Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Awesome Week!

Oh. My. Goodness. This week has been crazy and awesome. So this is like the first time on my mission where I have been sent to an area that hasn't been struggling and it has been a major blessing!!! We have 5 investigators right now. One of them is Robert Ruiz. He is this middle aged mexican man who they met on the street and he is totally open to the gospel and to learning. He was really willing gave up coffee and this week we had the tithing lesson which went over really well. We also talked a lot about baptism since he has a baptismal date for July 6. His main concern is that his family won't understand since they are strong catholic. Also a few of his friends have made weird comments about mormons to him. We tried to clear up his concerns and help him to know that as long as he keeps trying his best and staying close to the Lord his friends and family will see the good changes in him and his happiness and will know that the church is good. Our other investigator is Sister Eves. She is this spunky 93 year old lady. She is actually getting rebaptized because years ago she had her records removed from the church over a misunderstanding. She searched for another church to go to but never found on she liked. Then a few months ago she met a member of the church at a sewing class and she brought her to church. She realizes that this is the church she has been searching for and wants to get baptized so bad. So right now she is just working on her letter to the prophet and stuff so she can be cleared to get baptized. She has such a good testimony and wants so badly to follow Christ and to do what is right. The other investigator we have is Jesse. He is in his 20s and is the boyfriend of a less active who is coming back to church. He already has a strong belief in Christ and so for him it is more of just gaining a testimony that this is his true church. He has already had all of the lessons and so right now he is reading the book of mormon. He says he just hasn't gotten his answer yet, so will have to help him keep having good spiritual experiences that will help him to get the revelation he needs. Our fourth investigator is Josie. We actually found her this week while we were out tracting. We were on our bikes and started talking to her. She has been raising her grandson because her daughter is on drugs and she wants him to have God in his life. She wanted us to help her learn how to pray. We taught her the first lesson and really focused on the atonement and prayer. She really felt the spirit and kept telling us that she will never forget meeting with us for the first time and the way she felt afterwards. Her main concern is that her husband just wants them to stick to their old church so we will see what happens. Our last investigator we have right now is named Lorraine. She is an older lady who is friends with a member in our ward. She is open to learning and is a little hard to get to know to understand what she really needs but she wants to have a better relationship with God. 
It has just been crazy going from a really slow area to an area with so much work. We have people to teach, there are a lot of less actives in the ward, and there are some members that are really good about missionary work. Also finding is a lot easier because there are a lot more people in this area whose lives aren't so put together and they are a lot more willing to listen. Our ward area is pretty big. We live in a little house with an old widow who is pretty home bound and just basically watches tv all day. We help her out sometimes when she needs things. Our church building is literally right across the street from Knotts berry farm. We also live just down the street from Knotts berry farm so sometimes when we are out at night we can hear people screaming from the rollar coasters. 
My companion is Sister George. She's from Rexburg Idaho. She is 23 and she already graduated from college and was working as a nurse before her mission. Even though she just got out of training, she is really motivated and knows what she is doing in the area and stuff so that has been a big help. She is a pretty good missionary already and I think that it helps that she is an older sister because she is just able to take control of things better than some beginning missionaries. The only hard thing is that she was trained a lot differently than most missionaries. Her trainer had them so "go by the spirit" a lot which is great and important but she doesn't know how to make lesson plans or switch of in lessons or how to plan as effectively. But she is really willing to learn so we will be able to figure it all out. It is just been nice to have a companion who is on top of things and who is really motivated and positive. 
This transfer we decided that our goal is to really help everyone we serve to recognize and use the atonement in their lives. This can be for members as they use the enabling power of the atonement and look for missionary opportunities. It can be for less actives as they rediscover their testimony and how the Lord can change their hearts and help them come back to church. It can be for the non-members who don't understand their relationship with God and Christ and how keeping the commandments and repenting can relieve their burdens and help them to to be truly happy. 
Mostly I am just really grateful to be in this area to to be able to grow more as a missionary since we are actually teaching a lot and are always busying with helping people to progress. There are just a lot of things I will be able to learn from this area and my companion so I am really excited.
You all are the best! Have a good week!

-Sister Washburn

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