Monday, April 28, 2014

Service, Investigators and Good things at Church

This week was kind of slow but good. We ended up dropping all of our investigators except for Connie. They just haven't been keeping appointments and don't seem super interested so we felt it was best. It definitely takes faith to drop but we need to be spending our time finding the people who are ready and willing to learn. We had a really good lesson with Connie. We brought a member with us and they really hit it off so hopefully we can get Connie some friends in the ward. We read the book of Mormon with her again and she is starting to get more interested in it I think. I hope she keeps progressing because if not we might have to drop her soon too. Well the good thing about dropping is that now we have plenty of time to find all week. 
We were able to do a Mormon Helping Hands service project with the stake on Saturday. We did service at a military base near by (Los Alamitos training center) . It reminded me of Dad seeing everyone walking around in their uniforms and doing their PT tests. We ended up doing a bunch of weed pulling around one of the tracks. Its amazing how annoying weed pulling in real life is but how fun it is when you are a missionary. We had a bunch of missionaries from our zone in our group so it was fun to get to talk to everyone while we were working. Also we have like a really really awesome ward mission leader. He is really involved in fellow shipping those we work with and getting members more involved in missionary work. He always has good advice for how to help the less actives and recent converts we work with. Also his gospel principles class is the best ever. He is a really good teacher and I even learn things in those classes because they are so focused on the scriptures and the basic doctrines. 
We had some really good talks in sacrament on Sunday. They talked about the enabling power of the atonement and how it can help us to over come our doubt, disappointment, fears, weaknesses and how it can help us to even change our nature. Also about how the only things we will have in the next life is our character and relationships. I love missions because we get to focus on those things. We get to try to personally become better as we become like our Savior. We get to form relationships with people as we help them to become better themselves. I feel like lately I have been able to understand myself better and see ways that I want to improve. This is the last week of the transfer so hopefully we end it strong.

Love you all!!
-Sister Washburn

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Temple-the best thing of my life

This week was pretty good. I got to go to Whittier again for exchanges. We biked a lot and got to talk to a lot of people. Sister Oler is awesome so we had a good time. Meanwhile, Sister Andelin and Sister Shipman were able to pick up a new investigator.We haven't been able to see any of our other investigators for a while. Hopefully we will see them this week otherwise we will probably have to drop them. 
Then we had our zone conference this week as well. I always learn so much at zone conference. They had some training on teaching simply, the Book of Mormon, having more sincere prayers, and things like that. I got to see Sister Le at it so that was cool! I miss her sometimes. 
For Easter we had dinner with a single mom named Corina. She has an adorable little 2 year old who was so excited to show us all of the eggs she collected and how she got Frozen from the Easter bunny. Corina made a ton of good food: ham, potatoes, fruit salad, and a bunch of other stuff. She also made a fancy cake (she is really crafty and a good cook) which was orange creamsicle flavored. Then this week I also got sick again. I think I already a little sick but then I think I got over stressed and stuff which made it worse. 
Today we got to go to the temple which was the best thing of my life. We went to the LA temple which I love because it is huge. There were a ton of missionaries there so it was cool when we were all in the celestial room because I just got to go around and talk to a bunch of my missionary friends. I love love love how peaceful the temple is. It really is a refuge from the world and I love how strong the spirit is there and how much closer you feel to Heavenly Father. 
I am really starting to love the ward here. There are a lot of really great people. I love our relief society president. She is a single lady and she is always super willing to come out with us and stuff. There are also a lot of other really great families too. 
Well, that's about it. This week was one of those weeks that where Monday seems like it was forever ago and I can't even remember a lot of what happened. 
Love you all!

-Sister Washburn
with Sister Shipman

"I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4 New Investigators!!

This week we were so blessed to get 4 new investigators!!! It was crazy that is the best I have ever had my whole mission (in Huntington beach it took a whole month to find 4 investigators). One was the girl we contacted last week. Her name is Maribel and we had a lesson with her and her sister. They seemed really interested and were excited to read the Book of Mormon and pray. They said they were going to come to church but ended up not being able to. So hopefully they will really commit to learning and everything. 
Another was a referral we got from missionaries who had contacted this guy named Mark. We were able to set up an appointment with him and had a short lesson with him. It was funny cause when we first met him he was smoking and has a bunch of tattoos and was playing it all cool but, we got him to really open up to us and he is really just a nice goofy guy. He has had a crazy past but really wants to change and become better. He is singles ward age though so we will have to pass him off to the elders in the YSA ward.
Then the 4th person we found is a lady named Terry. I was on exchanges with Sister Andelin and we contacted her. She was just sitting in her garage and we ended up teaching her the entire first lesson. She said she had always wondered if there was one right church because she has been around so many different churches in her life. So we are excited to be able to get to teach her more.
Exchanges were good as always since I always learn so much from Sister Andelin. It was super hot that day so I think that I got kind of over heated so I just have to make sure I am drinking a lot more water and stuff. 
A few random things that happened this week: We were talking to this Indian guy and he gave us a bunch of lowquats off off of his tree in his yard for us to take home. (I had never heard of those before) Also, we went by a potential who happened to be a Biola alumni (Biola is this christian college and they love bashing with Mormons and trying to prove us wrong) and she was actually really nice (but not interested) and gave us these huge chocolate chip cookies to take with us. Sister Shipman and I were visiting a less active and somehow they both figured out that they like playing dungeons and dragons and so, I sat there for like 30 minutes while they fangirled over it and I had no idea what they were talking about. 
Other than that this week was kinda hard for me. I've just been having a little trouble with my comp because she isn't very good at communicating with me or helping me make decisions. But I love her and I want to help her and I have been talking to Sister Andelin about it because she is my STL and so she is going to help us work things out. But every companionship has its bumps so I'm sure things will work out especially because she wants to change, she just doesn't know how. 
But this week was so good. It has been crazy how many people have been willing to listen to us lately even if they don't end up set up a return appointment, we at least get them thinking more about the gospel and how important it is to have a relationship with God.

Love you all!!
-Sister Washburn

Monday, April 7, 2014

Good Things Can Come Out of Setbacks

This week was hard but good, but still hard, but good things happened. A lot of our appointments fell through and our investigators went MIA. (probably due to the fact that it was spring break) We were able to talk to a lot of people though. Even a random Mexican guy who I spoke a little spanish to and he started going off in spanish and I understood enough to realize that he was asking me out! Eww, basically I shoved a pass-along card in his hand and was like "okay bye." 
We had a really cool experience on our way to a less actives. We parked around the corner because she lives in some apartments. On our way over I saw this teenage girl in front of her house on her phone. We stopped and started talking to her. At first she was like, "I already go to another Christian church." But the more we talked to her the more she told us about how she wishes she had more direction in her life and how the other girls at her church go on Sunday but they aren't very good people. We told her about how our church believes in living our religion and trying to become like Jesus Christ. We even ended up talking about baptism. Basically by the end of our conversation she was really interested and we set up a return appointment and she said that she was going to invite her friend over to learn more too. It was so cool! We are going to see her this week, so hopefully all goes well. 
We also went by a potential that missionaries had met before. We knocked on her door and she hadn't remembered talking to missionaries. She said she was a devoted catholic, but the more we talked to her the more she opened up about how she wished there was more goodness in the world and that she could understand God's will better. She basically had a bunch of questions that the plan of salvation answers. So we were able to set up another visit with her to teach her more of the plan of salvation so we should be seeing her this week too. 
We also visited a part member family. We talked to the dad and the 2 teenage boys. One of the boy's girlfriend was over and we ended up talking about conference and church things and she had a lot of questions. We ended up teaching her most of the plan of salvation. It was a really good experience. She's been taught by the missionaries before and her family members are strong Catholics (as usual) but the spirit was definitely there as we talked. The wife who isn't a member and is an alcoholic also joined in the conversation for a while. 
And we invited some other people we talked to on the street to watch conference (2 of them were neighbors of some members). So hopefully they watched and felt the spirit, so that when we follow-up (remember Elder Ballard's talk?) we can teach them more. Conference was the best!! On saturday the singles ward fed us breakfast and some members fed us all lunch. On sunday everyone did their own thing but since we live with the Leazenby's they fed us too. Conference is pretty much just under Christmas for missionaries. We all have to go to the stake center to watch it so we get to see everyone in our zone. Their were also some Anaheim missionaries there because their spanish branch is in our stake (its weird). They have ipads in that mission and they were just whipping those things out all over the place. But I'm over caring about ipads, so it was whatever. I loved conference. I loved Elder Holland's talk. That was a crazy story about the sister missionaries. The worst thing I have ever had was someone being rude and yelling at us.  I loved President Uchtdorf's about how gratitude is a way of being not just numbering off things you have. I also liked Elder Bednar's about spiritual traction, how burdens in life help us come closer to Christ. I also really liked the one about Joseph Smith and how he received revelation and restored the church. Also Elder Christofferson's about Christ's resurrection was really good. I loved so many of the talks, there were just so many good things said.It was also good to see President Monson back to his usual self because at the last conference he was still getting over his wife passing. Something that really struck me this conference was that fact that the prophet and the apostles are special witnesses of Christ. When we explain to people why it is important to have a prophet one of the reasons is that they testify of Christ and help us to believe that he lives. All of the speakers testified of Him and His divinity. It is so powerful to have all of those solid witnesses that Jesus is the Christ. It is amazing to be set apart as a representative of Him and to be able to teach and testify to those we meet that Christ lives and that He has prepared a way for us to return to Him. I love being able to also bear witness of Him. 
Love you all!

-Sister Washburn