All is well here in Toppenish, still a bit rocky with finding and teaching but fortunately we have had one grand, sweet miracle today while teaching Ana Maria. Remember that we found her on exchanges when I was with Hermana Johnson? Well, we finally were able to get back in touch with her twice this past week. Our first lesson we didn't have too much time because we were running late trying to get to her after an appointment with a less active went over time. When we got to her, she had 15 minutes. Now let's be real... We can teach the Restoration in 15 minutes easy, but she LOVES talking with us in general, so we were able to teach about half of the Restoration to her until she had to leave to pick up her grand daughter from school. Mind you, this was our very first real lesson with her, where created a perfect bond despite our short lesson with distractions. We asked her if she'd like to say the prayer, and she immediately stood up and said yes! She asked us to stand with her while she prayed! Holy cow, it was amazing to see her pray. She prayed mostly for us to find people to teach and help baptize... Her prayer started to make me tear up.. we had built a foundation so quickly with her that it was all a blur, but she said the prayer, she asked questions, and she even read some verses from the bible to us.
Our second lesson came around, and we taught the WHOLE Restoration this time, without too much distraction. We got to talking about Joseph Smith, and how he was confused and lost about what church to join. She gave input that it was just like how she had read about Daniel in the bible, that he asked the same thing. I have not read that part of the bible, (It's probably old testament, right?) and she was amazed when we talked about how he was given the authority to establish the church on the earth, and about how he translated the Book of Mormon. Immediately, I grabbed our extra Spanish Book of Mormon that we planned on giving her. We knew she'd like to remember that we gave her this book. She was ASTONISHED when we gave the book to her, and told her it was hers to keep. She started crying and thanking us, and she talked a lot about how this is something she wants to share with her kids. But here's unfortunate news... She is moving, and we won't be able to continue teaching her. But she WILL be able to find the missionaries in her area when she moves. We think she may live close to the border of CA and Mexico, it is most likely in the California San Diego Mission. We exchanged names and info before we ended our lesson. Hermana Taua and I want to keep in touch with her while she moves. She moves. We are hoping to teach her two more times before she leaves. I will definitely be getting a picture with her to show you all this wonderful Hispanic Aunt of mine. We've come so close since we met her, and now we are letting her into Heavenly Father's care as she moves on with her life in California. She will forever be in my heart as I continue my mission.
Rose Marie, has unfortunately lost her date to be baptized. She's not fully committing to coming to church, and reading in the Book of Mormon. She has the Children's Book of Mormon as well. We continue to work with her and see what we can do to help her progress. We also lost contact with Jimmy. Hopefully soon we will find him home some time!
Conference was this weekend! Wow, what about the changes though!? I am excited to hear from our three new Apostles in the Conferences to come. We are so fortunate to live in this great time with our technology advantage with our Gospel Tools and having everything in our pockets. (Not quite us missionaries... yet!) I wish to extend an invitation to those of you who read their scriptures online and on your phone, to take a break next time you read.... to read from a real book. I LOVE having my physical Book of Mormon and scriptures. It makes reading more interesting, more personal, and so much more real than just on a screen.
We still see some little miracles every day, looking for the potential Hispanics... and Caucasians.... :) I LOVE being a missionary, I wouldn't trade these 18 months for anything!
The atonement is real, I love being a missionary, and I pray for you guys each day. You've all made this journey a bit easier with your kind and uplifting emails. I love you all, I pray that you guys will find opportunities to share the gospel with someone every chance you get. There are so many people who need it!