Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hit my 2 month mark!

It feels like it has been a super long time since I wrote you last but it's only been an extra day I guess. This week is week one of transfer two! Which means that I just hit my 2 month mark! I know, not that impressive but I don't know, noteworthy I guess. By the way, guess where I ended up?? Yep! Still in Taylor Ranch! Ha, you didn't really think that I was going to get transferred did you? And it's a good thing that I didn't because Aurora and Miguel are getting baptized on the 31st!! I am super excited for them, Aurora has made like a million miles of progress from when we first met 6 weeks ago, I can hardly believe it! A big part of that really though is that she has started living the word of wisdom. I always believed that the word of wisdom was good for you and I think that most people recognize that it is good and healthy for your body but, as some teacher told me once, the point of the word of wisdom is not for you to live to be 95, that is a (potentially) added blessing. The point of the word of wisdom and really all of God's commandments,are to help us draw closer to Him! When we live the way He has directed, we can feel and understand the Holy Ghost in a much greater abundance and it helps to draw us closer to Christ. I have absolutely seen that with Aurora. Once she stopped smoking lessons with her were way different. She was more interested, more receptive, had more clarity and more confidence and was able to pick up spiritual situations and promptings and even understand spiritual things way more! It's craziness! I'll have to send you pictures from their baptism when it happens, it is going to be awesome! 

So this week I met my first philisophical Christian. Well, not the first that I have ever met, but the first that I have met as a missionary. What I mean by that is that it is like a mix of Christianity and Greek philosophy. Everything in the Bible happened metaphorically, and the "conversation" that we had with her was rather interesting. I say "conversation" because it was pretty much her talking to us and if you tried to say anything else, she would just talk louder. But, she gave us some chili so, that was nice. Ha, we also asked if we could read a scripture with her (all of this happened while we were waiting for her husband to get home who is a less active member who we were trying to meet) and I picked the one in Hebrews that talks about how God chastens who he loves, like how a father corrects his children. And she was like "Wow, I had just been thinking about that. It's such an amazing coincidence that you randomly chose a scripture that applied exactly to my situation that I hadn't told anyone about" Yep... that was an awesome "coincidence", ha ha. Revelation is real! =D 
Ha, another funny thing that happened this week was that Sister Stokes and Sister Reilley and I got trapped in a jam session. We went to visit this guy and he was like "Come in! We were just praying for good spirits to join us for our jam time!" Then he gave us all drums and we jammed with him and another girl for like at least 20 minutes until this big hour glass they had up was empty. It was a little weird but after the time was up we actually had a pretty good spiritual conversation so.... that's good I guess. 
One other thing I can think of that happened this week. We were talking to the neighbor of one of our investigators, Donna, while she was walking her dog. We had just kind of said, "hi, how are you, how is the weather" and all of that when she was like "ok, I have to go, Bye!" but the dog would not leave. Like it just sat there and stared at us and refused to move so we talked to her a little while she was fighting with it and then we had to go to our appointment so we left and I look behind us and that dog was still just sitting there,  staring at us, refusing to move. It reminded me a little of the story of Balem and his donkey but don't worry, there was no dog talking. I'm pretty sure that unlike Balem I totally would have freaked out if that had happened. 
So, investigators are doing awesome! You remember how I told you that Daniel had read almost all of the Book of Mormon? Well, by the time that we met with him last Friday he had read all of the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price and all the stuff after that, like the articles of faith and Joseph Smith History and all of that. So he had a lot of questions but we do the best we can and things are going pretty well. He says that he still need to study more and keep praying but his goal for now is to be baptized with his wife Rebecca in the beginning of March!  
Hmm, what else interesting happened this week? We went with the Bishop to visit the Trujillos. We said hello, sat down and the Bishop was like "So, I see that you haven't been coming to church. Why is that?" and we were like "... wow" but he totally opened up and it was awesome. Apparently Bishops know what they're doing (not that I ever really doubted it you know) and don't got no time to beat around the bush. Ha ha it would be cool to be like that some day I think, as long as you knew when and how to do it and weren't a crazy person that goes around offending people. 
Well, that's about all of the real cool or interesting stuff that I can think of. Lots of people have been less cool but, you know, agency and all the jazz and what can you say? We keep on trucking. Well, Sister Stokes is apparently done and is staring at the back of my head so I'm guessing that's a hint she wants to go to zone sports. So I should probably wrap up. Let me just leave you with a thought or a challenge I guess from what we studied this week in district meeting and that is on personal study. In Preach my Gospel it says that it is important for us to learn from good teachers, but it is more important for us to discover spiritual truths on our own, and that as you do so it will mean more and you will learn more. I have to tell you, my personal study post mission life was pretty sad and I was always impressed by people who did so well like Brandi, but now I have to study for at least an hour a day. I can tell a huge difference. Not that I've particularly learned a lot intellectually, although I certainly have learned some good stuff, but I have a much stronger desire to know and to learn and I want to share what I've learned with others (and I'm always disappointed when they don't think it's as cool as I do). But, take time to personally study the word of God every day. There are a lot of different ways that you can do that, be it magazines, scriptures, conference talks, whatever. The scriptures say that as someone speaks through the power of the Holy Ghost, it becomes scripture. So find some scripture, spend at least 20 minutes a day studying and then 10 thinking about what you studied. I promise that you will learn, you might learn about what you're studying, you might learn about something else, but you will learn. You're desire for knowledge (which is one of the attributes of Christ by the way) will grow and you will as Amos says, want to rid yourself of the famon, not of food or water, but of the word of God. Your desier to be a better person will increase and your desire to share with others and discover will evolve and expound. 
You all are awesome, keep it up! 

Love April 

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