Well, to say the least, this has been the best week on my mission so far. It started off pretty bad, but just got better and better! I had a really bad cold on Tuesday and Wednesday, which made everything hard. I've never seen weather change like this before, so it wasn't too fun. The funny thing was that Hermana Haubner had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday morning, so I was sitting in there with her coughing and sniffing. The worst part was that ESPN was on in the office. Talk about temptations! It wasn't until we got home that things changed.
Our mission theme for this quarter is based on the Christmas song Little Drummer Boy. We are focusing on giving all we can to the Lord at this time in the mission. October's focus is on giving Him our will, November is giving our thanks, and December is giving our love. We have a goal for every zone to get 3 baptisms in October, 4 in November and 5 in December. The reason that I love that song so much is because the little boy gave the only thing he had. Look at how many things we have that we can give. I made a decision on what I want to give, but it’s going to take a long time and it’s going to be really, really hard. But I made this decision and then it was lunch time, so I took a nap. When I woke up, I was feeling soooo much better and I was ready to go to work.
That night, we went through all of our plans and back-up plans and prayed a lot to know where we should go. We had a feeling that we should visit Rolando. He was on date for baptism before, but since I'd been here we still hadn't met him. But that night we found him and set up a time to come back. His question for us was how can he know which way is the right way and be strong enough to resist wanting to go on other paths. That night as I was saying my prayer I received some revelation to share the story of the Tree of Life. When we went back, we taught him about that story and the importance of holding on the word of God to keep us on the right path. Hermano Deza came with us and they got along so well, it just went perfectly. Now he is on date to be baptized on the 14th of November! That was the first miracle we saw this week.
The next day we visited Maria, someone we had contacted a few weeks ago. We met with her and her brother, Francisco (that's fun to say :)) and they were so prepared. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and answered some of their questions. We were only planning on inviting them to be baptized, but we felt prompted to ask with a date. They are now preparing to be baptized on November 15th. When we left their house, they had looked up the movie "The Testaments" on YouTube and were going to watch it. They are so ready for what we have to share with them and I am so excited. So by the end of Friday night, we went from having 1 investigator on date, to 4.
The next day we went to carve pumpkins at one of our recent convert's houses. She is the only active member in her family. She has 2 younger siblings that are baptized, but they never go to church. So we carved pumpkins with them and their 2 cousins, one being our investigator, Kimberly. I wish I could explain to you the relationships of everyone in that home. About 16 people live there together, some are related and some are not. But we taught them a little more about baptism and invited 9 year old Kimberly to be baptized the 26th of October. That's 5 on date. She wants to do it, so we have the potential to have a baptism this coming Sunday! :D
In order to be baptized, our investigators have to go to Sacrament Meeting at least 3 times to show that they are willing to come back and ready to join the church. Sunday morning, we went over to see Kimberly and make sure that she was going to church. We got there and she looked so cute in her dress, but then 10 minutes later she came up stairs in jeans and a T-shirt. We had no idea what happened, but we showed her the Restoration video and testified non-stop about how much church can help with everything, but she just flat-out didn't want to go. She had only been to church once, so she needed to go that day and next week so she can get baptized. We left their house after we did all we could and the Spirit was so strong, but she didn't want to go. We left and ended up being a little late for sacrament meeting, but we were mad that things didn't go as we planned and we were sad that she didn't want to go. I calmed down as we took the sacrament and tried to see the reason behind all that happened, but I was still sad. Then, there was a miracle, and the whole family that lives in that house came into the chapel. Including Kimberly. Hna Haubner and I were so happy that we almost started crying. She went to church and afterwards was so happy and she was so cute! It was the most stressful morning of my life, but the most rewarding when she walked in with her mom, Ada. We had 4 of our investigators at church, which is a huge step from 1.
We just had miracles on top of miracles this week and it all changed as soon as I decided what I was going to give this year to Christ. It’s going to take a lot of work, but because of all the things that have happened, I know that I'm giving up my will, and showing my gratitude and love. When we do hard things the Lord blesses us in every aspect of our lives.
Now for the funny stuff...there was some good stuff this week-
-We were going to a lesson with some members and one of them asks us, "Conocen Chevy Chase?" (do you know Chevy Chase?) I responded with a "si" thinking he was talking about the actor...then I was really confused when he was talking about a place. It turns out there is a city called Chevy Chase in Maryland, which I was not familiar with at all, but we had a good laugh about that!
-One day, I was talking to one of the youth in Spanish and I said, "Yo tengo pesos" (I have pesos), but she thought I said besos, and that means kisses, so that was kinda weird. haha
-In the MVOC class last week, Elder Benson (from Ventura) was cracking jokes the whole time. The teacher asked us, "What is the driver's duty?" and he whispers, "dead guy duties" and I was dying. He did this through the entire class. The worst part was when the instructed drew a car and he whispers, "is that a submarine?" It did look like a submarine so I was smiling and trying not to laugh, but that was right when the instructor turned around. He thought I was laughing at his drawing, but I wasn't and he called me out for it...so I just took it and Elder Benson laughed so hard because he knew it was his fault.
-One night we went to a member's house for dinner with the other 2 hermanas in our ward, but afterwards went to a different apartment upstairs to sing happy birthday to someone. So we went inside and started sharing a message, and two other hermanas showed up and it was so funny. There was only one person in the house, so we joint taught.
-We are teaching a part-member family and their son is 2 years old. I thought they were calling him Alex, but sometimes they would call him Ben. So that night, I said to Hna Haubner, I can't figure out what his name is...is it Ben or Alex? Apparently "ven" is a command in Spanish that means come. But the b and v are the same sound in this language. His name is Alex and when I thought they were calling him Ben, they were really just telling him to come.
-I made a new friend this week. He's 3 and his name is Nasri. He was telling me all about ninja turtles and showed me his sweet ninja moves. We were sharing a message with Kimberly and were talking about how since we are all sons and daughters of God, we are princes and princesses. He didn't like that because he said he was a ninja, not a prince.
This week was amazing, and I hope it was for all of you as well! Miracles happen when we do the Lord's will. He wants to bless us, we just need to do a little to receive those blessings. Always remember to pray. Prayer is a great tool to find out what the Lord wants and to receive comfort. Love you!