Monday, May 5, 2014

It's HOT!

This week was SO HOT!!! Like holy cow. The Santa Ana winds were blowing our way (see how that made me sound like a local) and so it was windy, dusty, and over 95 degrees everyday. Sister Shipman and I were biking one morning and the wind was blowing so strong and when we got to our appointment there was a thin layer of dirt on my face and dirt stuck to the mascara on my eye lashes. It was gross. But we survived and it is already a cooler again this week. We were able to see a lot of our recent converts this week that we haven't seen in a while so that was good. We are teaching the after baptism lessons to Anthony (a 14 year old boy) and he is awesome. His dad is a non-member and his mom is less active but he has been really good about trying to come to church. We were telling him how awesome it is to see him pass the sacrament. I think that meant a lot to him because he said how last Sunday he didn't feel like coming to church but he prayed and felt like it was the right thing to do so he called up his YM leader to give him a ride. I think that that is so great! It is hard to do things like that when your family isn't super supportive. 
We also found a new investigator this week. His name is Renaldo and we contacted him a few weeks ago and then were able to teach him for the first time this week. He kind of had a hard time understanding what we taught (he's from the Philippines so English isn't his first language) but we asked questions to see what confused him and so by the end he understood pretty well. Our mission is focusing a lot on teaching simply lately so that was definitely good for Renaldo for us to teach simply. He's not super committed because he is catholic but he said he would read and pray so we will see. We had a really good district meeting this week about finding the elect. I have been thinking about that a lot. Now that I know how to find a lot better I want to get better at finding the people that God has prepared, those who are ready to progress.
Also I have been realizing that I am starting to get old in the mission because:
a) I had to throw away 3 pairs of shoes this week because they had holes and were just getting way old. Also i think I'm going to buy a new side bag.
b) Some more of my friends just went home
c) There are purple trees everywhere again and they were in bloom almost a year ago when I first got here.
We got to go to the departure fireside on Sunday which was awesome. At the end of each transfer there is a departure fireside for the missionaries that are leaving where there are musical numbers and they all bear their testimonies. I love these firesides! It is so cool to hear from these missionaries who have just devoted 2 or 1 1/2 to serving God and loving the people in the Long Beach mission. They just have this light in their eyes and such strong testimonies of things they have come to know, ways they have changed, and how much they loved their missions. 
Also this week is transfers! And I am staying here in Cypress. (which I am glad about because I really like it here) My new companion is Sister Okanoue and she is from Japan. She has been out longer than I have and she seems really awesome so I am excited! I'm sad that Sister Shipman is leaving. We had some bumps in our companionship but she is a great person and I learned a lot from being her companion. But I think that Sister Okanoue will be really good for me cause we are going to do work! We have been having a lot more women come out with us and now that I've been here for a while I feel like I am starting to get to really know the ward. I am really excited for this next transfer, it is going to be great!! 
Lately I have just been thinking about how much I love our church. I love that we can receive personal revelation from God to know of truth that leads to our conversion. I love the way that the church is organized, the same way that Christ established it when he was on the earth. I love how even when life is hard our faith gives us something to lean on and that we have a ward family to support us. I love that we want others to be a part of this true church so much that we are able to devote part of our lives to preaching the gospel so that others will be able to receive mercy at the day of judgement. I hope I never take for granted being a part of this church and having the blessings that come from being part of His covenant people. We belong to the best church ever!!
Hope you all have a good week!

Sister Washburn

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