We tried to go and see Zaldy and Ethel again. Their daughter answered the door and then went and got her Dad. We caught them both at home but Ethel wouldn't let us step in to even say hello to her. So we left their family with a Restoration DVD and they said they would call us once they had watched it. It truly is the hardest, most heart breaking thing to see someone who has been touched by the Spirit then say no. Hopefully they watch the DVD and give us a call. If not I am sure we will try by again sometime this week anyhow.
We also had a Zone Conference this week so that was pretty awesome. The best part? It was in Porterville! AND 6th Branch provided lunch!! That meant that I got to see all the ladies from Porterville 6th Branch that I haven't seen since my first transfer at the very beginning of the mission!!! It was the best. I truly learned so much in that little branch about loving and enduring. They are so strong and faithful and constantly giving despite how little they have. (I might mention that we had the MOST food I've ever had at a conference due to their fine cooking skills). I just love them and was so happy to get to see so many of them. Unexpected blessing for sure.
Then we had a lesson with Danny. He is an investigator who faithfully attends church and wants to be baptized. The problem is that he doesn't understand the concept of one TRUE church. He thinks that this is the best church that he has found, but his testimony of it's divinity just isn't there yet. He doesn't really grasp the concept of the Word of Wisdom and sees no problem in only stopping drinking of alcohol and coffee for two weeks (long enough to be baptized in theory) but then won't commit to living it the rest of his life. Tentatively we set a date for October 8th, but unless he gains a testimony I don't know if we really should baptize him just yet. Which is frustrating because he does come to church and pay tithing, and from the sounds of it has made huge leaps of improvement from where his life was at before he started investigating the church. Maybe a spiritual experience like baptism would help him, but then again we don't want to commit people to something they aren't ready for either.
Eston came to church!! That was one of the coolest things that happened this week. We have been working a lot with his step-mom Marissa. Shannon (Eston's dad & Marissa's husband) is a less active member. We committed Eston to coming to church probably three weeks ago because he is gone a lot visiting his mom, but you know what he kept his word! Even though Shannon and Marissa didn't make it this week, Eston got up and drove himself to church. Integrity at its finest. Member support is so crucial to this work and I know that if Eston gets involved with the Young Men that will help Shannon come back to church and Marissa to gain a testimony even more than she already is. I am so excited for their family.
It was also wonderful to see a few of the other less actives we have been visiting make it to church this week! Just an example of how sweet these experiences are I will tell you about Lexi. She is a young single mother who lives in Armona and apparently became less active not to long after her conversion when she got pregnant. Her son is now three. We just saw her name on the directory and went and knocked on her door. She didn't have time then to visit with us, but we invited her to church and found her a ride for the next day. Lexi came with her son and when I asked her how it was after church she said she didn't know why she had ever left!
Another great missionary experience happened as we were leaving church. We saw these two young men sitting out on the curb in the parking lot. So we went over and talked to them. we found out that one of them was a young man baptized about 6 months ago and the other was a friend he had brought to church (both from the other ward). Oh it brought back memories of all the times I skipped Sunday School as we talked to them. It was so grateful that I was able to talk with them and relate how important those classes can be even though they may seem boring; that I had been in their shoes. We then taught them the Plan of Salvation sitting right there on the dirty parking lot ground in our Sunday best. At the end as I asked Richard how would he would feel about other missionaries coming and teaching him more he said that he would feel grateful. Truly a moment that makes all of the "work" worth it.
I love you!! Make it a great week!
Psalms 31:7 "I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;"