Monday, February 17, 2014

Friendly, Familiar, and FANTASTIC!‏

I can't express how much I love being here. People say all the time that "my mission was the hardest thing I ever did, but it was so rewarding," etc. etc. I mean, yes you have to be dedicated, and work hard to be exactly obedient, but its not hard when it's all about loving people! I have no problem loving people. And if you love someone, you want them to be happy, so ultimately, a mission is bringing people to happiness. I love it!

This week was wonderful! On Tuesday we found one and a half potentials in this nice little neighborhood. The first one was sort of stand-offish at first, but I told him I liked the outside of his house and he got talking about how he made it himself, but it's not finished yet. We chatted with him for a few minutes, gave him a card, and he said he'd call us when he got back from vacation in a few weeks to have us help him with his house. We really hope he calls! That will give us something to do to get out of these skirts! ;) His name is Mardi. He's a great man. The next potential, the "half" potential, talked to us for a good 30 minutes about some crazy visions he had.  It was interesting... We told him we'd love to talk to him and he invited us back. So he's a "half" potential, but maybe we'll get to teach him a bit. His name is Chuck. I really look forward to meeting with the two of them again!

That night, we got to go to the Harmony Ward Laurel's activity. Actually, we WERE the activity. They have Elders in their ward, so we were asked to go instead. They had all written up 5 or more questions about missionaries and the lifestyle and such, and we got to go talk to them about it and bear our testimonies about it all! It was one of the highlights of my week. They were all such sweet girls!

A mom of one of the Laurel's made us this lovely Sister Missionary Cake!
Harmony Ward Laurel Activity
Last Sunday we had retried a family that Sister Major had tracted into the week before I got here named the Rodriguez's, and the mom answered the door. Her name is Meg, and she is one of the most genuinely kind people I have ever met. Their whole family is. We gave her a Book of Mormon and challenged her to read it. We set a return appointment for Wednesday, and when that appointment rolled around, we had a great time with them. We didn't really teach a lesson, but we talked a lot about the Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost, and baptism. We "soft-invited" them to be baptized, but the dad (Jose) said that they had already been baptized in the Catholic church and they didn't see a need to be baptized again. They are the happiest, kindest, most wonderful people! It's hard to show them that they are missing something when they are so comfortable with where they are at. The youngest son, Daniel, who is 8 years old, had a question for us. He had read the passage we gave Meg (Moroni 10:4-5), prayed about it just like we challenged, and he wanted to know what sort of a sign he would receive to know if it was true. We told him about the Spirit and that he would probably just feel peaceful or calm. Meg asked him how he felt after he prayed, and he said he felt calmer and more relaxed. Sister Major and I were doing a celebration dance inside. It was cool. We have another appointment with them this Thursday to teach them more about the Gospel, so more of an actual lesson, and talk more about what they're reading in the Book of Mormon. I can't wait!

We got Caroline's Valentine's gifts! We were both very happy. :) Thank you dear!

Sister Major and I holding Caroline's Valentine's Package
Has anyone ever played "Rummikub?" It's SUCH a fun thinking game! We played it with a member in the ward after we had dinner with her. She's 79, so I asked her if she ever played Aggravation, and she said of course! Her house reminded me of Grandmother and Grandfather's house in New Orleans, that's why I asked. But yeah, Rummikub may be my new favorite game to play with elderly people. Sister Major and I get pretty intense. ;)

Sister Taylor told us last week that we were the highlighted companionship for our Zone in Mission Leadership Conference and that our Zone Leaders said that we are "ripping it up!" So that was nice. Hopefully, we will continue to do just as well if not better and better every week!

There is this familiarity that I have with the people here. Mostly the investigators, or the people we meet out on the streets or tracting. I talked last time a little bit about that Godly love that I can feel for these people, but it goes beyond them. I RECOGNIZE them. I remember some lessons in Sunday School about going on a mission to find your old friends from the pre-existence and bring them back to Christ, but that has become such a reality to me now. I could comprehend it then, but to actually experience that familiarity with these people is something else entirely. I love them all so much! With an eternal love that must have existed before this Earthly life. Why else would they seem so familiar to me? It's been an absolutely wonderful feeling, and it's not temporary. I recognize almost everyone we talk to! I love it! I love this work so so much, and I am more and more grateful every day for the decision I made to serve. Till next time!

Sister Guilott
Sister Major and I in our car

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