought that was so cute! Like she asked about it probably 3 times and was really concerned.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and her daughter Fay was so excited to have it! So even though Fay went back to school yesterday we're hoping to stay in touch with her and see what she thinks about the Book of Mormon! We are waiting to get one in chinese for Shufang.  But Shufang also prayed for the first time and it was so sweet.  It's really cool hearing people pray for the first time! It's so genuine and not out of habit or anything so that was really cool too.  We have another lesson with her this week. 
     On Thursday, Elder Christensen and Nelson came and tracted in our area with us (we call it a blitz - I don't know if that's just what our mission calls it or if that's a term everyone uses).  Also, this girl in our stake, Rachel, who is leaving on a mission next Wednesday came with also! So what we did is we had Elder Nelson and Christensen on one street, Sister Johnson and I on a street, and then Sister Wilcox and Rachel on another street and we just all tract for like 2-3 hours.  Sister Johnson and I found a lady from Columbia and we talked to her for a really long time! She grew up Catholic because it was like the law there that they had to be Catholic in Columbia but now she just goes when she wants to and her son actually goes to a Catholic high school.  Her name is Yamarria?? (it's pronounced like Jomada).  While we were talking to her, her son came home from school and he was also interested in talking with us.  His name is Santiago.  We talked to them for a long time about our church.  It's hard though when people are like well as long as we all believe in God and follow the commandments then we're okay! But they want us to come back and everything so they are also 2 new investigators for us! That was so exciting!! We had 5 new investigators this week!!!
     On Friday we met with a lady in our ward who has just recently been coming back to church, Jane.  She is taking temple prep classes right now so we met her at the temple and had a lesson in the foyer with her.  She has had some concerns lately and just hasn't been excited to go and I think sitting there and having a lesson really helped! At the end she was like, "Okay so lets pick a date!" We told her it was completely up to her and that we would go with her whenever she decided she wanted to go and she chose April 26th! It was kinda cool for me because that's the day Alyssa is getting married.  I just might be at the temple the same day Alyssa is getting married! After that we had a lesson with Eugene about the Word of Wisdom.  We know that he smokes and stuff so we thought it would be a good idea.  We went through the Word of Wisdom and all (even though he's already heard it before).  I have noticed that with him he responds a lot better when we are forward with him so I was!  I asked him, "So Eugene, do you smoke or do drugs or tobacco?" And he said, "No, I don't use drugs".  And I asked, "Do you smoke?" (because we know he does) and then the truth came out.  He told us he did, but he committed that he would live the Word of Wisdom so I guess we will see!!
     On Saturday we went to Pagedale (super ghetto) and did a blitz in Elder Christensen and Nelsons area.  They put us in the safe parts though so it's okay! Rachel came with us again so her and Sister Wilcox tracted together again and Sister Johnson and I tracted together.  It was so much better tracting there!!!!
     Yesterday was Easter!!!!! It was a great day!!!! We woke up and had breakfast together which was fun because we usually don't eat breakfast together.  I made 'moutains' (aka german pancakes) and then we cut up some fruit - it was great! I also opened my Easter basket and it was WONDERFUL!!!!! Mother knows me well!!!! I love Recess and those chocolate covered Oreos are soooooo good!!!!!!! The weather was like perfect yesterday so during personal study I just sat out on our porch and read and it was so warm.  After church (I didn't see Margaret Macy - we have church at 1:00, what time did she go?), we had dinner at a members house and they were so cute! They have 4 little kids all 14 and younger and there is 1 girl and she is 8.  She wanted us to play with her like the whole time because she loved having girls over.  Their family was so fun and it reminded me a lot of our family - so that was nice! After that, we went to another members house and they had like a little Easter activity that we all did together and then we watched the video Finding Faith in Christ and then had dessert! They gave us little Easter baskets too.  It was a really good day though!
     I'm getting so sad though! Tranfers are next week and most likely Sister Johnson and I won't be together anymore :(.  I wish we could just be companions the whole time! I will most likely be training which is crazy but I'm bummed that Sister Johnson wont be my companion anymore.  I'm sure we will keep in touch though - we have had such a great time together!!!
     Today I think we are going to go get sushi for lunch and so I'm excited.  I did my dinosaur last night for Sister Johnson (p.s. I have NEVER showed that to anyone but my family).  She laughed pretty hard haha.  It was so great to hear about your trip - I'm glad you all had fun! It's slowly starting to warm up here so I'm pretty excited about that.  Anyway, that's about it! I hope you all have a fabulous week!!!!!!! Keep me updated on what goes on - I love hearing about everything!!! I would still like some pictures though....  I miss you all very much and as of tomorrow it will be 3 months!!! Crazy huh???? Welp I think that's all!!!!! I LOVE YOU AND I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY AND WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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