This week has been SO productive!
With Hermana Shepherd on Monday, we were able to teach Charlotte one last time before I had to leave Moorpark. We taught her the 10 Commandments and she loved the hand signs that we showed her. She still really wants to be baptized, so hopefully Hermana Shepherd, Hermana Romero, and Hermana Hardy will be able to get her baptized this transfer.
Hermana Reyes and I have been able to work so hard and see so many great things happen. First, we were able to meet with most of the leaders in the ward. They're all really enthusiastic about getting the work going and helping us as missionaries to be able to work as effectively as we can. Our bishop, Bishop Quesada, and our ward mission leader, Hermano Sanchez, both have interesting and upbeat personalities, but have been especially supportive and I can tell that they know how important this work really is.
We've been doing better at getting to know the area and all of the people here as well. We've gotten lost a few times, but it only helps us know the area better. We've been able to contact most of our investigators and less actives in the area, but there are still a few that we haven't.
One of the first people that we were able to meet was Alma Nunez, a less active. She has such a sweet spirit and loves it when the sisters come over. In the past, the sisters would read with her from the Book of Mormon and answer any questions that she may have had from her personal reading. This week, we read with her in Alma 36 all about how Alma the Younger was able to feel God's love stronger in his life. She responded well and was able to apply it to her life with really any of our help. She also told us, though, that she feels like she has a hard time feeling the spirit constantly. She has that desire to feel it more, so we invited her to write in a journal how she feels when she's praying or reading the scriptures. We haven't been able to work with her that much yet, but she told us that she's been doing better at coming to church lately and that she wants to start coming back full time again. She wasn't at church yesterday, so there's obviously something that's holding her back a little. We're excited to start figuring out what her concerns are and to help her to overcome whatever's keeping her back.
We were also able to meet with Ivy, another less active who was just barely baptized in 2010, this week and get to know her a little better. She told us that she's been switching back and forth between the YSA ward and the Spanish ward, so that's probably why the ward hasn't seen her in a while. Even though she told us this, she also said that she just gets a little lazy sometimes and doesn't want to get up in the morning. We shared Helaman 5:12 with her and talked about centering our lives and our faith in Christ. I think she just doesn't fully understand what the baptismal covenant consists of, so I'm excited to be able to work with her so she can feel what she did when she was first taking the lessons and got baptized.
On Tuesday, we were able to find two new investigators, Isabel and Octavio, outside of an apartment complex where we have some potential investigators. Isabel is pregnant with twins, they already have three other kids and they're only in their early 20's. As we talked with them, we found out that they're looking for more in their lives and want to help their kids have a strong religious foundation in their lives even though neither Isabel or Octavio are very religious. We were able to give them a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet and set up a return appointment. When we went to visit them at their apartment, they weren't home, but I know the gospel can bless them so much, so we're going to keep trying and not stop until we're able to have a lesson with them in their home.
On Thursday, we got to meet one of our investigators by the name of Tobias. He's homeless and only has a broken down truck that he lives and sleeps in when he's not working in the fields. We were able to talk to him about having faith and enduring trials and shared Alma 32:21 with him. He loved it and marked it in his own copy of the Book of Mormon. He told us that he wanted to share the verse with his whole family. Even though his situation isn't the best, the members have been doing great at fellowshipping him though! He's been to church almost every week since he's started being taught and the members give him rides. He wasn't at church this past week though because he had to help his brother do something at his shop.
Multiple times throughout the week, we've stopped by at a part member family's home (the Macias'), but the member wife was never home. Her non-member husband was though and he's so great. The missionaries have been teaching him for almost 10 years, he comes to church all the time, he has THREE children serving missions right now, and he loves it when the missionaries come over, but something just hasn't clicked yet. We think that the reason he hasn't committed to baptism yet is because he hasn't been able to fully feel the Atonement in his life. According to his teaching record, he had had some issues in the past that kind of hurt their family and they're still in the healing process. We don't know exactly what kinds of problems they were, but we think that's what's holding him back. We're excited to continue working with both of them and helping them to feel the Atonement stronger in their lives.
At church on Sunday, we were able to meet one of our investigators that we had been unable to meet until then. Her name's Myra and she's married to a less active. In the past they hadn't been really open to the Elders that they were working with, but when we talked to her after church, she told us to come over to their apartment and get to know them better. Hopefully this week we'll be able to get over there and make some progress with them. Apparently, it was also a miracle that they were both at church because they hadn't gone in a while. AND they brought all of their kids.
I love working here in Oxnard and I love the people here already. As soon as I got here, I knew that this was where I needed to be to help others come unto Christ. There are so many people here that need to feel the power of the Atonement and I feel like everything that I've had to go through the past few transfers has helped me to understand it better myself so that I could help these people as well. I'm so grateful to be here and be companions with Hermana Reyes. She's such a great missionary and she definitely knows how to work hard. We have a lot in common, so we're able to get along really well and be pretty unified when we're teaching.
I've made it a goal this transfer each day to study the Atonement for just a few minutes each day during my personal studies. I know that as I do this, my understanding of it will grow even deeper and I'll be able to help the people here even more.
I have to admit that being in a ward with three other sets of missionaries can be kind of hectic sometimes, but all of the missionaries that we're working with are all great and we all seem like we're all on the same page. The ward is really excited to have this many missionaries serving in just their boundaries and they call us their "little army." It's so true though. We're going to be able to accomplish great things while serving here all together.
Now, a little bit about my comp! She's so great! She was born in Mexico, but was raised in San Diego. She loves country music! She was sick for a while the past few transfers to. She has really cute clothes that I can borrow. She's a twin. She doesn't like feet. I'll probably include more throughout the transfer! :)
Thanks for everything that you all do and have done for me to be able to get to this point in my mission! Love all of you!
We Hermanas in our "Neff Gear." Bro. Neff is the High Councilman over the branch in TO.
My new SWEET ride! JK. It's Hermano Parra's car. :-)
Hermana Shepherd and me with Charlotte.
Elder Bostrom, a GREAT zone leader. He went home this week. Classic Asian pic! :-)
Free roaming rooster in one of the more sketchy neighborhoods we work in.
The flood as a result of the downpour of rain we've been getting.
A puppy that followed us around when we were working. Hermana Reyes named it "Cosita."