Well, I realize that I said I'd only send one out every few weeks, but this week was for sure a super cool week! And it's number 30! That's a landmark I just couldn't pass up!
So this week was busy, and that's super good. We were able to teach a lot more people than usual, and that's always such a great blessing!
First off, there's this family in the ward who has been less active for a while, became active again to get their 9 year old son baptized and then once again stopped coming. But we've gotten really close with them, especially the Dad as we go over and teach the new member lessons. He's super cool and friendly and we have such great conversations about the Gospel, about Charity and especially the role of faith. The love that you gain for people only seeing them once a week for 45 minutes to an hour is unreal. It blows me away.
We also were finally able to have a real meeting with Delores and her family. We met her the week before Christmas and have not been able to catch her since. Some of the times she was clearly home as well, and so we were worried that she wasn't actually interested. (She was a referral from the Arizona Temple Christmas Lights show) But thanks to a prompting Elder Golden had to visit her before going home, we were able to meet and set up a real appointment! We met with her, her husband and her 12 year old daughter. Delores is currently trying to find the right church for her, and is visiting a few and taking the classes to see which one is right. Her husband was born and raised in the slums of long beach. (And I mean the slums. You should hear the stories, haha) He was raised Christian but saw a lot of problems and hypocrisy in Christianity so considers himself spiritual, not religious. But what we said about Joseph smith and the Book of Mormon really touched him. He hated how many times the Bible had been changed and translated, but said: "Well, if what you're saying is true... Then this book is the most perfect book on the earth... And God really did call another prophet." BOOM! The Gospel.
Also, he's a music producer on the side so even though he was super quiet at first, as soon as we started talking music and studio work he opened up really well and we hit it off great. The Lord knows his missionaries and where they belong! I can testify of that!
We also are struggling, because with Former Investigators in the area missionaries would just go over and hang out (a very common epidemic in California) and so we'll meet people and they'll be surprised when we try to teach a lesson, which is funny.
Also! We met with J.J. again. He prayed for us at the end, and Elder Golden and I almost started crying. I want to give you just an excerpt of some of the things he said: "Dear Lord, PLEASE bless these boys! Protect them from women! Women cause nothing but problems Lord! Always shaking their backsides! They Leeches! And let these boys enjoy their lunch! Make it a delicious lunch Lord!"
He's really funny, haha. Hopefully we can get him a fellow shipper and get him to church.
I've gained a strong testimony of repentance and the feeling of relief that comes from truly apologizing and asking for forgiveness. I love my Savior so much because he has truly changed me. I thought it was so silly in the scriptures when it described the Savior being risen with 'healing in his wings'. Now I see that he truly heals us because of his sacrifice and Resurrection. What an incredible blessing.