Wednesday, November 2, 2016
I cant believe this is my second Halloween here! Happy Halloween! I wish we could go trick or treating or campus contacting and pass out candy, but we have to be home cleaning (and eating candy). I love Halloween. I love the lights and costumes and treats and pumpkins and colors. We got to go to the Oakland 9th ward Trunk or Treat so that was fun :) Two of the sisters had a Halloween scare last night, thinking someone has been breaking into their apartment so they slept over last night! I am so happy they are safe.
Daniel is doing so great!! He LOVES the Book of Mormon and came to church for the third time yesterday. He has wonderful questions and we love meeting with him. The Lord has truly prepared his heart!
Mauricio is doing great as well, he is really busy with school and work, which is hard to set up lessons and get him to church. He wants to know if the church is true, I can see it in his eyes. He loves what he has experienced so far. We are helping him to read and pray and receive answers to his prayers, and recognize them when they come. He doesnt want to set a date yet but we will soon!!!! He knows that that will show God that he is serious!
Oscar is busy as well. He is learning and seeing his faith start to grow again. He doesnt feel ready to set a date, but we are meeting with him and he is reading the Book of Mormon. We have a great ward who support our investigators so so much. I love this ward and these people. They are all so close. The pressure is on and Satan is working so hard!!!! We are working hard to prepare our lessons and help them and pray for them. But ultimately, it is their decision. I hope they choose the winning team!!!
This next week should be great. We have Elder K Brett Nattress, a general authority, coming to speak to our mission!!
We have a beautiful art exhibit here at the Visitors Center that will be up for the next month all about the family!! There are some BEAUTIFUL paintings! Art touches my heart in a special way. I can feel the Spirit so strong through it, so I have LOVED it! :) The Christmas lights are getting put up already!! AH! Our ward took the thrid hour yesterday to make a 2017 Ward Mission Plan and it went so well! They are all so motivated to do missionary work - I LOVE it!!!
We received some incredible statistics about the online teaching center that we participate in as Visitors' Center sisters. Mormon.org receives calls or Bible Requests or Book of Mormon requests, or missionary visit requests, and it is our job to answer them and help!! In January 2016 we were receiving 300 of these, in all the Visitors Centers around the world. July=600, August=900, September=1500, October=1800. This is WONDERFUL and shows that the work is hastening and there are hundreds being introduced to the gospel!! But the problem is, there are 800 people going uncontacted each day. So we had a call with the missionary department to figure out a plan to solve this, to be able to keep up with the work!!!! We have a new determination to answer one or two more calls each day, so we can contact all of these people just waiting to hear the gospel. The Church has extra money that they are just waiting to use towards advertising, but they didn't want to put it into place until we could keep up!!! I love watching the Lord reach each of His children. And how beautiful that He uses technology as such a wonderful tool to reach all around the world.
I talked to a lady who came into the Visitors' Center who is Atheist. I just greeted her like we had been friends for years and we talked about what we do as missionaries. She was sad and dark at first, but by the end of the conversation, she was smiling and almost had a skip in her step as she left. Before she left she said, "You have a special light in your eyes. I can tell that you are really really happy and that you believe in the message that you share." This compliment brought me to TEARS! I told her that she was exactly right, I am really really happy and I believe this message with all my heart, that is why I come out to share it. I know those around us can see our light as we live the gospel!! My Gram said it best in her latest letter from London:
"The Lord is willing to pour out His love and Spirit to all, if the cloud of darkness would just lift off their minds, but the world is too much with them here, the adversary has deceived so many into believing that happiness is found everywhere that it is not found. I pray that we can always be a light to others, as we reflect joy, peace, and love in our eyes and in our smiles, which comes naturally as we remember to pour out our hearts in gratitude to Him always, for the blessings of the gospel."
I love being a missionary and I love the gospel. I continue to count my blessings, they are innumerable.