Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Perfect investigators

So this week was great! We had a great lesson with Peter, the one who we have been working with whose wife is Less Active. He is very logical and now realizes he needs to read the Book of Mormon like a story, and get the main principles from it instead of analyzing the details. We were teaching about the Plan of Salvation, and the purpose of life. We talked about our life on earth, and tied it into the Doctrine of Christ and what we need to do while we are here. . His wife started opening up and talking about coming back to church and we were about to invite them to come this Sunday, and the spirit was really strong. Just then... one of their kids from upstairs came down and had a diaper that needed to be changed right then and started screaming and that was the end of that....NOOOO!! So close... we're seeing them again tonight though, so hopefully we'll be able to pick up where that left off. 

George is the man who is 79 years old we have been teaching. Sometimes he gets it, sometimes he doesn't. He says he wants to be baptized though, but he needs to come to church a few times to do that. He keeps saying he'll come, but things come up. George was sick this week though and couldn't make it, and so we will try again next week. 

We are working a lot with all of our part member families in this ward. There are quite a few! Ones who have one spouse who is less active and one spouse who is not a member.. there are about 12! 

We had a great Zone Conference this week with President and Sister Craven, and the Assistants. They are great and wonderful. I love them. I love their example and their spirit. I have truly learned so much about what a great marriage is from watching them. Sister Craven did a great training on how to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting. Then we had a training on teaching for understanding.

I went on my first exchange as a Sister Training Leader this week! I stayed here, and Sister Devitt came to my area. Sister Wright went with Sister Devitt's companion in Mountain Island. We met this Mom and her son while we were out and we taught them the Restoration and they were really excited. But... they are going out of town this week and will be back next Saturday but want to come to church next week and they said they would be baptized!!!! I love how miracles happen on exchanges. 

Oh so on Saturday night, we had a potential investigator on our list and we were out looking for him and we couldn't find the house. But.. this guy came up to us and was telling us that nobody lived in that house, we started talking with him and sat down on the porch and taught him about the Restoration. His brother came in halfway through. They are both middle age, black guys. They were so excited. They sat on the edge of their seats at everything we said. They said it made so much sense, and they were so excited to hear that there was a modern, living prophet on the earth today! They wanted to read the Book of Mormon so badly and they wanted us to come back the next day. We invited them to be baptized and they accepted. So we set the appointment to come back the next day (Sunday) and they said "Oh but we don't live here, let me give you my address" NOOOOOOOO THEY LIVE IN THE MOUNTAIN ISLAND WARD!! Ah. But it's still exciting, and they are going to join the church still, just selfish little me wanted to be the one to teach them. So last night we did go to the appointment, had the Mountain Island Sisters meet us there and handed them off to them. They are going to be baptized on August 17th. Hopefully President Craven will let us to go the baptism! Mountain Island is really close. I know as we are exactly obedient and follow the spirit, there are more people out there just like them and we'll find them! Hopefully they'll be in our area this time though :) 

Yesterday a missionary who got home this week gave his homecoming talk. It was really powerful and reminded me why I am out on a mission and made me think about what kind of person I want to be and what I want to be like when I give my homecoming talk. And his little brother is going to leave for his mission this week, and so there was a farewell talk too. It was sweet. 

Oh and this week we talked to one of the "bug boys" we call them. There are lots of people out doing summer sales, selling pest control and alarms. A lot of them are returned missionaries. One stopped us and talked to us and gave us a lot of names to go contact and people he had talked to! Sweet! Hopefully we'll be able to start teaching some of those people he had talked to. 

I know living the Gospel is the only way we'll find true happiness in this life and in the next. I love knowing the Plan of Salvation and knowing that the Book of Mormon is truly from our Heavenly Father for our benefit in these last days. It brings so much comfort and peace and it is why I do what I do every day. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


Hello Family and Friends! It's been another great week. This week on Monday night we had dinner with the Stevens, the newest members of the ward. It was Sister Diaz's last night in Huntersville, so they got both of us flowers and it was so sweet. 
Tuesday was transfers! That is always exciting. To see everyone, old companions and people in my old districts and zone's and just be in a big group of missionaries is always fun. Love it. Instead of training though and getting a new companion from the MTC like I thought I was going to, I got a sister training leader companion, Sister Wright who has been out for 5 months! yay! So we are Sister Training Leaders together. It's so great having a companion who knows what she's doing instead of having to train someone! It's such a different dynamic. And I love it. We are both experienced and can learn together and help other Sisters. I found out a little more about what we'll be doing as Sister Training Leaders and I am excited. We are basically like Zone Leaders for the Sisters. We will train them and go on 24 hour exchanges with them, suggest ways they can improve and do better, tel them things they are doing well. I definitely can learn a lot more from them than they can ever learn from me though. i am excited for all of the learning that i will do by going to all of these different areas throughout the mission. apparently we will be going on exchanges 2-3 times a WEEK so keeping up our own area will be pretty tricky! Sister Wright, my new companion, is really tall. She's about 6 foot. and she's from Alpine, Utah, and she's amazing. Love her already and I am learning so much. 
This week was kinda busy with transfer meeting, and then district meeting, and leadership training meeting on Friday. It was super exciting though, we got to train on ONLINE PROSELYTING!!! WOOT WOOT!!! It is going to be amazing. Right now there is only one district in the mission that has them, but over the next few months different districts will start to get MINI IPADS!! We were trained on how to use the internet to share the gospel, including FACEBOOK and blogs and teaching lessons over Skype. Woah. It's pretty amazing. It makes sense though, especially for less actives ( who usually don't want you at their house) it's so much more effective to talk to someone on Facebook chat and ask how they are doing than showing up at their door, especially for part members and less actives, who sometimes hide from the door and feel intruded upon when you just show up! Getting to know them on Facebook first at least creates that relationship first. The emphasis on our training was definitely that our PURPOSE and our message hasn't changed. Just the way we share the gospel has. The possibilities are endless now we are going digital and it is truly exciting. We are going to be a test mission for the I pad program and our mission is one of the first to get them. Exciting!! Get this, OUR AREA BOOKS AND PLANNERS ARE GOING TO BE DIGITAL. On the Ipad. And our teaching records, progress reports, and our ward directory. It's going to save so much time and be incredible. It makes so much sense and I'm surprised it has taken this long to get this far actually. i have felt like a caveman on the weeks when we don't have the car (I don't have a wall charger for my gps so when we don't have a car it only will last as long as the charge will) i feel like a caveman walking around with a city map trying to find places. It's crazy, when we could be using technology. So I am excited. I have a lot of questions, and I am sure you do to about all of this, and I don't know all of the answers, but I will know more in the coming weeks and I am not sure when we will get our Ipads, but sometime in the next few months. We have zone meeting this week where we'll learn more. 
So as far as our area, we have been trying to find new investigators (keep the escalator full) and work with all of the part member families in our ward. We have been working with Peter, he's so nice. We finally made a breakthrough with his logical brain. He has a lot of 'logical issues' with the book of mormon, and he just sits and analyzes the historical and cultural aspects as he reads. he says he had an epiphone this week where he says he realizes he's supposed to get more out of it spiritually and read it like a parable. We were like YES Peter!! His wife is Less Active, and she definitely is going to be the key to getting him to church. 

FUNNY STORY: So remember that older lady who got baptized a few weeks ago? Mary? Well, we are teaching a 79 year old man named George. he is a single man so obviously we can't go in alone. the lady who was going to come with us had to cancel last minute, so we were scrambling to try and find someone to come and we knew Mary was home. She said she couldn't make it, but if he came to her house that would be ok. So we met George at Mary's house, and they hit it off. She is 75 and he is 79 and they are both single. we didn't think anything of it, but they were totally flirting and it was hilarious. We'll see if that goes anywhere. 

The gospel is true. I LOVE IT. It gives me peace. No matter how many people do or do not want to listen, what keeps me going everyday is I know for myself it's true, and whether people listen or not doesn't change that fact. 
Exciting things are happening! Love you all!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Baptism and Transfers!

What a wonderful week! We were very blessed to be a part of Dana and Carl's baptism on Saturday! It was amazing. What an incredible experience to see someone enter the waters of baptism. It's a pretty incredible story the way they found out about the church. Her parents are converts, they got baptized when she was 7, so she wasn't old enough. Her parents got divorced, her Dad is still member who lives in a different ward in Raleigh. He has been praying for years and years that Dana will join the church and find the truth. When our Bishop went on vacation to the beach he went to a ward there and the Bishop was saying "My daughter lives in Huntersville, you need to go find her" He gave her her address and lo and behold Dana and Carl live right between two members. They went over and introduced themselves. They were friends, but never invited them to take discussions. Right before we got there, missionaries knocked on her door and she let them in and they started teaching! After a week, that's when Sister Diaz and I got transferred into the area and we started teaching. They were so prepared and so cute. She made cinnamon rolls every time we came and they have been "golden investigators" keeping every commitment we left with them. Dana has been ready for baptism since day 1, she says she just was waiting on her Husband. She says she knew the church was true since she was little and that Elders would come to her door one day, and she'd let them in. She was just waiting for them! Crazy! Then they came to church and loved it and have gotten a lot of Ward support and it has just been an amazing experience to be a part of it. They are so sweet, and Dana's Dad was able to come to the baptism. Their neighbor, who is a member, performed the baptism and Dana's Dad did the confirmation. Dana's Dad asked me and Sister Diaz what our names were and thanked us with tears in his eyes. He said we might not remember him but he would remember us. It reaffirmed to me that I am doing the right thing, and moments like that make everything worth it. 
We are working to keep finding New Investigators! Escalator effect, not elevator. As President Craven says. Filling an escalator with people to teach at different points in the teaching process along the way, not just finding one at a time, focusing on them and then dropping to the bottom to find someone else. 
We have been visiting a lot of the Less Actives. There are about 12 part member or less active part member families in the Ward we have been trying to work with! Yesterday I fasted that they will be able to meet with us, because especially less actives are very hesitant to set appointments. 

We were tracting the other day and a woman was like "Oh ya, my husband is a member of your church" we looked for his name on our records, but didn't see anyone by his name. She said to come by when he was home. We came by and we met him. He said all of his family is in Utah and are active, but he has gone less active in the 10 years or so since he's been in North Carolina. But he wants to come back. He said he wanted us to come teach his wife!! Sweet!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happy Canada Day and 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! Yesterday in church Bishop gave a talk about "Freedom" and Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty and it was really great. 
We have met a lot of Less Actives this week, which has been awesome. People that the Ward has never been able to meet, and the Home and Visiting teachers have never been able to get in with. Some of them said we could come back, so we have. 
Ruben is a Less Active who lives in our apartment complex, so we see him around a lot. His wife is a non-member and they like to feed us and have us over. She was very closed to anything spiritual happening at first, but still liked having us over. But slowly we have been a few times now and she is open and she told us the other day she was researching on Mormon.org about the church and had been looking up stuff. We were excitedly surprised! And Ruben, who got baptized in Mexico 40 years ago when he was 8 and hasn't been consistently to church since said he wanted to come, and they both came to church yesterday. It was a miracle and we are so glad. We hope to continue teaching them! 
There is another girl in our apartment complex who is super nice and she has a really cute puppy. She said she would listen, so we went over and taught but she was very closed minded and not willing to try. She said we were "Mormon because our parents were" and if I grew up in India or China I would have been Hindu or Buddhist. I was able to tell her that I may have if I grew up there, but if someone presented me with a Book of Mormon and asked me to pray about it, if I prayed with real intent, having faith in Christ, a real desire to know, I WOULD receive an answer! And I WOULD find the truth. 
We met with Eli again, and we set a soft date for baptism with him, he is learning and progressing. He is changing, and wants to be a better person. Unfortunately he didn't come to church because he forgot to set his alarm. 19 year old boys... sheeshhh... Ha ha but we'll meet with him again soon. 
Carl and Dana are GETTING BAPTIZED this Saturday! 5:00 pm our time. Dana has been sure she wants to get baptized the whole time, but Carl has been hesitant and not sure. But this week we went over on Tuesday and we went with Brother Gaskill and he was like Brother Gaskill, I"m getting baptized on July 6th are you coming? We were like WHATT?! So yes he decided it was the right thing and we were really excited! We called our Ward Mission leader because we hadn't planned anything about the baptism yet because he had been hesitant, but the Ward was great and we got everything planned out at church yesterday and everything is set! Yay! 
The Members of our ward are awesome! Most of them are BYU graduates and work as bankers, for Bank of America or other banks that are headquartered in Charlotte. There is 1 Utah fan, Brother Hart and everyone else is BYU. Ha. The Ward is great though and we are fed almost every single night and it's great. We are in a really nice area with really fancy homes and it is very well off.
We have been out with a girl in our ward, Kelsey, who is 18 and is thinking about going on a mission. We have spent time with her and she really likes coming out with us! (We also like going out with her because she's available most of the time, not working, and has a car to take us places) 
We are going to see this family tonight that everyone says are "Dry Mormons" in other words, he went to the University of Utah and played football there and knows everything about the church but hasn't joined. His wife is interested in meeting with us, we've only met him, not his wife but he seems really nice. They are friends with most of the Ward so fellow shipping will be good too. 

FUNNY STORY FOR THE WEEK: This week we had District Meeting and we gave up our car to the Elders for the week. We haven't biked very much, mostly we have used members to give us rides. Sister Diaz hates riding her bike in her skirt, I don't mind it so much but she really hates it so she makes sure we have rides. Which is fine with me! Anyway, we gave the Lake Norman Elders our car, and they were surprised to find some goopy bloody substance on the back window. So we laughed really hard and we explained what happened. The night before we were coming into our apartment and as we were coming in we found a cat. I  didn't think anything of it and just walked past. But Sister Diaz is really an animal person and she started petting it and it didn't have a collar or anything, and it had been injured. Something had hurt it behind its ears and it was bleeding. We took it up to Blair (the girl with the puppy) because she knows alot about animals. She called an animal hospital and they said they would take it. But she didn't have time to take it over. So we put the cat in the back of the car and took it to the hospital. The cat jumped up by the headrests because it was scared and we took it to the animal hospital. And it was after dark, and District meeting was first thing so we didn't have time to clean it so the Elders had to... 
It is starting to get really humid and hot here! Welcome to the South! Whew! Everyone says if you can get through July and August they are the most hot and humid and the rest of the year is nice. :) 
Oh and Transfer calls are this Saturday so we'll find out about transfers. I don't think I will be transferred this time, but maybe Sister Diaz. We'll see.