This week has been good but kind of slow. Our numbers were low so it felt like we didn't accomplish anything but we actually really worked hard this week. Everyone has their agency and we can only do so much for them. But, we did find new investigators this week. We are trying to organize our area and find all the less actives and part member families and figure out who everyone is and start cleaning out our ward list. We have been doing a lot of organizing and paperwork the last week or two and we finally have all of our lists complete. So, we started off at the top and went to go contact people which I have decided I hate doing. I am not very good yet at door approaches or first contacts with people. I just really struggle which was really frustrating this week but I am glad Sister Fisher is really good at it cause she has helped me out a lot. I don't know what I will do when she leaves. Anyway, we went to knock on this less actives door and this lady answers and she speaks hardly any English. We ask her her name and it is not the less active at all. Sister Fisher, bless her determined little heart, tries to start sharing a message with her and this lady is just not getting it. She hardly speaks any English. But, we were able to set up an appointment with her for later that day when her daughter would be home who could speak English. The whole time I was trying not to laugh. I mean....come on she wasn't understanding anything! I thought it was going to be a waste of time to go back. (You are obviously getting where this story is going and shame on me for lacking faith!) Anyway, we leave and go knock on some doors. I forgot what it is called but when you go visit someone you are always supposed to knock on the house next door on both sides and the three across the street. So, we did that. Oh, did I mention it snowed this week? It was 20 degrees with 90 percent humidity plus it was windy and I wanted to die. I didn't like it at all but I suggested we keep knocking on doors so we did. Anyway, we left and went to our other teaching appointments and came back to her house at 5pm.
She let us in and her son came out (he is 10) and he started translating for us. Then, her 16 year old daughter came out and was the translator and we learned their story. They are from Iraq and are Muslim. I was thinking "freak, this is going to be a hard lesson because Muslims are super solid in their faith. Anyway, we started teaching the restoration and it was a super powerful lesson. I felt like the 16 year old daughter, Nora, who claims she is not religious in any way actually seemed intrigued by the end of the lesson even though she tried to hide it. We then taught them how to pray and it was kind of funny because the daughter said "I'll do it" and we said "Awesome" and we taught her and her mom how to pray. We thought they were going to say it out loud but they said them in their heads and it was awkward. After the prayer, the mom said "I feel relief and I have goosebumps on my arms." That was the greatest testimony to me that regardless of who we are, we all deserve to be taught the gospel and nothing will stop the work of the Lord. Regardless of language and cultural barrier it will move forward and there are people who have been waiting and have been prepared to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ at this time. I fell in love with that family. Her two sons (8 and 10) were jumping up and down just pumped to come to church and the daughter was actually more receptive of the message than she really showed. It was a small and simple experience, yet was so powerful and extraordinary.
We were also able to pick up two new investigators this week. One of them is named Cornilles but he goes by Corn....funny right? Anyway, we are going to transition him to the elders because he is being just a little bit too flirty. :) But "R" bailed on us on Sunday but we have an appointment with her tonight so hopefully all goes well! Her daughter lives on the other side of the city and is getting baptized so she could be super solid. I am excited.
Also, thank you so much for the Christmas decorations! We put our cute little tree up and put up all the ornaments and the little star. You seriously are the greatest! We still need to put the lights up around the window. This week has been crazy so we haven't been able to put them up yet. We will do that today.
This week I had my first zone conference. Yay....exciting! I guess five year ago they did a survey here in our mission and the survey is what helped create these books for stress management worldwide for missionaries. I guess our mission for some reason has the highest depression rate of any mission. We retook the survey because of the influx of girls (Sister Missionaries). In the survey before, they only had like ten girls represent it. So, I got to take the survey which is cool cause this survey is going to represent missionaries everywhere. They are really working on ways to help missionaries with their mental health these days, I guess. I am doing just dandy though so that's good! The conference was really cool. I love being with other missionaries. They are like your family. It took up almost the whole day though which was a bummer but it was nice we learned a lot.
Also, can you thank the Peters and the Tafuas for the birthday cards! They were so nice. The Peters also sent Sister Fisher one which was really cool of them.
Today we are going ice skating for a zone P-day which I am sooooo excited for. Also, it is super cool working alongside the APs. They have so many resources and they are always helping us out. They are the coolest guys and are really good missionaries. It's Elder Banks and Elder Wunderli. They are both from Utah. Elder Wunderli is actually from Alpine, Mom. Anyway, that has been fun learning a lot from them. They still intimidate me a little but that's okay. Also, can you believe this Saturday we get the transfer calls?! I am so nervous for what is going to happen! It's almost a guarantee we will be affected and I don't know if I am ready. At the same time, I cannot believe I have been out for three months. Seriously? Where has the time gone?
Anyway, I love you all so much. I hope all is well. You all amaze me and give me so much strength. I brag about having the best family all the time. :)
PS. You know that gold rose that Dad got from his work? Does that have any sentimental value to you? We have this recent convert that we taught a little before she was baptized. She was in the other ward and then came to our ward with the boundary changes. Her name is "H" and we are super close to her. She has the most amazing life story ever. She was put into sex trafficking when she was around five in Mexico. She came to the USA while still in the trafficking and has had horrible, horrible things happen to her. She watched her dad murder her mom in front of her. She has been beaten and raped many times. She had five kids who were all murdered by her ex because he did not want to pay for child support. He is now St. Louis's most wanted and he is still not in jail. Because of Missouri laws, she went to jail for assisting in the murders because she "put them in danger" because she knew him. Her native American name is Sweet Rose and she made me some earrings that are dream catchers (she makes jewelry). She said it was to catch all the good things people say. I wanted to give her a gift and it would be cool to give here that rose but I don't want to do that if you guys want it or anything. It's just a thought.
|Sister Fisher and I were given matching Superhero pajamas|
|"D's" husband is a mailman and he wears these boots that are super warm and waterproof.|
|Heading out on our P-day to see Paint St. Louis...three miles of spray painted|
|Paint St. Louis|
|Look how big some of them are!|