This week was so good! Hermana Reyes and I saw so many miracles, as usual, this week which helped us to keep working hard and pushing forward.
This week were were able to finally meet Rosa! She's one of our investigators that has just recently undergone foot surgery. She's been through a lot in her life, including a bad marriage, child abuse, and all sorts of health problems. We were able to first talk to her about the Atonement and how we can turn to Christ in any of our problems and he'll help us overcome them. We shared Alma 7:11-12 and she teared up as she was telling us all about her difficult life. We went back the next day and started reading 2 Nephi 2 with her. We weren't able to finish it, but we were able to talk about how even though we can't control the decisions that others make, we can control the way we handle ourselves and our responses to such situations. I think she found a lot of comfort in that. Her boyfriend was there too after he picked up her grandkids from school, so we were able to teach him as well. Apparently, missionaries had taught him in the past as well, so when he saw us, he got excited and wanted us to give him his own copy of the Book of Mormon as well. It was so great to be able to meet him and see how they're such a support for each other.
We were also able to meet with Tobias three times this week. He's been going through kind of a hard time with legal things and getting divorced from his wife. On Wednesday, we talked to him about the importance of obedience and following the prophets and how keeping the commandments will help us to receive spiritual strength. He responded well and agreed with everything we were saying, but his mind was preoccupied with a letter that he had gotten from his lawyer that was in English that he didn't understand. When we met with him on Saturday, we went over 2 Nephi 31 with him and what it means to follow Christ to the fullest. He understands that he needs to be baptized, but he wasn't sure if now was the right time for him to do it. We helped him to understand better that God would give him the answer he was looking for if he prayed and straight out asked. When we met with him on Sunday, we went over the city of Nephi analogy with him. He loved how the different layers of protection stood for different things that we can do in our lives to help protect us against the adversary. We discussed how when he's baptized and receives the Holy Ghost, that that will be another layer of protection to help him overcome his trials. We were able to set him with a goal of April 19 and 20 to be baptized and confirmed! He agreed to work towards it, but said that he was going to pray about it when he went home. He's doing so great in his progress and has already come to church so many times.
We were knocking in a neighborhood as a back up for a lesson that fell through and we ran into a man whose name is Art. He owns his own financial company, so he doesn't "have a lot of time to go to church or be religious at all." We were able to start teaching him the Restoration and help him understand that religion isn't just a side hobby or something that someone goes to when they need help or want to feel comfortable, but that it defines who we are. As we were talking to him, I was able to share with him how I came to know that the church was true and that I didn't just keep going to church because my parents wanted me to or that's all I knew. It hit him a little, but he tried to brush it off. Hermana Reyes did the same thing and I could feel that both of our testimonies helped him realize that what we had to offer was true. He only speaks English, so unfortunately we have to refer him to the English elders, but there's a lot of potential with him.
We were trying to contact a potential investigator this week, but instead we were able to meet his wife, Fabi. She told us that they're Catholic, but there's a lot of things that she doesn't like about the Catholic church, including confessing your sins to the priest. She feels like it should be a very personal process that we have with our Heavenly Father. We were able to teach her about how through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can repent of all of our sins and become closer to God. She was really happy about this, so we talked to her more about the Restoration of the power of God on earth to be able to be baptized. She seemed a little hesitant, but we were able to give her a Book of Mormon, invite her to read it and pray about it, and set up a return appointment for this week. I'm really excited to see where this goes!
On a street over, that same day, we were trying to contact another potential and instead we met her brother, Omar. Apparently, his mom had been taught by the missionaries when he was a lot younger (8 or9 - he's now 15), but it didn't really go anywhere. When we started sharing the message about the Restoration, he stopped us and told us that this all sounded familiar. He told us that he thinks he remembers watching the Restoration video and feeling peace. We invited him to be baptized when he knew that these things are true, but we were unable to set him with a date. I'm so excited to keep teaching him this week and hopefully, he'll want to continue learning more about the church.
This week, our ward has decided to step it up in regards to missionary work. On Thursday night, all eight missionaries in the ward were able to meet with the leaders in the ward and get the names of all of the less actives or unknown people on the ward directory. As we started going through the names that we got from the Relief Society, we met one of the less actives. Her name is Reinalda. She's really old and, unfortunately, she has dementia. She doesn't ever remember being a member or even what the church is about. Every time we visited her this week, we had to re-introduce ourselves. Even though she doesn't remember us that well, we've been able to still visit with her and sing her songs when we go. I can tell that she can feel the spirit while we sing even though she may not remember everything that the songs talk about. Music has such a strong influence on inviting the spirit into teaching situations, so I love using it.
While we continued going through our less actives, we were able to meet the son (Brian) of one of the hermanas in the ward. When his mom took the lessons and got baptized about two years ago, he took the lessons as well, but he told us that he lost interest and got too busy to keep learning about the church. As we were talking to him, all five of siblings got home at once from school and came and talked to us as well. Apparently, all his brothers and sisters go to church every week because another hermana in the ward comes and picks them up. We tried to convince Brian to come this past week with his siblings, but he didn't come. Their mom came though! She only comes once every month because she has to work a lot. I have a really good feeling about Brian and I'm excited to keep working with him.
We got to visit with the Macias family again this week. Hermano Macias told us that he feels bad that we keep coming by and he's not progressing. We told him not to worry about it, but asked if we could still come by to "practice" teaching the lessons that we teach to our other investigators. Him and his wife agreed, so we're excited to still be able to have contact with them. Before we left, we were able to talk about faith and how we need to exercise it so it can grow. We were also able to bring Hermano Juarez with us.
This week has just been absolutely amazing in almost every way! Thanks for all the love and support that you all give me!
Don't know what's going on with the creepy head!
Star Wars shout-out to Hermana Shepherd!
Cool animated character truck we found! :-)