Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Be A Friend To Investigators and Converts!

Sister Smaellie and I at the beach. There were no waves and it was boring,
especially as we couldn't actually go onto the sand. 
At the beach. And no, I didn't actually get asked
if I was Amish that day.... surprisingly.
Dear Family and Friends (and random internet stalkers who may or may not be reading this),

Hello! O como yo diria cualquier otro dia de la semana, Hola! ?Como estan?
Life has been crazy in this neck of the woods - emotional roller coaster with our investigators, as always. Robert and Jasmine, whom I told you about last week, have been going through some tough times. We're not sure where they're living right now, actually, so we're really hoping to get in contact with them soon! We had an amazing experience this week with a member. We invited Cesar, a recent convert of about a year, to come out with us to their lesson. When we arrived Robert had been having a bad day and didn't want to talk with us. (He'd sent us a text the day before telling us not to waste our time on them) We talked with Jasmine and taught her about faith while Cesar talked with Robert. When we finished talking with Jasmine, Robert was getting into Cesar's car to go to the store and told us that we could come back the next day. It was sweet! Member friendship and testimony is so important. My plea to all of you who read this is to be a friend to investigators and recent converts. They are experiencing an entirely new culture and point of view. They need people who will empathize with them, explain things at their level without talking down to them, and be available to help them in creating new habits and visions for their lives.
We randomly ran into Renaldo, a super sweet former investigator who was taught by Sister Clayton and Sister Daines and then once while I was with Sister Clayton. We had some awesome lessons with him and he set his date for baptism for this Sunday. He is so ready. Unfortunately he has been MIA since Friday and we're worried about him...
We also re-met some other former investigators this week. It turns out that Jorge G, whom I told you about a while back (April 22, and he's not Jorge R), had disappeared because he felt bad about breaking his promise to come to church. He had been avoiding us for weeks and then called us out of the blue to ask us to pray for him. We stopped by his house on Sunday morning to invite him to church, woke him up, and he followed us to the chapel! He loved church. We invited him to stay for the baptism after church in between classes, and he told us he couldn't because he was going to the class with all the men... Liked the baptism and after an in-depth Plan of Salvation lesson he is really excited to be baptized this Sunday.
We taught Araceli P and her 13- and 14-year old kids at the beginning of last transfer. They never came to church and we eventually had to stop coming by. But then we knocked on their door on Sunday morning and they were getting ready to come to church! They loved it. And what's even more amazing is that when we came by for our appointment yesterday their whole extended family was there for a BBQ. We had an amazing blessing with them that had two of Araceli's sisters in tears, left them with a Proclamation to the Family to read, and committed Araceli's esposo Casimiro to meet with us and come to church. The whole family is coming to Mutual and the Bridal shower/ward activity on Wednesday night!

An amazing spiritual experience we had this week was a first lesson with a large extended family, the Rodriguez family. The grandma is hard of hearing so the granddaughter and one of the aunts kept on repeating what we were saying so she would understand. We ended up teaching the first vision and receiving answers to prayers. I loved when the granddaughter, Paula, told the grandmother, "They're telling you that their message is true, and God will tell you it is good because you'll feel peace." It was amazing to see her teaching and learning at the same time, and you could tell that she knew we were telling the truth and were so sure of it that we trusted God to back us up. So cool!

Sister Smaellie is feeling better and I started to come down with what she had but hopefully have bypassed it (I feel much better after going to bed an hour and a half early last night!) We are praying hard for our investigators and all the people we're working with.
Oh, transfer data! Elder Call got moved to Miami Shores, Elder Barbosa went home for a transfer to get knee surgery, Sister Ellett went to Stuart (north of us), and Sister Schneider got a new trainee, Sister Biggs, who is sweet and funny and tiny (not big).
Our companionship theme this week has been trusting in the Lord. A (slightly misquoted) part of The Challenging and Testifying Missionary (a talk that is basically our mission's theme talk) says that we do not have veto power in missionary work, we only have sustaining power. That has been a huge comfort for me recently - I just have to do my best. The results are in the Lord's hands, and whatever I do, His will is going to happen in the end. I just have to work to be worthy of being part of His gathering. It is such a relief to know that whatever I do I can only help the work, not stop it.
We're seeing miracles every day. And I continue chipping away at my frozen peanut butter (I froze it so that I couldn't eat it so quickly because I'm addicted). This transfer is going to be miracle transfer! I love you all!
Hermana Houghton

Sister Johnson and I
P.S. I'm not lying. I actually do want to know what's going on in your lives. I will never turn down any type of mail.

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