Week 58

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Hola mis amigos! One more week until Thanksgiving!
 
Things are good here in California! Not too many super crazy things.
 
A member gave me some stamps this week. They’re Christian stamps. I don’t think they knew that we don’t really use crosses in the LDS church… Oh well. So if you get a letter with one on it don’t worry about it! I’m using them anyways!
 
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Monday night was crazy. We had a really amazing time finding, we got a lesson set up for tonight, and found a really amazing family that wanted to find the true church because they knew the church they had been at was wrong. It was all really good, it kept going even after we got home. We talked with the English sisters we live with, they told us about their night. They knocked their investigator’s door, he wasn’t home. They talked to someone else, Sister Fjeldsted knew they had to return to their investigator’s door, so they went back. They just got home, they talked to the dad. They hadn’t really talked to him much, but he told them he was baptized 15 years ago in our ward! That’s crazy! They told us the address, we realized that we had already knocked that door, met their investigator Andy. Both H Davis and I had wanted to meet them even though we had no connection to them (we almost never knock random doors). And they said that when they met Andy he had had a dream about them, already knew who they were, representatives of Christ. He even went to church two days after they met him. It was so interesting! Heavenly Father wants them to hear the gospel! It is so amazing to be here, see Heavenly Father working through us to bring people the gospel, and to remind them if they already had it.
 
We also found some other less actives this week. Again we knocked on a random door (which we never do!) and I used the bathroom. The lady gave us some juice, told us her religious background. She casually mentioned she was baptized Mormon at age 8, we had to ask her to repeat it, we were in shock. She wasn’t ever really active, she changed religions since. We taught the restoration and it actually went really crazy. She believed in prophets, believed in Christ, that his authority was lost, that it needed to be restored. However she told us about how in her church she has a prophet, so she didn’t accept Joseph Smith and she refused a copy of the Book of Mormon. She didn’t think God could give us more scripture. Plus she needs milk before meat, she didn’t know enough about the Bible to read the BoM (not true she was straight up quoting the Bible). The most ridiculous part was when we prayed. She pulled out a veil, wore it on her head, gave this crazy, lavish prayer with her hands raised. It was like 10 minutes long, and was just absurd. It kind of scared us actually. I don’t know whether it was respectful or not to God… it was really too much. Creepy.
 
The other less active we met when we missed our bus outside of our apartment. He was actually on the bus we missed, we would never have talked if we got there in time. He lives in our apartment complex (which is kind of big), with his wife. He has a couple of days off of work, so hopefully the Elders can visit him. It sounds like he just stopped going to church when he got really busy like 10 years ago.
 
Thursday was crazy. We rode our bikes through some thorns, had a ton of holes in our tires! So the men in the ward got to work on fixing the tires while we did piano lessons. It was really cool to see them helping us out. We left to give a tour to a family that had come for piano lessons. It was really amazing, they really felt the spirit during the tour, we’re going to teach them again for the next piano lesson. Then we went back to our problem. After 1 hour, one man of another ward just got us new tubes so we wouldn’t have to keep patching them. He didn’t even let us pay him back! It was late, so one family gave us a ride back. The next day we took the bus back to the church to pick up the bikes, H Davis’ front tire was flat again! A thorn had gone all the way through, you couldn’t see it from the outside, she hadn’t felt it in the tire the night before. So we went to walmart, with a member, got a new tire, fixed it for the last time! We really saw how much this church serves this week! Everyone was so willing to help us. One of the members even said, “Your parents back home don’t have to worry about you. You have your own family here in CA!” They are so sweet!
 
We have had some amazing lessons with less actives, members. We have been sharing the work of salvation videos with people. They are so amazing to watch. We had a really great lesson with a less active, her recent convert dad. We showed this video and I think it really inspired the less active to think about the future her children can have. She really does want to go to church, we’re praying that she will soon.
 
We also had a really amazing contact with two sisters on the street. We asked if they had been to our church, turns out one of the ladies has a son who was in our ward, so she had been to church. We asked if they wanted a visit, they said they were moving, today, so they couldn’t! We asked for their phone number so we could ask for their new address to send missionaries to their new house, they said they would love it. That sparked a discussion between H Davis and I about how family members of members need the gospel! We have sent out a bunch of referrals for family members of members in different areas, not just here in the Arcadia mission. If you have any family members who aren’t members who haven’t talked to missionaries before, I would highly encourage you that you do so. A lot of them will accept the message, especially because they will have seen your example. You can send missionaries by going here. Just think of anyone else, family, friend, coworker anyone you know! Whether close by or far away, missionaries can reach them.
 
I know this church is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet. He translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I know it because I have studied, prayed to know. I know that anyone else can gain that testimony for themselves if they read, pray, attend church as well, really put in the effort to know.
 
I love you guys!
Hermana Laura Johnson
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