I got to eat Hmong food this week! Cabbage and chicken with rice is actually not all that bad... I liked it! haha. Plus visiting with that family makes me soooo grateful I got called Spanish speaking. At least I recognize most of the Spanish alphabet... Hmong is all tonal it is so different. It would be so hard to learn.
This has truly been a touching week of service for me. We got to read with Artie from the Children's Book of Mormon Stories. She started it back in 2010 with a set of Elders, and has been working her way through since. We are the 3rd set of missionaries to help her with it. (She has had all of us sign the inside cover of her book.) I just feel so blessed to have literacy as a part of my life that I constantly take for granted. If I had nothing else that I learned in my childhood I am glad that is there. I am blessed beyond measure and my cup runneth over.
We also were able to go and visit a member and have lunch with him in his retirement home this week. The people there were all so welcoming and nice. I wish all the people we tried to visit throughout the week were that excited to see us. [Oh and it had been a long time since I had been on an elevator (I think since the airport) haha.]
Zaldy and Ethel are a great family we are starting to work with! We watched the Testaments with them this week and by the end of the lesson I invited them to be baptized. The Spirit was there and Zaldy was about to say yes and then his wife surprised us when she just flat out said NO. I'm sure my face was priceless as I tried to comprehend that moment and questioningly repeated her "no" aloud. It would have been a "the district" moment for sure. But we were able to keep talking with them and expounding truth from the scriptures so the Spirit was re-invited in. (Zaldy was asking how baptisms happen even... to the point his wife looked at him and asked if he had decided he was converting). But Ethel is just fighting it... she would get up and go to the kitchen whenever she felt it touch her heart. She even cried while we were there. So any prayers for their family and the softening of their hearts would be greatly appreciated. [Don't worry I don't think Ethel dislikes us she even asked us to come over and eat lunch or dinner with her family].
Another great moment this week was when Julie and Kent told us that it has been 8 days since they saw us and that was unacceptable haha. I just wish they wanted to do more than just chat with us... and that they didn't have health concerns that keep them from church.
The Lemoore sisters called and asked us to do a presentation at their baptism 40 minutes before it was to happen. We were sweating some bullets over it, but in the end we were just fine and presented the message of the Restoration. We even had several people like their ward mission leader and the stake president come up and tell us how strong they felt the Spirit. Luckily for us the Spirit can cover a lot of the gaps we have as humans. Because still even after all this time I don't have the 1st vision down word for word.
I am growing so much... I am so much more bold now. This week I asked a less active man to stop doing meth/crank and to throw out all his beer. I just candidly and directly asked him. As we climbed back into the car after that lesson I was so surprised with myself.
I also learned a great lesson on charity this week. We went to visit an investigator whose 16 yr old granddaughter had been in a severe car accident (she is still in the hospital in critical condition). It wasn't a set appointment but we felt like we should go see how she was. When we got there she opened the door and asked "Can I help you?" with an angry tone, but we honestly thought she was joking at first. As she continued to chew us out we realized she was actually angry with us. I had the thought in my head that I could either say sorry and walk away (taking offense at her response), or I could offer her service and be genuine while I did it. Next thing you know the words are tumbling out of my mouth, right in the middle of her rant, "Is there anything we can do for you?". Amazingly her tone and attitude shifted almost immediately. Pure love truly overcometh all, and Charity is that Christlike love. It is so amazing to see how people want to be loved and that they respond to it so drastically. By the time we left Liz's doorstep she had apologized for her initial reaction to us and invited us to come back even before our next set appointment. I had offered to get her granddaughter a priesthood blessing and she was thrilled with the idea. I wish I could remember this lesson in every moment that I am tempted to feel hostility or offense.
Alma 48:10 "...that they might live unto the Lord their ...God"
Job 37:14 "...stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God"
Make it a great week! And remember I love you!