WEEK 16- Fairfield 2nd Ward
Family and Friends,
Holy Moly, this week has been filled with all sorts of crazy emotions and beyond amazing experiences. I can't believe how dramatically things can change from one week to the next out here in the mission field. I'll first start out by saying how sad I was that my buddy Elder Achal was getting shipped out of here. We have been together for about 3 & 1/2 months now, and I was sad to see him go! We've had some really awesome times, but I'm hoping we get the opportunity to serve around each other again.
So, Week One of my first transfer with Elder Smittenaar is over. And to be quite honest, it wasn't an easy one. Elder Smittenaar has been out in the mission field for almost 18 months now, and his work ethic has completely diminished. He's kinda ready to go home. This has meant that most of the work that goes on around here is pawned off onto me. I'm not complaining too much (because I love keeping busy out here), but it does become a little redundant always trying to get him out of the house and onto the pavement to go teach some people. He's very slow in everything he does, but thankfully the work this week has been quite the opposite.
We taught 18 lessons this week (more than I've ever taught before) and we didn't have a second to spare. We were moving from one appointment to the next, and I insisted in visiting a couple people in between those appointments. (Elder Smittenaar wasn't too enthusiastic about this, but I tried to keep him with a positive attitude about it all).Periodically throughout this week I was prompted by the Holy Ghost to go see a couple people that I hadn't visited in a while. I knew we didn't have much time to waste, but I felt this VERY strong impression that we needed to visit both Heather Gonzales and another woman named Gracie. I followed these impressions, and they proved to be the best decisions I made all week.
When going to visit each of these women and their families, they both were VERY glad to see us at their front door. (I received the prompting on Tuesday to go see Gracie, and the prompting came to go see Heather on Thursday) On both separate occasions, they invited us into their home and sat us down to talk to them. They explained to us how tough their lives had been recently and all the trials they were going through. Gracie was failing one of her college courses, and doesn't have the money to pay for more school. Heather's air conditioner broke, her husband is losing his job, and her daughter has started to become suicidal. As I was listening to them, I quickly found myself scrambling to find a scripture that I could possibly share with them that might provide some sort of support in these times of trial. Very, very quickly the Mormon message titled: Mountains to Climb, and the scripture Ether 12:27 came to mind. I then shared these things with these women and BOTH of them began to cry as we finished up our separate visits with them. They both wept and explained to us "how much they needed that" and "how much that really helped them." This was an amazing experience for me to know that - just by following a small little prompting, I was able to brighten or uplift them in some sort of way. Heavenly Father trusted in me enough to prompt me to go visit these women in their times of need. He gave me this prompting and took a chance on me. I was so happy to have helped them and to have provided a support to them.️ my testimony was certainly strengthened on how we need to better follow and be ready to receive those little "nudges" or "voices" that come to us.
Aside from those really cool experiences, we also had THREE SEPARATE PEOPLE COMMIT TO BAPTISM THIS WEEK!!!!! Elder Achal and I had previously been working REALLY hard with these people (when we were together) and now they have all progressed towards entering into the waters of baptism. Joseph, Jason & Etella plan to get baptized before the end of the year. I invited each of them to "follow in the steps of their Savior Jesus Christ, and become baptized" - and they all said YES! AHHHH, the spirit was so strong when I asked each one of them and they provided the exact answer we wanted to hear. I can't wait to see them dressed in white and begin this HUGE step towards eternal life. (2nd Nephi 31:11-21)
Something kinda funny that happened this week was when Elder Smittenaar and I were out finding people the other day and we came upon a house with a big old red door. I asked him if he wanted to knock it and (of course his answer was... "let's just get to the house of the people we have our appointment set up with.") with a dirty look on his face, he walked up the door and knocked a couple times. Out came a middle aged woman that waved to us, and was very quick to point to the "No Solicitors" sign on her porch, and slowly shut the door. Muttering something under his breath, Elder Smittenaar walked off and headed down the street. For some odd reason... I wasn't gonna have it. I was kinda fed up with it and I had to do something about it. So, in my wisdom I pulled out a Mormon.org "hand out" card and quickly began writing on it. I wrote a short, but sweet message to the lady that went something like this... "WE ARE NOT 'SOLICITORS' MA'AM. WE HAVE A VERY URGENT AND IMPORTANT MESSAGE THAT NEEDS TO BE HEARD. MAYBE TRY US OUT NEXT TIME?!" I wrote this on the card and put it on her front porch step. Hopefully she'll see it the next time she opens her door. Hahahaha
But yeah. I'm finding joy in the little things out here. Leaving notes on people's porch. Kicking rocks while walking down the sidewalk. Talking the ladies that work at Starbucks into giving us free drinks. And best of all... Sharing an eternal message of happiness. This gospel has brought so much joy into my life and I'm so thankful to be giving sharing this light with others. Another awesome week in the books, ladies and gentleman.
I love you all. I'll see you soon. (Well, kinda) GodSpeed.