Saturday, March 1, 2014
Well well well.... where to begin? It has been yet another great week as a missionary. Sister Johnson is great and we just laugh all the time. I am really happy that we are companions and here in Coalinga. It seems like such an odd thing because we are totally different and this place is so strange, but I am really happy here. I feel like I am about the Lord's work, and doing what He would have me do.
This week we went to contact a referral and it was way out in the boonies. So we drove the 20-30ish minutes out there, and you know the little Mexican family there was awesome. They let us in and listened to a lesson and then fed us sopes <3. I don't think they are really receptive to the gospel in the sense that they don't want to change their religion, but I just have really come to appreciate and love nice people on my mission.
We had two miracle baptisms this past weekend. It was craziness, but we pulled it together. We had taught the Cannon kids a few times. The mom is inactive and the step-dad isn't a member. We were having the hardest time getting a hold of them and they didn't come back to church when they said they would and the Bishop wasn't too excited about us baptizing kids without a solid support system. So for all pretty legit reasons to stop teaching them, we did. Well previous to all of this, when they had come to church, we had set a tentative date for their baptism. Apparently mom was planning on that date still going through the whole time and had family coming in to be here for it.... so we get a random text this week on Thursday asking to move the baptism time from 6:30 to 7. We were surprised to say the least. We went over and visited with them that night and they really were ready to be baptized. We just felt like we couldn't deny two little girls (who have a testimony) the right of making that covenant with God. So we took a lot of heat from the ward and put some of our ward trust (that was so hard to earn) on the line to push for their baptism. They were interviewed and passed and were baptized on Saturday. Then Heavenly Father provided another miracle of fellowship for them in a member we didn't know had a prior relationship with the family. We had invited Sister Fullerton to the baptism and apparently she had let this family live with her for a while when they 1st moved to Coalinga. Anyhow, she stepped up and volunteered to bring the kids to church every Sunday!! Miracles and blessings I tell you!! So I think we have smoothed out the ruffled feathers, and the ward is alright with their baptism now thanks to the hand of the Lord working out all the little details!
So all and all things are going well here in Coalinga. We are really trying to re-energize the ward. The baptismal goal for the year here is 8. Right now as of today we have had 4 baptisms this year. Plus we have four solid people set with dates to get baptized this next month of March. So hopefully when we reach that goal they will raise the bar. I think that they are starting to feel the spirit of missionary work again here.
One of my favorite quotes of the week came while we were teaching nine year old Sara about the Word of Wisdom. We asked her why is it important to live the Word of Wisdom and her reply was,"So we don't get sick and ugly!" haha
Song to look up: "The Words I Would Say" by the Sidewalk Prophets. I don't really know much about this band, but a recent convert introduced me to this song this week and I rather liked it.
This week we were able to do a lot of work. Valentine's day provided us with some great service opportunities to heart-attack people's doors. It was fun to sneakily post love filled notes and words of inspiration on their doors.
AND I got to co on an exchange with Hermana Sorensen it was the BEST EVER!!!!! Ah I just love her so much, and we work so well together. Seriously it was a day in Heaven. While I was there in Hanford 2nd ward again I also got to visit Artie. It makes me smile just thinking about it!!
I got a phone call this week that has made me reflect on my time left here. The mission office called to verify details and purchase my return ticket home... crazy!! I think it definitely caught me off guard, but all things have their own season I suppose. And I know that I still have plenty of time to work here and learn.
Service highlight of the week was planting tulips. Well, tulip bulbs. Either way it was fun.
36 quality lessons with 13 member presents this week! We are working really hard and have some really solid investigators. None of them are going to be baptized this month, but in the beginning of March for sure. With that being said, it is really difficult to not be happy when you are seeing so much success. Like our investigators are keeping their commitments and the less actives are coming back to church! It has really helped me to fall in love with this odd little town of Coalinga.
Somehow I managed to get snagged to teach the Spanish Gospel Principles class last minute this week. I was totally unprepared and my Spanish is still atrocious, but thankfully the members helped me out and I feel like we all learned from the Spirit and had a good lesson! (Sister Johnson was teaching the lesson we had prepared for in the English class haha). Then there was still no one to translate for Priesthood meeting.... We totally felt like we were breaking some type of rule or code but it was good to be able to serve in that way.
Miracle of the week? Setting a baptismal date with the 1st lady we met here in Coalinga!! We are pretty excited for Laura. We just happened to knock on her door the first hour we were here in Coalinga and although we haven't taught her much yet because she has been sick, she accepted a date!! I really like her besides that so I am just excited to get to keep visiting with her and help her feel the Savior's love even more in her life!
Funny of the week? A woman we street contacted asking if I politely declined her offer to eat peanuts because of my acne.... haha what? what do peanuts have to do with anything? I just didn't want to share germs with a complete stranger or ruin my dinner, but sure lets blame it on the pimples haha.
Hope that you are all doing well and having a great week!! I love you!!!
bum bum bum...
I don't know if I mentioned the bathroom situation here haha.... it is so gross. Well it was more gross, don't worry I took some serious Tilex to it this week and about 3/4 of the mold has been annihilated. But there is no storage in the bathroom, ZERO cupboard space, and so we have brought in a tote to store tp and such under the sink. And I've included a picture of our ghetto-rigged shower with exercise band in place to keep the shower spout up so you don't have to crouch under it every morning... hahaha but hey good news: we got maintenance to come out and we have hot water back again after a day of frigid showers haha. This may be worse than those MTC showers I complained about hahaha. BUT really I am sooooo grateful that I have running water and can bathe everyday. I just thought you'd get a kick out of this.