I was lazy and didn't write down the highlights this week to remember to put in my letter so sorry if this one is a little scatter brained! My memory is getting awful; I have too many things to think about!
A wolf with a cactus art
I'll start with a little story. Last week I told y'all about having mini missionaries and how I took mine to the unknown of our area. We had met an old lady named Maria. She was super nice and I taught her about the plan of salvation while my mini missionary observed. This lady is SUPER catholic but I made a return appointment with her to go back a few days later with my mini missionary. We went back the second time and I taught her again another message but I could still tell this lady wasn't going to accept our message. Although I knew she was someone my companion would have dropped after the first lesson I decided to make a 3rd appointment with her (because the mini didn't know any better). Knowing that I'd be with my companion and my mini would not be with me. This week I didn't tell my comp anything about this lady (for obvious reasons) and I made her bike all the way up with me up this dirt road in the hot of the day to teach this super Catholic lady. In my mind I kept thinking "Sister Kingsford is going to kill me when she meets this lady!!" So we get there and start talking with Maria. She tells us that she wanted us to wait to share our message because her granddaughter who is 21 wanted to come by because Maria had mentioned us to her because her granddaughter is Christian. Her granddaughter, Marcie comes by and she is the NICEST girl ever. We taught the restoration and during most of the lesson Maria kept saying "Oh... well we don't believe in that" but we continued to teach and Marcie was really receptive and said that she liked our message so we got her information. After we had left Sister Kingsford was like "What the heck, why did you keep going by that lady??" I told her I didn't know until today and now I realize it's because of her granddaughter. I had to meet Maria with my mini so that she wouldn't be dropped and also to meet her granddaughter Marcie that day with my companion. I have seen so many little miracles how the Lord has worked through me to help others and to also test my faith and my willingness to serve.
There is another investigator we are teaching named Norma. She is friends with one of our members and has had the missionaries teach her for over 8 years. This lady has seen it all. Her husband passed away with cancer several years ago, her son passed away, she is jobless as of now and lives with her daughter. She has been through the ringer. We told the member that she is friends with, that she accepted a baptism date with us and the member looked SO surprised. She said that she has never accepted a baptismal date and that she is already progressing so much. Just this last week we went over to teach Norma and she literally looked physically happier. It was like a light switch turned on in her eyes. She looks 10 years younger. I have never seen anything like it; the gospel physically changing someone. She looks incredible. It's amazing to be able to recognize when someone has been through darkness for so long that they are ready to see the light. I'll have to tell you her whole story when I get home because it's too good to write.
We are teaching the Dominquez family. The grandma adopted the two kids. She loves us and we love teaching them. They wanted to make cupcakes together. Alfonzo and I made a dinosaur one and we competed with Sister Kingsford and Mariana. They made cupcakes.
I'm so excited for you guys to meet Paco!! He is a hoot. His parents remind me of a Mexican version of Aunt Dana and Uncle Brent. I love his family. They are all converts. They are literally the glue that holds the ward together. They have special permission from the President to be in our ward because they live in McAllen and are not in our ward boundaries. We are having dinner with them tonight and it's weird because you will be having dinner with him tomorrow night!! I told him to have you send some cool stuff for me back with him;) jk but really. His mom yesterday after Relief Society gave me a great big hug and thanked me over and over and over and she had tears in her eyes. You guys don't realize how much you are helping this family and helping the Lord to further his work by helping Paco to serve a mission. I have been praying to know my reason/purpose here in this area and I think it was to meet Paco's family and Paco so that dad could do his teeth! Last week we re-did a members' roof and sister K and I were up there with the nail gun and Paco's dad was so impressed he showed the whole ward that night a video of us at the ward party His dad does construction and he was over there at this members' house in the hot sun doing their roof for free. Like my dad... using his talents to help others, to help build Zion. I have to tell you when we were getting all of this put together with the Bishop, the Bishop asked me, 'How much is your dad wanting?" I said, "Nothing!! He wants to do Paco's dental work for free." The Bishop was like, "No really?" I was like, "Yes! You don't have to worry about it because that's the type of person my dad is." The look on the Bishops' face I will never forget. He was so surprised that dad would do that for a complete stranger. I just want to thank you Mom and Dad for being an example to me growing up and especially now of service; of helping others out of the pure love of your hearts. For the church and your callings, for scouts and achievment days, humanitarian, the list goes on. Thank you for being real parents. A lot of people don't have that down here. I have the lucky privilege of seeing the outcome and happiness you are giving this family and I know they will share this story with others for years. Take good care of Paco. I know you will:)
Holding the ladder for Eber. He is one of our investigators. He is amazing and we have been teaching him for three months. His story is the one I'm waiting to tell Y'all. It's long and inspiring.
As of now we have 10 people with baptismal dates. Our lessons have been incredible and I wish I could express them in words but it is almost impossible describing how the Holy Ghost testifies to people. The Lord is working miracles whether we realize them or not. It's our decision to make whether we want to be a part of them and having enough faith. What the spirit has taught me this past week and what I have been stressing to my investigators is faith and works. It's so great to have faith but if you aren't going to do anything about it, it's a waste. I compare it to getting a job. I tell people that when you want/need money you don't just sit on your couch and hope that you will receive money! Nope nope nope! You have to get off your lazy butt and go work for that money. It's the same with faith. You can't just sit around and expect the Lord to bless you with miracles and blessings. You have to get up and show God that you are willing and worthy to receive them.
Have a great week everybody! The church is true. Jesus loves you. I love you and thank you for the Love, support, and prayers!!!