Seriously, this week has been so fun. It has been super hard, but really great. Lots of fun stories.
On Friday we went to Subway for dinner. First there was a girl getting married the next day. Her and her friend were just hilarious. They were jokingly fighting over who was paying. They also put a lot of weird things in their sandwiches for fun. While we were sitting it got super freezing cold. Outside=super hot so they love the AC. We went to an appointement which fell through. So we walked around a couple blocks. We saw a house of a former we had tried to go to before, they were there with the door open. So we went by. They were busy ironing inside, they didn’t really want to talk. I’m not sure why but I played the desperate missionary card (which has never happened before). We really were cold, since we didn’t have sweaters. I told the lady, Leticia how we were just so cold, just wanted to come inside. She told me I looked like an angel so she let us in. She gave us fruit, water, and we chatted about what we do as missionaries. She’s so cute. We’re going to give her the conference Liahona since she loves reading magazines from churches, loves the advice. Well we’re hoping it will help her.
Last night we had a really cool experience. We tried to see a referral, but they weren’t home. We decided that since we were in the area we would see a former we tried to contact last week (someone was there but totally didn’t open the door). With just hope, a little faith we went. We rang the bell 3 times and were about to leave when it opened. She totally didn’t want to let us in because she was tired, she said she needs a new job. We told her we could just pray with her. She invited us in just for that, with the expectation of leaving after a minute. The prayer was really awesome, really powerful. After that, she invited us to sit down, have some water. She talked to us for 45 minutes about her family, turns out she actually was really interested in the church because of the youth actvities. Her twin daughters just graduated middle school, are at the point where they really need help before the temptations come! And she knows a bunch of members! She is awesome, super prepared, and really needs it right now!
Also, I love living with members! We live with the Ross family, Larry, Kathy and their daughter Crysta (their other kids are out of the house). Last night after we got home, we ate a bag of chips and two jars of salsa and talked. We heard their love story, chatted like we’re all family (which we are now!). We talked about how I just am a cat person, no matter how hard I try I am not a dog person. I said I just love holding cats, one thing you really can’t do with big dogs. Brother Ross proved me wrong by having the huge golden retriever jump up into his arms and he just held her for a few minutes. Yeah, it looked kind of ridiculous.
We met this really awesome guy, Danny, on Saturday. He was shirtless, waxing his car in a park. He did not look like the type to accept. We almost walked right past him, but I casually said, “You never know! Let’s go talk to him.” Good thing! We talked about the restoration, how there is a prophet now. He loved it, said he’s been looking for a church. It was so perfect. Sadly he did not want to give us any information!! I really hope he comes, I’ll be praying he does!
We tried to see a potential from a list in our area book. We saw a ton of dogs out front, all barking. They didn’t seem too ferocious so we walked in. The lady came out of the house because of all of the dogs barking. She told us she was not interested and that the dogs bite, was actually surprised to see they were not doing their job. “They’re supposed to bite!” Lame. So we went next door. We met this lady who had a pass along card in her screen door…. That was strange. We knocked not knowing who we were meeting, a member, an investigator? It was some random lady, she immediately invited us in for lemonade. She told us she’s had missionaries before, her niece goes to our sports night. She even ended up telling us that maybe we would be the ones who would baptize her (she even brought up baptism herself)! It was super super random. But needless to say… we are going back to get her baptized! She’s awesome!
This week we met a less active family. Somehow (the spirit) we made it to their house during the only time that family is ever together. They told us their daughter in college got an apartment right in front of the San Diego temple. She can feel the spirit, wants to go to the temple. This in combination with us showing up, makes them think it’s a big sign saying they should go back to church. They decided they want to go to the temple. I made them a promise, as a representative of Christ, that if they returned, their daughters would follow regardless of the concerns they have for their kids, and they would be sealed in the temple. It didn’t feel like much, but Hno Duran just looked at me and pointed, speechless. All the talk before wasn’t really meaningful to him, but the promise was. It was amazing to see that change in them.
There’s this member who has what looks like a sleeping puppy on a pillow. It looks so real! I went to pet it, then realized it was not real… and it was weird. I pet a stuffed animal… Awkward.
Also, I didn’t mention the commitment the whole stake here has. Our Stake President committed everyone to invite a friend to have the missionary lessons in their home by the end of the year. Yes. Isn’t that crazy? Well guess what. I’m inviting everyone reading this to do the same. Invite people! You never know who will accept, and who will not!
“And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!” (D&C 8:15-16)
I know this church is true. I know this gospel can change lives forever, open the hearts of those who are closed off to the Lord. I know the Atonement can heal the wounded, broken of heart, and can be applied for every situation, for every person. I know this and so many other things. I love this work! I love the gospel! I love Arcadia, CA!
Hermana Laura Johnson